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:
70,000 miles
Total Complaints:
2 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (2 reports)
2004 Ford Explorer engine problems

engine problem

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2004 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #2

Aug 092010

Explorer Limited V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles


I have had the engine looked at numerous times; transmission fluid changed, get regular oil changes but still having this problem. Can't seem to put my finger on the cause. Any suggestions?

- , Suwabee, GA, USA

problem #1

Jun 212010

Explorer LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

This vehicle has been doing this since we bought it. It runs fine, except when you come to a stop, it starts feeling like its going to die. So far it hasn't, but it sure makes you nervous. It also seems like it has a hesitation when you try to take off. We we're told that we should have the throttle body cleaned. We haven't done this yet but will soon.

- , Washington, MO, USA

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