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 1 of 3)

problem #55

Jul 092015

Explorer

  • 124,671 miles

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

My car slowed down to a craw in the highway and had to limp home at very low speed almost caused a crash.

- Milton, MA, USA

problem #54

Oct 112011

Explorer 6-cyl

  • miles
I bought my Ford Explorer in 2006 but three years later had to replace the radiator. After that I notice that the transmission would slip every now and then. The problem seems to have escalated since June 2013 with the vehicle jacking or dragging before shifting gears. My wife is actually afraid of driving this vehicle and instead prefers to drive my 2000 Honda Accord which has been running with no problems. I took the vehicle to my mechanic who told me this has been a problem with the model and year of my Ford Explorer and that the transmission will need to be replaced and so he told me I should file this complain since this was not our fault but a factory defect which by the look of what I have seen on this site, Ford is aware of. My question is why has Ford not recalled this because after checking this site, I have seen so many complains about the same related issues (mainly radiator and transmission), are customers supposed to suffer and spend money for things that the Ford company has neglected or for their poor workmanship? I believe not. Ford needs to get their act together and solve this problems for their customers. I, just like everyone who bought a Ford Explorer would like to see our automakers doing well and that's why we buy the cars but not at the expense of our families safety or finances.

- Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #53

Oct 012010

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 70,000 miles
I have had the door blender plastic piece changed on my car three times! each time the season changes. I now have to replace it again. I currently have a radiator leak and will have to replace the radiator and plastic holder as well. I also currently have a transmission slippage problem and I will have to get that fixed as well. This is horrible. I purchased the Ford Explorer because I thought it was dependable. This is depressing and I can not afford it!

- Grandview, MO, USA

problem #52

Jul 152013

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 38,000 miles

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

The radiator in the 2006 Ford Explorer leaks, and a recall is mandatory. I bought this vehicle in 2007, used, and I am now faced with replacing the radiator for the 4th time in 7 years. It is a known issue that this radiator is faulty and still there is no resolve. Please open an investigation and read all the complaints regarding the radiator for this vehicle.

- Pacifica, CA, USA

problem #51

Jul 032013

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 73,000 miles
Vehicle was just at the Ford dealership for over a week in March for transmission related issues, new radiator, etc. Just four months later, I am having the same issues that many others are writing about; hard shift into reverse, vehicle is jumping/jolting forward from a stop, RPM fluctuation while idling.

- Renton, WA, USA

problem #50

Jul 082012

Explorer

  • 81,240 miles
The radiator leaks on almost all 2006 models from the factory. Ford acknowledges the issue was from overtightening, yet does not issue a recall.

- Kansas City, MO, USA

problem #49

Jul 292010

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 45,000 miles

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

I discovered a leak in the radiator after noticing that the temperature gauge needle was bouncing around at an idle. After about a minute, the vehicle overheated and started steaming. We ended up having to have the radiator replaced at a cost of $600. (it was also over 90 degrees that day and I was stranded with two small children, the youngest was 4 months old.) then about a month ago, in May 2012, I was at a grocery store and when I went to enter the vehicle I noted a large puddle of antifreeze on the ground and it was dripping from the radiator. We had to have the radiator replaced, again at a cost of $600. The same mechanic repaired it both times and said it was the same issue as the first one. Now we are having transmission fluid leaking from the cooling line that leads from the transmission to the radiator. These incidents have caused us serious hardships financially and could have caused physical injury due to the fact that it was extremely hot out on both occasions and I had small children with me miles from home. I have already contacted Ford Motor Company and they have declined to do anything about this issue. I am requesting, as are many others, that a recall be issued. And I also suggest that you research this problem on the internet as it is a major one. It is strange that Ford changed the radiator in the 2007 model year Explorer.

- Pana, IL, USA

problem #48

May 012012

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 94,000 miles
I have a 2006 Ford Explorer XLT and this will be third transmission to go into the vehicle. In addition, I have replaced the radiator three times and an engine block seal. These are very costly fixes for a car that is only a couple of years old. I have reached out to Ford customer service and they are not helpful or sympathetic at all and claim that they are not aware of any transmission problems. Meanwhile, when you search the web it is an issue across the board. I feel their customer service is horrible and so are their cars. I would never recommend a Ford to anyone, not even my worst enemy. I could have bought two cars for the money I am putting into this vehicle.

