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 15 of 20)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #106

Jun 062008

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

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

my explorer is broke but i love it help me o/d light is flashing wont go into high gear and it shifts funny form 2nd to 3rd and it also jerks funny at around 70mph

- , Broken Arrow, OK, Afghanistan

problem #105

Jan 302009

Explorer XLT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles

o/d light is blinking, check engine soon light also on, mechanic says codes read multiple things wrong. took it to a transmission shop,waiting to hear, but expecting the worst. it is totally wrong that a transmission breaks down after 55000 miles. Ford should be held accountable. that's why american auto makers are in such financial trouble. they can't build a reliable car that can at least go 100,000 miles without major repairs

- , Nesconset, NY, USA

problem #104

Jan 072009

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 109,300 miles

Seems we have joined a long and distinguished list of 02 transmission problems. Went looking around google to find any info on the symptoms and found this site. We have experienced the EXACT same issues all have outlined and have calls into independent repair shops to avoid going to the dealer...in these times, no cars selling...the only way they can make any money is in the Service Center.

I filed a complaint with NHTSA this afternoon with a link to this site so they can see the magnitude of the issue. Imagine the amount of people who have not gone through the process of finding a site for information and thus have not posted here! It is a travesty that Ford has not stood by their problems. This is the third Explorer we've had and the other two were outstanding. We toyed with purchasing a Jeep back in 2002 because of the price but were scared off by the repair and reliability issues...pretty funny today! Please complain to the NHTSA...the more people who bring the issue to light the better chance Ford might actually own up to their design issues and help their customers!

- , Richmond, VA, USA

problem #103

Dec 112008

Explorer Eddie Bauer V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

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

Without warning (of course!) the O/D Off lamp started flickering and the CHECK TRANSMISSION message displayed in the display. I TOOK IT TOO A FORD DEALER IN CENTERLINE , MI AND THEY SAID IT WAS NOT MY TRANSMISSION BUT MY PCM SO I GET A NEW ONE AND THEY HAD MY CAR FOR 3 WEEKS AND IT IS STILL DOING THE SAME THING. NOW THEY ARE SAYING IT IS A WIRING PROBLEM AND THEY CAN'T FIND THE BAD Wire.

- , Detroit, MI, USA

problem #102

Nov 012008

Explorer EB 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 126,000 miles

O/D off blinking just bought vehicle 3 mos. ago. everything else is great but now that ive seen the complaints here it makes me nervous. haven't taken it in yet but would like to know if something is going to be done by ford or how to find out about a law suit. i chose this over a 1999 toyota 4 runner and thought i made a good choice......... well sh*t guess i thought wrong.

- , Cedar Rapids, IA, USA

problem #101

Dec 122008

Explorer 4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,000 miles

This car is a piece of garbage. I've only owned it 6 years and now it's costing me over $3000 to repair, which is almost what the car is worth at this point. I was always one to stick up for American cars, having family who works for Ford, but I'm never buying American again. My next car will be a Honda or a Toyota.

Update from Jul 24, 2014: I posted a complaint back in 2008 after being forced to replace my 2002 Explorer's transmission at 82,000 miles. I managed to hang on to it for another 6 years. I've also had problems with the wheel bearing going bad and had to replace that. Now my O/D off light just started blinking at 132,000 miles. I've been told that this time it's likely a bad torque converter, which will cost around $750. But so far, the car still runs save an occasional jerking from 2nd to 3rd gear, so I think I'm going to skip the replacement, just change the trans fluids and drive it until I can't drive it any longer and get as much of my money back that I've put into it so far.

- , Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #100

Dec 182008

Explorer Limited 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 66,700 miles

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

Without warning (of course!) the O/D Off lamp started flickering and the CHECK TRANSMISSION message displayed in the display. I was able to drive home, but the next day the transmission was definitely slipping and having problems on the less than two mile drive to the dealer. The mechanic drove it around the auto center with the comment "Wow, this transmission is really messed up!" and it needs to be completely replaced with bands worn out and debris from the self-destructing transmission finishing the job. This was the first site found in a search of 2002 explorer transmission problems and what a doosy it is.

