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:
23 / 7
Injuries / Deaths:
12 / 0
Average Mileage:
62,463 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 4 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #38

Jul 132007

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles

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

The contact owns a 2002 Ford Explorer. A recall notice was received for NHTSA campaign id 07V336000 (vehicle speed control). The dealer advised not to drive the vehicle, however; the part was unavailable for two weeks. There was no failure. The current mileage was 65,000.

- Ashland, VA, USA

problem #37

Feb 042007

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
After driving on a cold weather night at single digit temperatures, the vehicle seemed to accelerate on its own even without pressing the gas pedal. When the vehicle is put into park or neutral, the RPM was above 4000. From a complete stop, the vehicle would accelerate on its own. When braking the vehicle seems to still want to move.

- Westland, MI, USA

problem #36

Dec 262006

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
2002 Ford Explorer- spouse almost seriously injured when the gas pedal throttle was stuck and would not release. Car lunged out of control. Slamming brakes only slowed it but did not stop it.

- Portland, OR, USA

problem #35

Jul 012006

Explorer 4WD 8-cyl

  • miles

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

2002 Explorer has problems picking up speed and over use of gas. The consumer also had problems with the transmission, gear adjustment, difficult high altitude driving even after gear change, air suction into the engine and transmission, accelerator and ses light illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer but they refused to provide any assistance. Updated 07/06/06.

- Cypress, CA, USA

problem #34

May 262006

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 23,900 miles
: the contact stated while approaching a stop sign and applying the brakes the vehicle accelerated forward causing a minor crash. There was a police report filed at the scene. After inspection the dealership replaced the wheel speed sensor on December 15, 2005. When the problem returned the dealer replaced a different unknown sensor.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #33

Nov 152005

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 50,000 miles
Sudden acceleration with foot off of gas upon startup of vehicle and shifting into gear.

- Grandview, MO, USA

problem #32

Sep 172005

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles

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

Contact's wife on states on 9-17-05 was driving the 2002 Ford Explorer and she stopped at a red light on a hill. She took foot off of the brakes and the car surged very high and lunged forward, resulting in a rear end collision. The contact was concerned that this may had something to do with the cruise control. The contact's wife did not have the cruise control on at the time of the accident. The dealer did not think this had anything to do with the cruise control. A police report was taken. This was the first incident of this kind. The contact reported of having no problems with the cruise control prior to this accident..

- Troy, NY, USA

problem #31

Jun 012005

Explorer

  • miles
2002 Ford Explorer accelerator became stuck open. The consumer stated the vehicle went out of control. The consumer was able to place the vehicle in neutral to turn off the engine.

- Mt Airy, MD, USA

problem #30

May 202005

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 42,206 miles
Vehicle stumbled while making a left turn into my driveway I fed it gas to keep it from stalling and it accelerated rapidly into my garage door. While under warranty this problem reported to dealer but they claimed they were neve able to find a problem. The last service under extended warranty said same problem reported and this time I was charged for the test but once again they found nothing I complained to Ford via their web site but they never replied to my emaili

- Orange, CA, USA

problem #29

Jul 182005

Explorer 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 84,000 miles
Contact states when taking foot off of the throttle it continued to accelerate. This happened three times. The last time was less than 30 days ago. It has only been happening for the last three months. It has happening more frequently. It does not happen at a low speeds; but at other speeds above 35 mph. Road conditions have been perfect at every incident.

- Breckenridge, CO, USA

problem #28

Jul 072005

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 69,500 miles

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

While starting to move forward, the accelerator stuck twice in the last month. Once I nearly went through a closed garage door. Until now I thought someting got in the way of the accelerator. Heard that this was an equipment problem. Now I will seek to have the defect repaired.

- Alto, MI, USA

problem #27

Jul 062005

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 59,900 miles
Consumer states her 2002 Ford Explorer had the throttle stick last week. The dealership told her they could not do anything about it. The dealership refused to inspect the vehicle until Ford ordered them to or they heard from the NHTSA. The vehicle accelerated on it S own and she had to turn the vehicle off and take the key out.

