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.


really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
116,500 miles
Total Complaints:
2 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (2 reports)
2004 Ford Explorer body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2004 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #2

Jan 312013

Explorer XLT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,000 miles


Rear panel that everyone complains about happened to me and blew off. Haven't had it fixed due to quoted $600 repair cost.

- , Marlboro, NJ, USA

problem #1

May 042011

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 128,000 miles

My rear trim panel fell off at 60mph and was slung through the Air like a giant boomerang causing a motorcyle to go off the road and just about wreck. I recovered the trim in one piece but its road rashed beyond somthing I would put back onto the truck. Thank god the motorcyclist is ok but he wasnt happy either.

- , Summerville, SC, US

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