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 1 of 2)

problem #26

May 242016


  • 103,597 miles


While parked in the driveway, we found that the back window of the hatch was completely broken and the body in the back was lifted off the car. It looks as if the hydraulic arm malfunctioned overnight.

- Rochester, NY, USA

problem #25

May 022016


  • 95,000 miles
Car stalled while driving at highway speeds. Brakes and steering became impaired. Lucky, I was in the rightmost lane and was able to narrowly avoid collision. Incident occurred after a ~3hr drive as I was exiting the highway (I.e. slowing down). Upon restart, engine turned over, but was undriveable due to iterative surge/stall cycles.

- Loudonville, NY, USA

problem #24

Feb 012014


  • miles
Defective throttle body assemblies and sensors. Randomly engine goes into fail safe mode and has stalled while driving, at traffic lights, and during turns. Instrument panel is now going haywire. Message center reports low oil pressure, check charging systems, tire sensor failure fault, change oil soon, and oil is fine. Battery has been checked. Tire sensors, alternator...all fine. It's all I have and I must drive it to work each day! bought used in November 2013. Had 69K miles at purchase. Now has 103K miles. It doesn't feel safe :O( please help!

- Ormond Beach, FL, USA

problem #23

Aug 052013


  • 124,000 miles


The vehicle shuts off while driving causing loss of power steering, power brakes with a complete loss of power. This is an ongoing problem and has happend during highway high speed driving. It happens on cars built 11/24/04 and prior. The codes are P2106 and P2135. It's caused by a faulty throttle position sensor and requires a powertrain control module reset B36.11, B37.2 or higher. This has been an ongoing problem thar Ford readily ackowledges. They have ugraded the throttle position sensor twice without solving the problem.

- Halifax, MA, USA

problem #22

Oct 072013

Explorer 4WD 8-cyl

  • 78,000 miles
Misfires, coils keep failing.

- Gresham, OR, USA

problem #21

Sep 052014

Explorer 4WD 8-cyl

  • 134,000 miles
Electric windows won't work. All fuses are working. Some wires that go from the vehicle frame to the drivers side door are severed and melted. The wires are in a protective rubber boot that is between vehicle frame and door.

- Trumbull, CT, USA

problem #20

Mar 032014


  • miles


Body issues: I have a 2005 Ford Explorer and have never been in a car accident. My tailgate somehow develop a crack that goes through where the Ford logo is. Nothing happened to the SUV to cause the crack. It just somehow happened on it's own. I believe the vehicle is defective or at least the materials used to make the vehicle. Electrical issues: Another issue I have is with the electrical. My turn signals (most times) do not work. I have to manually move it up and down when turning. When it does work, it goes really fast. My reverse notification no longer works for some strange reason. Also, my radio goes louder when I turn it down. I have to turn it off for a little while, turn it back on then try to lower the volume.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #19

Mar 182011


  • 80,000 miles
Because of the recent GM recall ignition issue, I thought I should let someone know about the serious similar issue I had 3 times before I traded my car in. The car would just shut off while driving. And all 3 times, I pulled to the side of the road and restarted the car and continued on my way. I was lucky to have a place to pull over safely. I took it to my mechanic twice, found nothing wrong. Took it to Ford and they found nothing wrong. I traded the 2005 for a 2011. I also told the dealer that I traded it into about the engine just shutting off for no reason and to check out the problem before they sold it again.

- Truckee, CA, USA

problem #18

Jan 162014

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 165,000 miles
Had fueled (full) 2 hours before. Gas gauge dropped to empty. Miles to empty shows dashes. Service engine soon light is on.

- Eatonville, WA, USA

problem #17

Sep 062013


  • 94,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that while driving 65 mph, the engine caught on fire. The fire eventually died without being extinguished. A police report was not filed. The vehicle was towed to the dealer, but was not yet diagnosed. The manufacturer was not notified. The approximate failure mileage was 94,000.

- West Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #16

May 132013


  • miles


Traveling on 459 North, around the grants mill road exit, I encountered the poorly paved road/pot holes and my stereo/cd system no longer works. This problem had never occurred until driving on the poorly maintained roads in this state. Please contact me as soon as possible in regards to handling this problem.

