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:
2 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
32,558 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 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2006 Ford Explorer Owner Comments (Page 5 of 6)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #34

Jun 102007

Explorer 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 24,000 miles

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

When coming to a stop vehicle jolts and lunges forward.

- Fairfield, CT, USA

problem #33

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 #32

Oct 152007

Explorer 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 0 miles
We own a 2006 Ford Explorer, and its transmission slips, gets confused during downshifts, and now has developed a lurch forward when coming to a stop. I had it in the dealership, when the shift lever broke and I was told that this is "normal" but Ford is working on a program for the computer that they are releasing in mid November. First of all, if this is normal why is this the second attempt at creating a fix for a "non-existent" problem with a "normally functioning transmission." Ford instructed the dealerships to let it be until the new "program" comes out in November. Where exactly does that leave the consumer, I have a transmission that had has been slipping in gear and mis-shifting for thousands of miles and a 60,000 mile warranty. If this doesn't become more of a safety concern, which I am afraid it will, I will likely have increased transmission problems down the road because of it. Plus, nevermind this current model Explorer will now have a significantly lower resale value as these types of complaints increase. Please help! this was a large investment to make, and now I will have to pay the consequence for Ford failure.

- Westfield, MA, USA

problem #31

Sep 222006

Explorer 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 4,700 miles

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

The contact owns a 2006 Ford Explorer. The transmission is not downshifting correctly. While approaching a stop or driving between 1 and 10 mph, the vehicle jumped. The vehicle has been taken to the dealer on three occasions: September 22, 2006, October 9, 2006, and September 14, 2007. On each visit, the dealer performed a transmission update that only repaired the vehicle for a brief period of time. It is currently October 2007 and the vehicle needs to go back to the dealer for the same failure. The current mileage was 20,000 and failure mileage was 4,700.

- Howard Beach, NY, USA

problem #30

Sep 252007

Explorer 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 17,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Ford Explorer. While driving 15 mph, the transmission failed to engage properly and had difficulty shifting gears. The dealer reprogrammed the vehicle, but the failure recurred. The vehicle was taken to the dealer on three occasions by the end of September. The current and failure mileages were 17,000. Updated 12-12-07. The consumer stated the transmission hesitated on engagement. Updated

- Broken Arrow, OK, USA

problem #29

Oct 052007

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 33,322 miles
Transmission is inconsistent when shifting. Sometimes engine roars when transmission is in between gears. Transmission will not downshift on occasion. Purchased this vehicle (2006 Ford Explorer in November 2006 while still under warranty as a used car) and experienced no problems until the first part of June 2007. Updated 01/11/08. The dealer replaced the transmission pan solenoid body. Updated

- Des Moines, IA, USA

problem #28

Oct 012006

Explorer 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 200 miles

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

The contact owns a 2006 Ford Explorer. While idling at a traffic light, the transmission shifted to first gear and caused the vehicle to surge forward. While driving downhill at 20 mph, the transmission downshifted to first gear and the speed decreased to 5 mph in 2-5 seconds. The dealer replaced the mechatronix, however, the failure continued. The failure mileage was 200 and current mileage was 12,500.

- Uzsa , CA, USA

problem #27

Feb 202007

Explorer 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 8,000 miles
Transmission surges on downshift between 2nd and 1st....engine RPM's increase and transmission slams, causing vehicle to move forward with a lurch. Also I have difficult time shifting into drive or reverse. It seems that the sensor for the brake is malfunctioning.

