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.


really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
84,003 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

Jun 262014

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 112,240 miles


The gear shift indicator is stuck on the number 3 and will not move to tell what gear it's in.

- , Jackson, MS, USA

problem #1

Apr 172009

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,766 miles

The indicator that shows the gear your in was broken. The arrow always indicated neutral, no matter what gear it was in. I brought it to the Ford Dealership, and it was fixed. The only problem was that it happened again a few months later. I was told that i would have to pay to have it fixed this time because it has nothing to do with what they fixed. It never has been fixed because i don't have the money to get it done.

- , Belleville, NJ, USA

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