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 4 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #39

Dec 232010

Explorer LX 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles

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

Well, let me begin that I will never buy a Ford card ever, ever again. So I'm driving along and the O/H light starts to flicker on December 23rd. Called mechanic, said don't worry about it, drive and see what happens. Well ok, the light went off. The car never acted funny in any way. Drove fine, shifted fine, nothing weird. So I'm out of town and guess what, this piece of crap left me stranded with a 275.00 tow bill and my whole transmission went out. This is crap. Just got it paid for not that long ago. Soul owner, garage kept, oil changes religiously, maintenance religiously, so you tell me why a perfectly good SUV which was treated as a queen should all of a sudden just break down leaving me with a 4500.00 transmission replacement invoice. Buyers beware, don't buy an explorer, they don't last. I'm broke so this doesn't help. Now what am I to do.

- , Quarryville, PA, USA

problem #38

Nov 222010

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 115,000 miles

Like the last +80 incidents, I too had the displeasure of a broken shifter on my 2002 Ford Explorer. After having the POS towed ~ 40 miles from a ski resort in WA State to the closest dealership, they quoted me +$1600 to install a new steering column. REALIZING THIS WAS A TOTAL HOSE-JOB, i got on the internet and found this web-site.

I quickly found that Robert in Sweden had a cost effective solution to fix the problem . He manufactures a shifter linkage kit to greatly reduce the cost. I ordered the kit for <$100 and he mailed it to me within 10 days. I then took the part to dealership who installed it for me.

Despite my dissatisfaction with the dealer who charged me $315 for the ~1 hour to install the part, my Explorer is now functioning fine.

IF IT WASNT FOR ROBERT I WOULD HAVE GOTTEN SHAFTED THE ~$1600 FOR THE DEALER TO REPLACE THE ENTIRE STEERING COLUMN. WHAT A JOKE! FORD SUCKS!!!

Robert is my hero and can be yours too !!

Hat's off to Robert. Bravo!

His contact information is : robert66@tyfonmail.se

PS> Why the hell cant' Ford find a cost-effective option to fix this simple problem. THIS IS THE LAST FORD I WILL PURCHASE!!!

- , Kent, WA, USA

problem #37

Dec 102010

Explorer LT 4.6L V-6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,172 miles

AT 75K MILES AND NOT A HARD DRIVER (63 YR WOMAN) NO DIPSTICK DESINED, NO SERVICE NOTIFICATION ISSUE BY FORD 10 % PLUS OF ALL LATE MODEL EXPLORERS HAVE TRANSMISSION FAILURE 350-- 3000 REPAIR AND NO NOTICE BY FORD AS TO WHAT DEFINITIVE ANSWER AS TO WHY ALL EARLY FAILURES WHAT IS CAUSING SLIPPING , MECHANIC SAYS FLUID CHANGE AND FILTER A DIFFICULT PROCEDURE DUE TO SEALED TRANSMISSION ( SUBURBAN = 79.95 +OIL 96.00) EXPLORER ESTIMATE 300+

DOLLARS WITH NO WARRANTY THAT PROCEDURE WILL REDUCE OR ELIMINATE SLIPPING

- , Hobe Sound, FL, USA

problem #36

Sep 182010

Explorer SW V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles

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

I am going to keep this short because I really liked my Ford Explorer. I looked for this

Explorer before I found out that this is a factory problem. I paid cash for my Explorer. Who would build a transmission without a dip stick. Now that I am unemployed this has created a real problem for me. I have a brand new truck in my drive way that I can't drive.

On top of it all my sister bought one also because she liked mine. Enough with having

to change wheel bearings. I didn't buy something I wanted to work on. My Mitsubishi

has 260,000 miles on it which has saved the day for me again. This is a dangerous

problem.

- , Bidwell, OH, USA

problem #35

Oct 162010

Explorer v-6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 190,000 miles

each time the sensor light comes on and starts blinking my ford explorer jerks and has a hard time changing gears. then you can't accelerate to 2nd or 3rd gear, the vehicle stalls and wont pull. i am stranded with no other way to go so i had to rent a car. this is costly and getting it overhauled without Fords help could cost me up to 3,000.00 and right here at the holidays.

