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2006 Ford Explorer Problems – Watch Out For Premature Transmission Failure! 

2006 Ford Explorer Problems

Car owners may find the 2006 Ford Explorer problems far outweigh the benefits of this car. When looking at the problem categories, drivers will see that this model year has severe concerns regarding the transmission, body and paint, engine, and the heating/cooling system. Not only do these problems make the car unreliable, but they end up causing high replacement and repair prices! 

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The Ford Explorer is an unreliable and unsafe car according to various users and the NHTSA due to many reasons throughout the years, according to various makes and models. The worst problem regarding the Ford Explorer deals with the Ford Explorer transmission problems, with the 2002 Ford Explorer having the overall most complaints. 


Despite this year having the most complaints, most people rate the 2006 Ford Explorer problems as the worst due to the prevalence of issues, the severity of replacements and fixes, and the onset at which the problems began to occur. 

2006 Ford Explorer Problems – Transmission 


The transmission category with the Ford Explorer has both the highest number of user complaints and the highest number of NHTSA complaints. The top nine complaints regarding the 2016 Ford Explorer problems are the following: 

  • Premature transmission failure

      • The main user fix for the transmission failure generally costs around $2,840 on average and occurs below 100,000 miles. The most common solution involves replacing the old transmission with a rebuilt transmission, replacing the transmission, the transmission needing to be recalled, and the local mechanic fixing your car. 
  • O/D light blinking

      • The next user issue of the transmission O/D light blinking has an average typical repair cost of around $2,320 and occurs at just below 110,000 miles. The most common solution for this fix in the car is that the manufacturer needs to recall the faulty transmission, needing a complete rebuild, or getting a new transmission
  • The transmission slipping when shifting

      • Adding extra transmission fluid can help prevent some of the 2006 ford Explorer problems, like transmission slipping while shifting. The price of fluid change costs around $150 to $200 on average. 
  • Difficulties with shifting

  • The replacement cost for faulty clutches ranges between $1,225 to $1,416 for most transmissions that cause the 2006 Ford Explorer problems. 
  • Hard or soft shifting

      • Trouble shifting or over-shifting is a sign your vehicle's solenoids need to be replaced. A typical replacement cost is $300 to $850 depending on your 2006 Ford Explorer problems. 
  • Not able to shift into 3rd gear

      • Trouble shifting into 3rd gear or reaching high-enough speeds is a clear symptom that your vehicle's solenoids need to be replaced. A typical replacement cost is $300 to $850 depending on your 2006 Ford Explorer problems. 
  • Transmission hesitation

      • If your transmission is hesitating, you may need to rebuild your transmission. The price of replacing your transmission comes in at around $1,500 to $8,000 depending on the severity of the 2006 Ford Explorer problems. 
      • If rattling noises strangely disappears as soon as you let off the gas, this could cause other 2006 Ford Explorer problems. In addition, you might not hear it at all when you press lightly on the acceleration. 
        • If the flexplate is cracked, the transmission needs to be removed to replace it. Between parts and labor, you can expect a bill of around $1,200 to $2,000 depending on your make and model.
  • Transmission solenoid failure

  • The average price of a solenoid replacement is between $300 and $850 at most shops to fix the 2006 Ford Explorer problems. 

User Complaints 

The main user complaints regarding the transmission failure deal with the following Ford Explorer problems:

  • transmission failed at very early mileage
  • transmission blew without any warning sign
  • the transmission fails multiple times

NHTSA Concerns 

The NHTSA transmission complaints focus on the automatic transmission, the levers and linkages, the torque converter, the gear position, the manual transmission, the control module, and the cooling unit. 


Regarding the automatic transmission, this has caused 16 crashes, 2 fires, 8 injuries, and occur at around 75,000 miles. Users have reported that this problem can cause the transmission to fail without warning, the vehicle can stall while driving at various speeds, and the transmission failure does not let you check your transmission fluid level while using. 

2006 Ford Explorer Problems – Body and Paint

The main areas of complaint with the body and paint regarding the 2006 Ford Explorer problems involve the following:

  • Cracked panel below the rear window

      • To fix the cracked panel below the rear window, this generally costs around $450 and occurs at around 79,000 miles. The most common solution is that Ford should pay for the body and paint issues, users have to pay to have the rear panel replaced, and the users have to file a complaint with the NHTSA to get a recall issued. 
  • Black plastic panels between windows fading and cracking

      • The second most prevalent user issue is that black plastic panels between windows fade and crack over time, costing around $200 for the repair and occurring at around 66,000 miles. The most common solution is that the manufacturer needs to replace the piece, the owner needs to replace the black plastic panel, and some users need to replace all of the rear doors.
  • Paint peeling

  • The average price of fixing your paint on the exterior of your car costs between $500 and $1,000 to fix the 2006 Ford Explorer problems. 
  • Bubbles appearing under the paint clear coat

