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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.

6.0

fairly significant
Typical Repair Cost:
$379.00
Average Mileage:
59,862 miles
Total Complaints:
15 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (6 reports)
  2. replace rear ABS sensor again and again (5 reports)
  3. replace rear abs sensor and entire rear abs (2 reports)
  4. get senors cleaned (1 reports)
  5. replace the front ABS sensor and bearing (1 reports)
2002 Ford Explorer brakes problems

brakes problem

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2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #15

Jan 042012

Explorer XLS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 118,000 miles

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

Light just started coming on, had brand new battery installed in Dec 2011

- , Hartford, CT, USA

problem #14

Aug 302003

Explorer XLS 4.0V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles

this light seems like it's been on since day one..... they should make the rest of the vehicle to last like this light. Ford replaced the sensor at least a couple of times , my regular mechanic could not run the problem down either. other issues made this one a very low issue.

- , Jackson, TN, USA

problem #13

Nov 232007

Explorer XLT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,273 miles

My second Explorer.... I was told the reason my ABS sensor light is staying on, was due to the rear sensor crapping-out. My understanding is a sensor costs around $75- $85 and to do the job at a Ford dealership will cost me about $1400.00???!!! Apparently, I was told by 'Mr.Crap Wrench', the rear axle housing has to be replaced as well, as it's a two-in-one part (please tell me this isn't true!). I didn't fix it! Can't I just buy a sensor and epoxy it on? I now have a vehicle with standard brakes and they work fine.

- , Toronto, Ontario, Canada

problem #12

Jan 142008

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,000 miles

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

ABS light came on and the sensor had to be replaced by the dealer at my cost. This was fourth issue within a month that I have had with this vehicle. The mechanic also told me the rear springs are cracked and need to be replaced so make that five!

- , South Lyon, MI, USA

problem #11

Apr 102007

(reported on)

Explorer LS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles

My ABS light has been coming on and off for the last year. I am scared to go to the Ford dealer for them to fix it because they are a rip off. (I have been to them for another vehicle that I previously owned that had an O2 sensor to go out that they fixed. They told me it was covered under a warranty and when it went bad again, they wanted to charge me again-202.00)Now another problem has came up. All the brake lights are stuck!!! When I am driving and while it is parked. I went to them for a quote (it cost a 100.00 for that quote)just to find out that it will cost me another 300.00 I WILL NEVER BUY A FORD AGAIN!!!

- , Warner Robins, GA, USA

problem #10

Feb 052008

Explorer XLS 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

Well my ABS light would randomly go on. I will be driving on the highway and the light would go on. Hmm.... I wondered why would the warning light go on while I've been driving for 30 minutes? Then 10 minutes later I look down and it was off. At this point, I was so confused. Since then, every other day my ABS light would randomly go on and off. I have a place that fixes cars next door to me so i took it there. They did a diagnostic test which cost me $90 and guess what? MY ABS SENSORS WERE FUNCTIONING CORRECTLY. So what the guy did was clean my sensors. I don't know with what but it worked. Now my ABS light doesn't randomly go on anymore.

- , Medford, MA, USA

problem #9

Nov 192007

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,000 miles

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

you can expect this only from ford ...why would you put abs sensor inside front bearing what if left or right abs sensor goes out ..then you have to change the bearing...Geniuses....Ford Designers should get burned or kill themselves against the wall.

- , Broklyn, NY, USA

problem #8

Sep 112007

(reported on)

Explorer V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles

Well, it seems like the brakes are still okay. But this needs to be fixed. I never know whether the brakes are on the verge of failure, or what. Help, Ford!

- , Greenville, OH, USA

problem #7

Oct 042007

(reported on)

Explorer XLS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles

This is a long story but I'll keep it short. I had the rear ABS sensor replaced under warranty the first time... 6 months later the ABS light came on again. I had the vehicle in England and couldn't find anyone to fix it so I left it. I finally had to have it fixed because it wouldn't pass inspection. I couldn't get the correct part in England and their computers couldn't tell what was wrong. Anyway I finally got it fixed but it was a pain in the butt and quite expensive.

- , Woodbridge, VA, USA

problem #6

Apr 212007

(reported on)

Explorer XLS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 38,650 miles

i felt really sorry for my dad, first the electrical problem then the transmission problem then the ac thing and then this - ABS light is on and the damn brakes squeaks like a mouse got burnt, and it was doing this for a week... the good thing is that this was a company car so he was going to turn it in a week anyway. so we were celebrating when we got rid of the piece of sh*t

- , Trooper, P. A. 1, USA

problem #5

Sep 012005

(reported on)

Explorer

  • 52,000 miles

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

This is one of many problems that I have had. Keep looking.

- , Rock Port, MO, USA

problem #4

Jun 032005

(reported on)

Explorer

  • 30,000 miles

ABS light starting coming on and going off at 28000 miles, then started staying on longer and going off only occasionaly , then finally staying on all the time. Brakes work , not sure ABS system works, lease is up and guess who has to pay to have it fixed? Ford has a problem w/this on a lot of their explorers

- , Moscow, PA, USA

problem #3

Nov 122006

(reported on)

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles

I had the ABS light illuminate and then noticed that the back brakes hung up and when I went to the dealer, I was told the rear brakes needed replacement and the sensor for the ABS was faulty. Now, a few months later, the ABS light is back on. This is concerning with the winter months here and living in western PA. I am going to try to find resolution with the dealer.

- , Johnstown, PA, USA

problem #2

Oct 272006

(reported on)

Explorer XLS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles

I purchased my 2002 Explorer XLS with 22,000 miles as a "certified" used vehicle from a Ford Dealership. I constantly keep up with all repairs and precautions and have 55,000 miles on the vehicle. I was driving home from work and noticed the yellow "ABS" light started flashing. When I got home I turned the vehicle off, and called Ford as explained in the owner's manual as a safety precaution. When I started the vehicle, the light remained off all the way to the Ford dealership. When I spoke to the "Manager" he told me since the light was off, not to worry about it. I took his word, and left. Four days later, "ABS" and "Check Engine" began flashing and then remained luminated all the way back to the Ford dealership. When I spoke to the "Manager" again, he said it was "No big deal" and they would check it out, all for $116.00 evaluation charge. He called later that day, and said the seat-belt buckles' retention sensors had to be replaced and he needed a credit card for the special order $289.00 sensors. The next day, the vehicle was ready, and they banged me for three hours service ($96.00/hour). Wow. 13 days laters, "ABS" light comes on again and I return to Ford, thinking something happened with the latest repair. This time, the main ABS Component system "fried itself" as described by the "Manager" and needed replaced because the vehicle would not be safe to operate unless it was replaced. Another $442.00 for special order system, plus another three hours service. Ironically, both repairs had nothing to do with each other as per the "Manager." God help you if you have this vehicle and the "ABS" light comes on. I had ford dealer service repair. big mistake!

- , West Hempstead, NY, USA

problem #1

Oct 172003

(reported on)

Explorer XLS

  • 33,000 miles

First experienced ABS light at 33,000. Dealer warrenty. Since then every 2,500 to 8,000 miles light comes on. Rear ABS sensor. Local dealer tells me "I'm the only one to complain", but they now stock sensor. Ford Parts site lists multiple customers with problems. I think I put on so many miles as sales rep, I'm the bell mare here. 87,000 miles-5 abs failures. Next car is a Toyota. To be fair: brakes still work with light on-just no ABS.

- , Hagerman, ID, USA

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