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 13 of 45)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #648

Jan 082010

Explorer

  • 108,150 miles

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

Transmission sputters and jerks in third gear around 40mph. I bought this car used with 108,000 miles on it. This is my second day driving it, and I'm worried I just wasted thousands of dollars! from all the consumer websites I have read Ford is aware of this problem and is doing nothing to rectify the situation. Please recall this transmission and make Ford fix my car. Luckily there's a "lemon law" in my state and the dealer I purchased from will have to help me out.

- Buckhannon, WV, USA

problem #647

Aug 022009

Explorer

  • miles
The 2002 Ford Explorer has a severe transmission issue that needs to be researched. My Ford transmission dissengages when you break. This is a defect and a safety issue. Since I don't know when the transmission disengages I will rev the engine (thinking the car should go forward ) and the engines revs then after a delayed response will slam the car into gear and jerk the car forward. This jerk could cause me to hit something or someone since I'm not expecting the car to make that response. There are a large people experiencing transmission problems with the 2002 Ford Explorer transmission (see reference below) I think NHTSA should do an investigation on the issue to see if there is really a systemic issue with the 2002 Ford Explorer transmission that should be recalled and possible safety issue: Reference: www.carcomplaints.com/Ford/Explorer/2002/transmission/ www.lemonlawclaims.com/2002_ford_explorer_transmission www.fordproblems.com/Explorer/transmission-failure.shtml.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #646

Dec 152009

Explorer

  • 160,000 miles
While driving with my family on a busy expressway in Chicago, my transmission began to flash warning lights, "check transmission",O/D off light started to flash and check engine light turned on.transmission also started to surge and slow down.I reached a spot where I could pull over and checked the owners manual. The manual said to see the Ford dealer, in which I did.they acted as if they didn't know what the problem was. The service manager said "he would have to hook it up to a computer to see what the problem was"($200)the told me I needed a"new transmission.($2,500).through research online"autobeef" website I found that Ford Motor Co. Has known about this transmission problem for years! I called other Ford dealers to find out what they would say. They all wanted me to bring it in and put it on their computers. (around$200)I'm glad I was driving instead of my wife! I wonder how long it will take Ford to admit that they have a defective transmission? they continue to act like you're the first person to have this problem and charge you a couple hundred dollars to check it out."real good scam".

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #645

Jan 032010

Explorer

  • 93,000 miles

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

The contact owns a 2002 Ford Explorer. While driving at 65 mph the transmission failed. The vehicle almost caused a crash on the highway. The contact called the manufacturer and is waiting on a response regarding the repair. He contact feels the transmission for this year make and model should be recalled since their are numerous complaints regarding them. The failure mileage was 93,000.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #644

Nov 152009

Explorer

  • 73,000 miles
Taking kids to school transmission failed -pulled out into traffic from stop trans. Was in drive 1st ok 2nd ok third would not engage & engine overreved. This caused very dangerous near miss & potentially multiple car pile up- I received no warning light check engine anything was running fine with no signs of trouble just, went out.

- Lancaster, PA, USA

problem #643

Dec 302009

Explorer

  • 105,000 miles
Ford Explorer 2002 - transmission failure.

- Moreland Hills, OH, USA

problem #642

Dec 282009

Explorer

  • 74,000 miles

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

I have had to replace my transmission twice in the past 18 months and now it's slipping again. It just happens all he sudden and my car ramps up and then takes off jerking us as we are driving. It's ridiculous that this hasn't been recalled already. The O/D light comes on and it ramps up to 4000 rpms before I have to take my foot off the gas to get the transmission to switch.

- Hazelwood, MO, USA

problem #641

Dec 012009

Explorer

  • miles
I noticed around July of 2009 that my 2002 Ford Explorer was acting like it wasn't getting any gas. I had it hooked up to an analyzer and they told me I needed to replace my mass air flow sensor. December 28, 2009 - $135. So I did, it still would not shift into any gears. I was having to shift the gears myself by letting off the gas a little and then accelerating again. Turns out my transmission is going out and the car only has 110,000 miles on it.

