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.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
61,582 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 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2005 Ford Explorer Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #6

Oct 232008


  • 43,000 miles


Vehicle had a dead battery roughly 6 months ago. Dealer replaced battery under warranty, but did no other diagnostics on the vehicle. If the vehicle is not driven every day, the battery drains down, and now the battery will not charge at all. Now my vehicle is out of warranty coverage, and the dealer will not diagnose the charging system problem. This vehicle is completely unreliable, and the charging system failure is just one of my many complaints about this vehicle.

- Felton, CA, USA

problem #5

Apr 302008


  • 86,827 miles
I bought one of the sharpest SUV's I ever saw - a 2005 Ford Explorer XLT 4X4 6 cylinder. It started randomly dying on me like the others I have read about (70+ on the interstate was the most interesting!) this vehicle doesn't have a cable from the gas pedal to the throttle; the computer takes the request from the pedal and then the computer opens the throttle. So, if the computer can't "see" what the throttle is actually doing, that could be a bad thing, and for safety reasons, shuts everything down (Ford's so called fmem "limp home mode"). well, I replaced the tps, and it started again. I took it to the dealer, and in return for 90 dollars, they plugged a box into my SUV, pushed a button and then told me the PCM was bad. The PCM (powertrain control module) is the main brain for the car. Everything is either directly controlled by it, or by a submodule (SRS, 4WD, ABS, eatc, instrument cluster, TPMS, and vcm) that it directly controls. Here is the rub: Consider people that lose a limb, but continue to feel its┐ presence. That's┐ because even in the absence of real time data from the limb, the brain has a problem and ┐thinks┐ it sees the limb. In case the analogy isn┐T clear, if the PCM begins to fail, it might say* sensor is failing. But the sensor is fine ┐ the brain is ┐broken┐. if it is broken due to a heat or vibration issue, it can work perfectly for however long, then just go nuts for a little while. That's what scares me the most ┐ this PCM controls everything, right" what happens if it commands the throttle to wide open, commands the transmission to shift to 1st, then fires the airbags? can you prove it couldn't" my problem in a nutshell is that an emissions control item like the PCM shouldn't fail in three years. Ford should just fix it instead of charging a grand plus labor. All of these others having intermittent surging, stalling failsafe mode and throttle issues I am betting is the same problem.

- Harriman, TN, USA

problem #4

Sep 132006

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 13,592 miles
: the contact stated the check engine, change oil immediately and check tire pressure lights illuminated on a reoccurring basis without cause. The onboard computer was reset by the service dealer each time. The manufacturer was notified.

- Lincolnton, NC, USA

problem #3

Jun 022006

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 28,000 miles


On two separate occasions my 2005 Ford Explorer XLT has completely died while the vehicle was in motion. Both instances happened at speeds of less than 45 mph. The vehicle goes dead, as if the key has been turned from "run" to the next position back. There are no symptoms prior to the vehicle shutting off. The vehicle experiences a total loss of power, all gauges go dead and all dash warning lights illuminate, so I know that the vehicle still has electrical power. Something is causing the engine to turn off while the vehicle is in motion. This has happened on the 13th of may and again on the 2nd of June. On both occasions I took the vehicle to garry smith Ford, in ft walton beach fl for service, and on both occasions I was told that they could not duplicate the fault and that there was no record of a fault in the vehicle system. I am not satisfied with their answer. They have replaced no parts on my vehicle and recommended that I simply keep driving it, until I can get it to die, then call them on the phone.

- Navarre, FL, USA

problem #2

May 082006

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 27,000 miles
: the contact stated while driving at no specific speed all the windows went up and down, the driver seat moved forward and backward, the radio came on and went off, and the air conditioner came on and went off. Also, while attempting to apply brake pressure the brakes vibrated and a clunking noise was heard from the rear of the vehicle. The dealership inspected the vehicle and unknown repairs were made; however the repairs did not remedy the problem. The manufacturer has been alerted.

- Millerton, PA, 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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