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.


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
93,746 miles
Total Complaints:
44 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (15 reports)
  2. fix blend door motor is slipping or blend door is broken (12 reports)
  3. replace blend door actuator (10 reports)
  4. replace blend door (7 reports)
2004 Ford Explorer AC / heater problems

AC / heater problem

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2004 Ford Explorer Owner Comments (Page 3 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #4

Apr 142010

Explorer XLT 4.0V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 91,356 miles


im a ford man from a ford family we own 3 of em but these explorers are junk this is our second and last one the first a 97 xlt 4x4 blew up @ 112000 miles. we replaced it with a new 2004 explorer xlt 4x4 now that its paid for the mother fn heater is clicking an the ford dealer says its around a 600 dollar do it your self fix its only got 90000 on it.don't buy a used silver explorer in southern Indiana it could b this pile of sh*t

- , Campbellsburg, IN, USA

problem #3

Mar 012010

Explorer XLT V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

click to see larger images

blend door in hvac system makes loud clicking noise

check that link out. It tells you what to do step by step.

I payed 60$ from ford for the blend door actuator. The aftermarket makes it but them are crap.

Cant believe people pay 1000$ to have this fixed. The clicking/clunking noise is the motor lifting up and down the door. There is a little plastic gear that breaks and it catchs and lets go and catchs and lets go.

Good luck.

- , New Berlin, WI, USA

problem #2

Feb 012010

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

My blend door motor failed at 60,000 miles. Got a Dorman blend door motor at the autoparts store for about 100 bucks. Took the whole day to take most of the dash apart to get just enough room to replace the part. I would never do that job again. Sooner trade in the car. If the blend door pin breaks thru the plastic or is bent, then this fix wont work.

This vehicle has been plaqued with problems from a leakey rear pinion seal, Brake Switch Release pin made it hard to shift into park, trnasmission solinoid, broken rear deck panel, windhield leaks, you name it. And the damn thing rusts like crazy underneath dispite my best effort to get road salt off quick. Sorry but I tried to by American but real dissaponted in quality. My import vehicle keeps running strong and asks for nothing in return other then a little bit of gas!

- , Pearl River, NY, USA

problem #1

Jul 062009

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 84,000 miles

Blend door motor is placed under the center of the dashboard. Dealer wants $70.00 for the motor. Dealer wants $1,500.00 to R&R motor. Dealer told me that it is an extremely common problem and they always keep the part in stock. My complaint, if not obvious, why the heck isn't there a recall on this from Ford. Research on the internet showed me that Ford has had this problem in the Explorer since the mid 1990's. However, prior to the 2004 Explorer, the blend door motor was behind the glove box, and was a total repair bill of $75.00. FORD - HIRE NEW ENGINEERS, FIRE THE OLD ONES!

- , Detroit, MI, USA

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