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:
1 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
76,009 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 suspension problems

suspension problem

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2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments (Page 2 of 6)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #94

Jun 102010

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 85,032 miles

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

I was driving in town at approximately 30 mph when I drove over a crack and it felt like a large pothole. I heard a grinding noise and pulled over. My rear springs were both broken. The driver side one at the top and the passenger side one at the top in 3 places. When I turn now it feels like my vehicle is going to roll over. This is a common problem as stated by many others on many internet sites. This is going to cause a serious if not deadly accident. Ford needs to do a recall on this part and replace them for free, since they were the ones who used bad parts in their vehicles. This is a manufacturing defect and should be treated as such.

- Ovid, NY, USA

problem #93

Oct 282009

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • 130,000 miles
Rear coil springs broke and had to be replaced Ford would not warrenty.

- Kinnelon, NJ, USA

problem #92

Oct 022011

Explorer

  • 70,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Explorer. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic for replacement of the rear wheel bearings when the mechanic noticed that the driver and passenger side rear coil springs were fractured and would have need replacing. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not available. The approximate failure mileage was 70,000.

- Urbana, IA, USA

problem #91

Sep 292011

Explorer

  • 125,000 miles

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

I recently had the dealer install 2 new rear wheel bearings (2nd time in 2 years) and was told that both rear springs are broken. I was told that the broken pieces can come out while driving and puncture the tire. I did an internet search and found over 100 complaints of the same broken springs on other Explorer.

- Wichita Falls, TX, USA

problem #90

Sep 072007

Explorer

  • 75,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Explorer. The contact stated he noticed that the front tires were wearing excessively. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer and the contact was informed that the front passenger coil spring was fractured, causing the excessive tread wear. The vehicle was not repaired. Both rear coil springs also fractured since the failure occurred. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure, but offered no assistance. The failure mileage was 75,000 and the current mileage was 96,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Indian River, MI, USA

problem #89

Aug 042011

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 102,000 miles
2002 Ford Explorer had all coil springs broken and some may have been for quite some time. This is a common problem that Ford will not acknowledge. I pulled into my driveway and I heard something clunk in the back and sure enough it was completely cracked. Took it into get repaired along with struts and ball bearing plate. Total cost for the failure of these springs = $1750!

- Brooklyn Park, MN, USA

problem #88

Jul 252011

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 154,105 miles

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

This complaint is in regards to the 2002-2005 Ford Explorer/Mercury Mountaineer models (4 doors). I own a 2002 Ford Explorer 4 door XLS with 150,000 miles. Recently my vehicle became very dangerous to drive. When I accelerate and then release the pedal the vehicle would "push" to one side or another. Also going around curves I would get a "death wobble" where the vehicle would "push" from side to side in almost a swinging motion and when you attempt to correct it, it continues to swing excessively back and forth. Tonight I went to check my wheel bearings thinking this was the problem, and I found 3 out of the 4 coil springs on the struts were broken. Both rear coils were shattered (easiest way to describe it) at the top of the spring. I could literally pull pieces of coil spring out of the coil. The front right spring was also cracked all the way through, near the bottom of the coil. I have spent alot of time working on cars and I have never see 3 coil springs fail at the same time especially since they are less than 10 years old!!! I also did a google search and read where other owners have had spring failures as low as 75,000 miles!! please look into this issue there are so many of these on the road. I work in law enforcement and this I feel is a significant safety risk after experiencing the loss of control you have when driving the vehicle in this condition. If this would have happened in the Illinois winter with ice on the roads it could have been disastrous. I will be replacing the entire strut/coil spring assembly sing the rear springs have collapsed in such a way that the spring is rubbing on the strut bodies. One of the issues is, with exception of the handling characteristics, the vehicle sits level and close to its normal ride height and its is very difficult to tell 3 springs are broken. I will be taking pictures to document this failure and I will be willing to provide this to you. I may also save the old parts if you would like.

- Bloomington, IL, USA

problem #87

Feb 152007

Explorer

  • 51,000 miles
Read strut springs fail and crack. This issue has been reported in the past and many owners have experienced the same issue. This has happened on both the rear driver and passenger side of the vehicle. Ford has been notified many times with no response. I have been doing a lot of research into this issue, and realized that hundreds of owners ar claiming the same problem.

- Copiague, NY, USA

problem #86

Feb 152007

Explorer

  • 51,000 miles
Read strut springs fail and crack. This issue has been reported in the past and many owners have experienced the same issue. This has happened on both the rear driver and passenger side of the vehicle. Ford has been notified many times with no response. I have been doing a lot of research into this issue, and realized that hundreds of owners ar claiming the same problem.

- Copiague, NY, USA

problem #85

Jan 302011

Explorer

  • 121,000 miles
I took my car to a local repair shop to have the front & rear struts replaced. They found that all of the springs were broken. About 1/2 to 3/4 of the top coil had separated from the rest of the spring.

