really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
86,359 miles
Total Complaints:
157 complaints

Most common solutions:

  1. replace transmission (70 reports)
  2. replaced with rebuilt transmission (44 reports)
  3. not sure (24 reports)
  4. having the whole thing overhauled (16 reports)
  5. transmission seal failure causing leak and the pump is weak (2 reports)
  6. replace torque converter (1 reports)
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This problem may be covered under warranty. Ask your Ford dealer.

problem #157

Aug 082008

Explorer Eddie Bauer V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

Sick to death of all the problems. Ford just throws these things off the assembly line and then says "Oh so sorry, it's out of warranty". We actually won a lawsuit regarding a 2002 Explorer. The tailgate window exploded in my hand when trying to shut it. The car dealer knew it was a piece of junk and the judge called his selling it to us "the most egregious case of taking advantage she'd ever seen".

We had to replace the transmission in this 2004 model, replaced the visors and interior overhead console, one back seat belt doesn't work, again a cheap plastic problem, and the electrical/computer problem where a plug next to the computer melted and caused the engine to cut off while driving down the road, well that almost got us all killed. Turns out there is a group of wires near the rear and they were supposed to be suspended in some sort of harness and never were, so over time, the plastic coating rubbed off and caused at least one wire to ground out, which caused the plug near the computer to overheat and slide out of its socket, causing the engine to shut off. Once it cooled, sometimes the motor would start again. This cost us more than one battery, lots of time, being stalled at 2 in the morning with our daughter in the back seat. After $2500 spent in multiple visits trying to fix the electrical issue, and another $2600 for the transmission, and just under $1000 for the interior console and visors, add more $$ for visits to check out the Check Engine light and the ABS light... wonder what I'm leaving out... ? Oh yes, the air conditioning has been blowing hot on once side for quite awhile. The crack in the back window frame on EVERY SINGLE EXPLORER I see reminds me of the Ford Grenada back in the 80s.

Does anybody else remember the Ford Grenada? The gas cap was located behind the license plate and on every single Grenada, the spring on the license plate broke so they all drove around with their license plate facing the ground, wide open.

We have no idea why the Check Engine light stays on. No idea why the back passenger windows quit working years ago. No idea why the cruise control works about 1 out of 20 times you try to use it, and no idea why the volume control on the radio slips deafening everyone in the car.

Owning one of these Explorers is like being in a club with other unfortunate individuals who have found themselves wondering if the $9,000 they've spent on repairs makes it worth keeping the car now. My mechanic calls it the "Ford Exploder".

- , Memphis, TN, USA

problem #156

Oct 102011

Explorer Eddie Bauer 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,000 miles

FORD is terrible!! My 2004 Explorer has the cracked tailgate and the transmission died 3 years ago, which I replaced with a factory rebuilt with a 3 year warranty. Big surprise, 3 years is up and the transmission shakes and sputters. I have been a FORD owner all my life, buy American, and all that crap but NO MORE. Looking for a new vehicle and it won't be FORD. Maybe a nice Toyota or Nissan.

- , New Bedford, MA, USA

problem #155

Jun 132014

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 200,000 miles

This is the forth time this transmission has been fixed. I know the car is 10 years old, but 4 times, that is crazy.

- , Graysville, TN, USA

problem #154

Jan 122012

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles

The transmission was repaired twice by Ford.

- , Graysville, TN, USA

problem #153

Nov 012008

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

I thought I was making a great investment in this SUV. I was 20, 21 YOA and it was used and it was nice and definitely spacious! But that week or 2 after the purchase , it was just the beginning of one of the worst mistakes in my life! I was stuck having to pay for it, and all the monthly payments I made on it became a pain and I really felt like like had made one of the worst decisions of my life!!! It failed me in the middle of a 4 way stop while turning left in a residential area! Luckily I had 3 friends in there that helped me to push it to safety!!! I had to pay about 90 bucks for a damn tow truck to take the damn thing back home!!!! I wanted to punch everybody!!!!!

- , Escondido, California, USA

problem #152

Jun 012004

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles

Seems that many others had transmission problems with this make and model!?!

- , Staunton, Virginia, USA

problem #151

Jun 022014

Explorer LT 6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

This is the SECOND TIME the transmission has went out. We paid over $2000 last year to have it rebuilt. Within 6 months of the warranty, it went out again. I had 4 children with me when it stopped working in the middle of the busy intersection. It would not go into gear. It took me months to save up the money to buy another transmission so I can at least drive it to a dealership and TRY to trade it in. Just had it replaced from another used Explorer transmission, and it is slipping gear again. I am not buying Ford again as this same thing happened to me with my Ford Mustang years ago. It is surely a safety hazard when you are pulling out in traffic and the gear slips into Neutral from Drive. I cannot understand how Ford gets away with this rip off!!!

- , Conowingo, MD, USA

problem #150

Feb 222014

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 180,000 miles

While driving this vehicle I noticed the problem first when in town when suddenly it would not move while trying to make a turn, I was almost hit since I was in the middle of the road. The problem came very suddenly.It went from shifting hard one day to the O/D light flashing to losing all ability to drive with people behind us on the highway, all within one trip of less than 50 miles. Since it died on the highway and we could not move, we had to have the damn thing towed and our house was less than 10 miles away. Sitting on the highway next to high snow banks and people flying past us with our baby in the car. Horrible, piece of junk tranmission! Ford needs to recall this model!

