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:
30,451 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 windows / windshield problems

windows / windshield problem

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2004 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #9

Aug 222010

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 51,283 miles


Defective rear window hinges on my 2004 Ford Explorer. I rarely use the window hatch and today I am sorry I did. While opening the rear window it fell on to my head. The brackets on the window broke. I am waiting for my mech. To help me remove the window so I can bring it into to get repaired. I own a 2002 Ford Explorer and it had a recall for the same thing. So why not the 2004, it is the same hinge.

- Oakbrook Terrace, IL, USA

problem #8

Feb 252009


  • miles
Driver window stopped rolling down.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #7

May 172008


  • 63,000 miles
The left side power widow motors failed at the same time. Ford Motor Co. Says it is normal. I disagree. This is the second time the driver side window motor has been replaced in three years.

- Chesterfield, VA, USA

problem #6

Sep 032007

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 54,500 miles


Crack in panel below rear window next to Ford emblem. Both rear windows will not go up or down.

- Overland, MO, USA

problem #5

Dec 262006

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,000 miles
Automatic windows - rear windows - motor went out - replaced once - doing it again, have to take it back in. Rear air system does not blow out heat. Again, needing to take it in again. Had I not gotten the extended warranty on my vehicle I would be without rear heat.

- La Vernia, TX, USA

problem #4

Sep 252006

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 26,998 miles
2004 Explorer had problems with brakes and windows. Three months after the vehicle was purchased thee was a recall on the transmission. The ABS malfunctioned and the power windows would not go down. The rear hatch door would not open. The transmission began to slam into gear. The rotors vibrated in the rear. Consumer heard a howling noise at 40-55 mph. The dealer replaced the ring and pinion.

- Lakewood, CA, USA

problem #3

Jan 152006


  • miles


Driver's side auto window fails to operate. Had it repaired once and failed again within a week. Taking it in for 2nd repair.

- Schwenksville, PA, USA

problem #2

Sep 162005

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 17,978 miles
While driving on September 16, 2005 the ABS failed. When this occurred it caused the consumer's vehicle to almost hit another vehicle. The ABS, maintenance, and four wheel lights came on and blinked when he lost the brakes. A diagnosis test was performed, and it showed that there was a problem with the speed sensor. The dealership replaced the speed sensor in the rear which was called asy-T. the fuel gauge broke. It showed the fuel tank level was higher than what it really was. The driver's rear window motor had to be replaced. The cover over the hatchback handle had to be replaced. Also, had to replace the weather stripping. There has been a repair done to the four by four unit. There were multiple problems with the vehicle.

- Watertown, NY, USA

problem #1

Nov 232004

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,300 miles
Complete failure of the gauge pod, radio, interior lights, power windows at 2,300 miles. No speedometer, odometer, tach, fuel gauge, temp, oil, battery, radio (nothing in the dashboard functions except the airbag light). Ford dealer in allentown pa was very rude and went out of their way to not work in a timely manner and keep us in the dark. Drove vehicle to Texas (with no gauges) to dealership where purchased. At the shop right now. Transmission also hesitates excessively between shifts.

- Flower Mound, TX, USA

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