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:
Average Mileage:
106,776 miles
Total Complaints:
2 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. crash censor has to be replaced (1 reports)
  2. not sure (1 reports)
2004 Ford Explorer seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2004 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #2

Dec 142011

Explorer 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 133,552 miles


I was told the censor was rusted out and that if I did'nt fix it the air bag would not come out if I was in an accident.

- , Welch, WV, USA

problem #1

Jun 012007

Explorer Limited V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

Last October, the airbag light went on. I had it fixed for $300 at my local Ford Dealership. Now it is eight months later, and it is on again. I have to pay another $100 to run a diagnostic test. Anyone else having this problem? Does it ever really get fixed?

- , Furlong, PA, USA

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