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 17 of 20)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #66

Jun 292008

Explorer Eddie Bauer V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 122,000 miles

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

After replacing wheel bearings, leaking gasket, electrical bundle that cause low oil pressure warning light to sound, air conditioning, the OD light started blinking. This was accompanied by check transmission message. The local Ford dealer informed me that rear power train would go next.

The flashing OD light occurred just after traveling on the NY Thruway, Route 287, the Palisades Parkway, the GW Bridge, the NJ Turnpike, Route 78. We decided to take back roads as we got closer to home near Philadelphia, and the transmission started acting up.

I drove real slow, took my foot off gas while rolling down hills, and made it home without breaking down on the road. Now the car sits in the driveway and I do not want to pay for new transmission and rear power train.

I feel the car is dangerous to drive and am not sure what I am going to do....except I know I cannot drive it anymore.

Irene Kay

Philadelphia, PA

- , Lansdale, PA, USA

problem #65

Apr 012008

Explorer XLT 4.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 10,000 miles

my problems started with the engine put a new rebuilt engine in it that was last year that cost me about 3,000 and the this year we were driving then the o/d light started blinking found out it was transmission that end up costing 3,300 so in a little over a year ive put 6,300 dollars into this truck on the outside this is a great truck and i would know a lot about that since it does a lot of sitting FORD SUCKSSSSSSSSSSSS

- , Indianapoils, IN, USA

problem #64

Jun 132008

Explorer XLT V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles

Bought my 2002 last November from Riverside Ford in Sumner, WA. Just over two months and 3,000 miles later, the top half of the engine needed rebuilding. A piston blew. Dealer offered no help as I didn't buy a service contract or warranty ... just completely paid off the vehicle in cash. Now this... OD flashing, service engine light on, at 85K. I call the dealer and the service rep plays dumb like they've never heard of such a thing.... wants to do the whole diagnostic for starters and then proceed as needed- maybe a new tranny needed. Then I do a search and not only find this site but also the following: (http://www.explorerforum.com/Singleton/web/pages/at3.html)

I own one of the first Ford Explorer XLT's off the assembly line so many of the recall related problems I experienced first hand with no factory support. Through it all I still love the explorer no matter how quirky it gets. At about 80,000 miles my Explorer started slipping in and out of overdrive. The expense of a new transmission install was unappealing, so I put it off as long as possible. Turned out it was just long enough for the alternator to wear out, and upon replacing the alternator the voltage regulator was replaced. The Explorer uses an alternator with a built in voltage regulator, so replace one you replace both. Now I suppose you wonder why all the discussion about alternators & regulators when the transmission was the real subject. The overdrive for the explorer is electronic - any drop in voltage through the electronics cause the system to change gears. This is not the cure all for all slipping overdrives, but I know of four other Ford Explorer owners who gave up their cars because Ford service rebuilt, replaced, and re-replaced their transmissions without finding the cause but charging them the whole way. Test your Voltage regulator first. This sometimes can be difficult to trace because of variables of operating temperature and intermittent failures may hide the problem, but its a lot cheaper than any tranny work.

I will never buy Ford ever again!!! They can't even treat customers with the least bit of integrity - they deserve to go under.

- , Federal Way, WA, USA

problem #63

Jun 132008

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

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

Tranny went out just like everybody else's. Just hit 80k miles on my 2002 Ford Explorer EB. O/D light is flashing like crazy. Idiot panel says CHECK TRANSMISSION. At start up, the engine revs up to about 3k and the trans makes a grinding/ shredding sound. Based on the cost to repair it and what I've read about these transmissions, I'll probably go to pic n' pull to get another one and hope that Ford recalls them before the new one goes out. The transmission type is: 5R55W

- , San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #62

May 312008

Explorer XLS 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles

SAME STORY AS THE REST OF THEM. I DIDN'T KNOW THERE WAS A PROBLEM UNTIL THE O/D LIGHT STARTED FLASHING AND THE SERVICE ENGINE LIGHT WAS QUICK TO FOLLOW. THE FORD DEALERSHIP SAID O/D SERVO WAS BAD, TO RISKY TO REBUILD. SHOULD REPLACE TO THE TUNE OF $3500.00. PAID FOR THE DIAGNOSTIC AND DROVE IT TO AN INDEPENDENT SHOP. THEY TOLD US THAT 2ND AND 4TH WAS GONE AND THE CODE (775) WAS A BAD SOLENOID (B). WE HAD THEM REBUILD IT TOTALLY ($2000) W/ 12/12 WARRANTY.

