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. 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.


fairly significant
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
98,500 miles
Total Complaints:
2 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (1 reports)
  2. replace the brake stop lamp switch (1 reports)
2004 Ford Explorer lights problems

lights problem

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2004 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #2

Nov 012014

Explorer XLT 4.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,000 miles


Real pain in the ass, had to jump start the truck twice in the last 5 days!! What will fix this problem???

- , Howell, NJ, USA

problem #1

Feb 032010

Explorer XLT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 109,000 miles

The brake lights stay on and drain the battery until the battery dies. I found out the hard way when this happened on a very cold morning. I was able to get a jump start and be on my way.

The problem occurred again a few days later and that's when I brought it into the dealership in Middleton, WI. The dealership told me that it was the 'brake stop lamp switch' - part $95 and labor $50. I looked this problem up on the internet and there seems to be a cheaper fix: if you pull the part yourself and clean up the connector ends and simply put the part back in.

- , Madison, WI, USA

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