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.

8.5

pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
$2,287.00
Average Mileage:
109,087 miles
Total Complaints:
386 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. ford needs to recall their faulty transmission (123 reports)
  2. not sure (120 reports)
  3. complete rebuild (78 reports)
  4. new tranmission (46 reports)
  5. new solenoid, pistol in tranny broken (11 reports)
  6. new solenoid (4 reports)
2002 Ford Explorer transmission problems

transmission problem

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2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments (Page 11 of 20)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #186

Aug 012009

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

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

Multiple problems with the transmission. The OD light is blinking and the code has something about the solenoid but the mechanic said the whole transmission is bad. If I brake the transmission will neutral out and then slams into gear after a couple second delay. It also shifts hard... I've reported the problem to Ford when it was in warranty and under extended warranty and they could not "reproduce" the issues. Now that its out of warranty the OD light is finally blinking but they will not do anything about it.

I encourage everybody to report this problem to the NHTSA.gov and maybe they can do something about it.

https://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/ivoq/Complaint.cfm

- , San Jose, CA, USA

problem #185

Jan 092010

Explorer XLT 4.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 155,000 miles

I don't see any use in going off, Transmission is broke. I don't understand how Ford can be doing good in sales. I really don't want to trade in the explorer. I have lees than a year and it is paid off. I have been looking forward to driving without a payment. So I will most likely replace the trans and hope that is the only major problem I have for a couple of years.

- , Robards, KY, USA

problem #184

Jan 062010

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 137,000 miles

Add me to the list of Junk Explorers. I bought a new 2002 Eddie Bauer for a boatload of money and its been nothing but problems. In and out of the shop at least 15 times while under warranty for various problems and now the tranny is acting up. Just had the valve body replaced by a local transmission shop ($600) due to going into gear slowly, especially when its cold outside. Now the o/d light is blinking and the tranny light is on. I've always owned chevy and thought i'd give ford a try, but never again!!! I owned a 94 chevy pickup and for the 15yrs, it was never in the shop for any mechanical issues. I agree 100% that ford should be ashamed for selling such a piece of crap!!

- , Cuba, NY, USA

problem #183

Dec 152009

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 178,000 miles

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

I have just finished reading all of the 179 complaints about the same problems that I went through this week. I hope that something can be done. I'm going to do my share of complaining to Ford,NHTSA,Safercars.gov, and anyone else that will listen.My O/D light flashed,Check transmission beeped,rebuilt (pos) transmission.Goodbye $2,000 bucks! My FIRST and LAST FORD period.

Update from Feb 10, 2010: I have since replaced the transmission,drove it for one week and the transmission started to act up again. O/D light started flashing again,shifting funny and returned the car for repair. Mechanic said that sometimes a rebuilt transmission will come with a bad ''Torque converter?''Anyway he kept it for a week and fixed it. I hope!. I've been driving it for a week so far with no problems yet.Stay tuned........

- , Chicago, IL, USA

problem #182

Jan 052010

Explorer XLT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 41,143 miles

I believe ford knows the problem but no govrment agencie use this vehicle so that is the reason they dont go after ford We are a family try to make a living but iam not sure ford wants to do so. so let buy honda or Toyota they last long . see you later ford do you want to be in the vehicle industry? i guess not

- , Guaynabo, P.R, USA

problem #181

Jan 022010

Explorer XLT 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 119,000 miles

Overdrive light continuing blinking with the word off. Transmission skip 3rd gear and moved to 4th gear. The estimate cost for repairing the transmission is from $1,900 dollars to $2,300. A new manufacture transmission is about $3,400 dollars. I am seeking more estimates.

- , Hanover, MD, USA

problem #180

Jan 032010

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 128,000 miles

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

My husband and I bought a 2002 Ford Explorer XLT the summer of 2008. This will be the second time we have had to change the transmission

- , Central Islip, NY, USA

problem #179

Sep 042009

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

I really don't know where to begin. My wife and I purchased a 2002 ford explorer after we decided to down size from an 02 ford expedition. The idea was that she wanted to quit work and stay home with our kids. (gas hog had to go) Well the 02 explorer unknowing to us requires one to work four jobs to keep it operational.

First the front wheel bearings went out @ 53k miles. Then @ 54k the engine slipped time and bent the intakes (replaced engine at "certified ford dealership") After this it spent sleep overs at Ford dealership for transmission fluid problems on two occasions. (What happen to the dip stick?) After that Ford replaced ERG sensor. After this the cable broke on right rear window. After this the rear hatch panel cracked. After this the rear hatch glass shattered when we were loading the car for a family outage.(Guess how that went?) Now the o/d light is blinking, transmission and check engine light are on. Jerks or slips into third gear. Is that enough?

