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.

10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
16 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
8 / 0
Average Mileage:
75,198 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2002 Ford Explorer transmission problems

transmission problem

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2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments (Page 11 of 45)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #688

Feb 192010

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • 135,000 miles

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

Owned 2002 Explorer since Oct 2004- within 10 months of owning car I had to have the transmission replaced. I had purchased the extended warranty, other than deductible, the replacement was covered, minus the fees for rental car for 3 days. Now, Feb 19, 2010, my O/D light started flashing and transmission is out again; his time the full expense plus rental car will be out of my pocket and cost will be between $1800-$2800 depending what all needs to be fixed and replaced once it is opened up in repair shop.

- Spanaway, WA, USA

problem #687

Dec 152009

Explorer

  • 129,000 miles
Transmission slips from second to third. Emailed Ford, they are not recalling the transmission even after hundreds of complaints.

- Mill Creek, WA, USA

problem #686

Feb 192010

Explorer

  • 150,000 miles
Ford Explorer 02' the O/D light started blinking later on after the car resting in driveway the truck would not move forward or backward, tires wouldn't spin nothing! truck had to be towed and transmission was at fault. This appears to be a common problem with this make and model.

- Amherst, NY, USA

problem #685

Dec 122009

Explorer

  • 110,000 miles

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

The contact owns a 2002 Ford Explorer. The contact was driving approximately 40 mph on normal road conditions. The "over drive" warning light illuminated. The transmission began to slip without warning with an increase in the RPM's. the transmission only shifted into the first and second gear. In addition, the transmission slipped unexpectedly into third gear. The driver pulled over to the side of the road. The engine was turned off. The vehicle was restarted and the over drive light reset. The vehicle was able to resume operation. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic. The technician recommended replacement of the transmission. The vehicle has not been repaired for the malfunction. The failure mileage was 110,000.

- Dayton, OH, USA

problem #684

Feb 182010

Explorer

  • miles
O/D light in 2002 Ford Explorer starts flashing. Dealer told me will need a new transmission. After some research seems this is a common problem in this particular year make and model car.

- League City, TX, USA

problem #683

Jan 152010

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 66,500 miles
2002 Ford Explorer transmission,4.0 V6. Od light flashes, check engine light, . transmission hesitates then clunks into gear. I took car to garage, had the solenoids replaced, fluid and filter. Still have same problem.

- New Oxford, PA, USA

problem #682

Feb 172010

Explorer

  • 102,000 miles

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

$4000 to replace my transmission on my 2002 Ford Explorer...O/D light blinking and "check transmission" message came up on the message center. Seems like this is a common occurrence amongst this car...

- Coraopolis, PA, USA

problem #681

Feb 112010

Explorer

  • 115,000 miles
My wife was driving our 2002 Ford Explorer home last week when she was approaching a red light. She noticed the O/D light began to blink very fast and when she went to pull away, the vehicle shifted to 2nd but would not shift to 3rd gear and the RPM's would go real high. Could not go above 30 mph. Did some research on the internet and appears to be a common problem. What is it going to take to get Ford to correct the problem. Maybe it will have to fail to someone on the freeway and someone gets hurt. Vehicle had 115K miles. Something needs to be done instead of recalling cheap fixes. This is not the first problem with this vehicle. We also had broken rear coil springs that I had to fix 3-4 years ago. Plus there has been several recalls already on this vehicle. Sounds to me like these vehicles should be scrapped.

- Madison, OH, USA

problem #680

Feb 132010

Explorer

  • 59,000 miles
I own a 2002 Ford Explorer with 59,000 miles on it. My SUV has never been used for towing or unusual fast driving. The automatic transmission now randomly allows for unusually high rpms before changing gears. This resulted several times in rear wheel slipping and loss of control of the vehicle. When making a U-turn, the rear end of the car spun out into an unintended adjacent lane and nearly caused an accident. Also, a simple left turn onto a two lane road resulted in the rear end of the car going off of the road. The transmission is now making noises and changing gears slowly. From researching online, it is apparent that this issue has been reported thousands of times with the 2002 Ford Explorer. Estimated costs to repair design flaw range from $2700 to $4000.

- Tallahassee, FL, USA

problem #679

Jan 232010

Explorer

  • 157,000 miles
Event/situation: Hesitates and chokes at 40-45 miles per hour when trying to accelerate, along with a slight rubbing sensation felt through the steering wheel and gas peddle. They advised replacing the upper ball joints. They also stated a weak battery which was replaced. This did seem to fix various faulty false electrical issues: Interior lights staying on and false light/dashboard readings. Faulty transmission, emissions or plugs/wiring have been possibilities. I've taken it to Goodyear who recommended changing out the plugs and wires, along with a flush. I've been told that flushes can ruin parts on older vehicles and cause other expensive problems. I found a few websites were there are many other customers having these same issues with the 2002 Ford Explorer. Ford has been notified and aware of these transmission issues and expensive problems, covering up with other little recalls like the wiring harness. I, like many, are being forced to pay for faulty transmissions. I believe this needs to be investigated and make Ford pay for recalls and repairs. It has been taken to the Ford dealership for its oil change and a wiring recall approximately two weeks ago, in January 2010. Here is the website with many other Ford Explorer official complaints who demand a responsible/reliable recall fix from Ford. www.carcomplaints.com/Ford/Explorer/2002/transmission/O_D_light_is_blinking.shtml.

- Holly Hill, FL, USA

problem #678

Feb 232009

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 110,000 miles

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

I have a 2002 Ford Explorer V6 and the O/D light has been flashing periodically for the past year. The 'check engine' light also comes on at various times. Recently, the transmission shifts 'rough' and at abnormal times.

