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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.

7.8

pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
$1,714.00
Average Mileage:
44,128 miles
Total Complaints:
214 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (137 reports)
  2. replace the transmission (36 reports)
  3. TSB from Ford reprogramming the transmission control (11 reports)
  4. replace transmission module (6 reports)
  5. reprogrammed the transmission (4 reports)
  6. solenoid assembly replaced (3 reports)
2006 Ford Explorer transmission problems

transmission problem

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2006 Ford Explorer Owner Comments (Page 2 of 11)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #194

Jan 012011

Explorer Eddie Bauer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

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

Just like everyone else with this vehicle 2006 Eddie Bauer Ford. We too were always about ford. But when I put the vehicle in reverse it lunges so bad I'm afraid I might hit something. Also trouble shifting gears 1st and 2nd very loud and it does feel like you just lost the whole transmission. Very disappointed. Not the only problem this vehicle has had. It would be nice for Ford to stand behind their product. but I don't see that happening.

- , Oak Ridge, TN, USA

problem #193

May 012012

Explorer V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 73,000 miles

I have the same problems with my 2006 Explorer. I have been dealing directly with Ford and get "canned" responses from them. I feel that it is a major safety issue and Ford needs to be held accountable for their manufacturing defect. I did some research and found that I can file a safety complaint with the NHTSA and they will do an investigation on the safety problem if enough people complain. Here's the link http://www.nhtsa.gov/. I encourage you to file a complaint regarding the transmission defect as well. Clearly it's a big, expensive problem that Ford expects us to pay for! I'm sorry..I DON"T pay for someone else's negligence and you shouldn't either. File a report and maybe together we can get a recall on the problem!

- , Colorado Springs, CO, USA

problem #192

Jul 092012

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

At 120000 miles my 06 EB Explorer bangs into gear from 1st to 2nd, and constantly slides in and out of gear while the engine is reeving at 2500 RPM. Also hesitates when shifting into reverse.

- , Eagle River, WI, USA

problem #191

Oct 032011

Explorer LXT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 37,000 miles

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

I am also a victim of the 2006 ford transmission. This vehicle only has 48000 miles. When i shift into reverse it takes a few seconds to shift gear and when it shifts into gear it feels like the transmission fell on the ground . I just retired and bought this explorer hopefully to keep for a while i take great pride in maintaining my vehicles this is also my 2nd explorer the first one is 16yrs old and now my dog truck but i don't think the 2006 will give me that loyalty TOO BAD!!! Shame on ford now i don't know who to trust anymore

- , niantic, CT, USA

problem #190

Oct 102011

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

Transmission Module went out at 60,000 miles. Was not covered, cost me over $500.00 to repair.

- , White Stone, VA, USA

problem #189

Feb 042012

Explorer Eddie Bauer V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

The transmission has never worked so well. It really never worked right in the first place. 1 year in the problems started. Took it to Ford numerous times, told me there was nothing wrong, They reset it a few times. As soon as the warranty was up, it got really bad. I will never buy a Ford again, they should have addressed the problem. Many other complaints, to numerous to list.

- , South Park, PA - Pennsylvania, USA

problem #188

May 282012

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,000 miles

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

Dealer reprogrammed the transmission when it had about 25,000 miles on it. The lunging completely disappeared....for a while. After about a year and 15,000 miles the problem returned and has happened ever since on and off. Mileage now just short of 80,000 and has been hitting hard lately. The dealer let me purchase an extended warranty after the initial fix for $1000. This extended to 6 year or 75,000. I had wished the transmission had blown up. Now the replacement will probably be on me.

Thanks Ford. I have been driving your vehicles for 40 years and this is the worst problem, which you have not resolved. Please do something for this obvious service issue. There have been some scary incidences with close calls on accidents.

