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
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
0 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2004 Ford Explorer transmission problems

transmission problem

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2004 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #1

Jun 162005

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


I have a 2004 Ford Explorer.when I go from drive to reverse there is a 5 to 6 second delay then a loud bang. Also from park to reverse there is a 5 to 6 second delay then a bang sometimes it has the 5 to 6 second delay and lounges backward even with your foot on the brake. This could kill someone that is walking behind your truck this is a very dangerous problem if you need to back up fast for emergency vehicles or move out of the way of on coming vehicles. Ford Motor Company released a statement on Nov 22 Ford spokeswoman kristen kinley said they know about the transmission problems it was due to the wrong transmission fluid put in during manufacture they are replacing the solenoid and the fluid. My Ford dealer knows nothing about this" and are saying there is no recall because there are no reported injuries. Why do we have to wait for someone to get killed before the problem is fixed? Ford Motor Co. Knows about this there spokeswoman has commented about it but nothing is being done?"

- New Carrollton, MD, USA

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