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.

9.1

really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
$2,796.00
Average Mileage:
88,589 miles
Total Complaints:
169 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace transmission (74 reports)
  2. replaced with rebuilt transmission (47 reports)
  3. not sure (26 reports)
  4. having the whole thing overhauled (16 reports)
  5. replace torque converter (2 reports)
  6. transmission seal failure causing leak and the pump is weak (2 reports)
2004 Ford Explorer transmission problems

transmission problem

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2004 Ford Explorer Owner Comments (Page 2 of 9)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #149

Jul 072013

Explorer LS 6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

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

A vehicle with only 80,000 that is adult driven should not be having transmission failure! Come on Ford ante up.....this is my third and worst Ford Explorer. Been a Ford and Mercury owner for over 50 years but am now reconsidering for the future.

- , Salisbury, NC, USA

problem #148

Dec 222013

Explorer LS 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,043 miles

Transmission failed one day to the next. Snap ring dislodge in throwout bearing and all hell broke loose.

- , Whittier, CA, USA

problem #147

Feb 152014

Explorer XLS 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

I bought my 2004 Ford Explorer from Car Max in Riverside Ca. In November of last year the tranny felt funny and broke down 2 weeks after I bought it. It was covered under dealership 30 day warranty so Aamco fixed it. 8000 miles later and 2 months after the Aamco warranty ended it happened again.......luckily (kind of) I bought the extended warranty. Now its at another Aamco and they said that there's low pressure in tranny and trans fluid leaking where it's not supposed to be in the tranny.

I just spent my whole income tax check putting on new tires,rotors,brakes,widow motor, and warranty deductible and can't drive my Explorer! Bad enough I owe 5 more years on a car that Car Max sold me that is breaking little by little, now I found out the trannys are no good on the Explorers. I don't know what to do? I would return the Explorer if I could.......

- , Moreno Valley, ca, USA

problem #146

Dec 232013

Explorer XLT 4.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 207,485 miles

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

still a piece of sh*t. same problem as everyone else concerning these transmission!!!!

- , Lagrange, GA, USA

problem #145

Jul 162011

Explorer XLT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,000 miles

Took it to Ford dealership. Cost over $2000.00 for a temporary fix. Shame on you Ford for not backing your Product. And shame on the government for not stepping up for the working man!!

- , Maryville, TN, USA

problem #144

Sep 092013

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 170,000 miles

The casing cracked and needed complete replacment.

- , Miamisburg, OH, USA

problem #143

Jun 152013

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 122,000 miles

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

This should be a recall beings that Ford has had this issue for years on this model. Chrysler seen they had problems and they took care of their customers by fixing their customers issues with their transmissions. Come Ford step up to the plate!!!

- , Hagerstown, MD, USA

problem #142

Mar 012012

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

Transmission began to slip into gears, took it to be looked at and was informed that this yr make and model vehicle has transmission problems. After being looked at I was told after spending 100$ for the vehicle to be looked at that I would need to replace my transmission and just a used one I am looking at 1300$ without the knowing of the labor yet. I am still paying on this vehicle and have 3 small children that I cannot get around because after having it looked at the transmission completely failed at this point.

My suv is broke down in a parking lot and I have to rely on family and public transportation to get us around and have to continue making 326$ a month payments. After researching this problem I have come across the knowledge that this is a common problem that had begun as early as 40,000 miles. After I first purchased my suv I had it looked at by a ford dealer because the vehicle would hesitate going into reverse then jolt my truck into gear, however, ford dealer told me there was nothing wrong with the transmission and this was while my transmission only had 44133 miles on it. Now I am being told that there is no help into getting this resolved. Ford you owe me 16,000$ for a new vehicle and how dare you put your customers through this with no recourse or remorse.

- , Elmira, NY, USA

problem #141

Aug 052012

Explorer XLT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles

2000-2005 explorers have a rate of 1 out of 10 having transmission failure. I want to know why there is not a recall or a class action law suit for this vehicles transmission problems and failures. I would like any information possible to further this. There was mention on ford complaints and failures website for out of waranty explorers a "goodwill repair"? I contacted the ford company and said my vehicle did not fit the criteria. Yet when I asked for the guidelines to be sent or emailed to me, I was told this was confidential information and was told nothing could be done...I purchased this vehicle with my daughters disability money so that she would have a safe ride to dr's etc. A little over a year later the gears went totaly out while driving. Road side assistance took 4 hours up until 4am. Lengthy wait for anyone let alone a disabled child. Now my daughter and I as a single mother can not afford another vehicle. Or the repairs for Fords mistakes. Ford really needs to aknoweledge thier mistakes and fix them on a case by case basis or someone needs to put thier foot up thier tailpipe and sue the company. Any help suggestions or other ways to deal with this matter would be greatfully appreciated. THANK YOU ..Wheels4jocilyn

- , Chester, WV, USA

problem #140

Apr 132011

Explorer Not Trim 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 137,000 miles

I bought a 2004 ford explorer and 8 months later the transmission failed.. I'm also still making monthly payments on it. I took it to the shop and they told me all the gears was messed up and that it was gonna cost me $3,600 to replace the tranny or i can have it rebuilt for $1,800. So i just went with a rebuilt transmission. I learned from this.. never to buy a ford again!!!

- , Sacramento, Califoria, USA

problem #139

May 022012

Explorer 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,360 miles

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

When reversing we had to wait for the transmission to engage.

