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 5 of 8)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #80

Apr 022006

Explorer 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,950 miles

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

The rear end on my car was causing a loud humming noise above 40 miles per hour.

- Vernon Hills, IL, USA

problem #79

Apr 112006

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles
2002 Ford Explorer XLT - May 2005 had loud roaring noise from right rear wheel. Replaced right rear bearing/pinion/etc. April 2006 had loud roaring noise from left side. Replaced left front and left rear bearing/pinion/etc. Requests to dealer and directly to Ford co. To cover 2nd & 3rd replacements denied.

- Cooksville, MD, USA

problem #78

Jan 232006

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,000 miles
Whining noise in rear differential of 2002 Ford Explorer eddie bauer edition have read many complaints on the web about the same problem.

- Fenton, MO, USA

problem #77

Mar 302006

Explorer 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 67,000 miles

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

: the contact stated while driving at no particular speed, the rear wheels shook. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic for inspection. The mechanic determined the rear differential unit shown signs of extreme wear and would need replaced. The manufacturer was alerted.

- Bronx, NY, USA

problem #76

Mar 232006

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles
My 2002 Ford Explorer has been in the shop 3-4 times for rear end noise / vibration. It has been replace, re lubricated and adjusted. The car has 85000 miles on it and the noise is back again. Any time you are accelerating and reach 55-60 mph, there is loud whine the comes from the rear end. Let off the gas and it goes away.

- Rock Hill, SC, USA

problem #75

Mar 222006

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles
Vehicle out of warranty now at 114K miles. Transmission just replaced at my cost and now the rear differential is making a bad howling noise. I suppose that will end up needing replacement out of warranty. I'm having a real problem understanding why the vehicle is having such bad/expensive problems at just over 100K miles. Are they really building garbage "?"

- South Lyon, MI, USA

problem #74

Oct 152005

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles

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

Rear differential seals leaking oil and whine at road speed on 2002 Ford Explorer with 51000 miles. VIN [xxx]. updated 07/16/2012 information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6)

- Winchester, TN, USA

problem #73

Mar 152006

Explorer 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,450 miles
Rear end hum and leak back tire was loose due to rear wheel bearings deteriorating, took it apart and bearings fell apart. There was no grease on them. This '02 Explorer has 30,000 miles on it.

- Leonard, MI, USA

problem #72

Jan 042003

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Noisy differential. Constant whining around 50 mph and up. Reluctant to report to dealer for indications of lack of response cited by other complainants. Living with problem until diff fails!

- Richmond Hill, GA, USA

problem #71

Feb 272006

Explorer

  • 78,000 miles
I brought my 2002 Ford Explorer into mossy Ford because the ac was not working and there was a whining coming from the front right side. I was told that the ac problem could not be found and that the whining was due to the tires. I was also told that another sound was noticed by the technician coming from the rear differential. I was charged $200 to diagnose it and was told that a new differential package was needed which would cost $1200. It is ridiculous that this would go out after 78,000 miles. I researched the internet and see that this is a common problem Ford is aware of. They should replace these things for free. I am in the market for another car and now will not buy a Ford if they don't address this issue.

- La Jolla, CA, USA

problem #70

Feb 182006

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,720 miles

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

The rear end has gone out twice now in my 2002 Ford Explorer. The car has 85,000 miles on it.

- Olympia, WA, USA

problem #69

Feb 202006

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 64,000 miles
Loud humming noise coming from the rear of vehicle. Dealer said seals were leaking causing a low fluid situation that caused abnormal wear. Rear differential needs to be replaced. Researching the internet, it seems that this is a common and well know problem with Ford Explorer and needs to be addressed by the manufacturer.

- Hightstown, NJ, USA

problem #68

Sep 012005

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 8,000 miles
2002 Ford Explorer....rear end noise. Returned 3 times to deal for correction. After the 3rd time, the problem seemed to be corrected...10,000 miles later, the problem returned after warranty expired. Deal claimed that since the warranty expired, it is my responsibility to pay for repair.

- Whitehouse, TX, USA

problem #67

Mar 052005

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Drivetrain problems (rear differential, front driveshaft, transfer case). 1. rear differential making whining noise. This was worked on twice with the pinion bearings replaced. Differential still making whining noise at first between 55-60 mph and now is making this noise anywhere from 45 - 70 mph. Vehicle was referred to local Ford dealership. Was told that the pinion ring gear needed replacement. Have Ford extended warranty for powertrain, but Ford will not replace parts until they completely fail. They also consider this a update which they will not fix under a recall. 2. front driveshaft causing vibration in front at speeds around 65-70 mph. Ford considers this an update and will not repair under extended warranty until it completely fails. 3. transfer case. Ford mechanic noted that he heard a clunking noise when shifting transmission from park to reverse. Ford has a tsb on this, to update the flange on the rear of the transfer case. Ford considers this an update and will not fix it until it completely fails. The transfer case would need to be drained, refilled, and then reprogrammed again. All these things are listed as covered items in my Ford extended warranty (powertrain), but Ford will not cover them since they consider them updates. They want me to fit the bill of the amount of $2400 this is how Ford is getting by from issuing a recall. I have notified my wv attorney general office, who tried working out something. That is how I received the Ford extended warranty. They could not get any results, so asked me to contact a lawyer and take them to small claims court.

- Ballard, WV, USA

problem #66

Sep 102005

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 41,000 miles
2002 Ford Explorer 43K - rear tires shudder and feel like they are binding during turns. The inside tire spins/stops/spins as if the rear diff were locked. Repair shop can not isolate any problem - changed fluid, replaced 4X4 switch, problem persists. They are considering replacing the entire unit.

- Rome, NY, USA

problem #65

Dec 012005

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles
Rear end whining noise. Suspect differential and/or pinion gea/bearing.

- Bolton, MA, USA

problem #64

Dec 282005

Explorer 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles
Rear differential makes a howling noise at highway speeds. Noise goes away when letting off accelerator. It's been reported to dealer many times. This problem is common to Explorer of the same year as evidenced by numerous internet forums. Transmission also shudders in 3rd gear, especially when cold.

- Sparta, NJ, USA

problem #63

Dec 272005

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles
I have a 2002 Ford Explorer that has a loud humming/whining sound from the rear differential at speeds 50-70 mph and now has started leaking gear oil from one of the differential axle bearing/seal. I have read many many complaints from others with this same problem on 2002 Explorer and believe this is not normal and needs to be addressed/fixed by Ford Motor Company before accidents occur.

- Trussville, AL, USA

problem #62

Dec 212005

Explorer 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles
I have a 2002 Ford Explorer, at 30,000 miles I complained about a loud noise coming from the rear end, the dealer service department said it was the tires cupping because I didn't rotate them. At 43,000 miles I replace the tires before they needed to be replaced, the noise was louder. Now at 87,000 miles the noise is even louder and the dealer service department said for a new differential was $1,500. Ford should be made to recall the bad differentials that they put in the 2002 Explorer.

- Tavares, FL, USA

problem #61

Nov 252005

Explorer 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,000 miles
The now famous whining in the rear differential and the other famous 4X4 module failure. The rear diff has been whining for approx. 18 mos. Now. I'm just waiting for the failure to occur.

- Asheville, NC, USA

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