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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.

7.1

pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
$402.00
Average Mileage:
93,354 miles
Total Complaints:
34 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (25 reports)
  2. pony up the cash to have it fixed (3 reports)
  3. spray the locks with wd40 and then slam doors (3 reports)
  4. cover light up with electrical tape as well as ABS light too (2 reports)
  5. replaced all door sensors (1 reports)
2002 Ford Explorer accessories - interior problems

accessories - interior problem

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2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #34

Dec 052012

Explorer XL 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 124,000 miles

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

The door ajar light/buzzer and door locks started a few weeks ago, but sometimes "resolved" themselves...yeah right. It seemed to only do when it was "raining" out, yesterday was dry...did some errands and no buzzers...everything cool. Get home, park it and notice a little while later that interior map light and mirror marker lights are on. They continue to go on and off throughout the evening. Even went outside and checked all doors to make sure they were closed all the way. Can't lock anymore because the alarm goes off and bothers everyone in the neighborhood. Go out this morning, and have a DEAD BATTERY!! I've already had the transmission and rear wheel bearings replaced (twice for the wheel bearings.) I'm about ready to drive this over a cliff!! What a pain in the ass...FORD you really need to step up to the plate!

- , Gainesville, NY, USA

problem #33

Jan 012012

Explorer XLT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 127,000 miles

This problem started awhile back its my passenger jamb switch. Got a the internet to find that this is not new to ford explorers so i used WD40 it helped for awhile now its worse. Ive read the comments of all the people with the same problem this is not cool at all. This is something i should take to the dealer and have fixed for free. alarm going off all time of the nights not only that who's going to replace my battery if it goes dead because of this I'm pissed because i really love this car but no I'm starting to really hate it.

- , Easley, SC, USA

problem #32

Aug 272012

Explorer XLT V6 Sohc

  • Automatic transmission
  • 134,000 miles

Dome lights an mirror lights will not turn off, have to use the dimmer switch to turn them off.

- , Ashland, KY, USA

problem #31

May 012012

Explorer V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 202,000 miles

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

Locking mechanism on one of six doors is faulty causing "door ajar" alert on dashboard, interior bell to chime, car alarm to operate, lights to flash... Cannot lock car due to intermittent alarm. Cannot drive vehicle due to constant bell chime.

- , Santa Cruz, CA, USA

problem #30

Feb 112010

Explorer XLS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

I'm thinking the company that installed aftermarket remote starter messed something up.

- , Hartford, CT, USA

problem #29

Dec 052011

Explorer Eddie Bauer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 216,000 miles

aside from transmission on my 4x4 it's been a good car / 216,000 miles. Last summer the a/c went out. this winter the door open light and interior lights have been going haywire. what's the deal?

- , Bolingbrook, IL, USA

problem #28

Feb 012009

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

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

Never will purchase another Ford vehicle.. It is no wander foreign cars are taking over the market. I have had problems with this vehicle from the word go. it is not due to neglect because i am a devoted maintenance junky. The problem with the door ajar light is the last straw for me..

- , Hinesville, GA, USA

problem #27

Jul 012011

Explorer Eddie Bauer 308 V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 123,000 miles

IT SEEMS LIKE WHEN ONE THING WENT WRONG, IT ALL STARTED HAPPENING. THIS IS RIDICULOUS.

- , H, LA, USA

problem #26

Jan 122011

Explorer Eddie Bauer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 175,000 miles

Same problem as most of you...cut-paste of Linda's description: Door ajar light comes on randomly, if driving, the interior lights come on (dangerous if driving at night) and the doors lock and unlock (never sure which they are). If not driving, the alarm goes off. Also warning beeps are going off all the time during driving, even when the locks are not acting up.

- , Mesa, AZ, USA

problem #25

Aug 182010

Explorer Eddie Bauer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 129,000 miles

no matter what i do the interior dome lights stay on unless i turn the interior switch off. as soon as i shut off the car the radio turns off (as opposed to opening the door as it should be) and the lights stay on and burn out my battery.

- , Eastport, NY, USA

problem #24

Jan 132010

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,648 miles

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

air bag light comes on,dome light doesn't work right, air bag light comes on, just had a break light switch installed because it would not come out of park. ford should do something about this

- , South Fork, PA, USA

problem #23

Jun 022004

Explorer 4.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,000 miles

Since we've gotten this thing, if you hit a bump it goes CRAZY and starts arguing with you for the next 30 mins+ about how the DOORS are AJAR!!! Seriously obnoxious.

- , Severna Park, MD, USA

problem #22

Mar 012008

Explorer XLT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,000 miles

My 2002 Explorer since about 47,000 miles (now 62,000) at any time will have the door ajar light come on. When this happens my puddle lights and interior lights stay on after I leave the truck for about 20 minutes. When this happens if I drive the truck the interior lights stay on until I hit about 30mph. This has occurred on and off for two years and every time I have it looked at nothing is found. Now as of this week it has happened twice with a new result. My alarm goes off over and over. I have been leaving the truck unlocked now to prevent my neighbors from becoming unset. This truck has had many issues and by far is the worst $31,000 I have ever spent!

- , Morrisville, NC, USA

problem #21

Jun 032009

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 139,000 miles

I just have to say that my ford explorer is all good except for the door ajar light...it won't go off...but my explorer hass over 100000 miles on it and its all good.

- , Freeburn, KY, USA

problem #20

Apr 232009

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 122,000 miles

The interior lights won't shut off I have to physically turn the dome light button all the way off every time I use the truck.

- , Watertown, WI, USA

problem #19

Apr 042008

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

If I have to ask for a jump start one more time when leaving work I will strangle ford, stupid me replaced the battery which worked for like a week! had my starter checked out, go figure that wasn't it! oh, that's right, that good for nothing door ajar light was on again. It's wonderful slamming the brakes on going down the road thinking one of your children is trying to jump out of the car and it is just the sensor!!!!! I HATE THIS STUPID VEHICLE!!!!!!! I would love to trade it in, but no one will give you anything for them. I am just stuck paying for this piece of junk that I can not stand. Hope I make it to work on time tomorrow!!!!!

- , Durhamville, NY, USA

problem #18

Dec 012007

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

Spray WD40 on the areas where the door shuts and that should help. I went on a cruise for 5 days and when we got back my dome light NEVER shut off and melted the plastic that covers the light. I had it replaced for very cheap and called my dad and he told me to spray WD40 on the doors and it hasn't done it since. Hope it helps everyone. Who knew this could be fixed with something so cheap

- , Goose Creek, SC, USA

problem #17

Jun 302007

Explorer 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

at first, the "door ajar" light would stay on only when it was a rainy/wet day. Now, it stays on all the time. It's a real pain. With kids, we still have to check all doors before moving.

Sometimes the interior lights also stay on until we're 50' down the road.

- , St James, MO, USA

problem #16

Mar 132008

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 33,000 miles

told repeatedly that i must have driven down a dirt road and it clogs up the sensors. get it washed and it should help. finally got tired of it after it stayed on for a week. they said they cleaned out the sensors and is working fine so far.

- , Stillwater, OK, USA

problem #15

Apr 092008

Explorer 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,000 miles

Ford has to do something about it, i will never buy ford again ever.

- , Palatine, IL, USA

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