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 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
59,852 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 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2006 Ford Explorer Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #13

Jul 082010


  • 42,000 miles


2006 Ford Explorer with 42,000 mi has just started to die. Dangerous because it quits running in traffic, no brake lights, so traffic behind does not expect you to stop.

- Washington, IL, USA

problem #12

Jan 162009


  • 55,000 miles
I own a 2006 Ford Explorer, in 2009, the vehicle stalled out 3X while driving on the highway in Massachusetts. My mechanic after reviewing the vehicle discovered that the vehicle had 2 corroded sensors within the wiring harness of the vehicle. After repairing the sensors within the harness, my mechanic stated that the harness system was defective and that the stalling or other system failure would happen in the vehicle again. The recommendation was that I should pursue Ford to replace the wiring harness in the vehicle due to the safety ramifications of the defective harness. I took my complaint to Ford Motor Company and my vehicle was inspected by their service technicians and the harness was reviewed by their area manager of northeast dealerships. Ford reported that they would replace the harness but would offer little re-imbursement to me as the vehicle is out of warranty. I was requesting that Ford replace the faulty harness free of cost to me as it was a major safety issue. Ford disagreed and would not move forward with any additional resolution. In the last year- I have had the vehicle as I cannot afford replacement due to employment layoffs- the vehicle has stalled repeatedly; on highways, Suburban and urban roadways, all putting myself and family in harm's way. I recently contacted Ford again wanting a wiring harness replacement- Ford's answer was the same as it was in 2009, they would not replace the harness unless I pay for the majority of the work. I believe that this issue is a major safety issue that Ford should correct. I am now becoming fearful that if not corrected soon, that it will cause harm to myself and family.

- North Andover, MA, USA

problem #11

Feb 202010


  • 32,714 miles
2006 Ford Explorer dies while driving. Looses all power, simply goes dead electrically and mechanically while I was driving on the highway. Had to fight manual steering and braking to pull over. Turned key off and back on and it restarted like nothing happened.

- Scottsdale, AZ, USA

problem #10

Jul 092009

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 25,800 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Ford Explorer. When attempting to make a turn, or decelerate, the engine would stall. The vehicle was taken to the dealer over five to six times for identical failures. The dealer replaced the fuel filter and the power train module. None of the repairs have remedied the failure. The Ford manufacturer was contacted, but no assistance was provided. The failure mileage was 25,800. Updated 1/25/10 updated01/26/10.

- Panama City, FL, USA

problem #9

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 #8

Jun 012009


  • 50,000 miles
2006 Ford Explorer sporadically does not speed up when you hit the accelerator. Ford apparently knows about this issue and has a software fix in place that you must proactively contact them other words, you have to have the problem on the road and call them before they will do anything about it. It occurs everytime we drive the car, however, it is not consistent when it occurs or how times it happens the entire time the car is being driven. The consequences are that you can be driving 10mph or 70mph and when you hit the accelerator, the car engine will rev up much like you were sitting in neutral (I.e. it does not speed up) and after a few seconds will kick into gear/engage and start speeding up. This seems very dangerous if you were not expecting this to occur and were trying to pass a car with possible oncoming traffic. This issue should require Ford to recall the vehicles before somebody gets injured, if they have not already been.

- Boise, ID, USA

problem #7

Apr 072009


  • 21,000 miles


I have a 2006 Ford Explorer XLT which now has 21 thousand miles last year I had the dash cluster replace because the truck would not start. Then the shift lever wouldn't move out of park. (still happening) not the ABS. Traction and wrench lights have come on. This truck has been nothing but problems.

- Trenton , NJ, USA

problem #6

Mar 052009

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 74,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Ford Explorer. Since October of 2008, the vehicle stalls at any speed and the accelerator becomes difficult to depress. While driving approximately 60 mph, the vehicle automatically stalls when attempting to brake. When attempting to accelerate after the failure, the vehicle just shuts off. The vehicle has been taken to the repair shop four times regarding the brake failure and stalling, but the cause of the failure has yet to be determined. The contact stated that this is a safety issue and she would like the failure investigated. The current and failure mileages were 74,000. Updated 10/21/09 updated 10/21/09

- Desoto, TX, USA

problem #5

Mar 012009


  • 60,000 miles
Ford special message #15773 my 2006 Explorer has twice tried to start itself, running the battery down so low that a vehicle charge was not sufficient. Ford dealer stated they were completely unaware of the problem, until I showed them the special message no. They still are not willing to fix the vehicle as noted in the message.

- Fort Wayne, IN, USA

problem #4

Jul 072008


  • 28,000 miles
My 2006 Ford Explorer will just shut off when you are running 55-60 mph. This seems to happen usually after it rains. My alarm goes off periodically when nobody is around it. Ford cannot seem to duplicate the problem.

- Henderson, KY, USA

problem #3

Jul 142008


  • 14,000 miles


Engine stalls while driving, unable to restart without dealer. Anti lock brake indicator comes on along with engine light, skid control light, doors unlock and lock while driving. Brakes lock up and spin the car out of control when driving; power steering becomes manual at times along with the power brakes not having power as well. Two dealers have had 4 different advisors look at my vehicle and they simply state they don't know what is causing the problems. Transmission jerked and stayed in 4th gear revving motor very high while driving. Recently ac is intermittently working and just last Sunday again was unable to start car. Vehicle has been towed four times to the Ford dealers for repair on the same electrical problems. The vehicle has been in the dealers repair shop more than eleven times for the same electrical problems. My service writer warned me the last time I picked it up "parker, do not drive you car as it is dangerous and a hazard to everyone on the road." The dealer will not do anything as far as taking it back and putting me into another vehicle. These problems were evident through the oasis report that was provided to me after I bought the vehicle. The was a warning that the transmission computer needed to be worked on before it was sold. It was not! the dealer or Ford Motor Complaint 800 number states it is my vehicle and to deal with it. These problems have continually occurred threatening the safety of me and my family as well as others on the highway. I purchased this vehicle in March 2007 as a "cpo" vehicle but have realized now that means absolutely nothing to the dealers once it is sold. Can you please help me? all these matters have occurred from Mar 2007 through present.

- Modesto, CA, USA

problem #2

Jul 012006

Explorer 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 4,000 miles
(1) I have owned my 2006 Ford Explorer for one year and four months. There are approximately 21,000 miles currently on it. It has had a lunging problem starting weeks after I purchased it. I have taken it into two separate Ford dealers in attempts to have it fixed for a total of six times. They have attempted to update the computer on two separate occasions. Each time it is fixed for a couple of weeks up to a couple of months, however, the clunking and jerking once again show. I believe that they unplug the battery each time it is taken in, allowing the computer to "forget" its adaptive learning. (2) when I take off from a stop it hesitates and then slams into gear causing the vehicle to accelerate unpredictably. Furthermore, when stopping it feels like it is freewheeling in between first and second gear with an abrupt stop and a jerk that causes a violent jerking of the vehicle. The feeling it provides is one of being rearended. (3) the only thing that has been done is to reprogram the computer and unhooking the battery so the computer forgets its adaptive learning. This is a quick fix for Ford and does not solve the problem.

- Prattville, AL, USA

problem #1

Feb 052006

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
On 12/10/05, I purchased a new 2006 Ford Explorer. Yesterday, for the fifth time, the vehicle has not been able to start. I brought it in to Ford on 01/11/06, they replaced the battery and told me it would not happen again. It happened again last night.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

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