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.

8.9

pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
$2,545.00
Average Mileage:
88,967 miles
Total Complaints:
136 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. rebuild transmission (66 reports)
  2. transmission overhauled (21 reports)
  3. Ford should comp the damage (17 reports)
  4. issue a recall! (14 reports)
  5. replace transmission (14 reports)
  6. not sure (4 reports)
2002 Ford Explorer transmission problems

transmission problem

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2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments (Page 7 of 7)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #16

Sep 012005

(reported on)

Explorer

  • 35,000 miles

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

One problem huh, I am tired of doing all these neat forms!!! ;)

Check engine, did not want to start. You name it.

They first tried to rebuild the old one, then a month later came back and they had to put in a brand new one!

- , Rock Port, MO, USA

problem #15

Mar 092007

(reported on)

Explorer XLS 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,400 miles

I have had problems with the transmission not shifting from a stop and more recently not shifting between 2nd and 3rd. The most annoying part was the Service Engine light kept coming on. The dealer replaced the solenid four times and paid $1300 for one of them. Now I can't get my car registered this year without clearing the SE light! The dealer wants to fix the problem by taking apart the transmission ($1500) and then replacing parts (more $). The only warranty will be on the new parts, however. They can put in a rebuilt for $3800!! and a 3 year warranty. I talked to Ford who said they would help with the cost and then never came through!! I am now having it rebuilt at a local shop for $2500 with a two year warranty. All this really because of a Service Engine light! I can't really get some use out of the car and then sell it without fixing the problem and getting a reliable warranty. Ford should recall these transmissions!

- , Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #14

Mar 082007

(reported on)

Explorer Eddie Baurer 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,000 miles

MY SITUATION IS TIME CRITICAL!!!!! I HAVE CAUGHT DISCREPANCIES IN WHAT THE DEALERSHIP HAS TOLD ME and might be able TO PROVE Ford Motor Vehicles is DELIBERATELY NOT RECALLING these HORRIBLY MADE, WORTHLESS TRANSMISSIONS.

If you have ANY INFORMATION THAT CAN HELP ME BRING NATIONAL NEWS ATTENTION ON THE 2002 FORD EXPLORER TRANSMISSION,

SEND ME A TEXT EMAIL -

RecallFordExplorer2002@gmail.com

I'll pass on the e-mails to NHTSA or any NEWS Media who is willing to investigate Ford and the 2002 transmissions (as well as any other significant problems)

I filed a complaint with the NHTSA today and presently there are NO OTHER COMPLAINTS ON FILE AND NO CURRENT INVESTIGATION on any of the transmission or, specifically, the solenoid pack - the part directly responsible for most of the previous complaints on this web site. I listed this web site as the referral to the NHTSA and encourage every single on of you to call them ASAP.

IF YOU CARE ENOUGH TO MAKE THESE COMPLAINTS ON THIS WEB SITE, THEM PLEASE, GO ONE STEP FURTHER and CALL THE NHTSA!

NO other organization performs the legal investigation!!! Please, even if your incidents are a long time past, you will help build the case to force FORD to be LEGALLY ACCOUNTABLE for their inexcusable corporate behavior and wholly defective vehicles.

NHTSA'S TOLL FREE number is 1-888-327-4236. For FORD to be FORCED TO RECALL these transmissions, COMPLAINTS HAVE TO BE FILED WITH THE NHTSA!

PLEASE, PLEASE, AT LEAST MAKE THE ONE FORMAL COMPLAINT. I WAS ON HOLD FOR MAYBE 3 MINUTES AT 12:30PM ON A THURDAY - YOU CAN MAKE THE ENTIRE COMPLAINT ON THE PHONE!

CALL FOX NEWS in NEW YORK AND in YOUR CITY & CALL AMERICAN IDOL - TELL them about how YOU were TREATED BY THE AMERICAN IDOL TITLE SPONSOR - FORD MOTOR VEHILCES!!!!

DEMAND that FOX Media and AMERICAN IDOL FIND A NEW TITLE SPONSOR!!!!!

