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.

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.

2.4

hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
65,000 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2002 Ford Explorer brakes problems

brakes problem

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2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #16

Aug 172010

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 179,000 miles

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

Purchased 2002 Explorer XLT V6 4.0L already transmission slipping solenoid or whatever out.. I have read reports and wonder why this transmission is not recalled? I have it in shop now having to have it rebuilt and everything changed. Also right wheel bearings bad, upper and lower ball joints bad, suspension shot. And the records show the previous owners maintained everything well. But also had transmission replaced and had problems at 99,000miles. Please doing something for all of us out here. Also coolant leak, engine leak, power seat failure, and on.

- Asheville, NC, USA

problem #15

Jan 222010

Explorer

  • 88,000 miles
2002 Ford Explorer with defective emergency brakes, they premature corrosion causing the pads to fall up leaving someone with out a secondary braking system. From mechanics I have spoke to happens a lot and Ford doesn't cover them. I have an Explorer and one wheel has only one pad left the other doesn't have any remaining. Have not fixed due to the expense repair bill on something that doesn't get used that often.

- Elk Point, SD, USA

problem #14

Feb 252009

Explorer

  • 85,000 miles
Broken rear coil springs on 2002 Ford Explorer XLT, 85000 miles. Also need front and rear wheel bearings, seat belt tensioner, emergency brake repair.

- Apo, AE, USA

problem #13

Dec 212008

Explorer

  • 85,000 miles

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

2002 Ford Explorer with broken coil spring, crack under rear window, and transmission slip, broken parking brake shoes in assembly. Same complaints that seem to be common. And same with everyone else, no help from Ford.

- South Berwick, ME, USA

problem #12

Oct 162008

Explorer

  • 56,500 miles
2002 Ford Explorer used for non business driving. No heavy loads or trailers. No off road use. No incidents with objects in road, pot holes, obstacles etc. Both rear suspension springs broken. One spring broken in 3 places. Noticed @ 56,500 miles. Springs had been broken for a while(rust on breaks). Didn't notice it until recently broken spring on other side asymptomatic. The only immediate consequences to me were a large repair bill. It could have been a lot worse if I was presented with a need for an emergency maneuver and the faulty suspension caused an accident. I replaced both rear springs and struts. Parts in repair shop trash. Won't last there too long. Repair shop reports seeing similar problems with Explorer and related Ford models. Internet search revealed many people had same problem with no history of abuse reported. Had rear brakes serviced at the same time. Had to replace shoe pads on parking brake because the pads both fell off. Use parking brake infrequently. Repair shop reported seeing this problem previously also.

- Winthrop, MA, USA

problem #11

May 232008

Explorer

  • 80,000 miles
Was driving my 2002 Ford exploder, when I excited the vehicle I saw smoke and flames coming from the driver side rear wheel. I grabbed my son and got him from the vehicle. A passerby came over to help get my son from the vehicle. He informed me that my emergency brake had seized on. I would like to know how this happened when I have not used my emergency brake. Fire dept called and vehicle is now sitting in a parking lot. Until I can get the money to repair it.

- Innisfil, 00, USA

problem #10

Apr 222008

Explorer

  • 90,000 miles

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

Both rear spring crumbled.

- Leopold, IN, USA

problem #9

Jul 192007

Explorer

  • 51,894 miles
At 51,894 we were surprised to find that our rear wheel bearings and hub assembly had to be replaced this started as a whine and clicking noise total charge to fix approx $750 -- according to others on this site this could have caused an accident. At this time we also had a very loose parking brake, but was told by the dealer that it couldn't be tightened until the grooves wore out?

- Elyria, OH, USA

problem #8

Jan 012007

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 40,000 miles
On my 2002 Ford Explorer SUV I have had to replace 3 of the 4 wheel bearings and hub assemblies(approx $250 each), with the 4th not far behind. I have also had to replace the 4-wheel drive module(approx $400-$500). I have had problems with the rear window motors going bad and having to replace these too. The air conditioning unit has stopped working. The passenger air bag dummy light has come on for no reason. The seat belt warning chime often comes on and will not go off, even though you have buckled your seat belt. You have to slam the buckle into place for it to go off and sometimes this does not work either. The transmission is now making a lovely clunking sound when shifting from park to drive and when you try to put it back into park, it does not want to. You have to put it up to park as far as it will go then go back to neutral and then into park from there. We have replaced the emergency brake shoes on both sides because they were completely worn off even though we do not use the E-brakes. These problems are just piling up one after another. I went to an internet site that has complaints about vehicles and found that there are hundreds of others with the same problems on their 2002 Ford Explorer of all kinds (XL, eddie bauer, special edition, etc.). why hasn't Ford done any recalls for these problems" does it require multiple injuries or even death for them to take responsibility??"

- Monroeville, OH, USA

problem #7

Oct 192007

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl Diesel

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,719 miles
Continuous problems with transmission, and E-brake. E brake replaced and bad again. Had transmission repair at dealership a 400 miles before 75,000 mile warranty ended. Taken back 100 miles later transmission problem again. Past warranty now and still having problems. I will not buy Ford again, it has been a nightmare. Also air bag light keeps coming on. -please ignore equipment part of this complaint, I misunderstood.

- Lexington, KY, USA

problem #6

Mar 312008

Explorer

  • miles

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

Problems with this Explorer over my ownership include: -rear glass replaced -front brakes replaced -rear wheel bearings have required replacement, -parking brake issues, -new tires, etc.

- Enfield, CT, USA

problem #5

Sep 152005

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,000 miles
Rubbing noise heard on rear wheel. Found parking brake pads had dis-bonded from brake shoe. Safety system that Ford motor dealer, chantilly, va indicated it would not replace even though it was a defect.

- Stephens City, VA, USA

problem #4

May 202005

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles
I own a 2002 Ford Explorer. It has approximately 70,000 miles. I brought it in to have the rear brakes replaced at superior Ford in Plymouth, minneasota in may of 2005. While the brakes were being replaced, I was informed that the brake pads on the parking brakes had "fallen apart". the adhesive had failed and the asphault pads had fallen off the metal backing and were loose in the drum. I told the service manager that I had rarely used the parking brake. I was told that this frequently happened on Explorer and Expedition, particularly when the brakes haven't been used much. It concerns me that a safety feature like an emergency brake could fail after three years without significant use. I would have had no idea that the pads had fallen off the emergency brake if I hadn't brought the vehicle in for regular brake service. The mechanics and Ford's customer service people didn't seem to bothered by this. The supervisor told me that parts are only made to last 36,000 miles (the warranty period). The Ford people said that they don't take any responsibility for brakes after 12,000 miles.

- Excelsior, MN, USA

problem #3

Dec 282004

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,500 miles
The consumer is experiencing a problem with the emergency brakes. When the vehicle is parked for an extended period of time, the emergency brake creates condensation on the brake and the driver must increase the throttle before the emergency brake will release. The owner contacted the manufacturer and was told "that was the way it was desig ned to function and there is nothing they will do.

- Anacortes, WA, USA

problem #2

Nov 122003

Explorer

  • 20,392 miles
Problems with the transmission, rear axle and seatbelts. (nar) transmission problem was found out to be a problem in the rear differential. Vehicle was serviced also for parking brake not locking in position. Also, consumer encountered a problem with right rear hatch guide for door pin coming apart, and trim on driver's seat bottom was coming loose. In addition, air bag light on dash kept coming on and stayed on.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #1

Nov 282003

Explorer

  • 25,000 miles
While parked vehicle rolled backwards without warning.

- Questa, NM, USA

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