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:
32,500 miles
Total Complaints:
2 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

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

steering problem

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2004 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #2

Jan 012005

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles


When turning hard at slow speeds there is an intermittant clunk. I took it to the dealer several times while it was under warranty. They claimed they couldn't find the problem. I suspect it's trying to go into 4 wheel drive. We've had to replace tie rods, wheel bearings etc. The left front wheel almost fell off. Fortunately my wife was going slow on our residential street when it happened. It's a pain.

- , Canton, MI, US

problem #1

Jul 302007

Explorer Limited 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 25,000 miles

A little after I purchased this seemingly almost new vehicle, I noticed if I made a sharp turn into a park or backing out I get a bumping from the wheels instead of screeching like some cars power steering do. I was told I had a leak in the power steering pump which was minor and was repaired but car never drove right. I was really upset because I had purchased a vehicle a year older and only drove it four days. I had to return it because of problems and it took a month to get this car after fussing and numerous calls and calling the headquarters of the dealership. I am quite disappointed.

- , Knightdale, NC, USA

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