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 1 of 5)

problem #99

Sep 272016

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 187,793 miles

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

click to see larger images

difficulties shifting difficulties shifting difficulties shifting difficulties shifting difficulties shifting difficulties shifting

FIRST OFF!!, I buy this 2002 Ford Explorer from some sleazy car dealer, that thinks he knows about a quality vehicle...WHICH HE DON'T!!! And I guess I was just an "all day sucker" to him, he wouldn't negotiate with me about the price of the vehicle, the down payment, or the monthly payment, and the car look pretty good and even ran pretty good the start with. But a few months later, all different kinds of problems, mechanical and electrical things with my vehicle started to show its true colors and....hmm where should I begin? The power steering wasn't working very great, had constant problems with water pump connected to the radiator, the automatic locks on the car wouldn't lock on the driver side door, the keyless entry was going haywire.. the alarm went off constantly without me even hitting the button, the electric seats on the car didn't work, the air condition compressor makes a loud noise when the air condition is on and you turn the car off, my engine will frequently overheat, four-wheel drive system work on only 3 wheels, the exhaust pipe drop down, the heater in the car doesn't work half the time..sigh, I think its safe to say my car is nothing but a hunk of junk...the junkyard probably wouldn't even take it!!! The worst part is I put so much time and effort having my vehicle maintance and put so much money into it and it was all for nothing. I've attempted to trade and sell my vehicle hoping to switch or buy a different vehicle, but nobody will take it, I don't know what to do, I need some help or some suggestions. I'm all ears.

- , LaGrange, NC, USA

problem #98

Sep 012016

Explorer Limited V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 230,000 miles

Well this is a complaint right? Well I was wondering if anyone had this same problem: Transmission gets stuck in 2nd gear and it only switches to third while going down hill (building speed without pulling apparently). Whenever it gets close to switching, the rpm's just sky rocket up to about the 5,000 mark, and I'm forced to let off the gas entirely of course.

- , Sanford, NC, USA

problem #97

Sep 142016

Explorer XLT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 289,000 miles

My 2002 Ford Explorer XLT has problems shifting gears; won't shift out of 1st gear; noisy acceleration. Additionally, the O/D (over-drive) light flashes and won't go out. I've had 5 different diagnosis for the problems. I'm willing to join any and all class actions, lawsuits and other protest and recall actions involved; seeking redress and restitution from the Ford Motor Company. Please put me in touch with others who want to do the same.

- , Detroit, MI, USA

problem #96

Jun 122016

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 190,000 miles

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

After drive for 10 minutes the transmission gear start to slip

- , Clearwater, FL, USA

problem #95

Oct 142013

Explorer XLT 4.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 200,341 miles

It started 2013 when the gear shift would get stuck,You can rock the truck back and fourth to get it into gear, please do not pull up on a hill you will be sweating trying to get it to go in reverse you might start crying and the ac will not cool you off good until you start driving. i had emergency the gear was stuck as usual after rocking the truck it went into gear but as I was driving and had to pull over, i put it back in drive the gear shift broke off in my had so I shift it by sticking y hand inside the collar if steering wheel to shift it actually works better than it did but it such a ugly site.

- , Columbus, GA, USA

problem #94

Dec 022015

Explorer LXT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

The truck started jerking and showing OD light. I drove it for a few days until it was too slow and almost caused an accident. I have driven other vehicles for a long time and this is the first vehicle to need a transmission.

- , Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #93

Nov 022015

Explorer LS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 123,000 miles

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

transmission shifting good some days and bad some days

- , beaumont tx, TX, USA

problem #92

Jan 052004

Explorer XLT V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles

The car is an absolute piece of junk. I still have it now (2015) and its gotten better and we never had a transmission problem since we had ours rebuilt but more problems came about after that. It's a shame because we love the car in general but we don't love pouring our money out for it!

- , Mount Ephraim, NJ, USA

problem #91

Jan 012015

Explorer XLT V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 177,000 miles

I HATE FORDS. How could a company build a vehicle I can't do regular maintenance on.

