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.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
76,982 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 4 of 10)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #132

May 292009


  • 123,000 miles


Just like thousands of other 2002 Ford Explorer owners both of my rear coil springs are broken at the top of the spring and need to be replaced because they rusted from the inside out (poor quality) I also had to replace both rear wheel bearings. Obviously this year vehicle has rear end issues that need to be addressed by Ford. I just cannot understand why there is no coil spring recall? Ford must know there's a problem with them, all you need to do is search the web to see that several other owners have the same problems with the rear end. This should be dealt with because it's clearly a safety issue. Please help get this issue addressed before some family who isn't aware of the issue gets injured or killed.

- Windham, NH, USA

problem #131

May 092009


  • 86,000 miles
Rear coil spring failure on 2002 Ford Explorer.

- Miami Beach, FL, USA

problem #130

Apr 242009


  • 61,500 miles
I own a 2002 Ford Explorer, purchased new in 2001. First a few years after the vehicle was purchased, my O/D light stated flashing. I brought the vehicle to my local Ford dealer as it was still under warranty. The transmission was overhauled and haven't had a problem. In 2008 I had routine brake replacement done on my vehicle at a local garage and when this was done the technician working on the vehicle noticed that my rear coil springs were broken and nearly fell out. I had this problem replaced with new shocks and springs and did not think something like this would happen because the vehicle had low mileage. Now just recently with 61000 miles on my vehicle the O/D light began to flash again, I had problems shifting from park to reverse, their was a definite slip, and also noticed a few days before the light came on that their was a shudder when upshifting from 4th to 5th gear. I brought the vehicle to my local Ford dealer and they determined that I needed to replace the transmission. Due to the cost of this being over $4000, I decided to bring it to a reputable transmission repair facility. I did get a lower quote and authorized the repair. I spoke to the owner of the business and he advised me that the transmission needed to be remanufactured and they also found water or coolant in the transmission fluid. The owner also advised me of the fact that their is a vent for the transmission and it was plugged with some sort of plug which should not be their.

- Colonia, NJ, USA

problem #129

Apr 302009


  • 76,000 miles


Rear coil spring broke after only 76,000 miles. Light driving most times.

- New Hope, MN, USA

problem #128

Mar 302009


  • 65,000 miles
I own a 2002 Ford Explorer with 65,000 miles on it, have never towed anything or used it for hauling heavy loads. I take my small children back and forth to school and drive 15 miles round trip to work 3 days a week. Both rear coil springs are rusted and broken - passenger side broken in 3 spots, driver's in one spot. This has ruined the rear struts. Car is now dangerous to drive.

- Housatonic, MA, USA

problem #127

Apr 072007


  • miles
During normal operation the rear spring assembly has broken. They have been replaced once before and the ones installed are now broken. This is very hazardous as the spring could puncture the tire while vehicle is in motion causing and accident.

- Harpursville, NY, USA

problem #126

Mar 282009


  • 65,879 miles


The coil spring on my 2002 Ford Explorer snapped off at the top and now rests atop my sway bar. I have read of several complaints of this happening since it has happened to me.

- Ilion, NY, USA

problem #125

Mar 102009


  • 68,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Explorer. The contact noticed that the rear of the vehicle was lower to the ground than usual. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic and a Ford dealer and they both verified that the rear coil springs failed. The failure mileage was 68,000.

- Scheneceady, NY, USA

problem #124

Mar 152009


  • 109,211 miles
I was driving home when all of a sudden I heard a loud clang from the rear of the car. I felt the back of the car drop. Luckily, I was only about 100 yards from home so I drove it home. Looking under the car once I got it home it was immediately noticeable that the driver side rear coil spring had just snapped. This car has never been used for towing or going off road; it is strictly a highway vehicle. This is an unacceptable problem, had I been on a highway or the turnpike it could have blown out my back tire causing a wreck. Both rear coil springs and struts will have to be replaced now.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #123

Dec 172008


  • miles
Rear coil springs broke on 2002 Explorer for unknow reason.

