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.


really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
108,903 miles
Total Complaints:
162 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (67 reports)
  2. replace / rebuild entire steering column (54 reports)
  3. repair / replace shift lever (18 reports)
  4. rigged it so I could drive (4 reports)
  5. goodwill repair and upgrade manufacture of part (3 reports)
  6. new steering column (3 reports)
2002 Ford Explorer accessories - interior problems

accessories - interior problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2002 Ford Explorer:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments (Page 9 of 9)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #2

Mar 162007

(reported on)

Explorer LX 4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 151,000 miles


My husband and I bought a used 2002 Ford explorer in June 2006 from what we thought was a reputable dealership. We thought we were getting a great deal! NOT! We complained about the truck one after purchasing it and the dealer we purchased the vehicle from, shrugged us off. In February 2007, the column steering and gear stick broke off in my husbands hand while gearing into reverse. Th truck was fixed by the dealers mechanic and we had to pay half of the costs. During this time, we found out that Ford had issued a bulletin in 2004 regarding this matter. But because it was not a recall nothing could be done! However we had reported this problem, one month after purchasing the vehicle - but were dismissed! One week later we went to pick up our truck and realized the truck did not sound or feel right. After demanding answers, we found out not only does our timing chain kit need replacing (which there was a bulletin out on too) but now there is metal shavings in the engine and it needs complete replacement. So what should have been a $67.00 repair problem, if identified as per the bulletin in 2004 (prior to our purchase) is now a repair of over $8000. ASK ME US IF WE'LL EVER BY A FORD AGAIN, and my husband had his heart set on buying a F150- NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

- , Scarborough, Ontario, Canada

problem #1

Feb 282007

(reported on)

Explorer Eddie Bauer V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

I was preparing o exit the parking lot, when I shifted from park to reverse the gear shift selector snapped off like stick. I had "Triple A" tow the vehicle to the nearest ford dealership for repairs. When I described the incident to the tech he couldn't believe what happened. He told me that they would have to replace the entire steering column because the piece the broke off was an aluminum die cast part that is connected to the column. I have the highest extended warranty program out there which we spent over 3K. When I reported the claim to the carrier, I was instructed to have the dealer tech contact them and describe the problem. When I called the dealer back, they told me that it WAS NOT COVERED. I immediately got into gear and raised the issue that the shifter did not break but a piece of the steering column broke off that held the shifter onto the column. After several convincing conversations my wife contacted the dealer tech & explained how the tech should report the issue. IT'S NOT THE SHIFTER BUT THE CONNECTING PIECE. WE FINALLY GOT THE DAMN THING COVERED...... PARTIALLY ABOUT 75% OF THE COSTS. I'M LOOKING FOR NEW VEHICLE NOW F. O. R. D. I'M LUCKY I WASN'T FOUND ON ROAD DEAD...

- , Norristown, PA, USA

Not what you are looking for?