- , San Diego, CA, USA

problem #187

May 012012

Explorer XLT 4.0L, V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 115,575 miles

Reading all the complaints, I realize I am not the only one with problems I got the same bad experiences, My truck is at the Garage for over 4 days now. Transmit slips on 4 gear (100km or more) and engine accelerates to keep-up speed, when reversing, I can hear a Loud banging sound, as If Differential was damaged (replaced Differential, and problem persisted) I had to replace the bearings 3 times over the last 16 months (or 40,000 km) which is not normal.

and problems persist.

need help, please, if anyone have solutions, or advise, please contact me. lets see if Ford is interesting in being the Number 1 in USA/Canada

- , St-Jerome, Quebec, canada

problem #186

Apr 152012

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 170,000 miles

Same problem as so many others here. Would give a hard jolt when shifting into gear and now the transmission has gone out and the dealership wanted 3,500 to fix it or they told me the best thing is to trade it in. Do you think they wanted to give me anything for my car?? Nooo so I had to go else where and buy a second vehicle just so I have transportation. Now paying two car notes and the Explorer sits at a transmission shop dead. Ford needs to get the transmission issues fixed!

- , Lake Dallas, TX, USA

problem #185

Apr 242012

Explorer XLS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,000 miles

This problem first started in January of 2010. I went to ford dealer (long lewis,hoover,al)where I purchased the car brand new and wanted to know what was wrong with my car. They told me it was not the outside of the transmission and in order to check the inside it would cost me $500 just to break it down ..my thoughts were wow! My car should not be jerking, slow to pull off and At the time I only had 50,000 miles on it and very frustrated. Now about A week ago my car has gotten to were I don't want to drive it but it is the only transportation i have. With this many complaints ford needs to do something.

- , Hoover, AL, USA

problem #184

Dec 312009

Explorer Eddie Bauer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 46,000 miles

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

Same transmission problem as a lot of people. It's a 2wd Eddie Bauer Explorer with 110,000 miles with 50% of that being highway miles. Vehicle hesitates a second or two when putting it in reverse. Then it will jump into gear and make it feel like the transmission's dropped out of the car. Ford it's time to step-up and FIX this "American Made Product." My car has been paid off for almost a year, have thought about trading it in but would not wish this auto on anyone.

- , Sallisaw, OK, USA

problem #183

Mar 152012

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 91,000 miles

Transmission was "slipping" when accelerating. Usually between 1-2-3 gears. Error code P0733 from reading the chip, according to the repair shop. It is actually there being rebuilt today 3-26-2012. About $2000.00 to rebuilt it. $3600.00 for new. This is ridiculous, since the car has only 91,000 miles on it. And by the looks of it, and all of these complaints, I am one of the more lucky individuals, by it not happening sooner. Shame on FORD for not stepping up, and offering a solution. This if my 4th and last FORD!!! Never again.

- , Montgomery, IL, USA

problem #182

Nov 012011

Explorer LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 165,000 miles

Transmission has always shifted hard but now when shifting to reverse it hesitates then slams into gear. While driving it lunges and jerks while changing out gears. After driving for a couple hours it roars and drags like its not going to change then jerks into gear. If I get this repaired I will be out 2000.00 or more and without my vehicle again for an unknown amount of time. Buying this vehicle has turned out to be the worst mistake I have ever made. This was my 2nd time buying a ford and since the 1st time was almost as bad I can honestly say I plan to make it the last.

- , Cottondale, AL, USA

problem #181

Dec 122011

Explorer Eddie Bauer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 73,000 miles

I bought this car with 73000 miles on it. I took it to a mechanic to have it checked out before the sale was final. He found about $1000 worth of repairs. I bought the car $1000 less than listed on Craig's list. Thought we both got a great deal- buyer and seller. Then the day after I took possession of the car, the first episode of the car lunging from a stop at a light. It felt like it had stalled then lunged forward. Since then, it occasionally will take a second or two for the transmission to catch after moving from reverse to drive. I took it to the same mechanic that I took it to 2 months ago to check it out. Now he wants $3075 to repair the transmission. After reading this site, I think it is time to go back to Hyundai.

- , Denton, TX, USA

problem #180

Feb 182012

Explorer XLT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 57,000 miles

This has being going on too long for Ford to ignore it! Shame on them! Does it take a fatality to get an American automobile manufacturer to do the right thing.

