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CarComplaints.com Notes: The 2005 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.

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.


fairly significant
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
53,632 miles
Total Complaints:
7 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (6 reports)
  2. replace gas gauge (1 reports)
2005 Ford Explorer accessories - interior problems

accessories - interior problem

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2005 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #7

May 152012

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles


My gas gauge is not showing the correct level of gas. I filled it up today ( 18 gal ) and it showed empty. This can be a safty hazzard. Can you imaging driving in the left lane at 70 mph and then stalling because you are out of gas?

- , Garner, NC, USA

problem #6

Feb 102012


  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles

HATE HATE HATE that the gas gauge doesn't work anymore!!! I can never tell how much gas I really have and since I can't afford to fill it ever I get $20 at a time I always have to write don't the amount of gallons and guess about how many miles I can go on that amount of gas!! it SUCKS!!! I have read other complaints from other explorer owners and can't figure out why Ford would not want to help fix this common problem!!

- , Fair Oaks, CA, USA

problem #5

Oct 012009

Explorer XLT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles

The same problem as most others....get the fuel down to about 1/4 tank and mine takes days to go back up again on a full tank

- , Osceola Mills, PA, USA

problem #4

May 202008

Explorer ES 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 38,000 miles


Gas gauge quit working quite awhile ago. Had it looked at by mechanic, said it would cost around 1,000 to replace unit, have to take out fuel tank. Car was not even that old, researched online found lots of people have this problem with thier fords. Why is it not a recall? Thanks Ford for backing up your product. I use the trip meter and fill up to full every time. But if for any reason button gets tripped or accidentally hit, then Im messed up and unsure of amount of gas. Pretty crappy.

- , Milton, WA, USA

problem #3

Jun 152006

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 12,427 miles

Sometimes the fuel gauge stays in "empty", alarm of low fuel sounds and the status computer indicates "low fuel", even after filling the tank "full". The gauge and computer go to normal after some hours, never more than 24 hours "so far".

This is very annoying, the first time I had an embarrassing discussion with the guy serving the gas station, after I paid for a full tank and left the station, the gauge indicated "empty".

- , Caracas, Sucre, Venezuela

problem #2

Mar 312007

(reported on)


  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles

gas gauge not working properly ... dealer knew what prob was ... unit needs replaced but Ford requires that a cleaner be tried in the fuel first. That worked for about 3 months then I had to go back. They replaced the unit on the next visit. Here's hoping it is the end of it. Pointer: better keep documentation if they only clean it while under warranty b/c my opinion is that sooner or later the unit will have to be replaced.

- , Indy, IN, USA

problem #1

Mar 022007

(reported on)

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 27,000 miles

My 2005 explorer xlt did not register any change in the fuel gauge when I filled the tank. It slowly is coming back to full. I like the truck but these little quirks are starting to make me want to run it off a cliff

- , Marion, IA, USA

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