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 7 of 45)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #768

Jun 032010

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • 120,000 miles

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

1. transmission problems when I stopped fast 2. transmission goes into neutral and takes about 10 seconds to pop back into gear. 3. took to dealership where I was told they could replace a $1,000 part.

- Chesterfield, MI, USA

problem #767

Jun 022010

Explorer

  • 80,000 miles
O/D light keeps flashing and transmission slips and the vehicle only has 80 thousand miles. This is unacceptable by Ford please do something they are taking we the consumers for granted.

- Elizabeth, NJ, USA

problem #766

Apr 192010

Explorer

  • 113,997 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Explorer. While driving at approximately 75 mph, the vehicle stopped moving forward. The vehicle was towed to an independent repair shop where the transmission was replaced. The failure had not occurred since the repair. The contact also stated that while attempting to shift the vehicle into park, the gear shifter broke off of the steering column. The vehicle was towed to an independent repair shop where the contact was informed this was a known problem with that model. The vehicle was in the process of having the steering column replaced. The failure mileage was 113,997. The current mileage was unavailable.

- Williamsport, PA, USA

problem #765

May 262010

Explorer

  • 90,000 miles

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

Oh where do I begin. I have 90,000 miles on my SUV. My radio goes off and on randomly. Door ajar is on randomly. When shifting from park to drive, it sticks and I have to tap it to go into drive. Rear wheel bearing had to be replaced. O/D light came on and flashing. One time I thought it was in park and when getting out of my car, it began to roll after taking my foot of the brake. I see these seem to be problems for several Ford Explorer owners. Please please please get this across to Ford that these need to be recalled, if not I will not be a Ford owner ever again and tell everyone I know not to buy a Ford! what is going to take, a death or injury?? take responsibility Ford! hope this never happens to you but then again, you probably don't even drive a Ford.

- Meriden, CT, USA

problem #764

Jun 272009

Explorer

  • 110,000 miles
At about 110,000 miles my transmission on my 2002 Ford Explorer XLT started slipping. Driving down the expressway my O/D light comes on and I am unable to accelerate as the gears are not shifting correctly. Took it in to a local transmission shop and they installed an overhauled 5R55W transmission. Less than a year later I take my truck to trade it in and the dealer says that the transmission is bad, going out and they would only offer me $2000 for my trade. The transmission is starting to slip again at 117,000 miles and I will again have to take it in to be repaired before the od starts flashing again as I'm driving to work. Luckily I am still under the 1 year warranty from the transmission repair shop, but I will be without a vehicle again to get back and forth to work.

- Hammond, IN, USA

problem #763

May 042010

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • 139,000 miles
The overdrive light on my 2002 Ford Explorer is flashing (blinking) and the transmission is acting erratic. Shortly after buying this car(in 2003) a similar issue happened. I took it to a Ford shop. The mechanic requested the transmission be replaced. Ford denied the request & had the mechanic change only the solenoid(I believe for the 1st& 2nd gear?). thankfully, this was under warranty. I've taken decent care of my transmission since in regards to maintenance. Now, this issue(or similar) is back. Before attempting to bring my car to Ford or another shop, I decided to check on the internet. I came across www.carcomplaints.com or more specifically: www.carcomplaints.com/Ford/Explorer/2002/transmission/O_D_light_is_blinking.shtml. to my surprise, this incident is not close to unique. I like my car & Ford, but this is just not right. I hope this issue can properly be addressed by Ford. This will probably be the only way they can retain me and my family as repeat customers...

- Murrieta, CA, USA

problem #762

May 132010

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • 142,000 miles

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

I'm an owner of a 2002 Ford Explorer XLT. Recently while driving on the interstate highway, I noticed the O/D light was flashing/blinking and my transmission was vibrating while shifting gears. I immediately acted quickly by gradually pulling over to come to a stop. As I later tried to accelerate the vehicle, it would not go past 10 mph, the transmission was stuck in 1st gear. Thank god my kids were not in the truck at the time. This faulty transmission needs to be acknowledge by Ford Motor Company. Please do not look at this as another complaint, this could potentially become a liability issue if not addressed. The same as with any other safety issue its investigated thoroughly, I'm praying this is looked at as serious safety concern on the highways.

- Lauderdale Lakes, FL, USA

problem #761

Feb 152010

Explorer

  • 132,000 miles
Transmission failure, this is the second transmission in just under 2 years. Ford needs to do a recall. I have had the vehicle properly maintenanced and all the necessary upkeep. This is awful.

- Fort Walton Beach, FL, USA

problem #760

Apr 102010

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • 83,000 miles
Driving down the hwy the O/D light began to flash on and off. Transmission then begins to randomly change gears. Nothing has been done yet to fix.

- Chama, NM, USA

problem #759

May 082010

Explorer

  • miles
I have a 2002 Ford Explorer and the O/D light began blinking and transmission began slipping, 110K miles on it and no problems. This seems like a common one, and Ford seems to be losing a lot of customers because no actions are done to fix or help us. Haven't gone to dealership yet but am not looking forward to the results.

