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.

7.8

pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
$633.00
Average Mileage:
84,001 miles
Total Complaints:
52 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace wheel bearing (25 reports)
  2. relace both front wheel bearings (11 reports)
  3. not sure (4 reports)
  4. replace bearings assembly hub (4 reports)
  5. Replace wheel bearings and rims (4 reports)
  6. replace bearings (2 reports)
2004 Ford Explorer wheels / hubs problems

wheels / hubs problem

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2004 Ford Explorer Owner Comments (Page 3 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #12

Sep 012009

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 53,000 miles

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

I have had the front bearings replaced and now I believe the rear needs to be done. I have checked with a friend who works on cars and he checked with other people he knows and no-one wants to touch the rear bearings. The noise gets louder when I step on the gas. I know I need to have this repaired but the cost may be too much for me at this time. I only have 53,000 miles on the car and can't believe that the bearings are bad. Ford should do something about this problem.

- , North Granby, CT, USA

problem #11

Oct 142009

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,000 miles

I took my car for a new set of tires at America's Tire (Discount Tire). After changing the tire, one the technical noticed I have a "loose hub assembly" on my left rear wheel and he suggested that I should get that fixed immediately because it's a safety issue. There is a possibility the wheel may come off at freeway speed.

I took my cars in to my mechanic the next day, and he jacked up my car. The mechanic put one of his hand at 12 and the other at 6 o'clock on the tire, and rocks it. The tire was wobbling back and forth when he did that, which suggested a bad wheel bearing, or possible bad hub assembly. At the end, it was determined that I had a bad wheel bearing, which was replaced for $400.

Usually a hub assembly/wheel bearing should still be in good condition at 52,000 miles. I guess because it's a FORD. I have many problem with this vehicle, the rear right window sometimes doesn't work, the fuel tank system malfunction (changed it under warranty), the "service engine soon" light comes on every 5,000 miles. I'm not buying another Ford. I thought American cars' quality is now comparable to the Japanese, unforturnately they're still lagging.

- , Saratoga, CA, USA

problem #10

Oct 142009

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,000 miles

I took my car for a new set of tires at America's Tire (Discount Tire). After changing the tire, one the technical noticed I have a "loose hub assembly" on my left rear wheel and he suggested that I should get that fixed immediately because it's a safety issue. There is a possibility the wheel may come off at freeway speed.

I took my cars in to my mechanic the next day, and he jacked up my car. The mechanic put one of his hand at 12 and the other at 6 o'clock on the tire, and rocks it. The tire was wobbling back and forth when he did that, which suggested a bad wheel bearing, or possible bad hub assembly. At the end, it was determined that I had a bad wheel bearing, which was replaced for $400.

Usually a hub assembly/wheel bearing should still be in good condition at 52,000 miles. I guess because it's a FORD. I have many problem with this vehicle, the rear right window sometimes doesn't work, the fuel tank system malfunction (changed it under warranty), the "service engine soon" light comes on every 5,000 miles. I'm not buying another Ford. I thought American cars' quality is now comparable to the Japanese, unfortunately they're still lagging.

- , Saratoga, CA, USA

problem #9

Sep 182007

(reported on)

Explorer Limited V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,000 miles

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

Wheel Bearing noise returned. Noise coming from same drivers side front as when I had the wheel bearing replaced 3/07. Dealer claims noise is actually coming from passenger side front and rear wants to replace them though they acknowledge the noise is in the front left. I have no noise on passenger side and believe they are simply trying to milk another $800 from me before replacing the real one that is bad which was replaced on 3/07 and still should be under 12 month warranty.

- , Grand Rapids, MI, USA

problem #8

Jun 012009

Explorer LTD V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

The chrome is cracking and peeling off the inside and outside of all four of the wheels on my 2004 Ford Explorer so badly that the Ford mechanic told me all four must be replaced now as they are a safety issue. The cost to replace the is $810 per wheel.

This cracking began about two years after I bought the vehicle. Ford tells me that this is not covered under warranty or by my extended warranty. One would think that a chrome plated wheel would hold up better than this.

Toyota here I come!

- , Des Plaines, IL, USA

problem #7

Feb 112009

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 113,000 miles

Bought this ford 2 years ago and so far I've changed both wheel bearings and the engine. I'm a single mother with 2 kids and not a great paying job so I've had to sacrifice a lot to fix this.

