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
Crashes / Fires:
5 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
56,348 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2005 Ford Explorer Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #10

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 #9

Jun 182008


  • 55,000 miles
My gas pedal is sticking. I initially thought my brakes were going. I just had my rear brakes replaced and my car passed inspection. I was told I'd need new front brakes in the next six months. Three times, I've had the gas pedal stick. When I try to apply brakes, it barely slows down the car and the motor gets really loud.

- Aliquippa, PA, USA

problem #8

May 052006


  • miles
While driving the vehicle at any given speed and no matter how much gas I have the vehicle shuts off and all powerwas lost. I was able to restart vehicle only if I cae to a complete stop and put vehicle in park, then vehicle re-started and acted normally. This happened sometimes 3 to 4 times a day or not for a month. I was told by my Ford dealer that they could not duplicate the problem despite driving the vehicle home and hooking up the computer to it. The last advice I received from Ford was to get the vehicle towed in when stoppage occurs. Thatwas not that easy when you need the vehicle to get you to your destination or you were stuck in a bad area. This occurred 1 year after purchase. Also, I have a noticed that the vehicle surgesd when the brakewa S applied as if the gas had been applied.

- Garnerville, NY, USA

problem #7

May 092007

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 23,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that the vehicle automatically accelerates at random and without warning. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and the failure occurred again while driving into the service bay at 5 mph. The dealer was unable to diagnose the cause of failure. The engine size is unavailable. The current and failure mileages were 23,000.

- St. Louis, MO, USA

problem #6

Apr 062007

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 5,922 miles
Ford Explorer with a defective accelerator/brake pedal customer states that the brake pedal acts like the gas pedal sometimes* the consumer stated the surge always happens while driving at low speeds. 4/23/07

- Burlingame, CA, USA

problem #5

Jul 012006

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 28,000 miles
: the contact stated the vehicle stalled on 3 occasions while the vehicle was in motion. The vehicle has not been to a service dealer and the contact was unsure of what caused the problem.

- Westbrook, ME, USA

problem #4

Mar 012006

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 12,400 miles


: the contact stated when activating the cruise control and the speed set at 70 mph, the cruise control deactivates itself with no interaction from the contact. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for inspection; however the problem could not be duplicated. Vehicle speed control deactivated 3 times while in use. In February 2006, after speed control deactivated it took 3 to 5 minutes to turn it back on. Dealer found no problem. In March 2006, it deactivated once.

- Lutz, FL, USA

problem #3

Feb 092006

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 17,800 miles
Speed control on 2005 Ford explored will accelerate when coast button pushed. Can be turned on by pressing off button. Operates ok for some of the time and is unpredictable when will malfunction. Occasionally only tap brake will turn off speed control. Off button does not work. Will accelerate after speed control off several minutes later. Unintended acceleration by speed control.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #2

Oct 062005

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 200 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Ford Explorer. When stepping on the accelerator there is a delayed throttle response of 3-5 seconds before one feels any acceleration. The contact noticed this after he bought the car in 8-05. He took it to the dealer, and they agreed with him. They test drove another 2005 Ford Explorer and it did the same thing. The dealer called Ford, and Ford said they knew about this, and they allowed the transmission to shift before it accelerated. They will not allow the dealership to change this. It happened whether the cruise control was on or off. It happens at any speed.

- Guttenberg, IA, USA

problem #1

Sep 212005

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 20,650 miles
While turning around in a large driveway at low speeds, my 2005 Ford Explorer suddenly and unexpectedly accelerated causing it to run into a fence causing damage to the front end of the vehicle (minor) also ripping off the running board after running over a large log. This car has also failed to start at times and once the engine died while driving on the freeway for no apparent reason.

- Ogden, UT, USA

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