Tell FOX how FORD treats their AMERICAN CUSTOMERS, I do not diminish any of you that live elsewhere and respectfully ask that you also tell FOX and American Idol EXACTLY HOW YOU FEEL ABOUT FORD AND WHY - WITH ALL THE DETAILS YOU CAN!!!

**

CALL YOUR STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL, YOUR LEGISLATORS AND SENATORS,

AND contact every POLITICAL-WANNABE-a-CANDIDATE and CHALLENGE THEM to TAKE ON the REAL ISSUE of PEOPLE who are getting RIPPED OFF BY FORD and WARRANTY COMPANIES WHO DO NOT HONOR THEIR CONTRACTS.

FRANKLY, I AM OF THE OPINION that I SHOULDN'T HAVE TO TAKE OUT EXTRA OR EXTENDED OR SPECIALTY WARRANTIES - THEY PUT OUT A DEFECTIVE PRODUCT, THEY SHOULD FIX IT. In every job I've had, ANY EMPLOYEE who behaves as the FORD Corporation SO OBVIOUSLY TRAINS them to behave - TERMINATED on the spot.

I AM STUNNED BY THE FLAGRANT DISDAIN THE FORD COMPANY HAS FOR ITS CUSTOMERS regardless of WHERE YOU AND I LIVE. CLEARLY, FORD thinks ITS CUSTOMERS are EXPENDABLE.

IF I AM SO EXPENDABLE, then I INTEND TO "SPEND" MY MONEY ELSEWHERE - and definitely SPEND TIME engaged in the TIME-HONORED, TOTALLY AMERICAN, demonstration of the effectiveness of WORD-OF-MOUTH. The cliché is tiresome, but it is TRUE - "The squeaky wheel gets the oil." Be vocal - LOUD - and PERSISTENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

DO NOT think you can rely on a lawsuit to get your money back or make them pay. I have this vehicle because of a dishonest mechanic who I took to small claims count. That judge flat out SAID IN OPEN COURT that he knew the business did what I said they did, but that CAR REPAIR LAWSUITS are NOTORIOUSLY HARD TO PROVE. SO CALL OR EMAIL OR WRITE the NHTSA, Fox News, CBS, ABC, NBC, BETTER BUSINES BUREAU, you local newspapers and TV stations, the talk radio shows.

SOMEWHERE AWAITS A ROOKIE, OR A REALLY SMART, INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST who has THE POWER to do undercover research and PUBLICALLY EXPOSE FORD!!!

SO let's MAKE Ford Motors TAKE RESPONSIBILITY for their DEFECTIVE CAR PARTS and DEPLORABLE TREATMENT of CUSTOMERS who THOUGHT they were buying a trustworthy, reliable, American made product. Personally, my NEXT CAR will probably be a TOYOTA OR VOLVO - and NEVER, ever, ever! will I buy an automatic transmission! Technology makes it much HARDER to catch the problems OR TO PROVE THE FAULT OF MANUFACTURER OR CERTIFIED SERVICE businesses.

REPORT YOUR LOCAL DEALERSHIPS WHO ARE PARTICIPATING IN THIS SCAM TOO. LOCAL BAD PUBLICITY will HIT THEM HARD and be MOST IMMEDIATELY effective- AND THEY ARE THE ONES who have to PERSONALLY FACE THE CUSTOMER - SO MAKE THEM ASSUME THE RESPONSIBLITY FOR THE PRODUCT (the DISMAL 2002 FORD EXPLORER OR whatever your vehicle) AND THEIR BASELESS CLAIMS OF QUALITY AND SERVICE.

!!!!!!!!!AND ANYONE WHO OWNS OTHER VEHICLES UNDER THE FORD UMBRELLA, DO THE SAME. MY SISTER HAS A 2001 MAZDA TRIBUTE WHO'S TRANSMISSION FAILED AT 1 1/2 YEARS OLD WHILE SHE WAS DRIVING 800 MILES TO MOVE TO ANOTHER CITY. SHE GOT REALLY, REALLY, REALLY LUCKY IN THAT THE DEALERSHIP WHO SHE ENDED UP WITH . . . . (HEADS UP! Don't let Your chin hit floor) . . . a dealership who STOOD UP for her - THE CUSTOMER - and challenged MAZDA'a attempt to REFUSE TO HONOR another FORD WARRANTY ON THEIR TRANSMISSIONS.

