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:
No data
Average Mileage:
135,000 miles
Total Complaints:
2 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace bracket (2 reports)
2004 Ford Explorer windows / windshield problems

windows / windshield problem

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2004 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #2

Jul 192012

Explorer Limited V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 108,000 miles


The liftgate/hatchback upper glass portion of my 2004 Ford Explorer opens independently of the entire door, has its own button to open the upper portion glass part of the entire door. While opening the upper portion of the door which is the back window, the right side hinge attached to the roof of the car has a large screw attaching the back window to the hinge. I opened the back glass portion of the back hatch as usual, the hinge/screw severed off while the hydraulic arms were raising the glass, the entire glass portion of the door fell down towards me on the right and hit me on top of my head missing my forehead by only three inches. This happened a few weeks ago and to date I still have a bump on my head.

I have researched this issue online. It seems as though the 2002 through 2004 Ford Explorers have the same back door style. This was changed in 2005. Based on internet research it has come to my attention that this has been a consistent issue. Many have written Ford Motor Company and based on the injuries this type of separation could cause, it could and has caused severe injuries to the consumer.

Based on the fact too that the design of the 2005 Ford Explorer back doors has changed, it would lead one to believe that Ford has realized this back hatch to be a problem. There has been no recalls listed on any web sites.

There are many Ford Explorers in circulation from 2002 to 2004.

Ford should provide a recall on all 2002 through 2004 Ford Explorers with back doors that separate half way down to allow you to open the upper portion of the back door. Because the actual hinge is attached to the roof, this makes it almost impossible to repair as a consumer. This is definitely a Ford Repair, the hinge should be fixed free of charge and the style of screw that attaches the glass portion of the window to the hinge should be a more secure screw with a bolt attached, not directly screwed into the hinge itself.

The fact that it slammed down towards me and landed on the lower portion of the door, the glass cracked the lower plastic d├ęcor portion of the door itself which has the Ford Logo on it.

The window fortunately did not break but the dealer estimated the upper hinge repair to be 300.00 for each side, the hydraulic arm supports should be replaced because they were compromised as they twisted when the windows separated from the upper hinge. Each arm is 75.00 plus the cost of installation. And now with the lower plastic portion being damaged, Ford estimated the repair to be an additional $500.00 part/and labor. Total cost of approximately 1500.00 - 2000.

Besides Ford, I took complaints one step further. I went to:

The filing of this complaint is a very important step to protecting consumer rights. Collective advocacy is among the most effective means to alter trade practices and impose accountability on businesses that fail to comply with accepted ethical standards.

-- Consumer Complaint Agency 1-888-374-7305 (phone) 1-888-737-6930 (fax)

- , West Hartford, CT, USA

problem #1

Jun 012010

Explorer 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 162,000 miles

when I went to find out what the part would cost to repair my self, the part for both sides cost different. and you would think that when they designed the hatch, it would have a stronger hinge for the window, because the one that it has is installed sucks it's not strong enough

- , Markdale, Ontario, canada

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