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.

2.4

hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
64,128 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

problem #10

Feb 042008

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 54,000 miles

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

The contact owns a 2002 Ford Explorer. While driving 45 mph, the front passenger side of the vehicle makes a grinding and roaring sound. The vehicle could not be driven while making a right turn. As of April 10, 2008, three wheel bearings and hubs have been replaced. The current mileage was 61,306 and failure mileage was 54,000.

- Bethel, VT, USA

problem #9

Feb 032008

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 54,780 miles
I bought my 2002 Ford Explorer in Jan 08, it is now April 08 and I have already replaced the R front wheel bearing, and both rear wheel bearings. It has cost me around $1,200 and it only has 60,000 miles on it. Once a month I am putting more money into something that I believe should have been a recall. I can count more than 60 complaints about this problem on this particular year and model of vehicle and it amazes me that Ford Motor Company is so naive to such a dangerous problem. Are they really insensitive enough to wait until someone dies or gets injured from this? I believe that whatever parts they used when manufacturing these vehicles were defective and I am to do whatever it takes to make them see, even if it means getting a lawyer. Between all of us out there I believe we would have a pretty good case if we all get together. So anyone who sees this most recent complaint and agrees with me, I can be contacted at (865)-585-6874 which is my cell number, or you can E-mail me at dyllie@verizon.net and my name is fayann manning. Awaiting everyone else's call who feel like they have been screwed over!!!

- Bethel, VT, USA

problem #8

Oct 152007

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles
Rear differential gears had whining noise replaced gears three times...still whining. Front hub bearings making grinding noise at 80,000 miles, told they are 1500 to replace, cant afford repair. Told if the bearings fail when driving at highway speeds could be a serious safty issue. Bearing should not need to be replaced at 80K. Have researched on the web and found this to be a pattern on the 2002 Ford Explorer. Something needs to be done on this issue.

- Manhattan, IL, USA

problem #7

Dec 212007

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,500 miles

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

The hub on the driver side went bad, causing damage to my axel, rotor, and brakes. Almost caused me to have an accident due to this manufacturing problem.

- Twentynine Palms, CA, USA

problem #6

Jan 212008

Explorer 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 71,000 miles
Noise like unbalanced tire coming from left front tire/wheel. Noise increases until it becomes a roar like an airplane taking off. Steering wheel begins to vibrate. Feels like wheel is going to fall off car. Mechanic tells me left front hub and bearings must be replaced. The three other wheels are also symptomatic but not as immediately pressing as left front he does not think but won't know until repair is completed later today. Repair ball park cost at this time is $600-$700. Still, other three wheels bearings/hubs will need to be replaced. Car has 70,000 miles, has received all recommended maintenance and has had city driving. Ford is aware of this problem. They have issued technical service bulletins about it. They say that only you can issue a recall. There is an internet board at this link www.carcomplaints.com/Ford/Explorer/2002/wheels_hubs/wheel_bearing_failure.shtml where 47 other consumers of this issue model have faced the same issue....repetitive failure of wheel bearings/hubs...to the point where wheels have fallen off. Even when replaced the new factory made replacement bearings wear out! please issue a recall for this before somebody is killed when a wheel flies off on a highway!

- Northampton, PA, USA

problem #5

Nov 222007

Explorer 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,000 miles
I bought an 02 Explorer. Was driving and started making weird grinding noises. Took it to the mechanic and its costing me 1000! dollars to replace the wheel hubs and bearings. He said the wheel on the back was ready to fall off!

- Woodland, WA, USA

problem #4

May 072007

Explorer 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

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

Grinding noise progressively increased over the last several weeks. Took the car to local mechanic. In early 2006 he had replaced a rear hub assembly for noise. He diagnosed that there were three bad wheel hub assemblies and they were the same three replaced in 2006. He stated that this was a very common Explorer problem. I felt 6 wheel hub replacements in 2 years was excessive at $450 a pop, including labor. This was a problem that Ford needed to address. Luckily, two of the three parts were covered under warranty, Napa, but I did have to pay for the labor.

- Malvern, OH, USA

problem #3

Apr 172007

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,000 miles
Rear axle seals and wheel bearings. We have had to replace the rear axle seals on June 4, 2004 with 4, 000 miles, and on Jun 16, 2006 with 69.600 miles. Also had to replace rear hub bearings and assembly on April 17, 2007 with 74,000 miles. This is obviously a recurring issue, and I have been told this is a common Explorer problem. All work on this vehicle has been performed by reputable Ford authorized dealers/service, and would expect work to last longer than 1-2 years.

- Round Lake Beach, IL, USA

problem #2

Jul 282003

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 21,000 miles
Problem with back end, took vehicle to the dealer, and dealer said they fixed axle, then, took back vehicle to the dealer, and they fixed hub, and replaced the rear wheel bearings. In last 3 months vehicle has been in shop 3 times. Currently, in the shop. Went to get oil change last Friday, and mechanic noticed oil was leaking from the axle. Currently vehicle in shop trying to figure out what was wrong with it. This happened before. They gave consumer an extra 5 yr warranty because of the transmission, and this was 8 months after purchasing the vehicle. Dealership kept saying vehicle was safe even though didn't know what was wrong with it.

- Versailles, KY, USA

problem #1

Jan 082004

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles
I am the fleet manager of the buffalo grove park district and we own four Ford Explorer two of the four a 2002, and a 2003, Explorer 4X4 XLT have had numerous expensive problems such as wheel bearing failures three failures on the 02 Explorer and one on the 03, rear strut failure, seals leaking converter clutch failure, rear axle noise gear whine, clutch pack noise, all these problems on vehicles that are out of warranty by mileage but only a couple two or three years old. This year Jan 04 to Jan 05 3,500 in repairs for these two vehicles, not including the rear axle problems on the 03, this is "not acceptable" P.S. the mileage 72,000 on the 02, and 51,000 on the

- Buffalo Grove, IL, USA

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