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.


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
23,250 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 drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2005 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #4

Nov 152010


  • 57,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Ford Explorer XLT. The contact stated that while driving 5 mph the right and left front rings on the axle fractured and locked up the brakes. The vehicle was inspected by a independent mechanic who repaired the left front axle ring. The front right ring has not been repaired. The failure mileage was 57,000.

- Norwalk, CA, USA

problem #3

Aug 112006

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 13,000 miles
: the contact stated the engine surged and the check engine light illuminated at speeds of 30 mph. The vehicle was taken to the dealership on four occasions and were unable to correct the problem. The ring pin gear was replaced the first time the vehicle was taken to the dealership. The dealership determined the third and fourth cylinder spark plugs needed to be replaced on the second visit. The cylinder spark plugs were replaced on the third and fourth visit. The rear axle was replaced due to a shutter coming from the rear of the vehicle. The right handle was loose. The lumbar seat switch was loose. Updated 09/13/06.

- Cartersville, GA, USA

problem #2

May 222006

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 18,000 miles
Severe vibration in rear end of vehicle between 65 and 70 mph tire rebalancing and rotation did not improve situation at all seems worse after approx. 20 minutes of highway driving. Not sure if its a tire or differential problem but it 'feels' like it is about once per rev. Of the axle. Vehicle has original Ford rsc and goodrich 17" tires.

- Troy, MI, USA

problem #1

Sep 122005

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,000 miles
2005 Ford Explorer. The contact states the vehicle has been in the repair shop four times with nine repairs since purchase, approximately a month ago. The rear axle assembly/wheel bearings had to be replaced. Also, the rear window on the driver's side/the pulley in the motor, had to be replaced, and the computer chip had to be reset. The key was getting stuck in the ignition; the dealership could find what was wrong with ignition. There were other problems with the vehicle, but the contact did not have that information. The contact was asking Ford to take the vehicle back at this time. A service advisor was suppose to speak with the contact.

- Mufreesboro, TN, USA

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