- Mahwah, NJ, USA

problem #26

Jul 012006

Explorer 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 4,000 miles
(1) I have owned my 2006 Ford Explorer for one year and four months. There are approximately 21,000 miles currently on it. It has had a lunging problem starting weeks after I purchased it. I have taken it into two separate Ford dealers in attempts to have it fixed for a total of six times. They have attempted to update the computer on two separate occasions. Each time it is fixed for a couple of weeks up to a couple of months, however, the clunking and jerking once again show. I believe that they unplug the battery each time it is taken in, allowing the computer to "forget" its adaptive learning. (2) when I take off from a stop it hesitates and then slams into gear causing the vehicle to accelerate unpredictably. Furthermore, when stopping it feels like it is freewheeling in between first and second gear with an abrupt stop and a jerk that causes a violent jerking of the vehicle. The feeling it provides is one of being rearended. (3) the only thing that has been done is to reprogram the computer and unhooking the battery so the computer forgets its adaptive learning. This is a quick fix for Ford and does not solve the problem.

- Prattville, AL, USA

problem #25

Apr 012007

Explorer 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 18,000 miles
Transmission surges on downshift between 2nd and 1st....engine RPM's increase and transmission slams, causing vehicle to move forward with a lurch. I have taken the vehicle to the dealership twice to no avail.

- Mechanicsville, VA, USA

problem #24

Apr 072007

Explorer 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 13,441 miles

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

The transmission of the 2006 Explorer eb that I purchased from vista Ford, has had ongoing intermittent shifting inconsistencies from the day I purchased it that cause the cars transmission to frequently kick and have a startling and car-shaking bump or thunk? when braking just before the vehicle comes to a stop. Sometimes when it does not occur at all. Mostly, it occurs in various degrees from subtly to strongly (on a scale of 1 to 10). Sometimes it occurs so strongly that the entire car noticeably and violently shudders or lurches, and the car jumps forward as it stops. I have to be careful how close I am to the intersection or to the bumper of the car in front of me in case it does this, potentially causing a hazardous situation or accident. The car has also developed a similar shifting inconsistency upon acceleration from a standstill as it shifts (presumably) into second gear. Sometimes it is such a severe jolt that my head snaps back and hits the headrest of the seat. The dealership has attempted unsuccessfully on four occasions to correct this defective behavior. The dealership has reprogrammed the computer program for the transmission with two separate fixes which have had absolutely no affect to correct the problem. These problems occur with such frequency that I feel unsafe in the vehicle, and I don't feel secure when driving it due to the inconsistent and erratic behavior of the transmission. I think that the vehicle is mechanically unsound, as a result and that the transmission is likely to fail altogether at some point, or possibly cause an accident caused by the sudden acceleration.

- Sherman Oaks, CA, USA

problem #23

Aug 252007

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
On several occasions when shifting into reverse the vehicle was extremely hesitant & eventually would lunge backwards while making a loud "clack" as it jumped into gear. Another time I started my car & it lunged into park as if it was never in park completely before I shut off and exited the vehicle prior to this. We all know you cant take the keys out of the ignition w/O it being in park, so explain this! after numerous complaints to my dealership they find a problem(a factory defect, not one caused by me)they replaced parts and now only a few months later I am having the same problems all over again. Only now my problems are worse. While driving instead of shifting my car just revs real high & goes nowhere. This lasts anywhere from 15-45 seconds & then stops. It also is hesitant when shifting from gear to gear. I have my car serviced regularly and dont drve it hard, I should not be experiencing these problems at all!!! I am a very, very unhappy Ford owner. I paid $38,000 cash for this vehicle the day I bought it & have had nothing but problems since, only regrets.

- Norwalk, CA, USA

problem #22

Apr 072007

Explorer 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
2006 Ford Explorer with frequent transmission problems. Customer states that the transmission has shifting inconsistencies which causes the vehicle to shake. The consumer stated the erratic shifting of the vehicle started the day after purchase and after the incident he contacted the dealership to inform them of the defect. The dealership then in turn had the consumer come in on 4 separate occasions to rectify the situation but to no avail. The consumer would like the situation investigated and would like for the dealer to repurchase the vehicle at the value in which it was sold. The dealer stated the speakers sound like they are distorted, top cover of instrument cluster is loose.

