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:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
18,124 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 #5

Jun 032008

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 15,000 miles


Relates to design: Many vehicles I have driven and never in one that I could put my shoe on both gas and brake pedal at the same time, and I am a very modest size man, not a large shoe size. I have experienced braking and the engine racing and found that my foot was on both pedals or stepping on gas and something holding back and realizing I was also on brake. I recently did a large amount of damage to three other vehicles and mine when braking to stop, my shoe was hitting both pedals. I attempted to slam on the brake and realize now I was also on the gas. While looking where I was going did not have time to realize this, get off the gas before hitting a parked vehicle with my foot down on the gas. I pushed a car into another car and pushed those two over to seriously damage a third. I can't imagine if a person had been there or people in the cars. Even knowing this I feel nervous about driving this Explorer when back from the body shop.

- Novato, CA, USA

problem #4

Dec 082007

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 31,900 miles
I bought my 06 Explorer with 12K miles. Soon after purchase, I noticed the brake pedal felt soft and seemed to require a longer stopping distance than my old Explorer. The dealer acknowledged a problem and replaced the master cylinder. The brake pedal then felt slightly better, but only for a short time. Since that time, there has been multiple times when I was attempting to brake for a turn but the vehicle did not slow down enough to turn, despite having the brake pedal almost to the floor. Most recently, when driving in snowy conditions, when the ABS kicks in, it feels like the brake pedal cannot be pushed down and the vehicle does not stop, causing me to slide through a red light, despite going slow and braking a long distance before the light. The brake system on the Explorer does not feel safe and needs to be recalled!

- Northglenn, CO, USA

problem #3

Aug 142007

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that both the antilock brake and anti-roll lights illuminated. He heard a noise coming from the rear of the vehicle and discovered that the passenger side rear axle failed. The contact spoke with the dealer and they stated that no recalls were available for that component. The speed was unknown. The current mileage was 41,000 and failure mileage was 40,000.

- Benton, AR, USA

problem #2

Jan 062007

Explorer 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
- the contact owns a 2006 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that while driving on three different occasions at 25 - 30 mph, she engaged the brakes and the vehicle failed to stop immediately and could cause a collision. The contact stated that this does not occur often; however it has happened on at least three occasions since December 5, 2006 all resulting in an unsuccessful repair. The contact's vehicle is currently at the dealer. The contact stated that the dealer has changed the brake booster and the incident continues to occur. The incident also occurred when the service manager drove the vehicle; however, it didn┐T occur during diagnostic testing.

- Savoy, IL, USA

problem #1

Jun 242006

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 3,720 miles
1. driving down the road, preparing to make a left-hand turn 2. when trying to slow for a left turn, the car barely slowed down and I could not get it to slow down enough to make the turn. I went beyond the turn and had to back up. During my attempt to slow the car down, it made a noise like a loud fan or a racing engine. This happened on dry pavement with no stones. 3. I took it to a dealer to have the problem fixed but they couldn't get it to react like it did for me and their computer couldn't find a problem. I made them put on the repair paper that they looked at both a braking problem and an engine problem and found no defects. I then left the dealership, drove down the road, had the car washed and then started for home only to have the exact same stopping problem as I described above. I made them take it back and they have had it for going on 4 weeks and still can't find any problem. Everyone in the place, service manager, mechanic and another service person, have driven the car with no results. They had me drive with the service manager after taking it back the second time and he put the car into a slide on gravel to have me experience the ABS in action to see if that was what I experienced, but it wasn't the same. It did not make the noise that I experienced each time it failed to stop. We are not getting any satisfaction from the dealer. The car only had approximately 3,700 miles when they first got it. If I experienced this problem in traffic, I would certainly hit a car in front of me because no matter how much pressure I apply to the brakes, it won't stop in a timely manner. Once I have taken my foot off the brake, it will work again, properly. I feel like this is a major problem and so far there has been no solution given to me. They just keep telling me that it isn't doing anything when they drive it.

- Prospect, OH, USA

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