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.

2.8

hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
50,796 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 #14

Feb 162011

Explorer 4WD 8-cyl

  • 82,000 miles

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

2002 front wheel bearings failed at 80,000 miles.

- Redondo Beach, CA, USA

problem #13

Aug 272010

Explorer

  • 94,000 miles
Rear springs both cracked-front & rear wheel bearings bad needed to be replaced Ford should recall these vehicles before someone seriously if not already has been hurt or killed in an accident.

- Easton, PA, USA

problem #12

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 #11

Oct 292009

Explorer

  • miles

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

Upon inspecting our 2002 Ford Explorer for state inspection, I discovered the right rear coil spring to be broken. This is one of two broken on this vehicle to date, the first was the left rear discovered by the local Ford dealer when in for a routine check, they replaced that spring, I replaced the right side & still have the pieces (3 to be exact) in my possession. We have also had all four axle bearings replaced. One of which became so hot, the left side rear hub cap melted & fell off the wheel. All four bearings were replaced by the dealer. None of the bearings or hub cap were under warranty so we were stuck with those & the rr spring expense. Knowing the type of part failures on our Explorer it brings up a more crucial question of, could any of them have resulted in serious consequences. Rollover, swerving off of the road to possibly hit something or someone, etc. What could have happened if both rear coil springs broke around the same time? I've always enjoyed Ford products, repaired many, hope they will take this and apply it to tougher test standards. Vehicles' current mileage is over 120,000 I understand other Ford models have had other coil spring concerns also, such as a notice we received when we owned our '95 Windstar.

- Mill Hall, PA, USA

problem #10

Apr 162008

Explorer

  • miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Explorer. While driving approximately 50 mph on normal road conditions, the contact heard a loud noise outside of the vehicle. The vehicle vibrated excessively. The check engine warning indicator illuminated on the instrument panel and remained lit until the engine was turned off. The driver pulled over to the side of the road and the vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic for diagnostic testing. The technician stated that the rear driver's side wheel bearing was cracked. The vehicle was repaired. Recently, the front passenger side wheel bearing exhibited a crack. In addition, the overdrive warning indicator illuminated while traveling on the highway. Also, the automatic transmission was slipping out of gear. The mileages were unknown.

- Lynchburg, VA, USA

problem #9

Dec 162008

Explorer

  • 82,989 miles
Only 83,000 miles on my 2002 Ford Explorer and I am faced with a bill of around $2,500 for repairs. The rear wheel bearings and hubs need to be replaced. The rear struts need to be replaced. The front stabilizer bar bushings need to be replaced. When the car is driven you can hear noises like a whining sound. It sounds almost like a plane is landing in my back seat.

- Wayne, NJ, USA

problem #8

Aug 182008

Explorer

  • 119,000 miles

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

The contact owns a 2002 Ford Explorer. While driving 35 mph, the contact heard a grinding noise coming from the front end of the vehicle. He examined the vehicle and noticed that the tire was rubbing against the a frame in the front end of the vehicle. Prior to the failure, the contact noticed that the brakes were taking a longer period of time to stop the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and they stated that the cv joint and bearing hubs needed to be replaced. The vehicle has been repaired by the dealer. The current and failure mileages were 119,000.

- Lowell, MA, USA

problem #7

Jan 312008

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,156 miles
Grinding noise from rear especially driver side rear humming and swaying brought to dealer replaced rear hub and bearing assemblies both sides replaced front sway bar links and bushings both sides.

