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:
Average Mileage:
55,000 miles
Total Complaints:
2 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (1 reports)
  2. replace wheels (1 reports)
2004 Ford Explorer wheels / hubs problems

wheels / hubs problem

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2004 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #2

Sep 042007

Explorer Limited V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles


My Explorer did the same thing under warranty and Ford replaced them. The new ones did it also but it was on extended warranty and Ford refused to replace them again because I was too far into the warranty for Ford to replace them again is what I was told.

- , Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #1

May 012009

Explorer LTD V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

click to see larger images

chrome wheel surfaces peeling and flaking chrome wheel surfaces peeling and flaking chrome wheel surfaces peeling and flaking chrome wheel surfaces peeling and flaking

Three out of four of the chrome wheels on my Ford Explorer are defective and peeling. One is peeling so badly that it is unable to maintain a tire seal and is unsafe. Ford will not replace them and the Ford dealer is quoting me $805 per wheel for a total of $3200 to replace them. Has any one else had this happen?

- , Des Plaines, IL, USA

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