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 5 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #18

Jun 202003

Explorer 4WD

  • Automatic transmission
  • 25,000 miles

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

My husband was driving home and the car started accelerating on its own. The gas pedal was stuck and he tried braking and it would not stop. He even tried the emergency brake and it would not stop. It finally popped up and stopped. He was very frightened by the incident. We have two small children and he refused to let them ride in it again. Then next day we traded it in on a new car at a huge loss to us. I now find out that Ford has this problem and refuses to do anything about it. The rug did not catch it was nowhere close to it. They won't do anything until many people die and they get sued. Please investigate this before others are hurt.

- Ballwin, MO, USA

problem #17

Apr 042003

Explorer 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 10,000 miles
The accelerator cable broke when pushed sharply to get around a hazard. Car was only nine months old.

- S. Lake Tahoe, CA, USA

problem #16

Jan 202003

Explorer

  • miles
On one occasion the vehicle experienced sudden acceleration, and the second occasion, while driving at highway speed the vehicle all of a sudden shut down.

- Coto Laurel, PR, USA

problem #15

Apr 142003

(reported on)

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 12,500 miles

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

When the brakes were applied, the vehicle surged foward into oncoming traffic.

- Barnhart, MO, USA

problem #14

Feb 232003

Explorer

  • miles
The vehicle experienced sudden acceleration.

- Setauket, NY, USA

problem #13

Apr 122003

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 19,000 miles
While pulling into parking space (right) in parking garage my Explorer experienced a sudden accleration-at full throttle (snapping the steering wheel to the right) (extremely loud revving, whining and another sound like a bad belt screech all at the same time) before the crash. No brakes (pedal went to the floor). Crashed into steel I-beam bending it and cracking concrete pillars. No airbag on impact.

- Rocky Hill, CT, USA

problem #12

Feb 122002

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles

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

While pulling into parking space (right) in parking garage my Explorer experienced a sudden accleration-at full throttle (snapping the steering wheel to the right) (extremely loud revving, whining and another sound like a bad belt screech all at the same time) before the crash. No brakes (pedal went to the floor). Crashed into steel I-beam bending it and cracking concrete pillars. No airbag on impact.

- Rocky Hill, CT, USA

problem #11

Jul 202002

Explorer 4WD

  • miles
My family and I were traveling on vacation on July 20,2002. We were driving our new Ford Explorer XLT. I stopped for fuel and was re-entering the interstate. Traffic was heavy so I had to accelerate to about 60mph to enter the traffic. As I made my entrance, I let off the accelerator as I was between two 18 wheelers. I removed my foot from the accelerator and the vehicle continued at full speed almost rear ending the semi. I was applying my brake with all my strength to no avail. The vehicle charged ahead. I steered to the shoulder avoiding the semi and began stomping the accelerator at which time it finally released. My family and I were terrified. I got the vehicle back to my dealer in lexington where it was examined and the position taken that there is nothing wrong with the vehicle. "the problem couldn't be verified". I was told to come and get my vehicle that nothing is wrong with it. My wife and daughter are terrified of the vehicle and we can get no relief from Ford. I did contact Ford in detroit and got the same answer-nothing wrong with the vehicle.

- London, KY, USA

problem #10

Jun 272002

(reported on)

Explorer

  • miles
Consumer has had vehicle in the shop 4 times for the rear window. When the vehicle was coming to a stop it would surge forward. The vehicle was taken to the dealer but they were unable to help the consumer with the problem.

- Pueblo, CO, USA

problem #9

Jun 272002

(reported on)

Explorer

  • miles
Consumer states the vehicle surges forward when coming to a stop.

- Pueblo, CO, USA

problem #8

Oct 012001

Explorer 4WD

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles

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

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 #7

May 232002

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While driving 45 mph consumer applied brake, however vehicle would not slow down, cruise control stayed on. Consumer then depressed accelerator pedal, then the brake throttle released.

- Munster, IN, USA

problem #6

Feb 042002

Explorer

  • miles
Consumer stated that the vehicle experienced an acceleration problem, consumer started to brake, however the vehicle would not stop, it started to buck and jerk for about 4 car lengths and then went back to normal.

- Wanaque, NJ, USA

problem #5

Feb 042002

Explorer

  • miles
Consumer stated that the vehicle experienced an acceleration problem, consumer started to brake, however the vehicle would not stop, it started to buck and jerk for about 4 car lengths and then went back to normal.

- Wanaque, NJ, USA

problem #4

Apr 032002

Explorer 4WD

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
After removing foot off accelerator pedal, vehicle continues to accelerate, causing extended stopping distance when brakes are applied. Dealer and manufacturer were notified.

- Highland, MI, USA

problem #3

Feb 252002

(reported on)

Explorer 4WD

  • miles
On date of accident, I was driving on 12 mile approaching intersection of orchard lake road. I'm coming to a complete stop, going about 1-2 mph, when the engine surged. My foot was on the brake, and I could hear and feel my engine accelerating, and to avoid rear ending the car in front of me, I turned the wheel and went up the curb, and finally stopped when I hit an interstate sign. The event took place in about five seconds. On the Monday following the accident, I took my truck to jerome duncan Ford and explained what happened. I also informed them that on 2 ocassions my car would not start. The diagnostic showed that my PCM need to be replaced. It could not bring up any missing codes for the surge of my engine. The PCM controls the engine and is the drive train. I don't believe for one second the defective PCM isn't the cause of the accident. I never relased my foot from the brake! my car is still at the dealer, and I refuse to have the PCM changed till a field engineer looks into it. I told them I don't want the truck back till they find what caused the surge, and that the car is unsafe to drive. The service drive manager said that this Monday (2/25/02) he would take my truck out and wait for it to surge on him. They are not taking this as a serious matter! they told me I could start some "legal" action paperwork (where there will be and investigation, and a Ford field engineer will look into it) and I told them that I was willing to start paperwork. They explained it could take up to 4 months, I told them that is not an issue, my truck is unsafe to drive. A detail I forgot to mention was the service manager started to say that they already changed my PCM, then told me they didn't. so called him 2 minutes after our conversation and told him that I did not want it changed until someone from Ford looked at it. He said "oh you don't want it changed, I was just going to have it changed." I said do not change it!

- Sterling Heights, MI, USA

problem #2

Feb 052002

Explorer 4WD

  • miles
Speed control suddenly accelerated from 65mph (where cruise control was set) to 95 mph. It was full throttle and increasing speed when I hit the brake and it stopped accelerating. Dealer says there is nothing wrong and does not know why it did this. I'm still working with them to solve the problem becuase I no longer trust it. I was not touching any controls or pedals when the car began accelerating.

- Amarillo, TX, USA

problem #1

Jan 262002

Explorer

  • miles
After engine was started and gear shift indicator was in park position vehicle started rolling backwards unexpectedly for a short distance before brake system stopped the movement. Dealership has not examined vehicle for this problem. Please provide any additional information / documentation.

- Staten Island, NY, USA

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