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.

9.5

really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
$2,965.00
Average Mileage:
96,285 miles
Total Complaints:
46 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. rebuild transmission (24 reports)
  2. new transmission (17 reports)
  3. not sure (5 reports)
2005 Ford Explorer transmission problems

transmission problem

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2005 Ford Explorer Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #46

Sep 232015

Explorer XLT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,500 miles

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

this was my post to facebook. i also have a few videos in texts i sent to the mechanic who "fixed" the explorer...yea right. anyway bthis fb post should sum up my issue with ford, explorer and the mechanics. also 2014 fall-explorer broke down and for life of me cant remember what it was...something i never heard of and if i remember Ill add to this but it stranded me in ohio on a freezing cold november morning at 5am&costed me $900+ hey friends-i need advice on this. I had 6 different mechanics look at my explorer last Summer-2 here in Chicago BEFORE I drove it to MI. Aamco (a chain&I am not familar w/them)&a highly recommended neighborhood (Hood from now on)TRANSMISSION shop. Aamco used the code reading tool&their diagnosis came back with several Trans codes&Hood shop NO CODES came back in diagnosis! So naturally I drove it for a few months&the symptoms got more intense so I took it BACK to Hood shop&his code reader said NO CODES&I asked are you sure cuz Aamco said&the symptoms were... So he "fished" around on that code tool&came up with a $600 repair instead of $4-$5k one from Aamco-WOW so Aamco was wrong I thought&was relieved that for $3k-$4k LESS I could drive this in great, in newer shape,ow miles&only 1 pricey previous fix truck for 100k more miles!! Well the VERY next day&LESS than 80 miles into my 360 mile MI drive the SAME symptoms started back!! I was texting the "Hood" mechanic with video attached so he could see&hear what was going on. He came up with alll kinds of DIFFERENT than he fixed issues like "electrical'! SERIOUSLY DUDE-WHY NOT OWN IT AND TELL ME YOU WERE WRONG OR YOUR CODE READER IS FAULTY?!?! He knew I was driving to MI&that I was going to CASUALLY look for another veichle while I was up there& I was-it was time to trade it in esp. after the last 2 repairs~the fact it was starting to cost me¬ nickles&dimes! After Aamco told me it was the trans AND that his mechanic did 90`YES NINETY Ford Explorer trans rebuilds in 2014 I went online&did a little research&there were ALOT of complaints. I bought it in 2008 with $35kmiles on it and in the Summer of 2015 I had only $82ll so I had ONLY put about 50 thousand miles on it in 7 years AND THE TRANSMISSION is shot~WTH?!?!? So my questions are;This "Hood" mechanic must've either-lied to me OR had faulty diagnostic equiptment and he IS not taking any kind of responsibiity_WHAT CAN I DO to get him to pay up? (i already informed/disputed credit card company& they could'nt do anything cuz he did perform the services BUT I just reopened the case with a letter to corporate) Its NOT worth hiring a lawyer (i wish i could for ethical reasons get a lawyer who did it just for the benefit of consumers and to protect the public from this kind of abuse and fraud. I managed to get that truck to the dealer I bought it at and they had NO sympathy,offered me $2k LESS on the trade in than the Jeep dealer did¬hing in the way of offering another vehicle at a lower purchase price!!~SO I will NEVER ~EVER~buy another f.o.r.d. EVER again~PromisE!! I want F.o.r.d. to accept this responsibility&funny thing is I looked at some old paperwork that was in with my explorer purchase AND there was ONE short sentence that THIS explorer had a REBUILT TRANSMISSION" WHAT?!?!? How come the salesman did NOT disclose that information AND since it was already rebuilt-another sh*tty trans was out in it&I wonder when?!! so that rebuilt trans might've just be rebuilt before I bought it which means THAT trans could've potentially only lasted for 50k miles!!! THERE GAS to be some sort of consumer rights here-this is OUTRIGHT FRAUD in my book!! Is there ANYTHING I can do now...now that I dumped it because it left me stranded AND left me with a $28k LOAN??!? YOUR ADVICE IS WELCOMED&APPRECIATED!! If you are in Chicago and know an HONEST mechanic can you please tell me who that is? ONE LOVE Friends!! &thanl you for reading my rant-lol DO WE HAVE ANY RIGHTS,LAWSUITS ETC??? I FEEL TOTALLY SCREWED BY FORD!!

