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:
Average Mileage:
64,326 miles
Total Complaints:
63 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (31 reports)
  2. repaint (27 reports)
  3. strip all paint and start over (5 reports)
2004 Ford Explorer body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2004 Ford Explorer Owner Comments (Page 4 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #3

Jul 172007

(reported on)

Explorer Limited V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 42,000 miles


Paint bubbling on front lip of hood. Been that way for a year, no rust, like the paint simply never bonded to the metal surface. Chipping off like an old house. Now I have a pin head spot of rust appearing on rear quarter panel which does not appear to be from any damage or contact, simply rust starting to show through.. This is a 3 year old car!!!!

- , Grand Rapids, MI, USA

problem #2

Sep 182007

(reported on)

Explorer Limited V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,000 miles

Paint on front of hood bubbling and chipping off. Nice pretty grey primer underneath. This is not from rock/stone chips or other damage. Paint is simply separating from primed hood underneath. Dealer offered to repaint hood for $200 which I took him up on since it would have cost more elsewhere. That aside, a 2004 truck should not be having it's paint fall off. Forget about the "corrosion warranty". If there is not a physical hole all the way through the sheet metal it isn't covered.

- , Grand Rapids, MI, USA

problem #1

Apr 122007

(reported on)

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,800 miles

I took the vehicle to the Ford dealership, and they were sympathetic, but informed me that a "Ford Rep" would have to approve any repairs since I was 800 miles over their warranty period.(I had extended warranty) I was never contacted by the "Ford Rep" and he never laid eyes on my vehicle, but didn't hesitate to flatly refuse to even pay for part of the repairs. Calling the 1-800 number for Ford was no help either! Guess that's why Toyota is about to bump Ford out of 1st place in the US market. I'll never buy another Ford as long as I live!! All I expect is that the manufacturer at least offer some assistance in the repairs. Oh well, I'll just take my business elsewhere!!

- , Harvest, AL, US

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