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.


really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
90,000 miles
Total Complaints:
1 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (1 reports)
2004 Ford Explorer AC / heater problems

AC / heater problem

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2004 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #1

Oct 012009

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles


A plastic part was broken that cost about $70 but to replace it the entire dasboard has to be removed. I bought this car used in the summer and when I tried to switch to heat in the winter I only heard a clicking noise from the switch. I investigated and found this is a common problem to Ford's and a there should be a recall. Repair was quoted for $1500 form the dealer I bought the car from. I shopped around and found some independent repair shops who would do it for less. I complained to the dealer and they agreed to lower the cost to $700 insinuating that I should of checked it out when I bought the car (who checks the heater when it is mid summer?). They probably were aware of the problem when the sold it to me because it is common.

- , Moore, OK, USA

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