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 previous generation of Explorer was so awful that the redesign in 2006 was greeted with much optimism. That didn't last long.

The transmission continues to be the Explorer's worst reliability problem. Owners report shifting hard & lunging, typically starting as low as 40k miles with a $1,600 average repair bill. On top of that, the radiator is prone to failure around 60k miles. Repairs for the radiator run $500 to $1,000 & many owners report they've had to replace the radiator multiple times for leaks, indicating a possible design defect in the OEM replacement parts.

Ford did make some significant changes to improve handling and safety. Electronic stability control was added in addition to side impact air bags, but beyond that this is a vehicle that should be avoided at all costs.

2.6

hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
57,348 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.

2006 Ford Explorer cooling system problems

cooling system problem

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2006 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #18

Sep 292014

Explorer

  • 125,000 miles

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

The contact owns a 2006 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that the radiator was leaking fluid. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 125,000.

- Detroit, MI, USA

problem #17

May 052010

Explorer

  • 44,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that while traveling approximately 40 mph, there was a loud noise in the front end as the vehicle stalled without warning. The contact had already taken the vehicle to an authorized dealer who replaced the radiator twice but the failure recurred. The vehicle was towed to an authorized dealer who diagnosed that the radiator and engine needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure multiple times and provided no remedy. The approximate failure mileage was 44,000. The VIN was not available.

- Henry, IL, USA

problem #16

Nov 202012

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 74,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Ford Explorer. While driving approximately 40 mph, the contact depressed the accelerator pedal but the vehicle hesitated to accelerate. The vehicle then rapidly accelerated to approximately 60 mph and began to decelerate independently. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing where the technician advised the contact that the transmission would have to be rebuilt or replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 74,000. Updated 02/20/13 the consumer stated there was an emmission issue and the radiator was leaking. Updated 02/20/2013

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #15

Apr 092012

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • 83,000 miles

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

Separation of radiator... between plastic top and bottom tanks with aluminum radiator grill. This is the 2nd replacement with cost $520 radiator, $300 labor estimated by Ford. Environmental issue and safety issue with engine failure/transmission failure possible. Problem can occur anywhere/anytime; I.e., within traffic situation on multilane interstate rush hour.

- Port Orchard, WA, USA

problem #14

Sep 292009

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • 43,000 miles
Separation of radiator... between plastic top and bottom tanks with aluminum radiator grill. This was the first replacement with cost $460 radiator, $308 labor estimated by Ford. Environmental issue and safety issue with engine failure/transmission failure possible. Problem can occur anywhere/anytime; I.e., within traffic situation on multilane interstate rush hour. (43000 miles on odometer, first time.)

- Port Orchard, WA, USA

problem #13

Mar 282008

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,551 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Ford Explorer. The contact was driving approximately 35 mph and drove over a bump. Immediately, the engine warning indicator and temperature gauge illuminated. The engine then began to overheat. The failure would also occur when driving on uneven road surfaces. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer twice for the same failure and the radiator was replaced each time. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 45,551. Updated 05/08/12 the consumer stated the radiator had to be replaced twice.

- Burlington Township, NJ, USA

problem #12

Mar 202012

Explorer

  • 66,000 miles

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

Thermostat/radiator failed causing entire engine failure. There has been several other complaints like this about the Explorer. My children and I were in the vehicle when it malfunctioned without any warning a big cloud of smoke and the vehicle shut off in the middle of heavy traffic this could have caused a very serious accident. This issue with the radiator needs to be addressed.

- Bonifay, FL, USA

problem #11

Mar 012009

Explorer

  • 63,133 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that the radiator was leaking abnormally. The radiator was replaced yet the failure persisted. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who informed the contact that she would need to replace the radiator a second time. The manufacturer was not aware of the failure and advised that they would have someone contact her within four business days. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 63,133 and the current mileage was 91,500.

- Encino, CA, USA

problem #10

Nov 072009

Explorer

  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that the vehicle had a faulty radiator. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealership where the contact was informed that the radiator needed to be replaced. The contact called the manufacturer and was told that they would not assist with the repair costs. The vehicle had not been repaired at the time of the complaint. The failure mileage was approximately 80,000.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #9

Apr 042010

Explorer

  • 44,071 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Ford Explorer. The contact was driving at approximately 30 mph when he noticed that the vehicle was not shifting gears properly. The vehicle was taken to a local mechanic who informed the contact that the radiator was the cause of the failure; the radiator was repaired. The mechanic told the contact that the radiator could be warrantied as there was a similar failure in a technical service bulletin. The contact called the manufacturer who called a local authorized dealership but the dealer stated that the vehicle was not included in any recalls. The failure mileage was 44,071. The current mileage was appproximately 44,200.

- Santee, CA, USA

problem #8

Mar 092010

Explorer

  • 60,000 miles

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

The contact owns a 2006 Ford Explorer. While the contact was attempting to enter his vehicle he noticed a puddle of coolant under the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to a local mechanic where the contact was informed that the radiator would need to be replaced. There were no prior warnings. The current and failure mileages were 60,000.

- Dover, TN, USA

problem #7

Jan 212010

Explorer

  • 82,300 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Ford Explorer. The radiator caused the vehicle to over heat. The vehicle was taken to the dealer to be repaired; however, the radiator was not in stock. The Ford manufacturer was called and stated that there was no warranty or recall. The VIN was unknown. The failure mileage was 82,300.

- Conyers, GA, USA

problem #6

May 012009

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 53,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Ford Explorer. He noticed a small puddle of water under the engine. He assumed that the air conditioner was dripping water. As the failure became progressively worse he speculated that the radiator failed. The manufacturer was notified, but no assistance was provided. No repairs were made. The failure and current mileages were under 53,000. Updated 2/17/10 updated 02/22/10.

- Newark, CA, USA

problem #5

Mar 012009

Explorer

  • 37,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Ford Explorer. For several months, the contact noticed coolant leaking from the vehicle. He added more coolant, but noticed that it continued to leak. He took the vehicle to the dealer and they stated that the radiator failed. The dealer replaced the radiator at the cost of $1,100. The manufacturer advised the contact to call NHTSA. The failure mileage was 37,000 and current mileage was 42,000.

- Alexandria , VA, USA

problem #4

Mar 192008

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 0 miles
I have my third radiator in my 2006 Ford Explorer with the V6 engine.

- Buffalo, NY, USA

problem #3

Mar 282008

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 49,000 miles
I have had a slow leak in my Explorer for a week, we changed the over flow tank and then the leak became a more serious one. My dad looked at it and my radiator is leaking about two different places. It is going cost me about $300 to get a new or if it can be repaired the price of it. A owner of a shop has informed me that he has had to repair several radiators with the same year and make as mine. If this is such a big problem for everyone why hasn't there been a recall yet.

- Pennsboro, WV, USA

problem #2

Mar 182008

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 43,090 miles
I began to notice leakage under my car. It appeared to be antifreeze so I kept a check on it. After two weeks, there was a gush of liquid. I took it to the local Ford dealership. The radiator was bad and needed to be replaced. I bought my Ford Explorer new just 2 years ago. Shouldn't a radiator last more than 2 years? it cost me $80 for the diagnosis and $545 to replace it. I have the old radiator. In the upper right corner there is corrosion which indicates that there had been a malfunction over a period of time.

- Angier, NC, USA

problem #1

Mar 102008

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,124 miles
Defective radiators in 2006-2007 Ford Explorer. Hole in radiator from wear from lack of radiator support. Also gasket seal between plastic in radiator and aluminum. I can't get a replacement radiator because there are none available-3/17/08. So it's obvious there is a problem.

- Metamora, IL, USA

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