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:
151,000 miles
Total Complaints:
1 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace intake manifold, gaskets (1 reports)
2004 Ford Explorer cooling system problems

cooling system problem

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2004 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #1

Jun 202016

Explorer Limited V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 151,000 miles


Poor design of the intake manifold on my 2004 Ford Explorer, V8, 4.6 Engine, Limited. Unit is plastic. Because of this design owners are FORCED to buy from Ford/Dealer. When I searched online, Amazon, Ebay, Rock Auto, I made sure I CALLED first to ensure the part would fit the vehicle. GUESS WHAT? IT WILL NOT. On these sites DON'T Be FOOLED. You put in your Make, Model and Vehicle Specs. ALL COME BACK Positive. Amazon EVEN HAD Dorman as a manufacturer. CALLED DORMAN. NOT!!!! They only make the parts for the Explorer UP TO 2002. AND DON'T go the cheap road. This IS NOT a part you want to get at a junk yard from a vehicle there. Because it is PLASTIC it could have a hairline fracture. Ford Dealer JUST FOR PARTS----- Intake Manifold = 438.00. 2 Gaskets = 75.00. LABOR = 4+ Hours. Dealers Pricing 125/Hour. PRICE THIS OUT. VARIES IN PRICING WHERE YOU CALL. Just trying to help someone else BECAUSE IF you order online you'll get the wrong item THEN have to ship back and possibly pay restocking fees... .YUCK. TASCA MOST HELPFUL. Same unit is in the Mercury Mountaineer. THOUGH I LOVE MY EXPLORER, I hate the little flaws. The rear panel on the hatch is scratched around the emblem, my Heater Units on my leather seats DON'T SHUT OFF. REAR Glass hatch hinges rusted out, window knocked me in the head, OUCH IT hurt and I had a goose egg on my forehead. Thank goodness it didn't hit my eye.

FORD doesn't care either!!!

- , West Hartford, CT, USA

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