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. 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.


really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
108,357 miles
Total Complaints:
3 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. new transfer case (3 reports)
2002 Ford Explorer drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #3

Sep 012014

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 145,000 miles


Bought Explorer from Beechmont Ford in Ohio, the truck had 135582 miles on it. At about 142500 the transmission started to flutter when it shifts, took to a mechanic at a local garage. He said the transmission needs replaced, The Explorer now has 146000 miles on it, the transmission is getting worse. I called the Ford Dealer, they have not help with anything, Also told them about the transfer case making a noise. Had a local mechanic look at it, he said the transfer case is slipping and will have to be replaced.

- , Williamsburg, OH, USA

problem #2

Nov 012009

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles

Well 2 years ago I replaced the transmission and now the transfer case is going out.This vehicle is my stay at home wifes.It's never been off road and has only been in 4 wheel drive a couple of times.And it has never pulled a trailer.Just drove up town to store and drove on vacations.What a piece of crap.I have a Chevy S-10 with 245,000 on it and I have flat drove it all over the country giveing it hell on coonhunting trips and fishing trips.No PROBLEMS.This Explorer has had a easy life and has been one thing after the next go out on it.I even found a big wrench under the hood when I just got it home from the showroom.It was a hood adjustment tool from the assembly line.This transfer case is going to cost me a easy $600-$1000 doing it myself.What a piece of CRAP!

- , Taylorsville, KY, USA

problem #1

Sep 042009

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,070 miles

Another Issue with an 02 Explorer..... Transfer case made an awful sound.... Didn't bother going to ford, they wanted $3500 for the new case alone.... Took it to a tranny shop, they found a new one for $1800...Ended up being the input bearing that failed and caused internal damage...came to $2500 Canadian...I'm sick of this vehicle...Every month its something...Wish we had "cash for clunkers" in Canada...

- , Calgary, AB, Canada

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