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:
51,832 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 windows / windshield problems

windows / windshield problem

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2005 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #12

Jun 122014


  • 92,210 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that a crack developed across the full length of the hatch back door. The glass of the hatch back door also shattered without warning. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer for a diagnostic testing. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The VIN was not available. The approximate failure mileage was 92,210.

- Shacker Heights, OH, USA

problem #11

Jun 142013

Explorer 6-cyl

  • miles
The part that holds the visors just fell apart with the wires hanging and the visor on the driver's side blocked my view and the visor on the passenger side of the vehicle fell blocking my side mirror so the both caused a problem for me to see. Went to the Ford dealership phillpot and I was told that this has been happening alot, so the guy cut the wire now I have to go back to have them do the same for the passenger side cause I can't see my outside mirror on that side. That is very serious problem cause I almost had an accident. They should have a recall on this part.

- Beaumont, TX, USA

problem #10

Oct 282011


  • 90,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that the rear lift gate hatch panel fractured right below the window. The dealer was notified of the failure via voicemail. The vehicle was not inspected nor had it been repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 90,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #9

Oct 022011


  • 75,000 miles


Very large crack in the rear lift gate from top to bottom like 1 foot long and 3/16 wide close to the Ford logo.

- Wichita , KS, USA

problem #8

Oct 012008


  • 32,580 miles
Sun visors broke off. Not being able to block sun making driving very dangerous during sunny days.

- Winter Gartden, FL, USA

problem #7

Oct 092010


  • 46,024 miles
Passenger visor plastic mounting bracket failed (cracked) driver side visor plastic mounting bracket failed (cracked) two months earlier and reported separately. Entire visor assembly had to be purchased because this small part was not sold or supplied separately. Was not covered under extended premium warranty.

- Columbia, MD, USA

problem #6

Jul 262010

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • 44,000 miles


Driver's side sun visor plastic mounting bracket failed (cracked) causing visor to drop and hang by electrical wire supplying power to lighted mirror. Entire visor assembly was required because individual part (small plastic mounting bracket) was not sold individually. Visor rarely if ever used. Replacement was at owner's expense and not covered under premium extended warranty.

- Columbia, MD, USA

problem #5

Jul 082010


  • 31,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Ford Explorer. While driving at 35 mph, the driver sun visor fractured from the vehicle. The contact stated the visor was exhibiting disintegration. The dealer advised the repair would be at the contact's expense. There was not a recall for the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not contacted. The failure and current mileages were 31,000.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #4

Nov 042009

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 53,168 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Ford Explorer. While driving she heard a loud clanging noise coming from the instrument control panel. The next day the vents would only release cold air from the vents. As a consequence she could not defrost the windows. Her mechanic stated that the heater box failed and would cost $800 to repair. No repairs were made. The failure and current mileages were 53168. Updated12/10/09. The repair cost was $438. The problem was the blend door actuator, which was indide the heater box. Updated 12/10/09

- Woburn, MA, USA

problem #3

Sep 102006


  • 30,000 miles
The sun visor support of the Ford Explorer 2005 is defective and breaks easily. This has happened 3 times to me and as per research in the web, it is a problem that happens very often in this model. One time it happens while driving, and the sun visor was hanging and blocking the view. I was able to stop, but there is a potential safety problem, that could cause accidents, all for a small defective plastic piece. The hinge base is made of poor resistance plastic and has a terrible design, this is incredible taking into account that the visor arm is metallic and it transfers a considerable force to this plastic base each time you fold or use the sun visor.

- Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #2

Sep 262007


  • 85,000 miles
After having this vehicle for only 2 years, the heater/ defroster does not work. It seems to be the switch that selects heat and cold is broken and only makes a clicking sound, and will not pull in heat to defrost the windows and warm up the passenger compartment. This repair costs quite a bit of money. This is also a severe safety hazard due to winter driving conditions and the need to defrost the windshield. I have seen several others complain of the same problem.

- Buffalo, NY, USA

problem #1

Jun 102008


  • 43,000 miles
Both sun visors in my 2005 Explorer broke within a day of each other. The small plastic holder on each of them shatter into microscopic pieces with nothing on the visors. No cd holders or sunglasses either. They just broke while driving down the road. They were both folded up and not being used. It was very strange. It happened when I was driving and I felt like it was very dangerous because it dangled by a wire that could not be cut due to what it was connected to. I tried electrical tape and anything I could think of but it would not stay up. I could not get an appt until the following week and had to drive with this obstruction for 2 days. Not only was it annoying but it was very unsafe. Of course, my warranty had expired two months prior to this incident. It cost me $205 to have this repaired and I feel like this could be a recall issue because I have seen more complaints online by several other people with this car.

- Winter Haven, FL, USA

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