- , Tustin, CA, USA

problem #99

Dec 082008

Explorer XLT V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 145,000 miles

I replaced my Transmission in 2005 at that time I had 90,000 miles on the truck. Now here we go again after putting a brand new transmission in this truck, it needs another one. I am totally annoyed. Of course, the truck is out of warranty!!! I am totally disgusted!

- , Duluth, GA, USA

problem #98

Dec 012008

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 119,000 miles

Here is a little link to ford motor company. They would like to know how you feel about there vehicals. Let'em have it. I did.................https://secure.ford.com/footer/contact-ford/contact-us-email?contactMainTopic=VehicleServiceIssues

Update from Nov 6, 2010: Too many people with this issue. There should be a recall. So if you know of someone who has a Ford and has experienced problems please tell them to speak up and register their complaint by calling 800 392 3673. Be ready to provide VIN number and other identifying information. I was told they record every complaint thus creating the data base that could be the determining factor in a recall. If we never speak up then Ford wont know anything is wrong.

- , Birmingham, AL, USA

problem #97

Nov 262008

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 168,900 miles

Okay, I haven't taken it to get fixed yet, and quite frankly, I am scared to death now - $2400.00 is the typical repair cost??!!! HOLY COW!

So I am taking it to the transmission shop tomorrow morning, I guess.... I am going to hope and pray that it will not cost an arm and a leg but we shall see.... I will update this later when I find out the repair cost!!!

- , Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #96

Dec 072008

Explorer Eddie Bauer V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 108,999 miles

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

Just came on today so I am reading about all these complaints on the same problem.

We already got a new rebuilt tranny at 85k, dealer warranted this one until 100K. Course that's passed now.

Also plastic body under the rear window cracked [split] recently for the 2nd time, Dealer claims we hit it or slam the window closed too hard. BS, why do they use plastic body panel there.

- , Leesburg, VA, USA

problem #95

Mar 082007

Explorer XLS 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,500 miles

I have been a Ford person for some 25 years (other than a Corvette and Camaro for a hobby car). So I am not givving up on Ford because of this one FIASCO. My transmission has been blinking the OD light for almost 2 years now. I always have to let off the gas or it will not shift from 1st to 2nd. Ford wants 4500 to rebuild the transmission(That is crazy). I did get a friend to replace the PCB solenoid body that the PO775 code said was bad. But that was a waste of 700.00. After much research I have what I believe to be the problem. It is the Front OD Servo. I just need to find the information to get this done or find a reputable transmission dealer who will not rape me. I love ford I just hate the dealers!!!!

- , Bowie, MD, USA

problem #94

Oct 012008

Explorer XLT V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

I own a 2002 Ford Explorer with a V8 auto transmission. This transmission has been having issues since I reached 60,000 miles. It would take over 5 seconds to engage into gear which could cause an accident if on a stopped and switching gears. Then one day I am driving and the overdrive light begins to flash. I went home and since it was a Saturday night , I decided to do a GOOGLE search on 2002 overdrive light flashing. Oh boy did I wish I knew that ALL 2002 ford explorers are having this issue before I bought it. Ford has put a sealed transmission in this vehicle which is flat out DANGEROUS!! How can they put a transmission into a vehicle that your not even able to check your fluid level. Your transmission could be low causing the transmission to go out, and the owner would never know. Not only are there massive amounts of Explorers with this issue, but with the same exact issue. Between 20 to 30 MPH (going from 2nd to 3rd) the transmission will slip allowing the vehicle RPM's to soar to 5000 + and then SLAMS into gear. If you do a internet search there are THOUSANDS of people with this SAME EXACT issue. Some vehicles report as low as 20,000 miles when the transmission fails. Ford should be held responsible for putting transmissions that are obviously FAULTY. Read the thousands of complaints out there from the hard working consumer, and I think you will agree. Ford does not want to admit that there transmissions in the 2002 explorer because of the cost to repair all of the vehicles straight up!! Remember the Ford Explorer is the #1 selling SUV in America for years! And with selling that many vehicles, If you where Ford and you ever had a major engine or transmission issue of course you would DENY it, That would be a good chunk of change out of there pocket. SHAME ON YOU FORD!! This is not the way your company built its customer base. If Henry Ford was alive he would be bitch slapping you idiots for putting that POS tranny into a vehicle let alone an SUV you dumb SOB's

- , Portland, OR, USA

problem #93

Nov 032008

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,000 miles

had car for 6 mos, no 3 or 5 gear suddenly , od blinking, next rebuilt tranny ,2000.00 of my money! i hope ford goes down the drain for not fixing this problem!!!!!!!

