Notes: The 2005 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.

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
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
46,933 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2005 Ford Explorer brakes problems

brakes problem

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2005 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #5

Dec 012011

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 70,000 miles


The gears in the powered brake/gas pedal assembly seem to strip. Then the brake/gas pedal won't change position. That creates a dangerous situation for the driver because the pedals get stuck too far away for some drivers and too close for others. This is a fleet wide issue for all Ford with adjustable pedals.

- Spring, TX, USA

problem #4

Sep 212011

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 52,367 miles
Parking brake shoes broken. Advised during regular service that shoes were broken during earlier service and was advised to wait until rear brakes required service since parking brake is rarely used. During service on 9/21/2011 request repair of parking brake in which the shoes were replaced at cost of $424.19. Inquired as to cause since parking brake is rarely used and was told that could be the reason. Overheard another service rep state that, quote, "Explorer's are notorious for that". currently contacting Ford national customer relations to inquire about possible partial reimbursement since problem appears to be wide spread.

- Columbia, MD, USA

problem #3

Jul 212007


  • 45,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Ford Explorer. When attempting to start the vehicle, the engine began to sputter. She restarted the vehicle to resume normal vehicle operation. On another occasion while driving, the power steering and brakes failed without warning, which caused her to crash into a fence. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic for inspection on two separate occasions. The failure was contributed to the fuel sensor and throttle position sensor. The throttle position sensor was replaced. The repair did not remedy the failure. The failure mileage was 45,000. The current mileage was 80,000. The vehicle identification number was unavailable.

- Jonesboro, AR, USA

problem #2

Oct 202009


  • 62,300 miles
Vehicle: 2005 Ford Explorer; mileage 62,300; system malfunction indicating service was needed; diagnostic codes indicate the brake pressure switch for deactivation of speed control needs replaced. Current NHTSA/Ford recall does not apply to 2005 model year vehicles. Call to Ford customer service center indicates lack of interest in problem.

- Bandera, TX, USA

problem #1

Jun 222006

Explorer 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,000 miles
I have a 2005 Ford Explorer eddie bauer which looses power steering control and braking ability at random. I have taken this vehicle into service at the dealership for repair but no satisfactory outcome is there. For the first problem of loosing the braking ability, the vehicle when started has no problems but after driving a short distance (few meters to up to a mile) the advance traction loss message is displayed in the message centre and the vehicle looses the ability to stop in the required stop distance. When applying the brakes, the pulsation is felt in the brake paddle and a screeching heard before the vehicle stops. Then once the engine is turned off, and vehicle re-started, the message is reset and vehicle works fine. The second issue is that the vehicle while driving, at random gives the message in the display with an audio signal indicating oil pressure low, service engine soon and other lights in the display and RPM meter showing zero reading with loss of steering ability. There is no power assist to turn the steering whereas the engine is running and also vehicle accelerates if pedal is pushed. I have been into the dealership thrice but the problem is yet to be fixed from last 15 months. The control on the vehicle can be got back once the engine is switched off and restarted. I have resorted to putting the vehicle in neutral and let it roll and turn the engine off and then restart it and get the steering control back. I had left the vehicle at the dealership in Oct 2005 for 10 days to diagnose and rectify but I was advised that problem has been reported to the authorities at Ford but I am yet to hear back from the dealer or the oem.

- West Bloomfield, MI, USA

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