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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:
$300.00
Average Mileage:
102,687 miles
Total Complaints:
54 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replacement hinges (26 reports)
  2. not sure (14 reports)
  3. replaced with hinge kit 2l2z-78420a68-aa (7 reports)
  4. replace bracket (4 reports)
  5. repair but Ford says problem will recur (2 reports)
  6. replace door and window (1 reports)
2004 Ford Explorer windows / windshield problems

windows / windshield problem

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2004 Ford Explorer Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #54

Aug 012014

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

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

Hinge screws are aluminum and strip out. Replacements just the same.

It is now attached with cable ties and I can't safely open it. Terrible piece of design.

- , Haymarket, Virginia, USA

problem #53

Mar 142013

Explorer XLT 4.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,525 miles

Can't open the hatch because it will fall off and has several times !!! The hinges are all rusted not that I left the hatch open when it rained so water must get in there somehow.

- , Lincoln Park, MI, USA

problem #52

Dec 012013

Explorer Limited V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,000 miles

WILL FORD PAY THE COST TO FIX THIS DEFECTIVE BRACKET??? IT SMASHED MY 13 YR OLD DAUGHTER ON THE HEAD!! DO I NEED A LAWYER. THIS IS REAL CRAPPY. I HAVE NEVER SEEN THIS HAPPEN. THIS IS DEF A PROBLEM THAT THE DEALER SHOULD FIX. ANY MORE INFO WOULD BE GREAT!

- , Joliet, IL, USA

problem #51

Sep 022013

Explorer Cult 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 151,812 miles

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

The 2004 ford explorer is a pain in the a** for repair.

- , Catonsville, MD, USA

problem #50

Apr 132012

Explorer Xlt 4x4 V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 148,000 miles

Was loading a ladder into my Explorer Friday night and when I opened the window the hinge broke. Thanks god I was able to hold the window so we could disconnect everything. I just priced the new hinges which are expense for something does not last and when asking the ford dealership about the repair. They told me the glass shatters very easy and if they have it in there shop and it shatter it would be my responsibility to replace the entire glass. This is bull!!!. I agree with everyone else that this has been an ongoing issue with the Ford Explorer from 2001 - 2005 according to the part department at the dealership. This vehicle has been the biggest piece of junk. Had to replace the transmission, wheel bearings, something major in the rear end when it was under warranty, plus a lot of other things. Junk, Junk, Junk

- , Mt. Vernon, OH, USA

problem #49

May 182012

Explorer XLT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 112,000 miles

click to see larger images

defective hinges on rear window

Back window just fell off. It could have landed on one of my kids.. SO very unsafe. Ford is aware of the defect but won't do anything about it. I called 2 different dealerships. One wanted $400.00 to fix it and the other wanted $250.00. ( the glass is not broken, this cost is just for the new hinges and to put them on). I bought the hinges for $115.00 and my husband fixed it himself in 20 min. Rip off that the dealership wanted $300.00 in labor for 20 min of work.

Ford really needs to fix this issue for free since it's a huge safety hazard that could be avoided.

- , Lexington, MN, USA

problem #48

Apr 162012

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,750 miles

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

Not only are the hinges on my back window hinge cracking, looks like it will fall off soon, I also have the cracked back below the window on the side of the Ford Emblem problem!

- , Bowdion, Maine, USA

problem #47

Aug 302012

Explorer Eddie Bauer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,000 miles

Again like most of the other complaints went to shut the rear window and snap goes the hinge.

- , Curtice, OH, USA

problem #46

Jul 062013

Explorer Eddie Bauer V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 127,000 miles

just wanting ford to know another problem with my 2004 ford explorer, the window hinges broke on a camping trip. had to rachet strap the window tight so it didn't break loose from the DEFECTIVE BROKEN HINGES.

- , Schellsburg, PA, USA

problem #45

May 012013

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 121,000 miles

I've read several complaints about a familiar problem: crack down rear panel below the emblem. People. are you serious?? FORD has no recall?? Let's all join the lawsuit bandwagon and request more than the $500-700 it would cost them to fix it. Definitely manufacturer defect. So many vehicles affected. Now I have pain and suffering...Just saying!

- , Arlington, TX, USA

problem #44

Apr 172010

Explorer Limited V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,000 miles

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

One day I went to open the smaller window hatch and one whole side came off. I had been keeping an eye on it for a few months because the screw had been getting loose and I had to keep tightening it.

