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 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:
Average Mileage:
47,075 miles
Total Complaints:
21 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (16 reports)
  2. fuel electrical system replaced (3 reports)
  3. replace gas gauge (1 reports)
  4. replaced fuel pump (1 reports)
2005 Ford Explorer fuel system problems

fuel system problem

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2005 Ford Explorer Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #21

Sep 012008

Explorer XLT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles


I have had this vehicle since 2005.Bought with low miles from a dealership. We have a lot of things wrong that shouldn't be wrong with it. The gas gauge stopped working all of a sudden. When we filled up with gas it wouldn't register that gas was in it. It took several hours to finally show it had gas. Took it to dealership and they replaced something in it. It didn't work. The gauge still doesn't register gas until at least an hour later then it works fine showing how much is in there. All of these things I have complained about on this vehicle is common complaints from a lot of people on the same years. They need to be corrected by the company without costing the consumer.

- , Cherokee, NC, USA

problem #20

Jul 312014

Explorer 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,457 miles

Filled my tank up and the gas gauge went to E and the check engine light came on, went to MR tires and they told me that the Float was bad. Total price to have it fixed parts and labor $750.00.

- , Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #19

Jan 072013


  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,000 miles

My fuel gauge would not show that I had filled up my tank. Service engine soon light came on and was told to replace the fuel sensor which is in the fuel pump.

- , Tiffin, OH, USA

problem #18

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 #17

Sep 102007

Explorer XLT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 38,000 miles

Started having issues with Fuel Gauge a few years ago started happening just as Explorer was out of warranty, we do use the trip meter most of the time because can not depend on the fuel gauge


problem #16

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 #15

Oct 012011

Explorer XLT 4.6L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 83,189 miles


So, I have been noticing that when I put gas in my explorer the majority of the time it will not register on how much I put in it. The rest of the time it acts like there is no gas. It will act like it is going to shut off but no lights come on there is a hesitation when I press on the accelerator and from what I have seen this is a problem with Ford Explorer's so why isn't there a recall on this matter? Why should we have to pay for it if there are this many people complaining about it. This is insane. $800 to fix a fuel sensor BS. Ford needs to fix the problem before a vehicle runs out of gas and hits and is killed by this crap.

- , Middleburg, FL, USA

problem #14

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 #13

Oct 012005

Explorer Eddie Bauer 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles

Had ran out of gas 2 times and had it in for repairs 3 times. But the Gas Gauge was incorrect when saying there was still gas in the Tank. They had replaced 2 or 3 parts and come to fine there was a wire clip that wasn't snapped in all the way off the factory floor.

- , Sanford, FL, USA

problem #12

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 #11

Feb 082007

(reported on)

Explorer XLT 4.0

  • Automatic transmission
  • 19,000 miles


The fuel gauge stops working every time I fill up. The Service Engine Soon Light then comes on. This started at about 6,000 miles. I now have 19,000 on the vehicle. The dealer had a TSB that instructed me to put in a Chevron gas additive, which I did three times! Still broke. I guess I will learn to live with hitting the trip set each time I fill up so I know about how much gas I have. But the light has to go!

- , Bowie, MD, USA

problem #10

Dec 292008

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 49,000 miles

I had this same issue with my Ford Ranger. I never had it fix because it was out of warranty. This time around I have coverage and the car is in the shop now. I know this is a common FORD problem. I am annoyed at the moment because the dealer called me back scratching their head Gezzz I don't see any problem... I know that is BULL so we shall see soon what the end game is here but there is not bloody way I am taking that car back until they replace whatever is wrong.

