Print this page 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:
60,000 miles
Total Complaints:
2 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (1 reports)
  2. replace PCM (powertrain control module) (1 reports)
2004 Ford Explorer electrical problems

electrical problem

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2004 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #2

Dec 122007

Explorer XLT 4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles


Every winter, my Explorer turns into a wuss and won't start. It does NOT get that cold in EAST TENNESSEE!!! Its not a diesel and does not need to be plugged in does it?? I don't knit and won't buy it a f--king coat.

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!

- alanvol, Chattanooga, TN, US

problem #1

Dec 222009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

My Explorer wouldn't start in the cold. First, they didn't know what was the problem and had me replace the fuel pump. Not it. Then it was a computer reprogram. Not it. Then they finally figured out that it was the Power Train Control Module. Unfortunately, the independent manufacture that produced the Motorcraft part went out of business. If it were not for some extenuating circumstances, I still might not have car back. Total time without a car? 4 months.

- uscjim44, Simpsonville, SC, US

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