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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.

9.4

really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
$3,114.00
Average Mileage:
81,647 miles
Total Complaints:
18 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. new or rebuilt transmission (13 reports)
  2. not sure (3 reports)
  3. go into debt for a new tran (2 reports)
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2006 Ford Explorer transmission problems

transmission problem

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2006 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #18

May 152014

Explorer LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 128,000 miles

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

She's into the transmission specialists again. The vehicle throws out of gear when going down the road. You might recover by turning off OD or using manual shifting to 3rd....other gears do not seems to engage. OD when hitting the passing gear seems to worsen the issues. Limped home via 3rd gear OD off. GRRR One thought is the clutch in the box is not engaging--solenoid is stuck or popping out..I am hopeful that this is it the repair is considerably cheaper than xmission and I can do this via new gasket, seals and about 400.

- , Walla Walla, WA, USA

problem #17

Nov 012010

Explorer Eddie Bauer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 64,000 miles

I purchased my 2006 Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer in May 2010. By November, I had to have the transmission repaired which cost $1200 but luckily I had an extended warranty and only had to pay $100 out of pocket. Since then, I've had the thermostat replaced which was also under warranty. Since the warranty expired, in 2013 I had the following repairs made, which I paid out of pocket:

Hub barring's- both front at $850. One rear at $500. Radiator repair $1200. Gasket replaced $60.

2013 total cost on repairs $2610.

Now it's March of 2014, having transmission problems which a mechanic says will cost between $700-1500 to be repaired.

This is what I think Ford means. If you have a Ford vehicle it will be

F ound O n R oad D ead

- , Texas City, TX, USA

problem #16

Jul 312013

Explorer Limited 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

I would just like to say that my 2006 Eddie Bauer FORD EXPLORER is TRASH. I have only had it 1 year. When I bought it there was 60,000 miles and a high dollar price. I really liked the way it looked but here I am less than a year down the road THE AIR WENT OUT, TRANSMISSION WAS NEXT AND THERE IS SOME SORT OF LEAK FROM THE HOSES THAT RUN FROM THE TRANSMISSION TO THE RADIATOR. Its one HUGE mess and FORD WILL NOT TAKE RESPONSiBILTY !!!!!!! So now a single mother I am with out a car during the school year and very much in debt ..... THANKS ALOT TO FORD YOU REALLY SUCK AND IT'S BECOMMING KNOWN !!

- , Minerva, OH, USA

problem #15

Apr 052012

Explorer SL 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,785 miles

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

Had a problem with hesitation back when it was under warranty. Finally had throttle body fixed. Now at 56785 miles I need a new transmission -- slipping in 3rd gear. I called ford customer service but they would not do anything to help me.

- , Monroeville, PA, USA

problem #14

Jan 172013

Explorer XLT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,867 miles

I HAVE BEEN A LOYAL FORD MAN ALL MY LIFE MUCH TO THE RIDICULE OF MY FRIENDS. THIS IS MY SECOND EXPLORER MY FIRST IS A 1996 XLT FOUR WHEEL DRIVE , STILL HAVE IT WITH 236000 MILES . MY 2006 FOUR WHEEL DRIVE EXPLORER THAT I PAID OVER $ 30000.00 FOR IS COSTING ME $ 2600.00 MORE AT 78000 MILES. I JUST CAN'T BELIEVE FORD WONT STEP UP SO MAYBE MY NEXT SUV WILL BE A TOYOTA GOD FORGIVE ME FOR NOT BUYING AMERICAN BUT THERE IS NO EXCUSE NOT STANDING BEHIND THEIR PRODUCT. WORK FOR MYSELF IF I PUT OUT A PRODUCT LIKE THAT I WOULD GO BANKRUPT. SO MUCH FOR THE LITTLE GUY WHO WORKED MY ASS OFF TO BUY A NICE SUV .

BE ASHAMED FORD MOTOR COMPANY AND THE DESIGNER OF THIS TRANSMISSION.

- , Dacula, GA, USA

problem #13

Feb 252013

Explorer LX V6 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 91,000 miles

I swore many years ago I wouldn't buy another Ford due to quality issues. Well, time heals all wounds and I bought a 2006 Ford Explorer. Well, here I am with 91,000 miles on it and the transmission has to be replaced due to slipping in and banging of the trans.. Just seems so lousy that Ford can continue to produce vehicles and leave the consumer with no recourse as this was out of the power train warranty in 2011.

