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.

8.3

pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
$1,262.00
Average Mileage:
111,968 miles
Total Complaints:
6 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace valve body (4 reports)
  2. not sure (2 reports)
2002 Ford Explorer transmission problems

transmission problem

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2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #6

Jul 012016

Explorer XLT V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 132,000 miles

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

Shifts fine thru gears 1-3. Have to let off gas in order to shift into fourth gear. Research shows it is the Valve Body Gasket, but I know when I take it in for repairs the mechans will say I need a new transmission.

- , Columbus, GA, USA

problem #5

Nov 012011

Explorer XLT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

The valve body going is a natural problem that Ford will not recognize.

Now at 10,000 miles have to have trans rebuilt. The trans shop was amazed that the trans lasted this long.They told me that 80 to 90 k is when they go, I drove longer than expected.

The trans shop fixes many of these for cities and towns.So Ford needs to step up and recall them.Poor design.

- , Lombard, IL, USA

problem #4

Jan 032012

Explorer LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 101,000 miles

This is the 2nd time I have had to have my car towed from the casing cracking, spilling transmission fluid all over the driveway and been without a car for over a week. Two times in less than 4 months for the same exact problem!!!

- , Northville, NY, USA

problem #3

Jun 012010

Explorer XLT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 139,809 miles

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

click to see larger images

defective valve body

i have a 2002 xlt explorer all i can say is i have had many cars and trucks in my life but i have never had the displeasure of owning such of a peace of shat is my as my 2002 explorer ford should be held resposable for one and the guy that made the tranny,s should be shot n peest on know what i meen. anyway mine looks super nice i love it but itsa peace of sh*t.!!!!

- , Mission, British Columbia, Canada

problem #2

Oct 292008

Explorer XLS 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,000 miles

I WAS TOLD BY THE DEALER THAT THERE WAS A RECALL BUT THEY CANT FIND IT SO I HAD TO PAY FOR IT MYSELF. AND, I HAVE THE TRANSMISSION SCREWING UP AGAIN AND THE MOTOR HAD TO BE CHANGED @79000 MILES. SIMPLY JUNK!!!!!!!

- , Strongsville, OH, USA

problem #1

Jun 142006

Explorer XLS 4.0L Dohc

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

The vehicle began having a shuttering sensation while accelerating in addition to the sensation of the transmission slipping. A trusted transmission repair shop investigated for me. We tried fluid changes and programming. Nothing changed. After consulting with numerous other techs is was discovered that many of these transmissions had defective valve bodies with a small crack in them. Once again the Ford customer service people new of the problem, but would not take action since a recall was not issued. Once the valve body was replaced, the problem went away.

- , Pueblo West, CO, USA

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