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:
98,000 miles
Total Complaints:
1 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace corroded terminal (1 reports)
2004 Ford Explorer electrical problems

electrical problem

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2004 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #1

Feb 112014

Explorer Eddie Bauer Flexfuel V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles


When problem was worst and required fixing, it was hard to start. Then, the computer ran thru the entire list of sensors not stopping until I shut the engine off. At that point, I restarted and headed for our trusted local les schwab repair place, and asked them to replace the ford dealer installed battery whether it was good or not. the mechanic came in with the corroded terminal which was not the terminal we are used to seeing. ford for the year 2004 had installed a coated metal terminal instead of usual lead one. they also said the battery was croaking, and it was only 3 yrs old at most. What's very important here, is after this corroded negative terminal was replaced, virtually all other annoyances which had been going on for years, disappeared!! no more crackling in stereo, no more noises, nothing! So, it means that, like other newer vehicles, we are totally dependent on a good electrical system to correctly power ALL sensors and accessories. Never forget this!! If you are having a sensor light periodically show up(we had abs), and then disappear, have your battery and especially the lousy terminals ford installed in factory, replaced with good high amp crank battery and new terminals!! I can't stress this enough! I read about an owner who lost his/her remote code when hit with this same problem. I was lucky!! no loss of info or codes. Remember too, that those sensors affected by electrical problems can affect transmission, a/c(I had a/c reset to another temp), radio, cd player, abs light, other sensor lights, virtually everything!!! I now have a smooth running, quiet, lovely explorer with great radio/cd, transmission, everything, all from replacing a corroded terminal.

- , Lynnwood, WA, USA

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