- , Saluda, SC, USA

problem #34

Mar 032010

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

When I bought the car I noticed that there was some difficulty shifting into park, I assumed that it was made that way, with this being the first automatic I have ever driven or owned. It was annoying and I wondered if maybe there was something wrong. I started researching online and realized this is a common problem. I'm no longer annoyed, now I'm just pissed.

- , Bolivar, MO, USA

problem #33

Nov 032010

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 160,010 miles

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

Hello

Ppl

I m having a problem with my ford explorer xlt 2002 model

In the morning i start my suv and let it warm up then i put it in drive and nothing, I have to accelerate the rpm to 4 or 5 to actually get it into gear, then once it goes in the first gear it doesnt want to go into the 2nd gear and then the od light starts blinking once i drive the car for about 1/2 hr then i shut it down and restart the car the problem goes away it drives as if nothing is wrong with it i have taken it to ammco and a few other local mechanics they all told me that i have a transmission problem as i got the error P1700 I don't know what to do can someone help me if they had a similar problem can got it fixed as i think its not the transmission issue cause if it was it wouldn't be driving perfectly after a while and yeah forgot to mention the service engine light soon came onn too and stayed onn any help with this will be grateful.

- , Flushing, NY, USA

problem #32

Nov 052010

Explorer v6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

The car revs up and is having trouble changing gears

- , Richardson, TX, USA

problem #31

Oct 152010

Explorer XLT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

No surprise - it's a Ford.

I wanted a Toyota Sequoia but @ $40k plus it wasn't an option. Purchasing a Ford in 2002 was asking for repair problems but at $25K I didn't have a choice. This is the only major problem in nearly 9 years so overall I consider myself lucky.

Ford's quality has greatly improved - I might even buy one because I want to - not because it's all I can afford.

- , Murrieta, CA, USA

problem #30

Jul 152010

Explorer XLT V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

The car is only worth about $3k on a trade and the transmission will cost almost that to fix. A transmission should not fail in 130000 miles. Ford offers no help. I will probably scrap the car. Last time I will ever buy a Ford.

- , Groton, MA, USA

problem #29

Sep 012008

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

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

Our family bought this a 02 Ford Explorer in 2005 as a reliable car to drive our household of 6 around. This became unreliable right off the bat of purchasing it. It sat in the Ford service dept for 3 weeks after purchasing because it had rear end trouble right after purchase, also major electrical issuse, horn honking when using the keypad entry after pushing first button. Needed a new battery every year for all 6 years we have owned it, because the indoor lights and door mirror lights would not shut off in a timely manner. Then came the bearings, on front and back, then a waterpump, a belt, rear springs, a new motor, and transmission that clunks and will not shift properlyinto 3rd gear.

I bought a chevy cavalier brand new in 1997, and the thing is still going and has 240,000 miles on it. This Ford has been the worst experience of a car I have ever had. I actually bought foreign this time, because I could not afford the unreliability this Ford provided. They really should provide some sort of recall to consumers. Who can afford to fix the major running mechanisms of a vehicle? W

- , Two Harbors, MN, USA

problem #28

Sep 042010

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 128,200 miles

So my mother has my truck on a trip to maryland, she gives me a call and let's me know my o/d light is blinking out of no where. i thought maybe she hit the o/d button on the gear shift, i wish that was the problem! she then tells me that it's shifting hard between 2nd and 3rd gear and she suggests maybe i needed transmission fluid...again..i wish that was the only problem. we hang up and i do a search on google for "o/d flashing in 2002 ford explorer" i came across this site read the complaints and my stomach began to ache. long behold here i am a week later with my truck in the shop with a blown transmission. a friend of mind found me a great deal on a totally rebuilt trans with a 2 year warranty with a $1,700 price tag. times are hard and this repair caught me off guard, with ford knowing the problem they should've recalled these transmissions along time ago.

i'm so disappointed that they're ignoring this problem. a friend of mine suggested i file a class action suit against ford, but would need for others to join me! anybody interested email me @ cbezzy2002@yahoo.com let's all get our money back for this faulty transmissions that ford already knew about!

