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:
71,977 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 brakes problems

brakes problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2006 Ford Explorer:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2006 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #9

Apr 112016


  • 106,000 miles


We recently bought our truck in March 2016 and since about April of 2016 the truck continuously shuts off, in traffic, on the highway, on residential roads..pretty much any and every where, it happens while driving and while idling. All power is lost including power steering. Sometimes it will shut off 2/3 times in a 5-10 minute span will driving. It has cut off on me twice while driving through intersections while I had my children in the car with me almost resulting in accidents both times. Sometimes while driving it loses power then suddenly regains power back and will continue to drive. This is an all round dangerous and potentially deadly situation! after doing some research it seems as if this is a very common problem with these vehicles. I've contacted Ford myself and so far they haven't issued a recall and are aware of this situation. Please help!!

- Deptford, NJ, USA

problem #8

Sep 162015


  • 61,000 miles
Driving on a highway I-95 in Florida. The vehicle started to miss as we accelerated. We took the car into a Ford dealer service for plug replacement. This auto has a 4.6 litre V-8 engine. We were amazed to find that it will cost upwards of $1000 to replace 8 spark plugs. That cost esculates if any plugs are broken. The plugs are two piece construction and separate on removal. Only Ford can remove the plugs and more will be charged for any broken. It is impossible to remove these plugs without breakage. Ford recommends not changing the plugs until 100,000 miles. By that time you are out of guaranty and if they are hard to come out at 60,000 miles imagine if they are left in. These plugs are known to blow out of the head and I am sure there are many accidents. I am a disabled veteran 83 years old and a mechanical engineer. My wife and I are fishermen and need a vehicle to bring our boat to water. We are avid Ford owners and are greatly dissapointed.

- Jupiter, FL, USA

problem #7

Feb 112011

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 40,130 miles
Driving at 45 mph, transmission shifted with a jerky motion, first started then.when you first take off it jerks and makes a noise. When you back up it jerks hard enough it whips you body back. Had it checked at a transmission place. They tore it down and found nothing ( $400). Still jerks and shifts rough. Don't know how long it's going to last.

- Pasadena, MD, USA

problem #6

Feb 012013


  • 117,000 miles


Brakes shuttered and make awful racket when trying to stop. ABS and ESC light came on. Took it to Ford house and was told a rear "exciter ring" had broken and would need to be replaced at $380.

- Rowlett, TX, USA

problem #5

Mar 122012

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 65,450 miles
While driving on the freeway and applying my foot on the brakes the vehicle failed to stop. ABS, traction control and a wrench light came on. Grinding noise came from the vehicle. This incident happened while driving my wife and newborn home from the hospital. After taking it to a shop, the mechanic noticed that the tone ring or ABS ring was cracked. This must be replaced in order for the vehicle to have functional brakes. The shop told me that the ABS ring had a different part number and the material was much thicker than the old ring.

- Garden City, MI, USA

problem #4

Jul 252011


  • 66,720 miles
The wrench, the ABS, and the anti-sway icons started coming on intermittently on my 2006 Explorer. They would reset immediately using the reset button. The dealer replaced a wheel-speed sensor and stated that the sensor was damaged when the "tone" wheel cracked. Dealer also stated that unless the tone wheel was replaced, the ABS was not operational. Seems like this is a major safety concern; if you think you have ABS, but don't the driver is set up for the big fall! Ford is aware of this cracking problem: Why no recall?

- Albuquerque, NM, USA

problem #3

Jun 042006


  • 86,000 miles


ABS brake light and intermittent locking up brakes with stability control almost causing accident as you lose control while driving.

- Brighton, IL, USA

problem #2

Apr 242009


  • 55,496 miles
Daughter driving mother's 2006 Ford Explorer on nys rt 87, ABS light, traction control light and wrench light come on, nearest exit a few miles. ABS would operate randomly, fortunately no accident. Gringing sounds from transfer case. I found the driver's side rear toothed ring known as the "exciter ring" was cracked and loose on the axle which causes the sensor to get bad readings. I am going to Ford dealer for repair, but a vehicle with 55K should not have this problem. I hope it hasn't caused any other problems. This could easily cause a crash because you would not expect ABS to function when your foot is not on the brake pedal.

- Pougkeepsie, NY, USA

problem #1

Mar 192009


  • 50,000 miles
While driving the ABS / check engine / rsc warning lights came on. The truck was able to be driven for a couple of miles, but then it started making a noise from the rear of the vehicle. The truck was not able to be driven to a safe location and was left on the side of a road in a high traffic area and was towed to the dealer. The dealer found out the rear right toothed ring known as an "exciter ring" was loose on the axle. They reported the whole axle part needs to be replaced because of how it's made at a cost of $630 installed. They indicated they had no requirement to report this problem and I believe this is a major defect with unforeseen safety problems that is being under reported. My truck only had 50K miles and I have researched many other individuals reporting the problem on car and truck forums. I have indicated on the forums to report this defect to your web site and included the links. The forums are indicating Ford knows of the problem and my dealership said they have the same problem happen once in a while. We have a long trip scheduled soon and I can't imagine what would happen to the vehicle while driving at highway speeds with another toothed sensor ring falling off. I do not feel safe letting my wife and kids drive in this vehicle knowing that there are three other axles with potentially the same problem. The company that made this part should be investigated for a defective part that could cause direct or indirect death and/or injuries.

- Disputanta, VA, USA

Not what you are looking for?