- Helena, AL, USA

problem #15

Jun 242011


  • 95,120 miles
While stopped at a traffic light I switched on my turn signal to indicate a right turn and noticed the normal click of the turn signal was not occurring. I looked down at my instrument panel and saw the right turn light was lit but not flashing. The rest of the trip I had to continually turn on and turn off the turn signal to let others now my intentions since the signals would no longer flash. Finally I rapidly worked the switch up and down and was able to get the turn signals to operate correctly again. Also on other occasions the signal would click very fast which and the actual signal light would not flash or light but would eventually start working again. I assumed it was a burned-out bulb but when it came back on again I knew that was not the case. I saw a recall recently for the turn signal switch on Ranger pickups and Excursion SUVS in the age range of my vehicle and this seems to be exactly what is happening with my Explorer.

- Gilbert, AZ, USA

problem #14

Apr 042011

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • 51,000 miles
Dashboard - warning light for oil change required will not go off - had oil change 500 miles ago - not due for 2 more months - will not reset. Dealer said it was a bad oil gauge sensor.

- Wa, WA, USA

problem #13

Dec 202010

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • 53,000 miles
Electrical system, body structure, gas pedal.

- St.Paul, MN, USA

problem #12

Nov 102009


  • 78,000 miles
Just driving along taking a mild corner and my 2005 Ford Explorer just died and the steering wheel locked up. Took to the local auto repair and they got two codes P2104 and P2112. Which has something to do with the throttle actuator. After speaking with Ford locally the part(s) for this problem have been on back order since at least August and they are saying they may not be available until Jan. 2010 or later.

- Yacolt, WA, USA

problem #11

Jun 012007


  • miles
2005 Ford Explorer fuel gauge malfunction: Started about a year ago. Was intermittent at first, but is now constant. Fuel gauge registers empty until tank is about half full, after which the gauge works properly. Service engine light stays on. A scan of the internet indicates this is a very common problem and Ford has no program in place to fix it. Since the gauge is causing the service engine light to stay on, that light cannot alert me to other potential failures. Cost to repair is approximately $500+.

- Milford, NJ, USA

problem #10

May 252009


  • 37,007 miles
On three occasions within the past three weeks, my car has lost all power. On two of these occasions, I was slowing down to make a turn in the road and on the third time, I was driving on a straight-away. Each time I was doing less than 40 mph. Only one time was anyone else in the vehicle but it was still very scary and very upsetting, considering I have only had the vehicle for 8 months. I am just afraid that this is going to happen when I am going faster or in heavy traffic. So far, I have been lucky and have not been in any traffic when this has occurred.

- Franklin, PA, USA

problem #9

Mar 032009


  • 47,000 miles
05 Ford Explorer has repeated (engine throttle control) light warnings. The vehicle, while moving, loses power and then stalls. I shut the vehicle off, the problem seems to reset and the vehicle then runs fine. This has happened on (2) occasions and now feel the vehicle may not be safe.

- Vail, AZ, USA

problem #8

Sep 262007


  • 85,000 miles
After having this vehicle for only 2 years, the heater/ defroster does not work. It seems to be the switch that selects heat and cold is broken and only makes a clicking sound, and will not pull in heat to defrost the windows and warm up the passenger compartment. This repair costs quite a bit of money. This is also a severe safety hazard due to winter driving conditions and the need to defrost the windshield. I have seen several others complain of the same problem.

- Buffalo, NY, USA

problem #7

Nov 262008


  • 78,000 miles
On several occasions (about 6 times total) and without any warning, my 2005 Ford Explorer has lost all power. All incidents have occurred within the past 6 months with the most recent occurrence on November 26, 2008. Each incident has occurred at speeds below 45 mph and while coasting on a slight downgrade. My concern is that I will lose power in a crucial situation and not be able to steer or stop effectively since these features function most effectively with full power. In all instances I moved the gear to neutral and restarted the engine without any trouble. I did catch it one time before it lost power, again while coasting I noticed the tachometer drop to almost 0. at seeing this I tapped the accelerator, the RPM went back to a normal range and I drove on as normal.

- High Point, NC, USA

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