pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
69,023 miles
Total Complaints:
360 complaints

Most common solutions:

  1. not sure (182 reports)
  2. replace shift solenoid (56 reports)
  3. rebuild transmission (55 reports)
  4. replace transmission (52 reports)
  5. replace shift solenoid and bands (9 reports)
  6. replaced transmission twice (2 reports)
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This problem may be covered under warranty. Ask your Ford dealer.

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #300

Jan 232012

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 83,000 miles

We were the original owners of a 2004 Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer V6. We were overall happy with the car, for the exception of the transmission. The first rebuild (due to total failure) was at 75,000 miles in October 2010 and cost us $2,700. The transmission shop gave us a 2 year 25,000 mile warranty (which would take us to 100,000). I was driving the other day and it started slipping gears and revving the engine. It makes loud bangs and thuds when shifting , especially out of reverse. I cannot get out of 1st gear sometimes so I am forced to release the gas pedal and let it shift. It is a major inconvenience and has deterred me from buying a Ford car again.

- , Morris Plains, New Jersey, USA

problem #299

Feb 042012

Explorer Eddie Bauer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 96,000 miles

About 3 weeks ago i noticed that it was shifting extremely hard between gears and there was a 4-5 second delay when i'd put it in reverse. This morning when i left for work when it would shift into 3rd gear it would make a weird noise. Coming home from work when shifting into 3rd it missed the gear completely, maxed out the revs and felt like it was in neutral. O/D light started flashing and the check transmission light came on. Car won't go above second gear and also there is no reverse.

- , Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #298

Jan 092012

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

I started having the problem at about 80k miles and they tell me that it has to be rebuilt at a cost of approx $2000. I understand that ford is aware of the problem and have been for some time. i feel that ford should, at least, bear part of the cost for repair since that a it a design problem. if they don't i will never again buy a ford product and tell everyone i can that ford will not fix their problems.

- , Columbus, IN, USA

problem #297

Apr 172009

Explorer LXT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,766 miles

When going in drive or reverse, there is a hesitation before the transmission engages. If you are driving on the highway and let up on the gas, when you accelerate again there is a pause and then it bangs in and goes forward. This was fixed the day before my extended waranty expired. When it started happening again, i am told i have to pay because i am no longer covered and i found several people had the same problem, so like them, i am waiting for a recall.

- , Belleville, New Jersey, USA

problem #296

Feb 052012

Explorer Eddie Bauer V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

We purchased this vehicle on friday evening 2/03/12 and the transmission began to act up on sunday 2/15/12. Is there a recall on this? I called around and they said this was common amongst these vehicles. If this is a common occurrence why is there not a recall?

- , Macungie, PA, USA

problem #295

Jan 012012

Explorer Eddie Bauer V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

Took our 2004 for to mechanic due to transmission slipping. He checked it out and said we could try replacing the solenoid and if that didn't fix it that we would have to replace the entire transmission. He told us he just had another ford explorer owner in this week with the exact same problem. Cant believe this is happening at on 100,000 miles. Need this car to last.

- , Hendersonville, NC, USA

problem #294

Sep 012011

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 119,000 miles

Transmission slips out of 2nd and 3rd gears, and/or cannot 'find' those gears when it tries to shift up into them. That results in a long coast in something resembling Neutral until the transmission 'finds' the gear again, causing the vehicle to lurch hard and make some bad sounding noises. I had the solenoid pack replaced a year ago when it did this before, but now the problem is back. A transmission service has looked at it again and now tells me that they would have to rebuild the transmission case to fix the problem.

The service techs told me that the problem is that the inserts where the control rods enter the transmission casing from the solenoid pack are made of steel, while the transmission case they thread into is made of aluminum. Pretty bad design to put a steel insert into an aluminum receiver if you ask me, since A) steel is stronger than aluminum, and B) they are dissimilar metals (meaning they corrode when put in contact). They tell me that they would need to drill out the casing, put in brass inserts, and then thread the steel rods into the brass inserts. About $2000 of work. Recall this thing and fix it like a responsible car company.

- , Knoxville, TN, USA

problem #293

Aug 012011

Explorer Limited 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,000 miles

Just had my transmission rebuilt since the OD planetary gear washers broke off and got caught in 2nd & 3rd gears. Had to tear down tranny and rebuild, including solenoid assy. Had about 59K miles when gears wouldn't shift correctly, and would shift hard. Final straw is when OD light wouldn't stop blinking and couldn't even get into 2nd or 3rd gear, at all.

- , Vancouver, WA, USA

problem #292

Nov 232011

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 104,000 miles

I just bought this truck in June. I'm a teacher and do not have a lot of money to spend on junk. I needed a reliable car and that is what Fords promise is so I got one. Ever since I have had to deal with this transmission, my back gate cracked, and the abs light stays on all of the time. WHAT A LEMON!!!!!! Now I'm screwed on 3 years of payments for a car that DOES NOT work. Thanks ford for screwing me.

- , Olney, MD, USA

problem #291

Mar 012011

Explorer 6.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles

We bought the vehicle used and found in car fax that transmission was rebuilt almost a year ago. The dealer doesn't want to honor the warranty on the transmission because we weren't the owners of the vehicle at the time. It almost appears that the transmission wasn't rebuilt properly. It is showing the classic problems of a bad transmission.

