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.


really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
84,743 miles
Total Complaints:
4 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace engine (3 reports)
  2. not sure (1 reports)
2002 Ford Explorer engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #4

Nov 122015

Explorer V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 26,400 miles


I brought a 2002 Ford Explorer in 2013 from a car dealer. It had a burning oil smell coming into the car vents, then it went away. That was fine. Then 2 months 2 weeks after we had it, the car just totally died on me while driving home. I manage to get it off the road into a mechanic place. We found out the timing chain had snapped and it was going to cost us $5000 to fix it. We did that and ever since then the engine light has never come off. I have taken my car to Ford mechanic 6 times and they say its this, its that and make me pay $2-3000 every visit.

Well, I have had naff of their bull sh*t. They are just wasting my time. I have always look after my cars and respected them and I really liked Fords until I got this Explorer it has caused nothing but finance struggles to me and my family. Now the cam-belts, the coils are misfiring and it needs a new radiator. The car has lost power. I have been told its gonna cost me 7000 dollars to fix it. I know I can get a reconditioned motor for 2000 and labour to put it in 2000 and a new radiator 460 but now I think I'll just count my losses with this one never again Ford

- , Melbourne, Australia

problem #3

Jul 152015

Explorer XLS 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 119,572 miles

I had it to Ford 3 times. The first time they said it was my catalytic converters (3 of them) then the camshaft position and positioning sensor. Now I need a new motor because the back timing chain went. All for the same problem.

- , Clinton, OK, USA

problem #2

May 192010

Explorer XLT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,000 miles

Did ALL repair and maintenance at Ford. Even bought new tires from them. Engine died with my family in car, on the highway. Dealer said it was a valve. Months later they said it was a timing belt/chain. Dealer said $5,000 for a new engine. They offered NOTHING except a "good deal on a new car". Loyalty means nothing, being a repeat Ford owner means nothing. I was told the engine is like a tank, yet it didn't even last 90,000 and that was with servicing from a Ford dealer! Hey Ford, got anything to say?

- , Bedford Hills, NY, USA

problem #1

Apr 172009

Explorer XLS 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,000 miles

In January I replaced the catalytic converters due to a no start condition. Then the vehicle rain more and nore poorly ober a month. Now it will barely accelerate, barely makes 40 miles an hour, and doesn't seem to know when to shift. I took it to Jensen Tire (they did the cats), and they said it needed a MAF sensor, an IAV valve, and an O2 sensor. I read the codes and replaced all these items, and it still runs like it did before.


- , Omaha, NE, USA

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