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 / 12
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
89,217 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 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments (Page 3 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #60

Aug 142002

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 100,611 miles

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

My 2002 Ford Explorer lxt, the door ajar light stays on and the dome light will stay on. Every once and a while the alarm will sound for no reason. This is a safety concern cause while driving at night and having the dome light turn on hinders your vision and could cause a traffic crash. Having the light stay on after you get out also drains the battery and causes problems when you go to start it up.

- Winter Haven, FL, USA

problem #59

Jun 292010

Explorer

  • 114,023 miles
O/D light blinking and irregular shifting during acceleration. 2002 Ford Explorer does not shift properly. Everytime I leave a stop sign or traffic light, the RPM's become very high (over 5,000) and will not shift. To keep the engine from racing, I have to lift my foot off the gas pedal to get it to shift. This causes the car to slow down quickly and with a line of cars behind me that do not anticipate me slowing down just as I am accelerating, this forces them to slow down quickly unexpectedly so they do not run into the back of the truck. This is dangerous.

- Greenville, NC, USA

problem #58

Jun 282010

Explorer

  • 90,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Explorer. The contact stated the driver's seat detached from the floor board. The electrical gauges and components were also inoperable and the power door locks had failed. Neither the dealer or manufacturer was contacted in regards to the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileages were 90,000.

- Suisun City, CA, USA

problem #57

Jun 162010

Explorer

  • miles

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

I bought my 2002 Ford Explorer used but also have a father-in-law with a Ford and he has the same problem. When we bought it the door ajar light was on all the time and the dome light would stay on but as we drove the light would turn off but the light would stay on. Recently last week the light stays on like normal but not the lights goes on and off, it dings constantly, and the doors lock and unlock while going down the road. It is very distractive as well as annoying. We got online to see what other people have done and there were lots of complaints. We tried the WD40 but they say that only works for a day or so.

- Greencastle, IN, USA

problem #56

May 262010

Explorer

  • 90,000 miles
Oh where do I begin. I have 90,000 miles on my SUV. My radio goes off and on randomly. Door ajar is on randomly. When shifting from park to drive, it sticks and I have to tap it to go into drive. Rear wheel bearing had to be replaced. O/D light came on and flashing. One time I thought it was in park and when getting out of my car, it began to roll after taking my foot of the brake. I see these seem to be problems for several Ford Explorer owners. Please please please get this across to Ford that these need to be recalled, if not I will not be a Ford owner ever again and tell everyone I know not to buy a Ford! what is going to take, a death or injury?? take responsibility Ford! hope this never happens to you but then again, you probably don't even drive a Ford.

- Meriden, CT, USA

problem #55

Jan 012008

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • 75 miles
Door ajar light and beeping sensor is always going off. Causing the doors to unlock while driving and also causing the inside dome light to turn on and off. I have done some research and alot of Ford Explorer are having this problem.

- Forked River, NJ, USA

problem #54

Feb 122010

Explorer

  • 55,000 miles

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

2002 Ford Explorer limited electrical issues: 1)when I push the rear defroster button the ┐door ajar ┐ notice comes on 2)when the rear defroster is on the mirror adjustment switch does not work 3)if I leave the automatic headlight switch on and I shut the car down and lock it with the key farb the horn beeps twice (indicating the door is ajar) and the interior light stays on. I have to either switch the automatic headlight switch to off or manually turn the interior light off. 4)the back up beeper switch sometimes goes off when I put the car in reverse. Thanks for helping me out.

- Baldwin, NY, USA

problem #53

Dec 042009

Explorer

  • 119,000 miles
On Dec 4th 2009, my 2002 Ford Explorer was driving fine one minute and the next the O/D light started flashing. I turned off the ignition and restarted the vehicle. The O/D light blinking went away. The very next day again, with the light once again flashing, the vehicle refused to move forward when gas pedal was engaged; however the RPM revved up between 3 and 4. throughout that same day, I attempted to get vehicle into drive mode...eventually the vehicle just inched forward and finally stopped moving altogether. After a consultation with my local transmission repair shop.. I was dishearten to learn that in order to repair, what he described as a bad transmission, which is very common with the 2002 Ford Explorer..I'd have to pay $2868....since this incredible revelation, I'm discovering Ford knows all about but refuses to do the conscionable thing and recall these defective, dangerous but costly vehicles. I regrettable paid the $2868 repair charge for a rebuilt tranny with absolutely no assistance from Ford. My vehicle is paid off and I really cant afford to just invest close to 3K in a vehicle that should've been recalled and fixed especially since the Ford corporation is fully aware but doesn't care about the people who still buy american and want to continue supporting american made products. But since Ford refuses to stand behind their product, it may force a loyal customer to go elsewhere in the future when purchasing a new vehicle. My vehicle was recently repaired on 2/8/10.. so far I've driven it once... so far so good...I received a better warranty from my tranny shop than the Ford company was willing to stand behind. The drivers side door ajar alarm chimes while door is securely closed. The locking mechanism opens and closes. This issue is also known and a problem for the 2002 Ford Explorer and yet still no recall... thank you for listening to my complaint.

