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 44 of 45)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #28

Oct 012002

Explorer 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 3,000 miles

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

I bought a 2002 eb Explorer in July 2002 and have been having chronic transmission problems since Oct/Nov 2002. The transmission shifts between 2-3 and 3-4 are rough and it jerks into gear. The first time into the dealer, they "verified" my concern and did about $1,000 in repairs. It was ok for about 3 weeks and started again. It has gradually gotten worse, and the dealer claims they can not find a problem. They have updated and reprogrammed the system many times, and nothing helps. I am now on my third trip to the dealer for this. With all of the complaints and Ford's service bulletins that list the exact problems I am having, I do not understand why Ford is not doing something about this!!

- Conyers, GA, USA

problem #27

Mar 212003

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I have had my vehicle into the Ford dealer for the same problem at least 4 times with no success it is still under manufacturer warranty and is a 2002 Ford Explorer.

- Spring, TX, USA

problem #26

Apr 042003

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100 miles
Transmission on 2002 Ford Explorer 4.0 liter slips and or jerks at times. At times upon entering a intersection the transmission will slip and then several seconds later the transmission will jerk into gear. On 03/04/03 we had a close call upon entering the intersection when this situation occurred. This problem continues in spite of taking the vehicle into Ford numerous times.

- North Platte, NE, USA

problem #25

Apr 012003

(reported on)

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 51,806 miles

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

The transmission slipped. Ford recommended a replacement with a rebuilt transmission. The vehicle was out of warranty. Scc

- Lowell, IN, USA

problem #24

Mar 072003

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,136 miles
Ford told me I need a new transmission in my 2002 Ford Explorer that only has 50,000 miles. The is unacceptable for such a costly purchase. They offer no assistance or excuse for this type of defect in their product.

- Mcafee, NJ, USA

problem #23

Mar 092003

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 25,000 miles
Vehicle transmission has a shuttering feeling when under moderate acceleration between 25-40 miles per hour. Dealer has been told about problem and said everything was fine after a reprogram of transmission.

- Colonial Heights, VA, USA

problem #22

Jul 102002

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles

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

Last summer (July 2002) during a military move from ga to AZ I noticed that my windshield had a large piece of glass missing on the outter right edge that you could not see until you actually got right up on the windshield. Part of it was visible to and part of it was hidden behind the rubber seal that is around the windshield. This windshield was actually installed with this piece missing from it when the vehicle was built and sent to the dealership. Also, the rear glass hatch, gas shock twisted from its original position and caused the window to be off center by about an inch or more. After fixing it three times it had to be replaced. Both of these problems (the windshield and the gas shock) have been fixed by my local dealership and thus far have held up. There are numerous other complaints that I have on my vehicle that include the elecrical system not functioning properly. When you turn the truck on sometimes all the dashboard lights stay on as well as the interior lights and you have to shut the truck down and back on several times in order for them to go out. The truck will sometimes stall at take off or will lurch while shifiting into a higher gear and has totally shut down while driving down the road on a few occasions. The trim paint on the doors, both front and passenger has faded there are rusted spots in the paint on the top of the vehicle, and the hood has a very bad orange peel effect on it with grit in the paint. The left rear speaker has busted and the panel on the rear hatch below has broken loose as well as one of the plastic bracket covers on the back of the passenger seats. PE04045.pco

- Ft Huachuca, AZ, USA

problem #21

Feb 012003

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 51,806 miles
The transmission started to slipping. The dealer recommended that new/rebuilt transmission is needed. The vehicle was out of warranty. Ph scc

- Lowell, IN, USA

problem #20

Jan 092003

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 20,192 miles
Since the vehicle purchase, the transmission has performed erratically, and has degraded over time. There are three main issues, first the vehicle tends to function like it drops into neutral during light acceleration. Secondly, and more of a concern, the vehicle creeps many feet when placed into 'park', with the engine off and the key out of the ignition, when parked on a grade. Finally, it takes upwards of 30 seconds when shifting from 'park' to any gear for the transmission to engage. When it does finally engage, it gives the feeling of 'slamming' into gear. This vehicle has been on the road since 5/01, and has been brought back to the dealer many times for these complaints. The dealer indicated that this behavior is normal. The concern is that there is a strong potential for property damage and personal injury should this vehicle creep downward.

- Dedham, MA, USA

problem #19

May 112002

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 15,000 miles
Excessive problems with transmission jerking, and shifting problems, purchased vehicle as brand new after 4 months contacted dealer where care was purchased regarding problem. Brought vehicle in at least twice before problem was found.the transmission was replaced has since had the same problem along with other problems, vehicle stalling while driving, cd player power shuts off. Rattling when hitting brakes. Filed a complaint dealer refuses to buy car back ask me to trade car in with more money down. The dealer repair persons confirmed that they have had replaced at least 10 transmissions on the same style vehicle prior to my visit and recognized a pattern. But nothing has been done!!

- Perris, CA, USA

problem #18

Dec 152002

Explorer

  • miles

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

Consumer stated that while driving and without warning the vehicle will stick in park and will not shift gears causing a distraction to the consumer. Dealer notified.

- Hertford, NC, USA

problem #17

Sep 172002

(reported on)

Explorer 4WD

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
When transmission shifting, jerky, vibrating feel. Vehicle is in for it's 8th visit. Total down time has been in excess of 6 weeks. Numerous attempt to repair as follows: Download of program- 3 times, flush out transmission, replace filters, adjust tramsmission, replace spring in transmission, replace torch converter, tear down transfer case, replace gears. I am in process of negotiating with Ford to have them buy back vehicle.

- Kill Devil Hills, NC, USA

problem #16

Jul 122002

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
When coming to a stop on an incline transmission shifts to neutral, causing vehicle to roll backwards. Dealer stated there is a tsb on this issue, to refill transmission fluid. Ford has no remedy for it at this time. Transmission fluid leaks from converter housing into transfer case.

- Putney, KY, USA

problem #15

Jul 282001

Explorer 4WD

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Consumer states when putting in reverse or, vehicle jumps, and jerks.

- Newport News, VA, USA

problem #14

Jan 242002

Explorer 4WD

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Because it performed as if it were in neutral while in drive coming from a stop, I nearly rolled into vehicles behind me then when it sped out of control when it grabbed drive, I nearly collided into vehicles in front of me even while braking.

- Arvada, CO, USA

problem #13

Jul 242002

(reported on)

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
When at stop sign or switching from brake to gas pedal truck would roll either forward or backwards because of transmission hesitation. Transmission has been replaced before three other times.

- Ashland, PA, USA

problem #12

Jul 112002

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Overdrive light was flashing, then stayed on. Dealer determined transmission had to be replaced.

- Suitland, MD, USA

problem #11

Jul 112002

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Overdrive light was flashing, then stayed on. Dealer determined transmission had to be replaced.

- Suitland, MD, USA

problem #10

Oct 012001

Explorer 4WD

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Vehicle experiences periods of stalling at low speeds. Applying brakes there is a loss of brakes and steering. No prior warning before stalling. Existing problem 5 times, taken into the delaer. Dealer replaced fuel pump, main control valve body, transmission oil pan, idle air control valve and programmed PCM. Vibration like anti-lock brake system is kicking in. Dealer could not duplicate. Overdrive comes in and out at odd speeds. No problem found.

- St Paul, MN, USA

problem #9

Jul 162002

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Vehicle was purchased in April 2002. Vehicle broke down in July while consumer was driving, almost causing an accident. Dealer advised consumer that transmission needed to be replaced.

- Suitland, MD, USA

Read the next 8 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?