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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.

5.8

fairly significant
Typical Repair Cost:
$180.00
Average Mileage:
78,888 miles
Total Complaints:
12 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (9 reports)
  2. ford fixed under orginal warranty (1 reports)
  3. replace mach stereo with a more reliable sony (1 reports)
  4. replaced with new upgraded CD player (1 reports)
2002 Ford Explorer accessories - interior problems

accessories - interior problem

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2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #12

Mar 202010

Explorer XL 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

The CDs will get extremely hot and won't play correctly when the heater is on. I wonder if the car is going to start on fire someday?

- , Granby, CO, USA

problem #11

May 062011

Explorer Eddie Bauer 308 V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 118,000 miles

JUST A PAIN IN THE ASS. DIDN'T EXPECT THIS TO LAST A LIFETIME.

- , H, LA, USA

problem #10

Jan 152009

Explorer Eddie Bauer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles

Can't get any CD's in or out......Fix problem please as it SUCKS listening to the radio all the time!!!

- , Bethlehem, PA, USA

problem #9

Nov 052009

Explorer V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 139,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Just went and bought a newer cd player. At best buy my factory one the volume knob didnt work right sometimes not at all, If you tried to turn it up it went down and vise versa.

- , Newark, OH, USA

problem #8

Apr 122010

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 145,000 miles

CD player eats cd's and it is a chore to get them out. At the present time it won't release the cd's to me and I haven't had the time to fix. this has went on for quite some time. It is just annoying.

- , Kansas City, MO, USA

problem #7

Aug 012004

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 37,000 miles

6 disc CD crapped out at 37,000 miles (just outside warranty). The stereo head costs over $500 to replace. I opted to replace it with a high quality Sony (about half the price).

- , Fayetteville, NC, USA

problem #6

Nov 012009

Explorer XLT 4.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Another common problem. 6 disc CD changer jams up with cd 's inside it.

- , Poland, OH, USA

problem #5

Feb 142009

Explorer 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 118,061 miles

Great! A six stack in-dash CD player THAT DOESN'T WORK! And after much searching on the internet WHAT A SURPRISE...I'M NOT THE ONLY ONE! Another case from Ford's sub-standard Explorer parts list.

- , Brisbane, QLD, Australia

problem #4

Mar 242007

Explorer Eddie Bauer 3.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,589 miles

The problem only happens every now and then but when i go to unload a CD it will get stuck and will cause an error and will not play cd's until you can dig into the player and get your cd out. Going through this process causes you to scratch up your cd's.

- , Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #3

Nov 012003

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 15,000 miles

The CD players makes this buzzing-whirr noise and won't play or eject the CDs. Sometime it takes ten minutes... once they were in there whirring away for two weeks. I just don't play CDs anymore because the problem seems to be getting more frequent.

- , Castle Rock, CO, USA

problem #2

May 232007

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

Won't play cd's. Says Disc Error. Cannot change slots and won't eject the discs that are in it.

- , San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #1

Jun 122003

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 4,000 miles

Talk about a continuous problem..this is it along with the cracked back hatch

- , Stillwater, OK, USA

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