Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety.

CarComplaints.com Notes: The 2004 Ford Explorer one of our worst vehicles on record. "Avoid like the plague" is putting it lightly.

The 2002-2005 Explorer has a very well-established record of expensive transmission failure at under 100k miles. The Explorer has an enclosed transmission which is typically replaced with a rebuilt transmission at a cost of almost $3,000.

Another common problem for the 2002-2005 Explorer is wheel bearing failure at around 90k miles, with a typical repair bill of $500 to $1000 depending on how many wheel bearings failed.

Adding insult to injury, the 2002-2005 Explorer also has a massive problem with the rear panel cracking. While it's a minor annoyance compared to transmission failure, ironically the crack usually goes right through the Ford logo.

10.0

really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
$4,000.00
Average Mileage:
101,714 miles
Total Complaints:
7 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace engine (5 reports)
  2. not sure (2 reports)
2004 Ford Explorer engine problems

engine problem

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2004 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #7

Jul 182013

Explorer LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

I HAVE A 2000 FORD EXPLORER SPORTS AND I DECIDED TO UPGRADE AND I PURCHASED THE 2004 4 DOOR MODEL. UNFORTUNATELY THE VEHICLE HAS THREE TIMING CHAINS AND ONE OF THEM BROKE AND NOW MY TRUCK IS PARKED AND I HAVE TO BE USING MY 2000 EXPLORER, WHICH I TOOK FROM MY BROTHER WHO WAS USING THE TRUCK. IT'S STILL RUNNING PERFECTLY AND MY 2004 IS DEAD.

I THINK THE NEW EXPLORERS ARE NO GOOD, BECAUSE ALL THE MECHANICS SUGGEST I GET A NEW ENGINE AND DON'T TRY TO FIX IT BECAUSE IT COST THE SAME TO THE REPAIR. I WILL NOT PURCHASE ANOTHER FORD. I WENT TO A REPAIR SHOP AND THEY HAD A EXPLORER CHANGING THE ENGINE LIKE MY TRUCK AND THEY TOLD ME THEY DO THIS ALL WEEK, JUST KEEP CHANGING 2004 FORD EXPLORER ENGINES. I HATE TO JUNK A 2004 BUT THAT'S WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE NOW. I HAVE NEVER HAD A CAR FAIL ME THIS QUICKLY.

- , Montclair, NJ, USA

problem #6

Apr 262012

Explorer 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,000 miles

Another Blown Explorer Engine. Wife took for oil change, car worked fine. After getting keys she could not start. Asked the oil place what they did to the car, the said it ran fine. Called my mobile mechanic, he came out and determined the timing chain broke loose and destroyed the engine. After he took the engine out he showed me all the plastic that shredded and was everywhere. The oil pan looked like it had Miracle Grow in it as well. Plastic? This will be my last Ford, Found On Road Dead. Ford is a joke

had to replace the blown tranny in my Windstar as well. 2 Ford vehicles, 2 major repairs in less than 12 months.

- , Cape Coral, FL, USA

problem #5

Jul 292012

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 109,000 miles

I always wanted a Ford Explorer, so when i bought mine in Sept '10 I was very happy. When the transfer case failed it cost $2,500 to fix which was covered under warranty. That I thought was the end to my problems until last week when my car stopped in the middle of the road with my 2 kids, 1 being an infant in the pouring rain. I had to order a tow truck and am now renting a car for 40 bucks a day. It turns out the timing chain broke on the engine!!! I need a new engine which is going to total $6,500. My warranty expires in a month.Thank god for that i am still waiting on approval from my warranty company. I will never buy a Ford explorer or any vehicle from Ford they are the worst trucks ever made."Ford" should be replacing people's engines and transmissions and transfer cases for free. This experience has been extremely stressful. I hope the engine is fixed so I can sell this truck and get a new car!

- , Lynbrook, NY, USA

problem #4

Aug 072012

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 104,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

My husband was just driving home yesterday and the timing chain broke and cause engine failure. Now we are being told that we have to replace the entire engine. We just had the timing chain "Fixed" in March...this SUV has been nothing but problems.

When we first got the Explorer about 1 year into it we had to have the transmission fixed because it would slide and also pause between shifting from/to park to/from drive and would make the entire car "jump" Thank goodness that was under warranty still, but now it is having the EXACT same problem again...and now it isn't under warranty...not that it much matters now that we have to have our entire engine replaced...I will never buy another FORD as long as I live.

- , Hampton, VA, USA

problem #3

Jan 102012

Explorer XLT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles

As as the other complaints for this...Ford dealer said they never break...the kit is $1100 plus labor brings it to over $2K...but they say it probably has more damage and to just get a new engine...$5-7K about the same value as the car...If this is a Ford issue, why don't they fess up and fix it?

- , Fairfax, VA, USA

problem #2

Dec 262011

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 128,000 miles

So, I have had my ford explorer for about 7 years, purchased brand new has about 120,000 miles on it. The timing belt broke as i was advised on the interstate. checked with local repair shops and was told I could buy the timing belt but wouldn't be able to put back in time. The only solution was to have the engine replaced. Unfortunately with this economy I can't afford it with 2 kids living on a budget. So now I am hitching rides! I really loved that truck but I will not get another ford again, I guess they have lived up to the old saying " Found Onside the Road Dead=FORD!!!!! Here I come Chrysler 300 Very disappointed.

- , Opelika, AL, USA

problem #1

Aug 232010

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 54,000 miles

They say my timing chain broke and now I need a new engine @ 54,000 miles!!! This is CRAZY!!! I'm at my wits end with this piece of crap!! And the bad thing is I still owe on this!!! So it's not like I can just junk the car which is where it should be...the JUNK YARD!!!

- , St Petersburg, FL, USA

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