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.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
34,881 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 2)

problem #25

Jan 012008


  • 60,000 miles


When the speed control is engaged and I am running between 40 and 45 mph and driving on gently rolling hills the engine will turn off leaving me no power for brakes or steering - no control!

- St Paul, MN, USA

problem #24

Jul 092015


  • 124,671 miles
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 #23

Dec 272014


  • 34,600 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Ford Explorer. While at a stop sign, the vehicle accelerated independently. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 34,600.

- Alexandria, VA, USA

problem #22

Aug 182012

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 45,986 miles


It would not shift in reverse till I turned it off and restart it took the reverse. After the incident the Explorer keep on giving me problems every time I'll shift it into reverse. I have to actually punch the gas so it could get the reverse gear. It has been many times that I had to quickly step on the brakes to avoid hitting on coming traffic as well as parked cars, after having to punch on the gas so I could go in reverse. I have been told that it could be the transmission.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #21

Feb 022011


  • 80,000 miles
While traveling on the highway the vehicle suddenly lost power as if it stalled. Engine was running but vehicle had no power. Vehicle had to be turned off and restarted to regain power. Always feared being rear ended or stalling on railroad tracks. Dealer determined it was electronic throttle control and replaced it. The vehicle has not had this malfunction since the repair about 18 months ago.

- Vero Beach, FL, USA

problem #20

Feb 012012


  • miles
The truck jolts when shifting gears to reverse and drive, I feels like a car ran into me from the back. It has caused me to bump into another car in front of me when I was sitting in traffic, as I accelerate the gas pedal it either stalls or jolts very hard, thank god it there was no damage to the other car nor mine. Ever since this happened, it has been big problem when driving on the road, and now the truck doesn't pick up speed very quickly ever since this happened, when I get to 20 mph it stalls or jolts after 3-5 seconds. My shift stick is all messed up now, when I put it in reverse, it looks like its on neutral and park looks like its on 3rd gear. Service mechanics have almost crashed my car because of this issue, and Ford has said they can't guarantee a proper repair!! then why sell it if you can't repair it properly so I wont have problems in the future. This vehicle needs to be recalled for safety issues.

- Farmers Branch, TX, USA

problem #19

Aug 162011

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 60,000 miles


While attempting to shift Explorer from park to reverse the transmission did not engage for 5 to 10 seconds when it finally did engage there was a loud noise that sounded as if the transmission fell out of the vehicle and the vehicle lunged with great force. The has occurred on many occasions and is posses a danger to myself and family and any one who may be parked or standing to close. I have had this vehicle in to my local Ford service center and they have been unable to resolve the problem. The vehicle was taken in twice while under warranty: First time they stated they could not find anything and the second time they replaced the shifting mechanism. In November of 2012 the engine would not engage at all and had to be towed to my local Ford dealer and they stated that is was the gear shifter again, this time I paid $500 to have it repaired. The car worked correctly for about 3 months and I though it was finally fixed, however it is once again doing the same thing. It delays 5-10 seconds between shifting, drops into gear very hard and lunges forward. Ford is now telling me I need a new transmission at the fantastic price of an estimated $2500. Given all the complaints about this transmission I think Ford needs to replace them at their cost before we start seeing an increase in transmission failure crashes, injuries, and possibly fatalities.

- Pima, AZ, USA

problem #18

May 032012


  • 72,000 miles
The vehicle was driving at a speed of 40-45 mph and stalled. This again happened on May 25, 2012 while leaving on our vacation. We parked the vehicle and rented one to drive the remaining distance. When taken to a mechanic it was found the throttle body was bad. We have replaced it and in the month of November the vehicle began doing it again. As you drive it will just completely shut off. As the mechanic told us there is no electricity going to the engine and you can coast to the shoulder and restart the vehicle. This will be the 2nd time correcting this problem if this is the true issue. It was read there is a recall on Ford vehicles for that year make but not for the Explorer model. I have contacted Ford and they also stated there is no recall. With the age and low mileage of the vehicle there is no reason this should be happening.

- Franklin, LA, USA

problem #17

Oct 312012

Explorer 8-cyl

  • 42,000 miles
Most of the time, my 2006 Ford Explorer V8 will jerk forward very hard when stopping. This usually happens when I approach stops signs or stop lights. It feels like I've been rear-ended because of how hard the jolt is. This could cause me to strike another vehicle or crash into a wall if parking inside a structure. The vehicle also sometimes jerks very hard forward when accelerating from a stop. After researching online, this issue appears to be a major problem that Ford knows about, and apparently has done nothing to fix it.

- Apo, AE, USA

problem #16

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 #15

Aug 212011

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 64,500 miles


While driving 2006 Ford Explorer shuts down several time at different occasion sometimes a little wrench appears and gas pedal becomes unresponsive and cruise control can not be engage and vehicle idle very rough when come to a stop. Vehicle has loss acceleration while running on 6 lanes highway and require to be pull along the side to turn off and restart again, when vehicle shuts down it does not always restart right away. When I bring it for diagnostic Ford dealers are unable to do anything because the symptoms can not be duplicated and no fault are store. It happen again Sunday August 21 2011 while I was driven from NJ to NY on I-80 and this time check engine light came on and took it to auto-zone and they read codes P2104 and P2111. By the time I went to the dealer and turn off the vehicle check engine light was gone the could not do anything.

- Gouverneur, NY, USA

problem #14

Jan 012007


  • miles
The contact owns a 2006 Ford Explorer. While stopped, the vehicle attempted to surge forward but the contact kept pressure on the brake pedal. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer where an unknown repair was performed on the vehicle. The failure continued to occur intermittently while stopped. The failure mileage was unknown and the current mileage was 10,438.