I know this sounds like we have misused or not taken care of this vehicle. Believe me I would not have mentioned this if we were jumping stumps and drag racing. I have changed the oil on 3k mile increments with synthetic oils replaced or fixed small regular maintenance issues as with any car manufacturer. I've owned three more fords in the past and never had this many problems. This will however be my last ford purchase.

We bought this car from you Ford with the intent that you delivered a good quality "American" vehicle. We live under a budget and don't have the money to throw at this piece of junk you have ripped us off with. The 02 Ford explorer is designed to get you to take it to the dealership for repairs such as patented tools and no dip stick to check transmission fluid. It's a sorry engineered four wheeled disaster and disappointment.

- , Pinetown, NC, USA

problem #178

Dec 202009

Explorer XLT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

128 2009

Feb 27

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

Automatic transmission59,543 milesREAD THIS!!!

My service engine and abs lights have been on for quite a while, but just before Christmas I noticed my o/d off light is blinking furiously. It goes out when I shut the car off but comes back on when I've driven a few miles. I've also had wheel bearings replaced one after another, and I have the problem with my door ajar light staying on and the locks seemingly locking and unlocking and the interior light staying on. That happens occasionally - not all the time. I told my husband the car is paid for so now it'll fall to pieces. I was right. In this economy I can't afford a new car or a new transmission. Wondering if the guy who posted that Ford told him they developed a computer upgrade to fix this problem for $200 is for real? I could scrape that up. Anybody else know about this?

- , Freeport, ME, USA

problem #177

Nov 152009

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

AT 60K MILES UNDER THE EXTENDED WARRANTY THE O/D LIGHT LIGHT BEGAN BLINKING ON THE DASH, ALONG WITH A CLUNKING IN THE SHIFT. THE DEALER FIXED THE PROBLEM EXPLAINING THAT IT WAS A CLOGGED SCREEN, AT 80,000 MI, OUT OF WARRANTY THE DEALER TEAM FORD OF LAS VEGAS SAID THAT THE 3RD GEAR IN THE TRANSMISSION WAS NO LONGER FUNCTIONING AND THE O/D LIGHT AND CLUNK COULD BE REPAIRED FOR $3500, ABOUT THE VALUE OF THE CAR. aN INDEPENDENT TRANSMISSION SHOP HAS TOLD ME THIS IS A COMMON PROBLEM WITH FORD EXPLORERS OF 2002 WHICH IS EVIDENT BY READING ALL THE COMMENTS IN AUTO BEEF. FORD HAS NO CONSCIOUS.

- , Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #176

Sep 072009

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 135,000 miles

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

Dealer says it is flashing because the transmission is slipping, this is great for a vehicle that already has had 2 wheel bearings replaced, 1 tie rod, a brake that keeps sticking (3 times), the front differential replaced and the rear differential starting to whin. I have owned a 1993 Explorer which was an excellent car as far as quality goes. This is the last Ford I will purchase, bad quality, too many problems. Three dealerships have stated that this is a problem with this model and there is no help whatsoever form Ford.

- , Lexington, KY, USA

problem #175

Dec 152009

Explorer XLS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 113,000 miles

I just bought this 2002 ford explorer not ever 3 days ago o/d light goes off and check engine. and after reading what everyone is saying i haven't made first payment yet and from what u guys are saying i should take it back while i can, and im still able to i just like it alot but i don't have that kinda money for fix's.

- , Miami, FL, USA

problem #174

Oct 012009

Explorer XLT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,375 miles

Purchased a 2002 Ford Explorer XLT a year ago for my son's first car. A year later OD light blinking like a Christmas light and the Check Engine light won't go off. Took it to the same dealer I purchase it from (by the way, this is the service center that ok'd the car for sale to the public) diagnosed a rebuild for the transmission. UNBELIEVABLE! $4000 dollars for the fix on a one year old purchase vehicle transmission. FORD! RECALL THESE VEHICLES AND FIX OUR TRANSMISSIONS! We purchased in good faith now show some good faith and fix these cars at no charge to the consumer.

- , Silverdale, WA, USA

problem #173

Sep 162009

Explorer ES 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,000 miles

O/D light started blinking same time the transmission made a clunking noise when shifting into 3rd. I took it to my German mechanic (I'm with the Air Force at Ramstein), he hooked it up to his computer, sure enough, 3rd gear was bad. He rebuilt the transmission at a cost of 2,500 euro, or about 37-3,800 bucks. I have talked to others who have this same vehicle, and all I hear about is problems. What is it with Ford, they are trying to hold up their reputation for shoddy work. I hate to say this and sound anti-American, but when I go to a German mechanic with a U.S. made vehicle, they just shake their heads knowingly. Next time I'm definitely getting an Audi or Beemer. Oh yeah, that cracked rear panel....500 euro....

