Used 2004 Ford Explorer SUV Consumer Reviews | Edmunds
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2004 Ford Explorer - Consumer Reviews

2004 Ford Explorer SUV

Average Consumer Rating

357 Total Reviews

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Good overall SUV
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Gearz
on

Vehicle

2004 Ford Explorer SUV XLT 4WD 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A)


Review

I've had my Explorer for about half a year now and am impressed. It has 122,000 miles on it, the engine doesn't leak, no wear on seats/plastic pieces, and still goes straight down the road. Like with any vehicle if it is taken care of from new, you will not have many problems. Mine is like new after 122,000 miles!


Favorite Features

Great trip car. Very smooth on highway. Can carry 7 passengers.


Suggested Improvements

Tranny issues have just started for me. Probably around 1800 to replace. But not bad considering it's the only thing that has to be done.


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Takes a lickin' - BUT doesn't keep tickin'
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Artanis68
on

Vehicle

2004 Ford Explorer SUV XLS Rwd 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A)


Review

We bought this car new and noticed around 80,000 miles things started to go wrong shortly thereafter. 2003 & 2004's are notorious for the ball joints going bad fast. We spent $700 on the front end and then around 109K the back differential going bad. Many Ford forums will tell you that after 80K miles your going to have a lot of expenses as things will begin to go bad in these cars FAST. I personally experienced this as ours started to go downhill very quickly. Traded it in for a Toyota 4Runner - a car that will go well past 100K miles and keep on tickin'.


Favorite Features

Interior features on this car are nice and we had a DVD player, leather seats and power everything. The leather sadly began to breakdown and look really worn and faded after about 50K miles. Plenty of power outlets for your electrical devices.


Suggested Improvements

Quality, Quality, Quality. I have heard in recent years Ford has made great strides in this area, but as for me I am still leery of any American Made car. I have owned Toyota's, Nissan's and never experienced the disappointment I have with American made vehicles.


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transmission
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By lariat04
on

Vehicle

2004 Ford Explorer SUV XLS 4WD 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A)


Review

bought my wifes explorer in 2006, with 9400 miles. at about 20,000 miles the tranny started hitching, we ignored it until got so bad we couldnt drive it.had the tranny rebuilt for 2,500 bucks. come find out there were a lot of 03,04 with the same problem. ford should have had a recall on these, if your looking at these yrs make sure u ask about the trannys! other hen that my wife loves her explorer, we live in maine and it it does great in snow


Favorite Features

handles great in snow, plenty of power,sporty looking


Suggested Improvements

should of had better transmissions


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2004 Ford Explorer XLT 4.6 @124,000
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By flyhigh1988
on

Vehicle

2004 Ford Explorer SUV XLT AWD 4dr SUV (4.6L 8cyl 5A)


Review

Bought the truck in June of 2008 with 40K. Things I have absolutely had to replace:Rear axle bearing seal ($40), thermostate for radiator with seal (20), both front wheel bearings (250 a piece). Things that were wants not needs:Throttle body (700), cruise control cutoff switch (50), 4 motorcraft shocks and 8 ball joints total, front upper and lower and rear lower, front sway arm bushings (bushings wore out around 50K, buy moog bushings, Ford material is for the bushings is poor) ($600-700 for suspension parts) AC vent door components (300). AC was blowing cold air but the doors were stripped and the air was being blocked because they were not opening properly. This happened around 50K.


Favorite Features

Its a descent ride...lots of hesitation with the throttle response tho. Ford has issues with the throttle bodys and have since made them an "upgraded part." Cleaning them will not solve the hesitation issue. Its $700.00 from Ford but fixes the hesitation. This was more of a want and not a need but wow it helped a lot. I have had the new throttle body about 12K and its doing fine. It was something about the old ones didnt have proper spacing in certain areas and were making wear spots inside? Also the material for uses for its front sway arm bushings is subpar I believe. Bushing made a squeaky noise when going over speed bumps. Moog is what I replaced them with along with the ball joints.


Suggested Improvements

The AC fresh air blend doors and acutators that open the doors. These are 2 of the main problems with these models. The gears that open the blend air doors on the acutators are plastic and strip out and the doors themselves are also plastic and break. Im not sure if its cheap plastic or a design flaw. Unfortunately its a real pain to get back in there to repair these areas. The parts were $300 total from Ford. I just had it fixed recently. Some owners have had there vechicle for 200K and never had this issue and some owners like me it broke at 50K. Also the replacement throttle bodys are upgraded parts. Cleaning them will not solve the issue. Its $700.00 from Ford but fixes the hesitation.


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Everything You Didn't Expect
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By memartin7
on

Vehicle

2004 Ford Explorer SUV XLT 4WD 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A)


Review

We bought our Explorer new, having owned both generations prior. This is by-far our favorite, and still sits in our driveway next to our 2007 Explorer today. We use ours for a daily driver and could not ask for a better vehicle given our needs. We have driven the majority of the time trouble free, but once we hit around the 110,000 - 125,000 mile marker, we started running into some issues, which is normal repairs that come with age. And despite the infamous transmission and tailgate cracking, we have encountered neither - but are aware that the problems exist. I would definitely purchase another one without hesitation. It's definitely a vehicle you will enjoy and want to keep.


Favorite Features

Reverse Sensing System (RSS) - Power Adjustable Pedals - Power Sunroof - Single DVD Overhead Monitor - 2nd Row Captains Chairs w/ Console - 3rd Row Seating.


Suggested Improvements

(Interior) One improvement would be the seat quality. The leather seems to wear prematurely, but can be fixed or replaced to a new/like new condition. Also, the seat padding for the back is a little thin for the front compared to other vehicles in it's class. (Mechanical) One improvement would be to put a serviceable transmission back in the vehicle. But, you can modify (with instructions) on how to change the fluid and service it anyways. It will cost around a $100 for the tools and labor needed.


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