- Harold, KY, USA

problem #13

Jul 152010


  • 5,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that while driving 10 mph in reverse and applying the brakes, his foot hit the accelerator pedal. The vehicle hit a mailbox as a result but there were no damages or injuries. The failure occurred five times total when he was applying the brakes. The contact believed that the two pedals were too close to one another. The vehicle had not been repaired. The manufacturer had not been notified. The failure mileage was approximately 5,000 and the current mileage was approximately 46,000.

- Yardley, PA, USA

problem #12

Jul 072008


  • 29,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Ford Explorer. The contact was driving 40 mph and depressed the accelerator to increase speed. There was a slight hesitation before the vehicle accelerated. In addition, when depressing the brake pedal, the vehicle would abnormally jerk. The contact stated both failures would occur intermittently. The vehicle was taken to the dealer several times yet the dealer was unable to duplicate the failure. On a later date while driving 35 mph and attempting to accelerate, the vehicle would not respond. The vehicle was towed to an authorized dealer the technician advised that the throttle body would need to be replaced to correct the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 29,000 and the current mileage was 63,000.

- Smyrna, TN, USA

problem #11

Mar 222010


  • 60,460 miles
Just recently noticed my 06 Ford Explorer having unexpected engine surges. Went to stop at an intersection and it felt like the vehicle was fighting me to stop. When the light turned green I gave it a little gas however the vehicle begin to maintain that speed like I had the cruise control on. I purposely did not give the vehicle any gas and saw that it just kept accelerating. Finally after breaking out I began to brake and again felt the vehicle accelerating. Since no one was in front of me I wanted to see what the vehicle did if I gave it a little gas in which it made a popping sound and did not respond when I gave it more gas but the engine still was running. I pulled over and put the vehicle in park. I tried to rev the engine but it did not respond. A wrench light came on during this process. I turned the vehicle off then on again in which it seemed there was nothing wrong. As I drove home it did fine except when stopped at the same intersection it died. I started it again and had no problems and I did make it home. After some research I found multiple similar problems like this with this vehicle however no recalls have been issued. I have an 8 year old son and do not feel comfortable driving this vehicle. At this time we cannot afford to get this fixed. What are my options at this point other than making a complaint? please help! I'm a hard working american that likes to buy vehicles made in the usa however we as a nation need to help out with these issues so we all can continue to support american car purchases. Thanks

- Belleville, IL, USA

problem #10

Aug 282009

Explorer 8-cyl

  • 10,000 miles
2006 Ford Explorer V-8. purchased brand new. Issue is when I come to a gradual stop. Vehicle lunges forward at end of stopping and almost feels like you are rear-ended. Brought back to Ford, charged $111 for them to re-set the computer (or something like that). I believe we could have accomplished the same thing by disconnecting the battery and reconnecting it. In any event, I can already tell the car is still doing it just on the brief ride home (just picked up the vehicle yesterday). They are saying it's part of the "smart driver" feature the vehicle has that understands driving patterns from multiple drivers. What kind of feature would lunge forward at a stop" no driver does this! I want this corrected once and for all. Does Ford just not know what the problem is? does Ford not want to acknowledge this is a real flaw? and lastly, when will Ford do something to address this? when someone is critically hurt or killed by the lunging??" by the way, I cannot give a single "incident date, " as this now happens most every time, if not every time, my husband or I drive the vehicle!

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #9

Mar 192009


  • 50,000 miles
While driving the ABS / check engine / rsc warning lights came on. The truck was able to be driven for a couple of miles, but then it started making a noise from the rear of the vehicle. The truck was not able to be driven to a safe location and was left on the side of a road in a high traffic area and was towed to the dealer. The dealer found out the rear right toothed ring known as an "exciter ring" was loose on the axle. They reported the whole axle part needs to be replaced because of how it's made at a cost of $630 installed. They indicated they had no requirement to report this problem and I believe this is a major defect with unforeseen safety problems that is being under reported. My truck only had 50K miles and I have researched many other individuals reporting the problem on car and truck forums. I have indicated on the forums to report this defect to your web site and included the links. The forums are indicating Ford knows of the problem and my dealership said they have the same problem happen once in a while. We have a long trip scheduled soon and I can't imagine what would happen to the vehicle while driving at highway speeds with another toothed sensor ring falling off. I do not feel safe letting my wife and kids drive in this vehicle knowing that there are three other axles with potentially the same problem. The company that made this part should be investigated for a defective part that could cause direct or indirect death and/or injuries.

- Disputanta, VA, USA

problem #8

Jul 122008

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 16,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Ford Explorer. While approaching a stop sign, the contact depressed the brake pedal, but the vehicle kept moving. The vehicle plunged into the water at the beach. The vehicle was taken out of the water and the police had it towed to a body shop. The insurance company retrieved the vehicle and advised her that the vehicle could not be repaired due to the salt in the water. The dealer stated that accidents happen. The contact wants to know what caused the failure. The failure and current mileages were 16,000. Updated 11-19-08 the vehicle accelerated out of control. Updated 11/20/08.

- Montauk, NY, USA

problem #7

Jul 122008

Explorer 6-cyl

  • miles
2006 Ford Explorer brakes malfunctioned. Consumer states that she applied the brakes but the vehicle accelerated out of control. The consumer stated the vehicle plunged into the water. The vehicle was deemed totaled.

- Montauk, NY, USA

problem #6

Aug 272007

Explorer 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 29,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Ford Explorer. While driving at any speed, the vehicle jumps as if it were struck from behind. The vehicle jumps and accelerates immediately after coming to a stop. The vehicle was taken to the dealer on five occasions and they changed the transmission module. The current and failure mileages were 29,000. The consumer was unable to stop the vehicle using the brakes. Updated 12/12/07

- Garland, TX, USA

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