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:
70,500 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

Aug 142008


  • 53,000 miles


Aug 2008 I was closing my rear window on my 2004 Ford Explorer when the right hinge broke and shattered the window and still has not been fixed.

- Parlin, NJ, USA

problem #1

May 082008

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 88,000 miles
The rear window liftgate hinges on my 2004 Ford Explorer failed. Hinge pins are corroded and just sheared right off. Looks like the hinges become loose and go slightly out of alignment and when hatch is opened the pins break. Appears there was a recall for this same problem for the years prior to my model year. From the review of this website does not look like Ford has solved the hinge problems. The earlier recall was # 04V442000. Can the recall be extended to cover the 2004 (and maybe later years)?

- Grand Rapids, MI, USA

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