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.


really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
74,065 miles
Total Complaints:
14 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (11 reports)
  2. replace timing belt(s) (1 reports)
  3. replaced fuel pump and fuel filter (1 reports)
  4. replaced throttle body,fixed harmonic balancer and crank case sensor (1 reports)
2005 Ford Explorer engine problems

engine problem

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2005 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #14

Feb 282015

Explorer 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 171,000 miles


For the last 7+ yrs I have willingly explained myself and stood up for the POS Ford Explorer I purchased. Problem after problem. Your typical Exploder tranny failure, cracked rear panel, coolant leaks, ac/heat issues... and now this!!!!!!!!!!!! The cream of the crop! TIMING BELT and the dreaded words from the dealer "they are made to last the life of the engine" GTFO!

Why can't Ford stop leaving me FOUND ON ROAD DEAD! I give up! I guess I should be happy I made it to 171,000 miles... ya right!

- , Massillon, OH, USA

problem #13

Apr 262013

Explorer Eddie Bauer V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,600 miles

My Explorer has been a dud from the beginning. We've replaced the entire computer last year in 2012 ($800), replaced a major transmission problem within the first two years of it being new (under warranty), and several other crazy stalling items that totaled always like $300 within the first 3-5 years. And, always having the diagnostic go wacko on us showing the check engine light, or multiple codes when the mechanic said nothing was wrong. Hence the computer replacement. Now fast forward to 2013.

The Exploder (lol) had been dying on my husband mid-drive for the past few weeks. Mostly on the way home from his graveyard shift from work....and thankfully not on the highway, but once he got to the street level speed about 35-40 mph. Still, the vehicle made us paranoid and feeling very unsafe, especially after we did the diagnostic and they found no codes to connect to the problem. Let me repeat - the diagnostic could not determine a code for this problem. What did come up was a fuel pump error code - but the Ford mechanics said that couldn't be a connection. They said it was about a $900 fix. Plus, they could not replicate the problem. And neither could I, just my husband. So we took it home with the no diag and hoped it would go away.

It didn't. After this happened immediately after that, I googled facebooked it, and found some TSBs about the possible fuel pump and fuel filter connection, bad fuel, etc. I also talked to an old school home mechanic, who said people replaced the fuel pumps for big money, but not the filter and then it got screwed up again.

I took it in again, and finally the Ford guys had it actually die on them. So they called the Ford HQ hotline, and of course, they said fix the obvious problem - the fuel pump and the fuel PSI. So I told them to fix it, and to go ahead and replace the cheap fuel filter because of the stuff I read online about people replacing the fuel pump for big money, but not the filter and then it screwing it all up again. A 4-1/2 hour job, at $1,252 dollars and so far so good. The car is paid for, so that is onlyu reason we fixed it. But its only worth maybe $8,000 now, so once it happens again, totally trading it in for a foreign car! Ford SUCKS.

- , Sparks, NV, USA

problem #12

Dec 152012

Explorer Eddie Bauer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 111,675 miles

Explorer fired up and I pulled it out of the driveway. On 12/14/2012- I shifted to Drive and it DIED...had it towed to Sheehy Ford in Gaithersburg, MD where they "fixed the brakes" and did a number of other things to the tune of $1420.83. They "could not find what was wrong". Explorer started but they "could not find the problem". Also told me that the "new" towing company I called had not filled out the proper paperwork.

Today, 1/11/2013, the truck did the same thing but I called the same tow company and the problem was identified and fixed for $30.00. I have an appointment with a different garage for next Friday.

Seriously, Ford dealerships, this is my 3rd Explorer. I had no issue with my 1999, my 2003 was crazy from the start and my 2005 has had issues not even addressed. I know it is an older vehicle but it is mine and I have driven no other that can go through 18" of snow to check the on elderly and still count on it today.

- , Montgomery Village, MD, USA

problem #11

Apr 172012

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,754 miles


Run into get a coffee and come out and have to keep trying to start the truck. That's a lot of fun and look like a tool who doesn't look after his vehicle. Truck starts fine on initial start. Go somewhere run in come out and it's a 50/50 whether it's going to stay running. Sometimes even pressing the gas after starting doesn't help. Just idles low, sputters and stalls. Had it checked and all is good, go figure it wouldn't do it when it's in the garage.

- , Monkland, Ontario, Canada

problem #10

Feb 082012

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 137,855 miles

Problem truck starts fine when cold. Then go somewhere (you know stop here then go somewhere else) shut truck off, run inside and back out. Start the truck fine and 3-5 seconds later truck stalls out. Wait a couple of seconds then restart, sputters then runs fine. Replaced plugs, fuel filter and still does it. Had it checked and nothing can be found wrong with it. Really thinking I should get rid of this for something else but can't afford to, then again really can't afford to keep throwing money into it. Thanks Ford!

- , Monkland, Ontario, Canada

problem #9

Jun 102010

Explorer XLT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,923 miles

I use this vehicle to get my son back and forth to school as well as do all the necessary errands for the household. This is our primary vehicle. I have experienced the bogging down and then shutting down of the vehicle, it usually happens when you accelerate to bring the car out to reverse and then putting it into drive. "IE pulling out of a parking space in reverse and then into drive" I usually have to put it into reverse wait a min, back up, put it into drive wait a minute then accelerate.

