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.

7.8

pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
$2,142.00
Average Mileage:
123,583 miles
Total Complaints:
99 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (49 reports)
  2. new or rebuilt transmission (31 reports)
  3. replace transmission (9 reports)
  4. push in button underneath steering wheel (2 reports)
  5. replace solenoid body (2 reports)
  6. bought new car (1 reports)
2002 Ford Explorer transmission problems

transmission problem

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2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments (Page 3 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #59

Dec 142011

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 136,000 miles

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

Ford should recall this transmission. It's obvious there is a genuine flaw in the design after reading all of the complaints. I took mine in after the OD light light started flashing and noticed the truck had trouble shifting. It simply would rev. but not go any faster. I took it in to 3 tranny shops for an inspection and they all knew exactly what was wrong before looking at it. Heck, one guy said it was his bread and butter and that he does so many, all of the parts are carried in stock! Prices for a rebuild ranged from 1500-2200. I'm taking it in today.

Merry Christmas-THANKS FORD! LAST ONE FOR ME!

- , Southgate, MI, USA

problem #58

Dec 162011

Explorer XLS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 147,000 miles

Last year had transmission replaced because it was slipping. Doing the same thing, problem shifting out of 2nd. The RPM's soar...was originally told when it was replaced the first time that Ford put a plastic piece in the transmission and over time it wears out! I have a problem with Ford telling us it's our issue when they built it with the crappy parts....DESIGN DEFECT...take the blame and repair the right way!!!! I will be writing FORD as well!!! We need to gripe and complain. IF enough of us do it, then they will have to issue some sort of recall!

- , Hebron, IN, USA

problem #57

Aug 022011

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 158,985 miles

Well it seems that I am not the only one with the annoying overdrive light being on .So I took my 2002 explorer to knoebels 119 miles away made it back home just fine the next day I went out wasn't expecting any problems and I noticed that it was winding out and wasn't shifting shortly after the damn o/d off light started flickering and the service engine soon light came on as well ,called a local ford dealer and they can't get it in until the 15 th of August are you kidding this is the only vehicle I have to realy on .Not only that when I bought the vehicle the door ajar light is on and stays on as so does the freekin air bag light I love this vehicle but if it's gonna start breaking its gotta go any way I took it to Autozone and had them hook it up to there computer and it puuled up a pressure sensor and an egr pressure senor what would an egr sensor have anything to do with it shifting.

- , Lockwood, NY, USA

problem #56

Jul 152011

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 146,000 miles

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

OUT OF NO WHERE THE TRANSMISSION STARTED TO SLIP FROM 2ND TO 3RD GEAR AND IN 5HT GEAR. ALSO THE OVER DRIVE LIGHT STARTED TO FLASH WHILE DRIVING. ITS AN EXPENSE I CANT AFFORD RIGHT NOW, BUT NOW DONT HAVE A TRUCK TO DRIVE UNTIL I HAVE THE MONEY.

- , Mt Holly, NJ, USA

problem #55

Jan 102011

Explorer XLS 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 148,900 miles

The humming of the transmission was bad enough, but the vehicle rides pretty well, and is paid for. The problem is shifting into 3rd gear. Jumping, jerking, but if you let off the gas pedal just right, it will change. The OD light flashes on and off. I have been given an estimate of $2400.00 to fix this problem. HOWEVER, the parts needed are on back order and have been for at least a year (as I was told).

I know Ford is aware of issues with the early 2000 Explorers, but no recall! I admire them for not taking baleout money, but I will not be buying another ford!!!!

- , Danville, VA, USA

problem #54

Oct 022011

Explorer XLT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,320 miles

ford needs to recall and fix this big problem on its transmissions

- , Mechanicsburg, PA, USA

problem #53

Mar 162011

Explorer XLS 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 114,000 miles

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

Very hard sometimes to put the car in reverse or drive, especially when the vehicle is on a hill or slight incline.

