CarComplaints.com 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.

6.4

fairly significant
Typical Repair Cost:
$453.00
Average Mileage:
75,272 miles
Total Complaints:
763 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. waiting for Ford to recall (294 reports)
  2. not sure (204 reports)
  3. replace panel (117 reports)
  4. possible class action lawsuit (62 reports)
  5. call Ford motor company 1-800-241-3673 (27 reports)
  6. do not buy Ford again (25 reports)
2004 Ford Explorer body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2004 Ford Explorer Owner Comments (Page 12 of 39)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #543

Feb 242010

Explorer 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

If the ford company want fix a crack in the plastic panel under the rear window or recall the on going problem. They must not be concerned about selling any of there explorers in the future. If they want fix a crack that goes through their ford name then that tells me what kind of service they have or warranty on standing behind there product. why buy a ford if they want fix the problems.Just go buy a Chevrolet you will get better service and less problems. Its awful that ford company lets a simple fix or recall ruin their business. I just wanted to let everyone know about how ford stands behind their product and warranty.

- , Anderson, SC, USA

problem #542

Dec 212011

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,000 miles

click to see larger images

cracked panel below the rear window

We had a mild cold spell and the crack appeared. A few days after doing some on-line research I saw this was a common problem. I spoke to a lady with a 2005 Eddie Bauer, with the same problem. I guess when the Ford Design Engineers were in Materials class, they missed the section on coefficients of expansion.

- , West Palm Beach, FL, USA

problem #541

Nov 112011

Explorer Eddie Bauer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 104,000 miles

click to see larger images

cracked panel below the rear window

I bought the suv used about a month ago and didn't even notice the crack. I am one of the lucky ones...I guess I would say. The spot where mine is cracked is directly in the middle of the Ford symbol and perfectly straight. I was informed the Explorer had been in a former wreck when I bought it, and everything had been repaired,so it looked like a spot where something was just repaired, and I was satisfied with it. My dad actually noticed other explorers on the road with similar cracks around or in the same spot. I think Ford should recall the part that is below the window. It would bother me more if I knew I would be keeping the car longer than about a year, but I just needed the suv for the back seat space for carseats for the kids I babysit.

- , Lexington, SC, USA

problem #540

Jan 192012

Explorer XLT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 117,525 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

I NOTICE A CRACK IN THE REAR PANEL ONE DAY WIHCH WAS NOT THERE THE DAY BEFORE. I DID NOT OPERATE THE REAR DOOR DURING THAT TIME THAT WOULD CAUSE THIS CRACK, NOR DID I HIT ANY THING OR WAS HIT.

- , Elizabeth City, NC, US

problem #539

Oct 222011

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 104,000 miles

Happened after a cold snap. Seems to be a common problem that Ford will not fix. Looks like there is a class action lawsuit against Ford filed 12/22/2010 in CA.

- , Mobile, AL, USA

problem #538

Jan 142012

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

seriously - this is the 2nd problem I've had with the rear hatch. my 3rd and final explorer

- , Medina, OH, USA

problem #537

Apr 072010

Explorer Eddie Bauer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 49,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Will Ford cover this problem? It seems many people have the same exact problem with the same make and model.

- , New York, Levittown, USA

problem #536

Oct 222011

Explorer XLT Eddie Bauer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

Thought it was just mine but obviously this is a common problem and Ford needs to do a recall!!

- , Harleysville, PA, USA

problem #535

Feb 132011

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,200 miles

Every single Ford Explorer of this body style that I see on the road (including mine) has this problem. Every. Single. One.

- , Knoxville, TN, US

problem #534

Jun 112010

Explorer XLT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,789 miles

I have contacted. FORD and was told that there isn't a recall on this problem. I have noticed numerous models with the same problem. Obviously there is a defect on these models. Any help would be helpful.

- , Chattanooga, TN, USA

problem #533

Aug 202011

Explorer Eddie Bauer V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

So like a week before my panel cracked I was talking about how I see all these explorers with cracked rear panels and was so happy mine had not done it. Then while washing my car in the hot Texas sun it Cracked. :(

- , Fort, Worth, USA

problem #532

Aug 142010

Explorer Eddie Bauer V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

I'm very irritated.. since I bought this car nothing but problems from the windows sticking to transmission problems and cracked ac line.. now this crack on the hatch.. very expensive car and it keeps sucking the money out of you after the warranty is out... big hassle!

- , Mannford, OK, USA

problem #531

Jun 082010

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,684 miles

Went to ford dealer and was told nothing could be done because warranty was over.

- , Johnstown, PA, USA

problem #530

Jun 112011

Explorer Limited 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

Was backing the boat into the lake when I noticed the rear panel was completely cracked just to the left of the ford emblem. It had happened in the middle of the night. My only wish was that it would have broken the ford emblem off. I am embarrassed that I own a ford. The good thing is I am completely cured of ever owning a ford again.

- Kevin

- , Bonney Lake, WA, USA

problem #529

Jun 112011

Explorer Limited 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

Was backing the boat into the lake and noticed a large ugly crack below the rear glass running just left of the ford emblem that magically appeared over night. My only wish is that it would have broke the emblem off. I am embarrassed that I own a ford. The good news is that it cured me from ever buying a ford again.

- Kevin

- , Bonney Lake, WA, USA

problem #528

Mar 012010

Explorer Eddie Bauer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 181,300 miles

When I am driving (which is a lot), I notice that 1 of out 3 Ford Explorers have a cracked rear panel. Not only is this a product defect but I plan to never buy another Ford because obviously the materials are basically to cheap to withstand wear and tear.

- , Covington, GA, US

problem #527

Apr 102011

Explorer 3.2lV6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

Ford knows this was a defect, is there a class action law suit?

- , Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #526

Nov 172011

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,987 miles

This is crap my beautiful explorer now has a ridiculous crack right by the emblem in the back. What is the most annoying part of this is that the crack just magically appeared over night and had me thinking that i backed into something until i found all these complaints about it. Shame on you ford, you suck.

- , Burien, WA, USA

problem #525

Dec 112011

Explorer XLT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,820 miles

At first I thought it was the rear windshield wiper that might have shattered, because I noticed this at night, but my husband looked during the day and much to our surprise it was a deep crack along side of the emblem from the window to the bottom of the window hatch. After reading all the people who had the same problem I really do think and encourage FORD to get off their asses and do something.

- , Drexel Hill, PA, USA

problem #524

Jun 012008

Explorer LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

I live in Wichita falls Texas. When I drive down the road I see other ford explorers with the exact same crack!! Every time I see this it really aggravates me. I know this had to occur in explorers all over America. I don't believe it is exclusive to Wichita falls. I can't believe that Ford is unaware of this issue. Ford needs to fix these cracked rear panels!!!

- , Wichita Falls, TX, US

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