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 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.

10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
84,833 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.

2005 Ford Explorer drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2005 Ford Explorer Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #43

Nov 032016

Explorer

  • 142,000 miles

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

The gear shifter/lever broke off into my hand when attempting to shift from park to reverse. The gear shifter/lever broke at the base, inside the steering column. The broken part seems to be a cast metal part, that the gear shifter/lever rotates to change gears. The fracture surface appears rough -- it is not clean. Fortunately the car is stuck in park, not another gear, and in a safe place (parking garage). Should this have happened when in any other gear I would have to turn off the car in that gear, if I had enough room to maneuver the car to a safe place. Otherwise it would just have to sit wherever it was left, no matter how inconvenient to other drivers. I called Ford and they state this is not a documented issue, therefore no recall or reimbursement is available. However, an internet search reveals this is has happened to many people, with pictures of the same exact break point that I have experienced. Also, there are after-market replacement parts for this exact part, further hinting this is a known problem.

- Springfield, NJ, USA

problem #42

Nov 052015

Explorer

  • 93,434 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Ford Explorer. While attempting to reverse, the vehicle suddenly jerked backwards while the brakes were applied. The failure occurred on numerous occasions. There were no warning indicators illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the issue could not be duplicated. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified. The failure mileage was 93,434.

- Roswell, NM, USA

problem #41

Sep 172016

Explorer

  • 110,000 miles
Vehicle engine while traveling, generally at high rates of speed greater than 40mph, will randomly turn off. There are no warning lights, no indication on the instrument panel. The engine just turns off. The only way of knowing is once the gas pedal is depressed to increase speed and then realized the car had turned off. This is happening more frequently. I had to by a new car. Explorer just sits in the driveway. This happen randomly with no notice and generally while traveling at speeds above 40 mph

- Weatherford, TX, USA

problem #40

Feb 032016

Explorer

  • 69,000 miles

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

The contact owns a 2005 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that the transmission warning light randomly flashed and the vehicle shook and jerked violently at any rate of speed. The failure occurred for months. The vehicle was taken to a mechanic who stated that the transmission needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The VIN was not available. The approximate failure mileage was 69,000.

- Marion, IL, USA

problem #39

Jul 062015

Explorer

  • 94,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that while trying to reverse at a low speed, an abnormal noise was heard before the vehicle suddenly jerked backwards. The failure occurred constantly. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the transmission needed to be replaced. The contact mentioned that the gear lever in the reverse position failed to operate after three months of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 94,000.

- Hood River, OR, USA

problem #38

Dec 182015

Explorer

  • 93,000 miles
Vehicle transmission begining to slip, soon will ahve no 4th gear or reverse. The vehicle is up to date with matinanace and everything mileage is still below 95,000 miles. This is an outrage that the Ford company is aware of this problem and no recall has been reported.

- Fitchburg, MA, USA

problem #37

Oct 072015

Explorer

  • 124,956 miles

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

Transmission grinds/slips going from 2 to 3 gear.

- Madison, AL, USA

problem #36

Jul 182015

Explorer

  • miles
The contact owns a 2005 Ford Explorer. While driving at 20 mph making a turn, the 4 wheel drive warning light illuminated and failed to turn off. In addition, the wheels seized and emitted an abnormal noise. The contact stated that the vehicle stalled and restarted shortly afterwards. The failure recurred several times. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was unknown. The VIN was not available.

- Detroit, MI, USA

problem #35

Aug 052013

Explorer

  • 124,000 miles
The vehicle shuts off while driving causing loss of power steering, power brakes with a complete loss of power. This is an ongoing problem and has happend during highway high speed driving. It happens on cars built 11/24/04 and prior. The codes are P2106 and P2135. It's caused by a faulty throttle position sensor and requires a powertrain control module reset B36.11, B37.2 or higher. This has been an ongoing problem thar Ford readily ackowledges. They have ugraded the throttle position sensor twice without solving the problem.

- Halifax, MA, USA

problem #34

Dec 102010

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
2005 Ford Explorer. Consumer writes in regards to steering column gear shifter problems. The consumer stated on December 10, 2010 the steering column was replaced. Unfortunately, the gear shift broke again for the third time. The consumer stated the entire steering column had to be replaced each time.

- Elkhart, IN, USA

problem #33

Mar 132015

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 110,000 miles

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

In Nov of 2014 we took the car to the local Ford dealer for 100K mile service. We told them to check the drive train because when you put the car in reverse there would be a slight hesitation then a clunk then the car would begin to move. They said there was no issue and they installed a computer upgrade to improve the shifting. They also changed the tranny fluid. Then in March of 2015 when you put the car in reverse the transmission began slipping and got worse in a couple of days. We took it to the local dealer again and they took 2 weeks to figure out the transmission needed replaced. They said $3500 for a remanufactured transmission and I would have to pay for all of it.