I immediately recognize the symptoms of this pile of worthless metal that hides behind the Explorer's transmission case! The flashing OVERDRIVE light followed by the flashing CHECK TRANSMISSION LIGHT. I pulled over immediately and called AAA. The dealership, ADAMSON FORD, and Extended Warranty Company flat out refuse to cover this. It has been over a week and I was nice at first and am no longer being nice at all due to the shameless absence of any customer service (I bought the DELUXE COVERAGE for $1200 which supposedly covers internal transmission parts, but was flat out REFUSED COVERAGE SPECIFICALLY ON THE TRANSMISSION SOLENOID PACK - WHICH INCLUDES SEVERAL PARTS). I purchased the 2002 Ford Explorer in August 2005 even though it was more than I had planned to spend - and was largely influenced by the positive "Consumer Reports" review and the feedback from several people who owned older models that were nearing the 200K mark. My prior vehicle was a 1991 ISUZU TROOPER with 199,993 miles on it - the only things I ever replaced on it were clutches and distributor caps and filters.

Still owing $8000+ and planning to move in SIX WEEKS more than 1000 miles away from where I live, I now am SCARED to drive this METAL MANURE cross-country. I only just started to recover from the financial difficulty caused by the other mechanic. I bought my Explorer because I thought I was buying a vehicle I would continue to use for . . . at the very least . . . the next five years. Now I wonder if have just thrown $16,000+ or more for a vehicle that ACTUALLY will be found dead on the side of the highway. To think that I may very well be making monthly payments on a vehicle that is not drivable, UNACCEPTABLE.

Those of YOU who have had MORE THAN ONE transmission replaced ARE CRUCIALLY IMPORTANT TO THE NHTSA'S SUCCESS INVESTIGATING THE 2002 FORD EXPLORER AND FORCING FORD TO RECALL THE TRANSMISSION!!!!!!!!!!!

- , Birmingham, AL, USA

problem #13

Jul 062006

(reported on)

Explorer EX

  • 81,000 miles

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

I was on my way out of state to visit a sick family member with 6 passengers in the explorer when it started acting crazy. The O/D light kept flickering, RPM's were going up to 5-6. The horrible thing is, this is not the first time. This happened 14 months. The first time my warranty place sent my car to Ford to "over haul" the transmission. That took about 2 weeks. I have had no problem and now out of the blue the transmission went up again. It seems they fixed my transmission to get me through their warranty. The positive thing... my warranty sent my car to a new place. It's a local place. They are giving me a 36 month or 36,000 year warranty on this transmission.

- , Downingtown, PA, USA

problem #12

Jun 062005

(reported on)

Explorer

  • 48,000 miles

The SUV has been driven primarily by my wife. We have pulled no loads and usually drive nearly empty.

- , Kansas City, MO, USA

problem #11

May 242005

(reported on)

Explorer XLT

  • 53,000 miles

Ever since we had the car(New), the tranmission has clunked and made awful noises. It would hesitate when backing up as well as make a clunk when we let up on the accelerator as the car would coast.

We reported a problem to Ford (30000 + miles) (THinking if it was reported they would support it if it failed, guess what, no-such thing).

They adjusted the program module when the problem was reported. THis really did not help. They also told me nothing was wrong. They quoted 3350 for a rebuilt trans, it is now at AAmco for rebuilding and we won't be buying another Ford. We have been Ford owners for over 30 years.

