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

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2002 Ford Explorer:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments (Page 1 of 5)

problem #98

Feb 112013

Explorer

  • 30 miles

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

My power steering stuck caused a wreck!!

- Hot Springs Village, AR, USA

problem #97

Nov 202015

Explorer

  • 47,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Explorer. While pulling into a parking space at a very low rate of speed, the vehicle suddenly experienced unintended acceleration and surged forward before crashing into a building. The driver sustained injuries to the left arm, hip, head, and neck. Medical attention was not received. A police report was filed. The cause of the failure was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified. The failure mileage was 47,000.

- Garfield, NJ, USA

problem #96

Nov 202015

Explorer

  • 47,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Explorer. While pulling into a parking space at a very low rate of speed, the vehicle suddenly experienced unintended acceleration, surged forward, and crashed into a building. During the crash, the front end of the vehicle sustained significant damage; however, the air bags did not deploy. The driver suffered injuries to the left arm and hip, head, and neck. Medical attention was received and a police report was filed. The cause of the failure was not diagnosed. The manufacturer was notified. The VIN was unknown. The failure mileage was 47,000.

- Garfield, NJ, USA

problem #95

Jul 232015

Explorer

  • 194,000 miles

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

The contact owns a 2002 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that while traveling less than 5 mph, the vehicle's throttle became stuck without warning which caused the vehicle to accelerate to a speed above 40 mph. The vehicle crashed thru a fence and into the rear of a motor home causing the front driver's side tire to fracture. The air bags did not deploy. The contact was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 09V399000 (vehicle speed control). The contact sustained whiplash, neck and back pains from the failure. A police incident report was filed and the vehicle was to be towed to a yard until it would be able to get inspected and diagnosed. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The vehicle was destroyed. The approximate failure mileage was 194,000.

- Shoemakersville, PA, USA

problem #94

Nov 282014

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 220,000 miles
I got a knock on my door by the fire department telling me that my car set on fire I filed a claim with my insurance and they told me to file a claim with Ford because they have reason to believe it was the cruise control button that set the car on fire.

- Lompoc, CA, USA

problem #93

Jan 222015

Explorer

  • 75,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that while driving approximately 35 mph, the accelerator pedal was depressed but the vehicle failed to accelerate. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic, who diagnosed that transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The VIN was unavailable. The approximate failure mileage was 75,000.

- Chicago , IL, USA

problem #92

Dec 092014

Explorer

  • miles

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

The contact owns a 2002 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that while in reverse, the vehicle accelerated independently. Additionally, the brake pedal was depressed but failed to respond and the steering wheel seized. As a result, the vehicle crashed into trees then went forward independently crashing into shrubs, a fence, and a building. In addition, the air bags failed to deploy and smoke started to emit from the front of the vehicle. A police report was filed. The contact sustained bruise and neck and head injuries that did not require medical attention. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was unknown.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #91

Dec 102014

Explorer

  • 217,000 miles
Drove car to tire dealer for wheel alignment. Parked and left for them to work on. The next day, Dec 10,2014, the service tech drove the car for a test ride to check the alignment before he adjusted. He then drove into the bay and applied foot pressure to the gas peddle to get onto the alignment ramp. The peddle stuck at high rpms, 4000+,. as such the car ran off of the ramp, he applied brakes, to no avail, shut car off at same time. Which stopped the car, but not before it crashed into the alignment machine and tires. Car was hung up on part of the ramp had to be jacked off of ramp. Front bumper damaged, cross member under trans pan bent, left rare lower control arm bent..tire dealer has sent the car to Ford dealer, on Dec 11,2014 I spoke with Ford dealer and the have never had a problem like this before. Told him of your report PE 05037 and your letter to Ford.. since your letter to Ford the internet has at least 25 reports of this same problem most with accidents. There may only be 240,000 of this cars, as your report notes, but this problem can cause a death.this car was made with in the time period stated in you report. The fix is to replace the cable. I told Ford that I would not accept the car unless the cable was replaced. On the other hand I would expect you to follow up on this deadly problem.

- Newton, NJ, USA

problem #90

Oct 302014

Explorer

  • miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Explorer. The vehicle was included in NHTSA campaign id number: 09V399000 (vehicle speed control) and the contact indicated that an authorized dealer replaced the wiring harness but did not inspect the ABS control module connector to determine if the vehicle needed to be remedied for the recall. The contact reported the safety concern to the manufacturer and they would not comply. The vehicle was not fully repaired under the recall remedy. The manufacturer was notified of the safety concern and provided no remedy. The approximate failure mileage was not available.

