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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.

8.4

pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
$135.00
Average Mileage:
98,995 miles
Total Complaints:
33 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (30 reports)
  2. disable alarm (2 reports)
  3. replace security module (1 reports)
2002 Ford Explorer electrical problems

electrical problem

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2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #33

Dec 012011

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

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

All alarms sound, locks go up and down, inside light goes on and off at night, no dash light fixes that, alarms continue while driving, almost hit a cat because of all the noise and distraction. When locked the alarm goes off ever 30 mins.

- , Kennesaw, GA, USA

problem #32

Jan 162014

Explorer 4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 134,838 miles

HORRIBLE TRUCK! ALARM GOES OFF RANDOMLY! ONE OF MANY PROBLEMS. WORST VEHICLE THAT IVE EVER OWNED AND IVE OWNED MANY

- , Waterloo, Ontario, canada

problem #31

Feb 192013

Explorer Sport Trac

  • Automatic transmission
  • 136,000 miles

Car alarm goes off at random hours sometimes once a day others every 10 mins. Door ajar light stays on. Dome lights flicker while driving (had to turn off all interior lights but warning beep sounds every time we hit a bump and I live in the country so that is fairly often) tried fuses, changed out electrical wires thinking there was a short, have to keep vehicle unlocked to keep it from sounding sometimes but doesn't always work. Only def option to stop it at 3am is to unhook battery cables every time...which is a pain. Ford claims there is no recall or reported issues with this similar problem..

- , Sallisaw, Oklahoma, USA

problem #30

Mar 012012

Explorer XLT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 128,000 miles

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

Actually I think a lot more is wrong with my electrical system. Alarm goes off randomly, cruise control does not always work, radio does not shut off when front doors are opened, have to open back doors for it to turn off,interior lights do not always go off or turn when when doors open, random beeps off and on while driving.

- , Longview, WA, USA

problem #29

Oct 192012

Explorer XL 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 118,000 miles

It started with door ajar light randomly coming on while driving, got out checked all doors....all OK! Light goes out after awhile. Early this morning 12:45am car alarm starts randomly going off, went outside and unlocked with key...checked around vehicle no other problems. An hour later, same thing....this time unlocked car...thank god I live in the country. Just annoying though.

- , Gainesville, NY, USA

problem #28

Mar 072011

Explorer LX 4.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 102,000 miles

My alarm randomly goes off, my lights flash whenever and this occurs when I lock it, so I don't lock it. When I turn on the rear heater there is a very loud clicking and when it's off it is a more quieter clicking. Now today I could not get the key to open the door. I did have a keyless entry button but that quit working about 1 month after I bought it from ikeyless. I had to call the police to get me into my car. I will never buy another FORD, but first I need to pay off this piece of crap.

- , Miamisburg, OH, USA

problem #27

Dec 012011

Explorer XL 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

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

2002 Ford Explorer XLT: 110,000 miles. Vehicle alarm is going off randomly for no apparent reason. Going off in middle of night, I get up to check it finding no reason. Going off during the day for no reason. Nearly every hour on the hour. Why? Door ajar light on dash is on and the alarm inside is sounding while driving down the road. Interior lights coming on also, no reason except the door ajar light comes on. Stop to check all doors and find they are all secure, not ajar. Have disconnected the battery to get some sleep and not annoy the neighbors. What is going on here? This is disturbing the neighbors in the night/early morning and me. What can I do? Ford seems to have many problems with the Explorer that they are unwilling to address. Check Ford Explorer recalls! As a customer, I will not ever buy another Ford. I own 2 explorers now, traded a Ford van last spring. Have been a family of ford owners, NO LONGER!

- , Carmel, Indiana, USA

problem #26

Jul 262011

Explorer 4X4 Sport 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,000 miles

Well, after 56K miles my vehicle alarm is randomly triggering in the middle of the night just as everyone else as reported. This vehicle has been well maintained (garage kept its entire life). I have not had any major issues until 7/29/11. The alarm went off at 2AM & I tried cleaning the battery contacts. The alarm went off again at 4:30AM. I disconnected the battery to stop it. I am now researching the issue and now everything makes sense. I have had it happen in the past two years (very rare) and, on occasions, I have heard the locks unlock and relock while driving. Now, I guess, I am in the same boat and need to figure out what to do. This vehicle is in great condition and would hate to give it up based on an alarm system issue!!!

Update from Nov 20, 2011: Well, the alarm webt off right after cleaning the battery. However, the alarm has not gone off in several months. Maybe this has fixed it???

- , Germantown, MD, USA

problem #25

May 152011

Explorer EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 121,000 miles

The alarm goes off on its own at least three times a day for no apparent reason. I have had law enforcement to my home twice due to the alarm sounding while I'm not home. At least twice a day I have to run out of my office while at work to turn the sounding alarm. Sometimes at 3 a.m I have to get out of bed to turn the alarm off. The door ajar sounds while driving down the road and the power locks go on and off while driving down the road! I wish Ford would take responsibility for their malfunctioning creation!

