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.


fairly significant
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
14,000 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 seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2005 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #2

Jan 012007


  • 15,000 miles


There are two cracks on the back top lift gate which allows water to get to the electric locks and it opens by itself when wet. The wheels bearings have to be replaced about every 3 months. The passenger front belt tightens and will not loosen.

- Morristown, TN, USA

problem #1

Aug 112006

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 13,000 miles
: the contact stated the engine surged and the check engine light illuminated at speeds of 30 mph. The vehicle was taken to the dealership on four occasions and were unable to correct the problem. The ring pin gear was replaced the first time the vehicle was taken to the dealership. The dealership determined the third and fourth cylinder spark plugs needed to be replaced on the second visit. The cylinder spark plugs were replaced on the third and fourth visit. The rear axle was replaced due to a shutter coming from the rear of the vehicle. The right handle was loose. The lumbar seat switch was loose. Updated 09/13/06.

- Cartersville, GA, USA

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