- , St Thomas, Virgin Islands (US)

problem #45

May 162016

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,850 miles

I bought the Explorer new and right after the warranty ended the transmission acted up. At first, it simply hesitated to engage into reverse, and sometimes when it did, it did with a loud clunk. Then it started to slip between shifting from 2nd to 3rd, an again from 3rd to OD. It did this for months. One fine day while on the freeway, it slipped out of gear while I was on the freeway going about 80 mph in the fast lane. The engine immediately red-lined and I had to make my way across 4 lanes of fast traffic on the 5 by Ortega Highway. Amazingly, I was able to get off the freeway, but then the Explorer only had one gear - low. I limped home in first gear going 20 mph and at 4500 rpms, on the final trek smoke billowed out from underneath the vehicle. All the while the OD dashboard light was flashing and an error message "Check Transmission" was flashing. I called a couple of transmission shops and they were all too aware of the problem with this Ford and quoted me a $3500 repair job. Nope. I donated it and bought a different vehicle. All in all, this was one of the worst vehicles that I have ever owned with a myriad of other issues. What a P.O.S.

- , Irvine, CA, USA

problem #44

Dec 012014

Explorer XLT 6 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 107,000 miles

Bought My 2005 FORD Explorer a few years ago, I loved this SUV.. Had 80k miles on it when i bought it and Shifted fine, Few months later it started winding out from first to second and then going into OD.. Had the tranny flushed out New Filter and fluid $110 No help .. Called tranny shop and the guy said, You need a rebuilt Transmission.. I was shocked he was so adamant about it.. He said he's done many in those Explorers and keeps 2 rebuilds on the shelf ready to swap.. $2300 was the price, didn't have $2300 to just drop on a tranny so i figured I'd drive it just be gentle with her.

Over the course of a few more months the tranny got worse to the point of being unsafe, I only drove it when i had to and that was scary, it would randomly pop out of gear.. OD light would start flashing and computer displayed check Transmission.. If I pulled over shut her off then start up it reset and off I'd go.. Did this for a few weeks only when my girl friend needed the 2012 Ford Focus (also having major tranny problems Now) When the Explorer would pop out of gear the engine would redline.. I didn't want to damage the engine..

After doing hours and hours of research and talking to countless Transmission experts, I came to the conclusion I do like the SUV and so does my girlfriend we dished out $2300 for Tranny.. So far so good but I feel with all these complaints it was obviously a Ford flaw and not a isolated issue do to improper usage or lack of maintenance, the SUV was and is very well taking care of fresh oil, Trans fluid ect..

Ford should Reimburse there customers for at least partial payment for the repair.. Sad thing here is we bought a 2012 Ford Focus and the Tranny is Junk.. Ford is giving us a run around about getting it fixed.. Just sad.. Me n my Women have decided.. Our next vehicle will NOT be a Ford (unless its a 96 -05 Mustang Cobra) lol gotta love the Mustang, even if Ford s*u*$

- , Burlington, MA, USA

problem #43

Nov 072014

Explorer LS V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

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

Purchased this lemon from a dealer. The car had issues right after I left the lot. Turned it right around and took it back. They refused to take it, saying they would "look at it". Took it to the transmission shop, they said it had issues, gave me a BS warranty stating that if anything "Physically broke" on the tranny in 6 months, they'd replace it, but would NOT let me return the car. A year later, the Transmission Physically broke. Bands snapped, pieces laying in the transmission pan. I had to pay for it out of pocket. It has literally fallen apart on me everywhere else also.

- , Springfield, OH, USA

problem #42

Apr 182007

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,000 miles

I bought it back to the dealership. BOGUS! and yes they are BOGUS! they said I had to pay for a new transmission. WTF! $6000 @#$%^&&^%$#@#$%^& I only Had my SUV for less then two years. I had to pay for a rebuilt $3000 elsewhere. Dealerships are a rip-off!!!!

- , McAllen, TX, USA

problem #41

May 122013

Explorer Eddie V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 112,000 miles

Really upset. Lucky we had a warranty the first time the transmission went out. Well two years after the transmission went out again. This time its $1750 to repair. Also the rear differential is bad. This is all my fault I should of done my research on ford vehicles. Its seems they have common issues with transmissions and the rear differential. It funny when I took the vehicle to the transmission techs. Honestly I'm not lying when I say that there were only ford vehicles needing transmission repairs. I'll never buy a Ford again nor recommend one to any of my family or friends. Like they say FORD STANDS FOR "FIX OR REPAIR DAILY"

- , Roswell, GA, USA

problem #40

May 202010

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 101,526 miles

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

They sold us on the Ford Explorer. Drove like a caddy. However, they never told us what was to come!