I CONTACTED THE NYS ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE AND THEY ARE FORWARDING THE COMPLAINT TO THE NTSB. IF I DON'T HEAR FROM THEM SOON I AM SUPPOSED TO CALL THE AGO BACK. IF THAT WASN'T BAD ENOUGH, THE ENTIRE REAR-END(HUBS, BRAKES, BEARINGS AND ALL) JUST WENT OUT ON IT. 3 DAYS AFTER THE THING CAME HOME FROM THE TRANNY SHOP. ANTHER $1100.00.

I DO LOVE HOW IT RUNS AND DRIVES, WHEN IT RUNS AND DRIVES.

- , Perry, NY, USA

problem #61

Jun 072008

Explorer XLS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

we purchased this ford explorer new from the dealer with extended warranty for 5 y or 100,000 miles what ever comes first we had some problems with the car but nothing major until th O/D light started blinking showed it to the dealer said we are not covered until the warranty anymore (2 months after the 5 year limit )and that is something to do with the transmission he will be changing something but not the transmission itself it i will cost about 1000$ with no warranty that will fix the problem . if doesn't work will need 3500 $ transmission job . very disappointed with ford and will never buy ford again.

no good service and not answering a lot of complaining people about 2002 explora transmission problem

- , Short Hills, NJ, USA

problem #60

Jun 132008

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 104,000 miles

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

Transmission slipped while shifting from 2nd to 3rd. At next light, would not shift from 2nd to 3rd until I took my foot off the gas. vehicle felt like it left the ground as it attempted to shift from 2nd to 3rd. Noticed OD/Off light flashing. Check Engine Light came on. I have been Quoted New Trany for 3814.18 for a broken band, Rear brakes, rear end noise, EGR system code a 5000.00 repair and the SUV is only worth 7 grand

- , Allen, TX, USA

problem #59

Jun 042008

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,000 miles

First let me say, I can't believe there has been this many problems with the Explorer Transmissions!!! I thought I just had bad luck until finding this site! First I will say that this Ford is the FIRST American made car I have ever owned, I have had a Mazda, A Mitsu, and a Honda.....NEVER had any trouble with ANY of them, other than regular maintenance such as brakes, etc......I don't mean to trash our American cars, but this is bullshit! My problem is like everyone else....Shifting funny, OD Off started flashing, service engine light came on, all in the matter of days.....out of the blue......My Explorer is in the shop now with an estimated cost of $1300...Great! Piece of sh*t FORD! Never again will I buy a Ford, or any other American made car for that matter!

- , Falconer, NY, USA

problem #58

May 262008

Explorer XLT V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,387 miles

Just like everyone else--out of the blue the O/D light starts blinking. SUV was sluggish and would hardly go up an incline. Took it immediately to my mechanic and he said he thought it was the transmission. I'd had no warning what so ever and just couldn't believe it could be the transmission with only 78,000 miles. This car belongs to my wife and she has it serviced every 3,000 miles. I then took it to the Ford dealership and they charged $450 just to take a look and see if in fact that was what the problem was.....sure enough broken bands, solenoid and 3rd gear completely gone! Total repair cost 2,077.00. I found this site and was shocked when so many others have had the same problem. I called the 1-800 number to Ford and same ole story....put me on hold for 3 minutes and came back and said sorry there isn't anything we can do to help.

I've worked Union all my life and have ALWAYS drove an American made vehicle. Why is it that Toyota is building plants all over the US and using American workers in those plants and making billions of dollars---while Ford is leaving America and American workers and going out of the country and losing billions of $$$$. Doesn't someone from the upper management of Ford realize something is wrong with their management and not the workers that they are selling out??????????? Ford knows of this problem---they've even issued TSB's and still they will not do a recall. Bye Bye Ford---I will trade this car in and buy a Chevy or GMC.

- , Columbia, SC, USA

problem #57

May 142008

Explorer EB 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles

Got the O/D blinking issue. Complete Rebuild is necessary. Googled to see if others had same problem after originally setting up to drop off the car at the dealership for a diagnostics. Got this site and anticipated the worst.

f@#% you Ford and you POS company. Will never buy FORD again. I grew up in Michigan and am disgusted with how bad American companies are at making cars. You suck so bad you couldn't even sell your POS company so they could sell off your assets.

Just listened the AAMCO rep (because I absolutely refuse to pay another red cent to you bastards) rattle off the list of sh*t that is wrong for 10 minutes. I'm sick, had to vent, going to take a big sh*t in a bag and drop it off at the dealership on my way home.

Complete transmission failure at 85K miles is unacceptable.

Thanks autobeef. I really needed to vent.