- Leighton, AL, USA

problem #640

Dec 102009

Explorer

  • 81,000 miles
On Nov. 28 2009, I purchased a 2002 Ford Explorer XLT 4.0L automatic transmission 4X4. With 80,000 miles. On Dec. 10. 2009, the Explorer started not going into any gear. Then you have to keep trying each gear finally after a few minutes it will go into reverse, but for the first 10 minutes of driving it jerks and clangs going to different gears. Dealer won't do anything.

- Tionesta, PA, USA

problem #639

Dec 232009

Explorer

  • 94,840 miles
2002 Ford Explorer O/D light flashed on and off on highway engine started to race and vehicle slowed down. When trying to start from a red light the transmission feels like it is slipping. Vehicle has under 100,000 miles and has always been properly maintained including a computer upgrade from my dealer (at my expense) that was supposed to fix the transmission that I complained about when the truck was still under warranty.

- Waterford, NY, USA

problem #638

Nov 272009

Explorer

  • 92,000 miles

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

2002 Explorer transmission failure falls into neutral between 2&3 rd gears. Looks like thousand have the same issue with no help from Ford or outside Agency.

- Winchester, MA, USA

problem #637

Dec 112009

Explorer

  • 101,779 miles
Driving down the highway at 72 mph going up a slight incline with my newborn twins and 2 year old in the back of my 2002 Ford Explorer. The car starts jerking and sputtering and goes completely into neutral. On the highway. Take it to my mechanic...transmission shot. Per my mechanic, this is very very common with this year and model transmission and he said I am very lucky there wasn't more traffic and I was able to pull off to the side of the road. My truck is in the shop and has been there for almost a week, having a new solenoid pack and transmission rebuilt.

- Nassau, NY, USA

problem #636

Dec 062009

Explorer

  • 85,000 miles
2002 Ford Explorer. The transmission is under 100K miles and has already failed. $3,000 fix for something that should not be an issue.

- Denver, CO, USA

problem #635

Dec 122009

Explorer

  • 109,000 miles
On a hill, put the vehicle in drive and it rolled backwards onto someone's property while the engine was in high RPM's. it shifted into drive then popped back out again! it almost ran over my wife.

- Murray, KY, USA

problem #634

Nov 282009

Explorer

  • 106,000 miles
I have a 2002 Ford Explorer and my transmission band broke. I have kept up maintenance with this vehicle and now I have over $4,000 worth of repair. I can't shift into 3rd gear and my O/D light is blinking. I've seen hundreds of complaints on this issue and Ford need to be held responsible for their product.

- Huntersville, NC, USA

problem #633

Nov 282009

Explorer

  • 110,000 miles
My 2002 Ford Explorer transmission went and no recall as this has been an issue to many owners. There seems to be a very large amount of people that have had to replace there transmissions once, twice and possibly three times !!!! Ford will do nothing for you at all and they are very aware of the problems with this vehicle.

- Big Flats, NY, USA

problem #632

Nov 232009

Explorer

  • 127,000 miles
I bought a 2002 Explorer 4X4 V6 automatic. After driving it for a while I have had nothing but drive train problems, to include wheel bearings going out right after they have been fixed at local Ford dealer. The wheels almost fell off. Now, the transmission is gone out and I find out that it is a normal thing to have that happen. Safety, think about my 2 eight year old daughter in a busy traffic on a bridge over the Mississippi river and the truck just stopped. Right in rush hour! sounds like another thing where someone should step up and replace and think of the safety of the drivers and passengers.

- Rock Island , IL, USA

problem #631

Sep 172008

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,023 miles
Premature automatic transmission failure.

- South Lake Tahoe, CA, USA

problem #630

Nov 112009

Explorer

  • 123,184 miles
Sudden transmission failure on highway in heavy traffic. Transmission lost 2nd gear and started slipping, jerking causing us to obstruct an intersection with oncoming traffic on highway. Caused a near miss that could have resulted in a fatality. The 2002 Ford Explorer (V8) is parked in the driveway. I have scheduled a transmission replacement with a local shop. Ford won't do anything except charge me full price to replace a transmission. Knowing of inherent existing issues with these transmissions, they sold this used vehicle to my 18 year old daughter 4 months ago. Come already!

- Port Orchard, WA, USA

problem #629

Nov 132009

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,000 miles
It wouldn't shift into third gear. It happens all the time, and looking to get it fixed. Updated 11/25/09

- Sewell, NJ, USA

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