- , Winder, GA, USA

problem #52

Jun 092011

Explorer XLS 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 180,000 miles

HAVE HAD NO PROBLEMS WITH TRANS UNTIL 2 DAYS AGO. PARKED VEHICLE FOR THE NIGHT AND WHEN I RESTARTED NEXT MORNING I GOT ABOUT 1/2 MILE FROM HOUSE WHEN THE TRANSMISSION STARTED SLIPPING IN BETWEN 3RD AND 4TH GEAR. HAD TRANSMISSION LEVEL CHECKED AND WAS FOUND TO BE FULL. DONT KNOW WHAT CAUSED POROBLEM BUT ALSO DONT HAVE THE $2000.00 OR SO DOLLARS TO FIX EITHER. HAVE READ OTHER FORUMS ABOUT SAME PROBLEM , AND FOUND OUT IT IS A FAIRLY COMMON PROBLEM....................WHAT NOW???????????

- , Des Plaines, IL, USA

problem #51

Jul 072011

Explorer Eddie Bauer 308 V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 123,000 miles

WELL, ABOUT THREE WKS AGO WE WERE COMING FROM HOU,TX AND THE O/D LIGHT CAME ON BLINKING , THEN THE TRUCK STARTED ACTING AS IF IT WAS GONNA STOP. TWO DAYS AFTERWARD WE TOOK IT TO EXPERT TRANSMISSION AND HAD IT SERVICED. ONE WEEK LATER THE DARN TRUCK WENT HAYWILD,STOPPING, JERKING, LIGHTS BLINKING AND DIDN'T WANT TO CHANGE GEARS. I DID SOME RESEARCH ONLINE AND FOUND WHERE OTHER PPL WERE HAVING THE SAME PROBLEMS. I CALLED THE FORD CUSTOMER SERVICE OFFICE AND TOLD THEM THE PROBLEMS AND I WAS TOLD THAT THERE WAS NOTHING THEY COULD DO BECAUSE THEY DIDN'T HAVE ANY COMPLAINTS IN THE SYSTEM. SO, I CALLED THE SHOP THAT SERVICED IT AND THE GENTLEMAN TOLD ME TO BRING IT IN. HE SAID SOMETHING WAS WRONG BECAUSE WHEN HE TOOK THE PAN OFF METAL SHAVINGS WERE IN IT. WE TOOK IT TO ANOTHER SHOP AND WAS TOLD THAT THE TRANSMISSION WENT BAD BECAUSE WE HAD IT SERVICED; WELL, ISN'T THIS WHAT WE WERE SUPPOSED TO DO? FORD NEEDS TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THESE PROBLEMS. AND TO THINK WE WERE GONNA BUY A NEW FORD EXPLORER. MY RESPONSE IF "HELL TO THE NAW". AND THE SAD PART IS , WE ARE STILL PAYING FOR THIS TRUCK. IT'S GONNA COST 2,500.00 TO FIX.WHERE IS THE JUSTICE?

ONE ANGRY FORD CUSTOMER

- , H, LA, USA

problem #50

Jan 012011

Explorer 4 V

  • Automatic transmission
  • 124,000 miles

When putting in forward/ reverse the truck is jerking as if the sensor . they said i need a new transmission. It has been a problem since I brought the truck.

- , Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #49

May 142011

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 134,315 miles

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

Doesnt want to shift from first to second, second to third, and the overdrive light rapidly flashes and pushing the button doesnt help. Sometimes it shifts from first to third and jerks really hard.

- , Loveland, OH, USA

problem #48

Feb 102011

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 107,000 miles

I thought you were supposed to be able to drive Fords into the ground! I certainly was not expecting to pour $3300 into a vehicle that is only worth $6000 or $7000. I called Ford customer service and was told that there was nothing they could do for me. Really?? I filed a complaint with the NHTSA. I am also considering suing Ford for the cost of the repair. If anyone has done that successfully, please message me.

