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 45 of 45)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #8

May 152002

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles

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

Consumer hears clicking noise in transmission. Also, vehicle jerks.

- Albion, MI, USA

problem #7

Jul 152001

Explorer 4WD

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Two problems, one with transmission and one with instrument lights. 1) transmission would delay engaging into drive or reverse when being taken out of park (local dealer said this was "normal") but transmission would also "clunk" and "lurch" when climbing hills. Local dealer (vista Ford) adjusted with computer on three occasions, and improved the problem, but now there is still the occasional delay before transmission engages and an occasional "bang" (worse than "clunk") along with a violent "jerk" (worse than a "lurch") and this now happens during normal driving on level ground. 2) for the entire 300 days I have owned the vehicle the illumination of the "message center" display is so dim during the day that it is amost impossible to read (dealer says this is a known problem with no factory fix). The display is not controlled by the rheostat that adjusts the brightness of the general instrument array so the problem must be with the intensity of the led display itself.

- Encino, CA, USA

problem #6

Jul 152001

Explorer 4WD

  • miles
Two problems, one with transmission and one with instrument lights. 1) transmission would delay engaging into drive or reverse when being taken out of park (local dealer said this was "normal") but transmission would also "clunk" and "lurch" when climbing hills. Local dealer (vista Ford) adjusted with computer on three occasions, and improved the problem, but now there is still the occasional delay before transmission engages and an occasional "bang" (worse than "clunk") along with a violent "jerk" (worse than a "lurch") and this now happens during normal driving on level ground. 2) for the entire 300 days I have owned the vehicle the illumination of the "message center" display is so dim during the day that it is amost impossible to read (dealer says this is a known problem with no factory fix). The display is not controlled by the rheostat that adjusts the brightness of the general instrument array so the problem must be with the intensity of the led display itself.

- Encino, CA, USA

problem #5

Jan 012002

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles

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

While driving, vehicle will automatically shut off. Vehicle will only shut off when it is idling. When going up hills vehicle will stall.. consumer states the transmission gives a ticking noise when the engine is running.8jb

- Saint Thomas, VI, USA

problem #4

Mar 132002

(reported on)

Explorer 4WD

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
2002 Ford Explorer 4 door V6 automatic transmission 4 wheel drive. I start my Ford Explorer and place it either in "reverse" or "drive" and there is a 10 to 15 gap of the vehicle not engaging in either gear. Vehicle just drifts and then engages after a period of 10 TO15 seconds. I called the Ford dealership where I purchased the vehicle and they informed me it was normal. I told them I never drove a vehicle that ever had this problem. I believe it may be a safety issue especially when parked on a hill or you think you might have accidently placed it in neutral.

- Ridley Park, PA, USA

problem #3

Nov 292001

(reported on)

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Vehicle was in an accident. While driving gears would become stuck when changing from park to reverse.

- Huntington, WV, USA

problem #2

Aug 202001

(reported on)

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
During gear transition very rough, feel and hear clunk noise.

- Columbia, SC, USA

problem #1

Jun 122001

Explorer 4WD

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Vehicle doesn't have a transmission fluid indicator slot. Even in the owners manual it doesn't have a check to show where it would be located. Consumer went to the dealer for assistance, and they were unable to locate it. Consumer is unable to check transmission fluid if needed. Consumer can't get a response from Ford.

- Oak Park, MI, USA

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