- , Ramsey, NJ, USA

problem #290

Jan 102011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles

My truck kept jerking every time I would shift gears which became extremely annoying. I took it to Aamco to get a diagnostic test and they told me that I would have to replace the engine and also have the transmission rebuilt! They told me that something must have happened with the transmission before I purchased it and who ever had the truck at the time did not repair it but put a temporary seal to keep it going for about 4 years. (i.e. I purchased it about 4 years ago so I personally feel that it was the dealership that screwed me over). Overall the total is $3,000 +! I was told not to drive the truck until I get it fixed but I have no choice. I just wish I would've known about this rip off!

- , West Orange, NJ, USA

problem #289

Jan 132010

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,500 miles

First time the trans would not want to go into reverse unless throttle was applied then it would slam into gear and make all kinds of noises and then would do the same going into first or drive however u want to look at it so took it to the dealer and they told me that it was unusual for that to happen like they didnt know about it but they were able to fix it in a quick manner so that told me they were lieing to me and it had happened more then once before because i used to work in a dealer in the parts department and dealers do not keep parts in stock for something that was unusual. So they told me they replaced the solinoid and bands i was ok with that it was fixed and i was on my way but now 30,000 miles later the trans is all the way gone and now i have to foot the bill of 2400 to 3000 grand for a rebuild not happy at all

- , Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #288

Mar 012011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

bullshit! 3000 to fix a transmission! A transmission shouldnt "go" at 80,000 miles...never buying ford again

- , South Boston, MA, USA

problem #287

Nov 212011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles

I just paid $8,000 for this car used. There's no way I should have to spend another $3000-$4000 fixing the transmission when it's only got 98,000 miles on it. Ford needs to have a recall and fix this problem!

- , Jefferson, LA, LA, USA

problem #286

Sep 092010

Explorer LX 6 cyl 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 175,000 miles

Well, my problem is, I paid 33,000 dollars for this vehicle new. I know I have driven it over 200 miles now, but I feel like most of these mile were highway miles. Never pulled trailors. They are easy miles & the rear end starting singing at like 65,000 miles & the transmission starting going out around 100,000. I also own a Mitsubishi Galant & it has 206,000 miles & it doesn't have any of these problems. I think Ford skimped on the rear end & transmissions. Should have used heavier duty parts. Seems like there are a million people having the same problems I'm having, so I know Ford dropped the ball.

- , Pearl, MS, USA

problem #285

Jun 202009

Explorer LS 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles

The Explorer does not to come out of park and jerks sometimes while driving. I never called ford customer service thought there no use. I also had shifting rod replaced on steering column. Transmission sometimes i have problem going into drive.Tank you.

- , Paris, KY, USA

problem #284

Jul 192011

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,001 miles

Just spent $8,400 on a "new to me" 2004 Ford Explorer in what seemed to be perfect condition inside and out, and

r about 3 days later, I have noticed the transmission shifting hard, and when going from park to reverse, it jerks really hard. After reading alot on line, it seems that this is a MAJOR problem with this transmission. SO did I just WASTE my money on a LEMON?????

- , Newborn, GA, USA

problem #283

Nov 062006

Explorer XLS 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 20,000 miles

I bought this car in 2006 and now in 2011 I am trying to sell it so I can buy another SUV(definitely NOT A FORD). It has always shifted hard, and now it is 100,900 miles and still doing it.The last mechanic I took it to says he thinks it is a module on the transmission. Not sure yet how much, but he says it won't be a lot. Probably about 100-200. Yet, I have read all the complaints on here and am worried that it needs a new transmission. I can not figure out how Ford can continue to be a money making company with such a horrible track record with transmissions. I am only asking 6000 for my Explorer and it is well worth it. I think this is very reasonable, and if this transmission goes out, they can still have a great car for a good price if they do replace it. My SUV is in top shape except it shifts a bit hard.I forgot to mention that I JUST REPLACED a whole transmission on my 2007 Ford Eddie Bauer as well. My dad is a mechanic SO I LUCKED OUT AND HE DID THE JOB. IT COST ME AROUND 500 FOR THE PARTS and that's it. Yet when it was finished, the torque converter(a new one) began whinning. We now have to put a new one of those in. AMAZING! I can't ask my dad to work on another one for me so I took the 2004 one to someone else. How can this darn company continue to thrive? The new Explorers are making an unbelievable showing in sales. They've tripled the sales of the last year's model. Unbelievable! When I get rid of these two, I am NEVER buying another! Man up Ford and do the right thing! If you don't Karma, God, etc WILL COME BACK AND BITE YOU IN THE ASS! This internet is connecting customers and we are becoming stronger and more organized. You can't continue to ignore your customers and make money for long with this technology that's available today!

- , Lexington, KY, USA

problem #282

Jun 012011

Explorer XLT 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles

Transmission getting stuck in gear. Also, shifting hard. Got to the point that it flung passengers in their seats.

Spoke with Ford Hqs. They said no recall but definitely keep my receipts.

Thank you very much.

- , Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #281

Sep 012011

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,400 miles

I bought a 2004 Ford Explorer in January 2011 and it had 69,800 miles. There was no apparent problems with it during the first few months, but around six months into owning it I started to notice it slipping. Now it is October and it is really slipping so I took it in to get check out. They are replacing the transmission because second and third gears were frozen together and multiple bands wore completely worn out.

I thought I researched this vehicle adequately before purchasing it, but now I see that this problem is way too common and I should have never purchased it. I am going to do everything I can to get my voice heard and get Ford to step up and get this problem recalled.

- , Pittsburgh, PA, USA

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