- , Maple Shade, NJ, USA

problem #27

Jan 092008

Explorer XLT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles

This transmission had always slipped and somtimes it would be hard shifting. was a big mistake and will never buy another ford.

- , Seneca, SC, USA

problem #26

Oct 172008

Explorer LX 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

Struggles to get into the next gear, I have learned to work around it and live with it... Costs more to fix than the car is worth.

- , Madison, WI, USA

problem #25

Jul 052010

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

my ford explorer is a piece of sh*t its been 1 problem after another first da windows in the front stop goin down then the lights would blink off an on in the inside while im drivin. then the seat belt chime would beep for no reson well thats minor compared to the big whammy the od light starts blinkin da sh*t dont want to switch gears an if drive it more then 30 min all hell breaks loose cuz now da piece of sh*t won't move it will start juss fine once put in gear it does absolutely nuthin where in the hell is the recall every one has the same complaint ford what the f*ck r yall goin 2 do now im down 2300 dollars for the repair

- , Lake Charles, LA, USA

problem #24

May 012010

Explorer 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 102,000 miles

im with the rest of u with this transmission problem. Mine is starting to slip and makes a loud clunking noise when it downshifts. Was wandering if anyone has had the tranny fluid checked or flushed before they took it to the dealer that charged u a crap load of money

- , Rantoul, IL, USA

problem #23

Apr 262010

Explorer 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 101,000 miles

I tried the "button under the steering wheel" fix for my transmission and it seems to be helping. I need to make sure the brake is pressed in completely but so far it has made it easier to shift into reverse to back out of the garage. Thanks for the tip.

- , Spokane, WA, USA

problem #22

Apr 092010

Explorer Limited V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles

I have a 2002 Ford Explorer and like many of you have the same problem. O/D blinking and check transmission light goes on. We switched to Ford after buying Toyotas for over 20 years. They were great cars and drove for 200,000 miles. But got too expensive for us. And then we switched to Ford. Very disappointing. We were enjoying the car being paid off a year ago and now need to sink $$$ into it. Ford knows the transmission has been a problem, and so should do a recall. As soon as you mention to a mechanic that it's a 2002 Ford Explorer, they say the words first - you need a new trans.

- , West Linn, OR, USA

problem #21

Mar 112010

Explorer XLS 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 108,119 miles

my explorer does the same. cannot shift from drive to park. and sometimes from park to any gear.. this is something every explorer owner should have been told when buying this truck..look under your steering wheel and there is a little plastic square thing that can be moved to show what looks like a key hole..push that button in or clog it with a piece of paper then push back the plastic cap and voila you can now shift perfectly again...also one main reason ive found i couldn't shift was cuz the brake lamp light fails so when you push the brakes to shift from drive or reverse into park it will not allow you to and vice versa..but after 30min to an hour it comes back on again..i believe its all faulty wiring or needs a new fuse or two underneath by the brake pedal..

ohh and if you get that silly door ajar symbol always poping up open the driver side door and wiggle the wires or wipe it with a napkin if wet..ivew seemed to have solved most of my explorers problems just by going threw the manual..im also due for an inspection from where i bought my car.. alot of the dealers didnt even know how to fix these problems all they could say was your gona need to get it towed..hope this little bit of information helps all of you out..take care and good luck with your ford(Found On Road Dead) explorers..lol.

- , Vancouver, BC, Canada

problem #20

Dec 312008

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

THIS FORD IS JUNK!

My 2002 ford explorer now has 150000 miles and lots of crap has happened and is now wrong with it. I purchased at the end of 2008 with 110000 kms and have been up and down fixing it something is always wrong and its not reliable one bit! The transmission has been slippin since i bought it and the rear lights stick on and off whenever they want to killing my battery and confusing people behind me, the transmission has the most problems shifting from reverse to drive and to second gear and third so one....

- , Hornell, NY, USA

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