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:
75,318 miles
Total Complaints:
762 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 15 of 39)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #482

Aug 012009

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

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

OUR 2004 FORD EXPLORER XLT IS A BEAUTIFUL VEHICLE. I LOVE THE COLOR IT STILL LOOKS GREAT WHEN IT'S WASHED AND CLEANED UP UNTIL YOU WALK AROUND TO THE BACK AND SEE THE FIRST CRACKED AND NOW BROKEN WITH ABOUT A 2 IN PIECE MISSING OFF THE PANEL BELOW THE BACK GLASS. I KNOW IT'S NOT JUST US BECAUSE I SEE MORE EXPLORERS AROUND OUR YEAR MODEL WITH BROKEN BACK PANELS THAN NOT ON THE ROAD.

COME ON FORD! IF YOU WANT US TO BUY AMERICAN AND CONTINUE TO BUY FORD THEN STAND BEHIND YOUR PRODUCT! OBVIOUSLY 9 OUT OF 10 PEOPLE WHO OWN THIS YEAR RANGE/BODY STYLE AREN'T SLAMMING THE HECK OUT OF THE BACK DOOR.. RECALL AND FIX IT ALREADY!!

- , Roopville, GA, USA

problem #481

Sep 072010

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 64,154 miles

One day I noticed a large crack right next to the Ford logo on the rear hatch. When driving around I have been looking for Ford Explorers with the same problem. I would say at least 50% of similar year Explorers have this problem. Is Ford doing anything about this?

- , Venice, FL, USA

problem #480

Jan 022009

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

click to see larger images

cracked panel below the rear window

The rear panel in my Ford, which I bought brand new, has cracked. I'm noticing it on tons of other Ford Explorers and I feel the company needs to step up and fix this problem.

- , Oregon City, OR, USA

problem #479

Aug 102009

Explorer Eddie Bauer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles

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

Since this is the #1 Ford complaint, I think there should be a recall, which is what I have been waiting for.

- , Linn Creek, MO, USA

problem #478

Apr 062011

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,000 miles

2004 Ford Explorer - cracked rear back panel was replaced in 2008. New panel cracked in April of 2011. Dealership wants $640 for new defective panel and stated new panel would probably have to be replaced in a few years. So why doesn't Ford change the design? Ford Corp. said a recall would go into effect if there were enough complaints. Apparently not enough of us are complaining. Please contact Ford Corp @ 800/392-3673 and register a complaint so this defective part can be recalled. I really don't want to pay for a new panel knowing it's going to crack again.

- , Hayward, CA, USA

problem #477

Jun 132008

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 25,000 miles

I was in Atlanta with my car parked in a garage. I walked out to see a huge crack in the back panel under my back window by the ford sign. I thought someone hit my car, but didn't see any other damage. A few months later there was another crack. I started seeing all the same model explorers with the cracks in the same spots and became more annoyed, that after talking to several people there was still not a recall to have this fixed.

- , Pompano Beach, FL, US

problem #476

Jul 012011

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 134,000 miles

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

WELL I'M A SINGLE MOTHER ALWAYS HAD A CAR I THOUGHT A TRUCK/SUV WOULD SUIT US BETTER FOR ALL THE MOVING AROUND I DO... I JUST BOUGHT THIS TRUCK JUNE 26, 2011 EVERYTHING WAS PERFECT!! HAD HIGH MILES BUT I TAKE CARE OF MY CARS/ TRUCKS LIKE IF THEY WHERE A 2ND CHILD.... YESTERDAY I WALK OUT TO THE TRUCK AND I NOTICE THIS HUGE CRACK IN THE BACK PANEL STRAIGHT DOWN THE MIDDLE WHERE THE FORD EMBLEM IS!!! WHAT!! I JUST BOUGHT IT AND NOW THIS HAPPENS!! I SEE ITS BEEN HAPPENING TO EVERYBODY I KEEP SEEING ALL THESE 04 EXPLORERS WITH THE SAME CRACK WTF?? WHY HAS THIS PROBLEM NOT BEEN FIXED!!!!

- , Nipomo, CA, USA

problem #475

May 032011

Explorer XLT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

I'm not sure how this happen, but I'm sure its something with with the body, I did nothing to it, it just showed up out of no where. I see a lot of owners has this same problem and i think its something that Ford should know about. I take great care of my truck and I am upset about problem.

- , Glenwood, IL, USA

problem #474

Feb 152011

Explorer V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,009 miles

As everyone is experiencing, my hatch panel below the rear window is cracked. I see just about every other explorer with the same problem- a definite defect in the design. I call my dealer and they said that Ford knows about the problem but is not paying for the repair. Ford must recall and repair this problem. I'm very disappointed in Ford's ignorance in customer satisfaction. Will not buy Ford again.

