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:
50,000 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 suspension problems

suspension problem

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2006 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #1

Mar 192009


  • 50,000 miles


While driving the ABS / check engine / rsc warning lights came on. The truck was able to be driven for a couple of miles, but then it started making a noise from the rear of the vehicle. The truck was not able to be driven to a safe location and was left on the side of a road in a high traffic area and was towed to the dealer. The dealer found out the rear right toothed ring known as an "exciter ring" was loose on the axle. They reported the whole axle part needs to be replaced because of how it's made at a cost of $630 installed. They indicated they had no requirement to report this problem and I believe this is a major defect with unforeseen safety problems that is being under reported. My truck only had 50K miles and I have researched many other individuals reporting the problem on car and truck forums. I have indicated on the forums to report this defect to your web site and included the links. The forums are indicating Ford knows of the problem and my dealership said they have the same problem happen once in a while. We have a long trip scheduled soon and I can't imagine what would happen to the vehicle while driving at highway speeds with another toothed sensor ring falling off. I do not feel safe letting my wife and kids drive in this vehicle knowing that there are three other axles with potentially the same problem. The company that made this part should be investigated for a defective part that could cause direct or indirect death and/or injuries.

- Disputanta, VA, USA

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