- , Moore, SC, USA

problem #179

Nov 152011

Explorer Eddie Bauer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 67,000 miles

I want to register my complaint along with other 2006 Explorer owners regarding transmission hard shifting into reverse. The shifter was replaced about 2 yrs ago & shortly thereafter, Ford issued a recall for the model. I was able to get my $$ back from Ford for what I had to pay out of pocket prior to the recall. Now I'm having the same issue as many other owners of this same model. I,too, am VERY distraught with Ford for not owning up to the problem & making it right. I have owned Ford SUV's for the past 25 yrs but I think this is the last. If a class action law suit if filed, I'm in. As I am writing this post, my Explorer is sitting at my local Ford dealership where I purchased the vehicle. The guys there wanted to keep it overnight so they could see if the issue occurred for them. If it doesn't, I suppose that makes me a liar. If it does, what will they do? From other posts I've read on here, I'm up the creek with the rest of the owners. I certainly do not intend to pay for a new transmission. I will contact Ford myself, as others have done, but I don't expect them to do anything. It's a sad day in America when we have allowed ourselves as a country to allow such sloppy workmanship to be produced and have a company who refuses to accept responsibility for said workmanship. i'll see what my dealership has to offer me tomorrow. I sure hope Ford can come up with a fix for the issue and it's on their dollar and not mine!!!

- , Salisbury, NC, USA

problem #178

Jun 012011

Explorer Eddie Bauer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,000 miles

Same problems everyone else is reporting about the 2006 Ford Explorer transmission problem. I bought my Explorer from a dealership in MA a little less than 3 years ago. Not sure when I first noticed the problem (probably around July 2011 and around 68k miles on it), but what I first noticed was the 2 seconds it took for the car to shift from drive to reverse. When it did shift into reverse, the entire vehicle shook and there was a nice loud bang. It didn't do this every time, so I didn't think much of it. After a few months, I was getting sick of it, so I decided to check google for any known transmission issues with the 2006 Explorer. Well, what do you know... a hell of a lot people reporting the same damn thing! Currently (77k miles), I am seeing the same shifting issues, but now I'm noticing it while driving. Engine just decides to rev up to about 4.5 rpms while the vehicle maintains the same speed (about 40-45mph), upshifting/downshifting whenever the hell it feels like it. Gas mileage sucks because of it! Last Ford I'll ever buy. I am currently trying to trade the thing in right now instead of footing a big bill for a transmission replacement! How is this not a recall???

- , Coventry, RI, USA

problem #177

Jul 202011

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,000 miles

I can't believe that a car with one owner, in excellent shape, lightly used, with up-to-date Maintenance and with less than 60,000 miles develops a major transmission problem.

Had I known it was a problem with Ford, I would have never bought it.

FORD company SHOULD and MUST recall and fix these issues. It will cost me well over $4000 to fix it not including all the fluids and other diagnosis which I had to pay trying to figure out what the heck is going on.

FORD, you should be responsible for this and should fix the problem.

- , Mill Creek, WA, USA

problem #176

Aug 092011

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 63,000 miles

Called Ford to complain that my vehicle was making a strange clunk like sound when I went to put it from Park to Reverse they replaced the gear shift assembly. Got back in the vehicle and had it happen again even after they replaced the gear shift. The problem I am experiencing doesnt happen everytime but my concern is that its my transmission but they swear they checked it and its fine. I dont buy what they are telling me and am looking at getting another opinion but I have never had such an issue with a vehicle they I have with ford.

- , Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #175

Jun 152008

Explorer Limited 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 37,000 miles

The vehicle only had 37K miles on it when I purchased it as a used lease unit. Like other complaints I read about the 2006 model transmission lurching at a stop light like someone rear ending you. I took the vehicle to the dealer where I purchased it and they said Ford had a solution whereby they needed to reprogram the tranny. This was done no-charge and I now have 53K on the car and since the reprogram I have never had another problem. It was a cheap and effective fix which only took about a half hour to do.

- , Lincoln, Nebraska, USA

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