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 17 of 45)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #568

Dec 292007

Explorer

  • 107,123 miles

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

Complainant has had difficulty shifting into park since the vehicle was purchased used in December 2007. December 2008 just after christmas vehicle rolled backwards down a slight inclined driveway. The complainant parked the vehicle and was in the home for approximately 35-45 minutes when the complainants wife asked where was the vehicle why wasn't it in the driveway. The consumer went outside and found the vehicle rolled backwards down the driveway and came to rest in the yard (grass). The complainant also noted and additional incident where the vehicle stalled and the complainant could not get the vehicle in park.

- Mount Airy , MD, USA

problem #567

Apr 182009

Explorer

  • 88,000 miles
2002 Explorer, 1st incident, had od light flashing w/very hard shift. Had transmission rebuilt. About 6 months later, slipping at 30 to 40 miles per hour, had transfer case rebuilt. 6 weeks later transmission slipping again at 30 to 40 mph with loud whine when stopping.

- Va Bch, VA, USA

problem #566

Apr 122009

Explorer

  • 142,000 miles
I am having the same problems all the other people are having that own a 2002 Explorer. O/D off light flashing, service engine soon light on, slipping 2nd to 3rd gear, shuttering in 5th gear, told by ase certified mechanic transmission was going out. Please make Ford recall these vehicles and fix the problems that they knew about but sold the vehicles anyway. Do this before someone has to die in a wreck because then it will be too late!

- Lynchburg, OH, USA

problem #565

Apr 152009

Explorer

  • 70,000 miles

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

I own a 2002 Ford Explorer with seventy thousand miles and have the same problem that thousands of other Explorer owners have. The transmission will not shift from second to third gear. Having driven only a few blocks when this occurred, I returned home and at that time the check transmission light came on. From what I have read online from other owners the Explorer seems to be a poorly designed and engineered vehicle. I have no expectations of you or anyone at Ford doing anything to resolve this issue.

- Fair Oaks, CA, USA

problem #564

Apr 092002

Explorer

  • 139,469 miles
I have a 2002 Ford Explorer with an automatic transmission that is going bad. One day the car is fine and the next day my light when on - out of the blue. I didn't know there was a problem until my O/D off light is blinking & the service engine soon light is always on. Plus, check transmission light is also lit up. This all happened with absolutely no warning. 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. I have three young children that are in this truck all the time. I've only made a few payments on it and now I┐M told that it's going to cost me over $3000 to repair, which is almost what the car is worth at this point. I wish I knew that this many 2002 Ford Explorer are having this issue before I bought it. Let me say, I can't believe there has been this many problems with the Ford Explorer transmissions!!! I thought I just had bad luck until finding the ┐auto beef complaint┐ web site! I will say that this Ford will be the first and last I will ever own if I can┐T get help with this truck. There will not be a problem about leaving it behind. I see that this is a common issue with Ford. Seems we have joined a long and distinguished list of 2002 transmission problems. Went looking around google to find any information on the same symptoms and found this ┐auto beef┐ web site. I have experienced the exact same issues of so many other people, and no one knows what can be done about it. If you do an 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. Read the thousands of complaints out there from the hard working consumer, and I think you will agree. I do realize to admit that the transmissions in the 2002 Ford Explorer are faulty will cost some amount of money. Henry Ford didn't run his company for as long as he did and not stand behind his work. Foreign cars are making a killing...

- Brookline Station, MO, USA

problem #563

Mar 272009

Explorer

  • 85,000 miles
We drove our 2002 Ford Explorer to visit family 1 hour away without any problem. After we arrived we needed to make a quick trip to the store and the car didn't even make it off the block before the od light blinked and the car wouldn't shift gears. It wouldn't get passed 20 or 25 mph. We had to leave the car there and get a ride all the way home. The nearest transmission shop fixed the transmission for about $1000 with a 6 month warranty. I hope it lasts and that Ford will acknowledge this problem soon.

- Spring, TX, USA

problem #562

Apr 102009

Explorer

  • 65,000 miles

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

I have a 2002 Ford Explorer, which I bought new, the dealer has performed all scheduled maintenance, now have 65,000 miles and it needs a new transmission. I understand this to be a defect with their sealed transmission and Ford wants $3800 to replace / rebuild. I feel this is not right and need some help with this matter. Thank you very much in advance for any help.

- Brea , CA, USA

problem #561

Dec 262008

Explorer

  • 49,562 miles
2002 Ford Explorer transmission failure at 49,562 miles. Unable to accelerate.

