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.

9.3

really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
$2,829.00
Average Mileage:
93,936 miles
Total Complaints:
435 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replaced with rebuilt transmission (112 reports)
  2. replace transmission (86 reports)
  3. transmission needs to be recalled (81 reports)
  4. call Ford customer service and complain 800-392-3673 (63 reports)
  5. not sure (37 reports)
  6. local mechanic fixed, not giving dealer any more business (18 reports)
2002 Ford Explorer transmission problems

transmission problem

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2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments (Page 11 of 22)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #235

Jan 012009

Explorer XLT 4.0L 6 cyl 5a

  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,000 miles

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

Started with a slight "bumping" feeling while driving that would go away after a few minutes. Then a whining sound from the back. A few weeks later the key got stuck in the ignition, couldn't shift to park, and fluid leaking all over. Found out it was a bad TRANSFER CASE ($1,000) that caused my DIFFERENTIAL ($1,500) to fail. Had to replace both. Above costs are only for the parts,not the labor. Within the last year i have had to replace both rear WHEEL BEARINGS the DIFFERENTIAL and the TRANSFER CASE! I have always owned Ford vehicles and this is the first time I have EVER had any major problems. This tells me the quality and workmanship has gone down hill along with their business. I will NEVER buy another Ford. When I replace the Explorer and Pontiac Aztec we own I will be buying TOYOTA or NISSAN. This breaks my heart but I can not trust the US auto industry anymore. Can't afford all the problems. Why has Ford not acknowledged these problems? CALL THE FORD CUSTOMER COMPLAINT LINE! WE MUST!

- , Eaton Rapids, MI, USA

problem #234

Mar 272007

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

This car is sh*t.

The transmission went out at ~75k miles. Then THREE more times in the next 25k miles. Yes, three transmission failures in 25,000 miles.

My initial failure cost about $2,800. First failure had 734 gear ratio error in fourth (3-4 flair).

One year later they replaced the valve body.

A year after that the direct clutch lip seal failed.

The O/D light flashes, the alarm is constantly going off, I drive without interior lights because they don't reliably turn off when the car is left unattended. The compass perpetually shows I'm going west.

This car is sh*t.

- , Minneapolis, MN, USA

problem #233

Feb 142008

Explorer Limited 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 69,445 miles

At 64K I raised the issue with my Ford Dealership, they ignored it. It kept getting worse and when bringing it in for an oil change they dismissed it. Brought it to a Transmission shop to drive it and they did research and found the tech articles about it. Brought that into the Ford dealership and they stated it is out of warranty and we can do three things, sell/trade the vehicle which I own, put in a third party replacement kit (90 day warranty), or a Ford transmission with a three year warranty, chose the latter.

They had to fumble around with getting the engagement to work properly and I literally have to force the vehicle into Drive to get it to engage else sometimes it would slip into Neutral at the worst times!!! Is this SAFE, NO!!!

I just found this site and wish I would have found it earlier as I'm experiencing other issues with wheel bearings replaced and now springs/struts?? The vehicle is not used for off-road or towing...this is not acceptable and did some research and had to write today.

Everyone is griping but everyone NEEDS TO CONTACT FORD else this is on deaf ears. I wrote and others should click the Resources tab or contact them here in writing or Email. I see they did not send me a copy of my Email to them so I would save that 1000 character Email in a word processor file and also write a letter to back it up! Let's organize and get something done on all these 2002 Ford Explorer issues as I'm now 5.9K in the hole if I replace my springs/struts...this is INSANE at 78K!!!

Ford Customer Relationship Center P.O. Box 6248 Dearborn, MI 48126 (800) 392-3673

https://secure.ford.com/footer/contact-ford/contact-us-email?contactMainTopic=VehicleServiceIssues

- , Saint Paul, MN, USA

problem #232

Mar 152006

Explorer XLT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 81,000 miles

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

We rebuild the transmission $2100.00 and replaced the front end 700.00 in 2006.

Now in Jan. 2009 we are going to replace the transmission again $2000.00 and I still owe

on the #!* thing. I think Ford needs to pay up and make it right with all the Explorer

owners.

