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 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
61,774 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 fuel system problems

fuel system problem

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2005 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #14

Sep 012016


  • miles


Throttles body assy. Stall or surge while enter in traffic make very danger

- Palmdale, CA, USA

problem #13

Jun 202007


  • 45,000 miles
When trying to fill the gas tank it is slow and will not fill properly. Had 3 different mechanics try to fix the problem with no resolve.

- Stoneboro, PA, USA

problem #12

Jun 222015


  • 86,000 miles
Driving down the road, suddenly the wrench light came on and the fail safe light came up. Vehicle would barely run. Cleaned throttle body and it seemed fine for a while. Then the same thing happened again, driving normal, then bam. This time it shut down and would barely stay running...just ordered a new throttle body. I will not own another Ford.

- Bruin, PA, USA

problem #11

Apr 062015

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • miles


In the last two weeks the fuel gauge will go from full( when the tank is full)to empty then the low fuel alert continues to sound.... today Apr 16 2015 the truck started sputtering then shut off in the middle of a highway at 65mph..... it started after 3 tries I took it to gas station and it's full of gas but gauge says it's empty..... this isn't safe..... my 2 yr old could have been in an accident.... why isn't it being recalled ? if you google the problem it's up to $2000 to fix and everyone is having this problem but no investigation or recall.

- Desoto, MO, USA

problem #10

Jan 052015

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • 145,000 miles
Cannot fill gas tank without nozzle or pump constantly shutting off. Have to bearly squeeze nozzle and trickle the gas in. Takes 10 times longer to fill tank than it should. Sounds like a very common problem with older Ford.

- Harpers Ferry, IA, USA

problem #9

Apr 152013


  • 98,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Ford Explorer. While refueling the vehicle, fuel spewed out of the fuel tank as if it were full. The contact stated that fuel spilled onto his clothing and the vehicle. The failure recurred numerous times. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 98,000.

- South Rockwood, MI, USA

problem #8

Jan 092012


  • miles


Whenever I fill up with gas the gas gauge goes to empty and the mile to empty numbers become two blank spaces and the check engine light comes on.

- Edmond, OK, USA

problem #7

Mar 142015


  • 56,000 miles
Filled tank to full (automatic shut off). When I started car the next time, gas gauge read empty and check engine light was on. I have had the malfunction of gauge before and has always come back after a few miles, but never light. After getting error light read, it is determined to be a faulty fuel sensor. This can be a safety hazard as there is no way for the vehicle to display the fuel correctly when the sensor malfunctions. I make sure not to overfill the tank as Ford warns that this could be an issue, which should have been fixed (not just that they know it can happen). Even by following the manufacturer's precautions, the part still failed.

- Henderson, NV, USA

problem #6

Oct 202010

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 55,000 miles
Fuel gauge is working intermittent. Tank is fill up with gas, but gas gauge show empty. Sometimes it comeback, after an hour or so and then, after 30 mins goes back to empty again. I read this is an issue on almost all Ford Explorer.

- Fernley, NV, USA

problem #5

Feb 102014

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 126,341 miles
Car suddenly quit and the engine fail safe light came on. Computer scan showed the throttle actuator/control was stuck closed, and could clear any codes. Vehicle would not move at all.. I had to have it towed back to my home. Engine would not run at more than an idle with the accelerator fully depressed, and there would be no change in the RPM.

- Lynchburg, OH, USA

problem #4

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 #3

Feb 122013

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 88,500 miles
"check engine" light came up, but the car did not show any difference in performance. I took to advanced auto and they said the "gas tank sensor failed". I checked with a local mechanic and he said it would be major job and could take more than 6 hours labor the estimate was over $1000. But the car is running fine, but the "check engine " is on constantly and it goes off when the tank is almost empty. When I put gas, it come back on again and stays on. Gas tank needle drops to empty suddenly and it goes up again. I checked with midas auto repair and they checked and said the same problem of gas sensor failure. It is annoying to see the check engine light always on, but the car seems to run fine. Any cheaper way to get this fixed? I don't have any mechanical skills, other than changing the air-filer. I think Ford should fix this free of charge.

- Jersey City, NJ, USA

problem #2

Feb 102013


  • miles
Filled up the gas tank the day before and now the gas meter on the dashboard reads empty. I know there's gas on the car. Now the "service engine soon" lights appears on the dashboard. I'm afraid to drive the it since I don't know how much gas it really has. The info button tells me how many miles I have to the gallon but how sure is that information is if the "service engine soon" is on. I reached online to find I am not the only person with the same issue with this vehicle. Come to find the repair is pricey. This should be a recall!!!!! no one is safe while drive a vehicle that shows false information on the dashboard.

- Rancho Cucamonga, CA, USA

problem #1

Jan 022006

Explorer 6-cyl

  • miles
There is a defect in the fuel gauge indicator. It will randomly drop from the true fuel level to zero fuel. After some variable time period it will again go from zero fuel to that actual fuel level. This is a safety hazard because it confuses the driver as to how much fuel there is in the fuel tank and may cause the driver to stop the car in an unsafe location. I have had this car for seven years and it has persisted all these years. I checked the web and other Ford Explorer owners have the same complaint. I believe that Ford should recall these cars and fix this safety hazard.

- Potomac, MD, USA

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