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 7 of 10)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #72

May 022008

Explorer

  • 100,000 miles

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

Rear bearings in 2002 Ford Explorer. Major grinding and loud scratching noises coming from drivers side rear end. I see that this is a known problem with the 2002 Ford Explorer, and that possible fatalities could occur by the tire falling off. I have 3 children, all under 10 years old, and this is my primary vehicle.

- Lebanon, OH, USA

problem #71

May 262008

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 87,000 miles
Purchased vehicle used in April 2007 - vehicle was certified by the dealer prior to the purchase, I inspected the vehicle and test drove it. There were no issues at this time. Over the last 3 months, both rear coil springs are broken. The right side is broken in multiple pieces and damaged the strut. I have done zero towing / hauling anything other than people. The vehicle is difficult to handle when you hit a bump in the road - feels like you are going to lose control. I have no idea when they originally cracked/broke. I noticed a loud noise in the rear and finally did some online research and then took it to a shop. A very expensive repair.

- Monroe, MI, USA

problem #70

Oct 072007

Explorer

  • 98,000 miles
Transmission started to slip with no warning and completely went out on my wife's way to work. This happened at 98,000 miles. Now there is a issue with the wheel bearings and also had to replace the four wheel drive module two years earlier.

- Lawndale, NC, USA

problem #69

Apr 222008

Explorer

  • 90,000 miles

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

Both rear spring crumbled.

- Leopold, IN, USA

problem #68

Oct 132007

Explorer 8-cyl

  • miles
Bought the car used in Sept. 2007. A month and a half later, had to replace rear passenger wheel bearing. A month after that, we had to replace the driver side rear wheel bearing. Driver door window motor went a week after the wheel bearings. ABS light is on. Also had to replace two coils in the electrical unit. Put approximately $3,000 into car since purchase in less than eight months.

- Elderton, PA, USA

problem #67

May 112008

Explorer

  • 100,000 miles
Huge problems with rear differential on 02 Ford Explorer. Ford should take accountabilities for there lack quality in terms of engineering and manufacturing. Thought it would be a good family vehicle. Unfortunately it is unsafe and a drain on the finances.

- Kearney, NE, USA

problem #66

May 082008

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 80,000 miles

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

I purchased a pre-owned 2002 Ford Explorer at the end of 2007. At the time of purchase, the vehicle had just under 60,000 miles. Around 65,000 I began to hear a high pitched howling sound coming from the rear of the vehicle. I had the noise investigated and had both rear wheel bearings replaced as a result. This did not, however, solve the problem. The noise continued and intensified. Recently, the sound began to be accompanied by a low grinding sound and a definitely perceptible 'dragging' affect. This happened just shy of 80,000 miles. After extensive research, my problem has been re-diagnosed as a rear drive train/axle problem. I have also recently discovered that this is a persistent problem with this make/model, but Ford is refusing to acknowledge/accept responsibility for the problem and the potential safety concerns associated with the rear axle seizing up during normal operation. This link: www.carcomplaints.com/Ford/Explorer/2002/drivetrain/rear_differential_problems.shtml represents a list of ongoing complaints relative to this particular issue.

- Boonville, MO, USA

problem #65

Apr 292008

Explorer

  • 61,109 miles
We are in the process of replacing the left rear outer tie rod and which the mechanic says displays excessive wear and movement. Also replacing rear gas charged struts (displays excessive wear and movement), rear coil springs (bent, cracked, and loose), and rear strut mounts. $1100 on a car with 61109 miles on it. This vehicle is never used to haul or tow anything. We have trucks for that. I'm sick to see all of these complaints on the same problem - it can't be a coincidence.

- Elyria, OH, USA

problem #64

Jul 192007

Explorer

  • 51,894 miles
At 51,894 we were surprised to find that our rear wheel bearings and hub assembly had to be replaced this started as a whine and clicking noise total charge to fix approx $750 -- according to others on this site this could have caused an accident. At this time we also had a very loose parking brake, but was told by the dealer that it couldn't be tightened until the grooves wore out?

- Elyria, OH, USA

problem #63

Apr 032008

Explorer 6-cyl

  • miles
We have had problems with the rear differential since buying our vehicle in 2003. The first time we had it fixed was two weeks after buying it. It has been fixed 3 times and we are about to fix again. After some research I found that this is a problem with hundreds of owners of 2002 Ford Explorer. There is no recall because they say it is not a safety issue, however; the mechanic said if not fixed the rear wheels could lock up causing an accident. I consider this a safety issue, especially when my children are in the car.

