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:
105,000 miles
Total Complaints:
2 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace it (2 reports)
2004 Ford Explorer cooling system problems

cooling system problem

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2004 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #2

Oct 052011

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles


At the same time my transmission start messing up and I put it in the shop I start getting this Hi temp/Low temp flash when my truck was at a stop light I took it in to ford and the could not find out what was causing it. The transmission place figured it out and said I need a whole thermostat housing. It's always something needing to be fixed.Ended up paying 355.00 for the problem

- , Little Rock, AR, USA

problem #1

Dec 042010

Explorer HD

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

the thermostat was stuck open so i had to replace it. it was easy but i did need a lot of tools.i had to take off the bolts of that where a pain in the ass.

- , Littleton, CO, US

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