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:
58,043 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 wheels / hubs problems

wheels / hubs problem

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2006 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #2

Mar 182013

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 86,000 miles


With only 86,000 miles our Ford Explorer transmission has failed once again. When we had 23,000 miles on our vehicle we noticed the transmission was shifting rather hard and took it to the dealer and they found nothing wrong. At 58,000 miles the transmission engagement was so rough that we had to get it repaired. Since the warranty is only up to 36,000 we decided our best bet is to not take it to the dealer. We had the valve body repaired and it ran fine up until now. 86,000 miles and this vehicle is once again at a repair shop having the transmission fully rebuilt. In the time I have owned this vehicle I have paid over $7,000 to keep it running with regular maintenance, tires, radiator repair, brakes and now the third transmission.

- Hollister, CA, USA

problem #1

Jul 152010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,086 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Ford Explorer. She purchased four tires thirteen months ago and they are approximately fifty percent worn. The tires are Goodyear model#fortera-hl, size 245/65R17. The Goodyear manufacturer stated that they would replace the tires at a prorated price at a fifty percent discount. She previously paid $600 and now had to pay another $300 for the tires. The failure was 30,086 and the current mileage is 43,000. Updated 10/15/10 bf updated 10/18/10

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

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