- , North Versailles, PA, USA

problem #92

Nov 282006

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles

This seems to be an ongoing problem with the Explorer. Has anyone gotten any help from Ford to get this fixed?

- , Red Bluff, CA, USA

problem #91

Nov 132008

Explorer XLS 4.0L/V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 144,000 miles

Similar to previously reports. Blinking O/D light for 5 miles but then stopped blinking. No way to check transmission fluid level as confirmed by area autoparts and non-Ford service centers. No noticeable problems shifting but suddenly vehicle would not exceed 20 mph and transmission disengaged to a neutral-like mode. Would not engage in reverse or drive, and began to hear whining noise followed by "service engine" light. Stranded on busy interstate. A bit annoyed in that transmission serviced at 50, 75, and 125K miles. With the number of reported complaints with this year and model (and all previous year models), this should really be a recall item. Last Ford I will purchase, rent or drive. I think these complaints should be sent to congress as a further sign that Ford especially needs to get its act together (no bailout!!!). I really hate that I have more confidence in foreign vehicles...I wish I could have more faith in American vehicles.

- , Antioch, TN, USA

problem #90

Nov 142008

Explorer XLT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

poor job on fords trans. I have had the same trouble in a Taurus auto front wheel drive that caused a speed sensor failure then a used transmission. -all high dollar pains in the wallet.

- , Lorain, OH, USA

problem #89

Nov 062008

Explorer XLT 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 64,500 miles

I am currently living in the same world that all of you live in. The economy is not really booming right now. We have prices everywhere going up, monopoly's happening in pretty much every spectrum of the economy....(Where do we live....In the United States Of America..?) We are all buying vehicles from company's that we think are making a vehicle worthy of owning, but in reality we are purchasing something that will keep their companies making cars.

I purchased a used vehicle with 54000 miles on it, thinking i was buying something that would last for 5 years plus. I thought I would keep it after it is paid off to use as a back up vehicle. Well I guess that is out of the question seeing that my transmission is already going at 64000 miles....Yes I said 64000 miles. Wow...That is unbelievable. Well I know that i will be paying for this vehicle for the next five years.....and I also know that I will never in my life buy another Ford Vehicle...nor will anyone in my family....I can not believe that I am in a ford with 64000 miles and it is already headed towards the junk yard......Go Ford......Go straight to H#%@.

- , Greensburg, PA, USA

problem #88

Oct 292008

Explorer XLS 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,000 miles

After reading all of the other 2002 Ford Explorer transmission nightmares, I actually now feel much better that my wife's piece of crap didn't tear up until 105,000 miles. Until now, it's just been typical cheap American craftsmanship problems: blinker bulbs going out, brake lights going out, door window falling out of track and showering, tailgate body panel separating from car.

I currently have a 2007 Toyota Tundra, after having a 1997 Dodge Ram that required 3 transmission rebuilds within 127,000 miles. This is now 4 transmissions in American vehicles. Why are American manufacturers surprised that they are losing all of their market share to Japanese and European manufacturers. I can promise you that, as long as I live, I will never purchase another piece of crap American vehicle.

- , Irmo, SC, USA

problem #87

Oct 012008

Explorer 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 108,944 miles

O/D LIGHT FLASHING BROUGHT TO INDEPENDENT TRANSMISSION REPAIR SHOP THEY SAID COMPLETE TRANSMISSION FAILURE, NEED REBUILD AFTER THE REBUILD, I NOW HAVE TRANSMISSION SHUDDER/CHATTER. REPLACED TORQUE CONVERTER REPLACED PCM REPROGRAMMED PCM REPLACED SOLENOID PACK STILL HAVE CHATTER/SHUDDER

- , Woostock, CT, USA

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