- Marietta, GA, USA

problem #677

Feb 102010

Explorer

  • 60,512 miles
Faulty transmission on 2002 Ford Explorer. Od light flashes and transmission will not shift. If continued to be driven transmission will fail. This is the second time this has happened to me on the same vehicle.

- Yuma, AZ, USA

problem #676

Dec 042009

Explorer

  • 119,000 miles
On Dec 4th 2009, my 2002 Ford Explorer was driving fine one minute and the next the O/D light started flashing. I turned off the ignition and restarted the vehicle. The O/D light blinking went away. The very next day again, with the light once again flashing, the vehicle refused to move forward when gas pedal was engaged; however the RPM revved up between 3 and 4. throughout that same day, I attempted to get vehicle into drive mode...eventually the vehicle just inched forward and finally stopped moving altogether. After a consultation with my local transmission repair shop.. I was dishearten to learn that in order to repair, what he described as a bad transmission, which is very common with the 2002 Ford Explorer..I'd have to pay $2868....since this incredible revelation, I'm discovering Ford knows all about but refuses to do the conscionable thing and recall these defective, dangerous but costly vehicles. I regrettable paid the $2868 repair charge for a rebuilt tranny with absolutely no assistance from Ford. My vehicle is paid off and I really cant afford to just invest close to 3K in a vehicle that should've been recalled and fixed especially since the Ford corporation is fully aware but doesn't care about the people who still buy american and want to continue supporting american made products. But since Ford refuses to stand behind their product, it may force a loyal customer to go elsewhere in the future when purchasing a new vehicle. My vehicle was recently repaired on 2/8/10.. so far I've driven it once... so far so good...I received a better warranty from my tranny shop than the Ford company was willing to stand behind. The drivers side door ajar alarm chimes while door is securely closed. The locking mechanism opens and closes. This issue is also known and a problem for the 2002 Ford Explorer and yet still no recall... thank you for listening to my complaint.

- Springfield, MA, USA

problem #675

May 282009

Explorer

  • 80,000 miles
I own a 2002 Ford Explorer limited. This past may my Explorer's O/D light began flashing. I nearly immediately took the vehicle in for service, and the transmission was wrecked to the tune of $2,500. After much internet research is seems as though many thousands of other consumers are having the same issue with this vehicle and Ford seems to be doing nothing to take responsibility for their mistakes the way that Toyota has!

- Howards Grove, WI, USA

problem #674

Feb 052010

Explorer

  • 151,000 miles
O/D off light suddenly started flashing in 2002 Ford Explorer. Was just driving and the light started flashing. Also, there is hard shifts when placing the SUV in drive or reverse.

- Keller, TX, USA

problem #673

Jan 282010

Explorer

  • 91,250 miles
My 2002 Ford Explorer transmission light and O/D light is blinking and my transmission next to be replaced or rebuilt. I've heard of many similar complaints from 2002 Explorer owner like me. Is there any recourse for me if knows about this why don't they step to the plate and offer a fix for this problem. Ford is enjoying a lot of success and it's a shame they can't take care of their loyal customers like me and others.

- Windsor, CT, USA

problem #672

Dec 052009

Explorer

  • 160,000 miles
I have a Ford Explorer XLT 2002, and at 160 000klm the transmission started to have a hard time getting through P-R-N-D-1-2-3, without going through a hard "clunk" after looking at universal joints, bushings, crossmembers and diff slake I realized its the transmission. After 2000 klm the od light started flashing, and it's getting worst... this truck is like a GM, when problems start they all follow through one after the other. What a lemon. Had to go 2000 klm for a christmas gathering with all family and kids, and all came from parts of the world cause parents are getting very old. So I had to put my family through sad time and not go to the get together of the lifetime. Ford didn't come through for us.

- Montreal, 00, USA

problem #671

Feb 012010

Explorer

  • 138,000 miles
The transmission started slipping and the "O/D off" started blinking. The transmission slipping has gotten progressively worse.

- Frisco, TX, USA

problem #670

Feb 042010

Explorer

  • miles
I own a 2002 Ford Explorer SUV and have had problems with the overdrive light flashing on the dash, causing the vehicle to slip into and out of neutral. I executed an online search as most do to correct the problem and was amazed at the thousands of good folks with the same problem. Most contacted Ford and were told that they needed to go to the dealer that resulted in changing the transmission at the cost of the owner. Later the same problem arose after these people spent thousands of dollars to fix this. This is a safety issue to say the least... a vehicle that shifts gears erratically, uncontrollable RPM, and braking issues via recall 09S09 (speed control system modification) is not fixing anything but vehicle fire safety. This is a problem that needs serious attention, as a vehicle like my own slipping in and out of gear, might possibly have a catastrophic failure and injure the occupants of the affected vehicle/ and or others. I encourage the investigating officer to search the web for O/D light flashing on the web to see the scope of the problem. This is a safety issue.......

- Ada, OK, USA

problem #669

Feb 022010

Explorer

  • 108,000 miles
Transmission failed suddenly on a 2002 Ford Explorer. I have read many other people with these issues. Our Explorer only has 108,000 miles and I have never owned a vehicle that needed a transmission with that low of mileage. I was driving down an interstate when a bunch of lights came on such as the overdrive light blinking followed by the "check transmission" light and service light. My truck started grinding when trying to shift and ended up shutting down right on the interstate with people going 65+ around me honking. I had to have 2 people push me off the road because the truck wouldn't move. It will start, but won't go into gear and I was told the transmission is destroyed.

- Millstadt, IL, USA

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