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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.

7.2

pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
$420.00
Average Mileage:
77,255 miles
Total Complaints:
5 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace freeze plug (2 reports)
  2. replace intake manifold (1 reports)
  3. replace radiator (1 reports)
  4. replace tubing (1 reports)
2002 Ford Explorer cooling system problems

cooling system problem

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2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #5

Nov 092012

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 81,069 miles

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

Loss of coolant, thankfully one of the easier-to-get-to freeze plugs, so this one not as costly as it could have been.

- , Brentwood, TN - Tennessee, USA

problem #4

Feb 012011

Explorer XLT 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,000 miles

The manifold is made of plastic and a small break in one side on the seal caused the whole thing to be replaced. It should not be made of plastic.

- , Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #3

Jan 052009

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 63,000 miles

I had a leak for about a month that seemed to get progressively worse. I finally determined that it was coolant leak and took it to the dealership for further inspection. After charging me $95.00 to diagnose the problem, they came back and told me that the coolant was leaking from a freeze plug, but it was behind the intake and they'd have to tear down the engine to get to it ($395 for labor) after which they would replace the freeze plug (a $7 part) for an additional $107. I also agreed to let them do a coolant flush for $120 since everything was opened up. The problem was fixed, but those *@%&suckers pulled another $700 out of me. More shi#@y Ford engineering. This just adds to the long list of problems I've had with this vehicle.

FORD= Fix Or Repair Daily!!!

- , Tampa, FL, USA

problem #2

Jan 012006

Explorer 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 67,000 miles

I have had many problems with this vehicle - I now call it my FORD EXPLODER

I had it in for a rear end problem and mentioned that I wasn't getting good heat from the heater.

My sons father-in-law whom I trust looked at the radiator and found a defective factory weld but once again - FORD WOULD NOT BACK THEIR PRODUCT.

- , Jerome, MI, USA

problem #1

Mar 192007

(reported on)

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,206 miles

Found puddle of antifreeze on garage floor. The tubing was leaking around the brackets. This has happened twice and once with the air conditioner.

- , Tustin, MI, USA

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