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.
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
A quick review of my 2004 Ford Explorer . Purchased used in 2011 . Comfortable ride . Once it hit 120,000 that's were things started to go down hill. Ball joints , power steering pump. Wheel bearings. Head lights . Turn signals. And most recently , a transmission. Dropped around 7 grand total in repairs to keep on road , the last 18 months. Gas mileage is down right crappy . My advise would be not to buy one of these ford exploder.......
Had more issues than I should have had my mileage is now 115,000. 4 wheel repaired twice, rear wheel bearing replaced and not an easy fix due to their design and cost $600. hinges on lift gate glass broke, lift gate plastic cover piece cracked (it covers 25% of the lift gate), controls in the steering wheel quit working, some of the interior controls no longer illuminate, in cold weather the left side of the sound system does not function, the front piece of the passenger side step rail broke off in the winter (it's made of cheap plastic), the engine belt tensioner bearing went bad, the backup sensor quit working, and the 12 volt power socket broke and shorted out. Far too many issues.
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.