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 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
69,812 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 fuel system problems

fuel system problem

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2006 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #6

Sep 082016

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • 129,872 miles


Driving down the hwy the powertrain malfunction indicator came on. I lost all use of the fuel pedal and brake. Had to get to the side of the hwy with out dying. If I turn the car off and back on the indicator is gone and works just fine. This situation has happened at least 5 times in the last 3 months. Nothing shows up when I plug in a code reader.

- Arvada, CO, USA

problem #5

Mar 052013

Explorer 8-cyl

  • miles
Upon starting the vehicle it suddenly excelerates. I now keep my foot on the brake at all times immediately following ignition. It has has happened four or five times in the last several months. I have owned the vehicle since 2007 when I purchased it from ocala Lincoln Mercury as a Ford certified vehicle. It had approximately 14,000. Today it has only 54,230 mostly highway. That is less than 7000 miles per year. Itr has regular services at my local for dealer. All of my repair records are obtainable through the Ford Motor Company.

- St. Cloud , FL, USA

problem #4

Jan 012010

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 45,000 miles
Ford has known about fuel tank filling issues since they issued an internal tsb in 2007. Problem causes fuel tank to fill with pressure, and not accept fuel. As a result, fuel is sprayed all over vehicle and the person fueling vehicle. We had vehicle in for repairs numerous times, and still having fuel tank issues. There are "uncountable" numbers of Ford Explorer owners that I have found on the internet, that have this problem, and they do not know that Ford knows the reason for this failure. Ford should have issues a recall notice to protect danger of fuel spray.

- Jim Thorpe, PA, USA

problem #3

Dec 222012

Explorer 8-cyl

  • 93,000 miles


This vehicle has been jerking when I am going slow to the point as if someone hit me in the rear end of the vehicle. It is a very strong jerking sensation enough to frighten any reasonable individual. It also has been trying to accelerate when my foot was on the brake pedal and not in cruise control while going well below the minimum speed necessary to use the cruise control. The auto acceleration was while at 10 miles per hour or less and my foot was on the brake. This has become more and more frequent and I am worried it could be the computer, the transmission, the engine, or a control system not functioning properly. This has happened on multiple occasions with passengers in the vehicle. My parents were frightened when it happened. I am worried the thing may accelerate on its own and hurt another vehicle(s) or its passengers. There hasn't be a fire or crash yet but it is my fear that will happen unless this safety issue is meaningfully addressed. I already had certified auto repair of rockville md look at the vehicle and they told me they couldn't find anything wrong following a computer diagnostic. The jerking and auto acceleration are becoming more and more frequent and I am reporting this because I am concerned about the safety of my vehicle and others on the road. Also, there are heavy virbations occuring during the idling process and I am not a mechanic but this may have something to do with the safety concerns on the vehicle.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #2

Jul 102012

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 96,000 miles
My 2006 Ford Explorer is randomly accelerating and stalling. I am on the road alot and it has almost caused a few accidents. The engine light and wrench light comes on but resets itself. It just happened again today and I was infront of an auto zone. I stopped in and left the car running. I had the associate come out to test it and the car was stalled. He tested it and it had 5 codes all of them relating to the throttle position sensor. So I got home looked online and low and behold there are a whole slew of complaints on the net about people having this same problem. This is not safe. I will have it fixed now that I narrowed down the problem but this will kill someone. Seems like that's what it takes before anyone cares.

- Dallastown, PA, USA

problem #1

Jun 052012

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 55,000 miles
I noticed a yellow fluid leaking from the thermostat housing. I took it to a mechanic and he said that the antifreeze was leaking from somewhere in the manifold, probably the thermostat housing. We replaced the thermostat housing and brand new O-rings and added silicone sealant around the affected areas. We are still seeing the leaking. I have seen this complaint numerous times and it is time that Ford take responsibility for the plastic parts that are connected to the engine. Ford must use metal parts to replace these for me because plastic warps in the heat of Florida. The affected parts are the thermostat housing and it's connection to the engine. I have a 2006 Ford Explorer eddie bauer 4.0 with 55K mileage. Good maintenance always, oil changed regularly, fluids checked and maintained regularly. Ford must fix this!

- St.Petersburg , FL, USA

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