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.


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
95,915 miles
Total Complaints:
78 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace coil spring (62 reports)
  2. replace coil spring yourself (10 reports)
  3. not sure (3 reports)
  4. replaced both rear strut assemblys (3 reports)
2002 Ford Explorer suspension problems

suspension problem

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2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments (Page 3 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #38

Jan 212010

Explorer Limited 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles


I just had the transmission fixed last week at a cost or 2600. and now this, coil springs broke and of course had to replace the struts too. This is the worst Ford I have ever owned, and Ford will not stand behind any of the repairs. I looked at the coil springs and they look like they had be laying in a junk pile for years, they just rusted into! I assume they are foreign made junk.

- , Grandville, MI, USA

problem #37

Dec 182009

Explorer XLT 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 67,400 miles

I took my explorer into the local Ford dealer to get an unrelated recall accomplished. The dealer offered a free 17 point inspection while I was there. At the end of the inspection they told me the right rear spring was broken at the top of the spring. I didn't believe them, so I asked to see the break. Sure enough, it was broken clean through. It being broken with only 67K on the vehicle really ticked me off. But what really made me mad, was there was no indication that it was broken while driving the vehicle. The family and I are about to hit the road for the holidays and now I have to get if fixed or fix it myself in the next three days. I called the dealer back after finding out on-line that these springs seem to fail at about 70K and asked if there was an improved spring part number to replace this spring. They had nothing to report and blamed salt on the roads and corrosion for the failures. All I know is I won't be buying any Ford parts to replace my springs.

- , Savage, MN, USA

problem #36

Oct 262009

Explorer Limited V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 43,496 miles

From reading other complaints it looks like Ford has a Safety issue.Want to buy North American ,not sure if I will in the future.

- , London Ontario, Ontario, Canada

problem #35

Jun 262009

Explorer 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles


I hate this suv. Bad COIL SPRINGS, bad WHEEL BEARINGS/HUB, MUFFLER fell off. What is next!

- , Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #34

Apr 162008

Explorer 4.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,000 miles

So the rear spring just cracked in half and came down and popped my tire, again with my KIDS in the car!!! I got the stupid thing towed home and just cut the bottom half of the spring out.

- , Severna Park, MD, USA

problem #33

Apr 152009

Explorer Eddie Bauer V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

I had a camry and an accord....we traded the cars to start buying AMERICAN,, but((((AMERICAN CARS SUCK)))) THAT'S IT. next cars are honda and toyota.

- , Warren, RI, USA

problem #32

Aug 142009

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles


I took my car into station for basic oil change and inspection and they found 2 rear coil springs broken. This is a major repair for not towing or using vehicle for anything but local driving.

- , Easton, PA, USA

problem #31

Jul 102009

Explorer Eddie Bauer V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 101,148 miles

Both springs were broken at the top of each coil. I don't very much rust on anything of the vehicle but the coil springs both have rust flaking off.

- , Sault Sainte Marie, MI, USA

problem #30

Jul 312009

Explorer LTD V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,000 miles

Ford POS engineering. Thousands of people are dealing with spring failure. Mullaley is earning millions of dollars running Ford. Take his freakin private planes away, his Florida mansion and make him live in downtown Detroit. This really sucks. I'm unemployed, disabled wife who just suffered a burst appendix, 40K in hospital bills and now this POS Explorer needs HUNDREDS of freakin dollars thrown at it.

- , Mountainhome, PA, USA

problem #29

May 172009

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

This should not have happened at 7yrs old and only 70,000 miles. We were on our way back home from a 300 mile round-trip visit and crossed a low spot in a state route that was an area where a new culvert had been put in a few months ago. It's not like we hit a crater! After we crossed the dip in the road the SUV felt like the strut had given out. It swayed and rode stiff. When my husband jacked the vehicle up and started to remove the visibly broken coil spring it fell off in 3 pieces. It took a while to figure out how to put it back together since he didn't have to take it apart. There are definite signs that this one has been broken for a long time. There was very little area that showed new breakage - maybe about one third of the diameter of the spring in one place. Not only did this spring break side to side but also had a 2" area that was split in the middle longways. When he took the second one off it was in 2 pieces. This one had also been broken for quite some time and had little new breakage area. It probably finished breaking when the other one broke and separared from itself. It only cost us $125 for a set of springs at Advanced Auto and we were able to borrow a set of coil spring compressors. I feel bad for people who have to have it done at a garage. You can't find a set of springs around here at a junkyard. We were told that they are sold faster than they can get them off the vehicle. Makes me wonder just how bad this problem is.

I was quoted $150 per side for labor and $106 for each spring, plus tax. When I called for the quote the Ford garage had another 2002 Explorer in there for the same problem. I feel very lucky that there was not any other damage to my Explorer and very very lucky we didn't have a wreck. Ford really nneeds to do something about this. These vehicles are already top heavy and this could cause a real problem. I hate to think what might have happened if we had been off-road on a slight grade.