- , Evansville, IN, USA

problem #47

Apr 042011

Explorer 4.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 181,000 miles

O/D light was flashing and service engine light is staying on. Took it for emissions and code that came through was transmission. Transmission having a problem. At shop.

- , Albuquerque, NM, USA

problem #46

Feb 092011

Explorer XLS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles

I am really upset with vehicle and my economic situation won't allow another car purchase .this Ford explorer should be placed on a recall list with as many transmission issues it has .

- , Gastonia, N .C, USA

problem #45

Dec 012010

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

Ford at its finest! Motor runs strong but can't go anywhere without slipping the 3rd-4th gears. Slip slip slip. Then the grind if I don't let up on the gas. What a piece of crap tranny in an otherwise nice SUV.

No good trannys found in junkyards. They are all bad.

- , Jackson, NJ, USA

problem #44

Feb 232011

Explorer Eddie Baurer 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles

I'm very surprised to hear so many complaints about the same issues, we are experiencing. Yes, I know the mileage is high, but should a transmission realy out at all. We have babied this truck and have had it service on a regular basis. I'm very disappointed to know that Ford has let this issue continue to effect there good name, service and reputation.

- , Gainsville, GA, USA

problem #43

Nov 012009

Explorer LImited Edition V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles

Transmission failure is just the start.... Countless problems wheel bearings, springs, transfer case, rear end seals replaced, leaky brake fluid. Its endless. I had the truck in the shop Wednesday for front wheel bearings. Its back again Monday (not even a week) for rear wheel bearings. The rears were replaced not even a year ago... What the hell is going on?

- , Niskayuna, NY, USA

problem #42

Feb 172011

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 115,000 miles

will never buy any American technology ever again. will stick with Japanese like always did.this was 1st American car we bought and now it be the last.

- , Bayonne, NJ, USA

problem #41

Nov 052008

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,274 miles

My brother had a 1991 Explorer, really nice, and rarely had problems, so when it was time for me to buy a new car the Ford Explorer was my pick; as I thought I had a decent amount of knowledge as to the reliability of the vehicle, as well as, the new third row seat was a real selling bonus. (I needed the room for kids) I really do enjoy my 2002 Ford Explorer, but have now found out that the transmission on this vehicle, and the 150's too, seem to fail around 75,000. (Mine was 85,000.)

I think the car isn't made to the standard it once was, it seems more cheaply made than the older models like my brothers 1991 Explorer. I had a Honda Accord before I bought the Ford and never had any significant problem with that vehicle, and I owned it for 16 years! Well, now that gas prices are off the charts again, perhaps my next car will be a Honda. Even though I enjoy the Explorer, I have spent a small fortune repairing it in a relatively short amount of ownership time. Now, all the little things are happening because the car is 9 years old with 118,000 miles, so if you can't afford car repair bills, don't buy this vehicle.

- , Santa Clarita, CA, USA

problem #40

Feb 112011

Explorer XLT V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 109,000 miles

Same problem as many others have reported. Parked at a gas station to fill up and upon turning the vehicle ignition on, and shifting, the gear shift lever literally fell out of the steering column and into my hand, and the key could not be pulled out. Inspecting the works under the rubber cover, it is clear that the stress point is engineered poorly (it's way too thin for the amount of use this part gets). Independent repair shop advises the entire steering column has to be replaced, and if new part is used, a sweet $1,600 courtesy of Ford Motor Co. Able to obtain a used column for $800, so with install and towing around $1,100. Was considering a new 2011 Ford Explorer but now have second thoughts. When we purchased this vehicle new from the dealer, we noticed oil on our garage floor. It was leaking oil under the engine. Dealer checked it multiple times and couldn't figure out where the leak was from. Plant personnel came out and they ended up doing some kind of diagnostic photo imagery of the engine and found a cracked engine! They did replace the engine, which you'd expect. The vehicle only had 150 miles on it!

- , Northville, MI, USA

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