Since I had read about the exploding rear windows of the 2002 explorer I carefully reclosed the window and headed to the dealer for replacements.

- , Pearl City, HI, USA

problem #43

Sep 212012

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 200,000 miles

I worked 12 hours on Thursday, and got off at Friday at 1:20am. I got home from work at 2am, had to be back at work at 9am. Wife wakes me up at 5:30am stating that the rear window is falling off of the truck. WTF!!! Freaking plastic hing on a glass wind snapped off. Now I have to go to the dealership to see how much they are going to rape my wallet over this BS. Did I mention I was up this same time on Thursday morning fixing the heater.

- , Snellville, GA, USA

problem #42

Aug 202011

Explorer 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 170,000 miles

Difficult to repair and I am afraid to use the rear window for fear it will break again.

- , Lapeer, Mich, USA

problem #41

Jun 252012

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 175,000 miles

I opened my back glass to give my kids a snack while we were out and my window fell. So I of course said WTH! Come to find out my window shocks froze up and when I went to close the glass it apparently broke my hinges on top. So here I was driving to local auto parts stores trying to find the parts I needed to fix it, with bungy cords holding it in place because I refused to pay dealer prices of I think (Don't hold me to it) it was $70 or $75 a side!

- , Jamestown, New York, USA

problem #40

Jul 272012

Explorer XLT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 112,000 miles

I've noticed that it is becoming increasingly difficult to close the hatch on my Explorer. I'm already cautious when closing it as I seem to be one of the few people who's rear panel doesn't have a crack under the window. After reading what others have experienced, I am scared to use it at all!!! Any suggestions for getting this problem fixed before I have to catch my window in the Target parking lot???

- , Maryville, TN, USA

problem #39

Apr 082012

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 102,119 miles

I just got off the phone with Ford Customer Rep, and was told, that my Rear Hinges/Window problem 1st needs to be diagnosed by a Ford Dealership mechanic(which we all know will cost something) and THEN MAYBE the company might fix it for free. I have not had the window fall out,Knock on Wood! But I just want the darn hinges replaced before something bad happens. I bought this vehicle when it was 2 years old, and about a year later_ I walked past it and saw the crack in the liftgate panel! Of course, no recall on that either. The best advice the representative gave is for EVERYONE with this problem to call FORD so that it will be a recall, basically sounds like that will never happen considering it's already an 8 year-old vehicle.

- , Momence, IL, USA

problem #38

Dec 212011

Explorer 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles

How can Ford install such awful hinges on an Explorer? They had recalls for other years for this same condition. I cannot open the back window for fear the glass will fall off the car. I purchased replacement parts but have no idea on how to install them. HELP!

- , Sterling Heights, MI, USA

problem #37

Nov 132011

Explorer Limited 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 109,000 miles

I noticed that the pins on the liftgate window were breaking through. When the gate was pushed down to close the window on the back of the Explorer, it broke free from the window hinge and nearly hit my head and also damaged other areas of the rear liftgate.. We were able to lift and push (with great difficulty) the part with the pin into it's broken bracket, however, it is not safe because the window hinge is broken where the pins are held in.. Not sure how to "rig" it so the window does not come out again, until we are able to get the necessary parts to repair this (Sunday afternoon). This is obviously a defect in the hinge that secures the window in place and is not safe. It needs to be replaced/repaired by Ford Corporation at no additional cost to the owners of these 2004 Ford Explorer defects..

- , Osceola, IN, USA

problem #36

Jul 242011

Explorer XLS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 121,000 miles

The passenger side hatch hinge broke when my pulled down on the hatch. We were unable to shut the window so I had to remove the support struts and the other hinge. When I unfastened the other hinge the window hit my wife in the head as she was holding it. It left a nice size bump on her head and a scratch. I think it could have been worse. Crazy this is not covered under a recall. It absolutely makes me rethink buying from Ford again.

- , Indialantic, FL, USA

problem #35

Jul 212011

Explorer Limited 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 102,000 miles

It is not fair when you have a United States made vehicle Ford explorer 2004 a well to do car manufacture would help resolve a problem. My 2004 Ford Explorer rear door hinges glass can cause an accident due to neglience in the manufacting of all Ford Explorer with this problem. Ford should replace these Hinges for everyone's safety on the road. A recall should be established immediately.

- , Orlando, FL, USA

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