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 / 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 5 of 10)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #112

Jan 242009

Explorer

  • 93,000 miles

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

During a service the rear spring was foind to be broken in two places. The first two coils of the righ rear coil spring were broken.

- Oak Lawn, IL, USA

problem #111

Jan 072009

Explorer

  • 66,475 miles
Broken coil springs-car is not used for towing or other activities. Many such reports of premature coil breakage. My car has 66K miles on it--no third seat. Both coils broken.

- Hamburg, NY, USA

problem #110

Dec 212008

Explorer

  • 85,000 miles
2002 Ford Explorer with broken coil spring, crack under rear window, and transmission slip, broken parking brake shoes in assembly. Same complaints that seem to be common. And same with everyone else, no help from Ford.

- South Berwick, ME, USA

problem #109

Dec 292002

Explorer

  • 78,000 miles

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

2002 Ford Explorer XLT. When having brakes replaced mechanic informed me both rear springs were broken. In checking web this appears to be a common problem with various Ford products. Approx. Mileage 78,000. Mechanic said the springs can break apart while driving, causing a blowout. Again, if this is a known, common problem with Ford, why hasn't there been any recall regarding this? luckily no accident/incident because the problem was discovered prior to one occurring.

- Hingham, MA, USA

problem #108

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 #107

Dec 102008

Explorer

  • 108,845 miles
2002 Ford Explorer 4X4 eddie bauer. Left rear suspension hub/bearing failure. Vehicle located and driven in southeast Michigan (detroit area) where roads are salted in winter. Vehicle in service date (12/12/2001). Incident date (12/10/2008 - 108845 miles). Right rear suspension hub/bearing failure at an earlier date.

- Grosse Pointe, MI, USA

problem #106

Mar 082006

Explorer

  • 69,216 miles

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

2002 Ford Explorer 4X4 eddie bauer. Right rear suspension hub/bearing failure. Vehicle located and driven in southeast Michigan (detroit area) where roads are salted in winter. Vehicle in service date (12/12/2001). Incident date (03/08/2006 - 69216 miles). Left rear suspension hub/bearing failure at a later date.

- Grosse Pointe, MI, USA

problem #105

Dec 102008

Explorer

  • 108,845 miles
2002 Ford Explorer 4X4 eddie bauer. Left rear suspension coil spring fracture. Vehicle located and driven in southeast Michigan (detroit area) where roads are salted in winter. Vehicle in service date (12/12/2001). Incident date (12/10/2008 - 108845 miles). Right rear suspension coil spring fractured at an earlier date.

- Grosse Pointe, MI, USA

problem #104

Mar 072006

Explorer

  • 69,216 miles
2002 Ford Explorer 4X4 eddie bauer. Right rear suspension coil spring fracture. Vehicle located and driven in southeast Michigan (detroit area) where roads are salted in winter. Vehicle in service date (12/12/2001). Incident date (03/08/2006 - 69216 miles). Left rear suspension coil spring fractured at a later date.

- Grosse Pointe, MI, USA

problem #103

Dec 092008

Explorer

  • 107,540 miles
I took the vehicle to a dealership to have the struts looked at and they told me that the right rear wheel bearing was in need of repair and both rear coil springs were broken. I have noticed on other chat rooms that this is a common occurrence for this make/model of vehicle and I was referred to this site.

- Lake Geneva, WI, USA

problem #102

Oct 252008

Explorer

  • 67,000 miles

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

Vehicle taken to dealer for state inspection. Both rear suspension coil springs were cracked through. Parts are being replaced by dealer. Old parts are available.

- York, PA, USA

problem #101

Oct 142008

Explorer

  • 66,400 miles
On 10-14-2008, took vehicle in for routine nys veh inspection. Midas mech informed me that a 5 inch piece snapped off at the bottom of the pass side rear coil spring. You could see that the coil spring wasn't seated right anymore. Vehicle mileage was approx 66,400. Never used off road. Mech informed me that 2002 Ford Explorer are notorious for defective wheel hubs (which is true because I recently just replaced both about 1000 mi ago at $1400) and for the strut coil over springs snapping. Enough already!! when will the gov make Ford own up to design and safety failures !!!"?" I could have been traveling on the highway when this coil spring piece snapped off and could have punctured the tire or the brake line or the fuel tank!!

