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.


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
111,200 miles
Total Complaints:
2 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (1 reports)
  2. replace engine (1 reports)
2006 Ford Explorer engine problems

engine problem

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2006 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #2

Aug 042014

Explorer LX 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 168,389 miles


I bought this new. For the last 4 years I've had problems. The radiator has been replaced 3 times. I contacted Ford and they said there has been no recall on this problem, but yet it kept happening to me. This last time it blew my engine. No warning at all until the engine light came on and the engine was fried. I had to have the engine replaced. What a headache.

This has been very costly. Every time I had the oil changed I also had them check all levels and every time it was told to me every thing was alright, in working order. I've always been a Ford person and never had any problems until now. But, I don't think I'll buy another Ford. I know that something is very wrong with model 4.0 engine and it has something to do with the cooling system or otherwise I wouldn't of had so many problems with the radiator. There was no warning, the heat gauge didn't even show hot until it was to late.

- Vicky C., Quinlan, TX, USA

problem #1

Apr 202011

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 54,000 miles

bought the vehicle used with 53k on it. immediately heard a chirping noise coming from the rear of the engine. ford thought it eventually was the serp. belt and belt tensioner which were replaced for after 50 miles of being replaced the noise is back. gonna try the camshaft pulley that most people seem to think is causing the noise.......can't wait to see what this will cost.

- kurtnc, Clayton, NC, USA

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