- , Sedro Woolley, WA, USA

problem #24

Jan 012010

Explorer LS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles

Would like to know how to fix. When my vehicle is locked, the car alarm and lights turn on randomly and the interior lights flash. Very annoying. Seems to do it more when it rains.

- , Ketchikan, AK, USA

problem #23

Jun 012011

Explorer 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles

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

Pulled the fuse to disconnect the alarm, the horn quit blowing that is all. Started pulling fuses to disconnect the lights flashing. Now it won't start. Checked all fuses all are good, battery connections all good, battery is fully charged as if alarm system has shut it down. Need help now.

- , Helena, AL, USA

problem #22

Jan 102011

Explorer XLT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 141,561 miles

Alarm goes off randomly, headlights flash, theft alarm sounds, and interior lights flash. Must leave the Explorer UNLOCKED to avoid this disturbance. Really, really annoying.

- , Columbia, South Carolina, USA

problem #21

May 012010

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles

Same problem description as everyone else, door-ajar while driving, alarm goes off whenever, interior lights come on go off, in addition intermittent working of keyless entry, and when the door-ajar lights on while driving I hear a shorting (sizzle) sound coming from driver’s side door near emergency brake release. When this first occurred mid-2010 I did the WD40 thing, worked like a champ until about the end of December 2010. The alarm would pop off every night at 3:00 am!!! We are keeping the door unlocked until I tear down the door and start yanking some wires. The dealership will not or never touch this vehicle; I don’t like being ripped off. In 2008 I finally had the back lift-window repair per Ford recall as the hinges completely broke when I was replacing the gas shocks. That window is heavy about knocked me out when it fell on my head. Not so funny thing when I took it into the dealership. The service rep. told me this recall is only to fix the broken hinges and not the cracks in the lift-gate!

What does that tell you, FORD KNOWS IT’S A KNOWN ISSUE BUT REFUSES TO DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT!! The vehicle now has 117,000 miles on it and still runs fine. I’ve put a lot of maintenance work to keep it running, not surviving, running well.

- , Cypress, TX, USA

problem #20

May 222010

Explorer EddieBauer v6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,000 miles

This is apparently linked to the door ajar alarms and cabin lights flickering. The security module is the problem. A dealer tried to fix the door wiring, but said the security component was at the root of the problem. I was advised the cost could run up to $1,000.

- , Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #19

May 162010

Explorer Eddie Bauer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 128,000 miles

The alarm system goes off at random if the doors are locked. I am told it is tied to the door lock mechanism and the security module is broken. I was also told to replace the battery, which helped for about a week. The door ajar alarm and cabin lights go on and off at random. The problem got worse in June, when slamming a door to jar the door alarm sensor, the airbag spontaneously deployed. These vehicles are unsafe.

- , Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #18

Oct 012009

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

Door Ajar beeps started, "fixed" by replacing one of the rear window motors. Worked for about 1 month & started again. Said possibly other rear window motor needed to be replaced. Shortly thereafter, my alarm starts randomly going off. Awful!

Neighbors freaked out, I am unsure what to do, back to the Ford Dealership. They had the car for about three days - said the problem never happened while they had the vehicle...hmmm....they "reset" the car & gave it back to me. At this time I've spend about $2000 total. I get the car back, a week later the alarm starts again.

At this point, I have my battery cable loose & every time I get out of the car, I unhook it. This has been going on for 7-8 months. I am happy I have found this site, know I am not the "only" one experiencing these problems. I am going to go back to the Dealership & either get them to fix the problem or disconnect the alarm which, they said COULD NOT BE DONE without killing the electrical system.

My car has 127,000 miles & the engine runs perfectly. I refuse to purchase a new car or be defeated by this alarm issue!!! I hope to post the problem is fixed soon.

- , Birmingham, MI, USA

problem #17

Jul 152009

Explorer Eddie Bauer V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

What the heck, Is my car haunted? My panic horn goes off randomly. It's a real pain. Last April during the final testing at school I was called into the office because my car's horn was going off. I was told that it was distracting some of the children who were testing! It went off at church once too! At walmart I was paged that my lights were on when I went to check it wast the panic horn and the lights were flashing! HOW EMBARRASSING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

- , Immokalee, FL, USA

problem #16

Jun 262010

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 115,000 miles

I'm sure the alarm going off randomly has to do with the door ajar light going off constantly. It thinks there is a door open when there isn't! Now I have to keep my car unlocked all the time so my alarm doesn't go off constantly. Ugh

- , Cedar Hill, TX, USA

problem #15

Feb 012010

Explorer LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 101,000 miles

Seriously, the neighbors are calling me at night about my car alarm going off in the driveway! This thing goes off for no reason at all, and can only be shut off by unlocking the door with the keyless entry. I've discovered that leaving the doors unlocked will prevent it from going off, but that means I have a completely unsecured vehicle in my driveway. Is the car alarm connected to the same electrical console that controls fuel gauge, door ajar warnings and automatic locking doors??? They are all possessed at the moment.

- , Lexington Park, MD, USA

problem #14

Jan 012010

Explorer Eddie Bauer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

How do I fix this error? Also my door locks go on and off, the lights inside flicker and the car alarm goes off randomly.

- , Kalispell, MT, USA

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