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:
104,000 miles
Total Complaints:
1 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. manually lock all doors, wait a few minutes, unlock doors with my keyfob and then try to start car (1 reports)
2004 Ford Explorer engine problems

engine problem

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2004 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #1

Aug 012010

Explorer 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 104,000 miles


We disconnected battery cables to clean the post. When we tried to start vehicle, the engine started, but the electronic throttle had no response. We got out the manual, which told us to follow the instructions, which still did not work. We went online to find a solution, Ford's website informed us that we would have to get our keys reprogrammed to the tune of $350. I decided that since this had happened before, and i had $110 towing bill $80 for a new battery $450 repair bill, (Ford dealer told me a module in my security system had to be replaced) that i would try to find another fix. Which i did, because i refuse to spend another small fortune every time my battery dies or is disconnected. i called a local chain repair shop. i was advised that if i had keyless entry to first roll up all power windows, manually lock all doors, wait a few minutes, unlock doors with my keyfob and then try to start car. Much to my amazement, this actually WORKED! my check engine light is now on, but the car is moving and my manual says everything will readjust itself in a short time. makes me wonder if this fix worked the first time when i was charged $450, when i could have done it for $0 and in at least five minutes. i know this fix sounds crazy, but i have witnesses who have seen this take place. two words; SCREW FORD!

- , Gastonia, NC, USA

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