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:
No data
Average Mileage:
93,000 miles
Total Complaints:
3 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (3 reports)
2004 Ford Explorer accessories - interior problems

accessories - interior problem

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2004 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #3

Jun 042014


  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,000 miles


Just randomly driving down the street one day and turned the volume up on the radio when out of nowhere it decided to just blare it as loud as possible. I guess the fuse or whatever it is that recognizes me changing the volume no longer functions because I can turn the volume down and it goes up, I can turn the volume up SLIGHTLY and it turns ALL the way up.

It's not a major issue, but it's getting pretty frustrating to have to remember all of these little tricks to making sure this vehicle works properly. Way to go, Ford. I hope eventually there is a lawsuit filed against them for this vehicle. Nearly EVERYTHING on it has become an issue for me.

- , Tampa, FL, USA

problem #2

Sep 012009

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

The driver side front speaker first started intermittently cutting out, and eventually stopped working at all. Before this happened the factory premium sound system was awesome, but after the speaker failed it doesn'tt sound as good. It still wasn't annoying enough to spend the time to take the door apart to fix the problem or pay someone to do it.

- , Madison, WI, USA

problem #1

May 012009

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 94,000 miles

Well, add on to the many problems with this car....Now my speaker for the radio on the driver's side doesn't work...What will happen next

- , Battlefield, MO, USA

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