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:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
34,881 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 (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #5

Apr 182007

Explorer 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 8,000 miles


When coming to a stop the car lurches forward.

- Sayville, NY, USA

problem #4

Oct 092006

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,000 miles
- the contact stated that the 2006 eddie bauer Ford Explorer's dashboard instrument lights turned on at any given time of the day. The contact stated that if the lights turned on while driving the speedometer failed to register the correct speed. When the failure happened she pulled the vehicle to the side of the road and shut the ignition off, but it took several attempts to restart the vehicle. The contact took the vehicle to the dealership on 8 occasions, and the dealership has replaced the instrument cluster, the anti theft module, and the computer. Also unplugged and plugged all the wires under the hood. The contact stated that she continued to have the same problem with the vehicle. The failure mileage was 1000 and the current mileage was 8485.

- Olney, IL, USA

problem #3

Nov 252006

Explorer 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1 miles
Always- throttle hesitation at stop to accelerate. There is a momentary hesitation which is dangerous in starting out. If the SUV were to kill due to the stall, there could easily be an accident. I'm contacting my dealer immediately. I should have done it sooner. This is a problem.

- Roscoe, IL, USA

problem #2

Jun 112006

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1 miles
I own a 2006 Explorer eddie bauer with 3000 miles on it. Here is the problem, just before coming to a complete stop at stop light, stop sign or whatever, the engine revs to 1200-1500 rpms for just a brief second. I am not giving the car any gas to induce this occurrence. I have no idea why the car is doing this and neither does my local dealer. The service manager acknowledged that the car is in fact doing what I described above, but could not offer a fix. I tested another 2006 V6 Explorer with 3 miles on it, to mine and the service manager surprise; it did the exact same thing as my truck. The service manager said he would look into the situation and call some of his engineer buddies to see if they could give him any information. I never heard back from him. I am also beginning to notice that I actually have to break harder to get the truck to come to a complete stop. This can not be normal, yet my Ford dealer is insinuating nothing is actually wrong with the car. Longer than necessary stopping distances and will lead to unnecessary collisions. Because the Ford Motor Company will not admit there is a problem with 2006 V6 Explorer my dealer will probably do nothing to remedy the situation. I complained to Ford Motor Company and never even received a confirmation that they received my email. I honestly believe that this is a recall situation. To my knowledge, all 2006 V6 Explorer exhibit this problem of sudden acceleration, admittedly not by any stretch a powerful sudden acceleration but still it is a sudden acceleration. I am confident in my assessment because I have personally driven 2 Explorer and different service rep claimed he drove yet another 06 Explorer that did exactly the same thing. It seems to me that if Ford has a design flaw in one of there cars they should design a fix for the problem and then repair the affected cars.

- Woodmere, NY, USA

problem #1

Jul 202006

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 6,800 miles
I was on vacation in smoky mountains in gatlinburg, tn and went to a picnic area within the park. I had to make a 45-degree turn to get into the parking space, so at that angle one would almost have to stop. I got into the parking space fine, got straightened up fine, had my foot on the brake, then my car accelerated on its own, rpms revving faster and faster. My cousin told me to put my foot on the brake, and I told her I was but it just kept revving. My Ford Explorer stopped after plowing out of the ground a metal charcoal grill set in at least 1 foot of concrete, a picnic table, and a concrete parking barrier. My front seat passenger and I had to crawl out the back of the Explorer, and the back seat passenger got out her door on a man's shoulders. I still do not have my Explorer back, so I do not know what has been done to correct it yet.

- Red Boiling Springs, TN, USA

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