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 27 of 45)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #368

Jun 012004

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 38,000 miles

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

The transmission started slipping and shifting rough between gears. Had it overhauled at 38,000 miles. Same problems now occurring at 120,000.

- Alabaster, AL, USA

problem #367

Feb 152008

Explorer 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles
Transmission has failed. O/D light is blinking, and it won't shift into 3rd gear.

- Levittown, NY, USA

problem #366

Feb 142008

Explorer 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The overdrive light was flashing, RPM's increased and the vehicle's transmission was making loud noises as the gears shifted. The vehicle was brought to a transmission specialist and was diagnosed as needing a new transmission. Not only a new one, but to boar out the existing housing as it was defective by Ford.

- Swansea, MA, USA

problem #365

Feb 152008

Explorer 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles

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

Transmission problems in the 2002 Explorer with a 4.6L V8.

- Millington, MI, USA

problem #364

Feb 132008

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I own a 2002 Ford Explorer the transmission started slipping when it was shifting in to 3rd gear so a took it to the Ford dealership two days later they call me and tell me that I need a new transmission it would be around 3,300.00.well I go on line to research and try to find a transmission come to find out there's hundred of people who own the 2002 Ford Explorer with the same thing happen to it I know things do wear out but it's a little funny for it do be the same year and models and the same mileages I got it use and it had 90,000 miles on it but the transmission had been rebuilt already.

- York, SC, USA

problem #363

Jan 122008

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,000 miles
Traveling on interstate when loud noise came from the transmission. RPM's went up drastically. Tranny light came on. When starting and stopping the truck the transmission would make a horrible metal sound. Have not driven it for 1 month due to having to go get a loan to pay for the repairs. Took to aamco which stated today that the tranny needs to be totally overhauled at $2400.

- Newport News, VA, USA

problem #362

Feb 102008

Explorer

  • miles

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

O/D light flashing, transmission slipping.

- Northville, MI, USA

problem #361

Oct 082007

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,080 miles
Transmission failure on highway, in a construction zone, almost resulting in an accident. This is a known problem w/ 2002 Explorer. Ask any transmission shop. Also check out carcomplaints.com - it is their #1 worst vehicle. I counted 10 technical service bulletins on this transmission, but no recall !?!

- Channahon, IL, USA

problem #360

Dec 212007

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 102,500 miles
2002 Ford Explorer XLT 103K miles makes a clunk when shift on reverse. Took it for check up and need a new transmission which will cost about $2500+ I already paid $10,000 for SUV cant pay any more and I only owned it for 10 months. And there are thousands of customers with the same problem that can be found on this website. www.carcomplaints.com/Ford/Explorer/2002/transmission/transmission_slips_when_shifting_and_clunks.shtml I think Ford should take responsibility for this issue and help us out.

- New York, NY, USA

problem #359

Feb 072008

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles
My 2002 Ford Explorer has been wonderful until my transmission started slipping it would run fine then jolt into gear out of no where then be running fine again. I was on my way to work the other day and out of no where my car stalls in drive I am pushing on the gas pedal and nothing no movement in rush hour traffic. I have my car towed to the transmission shop and bang you need a new transmission, I did not take my car to the shop the first couple of times because the issue was so few and far between, so I thought ok maybe transmission fluid or oil change did that everything was fine for about two months then I low and behold I am out 1000's of dollars for a new transmission. Then I decide to research my year, make, model vehicle and find out that I am not the only one who has to throw away money that I can not afford because Ford knew about the transmission problem all along. I have always bought Ford vehicles but I think that I might have to reconsider when I look for another vehicle unless Ford wants to do the right thing and recall this year transmission and reimburse those who were out money getting their vehicles fixed when Ford knew that their was a problem to beginning with. Thank goodness that I was stopped at a red light when my car stalled because I could have been rear ended and then I would be more upset than I am.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #358

