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
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
2,869 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 #1

Jun 052006

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,869 miles


Purchased a 2006 Ford Explorer on 5/6/06 and took a road trip to Alabama and on the way back around ocala, fl, we started smelling gas smell as we got out of the car and walked around it. We were always stopped at convenient stores, which have gas pumps and didn't think much of it. We did look under vehicle and didn't see anything. We kept driving South to come home and around tampa, fl.. the smell got a little more strong. Luckily we made it home w/out blowing up. Once we pulled in our driveway, the smell was really bad. My husband got his flashlight and looked under the vehicle and gas was dripping out pretty steady. It was midnight on Sunday and we new that the Ford dealership was closed at that time, so we went to bed and first thing Monday morning, we called the dealership and then the towing truck. They told us to get fire dept out here to drain gas. The fire dept came and used putty to stop leak so we could have truck towed. We had truck towed to the Ford dealership to be fixed and once they looked at it, we were told that it was our fault and they would not cover under warranty. They said we ran over something. We would have known if we ran over something and if we hit rocks or pebbles while going down interstate and it caused that, then Ford has some serious fuel tank issues. We ended up turning over to our insurance co and paid to get truck fixed, which is fine. When our insurance adjuster looked at trucks fuel tank, he made us aware that there was never a skid plate put on to protect fuel tank. Per dealership, this is optional and we were never told about it. Supposedly, the fuel tanks are built now where they do not require a skid plate unless it is a four wheel drive. My families safety was put at risk and nobody at Ford that we talked to seemed to care and I think this should be investigated a little further, which is why I am writing this and letting you all know.

- Lehigh Acres, FL, USA

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