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.


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
23,908 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

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2002 Ford Explorer:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #4

Sep 292004

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 73,000 miles


Vehicle stalled at low speed of 5 mph or less while driving. Vehicle was towed to the dealer, who replaced # 41 fuse under the hood. Within a few days the problem recurred on 4 separate occasions. Dealer was unable to duplicate the problem.

- Goshen, IN, USA

problem #3

Jul 202004

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,131 miles
13jan03-rear windshield washer inoperative reinstall rear washer hoses. 5nov03-clicking noise from rear A/C; replace motor assembly temperature blend. 5nov03&13nov03-L/R power mirrors inop; fuse blows; replaced mirror rear view outside sail mount 13nov03-fuel guage inop read 1/2 tank but tank was full; 20nov03-instrument cluster fuel gauge inop; 24nov03-removed and replaced instrument cluster; 18mar04-fuel guage inop & L/R power mirrors inop, fuse blows; could not duplicate problem at this time about fuel guage; tested bce for short, traced to mirror switch, replaced switch and blown fuse; 20 July 04-L/R power mirrors inop; replaced fuse; 20 July 04 - rear winshield washer inop; access washer hose and reconnect; 20 July 04- air conditioner not cooling properly; replaced blower motor for poor operation; motor assembly-heater-A/C blower replaced. 20 July 04 - mechanics broke the drivers door switch cover- 23 July 04 -reordered door panel and replaced drivers door switch cover.

- Hopewell, VA, USA

problem #2

Sep 282003

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 17,500 miles
Trailer towing wiring is fused at 40 amps to the trailer plug. A short in the signal wiring caused the trailer wiring insulation to melt off before the fuse blew. I was fortunate to have it happen with my boat trailer where the wiring is enclosed in the iron channel of the trailer. Had this been a camper, it could have caused a fire. The wires going to the trailer plug should be fused at 7.5 amps as in previous model Explorer. See the email I recently copied your department for full explanation of this incident. This problem exists in the 2002 and 2003 Explorer and possible other Ford products.

- Buffalo, MN, USA

problem #1

Jan 202003

Explorer 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I bought a 2002 Explorer on May 23,2002. In the past 8 months, the vehicle has been towed in because it woudn't start--acomputer chip was replaced. My A/C made a high pitch squeal and after at least five times of trying to repair the existing A/C clutch, a new one was finally put on. My front end suspension has been fixed. My midlift gate cracked in November and a new one was put on. I have had daily problems with the driver's side seat not fully going into position when I start my truck and this problem has not been fixed as the service dept. That I deal with nevers seems to be able to see the problem. Funny how it does it every day for me, though. My blinkers will sometimes stick and stay on without blinking--this also has not been fixed. At the beginning of January,2003, on the way home from a trip, my husband and I noticed that every time we slowed the truck down, there was a blast of air from the upper vents in the vehicle. This happened no matter what setting we had it in (ie. Defrost or floor vents). This past Thursday, Jan.16, the suspension was repaired and supposedly the heating system was as well. Now the air doesn't seem to leak out the top vents, but continuosly comes out of the floor vent, no matter what setting the heat is on. I have a rental vehicle once again, while they keep the vehicle overnight tonight to see if they can hopefully fix this problem. Needless to say, we are currently checking into the lemon law for our state!!!

- North Mankato, MN, USA

Not what you are looking for?