- Nutley, NJ, USA

problem #560

Apr 072002

Explorer

  • 131,000 miles
2002 Ford Explorer with transmission problem, appears to be a common complaint, this transmission is faulty and should be recalled. Driving normal and transmission started acting up. Took it too dealer and says has to be replace at $4000. Transmission has always been maintained at the recommended individuals. Transmission in the 2002 Explorer is defected.

- Columbia, NJ, USA

problem #559

Sep 192008

Explorer

  • miles
I own a 2002 eddie bauer explore. At 70,000 miles was told after check transmission light came on and gears would not shift that I needed a new transmission. Ford wanted over $4,000 to fix it. Unable to afford that much I took it to a trans repair shop and had a rebuilt trans installed as well as a new torque converter. Was told by the repair shop that they see alot of this. After taking my car apart the reason my trans went is because there was some kind of explosion in the torque converter and the debris went into the trans and caused the damage to the trans. Ford denies any such defect. Also my dual climate control air conditioning hasn't worked in 2 years and Ford wants over $1000 to fix it. I also own a 2007 mustang GT with only 6000 miles on it and now the rear window is leaking when it rains!! Ford should not ask for any bail out money from our government if they are going to continue to build junk. Needless to say my next vehicle will be a foreign car.

- Deptford, NJ, USA

problem #558

Apr 072009

Explorer

  • miles

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

The vehicle came with a problem transmission, I had to have is repaired twice in a 7 year period.

- Wauwatosa, WI, USA

problem #557

Feb 042008

Explorer

  • miles
Transmission od light blinking started over a year ago and we took to nearby dealer and they charged around $900 to service transmission and od light stopped blinking. Few months ago the light came up again and this time dealer says it needs a new transmission.

- Oakland, CA, USA

problem #556

Apr 062009

Explorer

  • miles
O/D light coming on. Transmission not shifting out. This is my only means of transportation. I have 3 children in school and found out the transmission need to be rebuilt. I can not afford this. Anything will help. Please.......

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #555

Apr 052009

Explorer

  • miles
Transmission failure 5 times.

- Satellite Beach , FL, USA

problem #554

Aug 012008

Explorer

  • 60,000 miles
In 2007 my 2002 Ford Explorer, eddie bauer edition was having problems shifting gears around 30-40 mph. The RPM's would rev up high then jump into the next gear. I took it into a certified transmission center and they told me I needed a new transmission. I installed a remanufactured transmission and within 1 year my vehicle is doing the same exact thing. The replacement only had a six month warranty. I then started researching online 2002 Explorer transmission problems and have found an overwhelming amount of complaints about the same exact thing.

- Munford, TN, USA

problem #553

Dec 082008

Explorer

  • 80,200 miles
In December 2008 my 2002 Ford Explorer, eddie bauer was having problems shifting gears around 30-40 mph. The RPM's would rev up high then jump into the next gear. At times it sounded like something was about to break because the jump and noise it made was so loud. I took it into a car shop and they told me I needed a new transmission. So I paid for a remanufactured transmission and within 3 months my car is doing the same exact thing. I have had to take it back 2 more times since bringing it in March 18. I then started researching online 2002 Explorer transmission problems and have found an overwhelming amount of complaints about the same exact thing.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #552

Mar 162009

Explorer

  • 114,000 miles
Od blinking. We have three 2002 Ford Explorer which all have the same problem and we have replaced everything in the transmission with new. This is bologna. Same as everyone else's shifting problems!

- Byron Center, MI, USA

problem #551

Sep 012007

Explorer

  • 90,000 miles
There has not been a total failure yet, but from what I have read from others it is not too far off. I have a 2002 Ford Explorer and the transmission is starting to fail. From what the repair shop tells me there is a defective pressure control valve. From what the forum tells me that is the beginning of the end. Ford must know about this problem by now, but as I far as I can tell they have no intention of fixing this potentially serious issue. I use this vehicle to Transport my family and do not want to have a total failure while driving, or leaving my wife and kids stranded. The over drive off light begins to flash and the fourth and fifth gears will no longer engage.

- Windsor, CO, USA

problem #550

Mar 132009

Explorer

  • 50,000 miles
Wheel hubs especially the rear - constantly going bad usually 12 months or less- rear differential vented with hose over rear tire. Causes water to get into gears - major problem. I keep catching the problem but only because I now look for them but it has been close - recently I had to have it taken to the repair site as it was too dangerous to drive.

- Jerome, MI, USA

problem #549

Jul 162008

Explorer

  • 92,000 miles
My od light starting blinking. Then I started hearing a clicking noise. Car shuttered numerous days, then would not go any faster then 25 mph. Had to get the transmission completely rebuilt. Had 92,000 mile on it. Evidently Ford ia aware of this problem and will do nothing.

- O'fallon, IL, USA

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