We have had many cars and trucks since my wife and I began driving 36 years ago at the age of 16. However, we have never, ever, in our wildest dreams been duped like this. This 2005 Ford Explorer doesn't even have a dipstick to check the transmission. I really could not believe that, but it's true. It sat in our garage and we never noticed a leak, that was a good thing. The problem lies in the plastic that is used in the transmission. We call it that for you should have seen what come out of our transmission;One of the main parts was so worn..I have no words.

The problem began on our way to see the doctor;the truck just out of the blue began shifting, grinding, jumping and we simply pulled off the road. After 3200.00 later we had our FORD back. We changed oil every 3,000.00 miles just as we do with all of our vehicles. When they recorded the mileage after the rebuild of the transmission the paperwork stated 101,526. After paying off the 2005 Ford Explorer in 2014, we paid additional 3200.00 more to keep it going. Now, our 2005 Ford Explorer has a DIPSTICK, and that would be me. More to come see brake bearings...See Rear end problems... SEE and Read and understand why I am the DIPSTICK!

- , Hamilton, AL, USA

problem #39

Mar 012013

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,000 miles

We bought this vehicle less than 2 yrs ago, only to have to purchase a new transmission which when I looked the problem up everyone was complaining and begging for a recall, how did they get away with this it was a major malfunction inside the tranny faulty bushings which Ford new about, Oh did I mention we are on SSD and this was to be our final vehicle drained the acct 10k for it and 3k for the tranny after purchase had to ask for my title to get that.

NOW THE MOON ROOF IS LEAKING THE TUBES ARE NOT CLOGGED IT IS THE PIECE ITSELF IS CRACKED AROUND THE EDGE LEAKING UNDER THE ROOF LINER AND TRY TO FIX THERE IS NO REPLACEMENT FOR THIS UNBELIEVABLE!!! YOU SELL FAULTY VEHICLES AND THEN REFUSE TO COVER YOUR LESS THAN DESCRIBED PARTS

EARLY IN 2014 AGAIN WE PAID TO FIX A LEAK COMING FROM THE ROOF INSIDE TURNED OUT TO BE CLOGGED DRAIN WELL NOW THEIR FINE BUT THE WHOLE SUN/MOON ROOF NEEDS REPLACED SEE IT IS MOLDED TO THE FRAME AND NOTHING YOU CAN DO AND IF THEY FIX THE CRACK THEN WHAT i AM SO SICK I CANNOT IMAGINE A DEALERSHIP SELLING A VEHICLE LIKE THIS WITH NO OUTLET FOR THE BUYER TO HELP AND ON TOP OF IT ALL WE LOVE OUR EXPLORER, BUT CANNOT AFFORD THIS WE HAD A BOOT FIXED AND THE LEAK ASSESSED TODAY 500 DOLLARS AND HAD TO PT THE ROOF OFF FOR A COUPE MONTHS THERE'S NO MONEY SHAME ON YOU BEANS FORD.

THE STEERING WHEEL STICKS TO OFF AND ON.

- , Warminster, PA, USA

problem #38

Mar 112013

Explorer Eddie Bauer 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 101,000 miles

Was driving on the highway when my transmission light came on. Suddenly, the vehicle started losing power, and the engine would "scream" when I tried to accelerate. I was able to pull onto the shoulder. The vehicle would not run, and I had to have it towed! The transmission was rebuilt at a cost of $3,000!

- , Rivervale, NJ, USA

problem #37

Aug 082014

Explorer LXT 4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 91,080 miles

Vehicle Transmission would not go into gear (forward or reverse) immediately. Had to wait several seconds for transmission to engage. Transmission would shift hard, sort of slap shift very rough, sometimes making a banging sound and feel. Transmission would slip between gears when shifting and sometimes made clunking and grinding noises. Transmission made a loud clunk when downshifting to come to a stop and sometimes made a grinding noise and vibration when slowing down to come to a stop.

Brought the vehicle to two transmission shops to be checked. The first shop (AAMCO) said the transmission is shot and would have to be replaced with a new transmission, at a cost of $4200.00. With a 3 year warranty. The second transmission shop (Gibraltar Transmissions) said they could rebuild the transmission and fix everything with it for $3400.00. With a 50,000 mile 4 year warranty. I chose to have it rebuilt to try and save money. The vehicle transmission was rebuilt at a cost of $3400.00 and it seams to operate very well. The transmission shop that did the work said that the transmission they rebuilt will most likely outlast the rest of the vehicle. I love my Explorer and have no other complaints about it.

