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:
52,367 miles
Total Complaints:
25 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (16 reports)
  2. replace the fuel pump (6 reports)
  3. fill the tank (1 reports)
  4. fuel fill neck (1 reports)
  5. fuel gauge replaceed (1 reports)
2004 Ford Explorer accessories - interior problems

accessories - interior problem

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2004 Ford Explorer Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #5

Jan 182007

(reported on)

Explorer LX 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 41,000 miles


Same as everyone else. The gauge started malfunctioning once it got cold about 4 days ago. Filled tank, slow to register.

- , Rochester, NY, USA

problem #4

Dec 292006

(reported on)

Explorer XL

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles

Explorer gas gauge will from time to time stay on empty after filling the tank. Took the truck into the dealer and was informed that the computer did not register a problem with the gauge so it shouldn't be a problem going forward but was informed to begin using Chevron gasoline only. After using Chevron gas (tank #4) the problem continues.

Was told that the additive "Techron" would somehow fix any problem I may be having even though I was told that no problem exists according to the computer detection system they used on my vehicle.

- , Novato, CA, USA

problem #3

Dec 082006

(reported on)

Explorer LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles

The gas gauge was replaced, tank dropped, float, pump replaced under warranty at approx 33,000 miles. At 45,000 miles the gas gauge failed for the second time. Dealer replaced again and would not cover under warranty since the first fix was only warranted for 10000 miles. Service manager said tough luck no help.

Ford can go out of business and lay off everyone for the attitude and poor quality. Never again will a Ford be one of my vehicles.

- , Westerville, OH, USA

problem #2

Dec 082006

(reported on)

Explorer LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 33,000 miles

The Gas gauge would not register. Used the trip meter to gauge when fuel was needed. Took Vehicle in 3 times to fix the problem.

- , Westerville, OH, USA

problem #1

Oct 232006

(reported on)

Explorer XLT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 34,000 miles

Fill the car one day - and the fuel gauge doesn't register AT ALL. 2 hours (and 50 miles later) it finally does go up to "full", but now it lags terrribly.... unless you believe an Explorer can get 30mpg. Took the car in once, was told it was sulphur from cheap gas, they drained the tank, added cleaner, and made me do several tanks of Chevron Techron. (Except I was already buying Chevron gas.... so this sounded fishy) So I'm out probably $50 for the difference in price. And it didn't work. Called them back, and they said they'd had 3 more people come in for the same problem, and now they are replacing the fuel pump and assembly. Car is in for that right now, covered by warranty at this point, but very frustrating.

- , Banks, OR, USA

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