really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
100,861 miles

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« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #21

Apr 172010

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • 88,000 miles
The transmission failed early on at about 88000 miles, we purchased and replaced this. My husband had been in auto repair and parts for over 20 years, so him and my son done the repair, without counting anything for labor the total cost for the repair was around $2000. From that point on we have had lots of major problems that had to be repaired or parts replaced. The intake and parts cost us around $700, no charge for labor. The timing C+hain failed and we choose this time to take it to the repair shop which cost us $1100!!! now at 156000 miles the transmission has failed, this one has around 68000 miles on it. We have never had one dime in help from Ford on anything. This is the third Explorer we have owned in the past 15 years. We also own 3 F-150's and a mustang. We have never had this kind of problems with any of the other vehicles. I can honestly say we are very disappointed in this 2004 Explorer and I feel we will most likely not purchase another Ford vehicle in the future!!!!!

- Frenchburg, KY, USA

problem #20

Oct 092014

Explorer 8-cyl

  • 124,000 miles
I was at a stoplight and when the light turned green my car would not move. The car was in drive and it would just rev. The cars behind me started honking. I put it in the lower gears and finally started moving forward and drove it to the dealership. As I was driving to the dealership in the lower gears the car shifted out of gear while in traffic, I put it in neutral and back into 3 and it started moving forward again. This is very dangerous since the car will just shift in and out of gear and stop moving forward. At the dealership the car would not move while in drive or reverse. They told me the transmission needs to be replaced at a cost of $4,200, this is after I just had the throttle body replaced two months ago at a cost of $1,800. Ford need to do a recall in these transmissions it could lead to an accident.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #19

Aug 252014

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 81,500 miles
When I slow down or come to a stop, the truck cuts off. Even while in mid turn.

- Lancaster, CA, USA

problem #18

Sep 052014

Explorer 4WD 8-cyl

  • 173,000 miles
When starting the vehicle, its not wanting to run. Then when I start to pull out it stalls. I mean, U push the gas pedal and it takes maybe four seconds before anything happens, then the tires spin it jerks forward and my kids scream. It jerks U back in the seat. Ok, we're on the road, I don't know if its going to run. One minute its acting like its getting enough fuel. The nexts its like it isn't. now the service engine light has come on. I call the guy who works on cars, he use to be a head mechanic for has his own shop now, he automatically tells me its the throttle body and says if I cant find a used one, U wont like buyin a new one. An the bad thing is U have to replace them about every 120000 miles. Now isn't that great. The auto parts store says about $725 will take care of the part, what about the labor"?" I bought this vehicle because it had a third row seat. I have three kids. I need it to be safe, not a death trap. Ford knows it has a problem, fix it!!!

- Williamsburg, KY, USA

problem #17

Jul 182007

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 17,000 miles
Exact dates are various, vehicle has 39000 miles on it presently, have multiple vehicles, drive over the road truck driver... changed brakes and rotors twice, emergency brake not working, had fixed, had to have ekg replaced and some exhaust sensor, tires wore out at 29000, exhaust system replaced, both ball joints replaced, pinion gear gasket leaking from rear end, both cv joints leaking, appears right cv joint needs replacing, gets 14 mpg ( 4.0 liter ) paint peeling from roof for quite awhile now, rusting around fuel tank door, as all are...... vehicle has been a nightmare, getting rid of this at 39000 miles, Ford has a better idea, buy another one !

- Cheektowaga , NY, USA

problem #16

Aug 012014

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
My wife was driving and the engine just stalled. We pulled into a gas station with no power steering or brakes. I had it towed home that day. Later I found out the timing chain had come off.

- Temperance, MI, USA

problem #15

Aug 302013

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 150,000 miles
The back hatch window doesn't seem to line up with the latch. The back hatch also cracked right near the Ford logo. I have seen many of the Explorer that this has happened to. Its time Ford fixes this defect. Also while doing around 60-65 mph my timing chains broke, all 3 of them at the same time. I could understand 1 maybe but all 3 ? this to has to be a manufacturer defect.

- Cameron, NC, USA

problem #14

Feb 132014

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 131,000 miles
When accelerating the SUV shakes, it has a hard time sometimes going from one gear into another. I started the truck today and it made a thumping sound. The transmission is going on it and I take care of it. I have a hard time getting the truck to go into gear to go in reverse.