- Port Chester, NY, USA

problem #47

Apr 262012

Explorer

  • miles
I have been having some misfiring spark plugs on my truck. We are pricing them out and are finding out that they are very hard to replace and they break off inside the engine! dealers do not recommend replacing them yourself and it costs $300 to have them do it, then $100 for every spark plug that breaks during that process, plus the $19 for each motorcraft brand plug! this could cost us up to $1500 just to replace spark plugs?! this is insanity!!! not only does it build up carbon but it is also a 2 piece plug and it breaks apart! this needs to be recalled! people are spending a fortune just to replace spark plugs! its sick!

- Whitewater, WI, USA

problem #46

Mar 162012

Explorer

  • 68,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that the plastic in the radiator cracked and was leaking. The failure caused the vehicle to overheat. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was determined that the radiator needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not available. The failure and the current mileages were 68,000.

- Coconut Creek, FL, USA

problem #45

Apr 012011

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 70,000 miles

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

Having problems with fluid overflowing to the overflow tank, overheating and cylinder misfire readings.

- Sacramento , CA, USA

problem #44

May 042011

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 130,000 miles
I have had to change the radiator three times and getting ready to do it again the second time the truck ran hot and ruined the motor. I then put another motor and new radiator and it has not been 40000 miles and with no warning at all it done it again with all of the complaints that has been posted online this should have been addressed to every one that has this problem.

- Grayson, LA, USA

problem #43

Nov 012011

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 73,000 miles
The vehicle has harsh upshifts when accelerating from 1st to 4th gear, creating momentary loss of control. The vehicle will stall, then jerk forward a few inches unannounced, which has the potential of causing a wreck or hitting a pedestrian. The same will occur when shifting from drive to reverse, and vice-versa. Also, sometimes the RPM will increase drastically on its own without an increase in speed. I'm afraid this will cause an accident if the speed decides to increase.

- Elkins, AR, USA

problem #42

Nov 162009

Explorer

  • 40,005 miles
2006 Ford Explorer XLT w/4.0 L had a coolant leak and needed a new radiator. Mileage was 40,005. Radiator was replaced on 11/16/2009. Two years later (1/1/12) the radiator is again leaking and needs to be replaced. Current mileage is 54,435.

- Royal Oak, MI, USA

problem #41

Dec 102011

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 68,000 miles
Radiator failure. The radiator failed causing the entire engine to overheat. See ODI number 10439878. Replaced entire engine and radiator in this vehicle which only has 68,000 miles on it. (costing over $6000). Please issue a recall.

- Ashburn, VA, USA

problem #40

Nov 262011

Explorer

  • 84,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Ford Explorer eddie bauer edition. The contact was driving approximately 45 mph when the check engine warning light illuminated. The contact then realized that the vehicle had overheated as it proceeded to stall. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where they advised her that the radiator and thermostat failed. The vehicle was repaired but the check engine warning light was illuminated again after two weeks. The vehicles was taken back to the independent mechanic where they informed the contact that the head gasket was blown and needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was contacted but offered no assistance to the contact. The failure mileage was approximately 84,000.

- Kernville, CA, USA

problem #39

Dec 102011

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 68,000 miles
This 2006 Explorer eddie bauer car started making roaring sound when trying to accelerate. Tried backing off the accelerator as much as possible. Thermostat gauge temperature went to hot and displayed red and A/C started blowing cold air. Thermostat then went from hot to cold multiple times. Checked coolant levels and they were fine. The engine and car finally shut down completely and the car then overheated. Coolant blew out at the hose at the thermostat. Towed the car to a nationwide repair shop where they replaced thermostat and pressure tested cooling system but car will no longer idle and engine now has major problems. Towed the car to the Ford dealership and they are now saying it may have a blown head gasket ($2200 or more) and or engine needs to be replaced ($5600). They are going to check with Ford to see if they can provide assistance. This vehicle has 68,000 miles on it (less than 15,000/year) and should not need a new thermostat and engine. There appears to be a major problem with this year/make with radiators/thermostat issues. Please issue a recall.

- Ashburn, VA, USA

problem #38

Dec 102011

Explorer

  • 36,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that the temperature gauge started to increase and the temperature warning lamp illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who diagnosed that the radiator was leaking and needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure who did not offer any assistance since the vehicle was no longer under warranty. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and the current mileage was 36,000.

- Heber Springs, AR, USA

problem #37

Sep 012006

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 140,000 miles
Radiator fail caused cat death.

- Shoreline, WA, USA

problem #36

Dec 012009

Explorer

  • 43,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that the vehicle was leaking transmission fluid and radiator coolant. And as a result, the radiator failed. A private mechanic made three attempts to repair the failure by replacing the radiator but to no avail. The dealer did not offer any assistance since the vehicle was no longer under warranty. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure however, did not offer any assistance. The current mileage was 78,000 and the approximate failure mileage was 43,000.

- Greensburg, PA, USA

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