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.

10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
34,586 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

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2002 Ford Explorer:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #8

Nov 252004

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,000 miles

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

My transmission shifter hard a few times ( loud "clunk") for some time now. I then lost 4 wheel drive. I am unable to select high four or even low. The low button no longer eluminates and shifts to low. I discovered I lost 4X4 mode while accelerating from a stop in the rain and my rear wheels spun wildly. I am out of warranty..what do I do. Ford definately has a problem with this the automatic transmissions. I have about 48.000 miles on vehicle. It was purchased used 3 months ago.

- Ridgewood , NY, USA

problem #7

Nov 102003

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 27,560 miles
The vehicle went into four wheel drive on its own. The manufacturer informed the consumer it was not covered under warranty.

- Lansford, PA, USA

problem #6

Dec 112003

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 37,100 miles
Purchased new Ford Explorer in 4/02 in 12/03 with 37100 miles transfer case started grinding and going into gear became difficult. Transfewr case replaced, in 1/04 4X4 computer module malfuntioned and was replaced. In 4/04 grinding from rear differential case, had to be replaced with all internal components.in 5/04 sent detailed letter to william clay Ford explaining difficulties with vehicle along with all repair bills.. on 5/18/04 got a phone call from lynn arledge(Ford executive rep).

- Sag Harbor, NY, USA

problem #5

Oct 312003

Explorer 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 17,080 miles

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

4X4 light on dash would sporadically flash on and then go off. During a snow storm, four-wheel drive failed to work, causing the car to slide on roads. Had to buy snow chains to get the car to a dealer. It took two visits before dealer could diagnose problem and replace a 4X4 electronic shift module part # 2C5Z*7E453.

- South Lake Tahor, CA, USA

problem #4

Oct 172003

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 18,000 miles
My 2002 Ford Explorer XLT has expierenced all the power train problems that I ahve found on this site.my dealer ahs been admirable in trying to resolve these problems but it seems we get one fixed and another starts.the firs was the transfer casr had a shutter in it between first and second gear, then the rear end had a bad bearing, then the left rear axle had a bad wheel bearing, then the vehilce was staying in four wheel drive all the time, this happened on a trip this fall bare ground. Then the latest is the transmision is going to neutral at stop signs and red lights by itself. The vehile then sits and revs until with a bang the transmisson engages again.

- West Glover,Vt, VT, USA

problem #3

Dec 042003

Explorer 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 18,882 miles
2002 Ford Explorer 4X4 straining and banging sounds in drive train when in 4X4 mode and when cornering in this mode causes vehicle to become hard to steer and can feel vehicle shudder as banging occurs. Was taken to greiner Ford on 12/04/03 the day problem started and was told by service advisor jim feiler that Ford technical support has been advised of the problem and that they do notice all symptoms I brought vehicle in for but they do not know what the problem is and thus are not authorized by Ford to repair even though vehicle is still under full warranty. I was then told they feel vehicle is safe to drive which I feel is interesting since they acknowledge they unit has a drive train problem but do not know exactly what the problem is, so how can they be sure it is a safe vehicle.

- Casper, WY, USA

problem #2

Mar 082003

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 46,905 miles
It was during the fast freeze when this incident took place. We went from 45 degrees to 20 degrees with in 2-3 hours. It was raining at first then switched to ice & snow. We put the 2002 Ford Explorer in 4X4 drive due to the weather conditions. As we were entering the express way we loss control of the truck only going 28 miles per hour. We spun out of control and hit the guard rail. It was as though we had no 4X4 drive. We called the police to get a accident report for our insurance. We then took the truck a week later to martin Buick to fix the body damage to the left side of the truck. They took the truck to lasko Ford across the street to work on the 4X4 system. They took the clutches out and drained the transmission fluid. They found damage to the clutches. These parts were blackened and glazed over. They said that this looks like wear and tear for this truck and that the truck was not maintained. We regularly changed fluids and the manual states that the truck does not need maintenance until 150,000 miles. I asked how could a new truck have so much damage to the 4X4 and they said that it must have been in 4X4 wheel drive for a long time. I know and so do my passengers that this is not true. The dash board always indicated 2 wheel drive not 4X4 unless I put it in 4X4. The automatic 4X4 never turned on the 4X4 drive I have always had to put it in 4X4 if I needed to use it, which has only been one other time. So for a truck that is one year old and only been driven in 4X4 wheel drive twice there seems to be an awful lot of damage to my clutches and my fluid so burnt. The four wheel drive on this truck. I will have the module that controls the "control trac" 4X4 wheel drive system tested to see if it fails to activate or de-activate the 4X4. Then I would like Ford to fix the problem out of their own expense and stop giving their clients the run-A-round and to reimburse me for my time and expenses.

- Fenton, MI, USA

problem #1

Nov 252002

Explorer 4WD

  • miles
While driving approx. 40 mph, vehicle suddenly went into 4 wheel drive low range. Occupant was wearing seat belt and car came to an abrupt stop. Accident was avoided due to light traffic this day. Car is @dealer 4 repair. Dealer claims computer that sends signal to 4 wheel drive transfer case failed due to cold weather and sent faulty signal to engage 4 wheel drive into low range. Temp was 40 deg. That day. I am concerned about the stress put on all of the internal drive components due to this sudden engagement. Dealer says they checked for outside damage, but damage will most likely be internal I.e. transmission, transfer case, shafts, engine, drive assemblys. The day B4 we traveled on the interstate at speeds between 60-70 mph. If this had occured at this speed it would have been much worse. Wife went forward during engagement and strained her shoulder. She was wearing her seat belt though.

- Newark, DE, USA

Not what you are looking for?