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.


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
43,425 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2004 Ford Explorer wheels / hubs problems

wheels / hubs problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2004 Ford Explorer:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2004 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #12

Apr 192015


  • 147,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Ford Explorer equipped with capitol precision trac II tires, size: 245/65R17. While driving approximately 55 mph, the contact was alerted by another driver that there was a bulge in the rear passenger side tire. The contact discovered that the tire had a bulge on the outside wall. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 14T013000 (tires). The VIN was unavailable. The approximate vehicle failure mileage was 147,000 and approximate tire failure mileage was 3,500. The dot number and VIN were not available.

- Rockwood, TN, USA

problem #11

Aug 132011

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • miles
The first tire I had problems with was the front right tire that kept going flat, I had it checked to be fixed when the service man showed me the defect in the tire. The inside of the tire had a slit or where the seam was splitting all the way around the tire, only on the inside. I had to replace the tire and went ahead and replaced the front left tire as well. Two weeks later driving my three children and my grandmother to go school shopping my back left tire blew. Luckily I was on a dirt road and only driving about 20mph. Upon changing the tire I noticed the same seam rippage or slit on the inside of the tire so I immediately checked the right back tire and found the same thing on it. So I have 3 out of the 4 tires on my 2004 Ford Explorer that have this defect. Its very disturbing to think what might have happened if we had been on the highway when this happened and that both back tires might have blown. I have been researching these tires and so far have not found any recalls on this specific tire. Goodyear, Wrangler sr-a, P235/70R16 104S.

- Cherry Valley, AR, USA

problem #10

Jan 282011

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • 72,000 miles
I purchased a 2004 Ford Explorer from a Toyota dealership on 1/28/11. The car was a certified / warranted vehicle. I was assured by the Toyota salesman that any problem with the car would be fixed under the warranty. Several problems which the car has include: Mismatched tires, inoperable sunroof, leak in the differential seal & noise in the differential. I had the car inspected at a Ford dealership & was told these problems needed repair. The Toyota dealership has not returned numerous phone calls, emails & when I brought the car back to them, I was told all these repairs had been fixed & later found out that nothing was done.

- Huntington, NY, USA

problem #9

Mar 142009


  • 55,000 miles


Tire sidewall cracking on all 4 tires of the same type, mfg., and locations. Treadwear 520, traction a, temp B. nexen roadian ht P235/70R16 104S M+S dot 8ewl 2007 tires splitting on all 4 tires on outside only. Visuals of white underlying where poor vulcanization and splits are occurring.

- Niantic, CT, USA

problem #8

May 022009

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 50,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Explorer. The vehicle has Goodyear Eagle tires, size 255/55/ R18. The contact stated that the tires were cracking between the tread. Sears stated that the tires were not defective and could not explain the cracks in the tread. The contact is concerned because the cracks are on all four tires. The current mileage was 50,000 and failure mileage was 36,746. Updated 5/28/09 the inside grooves of the tires showed cracks. Updated 05/29/09.

- Austin , TX, USA

problem #7

Apr 122009


  • 81,100 miles
Easter Sunday, my family was on their way back home on the freeway. Out of no where they hear loud snapping noises and next thing they knew the rear passenger tire came off. The cars skidding on the road and finally comes to a stop. Luckily for my family they walked away unharmed. The car is currently at my home, won't turn on anymore, the wheel studs are all broken off, the rotor along with the rest of the assembly is damaged. The car is a mess and now I'm trying to figure out how im supposed to deal with the situation.

- San Jose , CA, USA

problem #6

Aug 082008


  • 32,207 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Ford Explorer. The vehicle has Michelin tires, size P235/70R/16 (na). The contact noticed a crack on the sidewall that affected all four tires. These were the original tires on the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic and they stated that the tires needed to be replaced due to the crack. At this time, the tires have not been replaced. The dot number was unknown. The failure and current mileages were 32,207.

- Buffalo, NY, USA

problem #5

Jul 252006

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 29,000 miles
: the contact stated all four Michelin tires are cracking. The dealership of the vehicle informed the contact the tires were only warranted for 12 months or 12,000 miles. Michelin offered to swap out the tires and pro-rate them. The tire size is: P23570R16.

- Cherry Hill, NJ, USA

problem #4

Sep 012005


  • 24,000 miles
Ltr fwd email fm consumer re defective Michelin cross terrain P235/70R-16 tires for a 2004 Ford Explorer, request a defect investigation, dot/I32005-5097. While driving 55 mph the consumer's vehicle began to vibrate. A soon as the consumer pulled of the road the tire blewout. The vehicle was taken to a tire dealer. The tire technician concluded that the failure was due to a manufacturing defect which resulted in interior liner separation and sidewall separation. The consumer contacted the manufacture but they refused to provide any financial assistance. The consumer had to pay a pro-rated price for a new tire. This tire was original equipment O the vehicle. The consumer is concerned that the other three tire will fail in the same manner.

- Andover, MN, USA

problem #3

Aug 012005


  • Automatic transmission
  • 18,078 miles
Tire failure. We took the tire in to get it plugged, but it was the inner lining, it split apart and the tire was not safe to plug. (goodrich tire) we took the tire to an authorized goodrich dealer and they told us that it was a cosmetic fix and that it would be safe to fix. After the Firestone ordeal, I don't feel safe to drive my Explorer any more. I will let the company know about the goodrich tire failure.

- Garden City, MI, USA

problem #2

Jan 232005


  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,713 miles
The tire blew out while driving 65 mph. The vehicle had to be towed.

- Tustin, CA, USA

problem #1

Nov 012004

Explorer 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 7,000 miles
The consumer experienced a problem with the cruise control. The consumer would set the cruise control and then it will shut down by itself. The consumer took the vehicle to the dealer who as of today, was unable to find a defect. The failure resulted in a life threatening situation when the vehicle reached speeds in excess of 100 mph on it's own while hitting the resume button in cruise control. The vehicle had been in to the dealer for the repair of the braking and tire pressure gauges, throttle control, transmission slippage, cruise control, traction control default, general computer defaults and the rear trim piece at the liftgate opening was distorted.

- Long Lake, MN, USA

Not what you are looking for?