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.

3.2

definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
41,667 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 cooling system problems

cooling system problem

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2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #6

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 #5

Nov 052006

Explorer 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Ongoing shifting and slipping within the transmission. Also a loud shrill at the end of the acceleration. The transmission converter has been replaced multiple times and the transmission leaked out fluid at highway speed. After the repair of a stripped transmission line connector and a pile of glue to fix a broken electrical connector the vehicle was returned to service by the dealership and the warranty company. The converters are "remanufactured" which have been known to fail. The glob of glue on the electrical connector will be reviewed by the state as to the proper repair procedure. A law suit may follow due to separate repairs including a tire with a nail, where a new tire was purchased and a used on was installed (bf goodrich). The tire was also not balanced and was off by 1.5 oz. There was also a gasket removed from the cooling system that caused antifreeze to spill out onto the engine. The cooling system had been serviced two months prior and was never leaking until the day the vehicle was returned. There was also the discovery of the positive electrical harness to the starter having exposed wires due to the oil filter drain housing made of plastic rubbing against the wires. There are three wires exposed and there may be the potential for fire.

- Howell, MI, USA

problem #4

Apr 122004

Explorer 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 36,000 miles
The automatic gear shift broke. Could not change gears. Electric windows stopped working both driver and passenger. Air conditioner broke - air conditioner clutch make rubbing noise when engaged.

- Lake Forest, CA, USA

problem #3

Oct 242003

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,000 miles

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

Vehicle was taken to dealer on four previous occasions to address an overheating problem that occurred suddenly while driving. Temperature gauge would spike and then return to almost normal levels. On the fifth trip to the dealer 10/24/03, was then told the problem is a cracked cylinder head., this was later diagnosed as a piston problem. Vehicle is still with dealer with compression problems.

- Glenolden, PA, USA

problem #2

Apr 152003

Explorer

  • miles
While driving for extened point of time vehicle would overheat without warning, causing consumer to pull off the road. Consumer had contacted the dealer on four separate occasions, and the problem still occurs.

- Quincy, MA, USA

problem #1

Mar 212003

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I have had my vehicle into the Ford dealer for the same problem at least 4 times with no success it is still under manufacturer warranty and is a 2002 Ford Explorer.

- Spring, TX, USA

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