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:
94,633 miles
Total Complaints:
3 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. dealer must re-initialize in order for car to work (3 reports)
2004 Ford Explorer electrical problems

electrical problem

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2004 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #3

Jan 242016

Explorer MPV 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,900 miles


Second time this issue has happened.

Ending up in an expensive tow to the not so near ford dealership.

- , Berlin, NH, USA

problem #2

Dec 062013


  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

I have reset my security pass-code three times and this will be my forth time doing so, why can't I just disarm it? I am driving down the road and it cuts off on me almost causing a wreck. I have over four keys to this vehicle because when they reset it they have to give me a new key. I use to love Ford but after tonight I think she will be sold or traded for a Chevy! Ford tough my ass!

Thank god the people behind me were not speeding because they would have rammed my truck pretty good.

- , Clarksville, TN, USA

problem #1

Jul 142009

Explorer LTD V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

this is something that the DEALER must repair. NO ONE else can put the code in. all i needed was a new battery but had to pay over $300 for that. IT HAS TO BE A DESIGN FLAW!! My car lost the code after i had about 300 miles (only had it 6 weeks!) and dealer had to re-initialize (Ford's word) it then.

- , Memphis, TN, USA

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