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:
No data
Average Mileage:
72,500 miles
Total Complaints:
2 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (2 reports)
2004 Ford Explorer accessories - interior problems

accessories - interior problem

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2004 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #2

Apr 012013

Explorer LS 6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles


Why should a CD player and radio not work in a vehicle with only 80000 miles, the CD player will not open or accept a CD and the volume dial on the radio does not work. When you turn the radio on it blares loud and you have to gingerly try to turn it down which sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.

It's time for Ford to ante up and fix this defective unit!

- , Salisbury, NC, USA

problem #1

Jan 302009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles

Well, I just bought this car yesterday. This is the first vehicle I have ever financed. I have owned Ford Explorers twice before, and I am a beach person so I love them & have been very loyal especially for this reason! After being at the dealership for 8 hours!!? we finally were ready to leave. There was a radio station set up at the dealership giving away free goodies. I picked up a CD and planned on listening to it on the way home just to find out that it didn't work at all. I thought it was the CD at first, but after trying about 4 different ones (brand new and used) I had pretty much figured it out! Not only did I get ripped off at the dealership with them charging me almost twice as much for this vehicle because of my "credit", but there is many other problems as well like the transmission slipping, the 4 wheel low not working... I took it back to the dealership this morning and they said they will have it fixed by this evening... let's see....

- , Williamsburg, VA, USA

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