- Reading, MA, USA

problem #6

Oct 102006

Explorer 4WD

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles
In April of 2005 my 2002 Explorer with just over 40,000 miles started making grinding noise in the right rear. Took it to a mechanic and then to the Ford dealership, both said the right rear wheel bearing needed to be replaced, had it replaced on 5/11/05. Within 2 weeks, the left rear wheel bearing also started making a grinding noise, had it replaced on 5/25/05. Called Ford customer care who said they could do nothing. In October, 2006, at 80,000 miles (mostly E-way miles, no off-road driving, only one driver and I am the original owner), the right rear wheel bearing needed to be replaced again and one of the front bearings is going as well. Called Ford customer care again to report the failures, and they still aren't interested. Have been told by several mechanics that this is a know defect with 2002 Explorer, wheel bearings should last well over 100K miles. Ford has no plans to recall or even redesign the defective wheel bearings. After reading complaints from others, who have had the bearings explode while driving, I suspect that it is only a matter of time before the deaths from accidents due to the defective wheel bearings start getting reported. I personally do not feel safe driving this vehicle. Due to Ford's lack of concern regarding this very expensive and dangerous defect in their vehicles, the next new vehicle I purchase will not be a Ford. *

- Howell, MI, USA

problem #5

May 052006

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Grinding noise sounding like it is from front end, especially on accelerating at low speeds, and turning slow. Told to replace tires and front hub. Both done and still making same noise. Cannot figure what is wrong. Think the sound is from transmission or rear end. Also having problems with the transmission. The truck does not switch gears properly. It takes to long and sometimes reaches 4 rpms before finally switching on flat road surface.

- Erie, PA, USA

problem #4

Jan 202003

Explorer 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles

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

I bought a 2002 Explorer on May 23,2002. In the past 8 months, the vehicle has been towed in because it woudn't start--acomputer chip was replaced. My A/C made a high pitch squeal and after at least five times of trying to repair the existing A/C clutch, a new one was finally put on. My front end suspension has been fixed. My midlift gate cracked in November and a new one was put on. I have had daily problems with the driver's side seat not fully going into position when I start my truck and this problem has not been fixed as the service dept. That I deal with nevers seems to be able to see the problem. Funny how it does it every day for me, though. My blinkers will sometimes stick and stay on without blinking--this also has not been fixed. At the beginning of January,2003, on the way home from a trip, my husband and I noticed that every time we slowed the truck down, there was a blast of air from the upper vents in the vehicle. This happened no matter what setting we had it in (ie. Defrost or floor vents). This past Thursday, Jan.16, the suspension was repaired and supposedly the heating system was as well. Now the air doesn't seem to leak out the top vents, but continuosly comes out of the floor vent, no matter what setting the heat is on. I have a rental vehicle once again, while they keep the vehicle overnight tonight to see if they can hopefully fix this problem. Needless to say, we are currently checking into the lemon law for our state!!!

- North Mankato, MN, USA

problem #3

Oct 232002

(reported on)

Explorer

  • miles
The owner states the truck veers side to side not keeping a straight direction. Truck has been in the shop (8) times for problems with the front end or steering. The parts were replaced from the steering to a complete rack and pinion with defect not corrected. An engineer from Ford has also inspected the truck and has determined that there is no problem. The dealership is insisting that the owner come pick the truck up in the same condition.

- Mcdonough, GA, USA

problem #2

Sep 212001

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While driving, consumer would hear popping noises coming from left front end. Dealer checked and repaired steering column shaft. Problem not resolved. Took back to dealer and steering column assembly was replaced. However, problem was not resolved. Took vehicle back again and left front wheel hub assembly was replaced. Nothing solved the problem. Mechanic could not resolve it. Manufacturer is working on solution.

- Victoria, TX, USA

problem #1

Aug 282001

Explorer

  • miles
The vehicle has been in the service dept 3 times since purchase on 8/01. Upper & lower steering shaft has been replaced on 9/14/01. The front end rattles when I am operating the vehicle over normal terrain. Steering wheel has a popping feel when I go over a bump or turn right, feels like the car is going out of control (at slow speed). The vehicle will be back at Ford on 12/6/01 for further testing to detect/correct these problems. After looking at your website, I have discovered similar complaints exist. I will take copies with me to the dealership supervisor today.

- Glencoe, AL, USA

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