- Hagerstown, IN, USA

problem #32

Apr 152014

Explorer

  • 150,000 miles
Im not sure if this should be with engine section but I didn't see a transmission part. I was driving my SUV and transmission light in the message center came on and said, over drive on /off kept flashing. Took to a body shop nearby they diagnosed the problem to be the transmission. With further investigation mechanic told me that second / third gear was gone. I ended up spending $4500 for new transmission to be installed. The mechanic informed me that it is a common problem with the 2005 Ford Explorer.

- Brunswick, MD, USA

problem #31

Jul 142005

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,752 miles
2005 Ford Explorer. Consumer writes in regards to vehicle rear axle leaking. The consumer stated the rear axles were replaced at 59,752. A year later after listening to the noise in the rear end for quite some time, the problem returned. Six months later, they were replaced again. Also, the rear panel beneath the window was rusted and the throttle needs to be replaced, as it is causing vehicle hesitation.

- Edgewood, WA, USA

problem #30

Mar 052014

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 70,000 miles
As I was driving in traffic, the panel suddenly started beeping and flashing lights and my car would not change gears. The O/D light came on and the information center indicated there was something wrong with my transmission. Now the car will not shift into 3rd gear until it reaches very high RPM and when it does shift it is very hard. I drive the car to and from work a total of 6 miles a day and almost never on the highway. It is almost 10 years old and it only has 70,000 miles. I've heard this has been a problem with Ford transmissions for over 10 years but they refuse to take responsibility for the defect. I have been buying Ford cars since 1995 but this will be my last. Too many other problems that they refuse to fix.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #29

Feb 102014

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 126,341 miles
Car suddenly quit and the engine fail safe light came on. Computer scan showed the throttle actuator/control was stuck closed, and could clear any codes. Vehicle would not move at all.. I had to have it towed back to my home. Engine would not run at more than an idle with the accelerator fully depressed, and there would be no change in the RPM.

- Lynchburg, OH, USA

problem #28

Oct 292013

Explorer

  • 121,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Ford Explorer. The contact was driving 40 mph on an incline when the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic for inspection where the contact was informed that the transmission needed to be replaced or rebuilt. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the issue. The approximate failure mileage was 121,000.

- Mckinney, TX, USA

problem #27

Sep 262013

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • 94,400 miles
On September 26, 2013, I took my 2005 Ford Explorer to the Ford dealer (freeway Ford in bloomington, mn) because I was having problems when I put the vehicle into reverse. At times it hesitates to go into reverse and then clunks into the gear. This has been happening for about 1 year. The diagnosis was of course my transmission solenoid. I cant afford to have my vehicle repaired at the cost of $1,300 plus taxes and I don't feel safe driving my Explorer in this condition, but I have no choice at this point. I went online to carcomplaints.com and found 94 complaints with the same issues on the 2005 Ford Explorer. In one of the complaints sent to carcomplaints.com - a woman wrote that she sent a complaint letter to the dept of Consumer Affairs about the issues with the 2005 Ford explores, they get back to her to tell her that the Ford dealer will put the repair under some type of warranty program and just charge me $100 bucks to replace the solenoid. This seems to be a defect in the Ford Explorer made in 2005, so why have the vehicles not been recalled and why should I have to be responsible for the repair cost? [xxxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6)

- Minneapolis, MN, USA

problem #26

Sep 132013

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
Our 2005 Ford Explorer has only 60 thousand miles and we have had to replace the transmission. Our mechanic has told us that this should not have happened at 60 thousand miles, and another mechanic told us that Ford vehicles are starting to become known for the bad transmissions. After reading some complaints online, I have decided to report this, as many Ford customers have had to have transmissions replaced at very low mileage. Ford should consider a recall.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #25

May 192011

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 75,000 miles
On July 12, 2013, I took my 2005 Ford Explorer to the Ford dealer where it was purchased because I was having problems when I put the vehicle into reverse. At times it's very difficult to put into reverse and when I put in reverse the vehicle jerks or lunges into gear. This has been happening for about 2 1/2 years. The diagnosis was of course my transmission. I cant afford to have my vehicle repaired at the cost of $3946.20 and I don't feel safe driving my Explorer in this condition, but I have no choice at this point. I went online to carcomplaints.com and found 94 complaints with the same issues on the 2005 Ford Explorer. In one of the complaints sent to carcomplaints.com - a woman wrote that she sent a complaint letter to the dept of Consumer Affairs about the issues with the 2005 Ford explores, they get back to her to tell her that the Ford dealer will put the repair under some type of warranty program and just charge me $100 bucks to replace the solenoid. This seems to be a defect in the Ford Explorer made in 2005, so why have the vehicles not been recalled and why should I have to be responsible for the repairs??

- Greeley, CO, USA

problem #24

May 012013

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 53,090 miles
Gearshift lever can be moved from park without stepping on brake pedal. It can be moved into any position, even when key is removed.

- Oaklyn, NJ, USA

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