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.

2.6

hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
56,597 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 3 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #15

Jul 202006

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 54,700 miles

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

Bearings. Noticed a clunking coming from the front. Was told I need new bearings and it would cost approximately $1200. Only 55K miles.

- Bear, DE, USA

problem #14

May 212006

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles
On new years eve 2005-2006 the wheel bearing on the driver's rear broke while I had my family with me. The wheel bearing had to be replace. The vehicle is a 2002 Ford Explorer XLT V6 with 80000 mi. On it. No warranty. On 5/21/06 while driving interstate speeds, the passenger rear wheel bearing broke and steering wheel jerked to the right. I was able to keep the vehicle under control and get off the interstate. I removed the wheel and found all but one stud had been sheared off. The wheel nearly fell off a 65 mph. I had heard a noise earlier and stopped to check, but found nothing. I thought something had fallen from the roof. My family was again with me. I called Ford customer service, but was told that they would not do anything except enter it into the file. I made a complaint and requested a supervisor call me back even though I was told repeatedly that nothing more could be done and the operator couldn't even give me another person whom I could talk with concerning the matter. This is unacceptable and obviously a Ford problem. I paid $150 for a tow and I'm waiting for the wheel to be fixed.

- Holden, ME, USA

problem #13

Feb 172006

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles
In Feb of 2006 with 65,995 miles on my car I heard a whirring/grinding noise from the passenger side while driving. I made an appointment with my mechanic for later in the week (~4 days) to have the noise looked into. 1 day prior to taking my car to the mechanic the noise got much worse and I took it in immediately. I was told that the right rear wheel bearing exploded and damaged the brake and emergency braking system. I had this repaired and chalked it up to bad Michigan roads. In may of 2006 the left rear wheel bearing also eroded/wore out and needed to be replaced (only 68,368 miles at the time). The warehouse/retail outlet where my mechanics purchased the replacement wheel bearings told me the person working the counter commented on how many requests Ford has had for wheel bearings as of recent. My mechanics (as well as friends and family) told me I should contact Ford as well as NHTSA with this information since the component failure effected the emergency braking system. I am following through on that request and have placed a letter in the mail to Ford Motor Company and am awaiting their reply. I would appreciate an independent 3rd party's evaluation of this situation since I have been told by my mechanic as well as others the auto repair and industry that wheel bearings should last throughout the life of the automobile (or at least to 100,000 miles.

- Farmington Hills, MI, USA

problem #12

Mar 102006

Explorer

  • miles

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

No start no spark Ford could not figure it out, $1200 it was a faulty main wiring harness also loud noise in rear end no help from Ford, broken wheel bearing. Should not have been.

- Streamwood , IL, USA

problem #11

May 012006

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While changing the transmission fluid at the Ford dealer for my 2002 Ford Explorer with 60,000 miles, the technician mentioned that there was a loud noise from my rear left wheel, the bearing had to be replaced. Doing research, I have found numerous other 2002 Ford Explorer owners with similar complaints, that bearings were going bad with mileage that is below the normal need for bearing replacement. If you hear from others on this problem, it may be time for a factory recall.

- Milton, MA, USA

problem #10

Feb 182006

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
After 60,000 miles two wheel bearings needed replacement.

- Salem, NH, USA

problem #9

Jan 162006

Explorer 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles

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

On January 16, 2006 while driving on the highway I noticed a shaking feeling under the driver's side floor. There was also loud noise. I slowed down and continued to drive. On Saturday, January 21, 2006 I brought Ford Explorer 2002 to a Ford dealer for them to drive and take a look. The result was vehicle all over the road, was unstable and needed all 4 wheel bearings, upper rear ball joints. Replaced. Not safe to drive for very long, must go slow and a $3,000 approximate cost to repair. I contacted Ford to complain and to see if they could help out by reducing the cost of fixing it for free. Their response was sorry but they could not help. I cannot see how Ford can tell me there was nothing they could do when every mechanic I have spoken to said it was unheard for all 4 wheel bearings to go at the same time, especially with only 73,000 miles on the truck. I drive my 6 year old sun to school, left to Ford I'm supposed to take my chances with his safety while driving one of their poorly made vehicles. All this after I had to replace the transmission in October when than went while I was on vacation in New Hampshire.

