ANNOUNCEMENT: The Car Book 2018 is now online!

Ratings on over 1,000 new & used models going back 5 years, from the Center from Auto Safety. Learn more about The Car Book 2018 here. 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.


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
68,950 miles
Total Complaints:
3 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (3 reports)
2004 Ford Explorer windows / windshield problems

windows / windshield problem

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2004 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #3

Feb 042016

Explorer LX 6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,460 miles


The roof window leaks and keeps the passenger floor wet. 2nd time this has happened they said the drain was plugged. I can`t find the drain.

- Merlin T., South Windham, CT, USA

problem #2

May 032010

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 64,251 miles

Water again poured into the car after a rain. My floor is not wet and the overhead. I'm soooooo Pissed off it is not funny. I will take it again to a dealer to hear what Bs they want to feed me.

- phillybrowneyespa, Sharon Hill, PA, USA

problem #1

Jun 022009

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,000 miles

I have taken the explorer to the dealer and they have told me it was a clogged hosed. This supposed hose has stained my over head in many places. This morning it rained and I forgot to part up hill and water poured from my vanity light and visor. This is ridiculous that you pay for a car and all it is is a problem. FORD never again.!!!

- phillybrowneyespa, Sharon Hill, PA, USA

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