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:
2 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
11,914 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #24

Nov 062007

Explorer 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 123,252 miles

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

Driving on highway at 63 mph and valve spring broke. Valve dropped into piston causing engine failure. Check engine code called for random engine misfire and code was triggered at around 2600 RPM. Prior to engine failure I have been experiencing a shudder when transmission shifts into overdrive. There is also a problem with the clutch pack in the limited slip differential that is causing a shudder when turning right or left from a dead stop. (dealership called it the parking lot shudder) I have a 02 Ford Explorer XLT with 4.6 and 4X4 that has bad engine, transmission, and rear differential. (engine replaced).

- St. Charles, MO, USA

problem #23

Jan 202007

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 64,600 miles
In January, 2006, my car stopped dead on the highway. After it was towed to the dealership, we were told that a valve had broken and had been sucked into the engine, causing engine failure. Our only alternative was to have the engine replaced - which we did for over $5000. The following January, (2007), after the first measurable snow fall of the year (since our engine had been replaced), the car went into a huge fishtail skid on a snowy road and after the first skid, was caught by the cable guard rail on the side of the road - causing another $5000+ repair. When brought to the dealership after the accident, we were told that the 4 wheel drive electronic monitor had failed and we had no 4 wheel drive. My concern - besides the cost and inconvenience and scare of the accident is that there were no warning lights to let me know that the car's 4 wheel drive had failed. I had gotten into the car assuming that the 4 wheel drive was working (as the car goes into 4 wheel drive automatically and there are no indicator lights normally to let you know that the 4 wheel drive is working). With no indicator lights that the 4 wheel drive is working and no indicator lights that it is not working, Ford put me in a very unsafe situation. Had the cable guard rail not been there to catch the car, we would have gone over the embankment and been more seriously injured.

- Manlius, NY, USA

problem #22

Jul 042005

Explorer 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 61,000 miles
I have a 2002 Ford Explorer with 60K miles on it. It recently blew a spark plug out of the cylinder head while on the highway resulting in loss of power and alarming noise. The failure occurred on the chesapeake bay bridge and could have resulted in an accident. This is a common problem that does affect safety of the vehicle with Ford V-8 and V-10 engines that has not been properly addressed by Ford. Estimates to repair this defect in the cylinder head threads range from 2500 to 3500.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #21

Nov 302004

Explorer 4WD

  • Automatic transmission
  • 37,091 miles

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

Vehicle was running like it was out of gas. Consumer took the vehicle to dealer for repairs where it was discovered that timing chain was defective.

- Kenosha, WI, USA

problem #20

May 232003

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
1. engine stalls erratically when under acceleration ie: When entering freeway, etc. Ford acknowledges the problem, states does not know how to fix it. 2. brake failure in stop and go traffic. Vehicles currently has less than 10,000 miles on them. Both have same problems.

- Arnold, MO, USA

problem #19

Nov 262002

Explorer

  • miles
Consumer states while driving at any speed and no warning the vehicle will shut off. Causing consumer to pull off the road. Dealer has been notified.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #18

Apr 222002

Explorer 4WD

  • miles

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

This vehicle has not been involved in an accident yet but I have told the Ford co. That it is dangerous and they ignore me. When you come to a stop at a stop sign and start to pull out the vehicle will roll into moving traffic and hesitate 4-5 seconds before the gas finally catches and the vehicle goes on. Mean while you have traffic bearing down on you. We have come close to getting hit several times because of this problem. I think this needs to be investigated as a potential problem for other consumers besides myself.

- Bassett, VA, USA

problem #17

Oct 152001

Explorer

  • miles
Vehicle would intermittently stall while driving at multiple speed. Dealer was notified, and unable to locate cause of problem. Feel free to provide any further information.

- New York, NY, USA

problem #16

Sep 172001

Explorer 4WD

  • miles
While driving consumer lost all steering power at 70 mph and the dash lights began blinking. Dealer can not duplicate problem.

- La Grande, OR, USA

problem #15

Mar 152002

(reported on)

Explorer 4WD

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Consumer states after parked overnight or for an 1 hour, vehicle will not start. When engine did startup, there is a loud boom noise. There is also rough idle with initial startup and at stop lights, also the vehicle stalls.

- Newport News, VA, USA

problem #14

Jul 152002

Explorer 4WD

  • miles

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

Frequency and intensity of stalling increasing.

- La Grande, OR, USA

problem #13

Jul 222002

Explorer

  • miles
Consumer states while driving the steering wheel locked and vehicle stalled. Consumer is not able to unlock steering wheel and vehicle will not start.

- Rockwell, TX, USA

problem #12

Oct 012001

Explorer 4WD

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Vehicle experiences periods of stalling at low speeds. Applying brakes there is a loss of brakes and steering. No prior warning before stalling. Existing problem 5 times, taken into the delaer. Dealer replaced fuel pump, main control valve body, transmission oil pan, idle air control valve and programmed PCM. Vibration like anti-lock brake system is kicking in. Dealer could not duplicate. Overdrive comes in and out at odd speeds. No problem found.

- St Paul, MN, USA

problem #11

May 282002

Explorer

  • miles
Vehicle would stalls out at multiple speed. Vehicle been to the dealer on three occasions, and was unable to duplicate the problem. Feel free to provide any further information.

- Linden, MI, USA

problem #10

Jun 062002

(reported on)

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While driving 30 mph and without warning a head on collision occurred which resulted in a fire.

- Easten, TX, USA

problem #9

Apr 182002

(reported on)

Explorer

  • miles
No description given. Nlm

- Woodbridge, VA, USA

problem #8

Apr 012002

Explorer

  • miles
Consumer states while traveling at 35 mph, coming up to a stop the vehicle suddenly died without warning. Nlm

- Woodbridge, VA, USA

problem #7

Apr 132002

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Consumer states that while coming to a stop vehicle suddenly died. There were no warning signs. Nlm consumer adds that the vehicle stalled twice before while driving, but was able to restart it. Dealer cannot locate problem.

- Woodbridge, VA, USA

problem #6

Jan 012002

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While driving, vehicle will automatically shut off. Vehicle will only shut off when it is idling. When going up hills vehicle will stall.. consumer states the transmission gives a ticking noise when the engine is running.8jb

- Saint Thomas, VI, USA

problem #5

Nov 252001

Explorer 4WD

  • miles
Engine stalls in low range gear when brakes are applied.

- Bolton, MA, USA

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