- Dayton, NJ, USA

problem #13

Nov 222013

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 44,000 miles
This is a county govt vehicle purchased used from a dealer about 2 years ago. I had been highway driving for about 3-4 hours at speeds between 55-70 mph. I made one brief stop during that time, and was mostly using cruise control. Just prior to the incident, the speed limit drops from 70 to 55, and then to 35 in a relatively short distance. I used the cruise control coast to reduce my speed from 55 to 35. The 35 mph speed starts on a bridge- there is a small incline and then a little larger decline. At about the base of the bridge, the engine shut off, I lost steering and coasted to a stop. I don't recall if I had braking. I was with a passenger; it was night, and this occurred in an area that was not safe. I tried restarting the car, and it restarted with no problem. I drove to a nearby gas station. The power steering fluid was low, so I filled that, restarted, and drove the remaining 1 1/2 hrs with no problems. Other employees continued to drive over the next 2 1/2 months locally-very little highway driving, with no issues. On February 21, I was returning from a trip in this vehicle from the same area, with the same circumstances as above. When I was still on the bridge where the speed drops to 35, the engine shut off again. This time I was alone. There was a vehicle following very close behind me but fortunately I continued to coast as this was on the decline of the bridge. I was able to steer slightly to get off the highway. The check gauges; check engine, and battery warning lights were all on. The car restarted with no problems. I drove to the same gas station; checked the gauges-all were normal and no warning lights. I drove the 1 1/2 hrs remaining with no problems. On a web search, I found multiple cases of very similar problems on Explorer with no resolution. I could find no recalls on the VIN. This is an extremely dangerous and potentially fatal problem.

- Manteo, NC, USA

problem #12

Oct 032013

Explorer 8-cyl

  • 72,000 miles
This is the second Ford Explorer I have owned and both of them had the same transmission problems. Yet Ford has no recall or even anything to fix them except $3,000 to a dealer out of you pocket for their mistake. I guess since no one has been proven to have gotten injured or died due to this issue, then there won't be a recall made on it. This is totally unsatisfactory for the Ford Motor Co. Because they have workers that screw up, the consumer ends up footing the large bill of repairing it. There is a known problem with the transmissions of these Explorer from 2000 - 2005 yet no one seems to want to address it. Ford motor should be ashamed of putting such faulty vehicles out on the road and endangering another humans life for their profit. This is the last time I will buy and Ford product and I will encourage everyone I know not to buy Ford either. I wonder how Ford would like the media exposure for this issue. No good customer service or product.

- Grain Valley, MO, USA

problem #11

Oct 082013

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 92,925 miles
The original equipment harmonic balancer came apart. The inner portion separated from the rest. This allows. It would have caused the destruction of the serpentine belt, and crankshaft position sensor if I had not caught it in time. This would have resulted in loss of engine power, loss of power steering, and loss of power brakes! this seems to be a common problem with the 2004 Ford 4.0 liter V6. This could result in somebody losing control of the vehicle with little or no warning. I was replacing the water pump on my vehicle when I saw this defect.

- Spencerport, NY, USA

problem #10

Dec 202012


  • 140,000 miles
On the body the tailgate panel keeps cracking this makes my truck look bad compared to the money I put into it. My engine or transmission acts as if something is wrong it is not shifting gear right. On the electrical tire pressure light keeps coming on and it also keeps leaking water from somewhere. Ford needs to go out of business for selling these pieces of junk. It makes no sense.

- Columbus , GA, USA

problem #9

Apr 282013

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 101,000 miles
While was driving on I-95 I gave the car a boost of speed to pass another vehicle. I noticed my back window become "dirty" (covered in coolant) and while the car seemed okay I moved to the right lane. There was no shoulder to pull off due to construction. Without a shoulder I had to keep going another couple miles; after a couple miles I started loosing speed gradually. With children in the car this was a safety issue - I was fortunate to make it to an exit where upon immediately the car died as I slowed and white smoke started billowing out of the engine compartment. The problem was the thermostat housing failed causing the car to lose coolant. Since I was unable to pull over it resulted a blown head gasket. Due to design of the engine this repair is prohibitively expensive. I have seen this thermostat complaint numerous times and it is time that Ford take responsibility for the plastic parts that are connected to the engine. This part should be aluminum according to my mechanic. Please consider recall to replace plastic thermostat housing with metal: Ford must use metal parts because plastic warps in the heat. The affected parts are the thermostat housing and it's connection to the engine. I have good maintenance, oil changed regularly, fluids checked and maintained regularly. I also drive very conservatively and am easy on my driving. Ford must fix this! between this issue and a bolt in my steering column falling out (causing a loss of steering) my confidence in Ford is diminished.

