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 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
1,708 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2006 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #3

Oct 012005

Explorer 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,000 miles


I have a 2006 Ford Explorer that has a severe acceleration hesitation problem. I've taken to dealers and they are unable to diagnose the problem. I believe it's a disaster waiting to happen and I would like Ford to be more responsible in fixing the problems as it now appears many vehicles of same make are experiencing same problem. This has been a continuous issue since I purchased the new Explorer in fall of 2005.

- Ceresco, MI, USA

problem #2

Nov 032006

Explorer 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 25 miles
Engine hesitates/stumbles when pulling out from stop position or into traffic. Ford motor says they cannot fix problem. SUV is unsafe to drive due to this condition. It is almost a year old(2006) and has 2535 miles on it. Ford will not return my calls and have had it to dealer at least 6 times with problem.

- Williamsburg, KY, USA

problem #1

Aug 022006

Explorer 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100 miles
Vehicle has 1978 miles, 2006 Ford Explorer, has major hesitation in throttle, after 3 trips to dealer, they say vehicle cannot be repaired". this SUV is unsafe to drive due to the hesitation in the throttle, cannot pull into traffic, from stop sign, or from stopped position.

- Williamsburg, KY, USA

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