- , York, ME, USA

problem #10

Jan 162007

(reported on)

Explorer Eddie Bauer V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 67,117 miles

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

Well, after owning a 1997 Ford explorer with over 180,000 miles on it and still going, I told the wife that we should find a newer explorer because I was just sure that this one would start heading south and I didn't want her stranded on the side of the road...... So we ended up trading the 97 in on a 02 Explorer with all the bells and whistles on it. It was off a used car section of a Honda lot, and shoulda been weary of it then, But Hey!.... all the other fords in my life had been great. It had 36,000 on it then. Fast forward 1 and half years and 30,000 more miles and its now in a shop other than a ford dealer and they have seen lots of these "sealed nightmares" and they knew just what the problem was. I found this site by chance and all the transmission problems that other explorer owners have had and find my self wondering why haven't Ford recalled these things? Am I'm being silly for wanting more than 67,000 miles out of a transmission? Call me selfish, but I think that when a car costs more than my parents paid for their first 3 houses total, it should last at least 68,000 miles. So I called the number for customer care that I found on this site and believe it or not, this problem has never been heard of before by the people answering Ford's care line and was told that I should take it to a Ford dealership and have it looked at..... Hmmm, let's see, 2 days earlier I took my 99 Ranger into The Shawnee Mission Ford dealership to get a simple 4 wheel alingment on it and found out that all 4 balljoints just happened to be bad!..... Nothing that 1027.00 wouldn't fix! It's now since been aligined at a private shop without any balljoints being changed....... Why ramble on this way?..... Face it folks, Ford broke it off in me and the dealerships will do it also, only deeper and drier, so get it fixed at another shop and chalk it up to experience and don't think its only Fords, because my friend and his wife overhauled the tranny on a Chevy Tahoe 3 months earlier with only 80,000 miles on it. Me and my wife really wanted this 02 explorer, so please Lord, in the future, protect me from what I want.

- , Shawnee, KS, USA

problem #9

Jan 082007

(reported on)

Explorer XLT V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 38,785 miles

Bought 2002 Explorer brand new with all updated factory maintenance and records. Wife drives the truck low miles. Transmission light overdrive light flashing, won't get into 2nd gear, sluggish, etc. I have full ESP warranty to cover it but it sounds like a design engineering problem to me. How does a low mileage properly maintained vehicle blow a transmission so soon? Again, this truck is easy driven, never ever abused! Ford better step to the plate and offer at least a 100,000 10-year warranty! Or Toyota or Honda will get my future business!!!!!

- , Elmwood Park, IL, USA

problem #8

Nov 172006

(reported on)

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

I've had Ford cars for years and up until now I have been fairly satisfied with them. The 2002 Ford enclosed transmission is one of the stupidest ideas I have ever seen a car manufacturer have. What the hell were they thinking? They just wanted to make it neccessary for the average joe to be compelled to take the transmission to a so called "Qualified" service center. Most of the contacts and mechanics I have been using for years refused to work on my Ford so I was indeed compelled to take it to a Ford service center. They charged me $200 just to check the car. And after 5 days I was told I would need a new transmission or rebuild my transmission for either $3500 (new) and $2500 (rebuild).

You could imagine my shock. I paid for the the $200 diagnostic and asked for a printout of the diagnostic and I was told "We didn't print it out" What idiots. All I could get was a receipt for my $200 payment with some notes written in broken english that basically provided no details.

I convinced my mechanic friend to put his hand held computer on my truck and we got "P0745 Pressure Control Solenoid Malfunction" code. This does not sound like a code that implies fatal damage to the transmission yet Ford wanted to charge me $3000 for a new one. We then downloaded instructions for doing the maintenance on the Transmission and did it. The car is now driving pretty well. The enclosed transmission compells you to go to a Ford dealer who without a doubt is going to tell you that you need a new transmission no matter if you do or you don't. They give the same answer all them time. I am considering never buying another Ford again.

- , Bronx, NY, USA

problem #7

Nov 132006

(reported on)

Explorer Eddie Bauer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 27,000 miles

3rd Gear Band broken and servo damage. Transmissions failure on cars with only 27,000 miles and driven normally, should never happen. When they do, the manufacturer should stand behind their product. Ford did pay for half, I'll given them that much, but they have do a lot more to keep me as a repeat customer.

- , Fresno, CA, USA

problem #6

Sep 082006

(reported on)

Explorer XLT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 69,000 miles

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

Transmission began lurching when putting vehicle in reverse and intermittenly when engaging first gear. Ford said the tranny box was full of metal shavings and said it needed a total rebuild. Would have cost >$3,000 but for the extended warranty.

I maintain my vehicles and have never heard of a transmission failure at this mileage . . . at least not until I started reading this board!

