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 12 of 20)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #166

Oct 152009

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,000 miles

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

The o/d light started flashing on and off and the transmission slows. Took it and put it on computer and it said the pressure sensor valve in the transmission was bad. Fixed that, cost around $400. and didn't help at all. Now the transmission is slow to change and doesn't go into overdrive at all. I guess it needs new transmission or rebuilt. I think it needs to be recalled. Too many with the same problem.

- , Danville, KY, USA

problem #165

Oct 172009

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 63,349 miles

Count me in on this problem too. We purchased our Explorer used just 3 years ago and my wife drives it only about 5,000 miles per year, if that. The other day she was out running some errands and called me to tell me the O/D light was blinking and that the manual says to take it in for service immediately. We took it to our local Ford Dealer who we had to follow up with because they never called us to give us an update. The Service Consultant told me that the transmission is basically "fried" and that they can open it up to look at it and maybe do a "soft rebuild" at a cost of about $2,800. Or we can put in a rebuilt transmission that comes with a warranty for about $3,900. This is ridiculous! No wonder American car manufacturers are in serious financial trouble. I'm joining the masses and never buying a Ford again. As for my current problem, I'm going to take it to at least one transmission repair specialist for a second opinion...I have a feeling the dealership is going to be the highest quote that I find.

- , Manor, TX, USA

problem #164

Oct 192009

Explorer XLT 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles

My truck is falling apart. I've already fixed the EGR Valve, the rear wheel bearings and hub, plus a few other minor things and now need to do the tranny. This has all been done in the past 9 months. I'm not happy at all. It is comforting however to know that I am not the only one with a piece of Sh**. Unfortunately this is the worst fix yet and not sure what I'm gonna do.

- , Bruno, MN, USA

problem #163

Sep 192009

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 96,000 miles

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

I am in the middle of trying to buy a house. From what I am reading this is not good. I don't have the extra money for fords problem. Let me know what u think. My trans feels like its slipping or the something in the drivetrain and my o/d will flash non stop until I shut the truck off. But the slipping will happen without the light on.

- , Coon Rapids, MN, USA

problem #162

Oct 172009

Explorer Eddie Bauer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 97,000 miles

When I found my Explorer I loved it. It had 55,000 miles. The computer had some glitches from the start(constantly thinks a door is ajar, even though they are all closed) but I loved the car so much I overlooked it. The car rolls pretty far after shifting into park, so I have to make sure I don't park too close to anything, especially on an incline. There is a very very loud whine coming from the rear drive train that started about 10 to 15000 miles ago, but wasn't sure if it had always been there and I just hadn't noticed it, or even if there was a way to fix it so I have been trying to ignore it. My brakes are new, and still make a great deal of noise, and yesterday at 97000 miles we were driving about 50mph and the car beeped and the check transmission light came on, and the overdrive light is blinking, and the shifting between gears is extremely rough. Our mechanic said Ford is known for crappy transmissions and that the computer said it is a solenoid problem, but if you replace the solenoids usually in a few months you have the same problem again, because it is really the computer causing the problem. I am extremely frustrated because vehicles are expensive and the manufacturer should give you what you pay for. Nobody has that kind of money to just throw away. I will never buy another Ford again.

- , Austin, TX, USA

problem #161

Oct 162009

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 43,974 miles

I was stopped at a traffic light and heard a strange grinding noise. Then it just stopped. So I continued to drive to my destination. Got off and did I what I needed. Came back and started the truck no noise or problem. Was driving along and all of the sudden my O/D OFF light began blinking. I opened my manual and it says BRING IN FOR SERVICE IMMEDIATELY. This is the third time that I have had a problem with my transmission, and the dealer doesn't want to do much about it. Of course I vehicle is now past the warranty period, so anything that will need to be repaired will be up to me. I love how they made sure that the third complaint fell after warranty and they think that they will not have any responsibility for repairs.

- , Colorado Springs, CO, USA

problem #160

Jul 062003

Explorer Limited 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles

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

OK THE CAR WAS ABOUT 7 MONTHS OLD AND I HAD TO GET TRANS FIXED THEN I HAD IT FIXED 5 TIMES AFTER THAT ..... NOW I HAVE 150000 ON CAR AND IT HAPPENED AGAIN AND THERE IS NO WARRANTY. NOW WHAT ... BULLL SH*T I SAY

- , Chicago, IL, USA

problem #159

Oct 072009

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

Make me complaint #269 on Ford Explorer 4.0L V6 auto transmission problems...at 60,000 miles! Same problems as so many before me...driving along, bells ring, message panel says "Check Transmission," O/D lite is flashing. Stop, shut down restart and all seems ok. Starts ok through first and second gear but won't go into third...at 40 mph still in third. Let up on accelerator and then start back up and hard kicks into third gear and bells ring, message panel lights up and O/D flashing. Take in for a diagnostics, three fault lites: O/D sets, third gear bands, solenoid...$3200 to fix!. This car has been babied and is in great shape...it's now worthless...should have taken the cash for clunkers! Pouring salt in the wound is I had a 1993 EB and it's trans failed at 108K miles. I should have learned. Ford...I'm done with you!!

