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:
75,167 miles
Total Complaints:
6 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (4 reports)
  2. Ford did fix this (1 reports)
  3. replace whole console frame (1 reports)
2004 Ford Explorer accessories - interior problems

accessories - interior problem

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2004 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #6

Mar 212016

Explorer Limited V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles


This vehicle has been housed inside a finished locked garage and not driven since Dec. 2015 due to another problem. I went into the garage to start it and found that the housing for the front seat light/sun roof control panel was just hanging down by the wires. The plastic that hold this on to the interior roof apparently broke for no reason. I have not brought this to a repair person yet. We have not had extreme weather. This vehicle was not in an accident and no rodents ate the hard plastic to cause this. I am sure Ford won't fix this.

- , Vacaville, CA, USA

problem #5

Mar 112014

Explorer Eddie Bauer 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles

The rear a/c accessory and light should not just fall from the ceiling. I was driving down the road and the piece just broke and came almost hitting me in the head. Apparently it was made of cheap plastic. This is only used to turn on the ac shouldn't just fall. I have been very unhappy with this vehicle there were a lot of flaws. That could have been prevented if the vehicle was made as good as it originally looked. Without it the rear does not have ac which is pretty important driving in Florida with 3 children in the back.

- , Lady Lake, FL, USA

problem #4

Jan 012010

Explorer Eddie Bauer V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 42,000 miles

The above control console's PLASTIC CLIPS just broke and the unit was half-way hanging down. We had to try and find the right component in order to replace it.

- , Pleasanton, CA, US

problem #3

Apr 012010

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6 Flex Fuel

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles


visor vanity mirror won't stay up or down. crack in plastic $150 for each side.. JUNK

- , San Diego, CA, USA

problem #2

Dec 012008

Explorer Eddie Baur 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles

My light console was falling off the roof. Ford did fix this under my extended warranty.

- , Redding, CA, US

problem #1

Oct 012009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,000 miles

Interior front lights falling from interior roof - add this to the fact that the cruise control isn't working, neither is the CD Player...hmm...what could be next....

- , Upper Black Eddy, PA, USA

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