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:
70,125 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 suspension problems

suspension problem

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2005 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #5

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 #4

Jul 142005

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,752 miles
2005 Ford Explorer. Consumer writes in regards to vehicle rear axle leaking. The consumer stated the rear axles were replaced at 59,752. A year later after listening to the noise in the rear end for quite some time, the problem returned. Six months later, they were replaced again. Also, the rear panel beneath the window was rusted and the throttle needs to be replaced, as it is causing vehicle hesitation.

- Edgewood, WA, USA

problem #3

Aug 012011


  • 68,874 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Ford Explorer, equipped with goodrich touring T/a tires. The tire size was P235/75/R16 and the dot number was ap70L2113710. The contact stated that there was extreme and consistent tread wear on the tires. During inclement weather, the vehicle would hydroplane on the highway. The dealer and manufacturer were notified, but stated that there was nothing that they were able to do to assist. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 58,575 and the current mileage was 68,874. The VIN was unavailable. Updated 05/21/12 updated 06/01/12

- Roswell, GA, USA

problem #2

Dec 102010

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 87,000 miles
2005 Ford Explorer front wheel bearings bad at 87,000 miles and ball joints have slack in them. Ridiculous that a car this nice has such problems. Lots of complaints about the same thing on the internet, rear end has a roar in it too, of course I can't afford to get this stuff fixed. Ford should recall these auto and fix all these problems. This should not be happening on a new vehicle which has never pulled anything, only driven to work and back 12 miles a day and top speed is 45 miles per hour. Last Ford I will ever own.

- Olive Branch, MS, USA

problem #1

Jan 102009


  • 120,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Ford Explorer. The contact continued to hear a roaring noise coming from her vehicle. She took her vehicle to the dealer and they stated that the front driver's side wheel bearings were defective. The necessary repairs were made by an independent mechanic. The two front wheel bearings were replaced and, upon further investigation, all four wheel bearings were found to be defective. All four wheel bearings were replaced at the cost of over $600. The failure and current mileages were less than 120,000.

- Prentiss, MS, USA

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