- , Calumet City, IL, USA

problem #6

Apr 052007

(reported on)

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,500 miles

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

Both front wheel bearings were defective and replaced at 45,500 miles. The dealer was absolutely untrustworthy - also diagnosed defective ring and pinion gear which is not the case. Had the bearings replaced at an independent shop. Ford Motor Company unresponsive as no recalls, warranty ... in place.

Explorer has a history of engine, transmission and running gear issues +++ which should have taken the vehicle out of production. I had great experiences with the previous 5 Fords I purchased new like this one. I figured Ford had enough time to get the Explorer fixed, but I guess not. Apparently , Fords now are unreliable across the line and Ford's issues prevent it from backing up its product. Add my name to the "never again" Ford Motor Company list.

- , Tempe, AZ, USA

problem #5

Dec 282008

Explorer 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 63,500 miles

First it started with the ABS lights on. I didn't think much of it because in NJ we have had snow, ice and slush for the past 2 weeks. My husband started noticing that the wheels would lock when we shifted into reverse and the truck would jolt. He thought that the brake pad needed replacing. However driving on the highway back from NY he started to hear serious grinding and rubbing coming from the driver front wheel. Also he felt the steering loose as he was starting to have trouble when going 65mph and had to slowdown to 20mph on the NJ Turnpike. Thank God we (the 2 children and my husband made it home safely. The next day he took it to Pep Boys to get the brakes fixed since that is where he got it done on Sunday during the summer. They said that the vehicle is not fit to drive and should be towed to a repair shop. We brought it to the Dodge dealer where we bought it used May 2007. They said the drivers wheel hub/bearing was GONE and axle. Also the brake pads needed to be replaced and the rotors need to be shaved down. We couldn't believe it. We understand that nothing is forever and these things go but COME ON. It's not even over 100K in mileage. How can they create and manufacture should horrible parts. I forgot to mention that the service manager said the passenger side was bad and soon would have to be replaced.

And Detroit is getting a bailout for products like this? We should have gotten a Honda or Toyota instead.

- , Maplewood, NJ, USA

problem #4

Aug 232008

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 71,000 miles

Rear passenger wheel bearing failed, while on a cross-country commute.

Got it fixed at 3M Auto, West Plains, MO. Bearing was rusted in. Mechanic Mel, had a hard time pressing it out. Hub assembly was not replaced. Cost was $160 ($84 for bearing parts). He felt bad for the delay in work due to the difficulty in extracting the bearing, but felt that replacing the whole hub was unnecessary expensive. And mentioned that this was the second one in a month of lower mileage explorers needing bearing changes.

- , Eugene, OR, USA

problem #3

Oct 302007

(reported on)

Explorer Limited V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 49,000 miles

It just keeps getting better.. First at 40k miles as previously reported needed new front wheel bearings. Noise returned. Now I need rear wheel bearings both sides. Now it gets interesting. They can not replace the rear wheel bearing because the threads on the axles have rusted off. Thus I have to replace both left and right rear axle. Wait there is more. I also have to replace the center part of the axle, some limited slip clutch parts and bearings within that center part of the axle. Dealer admits this is common on 2002 and newer explorers. Did I mention this is a late 2004 model with less than 50k miles? For another $2,000 it will be road worth again Incredible....... Did I mention I just paid to have the hood repainted because it simply separated from the primed surface under neath?

- , Grand Rapids, MI, USA

problem #2

Aug 292007

(reported on)

Explorer Edie Bauer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 41,000 miles

I had traded in a 1991 Ford Explorer for this 2004. I never had to replace the wheel bearings. My 1991 had 246,000 miles on it. I had to replace front wheel bearings on this 2004 and it only had 41,000 miles on it. I had to replace rotors because of corrosion issues. The motor on rear window has died; the seat warmer button does not work; numerous of other little things do not work now that my 3 years, 36,000 mile warranty is up. I have read through all the the complaints about the newer Fords. Obviously, Ford is not making its cars the way they used to. I also have the slippage in my transmission when I go into reverse and then put the gar in gear to go forward -- I get a 20 sec hesitation.

- , Arlington, VA, USA

problem #1

Mar 242007

(reported on)

Explorer Limited V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 41,000 miles

All four wheels chipping/cracked at center around hub. Font Wheel bearings need replaced. Ford says to bad, pony up the $1,800 for new rims and $425 for each bad bearing. 41k miles and I need a transmission, new rims, new bearings. Give me a break...........

- , Grand Rapids, MI, USA

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