- Collinsville, IL, USA

problem #758

May 072010

Explorer

  • 90,000 miles

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

Overdrive light flashing late shifting high rpms hard shifting. A common complaint for this vehicle. Ford says tough luck to a 3-5K Ford fix which will recur.

- Lancaster, CA, USA

problem #757

May 072010

Explorer

  • 123,000 miles
I have owned my 2002 Ford Explorer now for 3 years, within this 3 years I have had to make 2 major repairs and am now facing my 3rd. The transmission in my car needed to be fixed with 6 month of owning my car and now a year and half later I am facing more transmission issues. The car continuously kicked hard when shifting gears. Also if I were to put into park it would still roll or if I put it into reverse it would roll forward as if it were in reverse. Now it is using up to 5/6 Ram to shift gears. I took it to a transmission shop and it missing all of its 3rd gear. I have found over 280 complaint about this same issue on the same make and model and that's just on one website. I believe this is very dangerous and as a new mother am wondering with all the complaints is this car safe? I don't believe it is. The transmission in this car needs to be recalled. This is not just one instance of bad luck. This is happening repeatedly with the same vehicle! I hope it doesn't take someone getting hurt for something to be done about this. Thank you for looking into this matter.

- Abbeville, SC, USA

problem #756

Dec 182004

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • 38,000 miles
Purchased vehicle with in 2 weeks transmission fluid was every where. Transmission took to dealer. Back and forth to dealer for almost one year. They eventually said they would put a new tranny in the truck. With in 2 wks was doing same thing. O/D light blinking, won't shift, clunking. Took back to dealer wouldn't do any more. Took to diff. Dealer found out that they had put a tranny out of a junk yard into my Explorer. Not happy. That tranny lasted about 4 months, had rebuilt lasted 7 months parked for a long time. Making payments and couldn't afford another tranny. Working on finding another tranny now that it is paid for. This is ridiculous as you can ask anyone who owns one of these vehicles and they all have the same problems. Perhaps a class action suit would be the way to go seeing as Ford is not willing to recall these transmissions and replace with one that they know doesn't have these problems. I even went to the BBB and reported dealership and the attorney general. Seems like Ford would want to uphold there reputation. But I guess money is all that matters to them. I will never have another Ford, the bad thing is that I have always been a loyal Ford fanatic. This has really sucked alot of peoples wallets dry including mine. Come on Ford!!!!!!

- Primrose, KY, USA

problem #755

Apr 262010

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • 96,000 miles
1. normal driving 2. blinking O/D off light, check transmission light, check engine light, transmission begins to slip 3. replaced transmission, still intermittent O/D off light blinking.

- Alpharetta, GA, USA

problem #754

Apr 282010

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • 102,000 miles
2002 Ford Explorer XLT. Transmission O/D light flashes after vehicle warms up. This an intermittent problem. This may lead to transmission failure. Research had found that this may cost several thousand dollars to repair and may not fix the problem. The vehicle has just over 100K miles on it and we are not the original owners.

- Woodbridge, VA, USA

problem #753

May 042010

Explorer

  • 106,000 miles
Transmission failure, od light flashing.

- Whitehouse, TX, USA

problem #752

Apr 092010

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • 128,000 miles
Transmission failure on a 2002 Ford Explorer 4 door. Transmission failed at 78,000 miles and was rebuilt by condit Ford in newton NJ around July 2006. Transmission failure again at 128,000 miles on April 9, 2010 and was rebuilt by foxworth's auto service in greensboro, nc.

- Wharton, NJ, USA

problem #751

Jul 152006

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • 78,000 miles
Transmission failure on a 2002 Ford Explorer 4 door. Transmission failed at 78,000 miles and was rebuilt by condit Ford in newton NJ around July 2006. Transmission failure again at 128,000 miles on April 9, 2010 and was rebuilt by foxworth's auto service in greensboro, nc.

- Wharton, NJ, USA

problem #750

Mar 152010

Explorer

  • 150,000 miles
I have 2002 Ford Explorer XLT 6cyl four wheel drive. I like the vehicle but the overdrive light had been flashing on it for awhile and the transmission finally went out completely. From what I understand this is a very common problem with this vehicle. It would cost at least $2000 to get a rebuilt transmission put in which from what I understand doesn't last very long anyways and 5000 for a new one that wont last a whole lot longer. I think Ford did a very poor job of standing behind their vehicles. They haven't even offered a redesigned transmission or anything so if it happens to you mite as well scrap the vehicle cuz it will cost too much to fix and its not going to last any ways. I think Ford needs to address this issue.

- Middle Point, OH, USA

problem #749

Apr 262010

Explorer

  • miles
O/D light continues to blink. The blinking as occurred before and no one knows how to correct the problem. I already spend a couple thousands dollars to fixed the transmission B/C transmission was slipping.

- Canton, GA, USA

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