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.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
148 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 - interior problems

accessories - interior problem

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2006 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #2

Dec 152007

Explorer 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 296 miles


Have had numerous problems starting with a lifter stuck in motor at 296 miles, to transmission failure at 15,700 miles. Brakes have squeaked since it was new, overhead console has fallen off twice, satellite radio works when it wants to. Door rubbed on running board, now gas mileage has dropped under 10 miles per gallon. 14 trips to dealership so far and still not all is fixed.

- Sioux City, IA, USA

problem #1

Apr 072007

Explorer 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
2006 Ford Explorer with frequent transmission problems. Customer states that the transmission has shifting inconsistencies which causes the vehicle to shake. The consumer stated the erratic shifting of the vehicle started the day after purchase and after the incident he contacted the dealership to inform them of the defect. The dealership then in turn had the consumer come in on 4 separate occasions to rectify the situation but to no avail. The consumer would like the situation investigated and would like for the dealer to repurchase the vehicle at the value in which it was sold. The dealer stated the speakers sound like they are distorted, top cover of instrument cluster is loose.

- Sherman Oaks, CA, USA

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