- , Atkinson, NH, USA

problem #12

Jun 132012

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 61,000 miles

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

I have a 2006 Ford Explorer, At forward & reverse it jumps and the transmission is hard shifting.

Transmission shop said this is a bad design for this truck - needs to be modified - will cost me $ 2000~

I changed the radiator twice at 42000 miles

Yes, Ford must recall their transmission problems with their Explorer with their bad design.

Ford, you need to take care of your customers~ Your customers built your company.

- , Rancho Palos Verdes, CA, USA

problem #11

Aug 012012

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles

The transmission just went all at once couldn't go into 3rd gear.

- , Saint Clair Shores, MI, USA

problem #10

Aug 062012

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,000 miles

Ford Explorers are known for bad transmissions. 3rd gear was burnt. Ford is aware of this on-going issue. If they would recall and put a sleeve to cover this would not have happened.

- , St Louis, MO, USA

problem #9

Feb 082012

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 122,000 miles

tRANSMISSION STARTED PROBLEMS AROUND 30000 MILES, WOULD NOT SHIFT IN REVERSE WITH OUT FORCING SHIFTER. FORD DID A RECALL HOWEVER SH*TER STILL STUCK AT TIME. TRANSMISSION THEN STARTED SLIPPING. TOOK TO DEALER AND THEY SAID IT WAS NOT A PROBLEM. tHE COMPUTER NEEDED RESETTING NOT TO WORRY. nEXT STARTED JERKING AND LOUD KNOCKS WHEN CHANGING FROM REVERSE TO DRIVE. nOW HAS STARTED SLIPPING AND WILL NOT CHANGE FROM 2 TO 3RD GEAR. OR OVER DRIVE. THIS VEHICLE IS A LEMON, ALSO REPLACED RADIATOR THREE TIMES AND NOW HEAR ROARING IN WHEELS, I UNDERSTAND THE EXPLORER HAS A PROBLEM WITH WHEEL BEARINGS. fORD IS A FOUR LETTER WORD, SHOOULD BE CHAGED TO JUNK.

- , Claremont, nc, USA

problem #8

Jan 222012

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 73,000 miles

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

FORD IS TERRIBLE AND I DO NOT SEE MYSELF BUYING ANOTHER ONE OF THEIR INFERIOR VEHICLES.I BOUGHT MY VEHICLE USED WITH 62000 MILES FIRST THE RADIATOR LEAKED, AND NOW THE TRANS IS OUT.. MY 2006 FORD EXPLORER XLT HAS ONLY 73000 MILES ON IT AND I HAVE TO REPLACE THE TRANSMISSION? WHAT ON EARTH ARE THEY THINKING NOT TO RECALL THIS DEFECTIVE HUNK OF JUNK !!! NOW I HAVE TO GO INTO DEBT AND THE FORD SERVICE TECHS LOOK AT YOU LIKE THIS IS THE FIRST TIME THEY HAVE HEARD OF THIS PROBLEM ! GIVE ME A BREAK ! FORD DIDN'T ACCEPT ANY BAILOUT MONEY, INSTEAD THEY CUT CORNERS EVERYWHERE AND ARE NOW RIPPIGN OFF THE AMERICAN PUBLIC IN ANOTHER WAY !! I WILL GET IT FIXED, KEEP IT FOR A SHORT TIME AND THEN TRADE IT IN. IT BREAKS MY HEART SINCE I HAVE BEEN A FAITHFUL FORD CUSTOMER SINCE 2003 BUT I WILL MOST LIKELY BE GOING FOREIGN NEXT TIME ! BAD BAD BAD !!

- , Alexandria, VA, USA

problem #7

Nov 052011

Explorer XLT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,000 miles

I will never buy a Ford again, especially an Explorer. I pretty much threw $35K down the drain. This is the SECOND transmission we have put is this hunk of junk. Our first transmission went out around 73,000 miles. It started doing the hard jolt thing and the same as everyone else with this issue. Luckily, we had the extended warranty which covered the transmission. Then just a little over a week ago the new transmission went out again (only 87,000 miles) and it’s not the mechanic. Ford makes junk and if you actually pull one of these transmissions out and look at how poor the metal is you will see why they crap out so easily. Ford no longer provides quality. It is pretty sad…now I may have to go buy a foreign car. Ford needs to do a recall on this problem. I called and complained to the customer service, but nothing was done. I am getting rid of this headache. I hope others have better luck with this car.