- , Sayreville, NJ, USA

problem #36

Oct 062005

Explorer XL V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 23,000 miles

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

I repeatedly took my car and have documents of multiple times asking Town and Country Ford to fix my transmission and all they would say is can't duplicate customer's concern. Each time they said it never does this problem with us! They continued this pattern until my warranty was out then they could find it when I could pay for it!!

I drove the vehicle with transmission lunging like I would hit a tree in reverse on many occasions. And multiple roaring hubs replaced!!! Now the rear end still roars and was told that has been needing replacement for years! Ford should have a class action on transmissions!!!

- , Henderson, KY, USA

problem #35

Aug 012014

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,000 miles

click to see larger images

transmission failure

Transmission should not fail before 100k miles. Ford has mad horrible transmissions and they should be recalled.

- , Allendale, NJ, USA

problem #34

Jul 242013

Explorer V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 170,000 miles

Had to have transmission rebuilt at 170,000. Noticed intermittent instances of not being able to shift to reverse when on a slight incline.

- , Milford, OH, USA

problem #33

Nov 032013

Explorer XLT 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 143,000 miles

We went to the mountains of NC on Friday 11/1, going up there the transmission started slipping. Coming home the transmission started slipping and then it started smoking. We made it to the Ford place, about 2 1/2 hours from home. Cost me $4175 to get it fixed. The issue here is why would a transmission go out at 140,000 miles. I have a Mercury Grand Marquis with 245,000 miles never had a new motor or transmission. Leads me to believe Ford intentionally puts crappy stuff on a vehicle to make money off of you. I will never buy another Ford product as long as I live, I am done!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

- , Zebulon, NC, USA

problem #32

May 232012

Explorer 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,000 miles

So I've only had my Explorer for 3 months. And yes, I understand used vehicles have glitches, but this is no glitch. 2 weeks after I bought my Explorer the transmission went out. I called the dealership I got it from and they fixed it for free, no problem no complaints. I figured I was good to go for a few years.

WRONG, yesterday my transmission went out again and it's the same problem, they solenoid, or how ever you spell it. So needless to say I'm pretty pissed and will never own another Ford again. Since the transmission was fixed last time it only had 3- 4,000 miles on it. It shouldn't have broke again this soon. Ford needs to recall these transmissions.

I'm so angry b/c now I'm stuck with a car payment and I can't even drive my truck b/c every time I turn around it's in the shop. Ford YOU S***.

- , Pace, FL, USA

problem #31

Nov 302011

Explorer Eddie Bauer V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles

This vehicle started to downshift with a THUNK!. The thunk got so severe that you felt it could knock dentures out of your mouth! Took it to two transmission shops. They tried replacing a sensor but that didn't work. Had to have the transmission completely redone. It's now 18 months later and we're starting to get an occasional thunk when it downshifts. Also, it has started to flash the O/D Off warning light and message "Check Transmission." The transmission shop has been unable to determine what the problem is because those lights don't stay on for longer than 5 minutes.

- , Caldwell, ID, USA

problem #30

Feb 102013

Explorer ES C8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,000 miles

I can not believe I needed a new transmission at less than 89000 miles. This should be covered under warranty when you make a substandard product.

- , Lawrenceville, NJ, USA

problem #29

Feb 072013

Explorer Xlt 4x4 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 71,400 miles

have a 2005 ford explorer 4x4 has easy 71,000 miles on it . I ALREADY HAD TO PAY FOR A NEW STEERING COLUMN FOR THAT COST $1700 AND NOW A TRANSMISSION. THAT'S BULLSHIT. FORD BUILDS ITS AUTOMOBILE'S TO RIP PEOPLE OFF. WHO CAN AFFORD TO BUY A NEW TRANSMISSION BECOZ A REBUILT TRANSMISSION WONT LAST. FORD IS A RIP OFF.

- , Lemon Grove, CA, USA

problem #28

Mar 192013

Explorer XLT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 102,500 miles

Ford is a POS company that has again lost another customer. transmissions should not go out at 100k. they know their stuff is junk and do nothing to fix it. luckily i was able to replace it myself and picked up a rebuild for 1100. but i shouldn't of even had to do that.

- , Vandalia, OH, USA

problem #27

Mar 152011

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 63,000 miles

This generation is notorious for tranny issues. This is precisely why I purchased an extended service contract at time of purchase.

- , Groveport, OH, USA

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