- , Yuba City, CA, USA

problem #9

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 #8

Jun 262008

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 27,500 miles

2005 ford explorer xlt 4.0L V6 28,000 miles purchased new on July 7, 2005

We started having problems with the fuel system in the end of June 2008 (intermittent loss of fuel gauge and service engine soon dash light) called the ford dealer on or about July 1, 2008, explained the problem, the service department told us they were very busy and the middle of the month would be better. We dropped it off on July 15, 2008 and they said bad fuel sensor and because it was out of warranty it will cost $800.00. We decided to wait until a complete failure to have it repaired. In the beginning of August

my daughter with my two week old grandson were driving and the truck engine died, no warning no steering no brakes, (the wrench light and engine failed test mode light came on) she managed to get it to the side of the road where it started up as if everything was ok, moments later it happened again, this time she put it in neutral and it started again while moving. She drove it to my house and took my car home. I called the dealer and they said because we did not have it serviced there and it�s out of warranty (we use Jiffy Lube every 3,000 miles close and fast) we get no consideration and to call ford at 1-800-392-3673. (keep in mind I have bought 6 to 8 automobiles from ford in the past 20 years) I called ford and explained the problems we were having and she called the service manager. I brought the truck back to the dealer and the service writer told me ford had agreed to give us �financial assistance� of 40% of the fuel gauge problem and I assumed the same for the new problem. My confidence in ford for not taking complete responsibility for these problems is now 0. If I were in their shoes I would have fixed the problems and said it never happened. I traded the unsafe ford that day and gave my daughter my Chevy. Ford did call back and offered �financial assistance� of 80% for the repairs but money is not the issue here, safety is and ford lost a long time customer.

- , Miami, FL, USA

problem #7

Apr 302008

Explorer Xlt 4x4 4.0L 6cl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 36,000 miles

I recently purchased a near new 2005 Ford Explorer. The vehicle is in pristine condition and has very low mileage to the point where it is below the industrial average. Since I purchased the vehicle, I have fueled it several times, always filling the tank to the top. Every time I have filled the vehicle up, the fuel gauge has dropped to empty and the mileage till empty indicator shows just dashes. In addition to the gauge dropping to empty my "Service Engine Light" comes on immediately following the fuel gauge dropping.

At first I thought it was possibly just a problem with my vehicle so I figured ide have it fixed. Then out of curiosity I decided to check online and with other fellow owners of the 2002-2005 Ford Explorer model to see if they were having this problem as well. And to my surprise I found that it was a very common problem.

This issue disturbs me mainly because it is a safety issue. God forbid my wife is traveling down the road with my 14-month-old son and runs out of fuel due to a faulty fuel gauge on a deserted dark highway.

Since this was such a common problem I thought I would be able to come online and find out that there was a recall. But I did not find that. All I found was a bunch of people complaining about the same exact thing. Now my question is, why hasn�t there been a recall yet with an updated part for replacement? Everyone who has this problem please contact NHTSA so they can start looking into this to have are call issued. Even if you already had it fixed please file a complaint that way those of us who haven't wont get stuck with a bill. Anyone who wants to contact me feel free to email me at Here is the link:

- , Tuckerton, NJ, USA

problem #6

Jul 212007


  • Automatic transmission
  • 42,000 miles

I just discovered that Ford is well aware of this problem and has been for years, but since it is 2,000 miles out of warranty they won't pay to fix it. My gas gauge & engine light came on when I was 73 miles from home with a relatively new vehicle. How can they know about a problem, prior to the time I purchased the vehicle new and not let me know? They were so nasty on the Ford Customer Service line -- when I asked for the names of the Board of Directors - they told me to go to the library.

- , Lusby, MD, USA

problem #5

Aug 252007

(reported on)

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 51,000 miles

The fuel gage usually works but sometimes it takes hours for it to move from previous level to the full mark. Haven't even bothered the dealer yet with this but am waiting for a complete failure.

- , Clarks Summit, PA, USA

problem #4

Jul 042007

(reported on)

Explorer LX 2.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 22,000 miles

every time I filled up the gas tank it showed empty for several days. slowly raising back up to full. I never knew how much gas I actually had which wasn't good since I drove long distances to work every day. annoying to say the least.

- , Lompoc, CA, USA

problem #3

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 #2

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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