Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety. 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.


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
82,500 miles
Total Complaints:
6 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (5 reports)
  2. fix broken wire in door (1 reports)
2002 Ford Explorer accessories - interior problems

accessories - interior problem

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2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #6

Apr 012010

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.6L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles


Can't see the interior at night. Now we have to carry flashlights. Inferior design to have ECM control the freaking interior lights!

- , Carrington, ND, USA

problem #5

Feb 202010

Explorer XL 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

When key is turned of the passenger side mirror light does not work, drivers side mirror light does not shut off, the interior lights stay on for 20-30 minutes so we have to make sure that the roller switch for the interior/dash lights remains off.

- , Granby, CO, USA

problem #4

Jun 192011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

I have a problem with the instrument lights going out when the headlights are turned on.

- , Bassett, VA, USA

problem #3

Sep 212009

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 135,000 miles


the Door Ajar light was off, but the car acted like a door was open. 1. Key in Ignition Warning chime went off if door was open or closed 2. Keyless Entry Keypad would not lock car 3. Dome light stayed on until battery saver turned it off 4. Locking with key fob gave a double horn beep like a door was open 5. Radio turned off as soon as car was off instead of the courtesy off with a door open.

I replaced the Door Jam sensor, which is the most common solution for this problem IF the Door Ajar light is on. No change in behavior

It was a broken wire in the wiring harness under the rubber boot between the door and body. I removed the door panel and speaker, Then I pulled the electrical tape off so I could pull the rubber boot back. Then I started pulling on wires (gently) until I found the broken one. It's a large black wire that looks like it was cut. Once I spliced it together, everything worked again.

I suspect that over time this wire cannot take the constant bending and eventually breaks.

- , Germanown, WI, USA

problem #2

May 102005

Explorer EB 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 25,000 miles

After 6 visits into the dealership, they could never fix the problem with the interior lights to come on when you open any of the doors. Alot of times you'd open any door, interior lights would not come on. Close door, reopen, interior lights would come on. Dealer replaced several modules, door switches inside of 3 doors, and even the instrument cluster. Checked all grounds.....they never could/did fix it.

- , Iowa City, IA, USA

problem #1

Jul 102007

(reported on)

Explorer Limited V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles

The interior lights, all windows, and radio have quit working. It's annoying, the kids can't watch the dvd - cause there is no sound? Its hard to latch their seatbelts in the dark - we changed the fuse and that didn't help...

- , Phoenix, AZ, USA

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