- , Cable, OH, USA

problem #28

Jul 112009

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,720 miles


drove out of my driveway today and heard a squeek from the rear of the car everything was fine yesterday. Looked under the car today and found the coil spring broken in 2 places. I've already had the tranny replaced and the stereo system. My wife is a stay at home mom and barely drives this car. It just baffles me how it could happen overnight

- , Quakertown, PA, USA

problem #27

Nov 142008

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,048 miles

Took my explorer in for NYS Inspection and they found the right rear coil spring had rusted and broken completely. Cost 192.49 to replace both rear coil springs. Ford should not use such cheap parts. Coil springs should not be shearing and breaking with under 100k miles, or with any mileage for that matter.

Update from Aug 22, 2009: I took my explorer in for NYS Inspection and they found the right rear coil spring had rusted and broken completely. I bought the parts from Advance for $101.10 and took them to a small local shop to have them installed, this cost me $192.49 for labor to replace both rear coil springs. Total cost $293.59. Ford should not use such cheap parts. Coil springs should not be shearing and breaking at any mileage, let alone under 100k.

- , North Tonawanda, NY, USA

problem #26

Jul 022009

Explorer Eddie Bauer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,932 miles

While rotating tires on my wife's Explorer, as I was jacking up the rear a piece of the right spring fell out. After closer inspection I found both rear springs are broke. I have been a mechanic for 25+ years and anytime I see problems like this it is due to poor materials or workmanship. After seeing this website I realize I am not alone on this. I will be contacting Ford about this. I realize I have a 7 year old car but it has never towed any heavy loads, or been used off road.

- , Crittenden, KY, USA

problem #25

Sep 152008

Explorer XLT 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 106,000 miles

While my wife was driving down the road she heard a loud clunk noise and then it sounded like something was rubbing. Had to have the truck towed to the dealership to find the rear spring broke. Had to replace both rear springs and struts. I now know of 3 other people in my area that have had the same problem. I called FMC to complain and was told "you live in northern Indiana and snow and salt are what caused the problem." seems funny no other car companies have had this problem. I guess you are not supposed to drive 4 WD in snow!!!!!

- , Elkhart, IN, USA

problem #24

Jun 162009

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 114,500 miles

Well, let's see: Have had the transmission rebuilt twice. Have had the shocks replaced prematurely, gone through three sets of tires, replaced the rear hatch window twice, brake rotors on all four corners twice. Driver's door window controls fail to operate about 40% of the time. Driver's seat back needs constant tightening. Undiagnosed hard starting problem whenever the weather is damp. All this, and I am by no means rough on the truck (I put about 18K miles on per year), and I have it maintained exclusively by my dealership! Rarely go off road, and then only on soft sand, no rough stuff. BUT: I love this damned truck! When it's right, it runs like a champ, is as comfortable as a Lincoln, and gets respectable mileage (I average 17 mpg combined, on regular). And my service adviser has been EXTREMELY helpful: She had the trans rebuilt the first time on Ford's dime, even after the extended warranty ran out, and covered the brake job the first time as well, also out of warranty. Would I buy another one? After 20+ years of Fords (from Mustangs to F-150's to this Explorer), I guess I'm used to the lack of quality.

And from the horror stories I've heard from GM & Dodge/Jeep owners - no thanks!

- , Marlboro, NJ, USA

problem #23

Mar 182009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

Lets add another to the list of FORD sucks list! Coil springs seem to be a pretty important problem. The only recall that i have received from FORD is to fix the rear latch.....hum! rear latch, broken coil, seems priority is pretty screwed up.... thanks FORD for helping me make my next purchase decisions easier NO FORD!

- , Middlebury, IN, USA

problem #22

May 212009

Explorer Limited V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

broken coil spring just like 100s of other ford exploder owners.why does ford not recall this?guess it will take a death or a bunch of serious accidents to get their attention.This is a safety issue and should be recalled.they got the money to recall all the defective coil springs after all they did get a bail out now bail me out of this expensive fix

- , Uniontown, OH, USA

problem #21

Apr 172009

Explorer XLT 4.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,000 miles

Another F.O.R.D. failure. The rear coil spring cracked at the top of the spring. They are sold in pairs, so I replaced both. This is an endless and continuing failure rate for the parts on this particular vehicle.

Please do your research before buying one of these used. Many other parts have failed and now tops $20,000 in repairs (with documentation) to this vehicle since purchased new in September of 2002. We made the dealership throw in the extended warranty when the purchase was made. Now we are paying for all the repairs since the time limit on the warranty has run out.

- , Howell, MI, USA

problem #20

Mar 132009

Explorer XT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 117,000 miles

Now that the my left rear coil spring has broken, I have spent over $6,000k in repair costs with this vehicle. I had to replace the engine, four wheel bearings, the front drivers side window control, rear passengers window motor and left rear control arm. I'll have rebuilt the truck here shortly. I just can not understand why there is no coil spring recall? Even my Ford Focus' springs were replaced for free. They know there's a problem with them and it should be dealt with because its clearly a safety issue.

- , Newburyport, MA, USA

problem #19

Feb 212009

Explorer XLT Eddie Bauer 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 81,000 miles

Ford has lost alot of its customer base with the 2002 Exploders it sold.

Soon as mine is fixed its getting traded in... I haul my children in this thing and luckily they weren't in it and i was stopping as it broke. I think it would make a good centerpiece for Ford's corporate office... maybe I should drive it in their front door and park it in their lobby. Driving a Ford for 20+ years and will not buy another one.. Trading this in and my F-250 diesel for another auto makers product.

- , St.Clairsville, OH, USA

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