- Springfield, MA, USA

problem #52

May 072007

Explorer

  • 95,000 miles
Since May 2007 vehicle has electrical problems reported to armstrong Ford in homestead fl. They are never able to ascertain problem with simple diagnostic. However constant diagnostic and fix this and that and do or don't do this have cost me hundreds of dollars. In the meantime I continue to have problems.

- Cutler Bay, FL, USA

problem #51

Nov 162009

Explorer

  • 90,000 miles
2002 Ford Explorer XLT: Rec'd recall notice about cruise control switch with fire hazard and brake fluid leakage driving or in park. Called dealer 'armstrong Ford in homestead Ford twice. Once sent to voice mail of service manager with no return call. Following day 11/17 spoke with service advisor who stated to call back on fri or mon 11/20 or 11/23 as part was unavailable. I find this unacceptable. In addition I have electrical problems that consistently create shorts with parts or displays in console which this dealer has been unable to resolve thus costing me hundreds of dollars each time. Thank you.

- Cutler Bay, FL, USA

problem #50

Jan 162009

Explorer 4WD

  • 94,000 miles

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

My wife and I owned a 2002 Ford Explorer XLT with 4WD. And a 4.0L engine. On the night of 1-15-2009, I picked my wife up from work at 11:35pm we went to the grocery store and afterwards proceeded to our home, this whole trip took a total of twenty to twenty five minutes and a distance of about one mile of driving round trip to my wife's work the grocery store and then to our house.we arrived home, parked the vehicle behind our residence and prepared to go to bed. Around 2:00am I got up from my sleep to get a glass of water in our kitchen, which faces the area that we park in, as I was filling my glass I noticed an orangish red glow in the back yard, upon looking out the window, I saw that the front end of our vehicle was on fire. My wife came down from our bedroom crying as I called the fire department. I went out with a fire extinguisher to see if I could put the fire out myself but the front end of the vehicle was burning too much for me to be able to do anything.the fire department put the fire out and my vehicle was towed. There was hardly anything left of the front end, just the frame, motor, rims and some other parts. The insurance company had a fire investigator of theirs do an inspection of my vehicle and they determined that the fire had started on the drivers side of the vehicle around the master cylinder, probably as a result of the cruise control switch located on it. Do to the extent of the damage from the fire and the fact that they were unable to locate the switch because the master cylinder had melted, they were unable to proceed any further in contacting Ford. The vehicle was a total loss, unrepairable ! about 1 - 2 months before the fire, I had checked with dealers and online myself and was told there was no recall on my vehicle for this type of problem, the sad part about this whole mess is we only had about six more months and the vehicle was paid for, now we have to start all over again.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #49

Jan 162009

Explorer 4WD

  • 94,000 miles
My wife and I owned a 2002 Ford Explorer XLT with 4WD. And a 4.0L engine. On the night of 1-15-2009, I picked my wife up from work at 11:35pm we went to the grocery store and afterwards proceeded to our home, this whole trip took a total of twenty to twenty five minutes and a distance of about one mile of driving round trip to my wife's work the grocery store and then to our house.we arrived home, parked the vehicle behind our residence and prepared to go to bed. Around 2:00am I got up from my sleep to get a glass of water in our kitchen, which faces the area that we park in, as I was filling my glass I noticed an orangish red glow in the back yard, upon looking out the window, I saw that the front end of our vehicle was on fire. My wife came down from our bedroom crying as I called the fire department. I went out with a fire extinguisher to see if I could put the fire out myself but the front end of the vehicle was burning too much for me to be able to do anything.the fire department put the fire out and my vehicle was towed. There was hardly anything left of the front end, just the frame, motor, rims and some other parts. The insurance company had a fire investigator of theirs do an inspection of my vehicle and they determined that the fire had started on the drivers side of the vehicle around the master cylinder, probably as a result of the cruise control switch located on it. Do to the extent of the damage from the fire and the fact that they were unable to locate the switch because the master cylinder had melted, they were unable to proceed any further in contacting Ford. The vehicle was a total loss, unrepairable ! about 1 - 2 months before the fire, I had checked with dealers and online myself and was told there was no recall on my vehicle for this type of problem, the sad part about this whole mess is we only had about six more months and the vehicle was paid for, now we have to start all over again.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #48

