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:
71,750 miles
Total Complaints:
4 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (4 reports)
2004 Ford Explorer accessories - interior problems

accessories - interior problem

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2004 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #4

Oct 252011

Explorer XLS 6.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles


It is just stupid i had go a week without my auto just for this!!

- , Mooresville, IN, USA

problem #3

Jun 012010

Explorer 4.0

  • Automatic transmission
  • 160,000 miles

Its just really a pain. When you get in or out of the car and the seat adjustment handles fall out and most of the time on the ground. Poorly constructed

- , Gordo, AL, USA

problem #2

Sep 262007

Explorer LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 22,000 miles

Both Driver's and passenger's side seat bottom molding has come loose and/or broken thus preventing the seats being adjusted. This not only looks UGLY and has the appearance that the vehicle isn't/wasn't maintained but is also a safety hazard. Haven't been able to locate new parts for it other than dealership. Not going to pay 10 times as much for a part when I can get it elsewhere a whole lot cheaper.

- , Fort Smith, AR, USA

problem #1

Oct 192007

(reported on)

Explorer Xls Sport V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles

Again,my molding on the drivers seat came loose which makes adjustment handle come off. Since I can't adjust the seat it now is a safety problem. Service manager says it will continue to happen. Anybody else out there have this problem or do I have a personal pain in the ass?

- , Chilton, TX, USA

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