- Highland Falls, NY, USA

problem #100

Oct 162008

Explorer

  • 56,500 miles
2002 Ford Explorer used for non business driving. No heavy loads or trailers. No off road use. No incidents with objects in road, pot holes, obstacles etc. Both rear suspension springs broken. One spring broken in 3 places. Noticed @ 56,500 miles. Springs had been broken for a while(rust on breaks). Didn't notice it until recently broken spring on other side asymptomatic. The only immediate consequences to me were a large repair bill. It could have been a lot worse if I was presented with a need for an emergency maneuver and the faulty suspension caused an accident. I replaced both rear springs and struts. Parts in repair shop trash. Won't last there too long. Repair shop reports seeing similar problems with Explorer and related Ford models. Internet search revealed many people had same problem with no history of abuse reported. Had rear brakes serviced at the same time. Had to replace shoe pads on parking brake because the pads both fell off. Use parking brake infrequently. Repair shop reported seeing this problem previously also.

- Winthrop, MA, USA

problem #99

Oct 122008

Explorer

  • 85,000 miles
My 2002 Ford Explorer rear springs broke just the other day. Mine had rusted out and broke at the bottom and top of the springs from rusting out.

- Harwood, MD, USA

problem #98

Oct 102008

Explorer

  • 70,000 miles
2002 Ford Explorer badly rusted cracked rear coil springs. While doing brake job noticed how rusted and cracked rear coil springs where. Car has less than 75,000 miles on it never towed no heavy weight springs should not crack like that. Could have shot out and caused major damage (ie shot through tire or gas tank loss of control of vehicle etc.)

- Oak Park, IL, USA

problem #97

Oct 012008

Explorer

  • 80,000 miles
Normal driving car with very little light towing had rear coil spring failure. I was able to drive the car to the mechanics to get fixed however there is absolutely no reason this part should fail at only 80,000 miles. I have driven cars with factory springs that had 200K on them. And someone could have been hurt, including myself.

- Fairfield, CT, USA

problem #96

Apr 122008

Explorer

  • 75,263 miles
My 2002 Ford Explorer has broken rear suspension springs. My vehicle has 75,000 miles on it. I have noticed that there are numerous customers with this same problem. This may be due to bad steel or heat treatment of the parts. I am requesting action on this item. I do not do any hauling or towing to cause the problem.

- South Bend, IN, USA

problem #95

Oct 012008

Explorer

  • 75,000 miles
Brought our 2002 Ford Explorer XLT into the dealer with 75,000 miles on it to check out a noise in the rear end. Was told it needed a new wheel bearing. This is the second wheel bearing that we've had to replace. The dealer also found that both rear coil springs were broken. Said they may have been broken for some time. Will cost $250 for the wheel bearing and $500 for new springs. Was told Ford will not pay for the defective springs. Have never towed anything with the vehicle. Have read on the internet about lots of other people experiencing rear spring failures as well.

- Lake Linden, MI, USA

problem #94

Sep 212008

Explorer

  • 82,000 miles
Rear coil spring broke and damaged the strut. Dealer repaired both at cost to consumer, also suggested I replaced the other side before it fails. This Ford Explorer has never towed anything or has never been off road. All four wheel bearings have been replaced on truck at 50,000 miles. But truck was under extended warranty.

- East Haven, CT, USA

problem #93

Jul 122008

Explorer

  • 135,000 miles
Heard grinding noise which mechanic diagnoses as rusted and broken rear coil spring. Shortly after, the other rear coil spring broke into several pieces. Metal used in coil springs seem to be defective and should not need to be replaced after 5 years. No off road driving. Normal use.

- New Hope, MN, USA

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