- , San Jose, CA, USA

problem #56

May 022008

Explorer XLS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,000 miles

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

We have always purchased Ford. We have never purchased anything else. We purchased this vehicle used in April 2005. For the first year or so we had no problem and the Explorer had been maintained with oil changes and the transmission by the records that came with the vehicle. Then it started shifting hard periodically then about a year ago it became more frequent and then it once in a while the Overdrive would come on during Highway driving and the only way to get it to go off was to stop and shut off the car. Next it decided to lock up when trying to put the car in gear from Park. We had to use the manual to figure out how to bypass this until we could get it in. This only happened once so we thought it was a one time thing. Then about a month ago when driving it didn't want to shift from 1st to 2nd and or from 4th to overdrive and then the O/D light began flashing. Also the gear shift being locked up happened constantly. We took it in for the transmission to be serviced and we were told the trans. was going out. We don't have the money to replace it right now. I am very upset that is going out after being maintained. I think Ford needs to step up and do something about this. This was the vehicle I always wanted and now it is a piece of junk.

- , Cottonwood, AZ, USA

problem #55

May 032008

Explorer V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 83,000 miles

2002 Ford Explorer 60k miles . Hard shifting ( clunk ) between shifts at different times was first problem. Our warranty had expired, but a Dealership Marysville Ford applied for a " Good Will" ( I think it was called ) through the Manufacturer FORD and Ford Factory paid for a huge chunk of the parts and labor. The Transmission had to be completely over-hauled. It was around the same price as all the rest on here approx 2500-3000 dollars. My out of pocket expenses were only $537.00. This made me happy.

Now I have a flashing O/D light with a trouble code of P0775 ( just 10k miles since total rebuild ) which states a Pressure B solenoid problem. This New Rebuild is still under warranty and I will take it in Monday morning to find out the extent of the problems.

I hope the Ford Factory helps you out on your total bill. Ford knows they have a huge problem with their transmissions during this years. They are helping out a little bit. : )

- , Marysville, WA, USA

problem #54

Apr 242008

Explorer LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

Ok! Ever since we bought our Ford Explorer BRAND new we have had the following problems. Within the first couple of months it would intermittently not start. We kept taking it in and they couldn't find anything. A year later we found out it was a bad battery. We have since replaced the battery ONCE EVERY YEAR. Then there were minor things, the wind shield wiper fluid does not come out of the back. In 2003 the drivers window motor burned out with the window stuck down in DECEMBER. We fixed that, now the back passenger motor is gone. There is a crack on the tail gate that seems like EVERYONE has as I have yet to see an Explorer that does not have that.

We have always preformed routine check ups, brakes, etc. The plastic piece on the driver seat broke off and the fabric has torn. I have NEVER experienced problems like this. This was our FIRST brand new car and cost us a FORTUNE for a new family starting out at 24 years old. NOW our OD light has started to blink. We have always had trouble shifting into reverse from time to time. So I looked up what the problem could possible be and found out it's the transmission. I have put so much time and money into fixing this car already. Not to mention the cost of gas to drive the car.

I have owned several used cars and my wife drives a 1996 Chevy Cavalier and we have NEVER had any of these problems. I want something to be done about this as Ford should be held accountable. What can I do? I will NEVER buy another Ford again.

- , St. Louis, MO, USA

problem #53

Apr 182008

Explorer XLT V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 126,663 miles

WELL WHERE CAN I START? I WAS RAISED IN A CHEVY OR A MOPAR FAMILY AND IT WOULD BE A SIN TO OWN A FORD, BUT BEING THE REBEL I AM I NOW OWN TWO "SHOULD'VE LISTENED TO MY POPS" I HAVE A 2002 FORD EXPLORER THAT I HAVE POURED MY HEART AND SOUL INTO WITH FULL CUSTOMIZING FROM LOWERING KIT ,24" WHEELS, 8 TV'S,ECT I HAVE OWNED IT FOR 1 YEAR NOW AND HAVE REPLACED ALL 4 WINDOW REGULATORS , 2 WHEEL HUB ASSEMBLY'S,2 EGR SENSORS, A BROKEN GEAR SHIFT LINKAGE, AND NOW MY O/D LIGHT IS BLINKING AND TRANNY IS NOT SHIFTING PROPERLY. IRONICALLY MY DADS CHEVY HAS 200,000 MILES AND IS STILL RUNNING FINE...LOL I KNOW THE WILL NOT BE A RECALL ON THIS PARTICULAR ITEM SO I WILL NOT HOLD MY BREATH, BUT I TELL YOU ONE THING BEFORE I PLUNK 20,000 DOLLARS INTO CUSTOMIZING ANOTHER VEHICLE I WILL MAKE SURE IT ISNT A FORD I WONT PUT ANOTHER 4 DOLLARS INTO THIS VEHICLE. I PRAY EVERYDAY THAT SOMEONE WILL STEAL THE DAMN THING ALL THOUGH THEY WONT GET FAR LOL

