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.


fairly significant
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
102,480 miles
Total Complaints:
3 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (2 reports)
  2. replace door actuator (1 reports)
2004 Ford Explorer AC / heater problems

AC / heater problem

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2004 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #3

Jun 012015


  • Automatic transmission
  • 156,439 miles


HVAC Defrost Mode Door Actuator

2004 Ford Explorer


Vacuum -- Defrost Air Flow

- , Byron, GA, USA

problem #2

Oct 012009

Explorer 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 51,000 miles

the car was under warranty and Ford said that this is normal for the car. can hardly get air to blow out and very loud

- , Longwood, FL, USA

problem #1

Oct 102010

Explorer Eddie Bauer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

Regardless of the fan speed, I have limited air from the dash vents. The air is cold but output is low. Also, in the winter, cold air from behind the glove box can be felt. The passenger seat is cold because of the cold air.

- , Altus, OK, USA

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