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:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
5,335 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 body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2006 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #3

Nov 202007

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 16,000 miles


Vehicle accident two occupants both had seatbelts on, both had airbag deployed and both still struck windshield. Accident occurred in November and as of may one occupant is still removing glass from arms and legs. Ford will not respond to E-mails requesting why seatbelt and airbags did not prevent occupants from striking windshield.

- Rangeley, ME, USA

problem #2

Mar 132006

Explorer 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5 miles
Fuel level and engine temperature gauges are almost impossible to read in daylight, requiring a driver to take his/her eyes from the road for an excessive period of time. This creates a potentially dangerous situation while driving a 2006 Ford Explorer.

- Waterford, ME, USA

problem #1

Apr 112006

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1 miles
: the contact stated there is a severe windshield glare coming from the dashboard. The dealer inspected the vehicle and determined the vehicle functions properly. Updated 5/10/2006 - the dashboard reflected onto the windshield and covered about 70% of the windshield.

- New Berlin, WI, USA

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