Jan 242008

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 46,400 miles

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

2002 Ford Explorer with an O/D light flashing and now a service engine soon light on. Was told by the dealer that the transmission would have to be rebuilt. Only 46000 miles on the truck. Only changed every 3000. Extended warranty just expired on Dec 13, 2007 after 5 years. Updated

- Staten Island, NY, USA

problem #357

Jan 202008

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
2002 eddie bauer Explorer transmission transmission type 5R55W started to slip and the vehicle has 110,000 mi. Next my O/D dash light started to flash and then the check transmission light went on. Dealer stated it was just a bad solenoid replacement cost of $1,000 or worse" second opinion stated that there is a buried code in the diagnostic about the overdrive wasn't working and the test drive by mech. Noted that 5th gear wasn't working. The independent mech. Stated that he was sorry when he found out it was an Explorer because he has a lot of this work. The transmission was overhauled to the sum of $2,710. Safety concern" well you have your family in this vehicle trying to merge onto a highway while your transmission is slipping or worse. To me this is as big as a safety item as their back glass lift gate they recalled. Or their roll over issue for that matter. So I may be one person but you just have to type in this issue on the internet and the number of complaints are incredible. Ok so many people have had the same issue. So go to their tsb and this is littered with transmission issues. This is clearly a faulty transmission from the start but apparently consumer complaints have not been enough for Ford to do the right thing here. I would ask that the NHTSA do what is in their power to request Ford to do the right thing here and reimburse us for fixing an obvious and dangerous design flaw.

- Lincolnshire, IL, USA

problem #356

Mar 102006

Explorer 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles
Ford Explorer XLT 2002 with 61,000 miles O/D light started flashing rapidly and the check engine light came on. Was told the transmission was slipping between 1st and 2nd gear and needed replacing. Replaced transmission and less than a year later the O/D light started flashing rapidly and check engine light came on again. Had the codes read and needed to replace pressure sensor valve. Worked fine until lately and now vehicle is doing the same thing again.

- Arlington, TX, USA

problem #355

Feb 072008

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 71,000 miles
Tranny slippage. O/D light/service engine light flashing. Engine revving but not coming into gear. The transmission shop said this is a known issues with Ford. The bands that wrap the 2nd & 5th gears to lock against the drum are defective. Ford has updated the style of the band and once replaced this issue does not repeat. My estimate so far is at $2100-$2300. We will not know full extent of damage until he removes, dismantles & inspects it ($595 to do that). As this is a known Ford issue with their defective part, there should be a recall and owners should be reimbursed for the cost of repairs.

- Mineola, NY, USA

problem #354

Feb 072008

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 10,300 miles
I have a 2002 Ford explore V-8 XLT that has been taken care of and all the sudden I have transmission problems, when I am in drive all sudden out of no where my car will either stall or it will jolt into gear. Then it will be ok for a while then it starts doing the same thing again. I am more mad that more than 100 complaints have been posted with the same transmission problem for the same year Ford vehicle all of them almost the exact same and there is no investigation into this problem. I was on a website that listed this website for vehicle complaints and that there were several complaints for the same thing transmission failure for the 2002 Ford Explorer.

- Leander, TX, USA

problem #353

Feb 052008

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,000 miles
Absolutely no warning signs O/D off light blinking transmission bands failure, requiring a complete rebuild $2500-3500 for repair at 68,000 miles.

- Chesterton, IN, USA

problem #352

Feb 042008

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 113,800 miles
Transmission failure.

- Elizabethtown, PA, USA

problem #351

Feb 012008

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles
Transmission on my 2002 Ford Explorer is failing after only 40,000 miles. Even though I have maintained the vehicle and not abused it, I will have to replace the transmission.

- Pinellas Park, FL, USA

problem #350

Feb 012008

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 94,000 miles
1)no particular events leading up to failure, one day O/D light came on (flashing) 2)transmission failure, must rebuild to the tune of $3,400 3)transmission rebuild.

- Harrisburg, PA, USA

problem #349

Oct 302007

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 19,000 miles
Transmission failure and rear end failure.

- West Bend , WI, USA

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