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:
Average Mileage:
100,000 miles
Total Complaints:
1 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replaced brake line (1 reports)
2004 Ford Explorer brakes problems

brakes problem

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2004 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #1

May 142011

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles


Brake hose failure left the vehicle with no brakes while driving! Dealer replaced the brake hose the first two times (only 6 months apart) but insisted there was no problem with the brake hoses. The charge was $200 to $250 each time. The third time the car failed almost 100 miles from home ... did the job myself ... $38 and perhaps a better quality part than the dealer used?

I have owned many cars that lasted well beyond 100K miles - never had a hose/brake line just blow out like this before - and 3 times in a little over a year ... and one of the failures was the new hose put in less than a year ago! Definitely a defect issue although the dealer insisted it was not!

Now problems are coming to light because the issue is in police cars ... no one notices if it is your car or my car - but police cars? Now it is an issue!

- , Sparta, NJ, USA

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