- , PSC 10 Box, 1173, Germany

problem #172

Nov 192009

Explorer XLT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 172,000 miles

I have a 2002 Explorer and like others here experienced the OD blinking light. My problem was with overdrive going in and out. Like others turning the car off eliminated the blinking light. I was going to a transmission shop tomorrow to check to see if I was low on fluid or should I have the trans flushed, After reading the blogs I guess my trans is going out like the rest of yours and I save the heart ache and assume the worst. My blessing is that I have 172k on the explorer before it went out. I going to try to limp around with the car as long as I can. I screwed up and missed the cash for clunkers. Thanks.

- , Laurel, MS, USA

problem #171

Dec 052009

Explorer 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

I have a 2002 ford explorer that started with the o/d light blinking and the service engine light on today. The previous owner replaced the transmission about a year ago, and now I have the problem. I don't understand why this has happened again when the transmission was either rebuilt or a new one installed (not sure which one). I've read so many fixes on this issue but cannot understand why. How can the same thing be happening and many different fixes. I have only one vehicle and have to work. I cannot believe the ford company has not offered anything to fix the issue. Something to me would be better than what is being done now, which is absolutely nothing. I will go to see a lawyer to find out what can be done about this. Mine has a problem switching from 1st to 2nd gear. Let off the gas pedal and it shifts better. I cannot check the transmission fluid because there is not a way to check it. I know a lot of you have said that you were gonna get a class action law suit, but we really need to do this.

- , Capron, VA, USA

problem #170

Nov 192009

Explorer XLT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles

Ford TRANSMISSION IS A HORROR STORY!

Transmission was rebuilt under warranty from a used car dealer with 4 visits $1800.

Transmission then went to Ammco in Queens NY last November $2400.12 month warranty

Now it failed here in upstate NY in 13 months. The local bandit wants $3400. All overheating failures stopped the car. I had a transmission cooler installed the first time. and because Ford sealed and failed to provide a dipstick the tranmission at a saving to them of 2 dollars They have cost me thousands.

- , Fleischmanns, NY, USA

problem #169

Sep 232009

Explorer XLT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 131,322 miles

Late September of this year only after 2 years of ownership of this damned money hog we (me and my girl) experienced one of the worst moments we could have experienced. While on our way to work I noticed that the transmission would not shift gears properly, and then I noticed the O/D off light blinking, we checked the manual, and sure enough, basically telling us to take it to the dealer. Sh*t are you kidding in the middle of a recession and now this. So we coughed up $1,500 bucks and now we owe friends money. Also the right rear window cable broke so that was an additional $110.00 bucks, and that's not all. There's an ugly crack running in the rear window area. And oh no no no, just recently replaced the thermostat housing that's plastic and sorry to say (made in mexico) I'm mexican/american and I'm pissed. Where do I sign for a class action law suit.

- , Maywood, CA/USA, USA

problem #168

Nov 042009

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 94,000 miles

WOW! I am astonished at the amount of problems that these POS transmissions are having. It all started when my OD light started going on and off for no reason. Then there was a ticking noise. It does seem to be coming from the transmission. Now when I am driving the car just jumps out of gear and goes to neutral. I am screwed. I keep hearing horror stories about $3000 repair costs. I have heard of two other simple fixes, but that never seems to be the case for me-ever. The first is that witht this tranny being electronic it could be the voltage regulator which is part of the alternator. People have changed this and fixed the problem. The second is a wiring harness on the left side (not good info I know) they did not say driver or passenger side. This however makes contact with the exhaust manifold and melts wires together. I am going to look into these two fixes prior to spending the $3000.

Found On Road Dead, just ask the tow truck that charged me $90 to move it!!

- , Newport, NH, USA

problem #167

Aug 142009

Explorer XLT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 128,000 miles

ANOTHER sad explorer transmission problem driving down interstate 95 1300 miles from home overdrive light starts blinking within 1 hour tranny starts slipping we find ford dealer in orlando florida pull in on a friday at 4 pm and they tell us they cant look at it til monday when we go to leave the dealership the vehicle will not move at all thank god my mom lives in kissimee and is only 15 mins away. we fly home and i start to figure out the best way to fix this piece of crap .Over the next 2 months i get quite an education on this tranny from a variety of transmission shops salvage yards auto mechanics and several other people in the auto industry. to make a long story short Ford is aware of the problem and it was actully discovered early enough for them to change several parts in the unit mid year but they dont tell anyone this but they will sell u an upgrade for around 250 bucks that will fix this.

I WILL NEVER BUY A FORD AGAIN.if anyone knows how to start a class action law suit u have my support call me at 570 470 1514 my name is JIM

- , Hawley, PA, USA

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