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.


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
32,120 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 windows / windshield problems

windows / windshield problem

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2006 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #5

Apr 062014


  • 107,000 miles


This happened to our 2006 Ford Explorer (eddie bauer edition, V8 4WD). The rear liftgate glass exploded into a million tiny pieces with no evidence of external trauma. The car was parked in the driveway at the time and the temperature was above freezing (low 40S) and it was not in the sun. Approximately half the glass was scattered across the driveway - 10+ feet away. The rest of the glass was in the back of the SUV. Fortunately no one was around when this happened - and we were not driving the car at the time. This could have resulted in serious injury to a bystander - or an accident as I can only imagine how much that would alarm the driver. I will be cleaning glass bits from the driveway and back of the SUV for a long time to come! at least it is not too warm out so no is tempted to walk barefoot on the drive.

- Anderson, IN, USA

problem #4

Jan 242012

Explorer 6-cyl

  • miles
Was driving when tilt gate glass ajar warning came on, at the same time heard a whistling noise. Upon stopping noticed the lift gate was ajar with and away from the hatch by several inches. Tied to close it and it did not close properly upon inspection the hinge was broke that holds the glass to the vehicle. Managed to get the glass somewhat back in place and drove gingerly home all while the lift gate ajar light was on. There is a lot of white residue packed in part of the hinge not known if it is road salt or not and the hinge has a crack where it separated. My concern is the failure is related to salt and freezing and thawing, and if that is the case how long before the other one fails... also if driving at highway speeds with windows opened could it have caused the glass to shatter scaring the driver of other traffic causing an accident. I have contacted Ford about it in case they wanted to see it and got the normal basic reply car is out of warranty and basically we don't' care at this time.

- Fulton, NY, USA

problem #3

Feb 032010


  • 40,101 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that the windshield wiper made a popping noise and disconnected from the motor which caused a loss of visibility. The dealer stated that the failure was normal. The contact called the manufacturer who stated that they would pass the information on. The vehicle was repaired by the dealer. The failure mileage was 40,101 and the current mileage was approximately 50,000.

- Zebulon, NC, USA

problem #2

Jul 182009


  • 13,500 miles
1. the events leading up to the failure are simple. It was a quiet Saturday afternoon (4:30 pm on 7/18/09). I was on a two way street on the way to my sweetheart's house in overland park, ks. I was going at about 25 mph. There was one other car in my vision about 75 feet behind me. No one was coming at me. To my right was an empty baseball diamond for the local high school and to my left was a large ( at least 10 feet tall) concrete wall enclosing an upscale housing development. 2. without warning I hear an explosion followed immediately by shattering glass from my sunroof cascading down upon me. The explosion was just the sound of the sunroof shattering. As god is my witness, I swear tt just shattered from causes beyond my knowledge. 3. the following Monday morning I took it to the Ford dealership where I had purchased it and replaced the sunroof. My bumper-to-bumper warranty was still in force but Ford motor refused to hone up on this one. The service manager said that Ford doesn't know but what it was shot out accidentally broken out or if someone had put their fist through it. The strange thing was the sunroof glass that was still in the sunroof frame was angling upward as if it had been struck from inside. The service manager pointed this out to me. The local dealership did split the cost of replacement with me though.

- Kansas City, MO, USA

problem #1

Apr 112006

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1 miles
: the contact stated there is a severe windshield glare coming from the dashboard. The dealer inspected the vehicle and determined the vehicle functions properly. Updated 5/10/2006 - the dashboard reflected onto the windshield and covered about 70% of the windshield.

- New Berlin, WI, USA

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