- Wilton Manors, FL, USA

problem #8

Apr 122013


  • 120,000 miles
This is in response to the investigation of Ford for "limp mode". every time that I use my cars cruse control under 50 mph the car goes in to limp mode. After I pull over and restart the car it run normaly,

- Syracuse, NY, USA

problem #7

Apr 022013

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 65,000 miles
At about 65,000 miles, my transmission began slowly acting up; it vwas difficult to put into gear and clunks while driving. It is getting worse, and Ford will not help with repairs because it is out of warranty.

- Fullerton, CA, USA

problem #6

Jan 252013


  • 82,500 miles
While driving, the vehicle just shut off. I had no control of the vehicle once it shut off, except to utilize the emergency brake to get me stopped. Once stopped, I put it in park and it started up first try. No check engine light came on. Same thing happens on a regular bases. Usually happens while braking or turning at speeds lower than 30mph, then engine just stalls and everything turns off. This to me is a major safety concern, because without total control of the vehicle and vehicle lighting at night, it could seriously injure or kill someone. I highly recommend investigating this further so we can all continue to be safe. Thanks!

- Barstow, CA, USA

problem #5

Sep 152012

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 106,000 miles
I purchased a 2004 Ford Explorer in July 0F 2011, and traded in my 2001 Oldsmobile of 5 years. I also purchased the 12 month 12,000 mile warranty. Before driving it off the lot I had the dealer fix the ABS system because the light was on. There is a crack going down the back of the trunk but nothing else was wrong at the time so I left the crack alone. In April of 2012 I took it to the dealership for a belt, check trans, shocks, ball joints, and a ticking in the heater when knob was turned to heat (not cool). I told him to just fix what was on the warranty and also give it a oil change. He informed me that the trans was fine. After getting the car back my heat went out and I was told by a mechanic buddy that my brakes, rotters, emergency brake pads and the back tires were shot. So I had him replaced them because this was also not covered on warranty. Just last week my RPM started jumping with miles over 65.(no lights were on at the time)so I took it to 6 different places getting estimates on what could be wrong. All shops said the same thing. "start with fuel filter, oil filters and oil change". the day after I paid for all this the service engine light came on. (egr valve code) the man at auto zone told me to take it off and clean it with spray and let it dry before replacing. I took it to a shop and had them do this. The same day I picked up the car my service engine light came on again, O/D light and the car was driving like I was hauling a bus and jumping. I took it back the next day and he replaced the egr valve new since the same code was showing up. Later that day after getting it back the car started doing the same thing after driving for 5 miles this was Friday 9/21/12.

- Hebron, KY, USA

problem #4

Jul 272012


  • 84,000 miles
Transmission shifts very hard so bad that it jerks me and my children's heads forward when it happens. This occurs the worst when going into reverse and into 2nd and 3rd gears. Brakes lock up/stick after being pressed for 3 seconds.

- Tell City, IN, USA

problem #3

Jul 282012


  • 73,520 miles
I had just purchased this vehicle to tow with. I was driving in the country with the cruise control on and set at about 45mph. All of a sudden I realized I the vehicle had turned itself off. No power steering, no brakes nothing. It did start right back up after getting off the road. Later in the day returning home it did the same exact thing at 50mph with cruise engaged. I talked with Ford shop and they say it is a known problem with no known fix. This is very dangerous.

- Kelso, WA, USA

problem #2

Jul 052011

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 150,000 miles
Transmission is slipping, not fully gone yet, only a matter of time before it completely goes. I do not have the $2500 to replace the transmission. Every person I have talked to say this is a common problem with the Ford Explorer. I have taken into the garage over 10 times. Ford should be forced to recall these transmissions and Ford should have to pay for it.

- Rome, NY, USA

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