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:
Average Mileage:
95,244 miles
Total Complaints:
20 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (19 reports)
  2. replace wiring harness (1 reports)
2004 Ford Explorer windows / windshield problems

windows / windshield problem

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2004 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #20

Oct 222015

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,762 miles


Daughter let the rear passenger window down and would not come back up. Had to cover the window with black plastic because I can't afford to fix the problem right now. If you try to let the other rear windows down they are so slow in going back up we decided to not let them down because we are afraid the same thing may happen. The plastic on the window is very annoying but we have no other choice right now but to deal with it.


problem #19

Dec 132013

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.0L Flexible

  • Automatic transmission
  • 131,168 miles

Right rear window not working. Took to dealer and they said there was a dead spot. Freed it up and it worked for a short time and not working again. Opted not to get the new motor at the time. Wish I did

- , Redford, MI, USA

problem #18

Aug 082010

Explorer XLT 4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

Month to month, the rear passenger/driver side windows goes on a vaca. I wish I could go on a vaca from FORD!

This is my third "American made" car and my last! All these "overseas" manufacture cars are now MADE STATE SIDE, so I will be giving them my sales from now on!

- , Chattanooga, TN, USA

problem #17

Aug 292013

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 223,666 miles


This is insane. I try to open windows and they opened; and stayed that way for 150 miles. I slammed the door and then hit the button, abracadabra the windows closed. So I yanked out the fuse so no one opens them till I figure this out. Good thing I recharged the a/c. 92 degrees and closed windows? NO WAY. I had to open the sun roof until I charged the a/c. Can complain too much, just got it that way willing to deal with that.

Update from Sep 2, 2013: Pulled off the door panel and wallah! broken wires hiding between the door and the body. Two ground wires and two color-strip wires. now no windows, mirrors or mirror light defroster.

- , Manhattan, NY, USA

problem #16

Dec 232005

Explorer Limited 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 17,291 miles

In Dec 2005 both the left and right windows stopped working. The motors had to be replaced. In Aug 2007 had another rear motor replaced cost me $100. Currently, 6 Jul 2012 my left rear window is again broken. I have not paid to have it replaced because it seems to be a recurring problem.

Update from Oct 2, 2013: Sold vehicle tired of the unwillingness for Ford Motor Company to stand behind its product.

- , Niceville, FL, USA

problem #15

Sep 292012

Explorer Eddie Bauer V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 47,000 miles

First the back window on the passenger side stopped working. 2 weeks later the front passenger window stopped working. out of habit I attempt to put the windows down every trip taken. 2 weeks with no movement then suddenly the back window went down! But wouldn't work to go back up!

- , Perrysburg, OH, USA

problem #14

Jul 132011

Explorer XLT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles


One minute the windows were working fine, and then three of them stopped working. We kept pressing buttons, and now all but the rear driver's side works. I have had it checked out, but couldn't come up with any answers. I'm at a loss. Between this window and the back hatch, I am so annoyed with my car. Come on, Ford, get it together and stand by your products!!!

- , Maryville, TN, USA

problem #13

Sep 152011

Explorer XLS 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 161,000 miles

window and power locks stop operating when the door if open fully. must be a wire short in the harness. never seen this happen in any other cars....what was ford doing when they designed this suv....just bad. i have owned mustangs and earlier explorer models and this one is cheaply made parts, maint problems unheard of with any other car companies...cant say much more....I'm getting more upset by the min.

- , Southfield, MI, USA

problem #12

Nov 162011

Explorer XLS 4DR 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 189,000 miles

Left rear Window would not go up. really bad. Put in new Regulator and big bucks later works fine.

- , Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #11

Apr 182011

Explorer 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 148,000 miles

i put my window down a little to get some air and when i pushed the button for it to go up it wouldn't when this happened none of my windows work. I have had the fuses checked, circuit breakers check, the main panel on the door, had everything checked to make sure everything is getting current to it and there is nothing showing up. Everything is saying it should be working and nothing is. I have been doing research on this and i think the ford place needs to recall this problem because there r many people out there with the same problem and no one nos how to fix it, several mechanics have looked at it and do not no what has gone wrong. This sucks and i am very pissed its raining here alot and i have to cover my whole door to keep the rain out because no one nos how to fix my windows. if anyone reads this and has a solution please contact me and let me no. Thanks

- , Martin, TN, USA

problem #10

Aug 012009

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 115,000 miles


At least a year ago two of the windows in my 2004 Ford Explorer stopped working. They are the passenger and rear driver windows. They very occasionally work, but for the most part are broken. The Ford dealership said the only thing they can do is change the motor which is $500 per window. This is insane to me. I believe the connection is failing, but they refuse to open the door up to check. There is no way I am paying $1,000 to get this fixed.

- , Carmel, IN, USA

problem #9

Sep 152010

Explorer XLS 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

Well, another window stopped working the piece of crap 2002 ford explorer we own. Guess I will have to sheel out another 350 bucks to get it fixed, cause I don't have time to search for parts or take it aopart myself.

I will tell the service counter man how sh*tty this car is yet again. I'm sure he is tired of hearing about it, but that is his problem. I wonder when ford is going to make quality job 1 like they advertise or at least do some decent engineering and manufacturing on their vehicles. the sure don't stand behind what they make, I learned that when the transmission went out at 36000 miles, 3 1/2 years after we bought it. You guessed it it was out of warranty and ford did nothing to help.

- , Lebanon, PA, USA

problem #8

Mar 192010

Explorer Eddie Bauer V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 83,000 miles

This is yet another intermittent problem that I've taken to the dealer to fix. But of course the warranty is out now so its on my dime to fix.

- , Santa Clarita, CA, USA

problem #7

Nov 012004

Explorer Eddie Bauer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,000 miles

Out of the Blue the rear driver side passenger window quit working, the dealership replaced the motor. The thing worked for a while and then quit working for about a year and a half then worked again for a little then stopped working yet again, then just recently began working again, I had been in the dealership so many times for so many thing I think I forgot to get it repaired again before the warranty ran out.

- , Locust Grove, GA, USA

problem #6

Jun 022008


  • Automatic transmission
  • 73,000 miles

Rear driver side window quit working. I never had it fixed because I was sick of dumping money into this p.o.s. I traded it in several months later after a transmission failure, with the window still not working.

- , Cato, WI, USA

problem #5

Sep 172007

Explorer XLS 2.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

At the time it happened, I was covered by Ford's Extended warranty service. The service representative replaced the motor in the left rear door and it worked for a while then abut 4 months later the same problem reoccurred and was never fixed again properly

- , Lithia, FL, USA

problem #4

Jan 012005

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 94,000 miles

Shortly after owning this car the back rear seat windows, (back drivers side more often) will not go down. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. But now it hasn't worked for almost a year so I have given up on it. Just like all the other things wrong with this car. I could add a complaint to almost every category in the complaint list!

- , Battlefield, MO, USA

problem #3

Jun 182006

Explorer Eddie Bauer V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

All the windows on my Explorer continue to have this problem. So far, it's been intermittent and just annoying. I haven't bothered to pay to repair this, but it adds to my overall disappointment in Ford.

- , San Luis Obispo, CA, USA

problem #2

May 302008

Explorer NBX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles

After this past winter my power windows have not worked at all. Front and rear windows are not working. I have tried several things and I found that fiddling with the driver side door they start working. I believe it may be the wiring but who knows how much that will cost. Couple of weeks down the line after it started not working my speaker on the driver side is going in and out... it will work then it won't. Just annoying.

- , Anchorage, AK, USA

problem #1

Feb 162007

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 54,000 miles

This car is killing me. It is one thing and then another ever since I got it. The rear window has not worked for almost a year. I cannot afford to get it fixed, so I just make due.

- , Graysville, TN, USA

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