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.

3.0

hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
47,055 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 drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments (Page 2 of 8)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #140

Jun 192006

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

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

Winding and roaring noise from rear end.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #139

Aug 152006

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles
At 80,000 miles the vehicle had 'whine' or 'roar' from rear end. I decided it was not worth fixing and 'lived with it'. the vehicle now has 136,000 miles, still 'roars', and has two seals (that reside in differential case) that are now leaking. I will now have to spend at least $1200 to fix and have already spend $200 to diagnose.

- Glen Carbon, IL, USA

problem #138

Aug 072007

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,000 miles
Purchased used 2002 Ford Explorer from original owner. After inspecting vehicle good, I found that the rear differential was leaking and fluid very dirty; appears to have metal filings. Can hear loud rumble and whine while driving. I unerstand that cost is about $1,600 to repair. I also understand now that this is a serious problem with 2002 and 2003 Ford Explorer, and that Ford is well aware of this. I am concerned for my safety with this type of failure.

- Grand Rapids, MN, USA

problem #137

Apr 102007

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

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

Humming, whining noise coming from rear at interstate driving speeds, especially when accelerating.

- Arlington, TN, USA

problem #136

Jun 292007

Explorer

  • miles
My vehicle has a loud humming noise when accelerating at any speed. The mechanics at the Ford garage say the rear differential needs repairs. I had other work done that day due to the loud road noise. I had a wheel bearing replaced, but still have a lot of noise. They said the repair could wait awhile(their suggestion due to the already large expense) I had this same repair done in 2006 and 2005.

- West Milford, WV, USA

problem #135

Jul 262007

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
2002 Ford Explorer XLT, about 62000 miles. Differential noise started about 2 months ago along with a right axle seal leak. Noise is speed relational, starts at about 30 mph and increases in frequency linearly with speed. Noise level also increases with increasing speed. Differential, although leaking slightly, still makes same noise when topped off with synthetic differential fluid. Through research I have discovered this to be an endemic problem with 2002 and 2003 Explorer with hundreds of occurrences noted in various places on the web. Many mechanics report that if the pinion retaining bolt fails, the differential will lock up both rear wheels simultaneously causing loss of control. I have not read where this has actually happened but the noise is very loud and people riding in my car always notice it. I believe that Ford should step up the plate on this one. I have owned nothing but Ford for many years and I drive an Excursion. I was referred to this site by a post on www.carcomplaints.com.

- Double Oak, TX, USA

problem #134

Jun 132004

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles

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

The contact owns a 2002 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that the differential failed on his vehicle. The component was replaced in July of 2004. The gears in the differential were wearing out quickly and the differential began to leak fluids out of the pinion seal. The contact heard a howling and groaning sound while driving the vehicle 55 mph. He stated that the gear shift lever locked up on many occasions. The four-wheel drive also locked up in April of 2007 while making a U-turn. The purchase date and failure mileage were unknown. The current mileage was 67,200. The consumer provided repair invoices pertaining to the defect. Updated 09/05/07

- Fulton, MO, USA

problem #133

Jul 262007

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 54,000 miles
Rear differential seal bad.

- Northville, MI, USA

problem #132

Jul 072007

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles
At 95,000 miles there was a rear end howl at speeds between 50-75 mph. I E-mailed a complaint to Ford Motor Corp. And asked if they could fix it. They replied that there wasn't anything they could do.

- Sneedville, TN, USA

problem #131

Jan 102006

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,081 miles
Transmission has to be replaced.

- Somerset, NJ, USA

problem #130

Apr 012007

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 80,000 miles

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

2002 Ford Explorer XLS 4X4 man trans. Rear differential noises. Fluid change did not help.

- Richmond, TX, USA

problem #129

Jun 052007

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,990 miles
I first purchased my 2002 Ford Explorer in July of 2004. At that time I had the Ford dealership in swainsboro repair the rear end due to a grinding noise that is emitted when the accelerator is applied. The vehicle had approximately 60,000 miles on it. Now, the vehicle has 105,000 miles and the noise has returned and is worse than ever.

- Macon, GA, USA

problem #128

May 122007

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles
2002 Ford Explorer rear end whines.

- Ponder, TX, USA

problem #127

May 212007

Explorer

  • miles
2002 Ford Explorer with 75000 miles. During normal driving began to hear a howling/grinding sound from the rear axle. Seemed to be a rear differential problem that was a very common among 2002-2004 Ford Explorer. No recall has been issued.

- Arlington, VA, USA

problem #126

Mar 082006

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles
Ford Explorer transmission rattled and dealer investigated and indicated that the transmission clutches needed to be replaced which was common on the Explorer according to the local Ford dealer. I had two sales representatives, whose fleet explored, and they both had the same problems. I believed that if the NHTSA would investigate Ford Explorer transmission repairs with fleet companies you will discover that there was a major problem with Ford explores XLT from 2002 to 2005. Most fleet car driver's didn't complain because the repairs did not come out of their personal funds.

- Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #125

May 152007

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
2002 Ford Explorer 75000 miles, has rear end noise when between 55-70 mph.

- Hebron, KY, USA

problem #124

Apr 262007

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,986 miles
My problem is with the rear differential as well as the hub bearing assembly in the 2002 Ford Explorer, 60,000 miles on the vehicle. Terrible grinding sound in rear wheels, both rear bearings in wheels were bad, as well as differential noise and leaking of fluid, E no recall on these issues, but I have found thousands of complaints for this same issue. It was a safety violation not to recall these. If the rear wheels lock it would send vehicle into a spin, or travel off the road, why have you not remedied this with Ford? you were taking a great legal risk, by not looking out for the safety of consumers.

- East Liverpool, OH, USA

problem #123

May 112007

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I bought a 2002 Ford Explorer 4X4 new. After 30,000 miles the rear gasket was leaking. Was fixed under warranty. 50,000 miles later it was leaking again. Came to find out it was the seals leaking. After tearing into it needed new gear set, traction clutches and bearing failed. Was this the problem to begin with" why with such a common failure were we, the owners, not notified" there was also slipping and popping noise in the rear.

- Mt Juliet, TN, USA

problem #122

Apr 232007

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles
2002 Ford Explorer, rear end humming and made a great deal of noise. Mechanic said rear end needed to be replaced. Claimed this was a common problem, where was the recall?? now I am supposed to eat the $3000 to repair, I should have bought the highlander. I tried to support usa and got burned, not again!!

- Saint John, IN, USA

problem #121

Apr 202007

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles
I have a 2002 Ford Explorer that began making excessive road noise from the rear of the vehicle. My mechanic told me the seals on the differential needed to be replaced. I have become aware that this is a recurring problem with these vehicles.

- Memphis, TN, USA

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