- , Sharpsburg, GA, USA

problem #90

Feb 152012

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 160,000 miles

The 2002 Ford Explorer... Dealer told us it was a great car with in a month we started having multiple problems and this was only the 1st time it happened. long story short we had to take it to a transmission specialist and get it fixed which cost us $2000

- , Eden, NY, USA

problem #89

Nov 242014

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 111,192 miles

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

IT STARTED WITH IRREGULAR SHIFTING, NOT GOING INTO THE NEXT GEAR AND LIGHT CAME ON FOR CHECK ENGINE SOON AND OVERDRIVE,(O/D) LIGHT STARTED FLICKERING.

I DID NOT KNOW THAT THIS WAS A COMMON PROBLEM AND FORD SHOULD HAVE RECALLED IT. DON'T KNOW YET WHAT THE COST WILL BE SOLENOID REPLACEMENT WILL BE AROUND $8OO, BUT DOES NOT GUARANTEE THAT THIS ALONE WILL FIX THE PROBLEM. TRANSMISSION OVERHAUL WILL COST AROUND $2200. NOT HAPPY WITH FORD, SHOULD HAVE BOUGHT NON-AMERICAN CAR.

- , Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #88

May 012014

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 145,000 miles

Bought Explorer from Beechmont Ford in Ohio, the truck had 135582 miles on it, at about 142500 the transmission started to flutter when it shifts, took to a mechanic at a local garage He said the transmission needs replaced, The Explorer now has 146000 miles on it the transmission is getting worse. I called the Ford Dealer they have not helped with anything,

- , Williamsburg, OH, USA

problem #87

Feb 102014

Explorer ES 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 135,245 miles

THE O/D LIGHT FLASHING ON AND OFF, WILL NOT SHIFT FROM 2ND TO 3RD GEAR

- , Clio, MI, USA

problem #86

Mar 012014

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 293,000 miles

I've read about others having trouble shifting out of Park into R or D -- that's not the problem I'm having. Mine is difficult to get into Park from R or D. When I try to put it into Park, I pull back toward me and swing the lever up, as you should, but something blocks the travel between R and P before it gets to P. I have to stop and sort of wiggle it back and forth to get it all the way into Park. I've read elsewhere about complaints alleging that these cars can shift from P to R by themselves while sitting at idle. I wonder if the problem I'm having could be related. Perhaps those others hadn't gotten all the way into P, but far enough to enable the starting circuit.

- , Raymond, OH, USA

problem #85

Jun 162010

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

this transmission slips the 3rd gear... i dont understand why there isnt a recall i have not been able to fix as it is alot of money... i have been using it as it but its dificult to deal with as i can not afford a new car

- , Joliet, IL, USA

problem #84

Oct 012008

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

O/D light flashes all the time. Won't shift properly and the RPMs go over 3000, until I let off the gas. Makes terrible noises like it's about to blow up.

- , Broken Arrow, OK, USA

problem #83

Jun 262011

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

Same problems with this truck that everyone has, bad transmission and door ajar light stays on, Also 4 wheel drive never worked, read about bad control modules changes it once and it worked (for a week).

- , Olyphant, PA, USA

problem #82

Jan 012005

Explorer Eddie Baur 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

I never will buy a Ford again... and the 4.0 v6 is very under-powered. Would much rather have a Suburban or Tahoe with a 4l60e.

- , Duluth, MN, USA

problem #81

Aug 062012

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 300,000 miles

Costs 2,900 for the replace transmission, and couldn't do automatic when we need to use "R" reserve when the truck park. Waterloo Transmission at Dover, OH couldn't help so much because it costs us a lot of money, We will need some help to figure what to do with its a ford fault from 2000's and we have 2002 Explorer Ford. Any suggestions?

- , New Phila, OH, USA

problem #80

Jun 242012

Explorer 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 173,000 miles

this is the 2 time the transmission has had to be fix in 3 years , ford talks about how solid their vehicle are , well this in unacceptable.

- , Virginia Beach, Virginia Beach, USA

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