- Cross Lanes, WV, USA

problem #84

Jan 302011

Explorer

  • 121,000 miles

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

I took my car to a local repair shop to have the front & rear struts replaced. They found that all of the springs were broken. About 1/2 to 3/4 of the top coil had separated from the rest of the spring.

- Cross Lanes, WV, USA

problem #83

Jan 302011

Explorer

  • 121,000 miles
I took my car to a local repair shop to have the front & rear struts replaced. They found that all of the springs were broken. About 1/2 to 3/4 of the top coil had separated from the rest of the spring.

- Cross Lanes, WV, USA

problem #82

Jan 172011

Explorer

  • 63,500 miles
While inspecting the left, rear wheel bearing a broken spring was found. It was determined that the wheel bearing was also in a stage of failure. A load noise like the vehicle had "truck tires" was coming from the rear. The spring was fractured at the top in multiple places and partially collapsed

- Farmington Hills, MI, USA

problem #81

Dec 242010

Explorer

  • 87,600 miles
2002 Ford Explorer hub assembly/wheel bearing failure. The left rear tire completely locked up and had to be towed. Upon inspection the bearing had ripped apart so bad you could see the metal coming out of the rear side of the tire, where the axle shaft connects. In addition to that, right rear hub assembly was very loose and had to be replaced. 2 weeks later, the front left hub is so bad that it's roaring and thumping and feels like it's also ready to lock up. 88K miles on Explorer, this is the second time the rear hub were replaced. There is obviously either a flaw in the design or just substandard dangerous defective parts produced by Ford.

- Lynn, MA, USA

problem #80

Jan 072011

Explorer

  • 140,000 miles
I've had to replace two ball bearings in my 2002 Ford Explorer XLS. First the back left and now the back right. With the latest, the back left, the tire on the back left was almost seizing up from the problem and my car was leading to the left and right from the grinding.

- Boone, NC, USA

problem #79

Aug 172010

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 179,000 miles
Purchased 2002 Explorer XLT V6 4.0L already transmission slipping solenoid or whatever out.. I have read reports and wonder why this transmission is not recalled? I have it in shop now having to have it rebuilt and everything changed. Also right wheel bearings bad, upper and lower ball joints bad, suspension shot. And the records show the previous owners maintained everything well. But also had transmission replaced and had problems at 99,000miles. Please doing something for all of us out here. Also coolant leak, engine leak, power seat failure, and on.

- Asheville, NC, USA

problem #78

Apr 212010

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • 112,000 miles
Ford 2002 Explorer XLT limited. I have had a myriad of issues, which upon research appear common to the extreme. Front & rear bearings have been replaced multiple times. Springs had to be replaced. Now the transmission is slipping -- O/D light blinks, ses light activates, and vehicles over-revs, slips, and will not operate in overdrive. The transmission design is completely sealed, so I cannot even check for fluid levels, nor do any preventive maintenance whatsoever. There is no warning, just failure. Issues with this model year are so prevalent that local mechanics need only ask the model and year and can itemize the problems I have experienced, and public forums are full of similar complaints. Ford needs to recall this model year.

- Amherst, NY, USA

problem #77

Mar 202002

Explorer

  • 83,000 miles
2002 Ford Explorer bearing and hub failure.

- North Chelmsford, MA, USA

problem #76

Feb 232010

Explorer

  • 130,000 miles
I have a 2002 Ford Explorer. I bought ti used with 64,000 miles on it. Replaced both rear wheel bearings. I have also replaced all struts and coils springs. I have an engine light on for a intake gasket problem. Then on my way home from work today my O/D light came on. My truck has 130,000 miles on it. Before I purchased Explorer I found out it was in a rear end accident.

- Livonia, MI, USA

problem #75

Oct 282009

Explorer

  • 140,000 miles
My first occurrence was approximately Sept 2008 when I pulled into a driveway and felt an odd bump upon leaving the vehicle was wobbling when I stopped and took the cap off of the lug nuts I noticed the studs where broken on the drivers side rear. Thought we had it fixed by having the studs replaced. Wrong about 2 months later it happened again. Was told the hub and bearing needed replaced so we replaced them. Upon inspection the passenger side rear had started doing the same thing. So we replaced that side as well. That lasted about 4 months and we went to have new tires put on the vehicle the mechanic said that our bearings were bad again and needed replaced. So we did replace them. About 4 months later it started all over again with the studs breaking off. In one incident I lost all lug nuts but one on the drivers side at once with my kids in the vehicle. This is a serious problem for my family being that we depend on this vehicle and cant afford another but yet can't find why this problem isn't and apparently cant' be fixed. I've done everything the garage has told me to do. The local Ford dealer says my problem is that I'm not putting good quality Ford parts in there from them. Can any one help. Upon research I have found that there are others with the same type of vehicle having the same problem. I have never owned a vehicle that has done this.

- Spencer, WV, USA

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