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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.

9.0

really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
90,872 miles
Total Complaints:
4 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (3 reports)
  2. fix sticky brake pedal (1 reports)
2002 Ford Explorer electrical problems

electrical problem

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2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #4

Feb 212011

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,469 miles

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

we travel a lot to take kids to doctors two hours away and when diving the first time we realized the cruise control did not work at all. we don't have money to fix it but i would be nice and save on gas if it did work.

- , Cape Girardeau, MO, USA

problem #3

Sep 022010

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,419 miles

In order to engage my cruise control I have to click the decel button on the steering wheel. It only works if this is pressed.

- , Drayton Valley, Alberta, canada

problem #2

Jan 092010

Explorer XLT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 123,101 miles

While driving my 2002 Ford Explorer with the cruise control engaged, I noticed the speed had increased about 10mph. I tapped the the break pedal to disengage the cruise control.

it would not disengage, I applied the brakes and slowed to 50mph. After releasing the brake the car began to increase speed again. I applied the brake hard to stop the car and when it stopped I shut the engine off. This was very dangerous when you cannot control the speed of you car. After Shutting the engine off, I restarted it only to find the engine racing and so I shut it down. After thinking about this and reading about other ford Explorer having this problem, I felt it should be noted somewhere for others to read.

If we had been in traffic we may have crashed. This was the scariest thing I have been involved in with an automobile. It appears the 2002 Ford Explorer is the most problems year model for the Explorer.

The vehicle was purchased used and was in excellent condition and a one owner. I have replaced the front hubs, the brake lights come on when the engine is off, the passenger side door lock will not release. Just replace the right rear wheel bearing. All of these problems do not concern me as much as the cruise causing the engine to accelerate to a dangerous level.

I am scared now to have anyone ride with me. I felt I stayed calm and got the car stopped, but my wife has driven the car at times and she may have not reacted in the same manner.

This could happen with someone who may panic. I hope that I do not meet another Ford Explorer in this "run-away" condition. I am not sure what to do with this vehicle, I am scared of it!

- , Mobile, Alabama, USA

problem #1

Nov 152002

Explorer Limited 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 500 miles

Well, my cruise control would not work half the time. I would be driving and try to engage the cruise control with no success. I took it to the dealership and they found a sticky brake pedal! So I had been driving around with my brake lights on! OH, and also...the brake lights would stick on after I had turned the car off and parked it and left. THANKS FORD!

- , Summerville, SC, USA

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