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 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.


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
34,622 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

problem #17

Mar 202012


  • 66,000 miles


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 #16

Oct 042010


  • 80,000 miles
The truck make a horrible ticking noise when you start it up. It will do this until the oil gets thru the motor. Ford states that it is the nature of the motor for normal wear and tear. It is embarrassing to say the least, as it sounds like a ticking time bomb that is waiting to go off. After the truck has been running for a few minutes than the noise goes away, seems that if I spent this much money on a vehicle, it wouldn't sound like an old clunker.

- Sturgis, MI, USA

problem #15

Aug 222010


  • 21,747 miles
Ford Explorer 2006 engine overheating. Outside air temperature 118 F', was stranded with infant in the car. Had car towed, and discovered this is a recurring problem in the radiator, coolant and hose parts on this model, as shown on apart from heat exhaustion, no injuries to report.

- Doha, Qatar, 00, USA

problem #14

Jul 152010


  • 67,000 miles


November 2009 at 50,000 miles had radiator and water pump replaced under warranty by dealer. March 2010 a recall on the transmission PCM card was installed. Had to notify dealer three times that the transmission was not functioning well, dealer rebuilt transmission. July 2010, 67000 miles the thermostat housing separated and allowed coolant to leak out with no temperature warning resulting in a blown engine. Replaced engine and we are now getting intermittent throttle fault lights along with engine speed input circuit malfunction code P0320.

- Vail, AZ, USA

problem #13

Apr 152010


  • 79,000 miles
Over the last 18 months with my Explorer I have had it die on me 4 times and had to get it towed to the dealer. 4 times they have told me that it was some sort of component in the throttle body that is causing it to die. It has died twice on me on the highway while doing 65 mph. This is not acceptable. The last time it happened was on Thursday April 15th. I brought it to the dealership and yet again they said it was a sensor in there and for the 4th time the replaced a component of this instead of the whole thing. They can not guarantee that this will fix it which is very disconcerting to me. I no longer feel safe driving this vehicle. I do not go above 45 mph because I do not want it to die on my on the highway again. That was extremely scary. Something needs to be done before anyone else has to go thru what I (and based on the online comments many other people have gone thru). Ford has a problem with the 2006 Explorer and something needs to be done.

- Hope Valley, RI, USA

problem #12

Feb 202010


  • 45,000 miles
I have a 2006 Ford explore and at 45,000 the radiator needs to be replaced. I have had nothing but trouble with this truck from the day I got this truck. I have spent over $2,000.

- Brentwood, CA, USA

problem #11

Mar 052009

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 74,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Ford Explorer. Since October of 2008, the vehicle stalls at any speed and the accelerator becomes difficult to depress. While driving approximately 60 mph, the vehicle automatically stalls when attempting to brake. When attempting to accelerate after the failure, the vehicle just shuts off. The vehicle has been taken to the repair shop four times regarding the brake failure and stalling, but the cause of the failure has yet to be determined. The contact stated that this is a safety issue and she would like the failure investigated. The current and failure mileages were 74,000. Updated 10/21/09 updated 10/21/09

- Desoto, TX, USA

problem #10

Jun 272007


  • 42,774 miles
Radiator failed on 4 separate occassions. Ford dealer claims no abnormalities found. No explanation as to why radiator is failing prematurely.

- Geneva, IL, USA

problem #9

Jan 152009


  • 39,000 miles
2006 Ford Explorer, purchase new. Radiator replaced as defective Jan 2008. Radiator replace as defective November 2008, Jan 2009 radiator defective again. Ford refuse to fix due to out of warranty. Gene evens Ford in union city Georgia service manager wayne said he has a lot of Ford Explorer with same problem he said "it seems that a chemical in the engine is what is causing the radiator to malfunction". this should be a recall but Ford is not doing anything about it.

- Fairburn, GA, USA

problem #8

Sep 102008


  • 17,000 miles
My SUV stalls any time the car slows down or it will accelerate on its own up to 60mph so that I have to drive with my foot on the brake. Tonight the car stalled in the middle of a major intersection and took 5 minutes before it would restart. When it did restart it accelerated so rapidly another accident almost occurred. I have taken the SUV to the dealership three times over three years and the say that it is doing nothing wrong. I have found websites that other consumers are driving in the same hazardous vehicles with no recourse from Ford. I am renting a car now because I am terrified to drive mine.

- Matthews, NC, USA

problem #7

Dec 152007

Explorer 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 296 miles


Have had numerous problems starting with a lifter stuck in motor at 296 miles, to transmission failure at 15,700 miles. Brakes have squeaked since it was new, overhead console has fallen off twice, satellite radio works when it wants to. Door rubbed on running board, now gas mileage has dropped under 10 miles per gallon. 14 trips to dealership so far and still not all is fixed.

- Sioux City, IA, USA

problem #6

Jan 012007

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 10,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that the engine stalls at any given moment and at speeds of 10 mph or greater. He took the vehicle to the dealer and they reset the computer. A week later, the vehicle stalled again. The vehicle has been to the dealer approximately three to four times, but the failure still persists. The current mileage is 11,900 and failure mileage was 10,000.

- Claraton Hills, IL, USA

problem #5

Jun 012007

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 14,500 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that his vehicle stalled five times. The dealer was unable to determine the cause of failure. The contact allows his vehicle to run for a while before driving it, in order to see if the vehicle will stall. The current mileage is 15,242 and failure mileage was 14,500. Updated 02-11-08 on one occasion the vehicle was shaking and idling rough. Updated

- Burlington, VT, USA

problem #4

Jan 062006

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 18,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that the engine stalls without warning, while the vehicle is in motion. The travel speed is not a factor. The failure occurs intermittently. When the engine stalls, the power steering fails. The vehicle is able to be restarted. The Ford dealer was unable to duplicate the failure. The contact stated that the engine stalling began once he started using the cruise control. The purchase date was unknown. The current mileage is 22,000 and failure mileage was 18,000. Updated 02-01-08.

- Palms Springs, CA, USA

problem #3

May 082007

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 14,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Ford Explorer. While driving 15 mph, the vehicle's engine suddenly shut off when the brakes were depressed. The failure occurred approximately fifteen times. The engine size was unknown. The current and failure mileages were 14,000.

- Yucaipa, CA, USA

problem #2

Aug 082006

Explorer 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100 miles
SUV hesitates when accelerating. Dealer says can't be repaired. 2006 Ford Explorer with 1909 miles. Sent E-mail to you on 08/05/06 confirmation #10164629 as of this date no reply from you.

- Williamsburg, KY, USA

problem #1

May 202006

Explorer 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150 miles
New Ford Explorer stalls in traffic which is dangerous, dealer has found nothing wrong at this time, but has now had the vehicle for approx. 10 days. The dealer had the vehicle 2 days the first time and found nothing wrong.

- Kelso, WA, USA

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