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.

10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
54,883 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2006 Ford Explorer Owner Comments (Page 2 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #35

Sep 062011

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 67,000 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 continued to leak. The leaking was caused by the plastic material separating from the aluminum, which was causing the vehicle to overheat. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer where the dealer advised that the radiator needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The dealer also advised that the thermostat needed to be replaced as well due to the radiator failure. The failure mileage was 67,000. The consumer could not afford to fix the problem. She also stated the were plenty of websites devoted to the exact radiator and thermostat problem. Updated 11/21/11...updated 11/25/11 updated 11/30/11

- Torrance, CA, USA

problem #34

Nov 182009

Explorer

  • 72,000 miles
We purchased our 2006 Explorer used with 61,000 in summer 2009. The dealership did a complete inspection and replaced everything we found as defective or as a recalled item. The coolant system wasn't one of these issues. Drove vehicle all summer and into the fall without issue. By late fall of 2009 vehicle had anti-freeze leak, just after the first frost in ne. Local auto service providor replaced radiator twice in one month with Napa parts without remedy and then eventually they had to replace with an authorized Ford radiator to get it not to fail. Also replaced the water pump, all hoses, pullies, and fluid to make sure there were no other issues. Still leaked but minor and finally was corrected in spring of 2010. By late fall 2010, again after the first frost the vehicle was leaking anti-freeze again. Took it to Ford dealership this time where they went through the entire cooling system and replaced the thermostat and upper intake housing they said was leaking. They also flushed the entire system again and added what they deemed was the correct antifreeze for the vehicle assuring that this would stop the problem. Vehicle still leaked and we had to periodically tighten the hose clamps but by spring of 2011 the leak again stopped. Just brought vehicle back to Ford dealership fall 2011, again after the first frost. Was told the now 2 year old Ford radiator was failing at the joints between aluminum and plastic. This was the same failure as originally noted in fall of 2009. There appears to be an ongoing problem with 2006 Explorer radiators with over 50K miles. Along with environmental issues, this condition affects the transmission and the safety of the occupants if the engin runs out of coolant.

- Marshfield, MA, USA

problem #33

Oct 212011

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 80,100 miles
While driving the vehicle, the smell of antifreeze started coming into the car. My fiance' checked the radiator and overflow bottle and found out it was gas mixed with the antifreeze. My car's mileage is 80100. I do not believe the car should have this issue at only 5 years. This problem/complaint should be investigated and damages should be covered by the dealership or manufacturer.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #32

Nov 012011

Explorer

  • 97,500 miles

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

Engine stalls. Whenever it feels like it, hot or cold, slowing down to stop, turning left or right, on the street roads and freeways. Starts and go again after 5/10 minutes but this is ridiculous. I paid so much money and time for diagnostic and parts already and yesterday was the worst. My 2006 Ford Explorer stalled in the middle of the freeway. Date: Nov 1, 2011, time:1550, and my wife was driving, when she's not happy, nobody's happy....she almost got ran over as she open her door, she could not go anywhere but wait for time to either cool off or reset on the engine.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #31

Oct 272011

Explorer 6-cyl

  • miles
My 2006 Ford Explorer has 44,000 miles on it and needs a new radiator, after checking complaints online for the same problem, I have found many complaints about this issue.I believe Ford needs to recall this vehicle for the radiator issue. The leak from the radiator can seep into the ground and into the underground water system, not to mention any animals that would drink from the puddles left behind from this very toxic anti-freeze. The replacement of this item cost almost $1200 at a Ford dealer, these trucks are only 5 years old and I know people who have replaced 3 or more radiators since they purchased their Explorer. It seems to be a bigger problem for the 2006 model when Ford changed the radiator to plastic. I wonder how many accidents where caused when the radiator failed and seized the engines while people where driving?

- Kings Park, NY, USA

problem #30

Oct 282009

Explorer

  • 39,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that the radiator failed. The radiator was replaced two years prior to the most recent failure. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who advised that they could replace the radiator. The manufacturer was notified of the failure but offered no assistance. The failure mileage was 39,000 and the current mileage was 63,000.

