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.


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
23,800 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

Sep 022009


  • 17,000 miles


The gear shift light on my 2006 Ford Explorer has burned out. The service department of my dealer said I have to buy an entire shift unit and was too embarrassed to even check the price. I believe this is a potential hazard since people won't replace the entire unit due to cost and will place the car in the wrong gear at night leading to injury. Don't know how many others have this problem, but found a few on line.

- Wilmington, DE, USA

problem #1

Nov 252008


  • 30,600 miles
Since 11/08, we noticed the overhead console light would leak water after various rainfalls. On 12/1/08 we took the SUV to the dealer for service of this matter. It was released to us on 12/3/08. The correction was: Installed updated drain tubes, as per 07-20-6. on 3/2/09 we brought the SUV to the dealer for service, for the same - overhead console, dome lamp leaking, & full of water, and roof (headliner) above rear seat on driver's side leaking and soaked with water after various rainfalls. The correction this second time was: Cleared drains. On 3/30/09 we brought the SUV in for service again. It had rained through the night, and the morning of 3/29/09. The dome console lights were leaking & had water inside, the roof headliner on the rear driver side was soaked & leaking water well into the trunk area, and the right side rear behind the passenger side was soaked & leaking water well into the trunk area as well. We received a phonecall from the technician on 3/31/09, stating that no leaks had been found, no water stains visible. We went in to speak with the service manager that evening, and showed the pictures taken by us on 3/29/09 - showing extensive water leakage. They kept the SUV to further investigate for leaks. On 4/2/09 we received a call from the technician, stating the drains would be replaced again. The consequences of these events is that I am afraid to allow the children to turn on the dvd player, sunroof, & even fear of driving the vehicle for possible fire hazard/electrical safety issues. My husband has lost days @ work while the truck is in service. My asthmatic child has not felt well for months now, which leads us to suspect if due to the leakage, thus wetness, if mold is present somewhere in the vehicle. Also, the driver heated seat has not worked since 12/09, which leads us to suspect if the water damage has started causing electrical problems.

- Riverview, FL, USA

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