Oct 222008

Explorer

  • 120,000 miles
Door agar light. All the doors will be shut and while driving the door ajar light and beeping noise will come one. Which results also in the interior lights to flicker on and off. It does it everyday and keeps going till the veh is in part. Also when the car is parked the lights will come on and off, I cant even lock my doors anymore.

- Columbia, TN, USA

problem #47

Mar 152008

Explorer

  • 40,000 miles
When I tried to remove my key from the ignition, the entire ignition cylinder came out!! my car had to be towed and have a new cylinder installed! a year later, it happened again!!! so I have had to replace my Ford ignition cylinder twice and my car only has 60,000 miles on it now---so probably had only about 40,000 miles the first time it happened and 50,000 the second time. Also-- now my fuel gauge says empty all the time, even after I just filled it with gas! and it's too expensive to fix! I did get the driver seatbelt fixed, because it didn't tighten, but now it's too hard to pull out and use! lastly, both inside mirror covers have just cracked off when lifting open, and I can't afford to replace both of the entire visors! we have 3 Ford and this is the only one that's ever had problems. Dates are spread out so it's too hard to complete that part of the form below.

- Stafford, VA, USA

problem #46

Mar 122009

Explorer

  • 76,345 miles
2002 Explorer started out with alot of electrical problems and now depending on how much you push in the gas pedal the transmission starts slipping. Just like alot of other complaints. Had some similar trouble with it about 2 years ago dealer said had to wait till it got worse to find exact problem.

- South Fork, PA, USA

problem #45

Mar 292009

Explorer

  • 134,833 miles
Approached stop sign at a slow rate of speed - basically coasting 30 - 40 feet from a driveway, as the brakes were applied, the engine started to rev up, liken to the cruise control engaging, and brakes could not restrain vehicle and it was basically pushed through the stop sign and collided with an oncoming vehicle, there was insufficient time to put the vehicle in neutral or turn off the engine, this was the first time this ever happened, vehicle was in good condition and mechanically well maintained, the weather was clear and the roads were dry, the vehicle was taken to a dealership to have on-board computer read - no error codes were noted, as a result of the accident - the vehicle was totaled.

- Painter, VA, USA

problem #44

Jan 032009

Explorer

  • 101,589 miles
Severe cracks in back window housing. Crack is so severe, consideration of window falling out is possible. Information panel registers door ajar which consequently flashes internal lights, re-locks doors, sets warning bells to go off. Often, door ajar does not register, but electric locks lock re-lock and lock many times with warning bells going off, interior lights flickering, many times in one instance. All activities happen intermittently, without cause or reason causing severe distraction to driver. Theft alarm goes off after vehicle has been locked several hours; for no apparent reason. When unlocked and re-locked, continues to go off intermittently. I believe the rear window housing break is the root of all this activity.

- Redding, CA, USA

problem #43

Nov 202008

Explorer

  • 52,000 miles
Have engine problem warranty will not cover because dealer put back odometer.

- Waterbury, CT, USA

problem #42

Dec 112008

Explorer

  • 950,000 miles
Ford Explorer O/D flashing and check transmission coming on it was at the Ford dealer for 3 weeks they said it was my PCM and now they are saying it a wiring problem but my car is doing the same thing it was before I took it to them.

- Detroit, MI, USA

problem #41

Jan 022005

Explorer

  • 68,000 miles
It started very early after buying the 2002 Ford Explorer...electrical prob..couldn't get veh started...100 miles away from home dealership....towed to closest Ford dealership...fixed; or so we thought. Same thing happened a week later. Home dealership advised us that the other dealership installed the wrong part and it could have caused life-threatening problems....we contacted the other dealership and advised them what our home dealership said...of course the dealership denied this...anyway...home dealership installed new part...veh ok....then wheel bearings had to be replaced in front 1st left side-then right. (this was after the rear end was replaced) boy, was that a major fight with the home dealership! now! the transmission is gone!!!!! isn't there something we can do" Ford has been using defective parts!!!!and now asking for government money??"!!!!Ford should be paying for this!

- Hamptonville, NC, USA

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