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:
47,500 miles
Total Complaints:
2 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (2 reports)
2004 Ford Explorer drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2004 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #2

Apr 042006

Explorer XLT 4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles


If I put it in reverse and turn out of a parking space... it POPS(it...the entire f--king SUV) and it feels like I ran over a shopper. Are Ford and Walmart in some secret alliance to keep people there?? WTH?

This is my third "American made" car and my last! All these "overseas" manufacture cars are now MADE STATE SIDE, so I will be giving them my sales from now on!

- , Chattanooga, TN, USA

problem #1

Mar 012011

Explorer 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles

The problem started with strange clicking noise in the rear compartment of the car.

Continuous clicks (like on & off), the source of the noise is above the rear left tire (inside the body).

Even if the switch is on (no engine run), the noise comes.

Yesterday, it got much louder, and scary while driving, I parked the car, and I pressed the 4x4 Low (by chance), so it got quiet (but still)

May I get a help in this?

- , Dubai, 43, United Arab Emirates

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