Nothing lasts forever and transmissions in early 2000's Ford Explorers are no exception. One dealership claimed 1 out of every 10 Explorers from the 3rd generation will experience a premature transmission failure, and with a typical repair cost over $2,000 bucks, it’s easy to see why owners are so upset.
Transmission Failure in 3rd-Gen Explorers ∞
These problems tend to appear in the 3rd generation (2002-2005) Explorer.
What signs can you look for when it comes to transmission failure? Is your transmission slipping between gears, making a clunking / rattling / grinding noises when accelerating or are you suddenly having trouble shifting between gears? You should bring your SUV in immediately to get serviced.
Possible Solutions? ∞
This repair is not currently covered under a recall or class action lawsuit (that we are aware of). Ford has offered some out-of-warranty Explorer owners a "goodwill repair". Most people do not have any luck getting a discount on the transmission repair by going to their local dealership. Your best bet is to call Ford's customer service line at (800) 392-3673.
If you are not offered a goodwill repair or discount on the transmission repair, we recommend having the repair done by an independent transmission repair shop or a local mechanic, because the repair cost is usually significantly less than at the dealership. Make sure you get a comparable warranty on the rebuilt transmission.