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.


fairly significant
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
77,602 miles
Total Complaints:
3 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace front differental seals (3 reports)
2004 Ford Explorer drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2004 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #3

Jan 122012

Explorer LS 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,807 miles


Just another problem with a bad design. thank you for your time. happy new year to all.

- , Paris, KY, USA

problem #2

Feb 062010

Explorer XLT 4.0V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,000 miles

front pinion seal is leaking slinging oil every where. this is our second and last explorer nothing but trouble

- , Campbellsburg, IN, USA

problem #1

Oct 172007


  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles

When I was changing the oil I noticed that all three seals in the front differential were leaking. Took it to the dealership and they replaced them for $800. In 15000 miles two of the seals started to leak again. I didn't get it fixed again, just got rid of SUV

- , Cato, WI, USA

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