- Lovington, MI, USA

problem #89

Oct 142014

Explorer

  • 75,000 miles
When braking vehicle accelerates. Could not stop had to put in N and it stalled before hitting a store front and a second time on the way home at a red light.

- Novi, MI, USA

problem #88

Feb 282014

Explorer

  • 65,000 miles

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

The contact owns a 2002 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that while at a stop, the vehicle lunged forward forcefully and crashed into another vehicle. There were no personal injuries. A police report was filed of the incident. The vehicle was destroyed and towed to a collision facility. The manufacturer was notified of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 65,000.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #87

Jan 102014

Explorer

  • 125,000 miles
While merging onto the interstate the accelerator continued to accelerate even after I took my foot off the pedal. The RPM's were in the red and nothing I did would correct the problem. The vehicle continued to accelerate. I had to apply both feet to the brake pedal and press as hard as possible to slow the vehicle down. I was able to pull off to the shoulder and jammed the truck in park and the engine stopped.

- Denver, CO, USA

problem #86

Dec 262013

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 130,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Explorer. The contact smelled a burning odor while sitting at a traffic stop, and then noticed that there was smoke and flames coming from the engine without warning. The contact was able to exit the vehicle without injury. A fire report was filed. The vehicle was towed to a private mechanic but there was no diagnostic performed. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and stated that the vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 09V399000 (vehicle speed control ). the vehicle was destroyed. The approximate failure and current mileage was 130,000.

- Schenectady, NY, USA

problem #85

Aug 202012

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 147,000 miles
Car leaking unknown fluids.. there are outstanding recalls on my vehicle. Recall id 09509.

- Thomasville , AL, USA

problem #84

May 212013

Explorer

  • miles
Letter from congressman shimkus on behalf of constituent re wiring harness fire on her recalled Ford vehicle the consumer stated when she called the dealer to inquire about a recall, she was informed there was a recall. However, the vehicle had already been repaired in another state in December 2010. The consumer stated the vehicle has been no further than West than Missouri. The consumer referenced recall # 09V399000.

- Willow Hill, IL, USA

problem #83

Apr 032013

Explorer

  • 169,122 miles
While driving home from work, attempted to pass a slower moving car. As I did so the gas pedal stuck to the floor. Causing me to brake to slow vehicle..finally able to free gas pedal by lifting it up with my foot...major safety issue..Ford said no recall.

- Pine Hill, NJ, USA

problem #82

Dec 182012

Explorer 8-cyl

  • 108,000 miles
Like many other frustrated Ford owners, I have had transmission problems with my Explorer. Its really frustrating when you take it to the repair shop and they don't even need to see it to know the transmission needs to be rebuilt, due to the track record of the faulty parts Ford has used. Its really sad when they know the transmission where not good and continued to install them for more years. I hope sooner or later they own up to their faults and do the right thing and recall the faulty transmissions. We spent good money for a quality american made car and did not expect to have to invest almost $3,000 in a new transmission the next year. Ford will lose a lot of loyal customers over this and needs to address this problem.

- Honeoye Falls, NY, USA

problem #81

Nov 212012

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 93,200 miles
Cruise control electrical disengage switch failed. Cruise control could only be disengaged by stepping on the brake very hard or by manually turning off the cruise control on/off switch.

- Midland, MI, USA

problem #80

Dec 072012

Explorer

  • 210,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that while driving approximately 15 mph, the accelerator pedal became jammed. The contact tried depressing the brakes but the vehicle continued to accelerate. The contact immediately shifted to park and shut the ignition off. The vehicle was not inspected by a dealer or an independent mechanic. The manufacturer was not contacted. The failure and current mileages were approximately 210,000. The VIN was not available.

- Kiowa, CO, USA

problem #79

Nov 202012

Explorer

  • 147,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford explored. The contact stated that while driving uphill, the vehicle suddenly emitted a burning odor. The vehicle then stalled without warning as the vehicle proceeded to roll-backward and crashed into a phone pole. The vehicle then crashed into a residential home. The contact sustained injuries to the shoulder and mouth. The front seat passenger sustained lacerations and a bruised tail bone. The person seated in the rear passenger side of the vehicle sustained injuries to the back and lacerations to the feet. The rear driver's side passenger sustained head injuries. A police report was filed of the incident. The manufacturer was contacted and advised that the vehicle was included in NHTSA campaign id number: 09V399000 (vehicle speed control) however, the contact never received notification of the recall. The vehicle was destroyed. The failure and the current mileage was 147,000.

- Revere, MA, USA

Read the next 20 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?