- Pinckney, MI, USA

problem #122

Sep 092007


  • 40,000 miles


2002 Ford Explorer XLT. Whining from the rear has grown to a loud roar at any speed over 10mph. We don't drive this car very often, so we ignored the problem thinking it was the tires. From all I have read and heard, this can only end in a bad situation since it involves the rear differential and wheel bearings. This problem should be labeled as a recall and Ford should have to pay for the repairs. This is a serious safety recall issue.

- Marietta, GA, USA

problem #121

Feb 272009


  • 61,500 miles
36,006 miles rear axle seals started leaking, had new set put on. Not even 10,000 miles & that set started leaking. Had third set put on. 61,500 miles & leaking again! mechanic says I have a broken rear coil spring. Could the springs have been faulty all long causing the rear axle seals to leak?

- Sunbury, PA, USA

problem #120

Feb 282009


  • 91,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Explorer. While driving approximately 35 mph, the vehicle began bouncing abnormally. Upon further inspection, the contact noticed that the rear passenger coil spring was fractured. She is in the process of having the vehicle repaired and notifying the manufacturer. The failure and current mileages were 91,000.

- Great Lakes, IL, USA

problem #119

Jan 242008


  • 78,000 miles
This is my wife"S 02' 4X4 V8 Explorer, we brought it new and now have 78,000 miles in it, at first I heard some noise I thought it came from the tires that pretty worn out so I went to change out the new tires while I was in the shop and wait I ask the guy can I go in there to check out the brake pads I notice the rear springs broke"??? the more searching I did the more thing I find out, wheel bearing??" no more Ford.......

- Bel Aire, KS, USA

problem #118

Feb 232009


  • 80,000 miles
I was hearing a loud sound from the rear-end, thought it was the tires so I replaced them. Brought the vehicle in because I believe the bearings were going, which they were, at which time they stated the rear spring was snapped. The car is in the shop now getting repaired and I am unsure how this happened because I never felt anything that seemed like a spring snapping. I was also informed by the mechanic that it is a common problem in Ford and Mercury.....

- Abington, MA, USA

problem #117

Feb 212009


  • 82,000 miles
I took my 2002 Ford Explorer in for new tires(82K miles) and the mechanic told me one of my rear coil springs was broken in 3 places. I hadn't noticed any "knocking" or noises as I drove my truck, and I don't use it off-road or take it anywhere where there's great stress put on the suspension system. To my knowledge the struts weren't damaged due to the spring failing, but I didn't have another $300 to replace both rear springs after getting new tires. I've noticed that an alarming number of people are seeing this problem with their '02 Explorer. Ford should be doing something about this.

- Springfield, OH, USA

problem #116

Nov 012008


  • miles
After getting my rear tires replaced, the mechanic told me that I had a crack in my right rear spring for my suspension.

- Laura, OH, USA

problem #115

Feb 032009


  • 84,000 miles
Looks like this is a fairly common complaint. I have a 2002 Ford Explorer, with 84K miles. I have been told that both rear coils are broken. Based on what I am reading on misc blog sites, a great number of 2002 Ford Explorer have had these issues. Obviously there is a defect on these rear coils and it seems like Ford should step up and offer free replacements. I am going to try to replace myself as the garage wanted $850 for the work, but, after seeing the work involved, I'm not wondering if it might be easier to sell the truck and get a reliable vehicle.

- Lavista, NE, USA

problem #114

Feb 102009


  • 81,222 miles
After failing inspection because both rear coil springs were broken. Vehicle has never towed or carried heavy loads.

- Schenectady, NY, USA

problem #113

Feb 072009


  • 101,000 miles
Found part of my rear spring for my 2002 Explorer lying on the floor of the garage. Upon inspection I see the driver's side spring and the top that holds the spring are broken and crumbling. The passenger side spring and top has several cracks. This is at 101,000 mi, never driven off road and only light towing. I believe this is a serious safety issue because it could very well fail with a fully loaded vehicle on the highway leading to loss of control.

- Canton, MI, USA

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