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:
50,710 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 #7

Feb 152008

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,000 miles

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

This is my wife's vehicle so I do not drive it often. When I did I noticed the loud roar and asked how long it had been there. She said a couple months. I replaced 3 of the 4 wheel bearings. Had I not drove it myself the wheels could have fallen off!!! she has my two children in there also. Thanks Ford!! this is not an old vehicle. Less than 80,000 miles. If there is no recall on these bearings and someone gets killed I hope Ford is sued so bad they go under. Recall your piece of crap bearings like you should.

- Barboursville, WV, USA

problem #6

Feb 082008

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 83,343 miles
My 2002 Ford Explorer had rear and front howling noises similar to a jet during take off. Also was very unstable at higher speeds. Ford dealership found both rear wheel bearings and rear differential bearings need replacing. They also stated that the rear had such a wobble that it would dangerous to drive in its current condition. Just the rear wheel bearings cost me almost $600. On further investigation they found the front hubs and ring and pinion noisy and also in need of replacement. The total for these repairs is nearing $3000. No wonder Ford is heading into bankruptcy! this vehicle still has well under 100,000 miles, has never towed, plowed or used off-road, all highway mileage. Is this why they say Ford is fix or repair daily? my next vehicle will not be Ford for sure. Ford needs to have these issues recalled and fixed before somebody gets hurt.

- Victor, NY, USA

problem #5

Jan 042008

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 69,888 miles
I have a 2002 Ford Explorer V6 and in the past 2 years I have replaced both left and right rear wheel bearing and about to replace the one on the right side again. I called Ford and they told me they could only recall a vehicle if you ladies and gentle call for a recall. I have spent over $1200 dollars on this problem and about to spend another $600. I checked on line and realized I was not the only one with this problem. Hundreds of others have had this problem with the Explorer but still no recall. I was just wondering what should I do about my problem. I'm tired of spending money on a truck that barely six years old and had less than 70,000 miles when this problem first occurred.

- Toledo, OH, USA

problem #4

Jan 072008

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles

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

Currently own a 2002 Explorer XLT with only 65K miles on it. The transmission is in need of a rebuild because is slip from time to time. The rear differential seals are leaking. The entire rear of the vehicle makes a humming noise so I suspect that a rear bearing is going bad. Not to mention the 4wheel drive system has not worked since I bought it a little over a year ago. I've had intermittent issues with the air bag control module and also the backup alarm system. There is nothing but poor write-ups about this truck all over the internet. All the same problems I'm experiencing are problems many other drivers have also had.

- Norton, OH, USA

problem #3

Apr 262007

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,986 miles
My problem is with the rear differential as well as the hub bearing assembly in the 2002 Ford Explorer, 60,000 miles on the vehicle. Terrible grinding sound in rear wheels, both rear bearings in wheels were bad, as well as differential noise and leaking of fluid, E no recall on these issues, but I have found thousands of complaints for this same issue. It was a safety violation not to recall these. If the rear wheels lock it would send vehicle into a spin, or travel off the road, why have you not remedied this with Ford? you were taking a great legal risk, by not looking out for the safety of consumers.

- East Liverpool, OH, USA

problem #2

Feb 262007

Explorer 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
My 2002 Ford Explorer has been repaired for major transmission and rear end problems approx. 15 times in the past 3 years. The transmission continues to slip between 2nd-3rd and 3rd-4th gear. In reverse the clutch binds up. The rear end roars and was replaced at 35,000 miles (after numerous fix attempts) and at 66,000 miles rear wheel bearings, ring gear & pinion were replaced. The transmission was almost overhauled at 35,000, re-programmed approx 3 times and needs to be done again now. The compass has failed twice.

- Murfreesboro, TN, USA

problem #1

Aug 022003

Explorer 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,754 miles
While driving (65 mph) on I 95 through richmond Virginia, at 12:30 after midnight, my 2002 Ford Explorer (62,000 miles) developed a vibration. I made it to the Ford dealer and left it for repairs. The rear end bearing, axle shaft, cv joint failed. Four (4) days later I was on the road. It was a very frightening experience. Ford would not accept responsibility. There is no maintenance on the rear axle bearings. This is a new design and I bought an early unit.

- New Bern, NC, USA

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