- Suffolk, VA, USA

problem #29

Jun 012010

Explorer

  • 71,000 miles

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

The contact owns a 2006 Ford Explorer XLT. The contact was driving 60 mph when the engine stalled. The contact noticed a leak coming from the radiator. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where they confirmed that there was a hole in the radiator.the manufacturer was not contacted and the vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 71,000 and the current mileage was 82,000.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #28

Jul 012010

Explorer

  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Ford Explorer. The contact stated while driving 45 mph, the temperature gauge displayed a reading informing her that the engine was over heating. The contact also stated that water was leaking from the engine. An independent mechanic examined the vehicle and stated that the radiator needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The failure recurred approximately eight months later. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer to have the failure diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 80,000.

- Irmo, SC, USA

problem #27

Oct 072011

Explorer

  • 85,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Ford Explorer. The contact stated while driving at various speeds, the temperature gauge would indicate that the engine was overheating. The contact also noticed there was fluid leaking from the radiator. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer who informed the contact that the radiator was cracked and the thermostat housing failed. The contact was also informed that this was a common failure that required the radiator be replaced with a newly designed version. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 85,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Florence, AL, USA

problem #26

Sep 252011

Explorer

  • 105,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Ford Explorer. The contact stated the radiator was replaced four times. The radiator began to leak and caused the vehicle to run hot. The contact stated that the radiator was replaced every 25,000 miles. All of the radiators were been replaced by an authorized dealer, but the dealer stated there was no cause for the failure. The VIN was not available. The current and failure mileages were 105,000.

- Eolia, MO, USA

problem #25

Sep 152010

Explorer

  • 44,000 miles

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

This vehicle constantly overheats. I have to add coolant every few days. It first started during a day trip. Prior to leaving I had my oil changed and all my fluids were filled. After leaving the highway the car completely shut off. I had to go to a gas station and add more coolant it was only a three hour trip and it was completely dry. Shortly after the transmission became shifting hard. It jerks and seems to miss gears. At the time it only had 40,000 miles. Now I have to be extremely careful with the transmission and must keep coolant in my vehicle. I have 4 small children and I am afraid this vehicle is a fire danger because of the radiator. I am financing this vehicle and don't have the money to get a new one. This vehicle today has 54,000 miles and if built correctly I should be able to get 100,000 without any major repairs. Ford should be responsible and recall these vehicles and show they stand by their products. Their saying should be Ford flimsy not Ford tough!

- Fort Myers, FL, USA

problem #24

Dec 092010

Explorer

  • 90,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Ford Explorer. While the contact was driving approximately 35 mph, all of the warning indicators illuminated on the instrument panel and the temperature gauge began to fluctuate to very hot. The contact drove to the side of the road with caution. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic where the radiator was replaced. The most recent identical failure recurred and the radiator was replaced for the second time. The manufacturer was not made aware of the defect. The approximate failure mileage was 90,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Evansdale, IA, USA

problem #23

Dec 112010

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Ford Explorer eddie bauer. While driving approximately 10-60 mph, the vehicle began to jerk abnormally. The vehicle would also overheat sporadically and the rear windshield wipers would not operate. The vehicle was taken to a local transmission specialist where they rebuilt the transmission and attempted to repair the rear windshield wipers but to no avail. The failure persisted and the vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for the failures. The dealer made repairs to the cooling system but was unable to disable the rear windshield wipers to make repairs. The failure mileage was 100,000. Updated 04/25/11 updated 1/13/2012

- Durham, NC, USA

problem #22

Mar 212009

Explorer

  • 54,129 miles
Vehicle just cut off one day while driving, lost power, wrench light came on. Cut the vehicle off and start it up and off you go. This problem occurs over the next year, about 2 to 3 times a month. Have taken the vehicle to the dealer, they said there was nothing they could do because the engine light was not on. Finally after several more months of the same problem happening the engine light comes on and stays on. Take it back to the dealer and give some more money to them, just for them to come to the conclusion that the throttle body needs to be replaced, and that I have a small leak in the radiator. I do not have the money to get the repairs done. I'm already making payments every month for a vehicle that won't work right. I take care of my vehicle and get all the services done on time. Currently I have close to 80,000 miles on my Explorer. I have been reading that plenty of other people have experienced both the throttle body and radiator going bad, I have read that it is a known problem for the radiator and throttle body to go bad. Ford you need to recall this, and own up to this issue. Long story short this will be the last Ford I purchase, and I'm thinking about getting rid of this one as quick as possible.

