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2002 Ford Explorer
Problems & Complaints
CarComplaints.com Notes: The 2002 Ford Explorer is hands-down our worst vehicle on record. "Avoid like the plague" is putting it lightly.
The 2002-2005 Explorer has a very well-established record of expensive transmission failure at under 100k miles. The Explorer has an enclosed transmission which is typically replaced with a rebuilt transmission at a cost of almost $3,000.
Another common problem for the 2002-2003 Explorer is wheel bearing failure at around 90k miles, with a typical repair bill of $500 to $1000 depending on how many wheel bearings failed.
Adding insult to injury, the 2002-2005 Explorer also has a massive problem with the rear panel cracking. While it's a minor annoyance compared to transmission failure, ironically the crack usually goes right through the Ford logo.
Worst 2002 Explorer Problems by Category
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- transmission problems1493NHTSA complaints: 983
- body / paint problems741NHTSA complaints: 476
- interior accessories problems330NHTSA complaints: 55
- wheels / hubs problems291NHTSA complaints: 111
- drivetrain problems277NHTSA complaints: 578
- windows / windshield problems210NHTSA complaints: 98
- engine problems147NHTSA complaints: 322
- AC / heater problems89NHTSA complaints: 11
- suspension problems89NHTSA complaints: 456
- exterior accessories problems48NHTSA complaints: 84
- electrical problems42NHTSA complaints: 133
- seat belts / air bags problems30NHTSA complaints: 185
- brakes problems28NHTSA complaints: 136
- fuel system problems17NHTSA complaints: 71
- lights problems17NHTSA complaints: 15
- miscellaneous problems11NHTSA complaints: 42
- steering problems10NHTSA complaints: 152
- cooling system problems8NHTSA complaints: 7
- exhaust system problems6NHTSA complaints: 26
- clutch problems5NHTSA complaints: 4
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Compare Ford Explorer Model Years
Curious how the 2002 Explorer compares to other years?
Check out our Ford Explorer overview to see the most problematic years, worst problems and most recently reported complaints with the Explorer.