Also found hard shifting between 2nd & 3rd gears when going in drive

- , Leamington, ON, Canada

problem #138

Apr 012012

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 136,000 miles

I just had a mechanic looked over this car's transmission because I feel a loud bang when I shift on reverse. This mechanic was right when he said that these trucks had awful transmissions. He mentioned that it has to be re-conditioned for an approximate $900 US, in addition of $300 to $500 US labor charges. FORD should have a complete recall for this specific part, or more and more drivers will shy away for any new car productions. It'll really end up a cost differentiation multiply by millions in strict market loss. FORD take action now!! Before it hits the TV screens worldwide.

- , Bronx, NY, USA

problem #137

Sep 102012

Explorer LS 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,213 miles

Ford knows they have a problem. Just got off the phone with those dirty sob's. They won't

Recall because it's not life threatening. Been a loyal ford owner my whole life. Gotta a feeling ford will be next auto company needing a bailout if this is how customers our treated. Ford needs to step up and do the right thing.

- , Smyrna, GA, USA

problem #136

Mar 052008

Explorer ES 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,000 miles

I was so happy with this car when I first got it new 2004. One day I was driving and the transmission went out on me, I didn't know what was going on with this car. I took it to the shop to find out that it was the transmission. I got it fixed but it did not last long. This is the worst experience that I have ever had with a car. I hope they get on this and do a recall this car was not worth the price I paid for it, the way I see it they should pay me to give the car back to them. It is a cheap piece of crap.

- , Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #135

May 252013

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

I never bought extended warranties until recently. Now I will buy them consistently. The effort and cost Ford would have spent to fix this problem in the beginning would have profitted the company handsomely in quality reputation. As it is, I would recommend being very careful buying Fords. I work for Ford.

- , Canton, MI, USA

problem #134

Feb 182013

Explorer XLT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

Ok well I am on transmission number 3 of this vehicles lifetime. The original transmission went about 3 or 4 years ago with about 90k miles on it. I got a 2005 used transmission out from the junkyard with only 25k miles on it and replaced the original transmission about 3 to 4 years ago. Well now today I go to put my car in reverse and it doesn't move backwards. I put it in drive and it doesn't move forward either. I now have about 130k miles on this truck and I need to replace it again. The worst part is I have 2 truck payments left and this baby is paid for. FORD you know these trucks have transmission problems even their cousins the Mariners and Mountaineers have the same problems and you won't recall these vehicles. You are dragging down the Ford vehicles name by not stepping in and doing something. There is no reason why people should have to replace their transmissions on these so called #1 trucks 2 and 3 times. You are letting down Ford owners and the livelihood that they will purchase another Ford vehicle. It's time to step up and do something about these problems. While you are at it, you need to fix the cracks in the rear door under the window which is another common problem that I read about on these vehicles and the door actuator going bad on the heating systems.

- , Woodstown, NJ, USA

problem #133

Mar 302013

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,500 miles

Bought the car used seven weeks ago. CarFax reported that the previous owner (purchaser) had all of the required maintenance done at the Ford dealership. Car was in excellent condition and passed my prepurchase inspection. Within 1700 miles the transmission failed with no warning (no lights, no slipping, only one noise immediately preceding the failure).

Only NOW, after the fact, I find all of this info about this POS transmisison and that Ford won't acknowledge their POS transmision is the fault. I returned to Ford with this vehicle but I will NEVER buy another Ford again. Shame on you, Ford!

- , Denver, CO, USA

problem #132

Apr 072013

Explorer Eddie Bauer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 129,000 miles

I BOUGHT A 2004 FORD EXPLORER LAST YEAR BARELY PUT 9000 MILES IN STARTED TO HAVE TRANSMISSION PROBLEM, SO I FINALLY TOOK TO THE CAR TO THE MECHANIC THE FIRST TIME CAR SAID CHECK TRANSMISSION , SO WHEN I TOOK THE CAR TO HIM HE SAID HE DOESN'T SEE ANYTHING WRONG.. THEN TODAY I WAS DRIVING IN, I STARTED TO HEAR A STRANGE SOUND SO THEN THE CAR LOST SPEED AND IT WONT TO GO IN REVERSE OR DRIVE. FINAL GOT IT STARTED IN THE CAR MOVED TO THE HOUSE .. CANT WAIT TO SEE WHAT HE GOING TO SAY NEXT... SHOULD NEVER BROUGHT A FORD !!!

- , jefferson city, MO, USA

problem #131

Oct 042012

Explorer Limited 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 76,000 miles

Bought this car on a loan at 76,000 miles in July of 2012. I am active duty military and had to move bases in October 12. During my move from Utah to California the transmission overheated. Took it to a local shop in California and they said the only fix was to rebuild. Cost me $3500. It is now only 3 months later and I'm already having shifting issues with it. Put too much money into this piece of junk!!! Thought I was getting a good deal on it until had to spend $3500 to rebuild the tranny and will most likely have to park it when it goes out again. Now I'm going to be stuck paying off a vehicle I won't even be able to drive! Thanks for financially ruining me Ford.

- , Hill afb, Ut, USA

problem #130

Mar 042013

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 145,000 miles

I am upset. We bought this car used about 2 years ago. We finally finished paying the car completely off and, that same month, the transmission begins to have problems. I thought it was purely bad luck but now I see that this type of car has this issue and I am not the only one. You work so hard to have something nice and reliable and then you're left with crap. These cars are not cheap, therefore you expect a better quality. I guess I was dreaming.

- , Newark, NJ, USA

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