Print this page Notes: 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.

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.


fairly significant
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
76,800 miles
Total Complaints:
6 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (3 reports)
  2. replace seat parts (3 reports)
2005 Ford Explorer accessories - interior problems

accessories - interior problem

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2005 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #6

Jan 012009

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles


Lumbar support is out on the driver seat. I have a bad back and after 8 hour drive for vacation I spend most of the vacation groaning in pain and not sleeping because of the pain from the drive. This is miserable.

I can't find good videos on internet on how to fix. I don't know what part is broken. I can't find a direct replacement seat on the internet. Why is this so difficult????

Can anyone help me?

- Thomas M., Falls Church, VA, US

problem #5

Jun 032015

Explorer XLT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 115,000 miles

Seat horribly uncomfortable. Took apart - found torn foam because lumbar support broke. Had to come up with a repair and glue foam with 3M 77.

- Hat P., North Charleston, SC, US

problem #4

Nov 012009

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 31,000 miles

Adjustment control knob does nothing at this point

- Dan M., Hanover Park, IL, US

problem #3

Jan 222009

Explorer XLT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,000 miles


the broken lumbar support in the 2005 ford explorer seems to be a common problem with this vehicle. i just started driving this because we bought my wife a new escape and i gave my son my e250, now my back is killing me and my ass hurts. when i looked into fixing it i found all the other complaints about the same problem. i feel this is definitely caused by cheap parts and piss poor engineering and ford should fix it. my sore back and ass think so too.

- Alvin S., Fairfield, OH, US

problem #2

Aug 102012

Explorer Xlt Sport V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 102,000 miles

I have had my 05 explorer since 2008 and for the last 5 years I have had to replace the lumbar support yearly. sometime between July and August. it is the manual crank style for the first two times the dealer ship was willing to replace it on the warranty. well that's been over for a while. I have called ford many times and no one is willing to help me. I feel that it is a faulty part or should be a recall. never fail that it happens over and over. I consider myself an average height and weight guy and don't beat my vehicle up, and wonder why it happens on a yearly basis. If anyone has any info I would love to hear it.

- Jarrod S., Glastonbury, CT, US

problem #1

Jun 012011

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,645 miles

I bought the car off-lease in September of 2005. Vehicle at time of purchase had 12,000 some odd miles. Noticed at time of purchase that the control knob for the lumbar support (drivers side) was missing. Bought a new knob. The lumbar support worked for about 3 years when I felt something snap. I could reach up the back of the seat to feel that the plastic that attached the lumbar adjuster to the seat frame had broken. Ok, big deal, didn't consider it major. A couple of months later I felt the seat frame come through the left bolster. On 06/01/09, I took the car to the dealer and at the time it was still under warrenty, they replaced the lumbar adjuster of which was covered but not the left upper seat cushion which cost me 129.95! Plus it cost me an additional 138.10 for some kind of pad, 22.52 for a knob, 113.00 for misc. crap, plus labor and tax! All tolled, 413.21!

Here's the big kick in the ass, exactly 2 years latter, it did it again!

My wife drives this vehicle less the 30 miles a week (her office is 2 miles away). She is 5'8'' and 140 lbs. much less then, I'm sure, then the maximum weight it was designed for. I see no good reason why this seat has failed twice in less then 6 years!

I am NOT putting out that kind of money again for something that is obviously a design flaw! I would appreciate any advice on how to resolve this issue. Other then that, our 05 Explorer has been the best vehicle we've ever owned.

- Paul F., Sykesville, MD, US

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