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.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
66,750 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2004 Ford Explorer accessories - exterior problems

accessories - exterior problem

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2004 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #2

Mar 052007


  • 56,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that the blower that recirculates air has failed. As a result, fumes and anti-freeze consume the passenger compartment of the vehicle. The contact suffers from numerous headaches and sleepiness. She consulted with a medical physician and was informed that the amount of fumes being congested poses a significant safety risk. The dealer stated that the flapper for the blower needed to be replaced at the cost of $300. The vehicle has not been repaired. The failure mileage was 56,000 and current mileage was 86,000. Updated 3/24/09 updated 03/27/09.

- Machias, ME, USA

problem #1

Nov 162007

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,500 miles
The heaters blending door is broken so the air flow will not be redirected. It is currently in the dashboard setting and I am unable to redirect air flow to the defroster. The dealership wanted $1500 to replace the heater because the broken part is molded onto the heating element and they need to remove the entire dashboard. I searched for similar complaints, and Ford vehicles have a long history of blending door problems. Not being able to redirect the air flow is extremely dangerous, especially during the winter months.

- Hillsborough, NJ, USA

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