  • You can fix this issue yourself to save some money on the 2006 Ford Explorer problems.
      • Address loose caulking and improve ventilation of the building to avoid a recurrent problem. Remove the bubble by scraping or sanding down to the bare surface. 
      • Prime all bare areas with a high-quality primer and repaint the exterior surfaces. 
  • The door trim falling off

      • The average cost to install door trim is $150 per door, with less expensive installations costing around $100 and high-end jobs at $250.
      • Installing window trim usually ranges between $100 to $170 per window.
  • The door not staying shut

      • A car door that will not stay shut will not only put your passengers at risk, but other cars on the road. If objects fall out of your car while driving at high speeds, it can distract other drivers and lead to a high crash risk. 
  • Replacing the car door latch at an independent dealership will cost around $100, with aftermarket parts running a price of between $50 and $100 depending on the manufacturer. An OEM part will be more expensive to fix the 2006 Ford Explorer problems, costing around $150 per door. 
  • Running boards beginning to rust

    • Rust repairs cost as little as $20 and can reach as high as $2000 or more depending on the damage and the other 2006 Ford Explorer problems.

NHTSA Concerns 

The NHTSA issues regarding the body and paint system of the Ford Explorer involve the hatchback and liftgate hinge, the body, the structure, the tailgate, the body doors, the support device on the hatchback, the hinge and attachments on the tailgate, the frame of the car, the trunk lid, and the underbody shield.

2006 Ford Explorer Problems – Cooling & Heating System

The cooling system issues regarding the 2006 Ford Explorer problems mainly focus on the following: 

  • Radiator leak

      • To fix the radiator leak, the typical repair cost comes in at around $720 and occurs at around 64k miles. The most common solution deals with replacing the radiator, replacing the specific parts, replacing an ad seal, and getting a Ford certified radiator. 
  • Loud cooling fan

      • The average cost for radiator fan motor replacement is between $591 and $624. Labor costs are usually between $111 and $140 while parts are priced between $480 and $484. 
  • Thermostat leak

      • Labor costs are estimated between $148 and $186 while parts are priced between $101 and $103. 
  • The average price of a thermostat leak is between $250 and $300 to fix the 2006 Ford Explorer problems. 
  • Water pump failure

      • A water pump replacement averages $300 to $750, depending on the other 2006 Ford Explorer problems. The water pump itself may only cost $50 to $100, but labor can run between $200 and $450, depending on the difficulty level of reaching the pump.
  • Heater Stuck On Hottest Setting

      • Your Ford Explorer’s heater could get stuck on the hottest setting due to the broken heater blend door. A failed heater blend door or actuator can cause the control of temperature to stop working completely. 
        • A symptom of the heater blend door failing is an inability to control the temperature, and a clicking sound from the actuator motor. If the heater gets stuck on the hottest setting, the heater blend door could be broken, requiring a replacement of the heater box to repair the issue. 
  • A replacement of the heater core costs between $564-$927 for both the parts and labor. 
  • Plastic Intake Manifold Can Crack

    • Within your Ford Explorer, the plastic intake manifold can crack and cause a detrimental coolant leak. The coolant can leak from the front of the manifold can trigger the check engine light and low engine coolant warning light. 
      • Consistent coolant leaks cause the engine to overheat, most notably when the vehicle is idling. With no repair available for the intake manifold, a replacement is required to fix the engine coolant issues. For the coolant leak diagnosis, it will cost between $73-$93. 

2006 Ford Explorer Problems – Engine

Rough Idle and Stalling

  • You will need to replace the intake manifold gaskets to fix this concern, which usually costs around $709-$949 to replace the intake manifold gasket.

Worn Timing Chain

  • If you hear a rattling noise from your engine, this can be an indication that the timing chain cassette is worn and damaged. A worn timing chain cassette can be fixed by installing an updated timing cassette and tensioner to correct the issue. A general diagnosis of the chain cassette issues costs around $88-$111. 

What If I Don’t Feel Safe Driving My 2006 Ford Explorer?

If you don’t feel comfortable driving your Ford Explorer, then you can ring your vehicle into a reputable location to earn some extra money. Remove all non-metal components from your car, sell them for some cash, and bring your junk car to CashCarsBuyer for a trustworthy quote. Earn some extra money to set aside for a brand-new and safe vehicle. 

The Bottom Line

As you can see, recognizing and finding the most common 200-6 Ford Explorer problems is crucial to keeping your car on the road for a long period of time. When looking at the ford Explorer as a whole, there are a few problem categories that have to be addressed before purchasing the vehicle.


When analyzing the most frequent and severe issues in the car, drivers will notice the engine, transmission, body, and cooling system all have concerns in their longevity and function. 


Drivers may notice the engine has problems with a rough idle and broken timing chain, along with numerous transmission concerns regarding the difficulties shifting and premature transmission failure. Not only are these concerns problematic, but they are very expensive to fix, with replacing a transmission coming in at least $3,000!


Car owners may find the 2006 Ford Explorer problems far outweigh the benefits of this car.

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