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2004 Ford Explorer
Problems & Complaints
CarComplaints.com Notes: The 2004 Ford Explorer one of our worst vehicles on record. "Avoid like the plague" is putting it lightly.
The 2002-2005 Explorer has a very well-established record of expensive transmission failure at under 100k miles. The Explorer has an enclosed transmission which is typically replaced with a rebuilt transmission at a cost of almost $3,000.
Another common problem for the 2002-2005 Explorer is wheel bearing failure at around 90k miles, with a typical repair bill of $500 to $1000 depending on how many wheel bearings failed.
Adding insult to injury, the 2002-2005 Explorer also has a massive problem with the rear panel cracking. While it's a minor annoyance compared to transmission failure, ironically the crack usually goes right through the Ford logo.
Worst 2004 Explorer Problems by Category
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- body / paint problems873NHTSA complaints: 429
- transmission problems599NHTSA complaints: 331
- interior accessories problems319NHTSA complaints: 16
- engine problems144NHTSA complaints: 174
- AC / heater problems109NHTSA complaints: 3
- windows / windshield problems105NHTSA complaints: 88
- wheels / hubs problems90NHTSA complaints: 57
- drivetrain problems87NHTSA complaints: 134
- brakes problems34NHTSA complaints: 55
- suspension problems20NHTSA complaints: 38
- electrical problems15NHTSA complaints: 51
- seat belts / air bags problems11NHTSA complaints: 37
- cooling system problems10NHTSA complaints: 3
- fuel system problems7NHTSA complaints: 32
- steering problems5NHTSA complaints: 37
- exterior accessories problems4NHTSA complaints: 49
- lights problems3NHTSA complaints: 4
- exhaust system problems1
- miscellaneous problemsNHTSA: 27
- clutch problemsNHTSA: 1
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Compare Ford Explorer Model Years
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Check out our Ford Explorer overview to see the most problematic years, worst problems and most recently reported complaints with the Explorer.