- , Springboro, OH, USA

problem #158

Oct 012008

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 158,450 miles

FORD NEEDS TO RECALL THESE TRANSMISSIONS!! They're currently trying to save their company in this crappy economy... well GOOD LUCK!! The transmissions are CRAP and their customer service surrounding the issues sucks!

We bought our 2002 Ford Explorer Ed, used about 3 years ago (in 2006). After only a few months of driving the OD light began flashing, gears wouldn't shift properly etc! We've plowed $3200 into rebuilding part of the transmission and another $1000 into replacing the solenoid. The partial tranny rebuild fixed the problem for 8 months, and the solenoid has done NOTHING!!

The car still has a tough time shifting into second gear, the OD light continually flashes, and the check engine light won't go away!

I CANNOT BELIEVE Ford is still in business! The caliber of these cars & their parts are SUBPAR! I think Ford should replace all of the transmissions in the 2002 Ford Explorers with a newly designed transmission - one that won't crap out after 50K!!

I think we need to call in the media and get them to chase Ford into fixing our cars!! Call your local TV station about this issue. We need to be heard!!

My family has always been a big fan of GMC - I went against the grain and bought a Ford. THAT is a MISTAKE I will never make again! Not only is Ford unwilling to help with the transmission issues, its like pulling teeth to try to give this car away let alone sell it!!

DON'T BUY A FORD!!!

- , Binbrook, Ontario, Canada

problem #157

Sep 012009

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 76,000 miles

VERY SORRY THIS HAPPENED TO YOU.......ALL FORD HAS TO SAY ABOUT THE FAULTY TRANSMISSION ON MY 02 EXPLORER EDDIE BAUER WITH 76K MILES . WE DID PREFERRED AMERICAN INSTEAD OF IMPORTED CAR FOR THE FIRST TIME AND WE ARE PAYING A BIG PRICE SINCE FORD AND THE FORD DEALER WHERE WE BOUGHT IT ARE OF NO HELP AT ALL.

I AM LIKE EVERYONE ELSE, VERY ANGRY AS TO WHY A RECALL IS NOT IN PLACE ALREADY, SO MANY OF YOU OUT THERE WITH THE SAME PROBLEMS., O/D OFF, JUMPING GEARS, NOISES, SEALED TRANSMISSION. VERY SAD DAY.

WHERE DO I SIGN FOR CLASS ACTION SUIT.................

- , Reseda, CA, USA

problem #156

Sep 212009

Explorer Eddie V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 135,000 miles

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

I need to join in on my experience driving home today from work with out warning o/d light started blinking and then the check engine service light came on . At my next stop then the transmission started having problem with shift from 2nd to 3rd gear.Bought the SUV in 2006 with 39k with two payment left to own the title . And now this ,I am planning to take the truck to the dealer in the morning , but sampling the others with similar problem I need to take out a loan, Has any one had a better way to correct the problem .

- , Charleston, SC, USA

problem #155

Sep 012009

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 67,000 miles

Just another ford explorer owner with the same problem that every one has been screaming about. 1. OD light flashing with no warning at all 2. the transmission never slipped until after the light started flashing. 3. the dealer said that the trans needed to be serviced every 30k miles. we had it serviced at 25k for a sensor problem covered under warranty and we are just over the service by a few miles.I currently drive for work a chevy express van with over 167k miles on it with no service on the trans.(my boss doesn't believe in it.) I would not be upset if I got at least 100k out of a trans.

- , Alexandria, VA, USA

problem #154

Aug 052009

Explorer 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 160,000 miles

this should be a recall because for what i've heard this happens a lot an thats a mayor problem that is going to cost me $2000 and that realy sucks think twice before u buy a ford

- , Waukegan, IL, USA

problem #153

Aug 012009

Explorer XLT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,505 miles

My 2002 Ford Explorer XLT has had a number of problems that I have never seen in any other car I've owned. Transmission is slipping, O/D light is flickering. Power window cable broke loose on rear right window. Rear window hatch door has split/shrank and cracked under the glass. Split right in the middle. Ford refused to replace and I have noticed that a number of explorers with the same back door setup have split in the same location. This is not death from over use. This is death from low quality standards. No more Fords for me.

