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:
82,960 miles
Total Complaints:
5 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (2 reports)
  2. blower replaced (1 reports)
  3. replace resistor (1 reports)
  4. replace the housing asm (1 reports)
2004 Ford Explorer AC / heater problems

AC / heater problem

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2004 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #5

Apr 192015

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,800 miles


I went to put the heat on due to a chilly evening and the blower motor only worked on high speed. I had to change the Blower Motor Resistor. From what I understand, from the cold and hot air passing over the card, it builds a corrosion that knocks off the other speeds. The high speed is not effected because it bypasses the resistor.

- , Belleville, NJ, USA

problem #4

Dec 282012

Explorer XLT 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,000 miles

Blower on heater quit, now wind blowing in whistles. Back panel broke into two places, front seat handle broke off, transmission lunges and jerks going into gear, what can I say!!!

- , Quanah, TX, USA

problem #3

Nov 202010

Explorer 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles

fan on high but no air coming out

Can not defrost the windshield or warm the car. Do not know how to fix this.

- , Lapeer, MI, US

problem #2

May 152008

Explorer XLT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,000 miles

Noticed that the AC wouldn't ever change when in the MAX position. After checking out the actuator I removed the blower motor and found the door was broken. After seeing that the dash had to almost be removed to repair, I just stuck a screwdriver in the box to keep the door open so we would have MAX ac.

- , Richlands, NC, US

problem #1

Aug 292008

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 38,000 miles

Wasn't aware of this issue until I took it in for service; Service mgr had problems with warranty folks not wanting to cover it--but after I got it back then two speeds wouldn't work--soon afterward I now only get "blowing" air when it's on the highest level (#4).

- , Galveston, TX, USA

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