- , Windsor, VT, USA

problem #149

Jul 072013

Explorer LS 6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

A vehicle with only 80,000 that is adult driven should not be having transmission failure! Come on Ford ante up.....this is my third and worst Ford Explorer. Been a Ford and Mercury owner for over 50 years but am now reconsidering for the future.

- , Salisbury, NC, USA

problem #148

Dec 222013

Explorer LS 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,043 miles

Transmission failed one day to the next. Snap ring dislodge in throwout bearing and all hell broke loose.

- , Whittier, CA, USA

problem #147

Feb 152014

Explorer XLS 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

I bought my 2004 Ford Explorer from Car Max in Riverside Ca. In November of last year the tranny felt funny and broke down 2 weeks after I bought it. It was covered under dealership 30 day warranty so Aamco fixed it. 8000 miles later and 2 months after the Aamco warranty ended it happened again.......luckily (kind of) I bought the extended warranty. Now its at another Aamco and they said that there's low pressure in tranny and trans fluid leaking where it's not supposed to be in the tranny.

I just spent my whole income tax check putting on new tires,rotors,brakes,widow motor, and warranty deductible and can't drive my Explorer! Bad enough I owe 5 more years on a car that Car Max sold me that is breaking little by little, now I found out the trannys are no good on the Explorers. I don't know what to do? I would return the Explorer if I could.......

- , Moreno Valley, ca, USA

problem #146

Dec 232013

Explorer XLT 4.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 207,485 miles

still a piece of sh*t. same problem as everyone else concerning these transmission!!!!

- , Lagrange, GA, USA

problem #145

Jul 162011

Explorer XLT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,000 miles

Took it to Ford dealership. Cost over $2000.00 for a temporary fix. Shame on you Ford for not backing your Product. And shame on the government for not stepping up for the working man!!

- , Maryville, TN, USA

problem #144

Sep 092013

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 170,000 miles

The casing cracked and needed complete replacment.

- , Miamisburg, OH, USA

problem #143

Jun 152013

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 122,000 miles

This should be a recall beings that Ford has had this issue for years on this model. Chrysler seen they had problems and they took care of their customers by fixing their customers issues with their transmissions. Come Ford step up to the plate!!!

- , Hagerstown, MD, USA

problem #142

Mar 012012

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

Transmission began to slip into gears, took it to be looked at and was informed that this yr make and model vehicle has transmission problems. After being looked at I was told after spending 100$ for the vehicle to be looked at that I would need to replace my transmission and just a used one I am looking at 1300$ without the knowing of the labor yet. I am still paying on this vehicle and have 3 small children that I cannot get around because after having it looked at the transmission completely failed at this point.

My suv is broke down in a parking lot and I have to rely on family and public transportation to get us around and have to continue making 326$ a month payments. After researching this problem I have come across the knowledge that this is a common problem that had begun as early as 40,000 miles. After I first purchased my suv I had it looked at by a ford dealer because the vehicle would hesitate going into reverse then jolt my truck into gear, however, ford dealer told me there was nothing wrong with the transmission and this was while my transmission only had 44133 miles on it. Now I am being told that there is no help into getting this resolved. Ford you owe me 16,000$ for a new vehicle and how dare you put your customers through this with no recourse or remorse.

- , Elmira, NY, USA

problem #141

Aug 052012

Explorer XLT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles

2000-2005 explorers have a rate of 1 out of 10 having transmission failure. I want to know why there is not a recall or a class action law suit for this vehicles transmission problems and failures. I would like any information possible to further this. There was mention on ford complaints and failures website for out of waranty explorers a "goodwill repair"? I contacted the ford company and said my vehicle did not fit the criteria. Yet when I asked for the guidelines to be sent or emailed to me, I was told this was confidential information and was told nothing could be done...I purchased this vehicle with my daughters disability money so that she would have a safe ride to dr's etc. A little over a year later the gears went totaly out while driving. Road side assistance took 4 hours up until 4am. Lengthy wait for anyone let alone a disabled child. Now my daughter and I as a single mother can not afford another vehicle. Or the repairs for Fords mistakes. Ford really needs to aknoweledge thier mistakes and fix them on a case by case basis or someone needs to put thier foot up thier tailpipe and sue the company. Any help suggestions or other ways to deal with this matter would be greatfully appreciated. THANK YOU ..Wheels4jocilyn

- , Chester, WV, USA

problem #140

Apr 132011

Explorer Not Trim 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 137,000 miles

I bought a 2004 ford explorer and 8 months later the transmission failed.. I'm also still making monthly payments on it. I took it to the shop and they told me all the gears was messed up and that it was gonna cost me $3,600 to replace the tranny or i can have it rebuilt for $1,800. So i just went with a rebuilt transmission. I learned from this.. never to buy a ford again!!!

- , Sacramento, Califoria, USA

problem #139

May 022012

Explorer 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,360 miles

When reversing we had to wait for the transmission to engage.

Also found hard shifting between 2nd & 3rd gears when going in drive

- , Leamington, ON, Canada

problem #138

Apr 012012

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 136,000 miles

I just had a mechanic looked over this car's transmission because I feel a loud bang when I shift on reverse. This mechanic was right when he said that these trucks had awful transmissions. He mentioned that it has to be re-conditioned for an approximate $900 US, in addition of $300 to $500 US labor charges. FORD should have a complete recall for this specific part, or more and more drivers will shy away for any new car productions. It'll really end up a cost differentiation multiply by millions in strict market loss. FORD take action now!! Before it hits the TV screens worldwide.

- , Bronx, NY, USA

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