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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
Typical Repair Cost:
$2,350.00
Average Mileage:
103,125 miles
Total Complaints:
8 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace/rebuild transmission (6 reports)
  2. let ford repair the defect (1 reports)
  3. not sure (1 reports)
2002 Ford Explorer transmission problems

transmission problem

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2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #8

May 032013

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 112,000 miles

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

I have an 02 Explorer, I was driving and the O/D light came on and was flashing, next thing I know the check engine light came on. Parked the car and waited to have the code scanned. It came up as P0775, took it to the transmission place and they replaced the fuse, and then found that the servo broke and I have lost 2nd and 5th gears. This car only has 112,000 miles on it and its horrible. I wish that ford would get off their ass and fix this problem, they know its a problem. I haven't got this fixed yet because it has only been 4 days since the code was scanned, and I don't have 2500 dollars laying around to get this done so I am out of a car for the next 4 to 6 months while I save to get this fixed. I wanted to trade it in for a new ford but with this I can't, and after it gets fixed (without the help of a million dollar company) I am going to trade it for a Toyota, they seem to stand behind their product and if something isn't right they fix it. That's what we get for buying American any more

- , Burien, WA, USA

problem #7

May 112012

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 190,000 miles

SERIOUSLY FORD!!! I had my tranny checked a couple months ago by a FORD dealer checked out fine . This morning on my way to work when i pushed the gas loud whining noise happened then went away couple seconds later happened again even louder then my explorer would not go anymore no drive reverse NOTHING!! WTF???? Long trail and 2 big puddles of tranny fluid behind my explorer so if it was fine why did this happen no one can answer anything but just wants money so much for american made and if so many r having problems with the transmissions going bad why dont ford do something guess all they care about is making money i will never buy a FORD again!!!!

- , Moline, IL, USA

problem #6

Mar 102011

Explorer XLT 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles

Ford needs to get off they're asses about the tranny's they put into these cars. every ford my family has owned has had transmission problems, and i was dumb enough to buy an explorer. I just think someone should do something about it. ford should replace at least half the costs of repairs.. its just wrong that they dont care about the customera like they say.

- , Bay City, MI, USA

problem #5

Feb 202011

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,000 miles

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

I'M 38 YEARS OLD A HAVE BEEN DRIVING FORDS SINCE I WAS 16. I HAD BOTH EDDIE BAUER EXPLORERS AND EXPEDITIONS WITH ALMOST 200,000 MILES AND NEVER HAD A PROBLEM, THAT IS UNTIL I BOUGHT THIS PIECE OF SH*T 2002 FORD EXPLORER!!!!!!!!!!! THE TRANSMISSION SERVO PLUG PUT OUT AND BROKE THE CASTING. WHAT THE F*K!!!! I HAD THREE KIDS IN THE VEHICLE AGES 4, 2, AND 10 MONTH OLD AND WHEN THE TRANNY WENT AT 45 MPH IT CAUSED MYSELF AND 4 OTHER VEHICLES INVOLVED TO SKID OUT OF CONTROL AND FINALLY END UP JUST OF THE SHOULDER WITH NOBODY GETTING HURT OR ANY VEHICLE DAMAGE (I THANK THE LORD FOR THAT). THE KIDS WERE CRYING AND SCARED SHITLESS!!!!!!! IF ANY OF THE KIDS HAD GOTTEN INJURED TODAY I WOULD BE AT MY LAWYERS OFFICE FILING A CLAIM AGAINST YOU FKING A*HOLES!!!!! FORD HAS NOT HEARD THE LAST FROM ME AND EVEN IF I HAVE TO SPEND THE REST OF MY LIFE FIGHTING THIS I MOST CERTAINLY WILL!!!!

HEY FORD------SEE YOU GUYS REAL SOON AND THAT YOU CAN TAKE TO THE BANK!!!!!! JUST THINK IF THIS HAPPENED TO YOUR KIDS, HOW WOULD YOU RE-ACT????????

- , Meadville, PA, USA

problem #4

Jan 312011

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 116,000 miles

I've owned Ford since I was 16, I've been Very disappointed in the quality of my last couple Fords. I lost my job a year ago & now I have to find the $ to replace the trans (the housing is busted) and what will fail next, I've replaced all 4 wheel bearings & then the ABS started acting up. Come on Ford Funk paying the BIG DOGS the BIG $ and take care of the people that still buy AMERICAN. Nissan doesn't have this many complaints about there trucks.

- , Martin, Ohio, USA

problem #3

Apr 052009

Explorer 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles

This failure is by far the most ridiculous I have ever experienced. Come on !!! The servo just comes flying out at such great force that it breaks the casting where the retaining clip is secured to prevent the plug from coming out. This should never happen especially resulting in a new transmission because the "case is now broken". This is piss poor Mr. Ford. American made junk because it is outsourced to China or Mexico. Cheap materials I tell ya. The sad thing is Ford knows about it and won't do anything to fix it. No wonder why the American companies are going bankrupt. They sell junk. Go ahead and keep paying 20 million dollar bonuses to your CEOs for finding another way to "step over a dollar to save a dime" What ever!!!

- , Westland, MI, USA

problem #2

Feb 132009

Explorer XLT 4.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 84,000 miles

This is a break that was a part failure that should not happen but the casting broke.

- , Shoreview, MN, USA

problem #1

Oct 212008

Explorer Limited 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 61,000 miles

Failure without warning. Had new tires installed. Service dealer tried to take out for test drive, but vehicle would not move. Got out and saw trail of tranny fluid all over the place. Pushed back inside and put it on the rack. The servo plug (3" diameter) on the passenger side of the transmission housing casting had popped out. Initially, it looked like the C-clip popped off which let the plug come out. No such luck. The lip around the hole actually cracked off. The whole casting needs to be replaced. So, now I'm in for a rebuild and $2600 frickin' bucks. I've babied this vehicle since I bought it new and have diligently had all the service done on it. Bad coincidence, I just had the transmission flushed/filled two weeks ago at the dealership as part of the major 60,000 mile maintenance. I've been screwed again. A lot of moderate issues with this vehicle have occurred all the while I've had it. I will not buy Ford again. This was my second Explorer. Too bad for you, Ford. I suspect you stopped caring about "Quality is job 1" a very long time ago.

- , Pewaukee, WI, USA

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