ANNOUNCEMENT: The Car Book 2018 is now online!

Ratings on over 1,000 new & used models going back 5 years, from the Center from Auto Safety. Learn more about The Car Book 2018 here. Notes: 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.


pretty bad
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
2,860 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 #5

Jul 152007

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • miles


Fuel system, check engine light. I just filled my car up with gas and I drove for less than a mile and the fuel gauge failed to empty and the check engine light came on. After I drove to the dealership to have the problem check out, they were unable to duplicate the problem that day and the next day it went back to normal.

- Flora, MS, USA

problem #4

Apr 302007

Explorer 6-cyl

  • miles
Service engine soon light comes on and says I have no gas when there is a full tank or less.

- Clyde, OH, USA

problem #3

Sep 202005


  • 12,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Ford Explorer. Safety complaint was that light came on that said have your vehicle checked immediately. The contact took vehicle back to dealer to have the fuel pump fixed. Dealer fixed the fuel pump. No crashes. No police reports. No fires. The contact was driving on road when light came on. Also, before the gas gauge was not working properly.

- North Little Rock , AR, USA

problem #2

Jul 142005

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,200 miles
My gas gauge all of a sudden read E and my service engine soon came on, on a three month old 2005 Ford Explorer with 2200 miles. I have to guesstimate how much gas I have and if something does go wrong with the engine I will not know as the light is perpetually on. The dealer states the fuel sending unit is bad and the part is backordered, I 've been waiting 3 weeks already. The dealer states they are waiting on 20 of them for this same problem. I've contacted the manufacturer and they claim to have no knowledge of the problem, that my situation is the first they've heard of it. This can't be true as the dealer I took my car to is waiting on the part to fix 20 Explorer with this same problem. I've also found this problem posted in numerous forums online. I don't think it's safe to drive around not knowing for sure how much gas you have or whether or not your engine is also malfunctioning. Ford should issue a recall and expedite the manufacture of this backordered part.

- North Royalton, OH, USA

problem #1

Jun 282005

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100 miles
Purchased new 2005 Ford Explorer after first 100 miles fuel gauge went falsely to empty and service engine light came on. Dealership advised the fuel sending unit for my vehicle is defective. Ford has already issued a tech bulletin on the issue in May 2005 yet they are still selling the vehicle knowing the units are failing. Will require them to remove my gas tank and replace unit. I beleive this should have been done prior to selling this vehicle or I shouldhave been notified of the potential problem prior to purchasing.

- Palatka, FL, USA

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