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:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
600 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

problem #1

Jun 302006

Explorer 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 600 miles


2006 Ford Explorer eddie baurer- within 12 hours of purchasing the car, the starter caught on fire, car was out of service 1 week. Transmission hesitated from a cold start especiallly bad when pulling out into traffic. Engine roared at times, sounded like a jet taking off. Dealer said this was normal, it was the engine fan "??" car lurched forward when starting on several occasions. At first service dept agreed there was a problem with 8 cylinder transmission and that they were no fixes but then the Ford rep got involved and suddenly they couldn't find any problems with the car. They suggested that our only recouse was to go thru the lemon law which we did. It was a long drawn out process but after 6 months of dealing with the situation, the lemon arbitration rulled in our favor and Ford was required to buy back the Explorer. I had a Ford Expedition for 9 years and loved it but after this fiasco with the Explorer and Ford's refusal to stand behind their product, I will not ever buy another Ford. I now have a Toyota 4runner and couldn't be happier. While it doesn't have some of the special features of the Explorer, the piece of mind of knowing that it will actually go when I pull out into traffic is immeasureable. To those still having the problems, I would suggest the lemon law.

- Sarasota, FL, USA

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