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:
79,544 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

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2006 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #13

Sep 082016

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • 129,872 miles


Driving down the hwy the powertrain malfunction indicator came on. I lost all use of the fuel pedal and brake. Had to get to the side of the hwy with out dying. If I turn the car off and back on the indicator is gone and works just fine. This situation has happened at least 5 times in the last 3 months. Nothing shows up when I plug in a code reader.

- Arvada, CO, USA

problem #12

Nov 102015


  • 107,000 miles
Eddie bauer V8 2006 Explorer 107000 miles the ABS and srv lights came off. The car was stuck to the ground and would not speed at all. Got a mechanic to check and many different codes showed up. In the past when the same lights came up I took the car to a Ford dealer and they found nothing.they recommended to change the front tires but they couldn't find any problems. For what I know it seems the Ford Explorer has a lot of problems and Ford refuses to do a recall to fix it.

- Germantown, MD, USA

problem #11

Oct 032015


  • 164,400 miles
Took this vehicle to my Ford dealer where I bought it and they put on a new master braking cyclinder and the brake pedal still goes to the floor. Ford dealer does not know where the problem is to be able to fix it and Ford motors is aware of this problem and doing nothing about it at all.

- Fredericktown, MO, USA

problem #10

Sep 012014


  • 150,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Ford Explorer. While driving approximately 40 mph, the contact heard a sound outside the vehicle as if two metal objects were grinding against each other. The service wrench warning indicator illuminated on the instrument panel. In addition, the 4-wheel drive, traction control, and ABS warning indicators illuminated continuously and the brakes seized. The brakes resumed normal operation after numerous attempts. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The approximate failure mileage was 150,000.

- Kittanning, PA, USA

problem #9

Nov 262013

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 88,000 miles
We bought this used from a used car dealership. The very next day I noticed while driving the engine just shut off. Couple months later the same thing happened and has continued to happen often. Last week I was driving 45 mph on a highway in the rain and lost all control of the vehicle. The brakes didn't work, the steering didn't work, the entire car shut down, I had a panic attack because I was in traffic and almost caused a huge accident with other vehicles. I put on the hazards and finally was able to drift into a the middle of the road called the turning lane. I called the dealership many times and have only been told "we are sorry". I tried calling a lemon law lawyer but was told, sorry, if the truck was a 2007 then I would have a case. So, now what do I do? I have a 10,000 car loan for a vehicle that I am frightened to drive anywhere. Please help me.

- Souderton, PA, USA

problem #8

Jun 192014


  • 103,000 miles
Returning from having new brakes and caliper installed - brakes were burning hot and strong smell. This has happened again after an hour drive but not on shorter drives - been told there is no apparent problem I understand that there have been other concerns about brakes seizing up on Explorer so wanted to add my concerns to the pool of information.

- Hillsboro, OH, USA

problem #7

Jun 182014


  • miles


The contact owns a 2006 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that while driving 60 mph, the brakes seized. There were no warning indicators illuminated on the instrument panel. The contact shut off the vehicle and was able to restart it five minutes later. The failure occurred on five different occasions. The vehicle had not been diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified. The failure mileage was unknown.

- Melbourne, FL, USA

problem #6

Apr 102013


  • miles
The contact owns a 2006 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that the brake pedal failed to engage and sunk into the floorboard. The vehicle was taken to the dealer however, the technician was unable to diagnose the failure. The technician then recommended having the brake lines bled. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was unknown and the current mileage was 57,500.

- Forest Lake, MN, USA

problem #5

Aug 162011

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
While attempting to shift Explorer from park to reverse the transmission did not engage for 5 to 10 seconds when it finally did engage there was a loud noise that sounded as if the transmission fell out of the vehicle and the vehicle lunged with great force. The has occurred on many occasions and is posses a danger to myself and family and any one who may be parked or standing to close. I have had this vehicle in to my local Ford service center and they have been unable to resolve the problem. The vehicle was taken in twice while under warranty: First time they stated they could not find anything and the second time they replaced the shifting mechanism. In November of 2012 the engine would not engage at all and had to be towed to my local Ford dealer and they stated that is was the gear shifter again, this time I paid $500 to have it repaired. The car worked correctly for about 3 months and I though it was finally fixed, however it is once again doing the same thing. It delays 5-10 seconds between shifting, drops into gear very hard and lunges forward. Ford is now telling me I need a new transmission at the fantastic price of an estimated $2500. Given all the complaints about this transmission I think Ford needs to replace them at their cost before we start seeing an increase in transmission failure crashes, injuries, and possibly fatalities.

- Pima, AZ, USA

problem #4

Mar 052013

Explorer 8-cyl

  • miles
Upon starting the vehicle it suddenly excelerates. I now keep my foot on the brake at all times immediately following ignition. It has has happened four or five times in the last several months. I have owned the vehicle since 2007 when I purchased it from ocala Lincoln Mercury as a Ford certified vehicle. It had approximately 14,000. Today it has only 54,230 mostly highway. That is less than 7000 miles per year. Itr has regular services at my local for dealer. All of my repair records are obtainable through the Ford Motor Company.

- St. Cloud , FL, USA

problem #3

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 #2

Oct 312012

Explorer 8-cyl

  • 42,000 miles
Most of the time, my 2006 Ford Explorer V8 will jerk forward very hard when stopping. This usually happens when I approach stops signs or stop lights. It feels like I've been rear-ended because of how hard the jolt is. This could cause me to strike another vehicle or crash into a wall if parking inside a structure. The vehicle also sometimes jerks very hard forward when accelerating from a stop. After researching online, this issue appears to be a major problem that Ford knows about, and apparently has done nothing to fix it.

- Apo, AE, USA

problem #1

May 282012

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 72,800 miles
I started to drive my vehicle from the parked position my ABS light came on and then my a grinding sound came from my front left and a jerking motion began happening to my vehicle. The grinding noise and jerking motioned happened for about 20 seconds. My ABS light and traction light began flashing and stayed on permanently with a wrench light on the dash board.

- Dover, DE, USA

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