ANNOUNCEMENT: The Car Book 2018 is now online!

Ratings on over 1,000 new & used models going back 5 years, from the Center from Auto Safety. Learn more about The Car Book 2018 here. 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:
No data
Average Mileage:
107,000 miles
Total Complaints:
1 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

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

engine problem

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2004 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #1

May 202011

Explorer Eddie Bauer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 107,000 miles


Was driving down the road and the engine fail safe mode light came on. I pulled over, shut off the engine, restarted and it went out. I drove about 10 mi, it came on again. I let the car sit for about 2 hrs, light disappeared. The light came on again today 6/6/11 on my way home from work (1 mi). I love the explorer, but I'm beginning to lose trust in ford products. From what I've read, it could be the throttle position sensor or throttle body.......$$$$$$, so I'm frustrated. I have always maintained the car, oil change, engine service on a regular basis. Never have driven the car hard.

- djohn56, Altus, OK, USA

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