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:
51,750 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 wheels / hubs problems

wheels / hubs problem

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2005 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #4

Sep 032012


  • 72,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that the panel under the rear window split around the outside of the window, which extended to the Ford emblem. The damage became progressively worse over time and the contact was concerned that the window could explode when she drove through a car wash. The contact also stated that heat could be a factor in the failure. In addition, the rear latch failed to engage when she attempted to close the rear window. The dealer was contacted and advised that she would be responsible for the repair costs since there were no recalls for the failure. Also, the tire sensor gauge remained illuminated at all times. The tire mechanic stated that the failure was a common problem that could have been caused by the spare tire. The contact stated that she had to check the air pressure of the tires on a continual basis. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was 72,000.

- Tucson , AZ, USA

problem #3

Mar 152010


  • miles
My 2005 Ford Explorer came with metal valve caps on the tires, when I brought it in for service with a low pressure signal on, the dealer told me that the valve caps were frozen onto the stems, and if he tried to take off the caps, they would snap the sensors in the tires, and it would cost approximately $600. To replace all four sensors. I responded that it would cost $600. To put air in the tires because of a design defect? the response was yes. My point, if you did not have the money to correct a mfr's design error, you are riding on under-inflated tires, creating a potentially hazardous situation.

- Roslindale, MA, USA

problem #2

Jul 202010

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 35,000 miles
Have owned 2005 Ford Explorer since new. After 35,000 miles the gas gauge started to bottom out on empty followed by a service engine soon light staying on. The gauge will start working again off and on but it's not reliable. Tried running a fuel cleaner through it a couple of times and did nothing for it. Also the tire pressure monitor says it's reading a bad sensor in one of the wheels. This vehicle is well taken care of and babied by my wife. There seems to be alot of consumers having the exact same troubles with the same vehicles. Why is Ford not held liable for these defects? this was not a budget low cost car. We paid over $36,000 for this SUV. Please help us in any way you can.

- Vancouver, WA, USA

problem #1

Sep 182008


  • 100,000 miles
I was removing caps on valve stems to check tire pressure when the valve stem broke off in the cap. It immediately deflated the tire completely! I was lucky that I was not driving. The tire was completely flat and coming off the rim. I had the spare tire put on. When I went to the Ford dealer said that they had alot of vehicles in that the valve stems had broken off. Very dangerous. I am now afraid that the valve stems on the other tires could do the same thing. Because they also have tire sensors in valve stems it is very costly to replace and only a Ford dealer can get the part and recalibrate the computer for the sensors.

- Simpsonville, KY, USA

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