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:
39,000 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 #2

Dec 022008


  • 35,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that while driving approximately 65 mph he heard a grinding noise in the rear of the vehicle. The vehicle was inspected by a dealer who informed him that the rear differential was fractured and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was approximately 35,000.

- Ontario, OR, USA

problem #1

Jul 172005

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 43,000 miles
I have a 2002 Ford Explorer with a leaking rear differential that is making a moaning noise when the throttle is depressed. The vehicle only has 44,00 miles on it. I have discovered through extensive research that this is a chronic problem with this vehicle and that Ford is "investigating" the problem. Meanwhile, my dealer tells me my only recourse is a $1700 rebuild of the rear end. It is time for Ford to admit that the light aluminum rear end was a poor design and recall for replacement!!!

- Millersville, PA, USA

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