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 12 of 45)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #668

Jan 212010

Explorer

  • 173,000 miles

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

While driving on the interstate, I noticed a severe jerk in the back end of my 2002 Ford Explorer. Once I slowed down, the O/D indicator started blinking and the vehicle wouldn't shift from 4th back into over drive. I have received notification from my mechanic that the transmission would need to be replaced. I noticed that there are over 800 such complaints of this particular problem on a troubleshooting web site.

- Bowling Green, KY, USA

problem #667

Nov 032009

Explorer

  • 170,000 miles
Transmission shifting failure on a 2002 Ford Explorer.

- Johnson City,, TN, USA

problem #666

Feb 012010

Explorer

  • 140,000 miles
2002 Ford Explorer - O/D light comes on and check transmission light. Dealer indicates new transmission needed. Check internet sites, several sites with numerous complaints of transmission replacement.

- Kansas City, MO, USA

problem #665

Jan 292010

Explorer

  • 94,500 miles

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

94,000 miles; overdrive light blinking.

- Toms River, NJ, USA

problem #664

Jan 302010

Explorer

  • 143,129 miles
I was stopped at a stop light during a snow storm and proceeded forward when the light turned green. As I accelerated and the vehicle shifted gears the O/D light started blinking and the transmission acted like it was in the neutral position. Now the check engine light is on.

- Stoneville, NC, USA

problem #663

Oct 252009

Explorer

  • miles
I bought the used Explorer from a Ford dealer in 2008. It had 50,000 miles on it when I bought it. At 72,000 miles while going on a trip for the day the vehicle began revving at high RPM's before shifting into gear. I traveled approx. 5 miles to my destination and parked the vehicle for the day. I knew it was the transmission, but did not know how extensive it was. I could not check the transmission fluid because that year they did away with a transmission dip stick and the only way to check the transmission fluid was to crack a bolt located on the transmission housing under the vehicle. Boy Ford does not make things easy to check easy things like transmission fluid any more, I had the vehicle towed to a transmission place and they later told me the transmission was destroyed. $2,800, after doing research this is a real common issue and should be addressed.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #662

Jan 242010

Explorer

  • 150,000 miles

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

My od light was blinking, my rpms would go up and my vehicle wouldn't move. Transmission problems.

- Gonic, NH, USA

problem #661

Jan 282010

Explorer

  • miles
My O/D off light is flashing in the truck.

- New Haven, CT, USA

problem #660

Jan 282010

Explorer

  • 89,500 miles
Owner of a 2002 Ford Explorer XLT and continually have the over drive off light flashing on the dashboard. Also the transmission slips and when I take it in to dealer they tell me that they can't do anything about this. I feel that this is a real safety issue and a national recall is in order. If you search the web you will find hundreds if not thousands of this exact same case. Please look into this asap! tw*

- Lindenhurst, NY, USA

problem #659

Jan 242010

Explorer

  • 137,980 miles
Overdrive light flashes slipping in gears transmission going out.

- Blountville, TN, USA

problem #658

Jan 172010

Explorer

  • 53,151 miles

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

My 2002 Ford Explorer has 53,151 miles on it and the transmission failed. I was not involved in any automobile accidents nor did I abuse this vehicle in any way. The first indicator of a problem was the O/D off light began to blink intermittently. Then the service engine soon light came on. After that the transmission was slipping and taking an excessive amount of time to shift gears. I have maintained this SUV with regular oil changes as well as other routine maintenance. This is my only vehicle and I need it to commute to work so I had to have it repaired. I called the Ford consumer hotline and explained the problem. They refused to give me any assistance: No courtesy repair nor any discount on another transmission. I purchased a remanufactured transmission and had it installed. It was an extremely costly repair.

- Roselle, NJ, USA

problem #657

Dec 152009

Explorer

  • 92,000 miles
Od light flickering. Diagnosed as transmission torque converter problem. Many have reported this problem with Explorer xlts and Ford has done nothing but make $1000 each time. Causes transmission to slip.

- Allen, TX, USA

problem #656

Jan 202010

Explorer

  • 49,653 miles
I was driving home from work tonight and my 2002 Ford Explorer would not go into shifting gear. It started bucking a little when I slowed down and tried to accelerate again. The O/D light starting blinking like crazy. By the time I got home I could only drive about 25 miles an hour. I only have 49,653 miles on my vehicle!! my warranty for 6 years is gone but I can't afford to get a new transmission. I went online and was shocked to see how many people this has happened to. Please force Ford into a recall. I bought this new and have taken excellent care of my vehicle hoping it would last for a long time.

- Plymouth Meeting, PA, USA

problem #655

Jan 022010

Explorer

  • miles
2002 Ford Explorer rattle from trans, O/D light flashes when going up a hill. Does not shift properly sometimes.

- Mingo Junction, OH, USA

problem #654

Sep 102009

Explorer

  • 102,000 miles
2002 Ford Explorer transmission failure, had do replace transmission at 102,000 miles.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #653

Jan 132010

Explorer

  • 95,000 miles
Transmission is slipping and the O/D light is blinking.

- Danbury, CT, USA

problem #652

Nov 082009

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,277 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that the module that controls the four wheel drive failed while driving 25 mph. The contact took the vehicle to a Ford dealer to have the four wheel drive module replaced. The dealer informed the contact that the modules were on back order and would not be available for 30 days. The contact is concerned about the safety risk during inclement weather and rainy days. The failure mileage was 87,277. Updated 02/1710 updated 02/19/10

- Reynoldsville, PA, USA

problem #651

Jun 182004

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 61,299 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Explorer. While driving approximately 25 mph on normal road conditions, the engine RPM's increased excessively high. There was a no power response when pressure was applied to the accelerator pedal. The transmission failed without warning. The vehicle was towed to an authorized dealer for inspection. The transmission was replaced. In addition, on a separate occasion the identical failures occurred. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who stated that the transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle is in the process of being repaired. The failure mileage was 61,299. The current mileage was 155,000. Updated 2/17/10 the consumer stated the transmission was not shifting into 3rd gear. The transmission was replaced twice. Updated 02/22/10.

- Pleasant View , TN, USA

problem #650

Jan 032010

Explorer

  • miles
2002 Ford Explorer transmission - overdrive symbol flashing - no indication that the transmission was failing. The vehicle would not go pass 3rd gear.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #649

Jan 082010

Explorer

  • 58,000 miles
2002 Ford Explorer transmission multiple failure- this transmission was replaced as defective two time, first at around 60,000 miles then again at near 150,000 miles. Now the transmission has failed again, this time failing to shift while entering a busy highway then erratically slamming into gear then revving high and slipping as traffic maneuvered to avoid the slowing vehicle.

- Norwich, NY, USA

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