Notes: The previous generation of Explorer was so awful that the redesign in 2006 was greeted with much optimism. That didn't last long.

The transmission continues to be the Explorer's worst reliability problem. Owners report shifting hard & lunging, typically starting as low as 40k miles with a $1,600 average repair bill. On top of that, the radiator is prone to failure around 60k miles. Repairs for the radiator run $500 to $1,000 & many owners report they've had to replace the radiator multiple times for leaks, indicating a possible design defect in the OEM replacement parts.

Ford did make some significant changes to improve handling and safety. Electronic stability control was added in addition to side impact air bags, but beyond that this is a vehicle that should be avoided at all costs.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
60,667 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.

2006 Ford Explorer accessories - exterior problems

accessories - exterior problem

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2006 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #3

Dec 112010

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 100,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Ford Explorer eddie bauer. While driving approximately 10-60 mph, the vehicle began to jerk abnormally. The vehicle would also overheat sporadically and the rear windshield wipers would not operate. The vehicle was taken to a local transmission specialist where they rebuilt the transmission and attempted to repair the rear windshield wipers but to no avail. The failure persisted and the vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for the failures. The dealer made repairs to the cooling system but was unable to disable the rear windshield wipers to make repairs. The failure mileage was 100,000. Updated 04/25/11 updated 1/13/2012

- Durham, NC, USA

problem #2

Jan 122008

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • miles
I own a 2006 Ford Explorer eddie bauer model. Six months after purchase, the rear wiper blade stopped working. I called the dealer which I purchased it from and they told me it is not covered and a new motor would cost $300 plus labor. I feel this is a safety issue because with the heavy snows and rain in my area, a malfunctioning rear wiper could cause an accident. I know of 4 other people with the same problem with the same vehicle. I called Ford headquarters to file a complaint and they said there was nothing they can do. Please look into this problem and I am sure I am not the only person complaining of this issue.

- Alden, NY, USA

problem #1

Oct 112010


  • 82,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that while driving 55 mph in the rain, the rear windshield wiper suddenly malfunctioned which made it difficult to see out of the rear window. The contact referenced recall 05V520000 (visibility: Windshield wiper/washer: Motor) but was informed that the vehicle was not included. The failure mileage was approximately 82,000.

- Euclid, OH, USA

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