- Apo, AA, USA

problem #62

May 012006

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles

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

I purchased my 2002 Ford Explorer from a Ford dealer in April 2005, with approximately 45,000 miles on it. I immediately noticed a humming noise coming from the rear and thought that I needed to replace the tires. After purchasing all four new tires, the noise continued to worsen. By 60,000 miles the noise was unbearable and I was told by a local garage that the right rear hub seal was the problem and that the wheel could fall off if I didn't replace it. The entire housing needed to be replaced, due to rust fusing the parts together. Surprisingly, the noise continued (although somewhat more muffled this time), but I was afraid to drive it. I do alot of local on and off highway driving and I was afraid of losing a wheel at higher speeds. I took it into a Ford dealer and both rear hubs needed to be completely replaced. I now have 105,000 miles on this vehicle and the problem has not re-occurred. I just can't believe though that Ford has not owned up to this wide-spread problem by making these Ford-owners whole after they're made to spend anywhere from $500 to $1500 (like I did) to repair a problem that surely they must know could potentially cost them another headline!

- Bradenton, FL, USA

problem #61

Apr 092008

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles
My 2002 Ford Explorer XLT made a loud tinging, screeching noise on a Tuesday morning, especially noticeable when turning the wheel. It was not a consistent sound. My husband lubricated the bushings that night, thinking that was the problem. Next day, the sound was progressively worsening, I even heard it when I was driving in a straight path, but the noise still was not consistent. It did seem louder with a clanking sound in the rear of the vehicle. That day on the highway coming home from work the noise was intermittent until I had slowed down for traffic and it began to vibrate and shake. Fortunately, I was at my exit and was two blocks from home. I was absolutely frightened. There was a rubbing sound now that was at the rear rt side of the car. Later, that evening we were told it was probably the bearing. First my husband went out and purchased the bearing from a Ford dealer. Then he came to find out that the entire kit was needed, as well as, a special tool to get the bolt off which took hours to loosen and release. Today he is still trying to replace the rt rear wheel bearing with the kit from an auto store since Ford is not open and this is our one means of travel for the family. Please include this complaint with any others as a "near miss" for an accident that could have occurred on the beltway in rush hour traffic. This could have been worse. I feel very lucky, but I want Ford to know about this incident and to consider this a safety recall for others. As I have done some research I have heard that this is happening far too often and is a serious hazard to other Ford Explorer owners and the public. The car wheel could have come off as well as the drive shaft could have broken. I have also read that this is not something that should occur on a 2002 vehicle. There have been reports of the left side having problems not too long after the rt or vice versa. Please notify me of any updates on this issue. Thank you.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #60

Mar 312008

Explorer

  • miles
Problems with this Explorer over my ownership include: -rear glass replaced -front brakes replaced -rear wheel bearings have required replacement, -parking brake issues, -new tires, etc.

- Enfield, CT, USA

problem #59

Mar 152008

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 102,000 miles
Failed rear wheel bearing. Car swaying side to side, possible rollover if at high speed.

- Seabrook, NH, USA

problem #58

Mar 022008

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 69,500 miles
My rear passenger wheel bearing is going out... this had happened to many other Explorer drivers and I do not think it is safe..... wheel could fall off to unknown driver.

- Bardstown, KY, USA

problem #57

Feb 102008

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 96,000 miles
I purchased my 2002 Ford Explorer eddie bauer in 2006, there is a roaring sound and from other responses from the internet I see that alot of people are having this same problem and a mechanic that works for Ford said that it could be very dangerous and the back wheels could lock up at anytime that is very dangerous to me. Please consider a recall on this for it very important to me and alot of other people. The rear end (axle) is very important.

- Covington, GA, USA

problem #56

Mar 122008

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 92,000 miles
Front driver wheel bearing replaced twice in 1.5 years. Right rear wheel bearing replaced once already need to replace again.

- Erie, PA, USA

problem #55

Mar 102008

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,000 miles
I own a 2002 Explorer, with only 74K miles on it. I began making a severe humming noise while driving. Took into dealer and I was told that my right rear wheel bearing was bad and this I need to get this fixed right away. I had it in within a day, while they fixed my right rear, they noticed that one of my front wheel bearing is going bad. From what I am hearing Ford is aware that on the 2002 Explorer there are issues with the wheel bearings. I am glad Ford recognizes that.....considering this seems to be a dangerous scenerio, especially as I travel with my 5 year old in the vehicle. Ford needs to do a recall on 02 Explorer's wheel bearings.

- Antioch, IL, USA

problem #54

Nov 192005

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles
I have had the rear bearings replaced 4 times and the complete rear hub assemblies and bearings replaced once (total 5 times) the car is dangerous to drive and sways going down the road. The sway links have been replaced twice. The problems keeps recurring. I have all parts bills dating back to 11/2005 when problems started and continue to date.

- Brethren, MI, USA

problem #53

Feb 252008

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 83,000 miles
Noise coming from rear end of vehicle. Mechanic states both rear bearings are bad. Also states this is a very common problem with 2002 Ford Explorer. Cost estimate of 700.00-800.00. Problem can lead to wheel falling off vehicle while under way.

- Portage, MI, USA

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