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.


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
102,265 miles
Total Complaints:
19 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace wheel bearing (17 reports)
  2. not sure (2 reports)
2005 Ford Explorer wheels / hubs problems

wheels / hubs problem

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2005 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #19

Jan 112016

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles


Right rear wheel bearing failed so badly the hub and knuckle had to be replaced as well. I have been told this is especially common on that wheel and many junkyards had that knuckle missing on old models.

- , El Cajon, CA, USA

problem #18

Nov 072015


  • Automatic transmission
  • 250,000 miles

This is the second wheel bearing. an now my sway bar links snapped, the radiator had to be replaced, my turn signals keep going in an out what's next ford ? I am so upset all this in the last 6 months an I only had this truck for a year ford needs to realize these issues seriously

- , Gaston, IN, USA

problem #17

Mar 122012

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,000 miles

Rear wheel bearings smoking. Replaced rear wheel bearings in March of 2012. They started smoking and had a loud roaring noise 8 months later. Replaced bearings and calipers. Lasted a little bit longer this time. But sad to say there gone out again. By the way Timken are suppose to be the best.

- , Osceola, AR, USA

problem #16

Feb 122015

Explorer Eddie Bauer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,000 miles


All the parts were separate, and not only replaced bearings but need an entire hub assembly.

- , Annville, PA, US

problem #15

Jul 012014

Explorer XLT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

I have replaced all wheel bearings in my Explorer. First set was in 2013. All wheels locked up when I was driving because of the bearings (those were the front), this year I had to replace the rear because of a huge noise. That was the problem and caught it before it got to the point my first set did.

- , Pembroke, VA, USA

problem #14

Jan 252012

Explorer Eddie Bauer Flex Fuel V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles

Second set of Hub assembly's replaced. Sounds like another common issue that Ford ignores.

- , Detroit, MI, USA

problem #13

Dec 102008

Explorer Eddie Bauer Flex Fuel V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 38,000 miles


Jeez, just bought this vehicle used from ford earlier that year, and already a major issue. I'm sensing a lemon

- , Detroit, MI, USA

problem #12

May 012012

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

I`ve had to change the rear wheel bearings 3 times since 2012. Also changed the calipers and brakes because of the heat damage. Rear differential seals where replaced also. I have several friends and relative who are experiencing the same problems.

- , Osceola, AR, USA

problem #11

Jan 232013

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles

Can't believe how many reports of bad wheel bearings on Explorers are out there and no recall has been issued. Just replaced both front wheel bearings and one of the rears needs it too. $1250 out of pocket by the time all is fixed. Very peeved and disappointed to say the least. Guess I'll buy a Honda CRV next summer.

- , Eagle, WI, USA

problem #10

Apr 062013

Explorer XLT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 170,000 miles

I have replace the bearing on my Ford Explorer five (5) times in last 4 years. This is not acceptable. Ford should have built the bearing better. This makes think before I buy another Ford. The cost each time is $250.00. and that's just the right side. I replaced the left side once.

- , Taylor, MI, USA

problem #9

Apr 082013

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,755 miles


My 2005 explorer XLT only has 75k miles on it!!!! Aren't Fords "built to last"? I guess not anymore! I barely drive it about 9k miles annually. It needs the differential seals in the front and rear changed because they are leaking. But it also needs the Hub and Bearing Assembly for the rear.

I am being quoted $959 including parts, labor and tax for Both rear Hub & Bearing Assembly using USA made bearings.

Does this sound like a fair price?

If I could afford a new car, I would get one, and it wouldn't be a Ford!

- , Sandy, UT, USA

problem #8

Aug 212010

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,000 miles

This is the first of 5 wheel bearings to be changed. I am totally disappointed with Ford. I'm in on a class action suit.

- , Kamuela, HI, USA

problem #7

Dec 072009

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,315 miles

The bearing was so bad my tire was about to fall off .the man at the Ford place was going to make me sign a waiver before he would let me leave.should of just left it there period .We have owned a chevorlet for 14 years and have never had this many problems out of it !