- , Hamden, CT, USA

problem #152

Aug 142009

Explorer 4.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,200 miles

I was trying to look for the quick fix I am sure that this is an electrical problem as this happened the day after the lights were left on all day. I had the od light blink but every now and then the trans will slip or not go into gear. I also notice when I hit a bump the light goes off/

I will be real pissed if I need to put in a trans and it is only a quick fix. I also can not believe how many people are having the same problem. If any one has a quick fix please post it.

- , Moonachie, NJ, USA

problem #151

Aug 132009

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 102,090 miles

This is the SECOND time we've gone through this. O/D light blinks, and leads to torque converter. First time cost us $2100 at Ford. Eight months later--the SAME THING happens again! If we didn't still owe money on this POS I'd take it to be scrapped. Seriously, if there's anyone considering a class action, count me in.

- , Harrisonville, MO, USA

problem #150

Jun 152009

Explorer XLT V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

Just like everyone else: O/D light blinking, Service Engine Soon ON w/ diagnostic code for solenoid problem. Transmission shifting from 2nd to 3rd was problematic.

Independent mechanic stated that because of the nature of the problem, car needs to be taken in to a transmission shop. I didn't even bother...unbelievable that after only 90,000 mi., 7 years, the transmission failed.

Only saving grace is that it was still drivable and that I got $4,500 under the CASH FOR CLUNKERS program. Never will buy another American car (GM, Ford, or Chrysler).

- , Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #149

Jul 102009

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

Email sent to Ford

O/D Light flashing and slams into gear. This is the second time I've had this problem. My cost to fix $1'500.00. Now I'm looking at another $1'500.00 to $2'500.00 to get this fixed. I've not contacted the dealership because I know what the problem is. The first time, I took this POS to the dealership, and it cost me close to $200.00 for them to tell me that my transmission was shot. I can not afford to keep dropping 1-3k a year into this car. I and others with this same problem want to know why you've not recalled the transmission on your 02 Explorer's? or do we all need to get together and seek legal advice? The first time it went out it was only 79k miles. Also, stop sending me those stupid things in the mail trying to get me to buy another Ford. After this, I'm not sure I want another one. All of my cars have been Fords until this. And think I've had just about enough.

- , Summers, AR, USA

problem #148

Aug 012009

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 132,000 miles

Guess I am in the same boat as everyone else with this POS. OD ligth started blinking, had a difficult time shifting from 2nd into 3rd gear and then the engine light came on. Error code was P0745. My mechanic is telling me that it is something internal and I will need to take it to a tranny shop. I have a feeling that this isn't going to end well !!! Please let me know if any of you have found solutions other than a tranny rebuild.

Thanks! ...... Definitely the last Ford that I will own!

- , Grottoes, VA, USA

problem #147

Jan 012009

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 96,000 miles

Purchased this fully loaded 2002 Eddie Bauer Ford Explorer 4x4 (81,000 miles) for my wife last year. I lost my job last year, and we had like so many, slipped in the steaming pile of financial dog crap. My wifes car ended up getting re- possessed, so i found this nice clean Explorer. It was not her $35000 new Nissan Pathfinder, but it did all of the same things. I paid $6,000 for the explorer, and put in another$500 in brakes and fluids. She was very happy with the truck. We were on our way to financial health when the transmission started shifting funny 2-3rd gear. Now I have purchased dozens of used cars and trucks, most of them Ford. I was not worried. Did a trans fluid change, and drove it for a while. Problem came back and was making some torque converter noise. Took it to the Ford dealer, and they said $1,700 for converter replacement. It was hard to do, but I had it done. Worked great for 6 months, and OD off light started blinking. Then the thing stuck in 3rd gear. Limped into the Ford dealer this morning, and the service advisor said "we will only warranty the problem we repaired. "This is clearly something else." I am a diehard Ford man. I rebuild Mustangs, own a ford diesel truck, and have loved every Ford product I have owned. I must say that this Explorer owner experience smelled bad from the beginning. Cant put my finger on it. Just never had any confidence in the vehicle. And there is more little quirky things it does. Lots of little electrical gremlins like chimes going off while driving and door locking at odd times, some sort of whistle coming from under the dash. The front driveline makes a horrible vibration at 70 MPH. The list goes on.....Well I am rambling, but I bet this thing is going to cost me another $2000 I dont have before I can get rid of it. I am on the edge of my seat waiting for the service advisor to call me and "advise" me on how far to BEND OVER. Seems like Ford is really dropping the ball on this one. Dont think I will for forget the pain i feel from this kick in the nuts they are giving me and so many other Explorer owners with the same silly problems. Do the right thing RECALL THE TRANSMISSION!!!!!!!

- , Scottsdale, AZ, USA

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