- , Magnolia, NJ, USA

problem #473

Feb 092011

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles

now that I have seen my plastic crack under the rear window..I see hundreds of explorers with the same problem...ford needs to knuckle up and fix this for free

- , Woodstock, GA, US

problem #472

Feb 082011

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,360 miles

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

Like the rest of my fellow Explorer owners think this is a ridiculous imitation of work quality put into a vehicle that had a MSRP of $41,000.......This problem is an eyesore and should be recalled and fixed by the Ford Motor Co........This is just one of many poor quality items that were put into these vehicles when they left the plant.......I serious doubt if I'll ever buy a Ford again. Every time I drive this car I get irritated by the various problems I've had.......NEVER AGAIN........

- , Burlington, KY, USA

problem #471

Sep 082010

Explorer Limited V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 101,200 miles

A vertical crack has developed on the rear hatch panel just to the left of the Ford insignia.

- , Monroe Township, NJ, USA

problem #470

Dec 012009

Explorer Limited V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 57,000 miles

I did not realize how widespread this issue was until I started noticing other explorers with the same problem. I cannot believe that ford won't step up to the plate to correct this problem as it appears to be a design flaw, not wear and tear of the car.

- , Merritt Island, FL, US

problem #469

Apr 192011

Explorer V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 122,120 miles

I first noticed and thought it was a scratched - looked at it closer and realized it was much more. The next day I saw that the crack had gotten bigger. Over the following week the crack has doubled in size. I am concerned about how big it's going to get.

- , Dallas, GA, US

problem #468

Apr 182011

Explorer XL 6 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 156,000 miles

I BELIVE FORD KNOWS ABOUT THIS PROBLEM BUT SINCE THEY ARE NOT CONCERNED ABOUT QUALITY ANYMORE, THEY DO NOT CARE ABOUT THE CUSTOMER. THEY ALL GOT A BIG PROFIT CECK THIS YEAR UP TO 5000.00 EACH EMPLOYEE. THEY NEED TO FOCUS ON REPAIRING THEIR PRODUCT AND STANDING BEHIND THEIR PRODUCT. LIKE IT USE TO BE. IF THEY HAVE MORE THAN 300 CARS WITH THE SAME PROBLEM. IT HAS TO BE THE PRODUCT NOT HOW THOSE 300 PEOPLE HANDLED THEIR CAR. I KEEP MY CAR VERY CLEAN, WAXED, GARAGE KEP AND WHEN I NOTICED THE WINDOW PANEL CRACKED I WAS VERY UPSET. I DONT HAVE ON DENT IN MY CAR AND THEN FIND THIS CRACK AND THEN YOU START NOTICING MORE EXPLORERS WITH THE SAME CRACK AND IN THE SAME EXACT SPOT. FORD SHOULD FIX IT ,IF THEY WANT TO KEEP THEIR COSTOMERS,ESPECIALLY WITH THE COMPETITION LIKE IT IS WITH FORD AND HONDA

- , Stockbridge, GA, USA

problem #467

Apr 062011

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,000 miles

Since this is an obvious, recurring problem, Ford needs to step up and replace, whether it's cosmetic, or not. This crack just showed up. Cold weather not to blame, it's April. Doesn't discriminate by color, either. My 2004 Explorer is Silver and I just saw a brown Explorer with the same problem. With the recesssion you would think the car companies would be bending over backwards to get returning customers. I won't be one of them.

- , St. Joseph, MO, USA

problem #466

Nov 302010

Explorer 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles

This crack is bullshit and should NEVER happen on a vehicle. I have seen this exact same crack in multiple Explorers around town, that seem to be around the same year model. Ford should be forced to replace this panel with no questions asked.

- , Columbus, OH, USA

problem #465

Mar 302011

Explorer XLT V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

I just bought the Explorer 2 months ago so my wife would have a dependable vehicle while I am deployed and she is stateside with our newborn, but if the plastic can't even last on this vehicle I don't see how this is going to really be a dependable vehicle for them.

- , Mooresville, NC, USA

problem #464

Jan 012010

Explorer Sport V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

Ford has not recalled to fix problem.....Definitely a defect in the material or structure of the planel.....See it on every Ford explorer that has not been fixed

- , Norcross, GA, USA

problem #463

Feb 242009

Explorer Eddie Bauer V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles

I just bought my 2004 explorer last october and i knew it had the crack below the rear window, but then I started noticing ALL the other explorers with cracks. First I thought is was just blue explorers then I saw red and gold and white. It makes me want to jump out and start a petition and ask everyone to sign. This should be recalled!!! I love my Eddie Bauer but the crack cheapens it. I plan on taking this to ford!!!

- , Madison, OH, USA

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