- , Dandridge, TN, USA

problem #6

Oct 142011

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 213,000 miles

Yep, like the rest of Explore drivers, better run a line of credit or mortgage the house when heading to the shop. Brought the Ford into Ford once already to get brakes done, which led to getting the bearings done cause when they removed my brakes that wrecks the bearings. Tech told me to do the brakes and bearings all at once next time I'm in and I'm due for brakes and the hum of the bearings won't be far behind. I think they wack it till something breaks. Oh well, now I'm pricing mom and pop shops on parts and labour if this is going to be the usual.

For me I have Advance Trac so my warning light and abs light will come on (so i was told and found out) when the bearing is about to fail. So, if you have this feature use it as a gauge of warning on when you're about to spend big coin for repairs. Built Ford Tough remember!

- , Monkland, Ontario, Canada

problem #5

Oct 012009

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

This is the third (3rd) time I am having to replace the rear passenger side wheel bearings on my 2005 Ford Explorer--this is quite unacceptable and I can't belive it happened again. Ford Motors should take more pride and recall and fix this problem since this is a complaint for many other Ford Explorer owners. The rear wheel bearing on my car just went out a few days ago (I was on my way going out of town) when I had to turn around and go back home--it does not give you any warning before it happens. I am so upset because I had a 1998 Ford Explorer and this problem never occurred. What happened Ford Motors after 1998 with your Explorers? Why can't you get it right on your newer Explorer models. I use to brag about Ford but now I see why so many of my friends and relatives say they will never buy a Ford car. Ford Motors, If you want to keep selling cars, you must do something--you just lost my vote!!!!!

- , Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #4

Dec 082010

Explorer XLT 6 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,000 miles

Can't believe the bearings are failing on 2005 Explorer, will never buy a Ford again. Ford should take pride in the vehicles and these issues should be paid for by Ford. I plan on sending a copy of the invoice when I get it fixed to Ford. It is a shame this has to happen at Christmas. Money is already tight, don't need this. I really loved this Explorer but unfortunately I will not be a Ford Customer again. My husband has a 2003 Avlanche with 114000 miles on it and no problems at all.

- , Olive Branch, MS, US

problem #3

Mar 042010

Explorer XLT 4.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,000 miles

This is the 2nd bearing (rear drivers) I'm having to replace. The 1st was the front passenger, September 09'. The repair shop was kind enough to show me the plethora of bearing issues on Ford Explorers. Why do I want to continue to buy American. Toyota's not much better with the throttle issue. How about Honda? I sure liked my 72' C20 back in high school and college with the 3/4 ton free floating axle and real bearings you had to grease.

- , Council Bluffs, IA, USA

problem #2

Nov 032009

Explorer Eddie Bauer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,972 miles

On my way to work I made a left turn and heard a horrible CLUNK noise followed by grinding. I got out, looked under and around the car, thinking maybe I picked up a tree limb or something like that. Nothing. I drove directly to the dealer's service area (Muzi Ford in Needham, MA) very slowly while hearing the grinding and recurring clunking noise. The dealer found that it was a disintegrated wheel bearing on my rear left, and did the rear knuckle, link, ring, wheel hub assembly, and bearing assembly. Would've cost me $1500 but my 3rd party extended warranty (Fidelity Warranty) covered all but my $100 deductible. Dealer had the car Tuesday morning thru Thursday morning while they provided me with a Ford Focus rental at $35/day, which was what my warranty covered.

No problems at all on the way to work or home on Thursday.

UNFORTUNATELY on my way to work Friday - the very next day - the same sounds started coming from the car so I limped all the way straight to the dealer again at 5mph. (During which I found it amazing how many idiots will follow right behind me, honking and flashing their lights, while I drove hugging the right side, with my hazards on...!)

Dealer just told me that the wheel bearing exploded again and they are looking into it to see what the root cause might be.


- , Brookline, MA, USA

problem #1

Aug 222008

Explorer 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles

Looks like Ford hasn't learned it's lesson from all the wheel bearing replacements it did on earlier year models. Wheel bearings are still crap on 2005. Front drivers side is oscillating between turboprop and squeal mode. I will be replacing it today, then we will see how much noise the other three are making. At least for the 2003 you had the rear bearings recalled, their not trying to do that any more than they have to. I guess ford figured that since the soccer moms were switching to SUV they could save cost by putting a minivan caliber wheel bearing on a 4wd vehicle and nobody would much notice. At least they had the sense to integrate the bearing with the hub assy so as to maximize the costing of this part. Way to go Ford!

- , Sykesville, MD, USA

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