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.

8.8

pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
$1,038.00
Average Mileage:
113,298 miles
Total Complaints:
10 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (4 reports)
  2. replace link/rear bearing (2 reports)
  3. trade the car in and get a toyota (2 reports)
  4. never by another ford (1 reports)
  5. replaced rear end assembly (1 reports)
2002 Ford Explorer drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #10

Feb 042015

Explorer XLT 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 160,500 miles

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

Rear differential had been slow leaking oil. Recently started hearing clunking noises that were in sync with speed of car, more noise with less load on drive wheel - coasting. At dealership I was told the rear differential had lost most of its oil and the 'piston' had way too much play in it and the gearing began to wear. I apparently had metal filings in the thickened oil and they recommended not to drive it any more because it had a high risk of failing and seizing-up. Dealership found a used, low mileage rear differential with only 70,000 miles and no leaks. I had the rear differential changed out for $1,090 total, including inspection and labor. New used unit is installed and truck is back on road and working again.

However, now the new used rear differential has a muffled roar that sounds like a load exhaust. Now that I mentioned it, the exhaust system is the only system in this SUV that I have not had to repair!

- , Export, PA, USA

problem #9

Mar 052012

Explorer XLT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

Every bearing that could go bad went bad in this car. (I'm not kidding) I can't even tell you how many thousands of dollars it cost me. When I finally got rid of this car 3 months ago..I trashed the pile of receipts that was about 6 inches thick. Had the car for 6 years too long. I kept hoping that repairs would finally fix it. Not.

- , Billings, MT, USA

problem #8

Aug 082011

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

Major noise in the rear started out w/ a little squeaking, grinding. I thought it was my rear brakes until it sounded like my rear axle was going to drop beneath the car. The Explorer is 2002 w/ 100,000 miles. I'm sure now it's going to be a money pit. I don't know why Ford recalls little problems and they don't recall major coil/bearing issues which most definitely cause accidents and death. I will shop around and check many consumer reports before purchasing another Ford product.

- , Easton, PA, USA

problem #7

Jul 032010

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,000 miles

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

Have a 2002 FORD Explorer XLT that I brought brand new. Has 78,000 easy miles. Always driven on country roads. Have had new tires (1) time. Have done front brakes (3) times. Rear brakes (1) time. All (4) rotors replaced. Had Front passenger bearings done (1) time. Front driver bearings done (2) times. Rear passenger bearings done (1) time. Inner and Outer ttie-rods numerous times. etc..... This SUV has been babied big time !! If you did not look underneath you would think it was brand new. Every time we take it somewhere, people ask if we just bought it. Seriously.

Problem encountered Today: Have been hearing a lot of wobbling noise once again. Took SUV to a very close friend, thinking I needed new Rotors again, just replaced all (4) a year ago. Hard to believe this would be problem again. Long Story Short: I need all (4) new wheel bearings, shocks, struts, etc...and a new rear axle (seems the FORD dealer cross-threaded last time while replacing the bearing last year (this is also what caused it to wear out so quickly again, you need the right amount of torque on bolt).

I could go on and on !! Complete pain in the ass. I thought I just had a lemnon until I found this site. This is crazy. If I had a dealer fix this, I was quoted at 5K. Almost what the SUV is worth. Give me a break. I have had plentyof other vehicles that I beat the sh*t out of and never had such problems. There is something very wrong here, very wrong. We need to get together and do something anbout this !

- , Thompson, OH, USA

problem #6

Jan 012008

Explorer LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

the SUV rides like a buggy i haven't had work done on it yet but i feel it coming the loose trans the clunk going into gear the weak feel getting going down the road my sister has the same car we bought the same day from the same salesman with the same problems my mom also bought the same SUV and worked for ford for 35 years she sold hers wish i would have to, now its paid off and and im tired of looking at that dam abs light on my dash board so is my sister and last year the brake peddle would act funny pushing back and now that stopped without being fixed? crazy? why hast this car had recalls ?

- , Macomb, MI, USA

problem #5

Dec 172008

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles

I AM VERY DISSAPOINTED TO READ ALL THE COMPLAINTS THAT WE AS LOYAL FORD CUSTOMERS ARE HAVING. BUT WHAT REALLY MAKES ME UPSET IS THAT FORD HAS DONE NOTHING TO SATISFY ITS LOYAL CUSTOMERS. OH I AM SORRY THEY HAVE WHEN YOU TAKE YOUR VEHICLE IN FOR INSPECTION THEY WASTE ALL THAT TRAINING THEY RECEIVE BY NOT BEING ABLE TO PROPERLY DIAGNOSE THEIR PRODUCT. I HAVE A LIST AS LONG AS TEXAS :

BUSTED SPRINGS {REPAIRED TWICE}

REAR DIFFERENTIAL GOING OUT

REPLACE FRONT WHEEL HUBS

AND THE LIST GOES ON......

- , Benton Harbot, MI, USA

problem #4

May 212009

Explorer Limited V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

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

i bought this car for dependability guess i was wrong and wish id new of all these problems b4 i paid cash for this vehicle,i have always been a ford man but thats gona change own 2 fords currently that will be traded in soon for another manufactures product,wonder why the big 3 are in bankruptcy and having to get bailouts.Ive got the answer its due to piss poor product and not taking care of problems that occur after the sale i hear Toyota doin real good wonder why.Buy American and get ripped off is what it feels like to me

- , Uniontown, OH, USA

problem #3

May 072007

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 160,000 miles

The car is worthless, it will sway so bad going down the road, corners feel like you will tip over. DANGEROUS!!!

- , Wellston, MI, USA

problem #2

Mar 072008

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 170,000 miles

Ah, spring and the sound of the bearings and feel of link sway. At first I thought it was just the icy roads. Foolish me, of course, Pricing a Toyota. This nightmare will be over before the end of the month!! Good Luck to the rest of your 2002 Explorer owners, dump that baby while you still can.

- , Wellston, MI, USA

problem #1

Feb 042008

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 66,484 miles

Had truck in for oil change, had dealer look at rear-end because of clunking sound, found rear control arm bushings are failing. Not covered by extended warranty (which I paid $1200 for) so I now should pay $1200 to replace the entire control arm. Good Luck, I will find somebody to replace the $25 bushings myself, screw Ford. No more Fords for me.

- , Ronkonkoma, NY, USA

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