This morning I experienced something totally different and very scary as I had my son in the vehicle. On our way to school the vehicle completely shut down on a heavily traveled road, I lost everything, I narrowly missed a telephone pole in trying to steer my now dead truck onto a dirt road. All panels lit up on the dash, I waited a few minutes, tried starting again it wanted to turn over but had that bogged down situation going on, I had more then enough gas, I waited and tried again same thing, had to walk along a major road with my 8 year old son to get back to our house.

Not feeling so safe with this truck anymore.

- , Galloway, NJ, USA

problem #8

Apr 242010

Explorer 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 37,995 miles


I just purchased this ford in January. Its been acting up. My wife is afraid to drive it.

I read that other owners have the same problem. HELP. THE COST OF REPAIRS IS


- , Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #7

Nov 012009

Explorer LX 4.0L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,000 miles

The car just stopped running. I replaced the actuator sensor located on bottom of gas pedal and the one on the side of the throttle body. This got the car running but when you hit the gas nothing happens. Still working on the problem but what is wrong with having a simple cable instead of all of this electronic crap!

- , Richmond, VA, USA

problem #6

Sep 222008

Explorer LS 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 25,000 miles

Ok... to continue the story, the Ford Dealership did not charge me the diagnostic fee. The next day while driving the vehicle dies again while moving. So I take it back to the dealer and it even died as I was pulling into my parking space!

They did manage to get the vehicle to stall and the code said that the MAV (mass airflow sensor) was having issues. They replaced it for $550, which was covered by the extended warranty.

Well, the very next day my wife was driving it and it dies on her twice, again while moving. So now the dealership has it and has had it for over a week with no success. I called Ford and they got the dealership to give me a rental car until they can figure out the problem. Again, it has been a week and no solution! More to follow...

- , Avondale, AZ, USA

problem #5

Sep 132008

Explorer LS 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 25,000 miles

Ok... so I was driving my explorer to my friends house to watch some college football on Saturday when all of the sudden I'm just coasting. The wrench light turns on and the display says "low oil pressure". I stop at the light, put it in neutral and start it again, only to have it die immediately. So, I leave it in neutral until the light changes, all the while rev'ing it at 2000 rpms to keep it running, then shift into drive. As I approach the next light, it dies again. It does this almost 5 times in a distance of 4 blocks.

So we call our dealer and they tell us to tow it in because the indicator stated "low oil pressure". So we take it in, they run codes, and nothing comes up. However, they tells us the fuel tank is almost bone dry, but here's the kicker, the gauge showed a quarter of a tank. So now Ford wants to charge me $100 for a diagnostics check and another $50 for towing.

Bottom line... the dealer tells me to make sure we have enough fuel in the tank. Total pricks! I'll be going back this afternoon to see if I can get out of the diagnostics fee!

- , Avondale, AZ, USA

problem #4

Aug 012008

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 28,000 miles


2005 ford explorer xlt 4.0L V6 28,000 miles purchased new on July 7, 2005

We started having problems with the fuel system in the end of June 2008 (intermittent loss of fuel gauge and service engine soon dash light) called the ford dealer on or about July 1, 2008, explained the problem, the service department told us they were very busy and the middle of the month would be better. We dropped it off on July 15, 2008 and they said bad fuel sensor and because it was out of warranty it will cost $800.00. We decided to wait until a complete failure to have it repaired. In the beginning of August

my daughter with my two week old grandson were driving and the truck engine died, no warning no steering no brakes, (the wrench light and engine failed test mode light came on) she managed to get it to the side of the road where it started up as if everything was ok, moments later it happened again, this time she put it in neutral and it started again while moving. She drove it to my house and took my car home. I called the dealer and they said because we did not have it serviced there and it�s out of warranty (we use Jiffy Lube every 3,000 miles close and fast) we get no consideration and to call ford at 1-800-392-3673. (keep in mind I have bought 6 to 8 automobiles from ford in the past 20 years) I called ford and explained the problems we were having and she called the service manager. I brought the truck back to the dealer and the service writer told me ford had agreed to give us �financial assistance� of 40% of the fuel gauge problem and I assumed the same for the new problem. My confidence in ford for not taking complete responsibility for these problems is now 0. If I were in their shoes I would have fixed the problems and said it never happened. I traded the unsafe ford that day and gave my daughter my Chevy. Ford did call back and offered �financial assistance� of 80% for the repairs but money is not the issue here, safety is and ford lost a long time customer.

- , Miami, FL, USA

problem #3

Aug 182008

Explorer XLT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,102 miles

Tech @ Ford had to replaced entire throttle body, then still would not start, then they discovered that the harmonic balancer had separated damaging the crank case sensor so with an additional $700 they fixed everything. The tech said that there was no explanation on why it happened. When we contacted Ford customer care to try and get some form of reimbursement, they said they wouldn't help us since it was beyond the 36,000 mile warranty. When you pay over $30K dollars for a vehicle, you expect it to run past 40K miles before having to put money into it. I will NEVER buy another FORD again. That goes to say FORD is FOUND ON THE FORD DEAD!

- , Wylie, TX, USA

problem #2

Jun 192008

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,000 miles

my girlfriend was just driving down the road and the car died, no jerking nothing just died. it usually happens with cruise control on between 35-45mph. she was able to restart it right after it happened. and this has happened at least 10 times

- , San Marcos, TX, USA

problem #1

Mar 022007

(reported on)

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 27,000 miles

My wife was driving our 05 explorer and it just died. She was able to re-start it immediately. No one can tell us why yet.

- , Marion, IA, USA

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