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:
35,000 miles
Total Complaints:
1 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

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

drivetrain problem

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2004 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #1

Jun 212005

Explorer SLS 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,000 miles


First and last Ford!

This junker will literally stop when you are backing out of a parking spot and turning, When you try and parallel park you have to be VERY careful because you have to give it so much gas that you could slam into the car behind you.

I have actually spun the wheels trying to get it to move when it binds up. It feels like I hit a wall when it stops and then when it finally will move again you feel like you just slammed through it.

If anyone know the cause or a solution feel free to let me know. I only wish I was still in the military and could donate it to the live weapons fire range to blow up!

- , Hudson, WI, USA

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