- Boston, MA, USA

problem #8

Jul 032004

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 36,000 miles
1. I noticed a humming type sound that would increase as I sped up. I thought I had a wheel out of alignment, or tire off balance. I was due for my 36,000 mile maintenance check, so I took it to the dealership to have everything checked out. They performed a $400 maintenance package to my vehicle on May 4, 2004, of which I thought included inspecting tires, wheels, etc. They returned my vehicle to me and as I drove home, noticed the humming sound was still occurring, but I just had everything checked, and thought it was just a noise that was normal. 2. the noise continued on, getting worse (louder) and was bothersome, so I took it to a local mechanic for a second opinion. Upon review of my vehicle, he suggested replacing the right rear wheel hub assembly and bearings. 3. on July 3, 2004 the rr hub assembly and bearings were replaced at a cost of $360.52. The problem was solved. I don't believe the old part is still available. But, after speaking with other mechanics, I have heard this has been a problem with several vehicles of this type and wanted to let someone know I had a problem with this too.

- Oakland, IA, USA

problem #7

Jul 122005

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 32,000 miles
The van was only 3 years old and only had 32,000 miles on it and the left front wheel bearing has already failed. It was making a roaring noise every since purchasing the car. Took it to dealer for inspection, and they told her the bearing was bad.

- Union, MS, USA

problem #6

Jun 212005

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 91,000 miles
Consumer states vehicle has defective wheel bearings, mainly in the rear, but he also had to replace one on the front. The vehicles wheels started grinding and they became loose on the axle. He took the vehicle to a local mechanic, who stated that all of the wheel bearings on this particular model were going bad. The consumer tried to notify the manufacturer but they were unresponsive.

- Hudsonville, MI, USA

problem #5

Jun 172005

Explorer 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles

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

Contact states there was a humming noise coming from the vehicle. The rear passenger wheel bearing was bad, the service dealer stated this was a safety concern, and to bring the vehicle in right away. The wheel bearing has been replaced.

- New Kensington , PA, USA

problem #4

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 #3

Apr 112005

Explorer 8-cyl

  • 41,400 miles
I took my 2002 Explorer in for recall on rear door. They told me that both rear springs broke. This vehicle has less than 44,000 miles on it, and has the tow package although nothing was ever towed. The springs that broke are at the very top and hard to find. Mechanic would have had to know to look there to find it. This led me to believe that there have been others with the same problem.

- Barberton, OH, USA

problem #2

Oct 202004

Explorer 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,000 miles
While driving 30 to 40 mph a crunching sound was heard. The dealer stated the front wheel bearing failed. Please provide additional information. This is the second front wheel baring failure.

- Eagle, MI, USA

problem #1

Feb 032002

(reported on)

Explorer

  • miles
This vehicle has been in the service department 3 times since September 2001. The steering column has been replaced, the wheel bearings have been replaced(this was suppose to eliminate steering column rattle) and the lower control arm has been replaced. I still hear and feel a metallic rattle coming from the steering column. In my review of your website other 2002 Explorer owners are experincing the same problem. I have talked to at least three other owners that have the same problem. My dealer has done everything recommended by Ford, but nothing has solved the problem. Ford is "working on it". they have been working on it since September 2001. My safety concern is this. If something is loose that is causing this noise it has to be progressing. What will happen after more mileage builds on this vehicle" will I be driving down the highway one day and lose control due to steering failure? there is to much smoke here for that not to be fire sooner of later by my Explorer or some other owner. How long does it take for a company the size of Ford to solve a problem"

- Eastman, GA, USA

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