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

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2002 Ford Explorer:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments (Page 26 of 45)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #388

Mar 122008

Explorer 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 76,000 miles

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

My 2002 Ford Explorer had been making an electronic dinging sound that typically is to bring the drivers attention to the display screen, but no message was displayed, for about a week. Then on the morning of 3/12/08 the transmission started slipping out of third gear. We took the car to Ford first and they didn't say anything, but when I took it to aamco, they told me that my car was the third this week with the same exact issue, and that the real issue was a design flaw with the transmission since all three cars had mileage under 100,000 miles. The cost to rebuild the transmission was quoted at $2,500.

- Redondo Beach, CA, USA

problem #387

Oct 012007

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles
The body panel below the back window is cracked for no reason when I took my truck into a Ford dealer they said that is normal and Ford knew about the problem and there isn't anything they could due. So I called the Ford service number in my Ford handbook and the manager confirmed they knew about the problem but its not a recall out because its not a major problem and if I wanted it fixed I would have to pay. So I also asked about the transmission failure rate and I was also told they knew about that too (the transmissions fail under 100,000 miles) but there isn't a recall and I would have to pay to get the transmission fixed as well.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #386

Mar 042008

Explorer 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 121,485 miles
Transmission failure wheel bearing failure (3 times).

- Byers, CO, USA

problem #385

Nov 062007

Explorer 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 123,252 miles

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

Driving on highway at 63 mph and valve spring broke. Valve dropped into piston causing engine failure. Check engine code called for random engine misfire and code was triggered at around 2600 RPM. Prior to engine failure I have been experiencing a shudder when transmission shifts into overdrive. There is also a problem with the clutch pack in the limited slip differential that is causing a shudder when turning right or left from a dead stop. (dealership called it the parking lot shudder) I have a 02 Ford Explorer XLT with 4.6 and 4X4 that has bad engine, transmission, and rear differential. (engine replaced).

- St. Charles, MO, USA

problem #384

Mar 072008

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles
Transmission is/has gone out on my 2002 Ford Explorer XLS 4X4. There are hundreds of others that have had the same issue with the transmission, solenoid B going out and requiring a transmission rebuild or a new one!! if all these people are having a problem, there needs to be a recall! Ford needs to face their mistake so that loyal Ford consumers will return. I have owned 3 Ford, and never again after this. Ford really did themselves in with this one!

- Aurora, CO, USA

problem #383

Mar 012008

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,000 miles
Transmission failed at 88,000 miles.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #382

Mar 032008

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles

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

The contact owns a 2002 Ford Explorer. While driving 25 mph, the contact heard a howling sound coming from the engine compartment. He ignored the sound and did not take the vehicle to the dealer. The following day, while driving at low speeds, the vehicle would not shift into gear properly and hesitated. The day after that none of the gears would shift and the vehicle lost all torque power. The vehicle was towed to an auto shop and the mechanic stated that there was transmission failure. The failure and current mileages were 140,000.

- Acworth, GA, USA

problem #381

Dec 212007

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles
Transmission failure as well as differential failure on vehicle with less than 90K, car has been dealer serviced, this is one of many complaints on this vehicle. At what point will you initiate an investigation" Ford designed this transmission as a sealed unit. Consumer is unable to check the fluid. Flashing O"D light violent shifting, loss of power in 3rd gear.

- Garnerville, NY, USA

problem #380

Feb 212008

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,000 miles
Transmission and bearing failure. Od light on tranny flashing. Took to dealer for noise and od light. They replaced bearings and associated parts to a cost of $1130 to fix tranny problem they want to replace tranny and torque converter for a cost of 3500. Truck was purchased new and maintained on a regular basis. I've checked Ford recalls and tsb's and they are numerous referring to bearing and tranny failure.

- Phila, PA, USA

problem #379

Mar 012008

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,145 miles
2002 Ford Explorer wheel bearing failure with under 80,000 miles on the vehicle. I have replaced the front wheel bearing and now both rear wheel bearings due to failure. The first was a rear hub assembly in 06 then a front in 07 and now the driver side rear in 08. I was told by a Ford dealer this is a common problem with a tsb addressing it. The dealer told me if not caught soon enough the tires could actually come off the vehicle while traveling. While this has not happened in my case there is the potential for an accident. Also this vehicle has a known defect in the transmission which Ford has done nothing about. I have had to replace my transmission at under 70,000 miles and many others have had the same problems I have had with my vehicle as found by searching the web for these problems.

