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.


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
76,669 miles
Total Complaints:
11 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace rear differential (7 reports)
  2. not sure (4 reports)
2005 Ford Explorer drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2005 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #11

Jun 102014


  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles


It's just one thing after another with this car. The rear panel is cracked, a common problem with is make and model. Coil pack went bad and burnt my spark plug wires. And now the rear differential is bad which is another common problem. I hope ford gets off their asses and does something about this. But they didn't even do anything for the cracked rear panel. I will never own another ford!!

- , Humble, TX, USA

problem #10

Jan 222013

Explorer XLT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,000 miles

Front and Rear Differential started leaking just under 90,000 miles.

- , San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #9

Dec 012012

Explorer Limited 4.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

Add my truck to the seemingly endless list of 02-05 owners with this problem. When did you ever hear of a rear end failing in any vehicle? It always outlasts the vehicle and is the part of the car that that needs no maintenance or attention (unless its defective). Can't believe Ford won't provide any type of compensation for repairs, not even a deductible plan. Any legal eagles out there interested in a class action suit? This is what needs to be done to MAKE Ford accept responsibility for this piece of crap installed in these vehicles. Funny, how they issued a TSB to direct mechanics on the repairs, but won't accept any liability!

- , Strongsville, OH, USA

problem #8

May 122007

Explorer EX 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 43,000 miles


Ford caught this problem at 43,000 miles and fixed it. Great I thought. The rear end is starting to fail again at 91,000 miles. I just replced the transmission at 90,000 miles, now I have to pay to fix the rear end. It is a never ending expensive cycle of repair and replace. I'm done with Ford after being a Ford owner for the past 23 years.

- , Louisvllle, KY, USA

problem #7

Oct 142010

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,154 miles

I bought an suv back in October of 07. I thought the car was great.. in early 2008 I started to hear a whining noise from the rear when I go above 60mph it only had 26000 miles. I took it to malouf ford in north brunswick nj, they told me their was no problem and that it was wind noise.. So, I drove the suv around the noise started getting louder.. In summer 2009 we took the suv back to dealer for a sensor to be replaced and at that time i explained the noise again.. once again they told me there was no problem.. the noise was still getting worse. In October of 2010 we took the suv in to replace the thermostat and cooling temperature sensor. The warranty on our suv had just expired two weeks prior. Now they are telling us we need to replace the ring and pinon in the rear. Just so happened that now the warranty is up they find the problem. This is unacceptable because our truck only has 60,000 miles and we feel that Ford Motor Company should be responsible for this issue, due to the fact we took this truck in serval times companinig of the noise. After owning a 92' ford F150 with 2000,000 miles with no issues, along with 96' ford Explorer with 160,000 (again no issue) and this will be the last time we buy anymore Ford vehicle.

- , New Brunswick, NJ, USA

problem #6

Jul 142010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,000 miles

First the transmission, then the rear plastic cracking around FORD emblem and now rear differential failure! I give up! I PROMISE TO NEVER OWN ANOTHER FORD PRODUCT AS LONG AS I LIVE!!!! I have spent more to fix this vehicle than it would to buy another vehicle that would last me soooo much longer than the this one! Something needs to be done! They didn't take the bailout, because they didn't spend as much on their vehicles as CHEVY! They use and MAKE CHEAP CRAP! That is why they could make it through the bailout! NEVER AGAIN!

- , Harlan, KY, USA

problem #5

Sep 172009

Explorer XLT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,700 miles


I bought the vehicle used, test drove it and never heard a thing. Then I was on my way home and hit 60 mph and heard the wine from the back end. I am fortunate this was fixed by the selling dealer since it was noticed the day I drove off the lot. Ford should issue a recall, what the hell kind of vehicle has a major malfunction under 100,000 miles?

- , Oak Ridge, TN, USA

problem #4

Aug 282009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles

I bought this explorer used and a week after I had to change (brand new transmission) will also post that problem separately! Now the differential is leaking oil with metal in it, I have only had the vehicle 5 mos. and I can see there are alot of vehicles that are doing this. I have to go to the dealer next week and find out how much this is going to cost me! FORD SHOULD BE PAYING FOR THIS IF IT IS HAPPENING A LOT! CLASS ACTION IS WHAT I SAY!!!!!!!

- , Harlan, KY, USA

problem #3

Jun 202009

Explorer Eddie Bauer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 53,000 miles

I too now have the rear differential problem. Started as whining at 55-65 mph; did not hear noise above that speed. Now periodically hear the noise at lower speeds. Quits when you let off gas. Dealer didn't mention the tech bulletin, but did quote $1800 to fix the problem. i'm looking for other mechanics now. This needs to be reimbursed by Ford!! The bulletin seems to cover MANY Ford models thru 2005, so obviously they changed parts or suppliers in 2006. Need a class action attorney to take up the cause. Tons of postings on the issue under the F150's

- , Tulsa, OK, USA

problem #2

Mar 022009

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 66,500 miles

I bought this vehicle about 2 months ago, but never notice the problem, until 3 weeks ago, when the noise became really disturbing. This "huuuuuuuuuuuuuuu" noise is driving me crazy everytime I drive the vehicle. I feel the noise only when you press the gas and when the vehicles goes below 60mph. At 65mph and more the noise becomes unperceptive.

I went to my mechanic and I was told this was a problem with the rear differential and about $1200 to $1500 is what I need to fix the problem. Wonderful, ah. I think Ford should recall this vehicles to fix the problem. I can't believe a vehicle with only 60K miles could have this kind of problems, unbelievable but it's for real. We all got to tell ford to send an spy into Nissan or Toyota, so they learn from the competition on how to do and put good parts in their vehicles. I love my explorer, but Ford sucks!!

- , Bay Shore, NY, USA

problem #1

Sep 302007

(reported on)

Explorer RSC V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 46,000 miles

I have not had my Explorer but 8 months and it needs a new rear end. It only has 46,000 miles on it, so the Ford company should fix it free of charge. That indicates to me that the rear end was not new in the beginning, if anyone has a solution please let me know. I am very very upset about this problem happening so quickly.

- , Macon, MS, USA

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