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.


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
97,000 miles
Total Complaints:
5 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (3 reports)
  2. replace battery (1 reports)
  3. replaced fuel pump and fuel filter (1 reports)
2002 Ford Explorer electrical problems

electrical problem

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2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #5

Jul 232015

Explorer Eddie Bauer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 160,000 miles


The car suddenly didn't start. Replaced the battery. So far, so good.

- , Pace, FL, USA

problem #4

Jul 302009

Explorer XLT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 44,000 miles

my wife is scared to drive this vehicle, she believes it will leave her and my daughter stranded, we live 2 miles from detroit and many crimes around here,robberies,stabbings,shootings, carjackings, if they get stranded that may be life threatening issue..

- , Melvindale, MI, USA

problem #3

Feb 082008

Explorer LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

It started out as a starting problem. Sometimes the car would start and sometimes it wouldn't. Finally about 6 months later it quit starting all together. We had it taken to multiple shops and they all said the same thing "The motor is gone". I was also told that this year Explorer had so many problems I should just sell it as is but it was paid for so I opted to fix it. It cost me $3200.00 for a new motor. After I got it back it started and run like a champ and still does to this day. Though we fixed this problem, I will never buy a FORD again due to the many other problems we have had with this vehicle. I now have a 1975 Chevy Pickup as a backup for when my Explorer develops another case of PMS. This Chevy pickup was my grandmothers that had sat in her yard for years until we went and put a battery in it and cranked it right up. Been driving it ever since.

- , Piedmont, SC, USA

problem #2

Jun 102009

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 113,000 miles

I had just seen an internet article about 2002 - 2005 Explorers being lemons. Boy, am I finding out the hard way. I just had the fuel pump, fuel filter replaced for $1026. Now, one week later, my transmission is being replaced for $3600. I'm paying more in repairs than the vehicle is worth. Learned my lesson, I'll do research before buying again.

- , Marietta, GA, USA

problem #1

Sep 122006

(reported on)

Explorer LTD

  • 38,000 miles

Having intermittent starting problems. Sometimes engine just won't start. After few minutes it starts OK. There is no telling when it happens; cold/hot/day/night... 30K miles tune up did not help. New battery did not help either...

- , Santa Clara, CA, USA

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