- Delphos, OH, USA

problem #378

Aug 012007

Explorer 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,000 miles

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

At 105K miles the car just died. New transmission needed. They installed/reinstalled the new transmission three times before it worked properly.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #377

Feb 262008

Explorer 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Transmission making a horrible whining noise in both the front and back. From all that I have read the transmission and rear end is going to have to be overhauled. With as many complaints as there are on this vehicle Ford really needs to do a recall and fix this problem before there is a serious accident. They are aware of this but choose not to do anything until the government forces them to do something.

- Mesquite, TX, USA

problem #376

Feb 232008

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,981 miles
2002 Ford Explorer XLS, with 86,000 miles. O/D light began blinking. 4 days later complete transmission failure. Car towed to tranny mechanic. Entire transmission needs to be replaced.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #375

Feb 212008

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,236 miles
Transmission completely failed at 86,200 miles. Repaired cost a ridiculous $3,936.18. Ford knows of the problem but refuses to issue a recall.

- Aberdeen, NJ, USA

problem #374

Feb 202008

Explorer

  • miles
I purchased a 2002 Ford Explorer used in 2003 with approximately 35,000 miles. Before I hit 80,000 miles I had to have the transmission replaced due to a shifting/clunking problem. Just recently I had to have it replaced again due to erratic shifting and malfunction. The Ford dealership and local transmission shop both said that this was a very common problem and that Ford knows about it but refuses to do anything.

- Toledo, OH, USA

problem #373

Dec 212007

Explorer 4WD 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 12,000 miles
I have a 2002 Ford Explorer that I have not even had a year. I am paying a loan for it and I have not been able to drive it for 3 months. Surprise it needs a transmission! apparently this is nothing new for this vehicle. If you type in a search you will find a lot of people that have the same problem. This is very expensive to fix and since it was my families main transportation it has been a huge inconvenience. My wife has not been able to work because she has no way to get there. How many problems and complaints with this vehicle does it take to get a recall or something" this is ridiculous it is obviously a well known problem so why not do something to help people fix it" especially since it is such an expensive problem!

- Burnham, PA, USA

problem #372

Feb 212008

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 114,954 miles
2002 Ford Explorer XLT, car will not shift out of 2nd gear. Over drive off light flashes and shifting stalls. No replacement has happened yet, but seems like everyone else who has had this happen to them needed a transmission rebuild. I don't have the money to shell out for a rebuild. Also 5 months after purchasing the car, I had to replace the rear ball baring hubs and bearings. The total cost was 1,000 dollars usd. We need Ford to recall the transmission.

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #371

Feb 162008

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,500 miles
Overdrive indicator on my wife's 2002 Ford Explorer was flashing and experienced problems shifting between gears. Repair facility says this is a common problem was this transmission. Solution is to have the transmission rebuilt or replaced with another transmission. Internet google returns tons of supporting owners with same problem.

- Allen, TX, USA

problem #370

Feb 132008

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,000 miles
Yet, another 2002 Ford Explorer transmission failure. Overdrive light started flashing, lost power and delay on shifting, had to have transmission rebuilt. Ford needs to own up to this problem. Luckily I'm under a crappy extended warranty. Or I would be 3,400 dollars worse in the hole on this 86,000 mile 02 Explorer. Also had to have the rear seals replaced and control arm same old stuff I here everywhere.....

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #369

Dec 282007

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,162 miles
My overdrive light is blinking on and off for about a month..and based on what I have read, my transmission is about to go. On one website alone there were over 100 complaints about the 2002 Ford Explorer transmission needing to be completely overhauled. What happens when someone is driving on a freeway, the transmission goes and dozens of people are killed because of a massive accident"????" Ford should be held accountable and be made to recall the transmission on the 2002 Ford Explorer!!!

- Port Crane, NY, USA

Read the next 20 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?