- , Inglewood, CA, USA

problem #52

Apr 172008

Explorer XLT 3.2V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles

First I noticed the trans slipping between 1st and 2nd or 2nd and 3rd. I'm not real sure. It acts like a manual trans does if you miss a gear. The rpms go way up but you don't grab a gear. then, if you let up on the accelerator it goes into gear and everything seems fine. As long as you maintain a speed of about 25mph or more it's OK. Only if you have to stop at a light or slow way down and start over does the trans slip between those 2 gears. Also very shortly after I experienced the problem (within 12 hours) I noticed the 'Service Engine' light on and the 'O/D' light blinking real fast.

Any ideas on what's wrong and possible cost?

- , St. Clair Shores, MI, USA

problem #51

Apr 122008

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 67,500 miles

I bought my 2002 Ford Explorer XLT brand new and have had no problems until now. It seems I'm not the only one with transmission problems. The O/D light is blinking and gears are hesitating. I brought this to my mechanic and he hooked it up to his computer. From what codes came up, he basically said that I had to go a transmission shop. When I heard this I almost threw up. I have 67,500 miles on my truck and have taken very good care of it. Everyone with this problem needs to put in a complaint with Ford Motor company so that they get the point that the 2002 Explorer has major transmission problems.

- , Newington, CT, USA

problem #50

Apr 142008

Explorer XLT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 94,350 miles

I purchased a 2002 Ford Explorer XLT 2.5 yrs ago and never had a problem until a local Ford dealership serviced the transmission. I had the tranny serviced in late November 07. The day after I got it back I noticed the power steering was not working properly and returned it to the dealership. They found air in the lines and was nice enough to flush it for free. A month later the rear heating & air went out, not a cheap fix so I have waited. Now the OD light is flashing only to discover that it could be a variety of things going wrong in the tranny. I think Ford has jinxed my vehicle since they touched it last and now I am stuck with basically a piece of junk. We would all be better off letting local garages work on our vehicles versus Ford, BEWARE!

- , Blacksburg, SC, USA

problem #49

Apr 162007

Explorer XLT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,000 miles

1 yr ago I was told that my tranny needed rebuilding. O/D Off light was flashing, truck would not go, made god awful grinding noise. After paying $432 to Firestone, they said they don't do transmissions and had it towed to Aamco. $3500 more later, I was told I was good to go. Now here we are, 1 year to the day and same problem. Except that AAmoc says I am about 1600 miles over the warranty. Imagine that! Well now they are saying that while they can fix it they can't guarantee that it won't happen again, because last time they put an "external cooling system" on the tranny but it's running hot. Wouldn't I have noticed a burnt smell or something? Car just one day, would not go..and Ford! HA!!!!!!!!!!!! Customer Service is not a part of the company Mission! Cuz this is one customer who got NO service from them. I will never buy another Ford product again and I have been a loyal customer all my adult life!

- , Garland, TX, USA

problem #48

Jan 152006

Explorer XLT 4.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 111,847 miles

hey everyone who's having the sam problem as me ford truck are good but there tranny sucks i had two rebuild my tranny twice myself in my garage and have a friend at ford who told ford basically doesn't give ashit about the problems we all are having with our tranny that f*cking o.d light keeps flashing my face at first i thought i blew my od and had to run on 4 gears instead of 5 so i opened my tranny and saw od was good change solenoids tranny ran ok then od light was flashing again opened tranny again change everything in it thought i corrected the problem no 6 months later problem came back don't know what to do anymore help us someone talk to ford and have them recall all of our tranny please

- , Montreal, Quebec, Canada

problem #47

Mar 052008

Explorer XLT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 91,000 miles

O/D light blinking on and off as well as service engine light. Car is gutless. Took it to a local shop and for 400.00 they put in a new "switch." That seemed to fix it for a couple weeks, but now it is back to the same old same old. So now what - take it to the dealership and have them take advantage of a girl? Or back to the local shop who might not know how to fix it? Am I just putting a band-aid on a bullet wound going to a local shop.

I had no idea this was such a huge problem with everyone...you would think Ford would have some integrity and do an automatic recall instead of giving people the line of, "well it sucks for you."

- , Eugene, OR, USA

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