- , Monaca, PA, USA

problem #6

Nov 232011

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,900 miles

I bought this car in Dec 2005 brand new 12 miles off the lot. Biggest POS I have ever owned in my life!!!! Lets start by saying at 4,000 miles the muffler broke, then we went on to replace the steering wheel not once but twice, then we moved on to the swifter (I drive an automatic) again not once but three times!! Lets see then we moved on to the radiator & some other fun stuff. The whole time I complained to Ford that my transmission felt funny & something was wrong. They told me I was crazy it doesn't give them any problems when they drive it. Finally 4 years later I'm driving in the boonies & what decides to go out on me? My transmission!!!! I had to take a day off of work leave me car in the middle of nowhere & find a way back home. I am furious!!! But I'm pretty sure my dealership knows because I am a raging biatch when I talk to them. I got them to pay for the transmission but I have to pay for install which is not as bad as if I had never said anything. I agree with everyone we need to start a petition this is horrible!!! My mechanic who is doing the transmission told me that those transmissions are horrible and they all have issues!! Ford knew what they were putting in their cars & waited until people were out of warranty to have to pay for new ones. All I have to say is this new transmission better work but at least it comes with I believe 5 year warranty.

- , Oceanside, CA, USA

problem #5

Aug 012011

Explorer Eddie Bauer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 43,000 miles

Never expected to have this problem in this expensive of a car.

- , Barcelona, Anzoategui, Venezuela

problem #4

Jun 032011

Explorer LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,000 miles

Car is pampered, wth 72,000 miles, regular maintenance. Suddenly, transmission fails going into 3rd gear. Just happened today. Will fix and trade for a better car.

- , Apple Valley, CA, USA

problem #3

Jan 082011

Explorer XLS 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 67,100 miles

The transmission fluid was changed in Oct. 2010 and from then on a slight noice came from the transmission when driving. I was driving the vehicle when it would not advance to 3rd gear (it is automatic) I took it to the dealer at which time I was told the 3rd gear was burned out. I purchased the car BRAND new and it has had 3 gear shifts on it and now the transmission. All the maintenance was performed and documented at the Ford dealership so my records could be reviewed. Ford provided some assistance but my out of pocket expense is still a large sum which I feel I should not have had to pay. This was Fords error so why should I pay for their mistake. I will NEVER purchase another Ford vehicle again.

- , San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #2

Jul 202010

Explorer Eddie Bauer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,000 miles

I purchased a 2006 Explorer, new from a reputable dealership here in CT. Immediately, I experienced a leaky sun-roof. Their "Ford Sun-roof Specialist" tried resealing it twice--still leaks. Then the radiator went at 75,000. Then the vapor canister needed to be replaced. And most recently, the transmission has completely gone out of no where. I had no warning except a bit of "jolting" while reversing, then hesitation and the feeling of slipping gears. I was warranteed up to 60,000. The truck has 79,000. The dealership recommended I contact Ford Motor Company to see if they would assist me w/ the cost. I was assured that they "May do the Right thing." Long story short, they were rude and misleading. Their bottom line was that it was out of warrantee and they were not helping!

I have worked in Reseach & Development, Engineering for 15 years. I know all to well about quality..quality of parts, design, etc. I don't think that its normal for accepable for a vehicle of any make, to have these many issues, at 79,000, especially the transmission. I have no respect left for Ford Motor Company. They have no integrity and do not stand by their poor products. I believe they should file bankruptcy and pull themselves right out of this industry all together. I will never purchase a ford again. Once this hunk of junk is repaired, I plan on selling it and purchasing the Honda Pilot.

- , Monroe, CT, USA

problem #1

Jun 192010

Explorer XLT 6.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

Haven't even finished paying for the car. Now I am paying for a car that I can not even drive, $30,000 down the drain. Would cost more to fix it than I owe on it.

- , Norfolk, VA, USA

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