- Gates, NC, USA

problem #21

Nov 132005

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • 300 miles
We purchased a 2006 Ford Explorer a few years ago and ever since we go it, we have been having issues with the wrench light coming on. When this light turns on the car starts jerking and we cant step on the gas any more because the car hesitates to go. We have to pull over turn the car off, wait a while then turn it back on and the car is ok again, but the engine light stays on sometimes for a few hours and sometimes for a few days. When we 1st had the problem we took it back to the dealer and they said nothing was wrong. We took it back a few more times and they kept telling us the same thing. Well that dealer closed, we took it to other Ford dealers and they would tell us the same thing, there is nothing wrong with the car. Well at 1st it would happen like once ever 2 to three weeks, then it would do it like once a day, well now it does it everyday more than once a day. Two days ago I was on the freeway going 70 miles an hour it happened to me. I always have my 8 year old daughter with me so im usually on carpool. Well when this happened I had to get out of car pool crossing the yellow lines just so that I can get to the other side to pull over, and I cant step on the gas. So I turned the car off, waited a while and then turned it back on and continued. Then it happened again not 2 times, 6 times total that day while traffic is moving at 70 miles an hour, we almost crashed. I am tired of taking it to the dealer just for them to say nothing is wrong. I emailed Ford corporate and all they can say is take it and have it diagnosed. I told them we have done that many times and they tell us the same thing. I got mad so I called to speak to a manager, which was no help. She said for me to have it diagnosed again. I asked her if they found something wrong with the car, is Ford going to have it fixed and she said no. I looked in to this and there seems to be lots of people with this same dangerous problem with their 2006 Ford Explorer.

- Rancho Cucamonga , CA, USA

problem #20

Apr 302010

Explorer

  • 44,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Ford Explorer. While driving at 55 mph, a red service light illuminated and the vehicle suddenly stalled. The contact pulled over and would not restart. The vehicle was towed to an authorized dealership where the contact was informed that the radiator failed. The current and failure mileages were approximately 44,000. Updated 07/22/10 the consumer stated the engine and the radiator needed to be replaced. Updated 07/26/10

- Henry, IL, USA

problem #19

Mar 082008

Explorer 6-cyl

  • miles
Radiator leak in 2006 Ford Explorer. V6 engine. Happened at 42,000 miles. Happened a second time on 4/11/10.

- Metamora, IL, USA

problem #18

Mar 222010

Explorer

  • 70,000 miles
2006 Ford Explorer - radiator failure - vehicle has 70,000 miles on it. This is the fourth time the radiator has had to be replaced. Ford Motor Company has refused to offer any assistance regarding the repair of this problem. However, in April 2009 they issued a tsb regarding radiator leaks occurring in certain 2006 Explorer made before 8/8/2006. It should be noted that it is not a "leak" in the radiator but a complete failure of the part. They are currently on their fourth design of radiators for this specific vehicle. My question is this, with all of the complaints registered regarding this problem, why hasn't NHTSA launched an invesitgation regarding this problem and why hasn't the Ford Motor Company stepped up and acknowleged there is a problem and done something to assist the owners of all vehicles that are subject to the problem. This vehicle needs to be put on the recall list and fmc be held responsible for the problem. They either come up with a definite solution for the problem or buy back all the vehicles and see that everyone is compensated for all of the repairs they have had to pay for and that they are freed from any loans on the problem vehicles. It makes sense to me if fmc identified there could be issues effecting vehicles manufactured before a certain point in time, then it clearly has recognized there is a problem and they should stand by its product and do something about it. My guess is, they know there is a problem but they don't have a certain idea what is causing it or if the tsb and fourth redesign of the radiator will really correct the problem.

- Alexandria, KY, USA

problem #17

Mar 062010

Explorer

  • 62,000 miles
2006 Ford Explorer with 62,000 miles I noticed that the radiator is leaking called Ford dealer for parts and the price of the radiator is $500 all so found out that a number of other people are experiencing the same concern and that there is a shortage of radiators available.

- Dudley, MA, USA

problem #16

Jan 092010

Explorer

  • 41,330 miles
Noticed a 6 inch puddle under my 2006 eddie bauer. Had it tested and the tubes at the bottom were leaking. Bought a replacement radiator for $220.

- Easton, PA, USA

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