- , Houston, TX, USA

problem #5

Aug 212006

(reported on)

Explorer XLT

  • 70,000 miles

I have had the Ford Exlporer XLT since 2002 and bought the extended warranty. I think Ford was mad because instead of replacing the transmission they have overhauled it twice and I am facing my 3rd transmission. I will go with a Jasper transmission I just spent $707 today in service for the check engine light I will not buy another Ford. I will keep getting this one fixed because I do not want another car payment and when this one is completely new with parts my 16 year old daughter will have it for her first car. I am buying a Toyota truck. This is definitely a recall situation in my mind but I am just an ex-Ford customer. Someone said Ford stands for "fix or repair daily" I believe this--I wanted to believe in Ford and even the slick new service ads took me back to the dealer but that was not pleasurable either. I had to get a rental car for 4 days! What do poor people do who can't afford rental cars and such.. I can't afford it either but have no choice. I have to work and I can't walk to work. 3rd transmission problem this should be a recall problem!

- , Canton, GA, USA

problem #4

Apr 172006

(reported on)

Explorer XLT

  • 53,000 miles

I am the original owner. I always buy Japanese however in 2002 I decided to give Ford a try. I serviced my truck at the dealer religiously following every recommendation. After 53000 miles my transmission going is terrible. My wife just stopped work after the birth of our third child. I called Ford Motor Company complaining. I will never buy an american car ever again.

- , Hollis HIlls, NY, USA

problem #3

Feb 072006

(reported on)

Explorer Limited

  • 86,000 miles

Diagnostic registers P0745: Pressure Control Solenoid Malfunction and P0733: ????

Service technician states that third gear is missing. Asked how can you be missing third gear, technician speculated due to lack of maintenance or burnt fluid. Car was owned by one previous owner, who per the car facts reports kept up with routine service dates.

Recommended repairs: Overhaul $2,800 (12 month warranty)

Factory Remanufacture $3,400 (36 month warranty)

Per car facts report transmission was serviced as recently as 8/04. I purchased 11/04. Dealership states they can't track previous service issues by VIN, although car facts states that transmission was serviced under terms of original new car warranty.

No prior indication of problems, until five days ago. After driving approximately a quarter mile car began to jerk and grind. Immediately service engine came on, check transmission dialog appeared and overdrive light flashed on and off. Car continued to grind and move hesitantly. Jerking repeated at every effort to shift gears automatically.

Once car was turned off, allowed to cool, and then restarted, everything appeared to be back to normal with the exception of the check engine light (it never went back off). When put into drive the vehicle performed as usual, until again it attempted to shift gears automatically as I picked up speed.

----- The entire situation really sucks, as I am a single mother of four and this car is my sole means of transportation.

I thought Fords were supposed to be some the highest rated vehicles.

- , Hephzibah, GA, USA

problem #2

Apr 142005

(reported on)

Explorer

  • 51,000 miles

When you have a 3 year old vehicle you should not have to overhaul the transmission!!!!!!!!!!!! I am really disappointed with Ford. I have totally lost all faith with them.

- , Midland, TX, USA

problem #1

Mar 072005

(reported on)

Explorer

  • 92,000 miles

Upon purchase of the vehicle I pointedly asked the salesman about transmission maintenance. I had a problem with a Galant before and know how frustrating it is. He said the transmission would not even need to be serviced until 100,000 miles. It is an enclosed transmission. My brother just bought a 2004 explorer and they told him the same thing. I called my dealership back and they informed me that they instruct everybody to have the transmission maintained every 30,000 miles. LIARS!!!!!!!! As soon as I hung the phone up with him I called my sister-in-law. She turned around and called another dealership and told them that she was looking at buying a 2002 or a 2004 Explorer and asked them if she was right in thinking that each had an enclosed transmission and did not need to be serviced until 100,000 miles. He told her that was correct.

If I was supposed to have had the maintenance done every 30,000 miled I would have. All they had to tell me was the truth. After spending $33,000 on a vehicle you want to maintain it as well as possible. That is really hard to do when the manufacturer lies at every turn.

- , Jasper, GA, USA

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