- Sherman Oaks, CA, USA

problem #21

Jul 122007

Explorer 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 17,895 miles
2006 Ford Explorer eddie bauer V8 with six speed auto. Purchase vehicle used with 17K miles. Problems with transmission 1-2 weeks into ownership. The vehicle has issues as to what gear to be in and will lunge forward or clunk into gear. This happens frequently when coming to a stop. Also, when driving the vehicle it sometimes hesitates when shifting into higher gears and will "clunk" into gear. In one instance I tried to pull into traffic and attempted to accelerate and the vehicle would not shift in order to gain speed. The engine revved up but the transmission did not engage. I have had the car to the dealership 2 times for this problem. They have re programmed the computer the first time. The symptoms seemed to disappear. A week later, it came back. The second time, the tech told me that it is a normal condition and that the tranny gets confused as to what gear to be in. The delayed and harsh shifting is dangerous and someone is going to get seriously hurt as a result of it happening. The random shifting into first when coming to a stop should prove real interesting on the ice and snow...

- Billings, MT, USA

problem #20

Dec 152006

Explorer 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 17,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Ford Explorer. He stated that the vehicle would shake during a down shift and accelerate without warning. The dealer stated that this was a normal occurrence and his vehicle was not included as part of any recalls. There has also been problems with the gear shift indicator, as result this has been replaced. The failure mileage was 17,000 and the current mileage was 30,000.

- Normal, IL, USA

problem #19

Aug 282006

Explorer 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 796 miles
Terrible hesitation when pulling up to stop sign and trying to take off. Parking lot at slow speed transmission will not shift correctly. Lifter stuck in motor at 700 miles.nothing done to correct issue as of yet.

- Sioux City, IA, USA

problem #18

Sep 222006

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 8,869 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Ford Explorer. While driving 15 mph over a hill the vehicle automatically shifted from first to second gear when attempting to accelerate. When the vehicle was stopped the rpms increased and the vehicle jerked forward. The dealer was unable to duplicate the failure and could not repair it. The dealer reprogrammed the PCM three times at 10,016, 14881, and 17,037 miles. The current mileage is 17,207, and failure mileage was 8,869.

- Meridian, OH, USA

problem #17

Jan 072006

Explorer 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100 miles
I purchased a 2006 eddie bauer Explorer in June of last year and have had transmission issues with it since I hit 1000 miles. I have had it into the dealership 4 times and they have adjusted, replaced a computer, did other transmission work and the vehicle still demonstrates the same issue. This problem happens during shifting and on slow down to stop. The vehicle jerks forward and shifts very rough between gears. Ford Motor Corp has refused to assist any further and has asked me to bring my vehicle back again for the 5th time. This situation is very dangerous as the vehicle does jerk forward when you stop. I have small children and this has put me into a situation where I feel like my children are unsafe in this vehicle due to the potential to rearend someone if the car fails to stop properly. Where is Ford when it comes to safety and consumer loyalty"?" this was my third Ford purchase and will most likely be the last. A colleague of mine also purchased this same vehicle and is experiencing the same issues.

- Gilbert, AZ, USA

problem #16

Feb 132006

Explorer 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 791 miles
I have a 2006 Ford Explorer V-8 limited with the six speed transmission. The transmission totally failed with under 1,000 miles. It lurched, bucked, high revved and failed to engage, then suddenly engaged and eventually would not drive. The transmission was replaced by Ford. 13,000 miles later the transmission lurches and bucks the card forward. When going from second to first, it pops back into second, then into first again. If not for the foot on the brake the car could lunge forward and cause an accident. I must be careful not to pull up too close to anything when stopping. Ford continued to recalibrate the transmission three more times to no avail and on the fourth and final repair attempt they stated they would do nothing further to repair or replace the transmission.

- North Bay Village, FL, USA

problem #15

Sep 012006

Explorer 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,500 miles
Consistent problems with transmission shifting roughly, hesitation at cold start, and during slow take-offs and slowing down.

- Zolfo Springs, FL, USA

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