- Bensalem, PA, USA

problem #26

Oct 162004

Explorer 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
This has been a wonderful vehicle! it is a 2002 Ford Explorer equipped with automatic 4-wheel drive as well as full 4-wheel drive with high & low transfer case, 5-speed automatic, 4.6L V8 with double overhead cams, limited slip rear differential, towing package, leather seats, etc. However, this problem has the potential of causing harm or even death to its passengers and/or those in other cars and especially pedestrians. The problem has been extremely intermittent such that the technicians cannot experience it themselves. It usually happens on a cold day. The first time it did it, I was pulling a small trailer and I had driven a couple of miles to a plant nursery and on the way back as I neared my house, I drove down a long grade toward a stop sign. When I began to apply the brakes, the engine accelerated with such force that the transmission downshifted so that I had to stand on the brakes with both feet to keep from running clean across the road into a tree. It happened 2 more times that day. I then had it towed to the dealer and they replaced the idle valve. However, that did not fix the problem. It has happened several times sense. It has happened while traveling up a hill, down a hill, and on level ground. But it always happens when you apply the brakes. The last time it happened, it threw me out into a busy intersection but fortunately I was not hit. The time before that it tried to run over the little car in front of me but I was still able to stop it. I'm thinking about naming this SUV christine. My brother has an early 2002 Explorer equipped the same as mine and his has done it once. My mother has a 1998 Crown Victoria with this same engine and it has done it twice. There's no telling how many "christines" out there waiting to kill and there poor owners may not be totally aware of the problem.

- Birmingham, AL, USA

problem #25

Oct 182004

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While driving, the vehicle accelerated suddenly without warning. The consumer applied the brakes, but the vehicle continued to accelerate. Please fill in additional information.

- Tulsa, OK, USA

problem #24

Aug 292004

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
My ABS light came on. When serviced, they said a speed sensor needed to be replaced. Of course this occurered one week following the expiration of the warranty. Talking with others, this seems to be an often occurance, and seems to be a defect. Some poeple have had their's replaced several times within a year.

- Maidens, VA, USA

problem #23

Nov 022002

Explorer

  • miles
Nar 06/19/2003. There is a reccurring problem with the brakes on the consumers 2002 Ford Explorer. The series of incidents occurred Nov 2, 2002, Feb, 2003, May 5, 2003, and the last time was May 17, 2003 to date. It is evident to the consumer that there is an consistent problem and needs to be fixed. The dealership can't seem to find the source of the problem. Please do further investigations. The consumer stated when he applied the brakes T he vehicle accelerated and continued to move forward

- Charleston, WV, USA

problem #22

May 272004

Explorer

  • miles
When the brakes were depressed, the vehiclesurged forward. This also occurs when the acceerator pedal is being depressed. The vehicle was serviced several times but the technician was unable to determine the cause. Please provide any additional information.

- Christiansted, VI, USA

problem #21

Apr 142004

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles
While driving speedometer would be off by 6 mph. Dealership was notified, but did not resolve the problem. The vehicle was not in compliance with federal law 49 cfr chapter III section $393.82 for the speedometer which states reasonable accuracy is within +/- 5 mph at a speed of 50 mph. The consumer notified Ford customer service of the problem and asked them to comply with the above code. The customer was denied this service.

- Eagan, MN, USA

problem #20

Mar 122004

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles
I was getting onto I90, floored the accelerator to catch up to speed. The accelerator got stuck in that position, and I couldn't get it to stop. I had both feet on the brake, and my truck was still doing 80 mph. I couldn't get it to stop. I finally put the vehicle into neutral, pulled over to the side, and finally got my vehicle to stop. While I was in the stopped position, my speedometer still was reading 80. Finally it quit on its own. I definitely do not feel safe driving it anymore.

- Janesville, WI, USA

problem #19

Feb 092004

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 23,845 miles
While driving 50 mph, the throttle pedal became stuck in the open position. The driver slammed on the brakes but the vehicle continued to accelerate up to 65 mph. The driver tapped on the throttle pedal until it released and was able to stop the vehicle without incident. The dealer mechanic could not determine the cause of the problem but will further assess the problem by trying to duplicate the problem.

- Brooklyn Park, MN, USA

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