- , Newland, NC, USA

problem #231

Dec 182008

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 116,000 miles

The Explorer started acting unusual when trying to shift from 2nd - 3rd. I Googled the problem and found this website. After reading a few... hundred posts I realized the problem was both common and severe. I asked around and found a local mechanic who also does transmissions. He runs a smaller shop with only a couple mechanics on staff but said this was the 3rd Explorer with transmission issues in less than a month. That is saying a lot considering the town he is located is a predominately Chrysler town because of all the Chrysler and supporting factories located there and they don't see many Fords. He gave me several options including a used transmission ($1,800), a Jasper rebuilt 3 year - 36k mile($3,000), an LKQ rebuilt 3 year - 100k mile rebuilt($2,500), , and a new transmission($3,500). I chose the LKQ. The transmission is still adjusting as we drive it since we don't have 500 miles on it yet. It seems to have solved the problem although the shift from 2-3 isn't as firm as it was when the truck was new. As so many others have mentioned, let me know if there is a class action lawsuit. This transmission was obviously a design defect from the beginning and Ford continued to use it in subsequent years.

- , Knightstown, IN, USA

problem #230

Dec 312008

Explorer Eddie Bauer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,234 miles

There are so many of us having this same problem Ford should pay for the rebuilds. How can we make a class action suit?

- , Spokane, WA, USA

problem #229

Jan 072009

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,000 miles

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

Awesome Ford exploder. Right up until the trans decided to take a crap. Started with trans od light and 4X4 light starting to flash and stay on momentarily. Then fast forward a few weeks and the trans begins making the most horrific noise when not on pressing the accelerator. Trans shop told me it will be about $3500 to repair. Blue book on the truck is $3000 bucks. I traded it off on a new one they gave me my trade in quote without even looking at the truck so tooooo bad soooooo sad FORD HAD TO EAT IT!!!!!! Anyway I now have a new truck payment that two weeks ago I wasn't even prepared for. AWESOME!!!!!!!!

- , Batavia, IA, USA

problem #228

Jan 052009

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 112,000 miles

This is the second transmission in 112000 miles. I started the engine placed the vehicle in drive and got nothing. The engine would not engage with the transmission. This is among many problems I've had with this vehicle. FORD (F*cked Over Rebuild Dodge) this is an overstatement. Dodge does better than this.

- , York, PA, USA

problem #227

Aug 102007

Explorer XLT 4.O V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

WELL,,LET ME START BY SAYING THIS.....I CAN'T BELIEVE THIS S@#T!,,,I HAD FORD'S BEFORE AND NEVER THOUGHT I WOULD BE GOING THRU THIS...I HAD A 1995 FORD EXPLORER AND NEVER HAD A PROBLEM,,,SO I DECIDED ON AN UPGRADE SO I WENT OUT SHOPPING FOR A NICE TRUCK AND DECIDED ON BUYING ANOTHER FORD...WHAT A F@#$%^NG MISTAKE THAT WAS....I SAW A BEAUTIFUL 2002 FORD EXPLORER IN 2007, AND I BOUGHT IT....A MONTH AFTER THE TRANSMISSION WENT OUT,,I WAS JUST DRIVING NORMALLY AND WHAM..RATTLING ALL OVER THE ROAD...COST ME $2500 AND I WAS STILL UNDER WARRANTY SO I PAID 20% OF THAT....1 YEAR LATER NO MORE WARRANTY...WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT THE TRANNY WOULD GO BAD AGAIN, I THOUGHT I WAS SET FOR ANOTHER 100,000 MILES....SPOKE TOO SOON...NOW THE TRANNY CLUNKS AT TIMES WHEN SHIFTING IN REVERSE ,,,WHEN I PUT IT ON DRIVE,,IT HESITATES..TAKES A COUPLE OF SECONDS TO SHIFT EVEN MINUTES,,BUT ONCE IT CATCHES,.IT DRIVES FINE.. TOOK IT TO AMCO...THEY WANTED $1600 TO LOOK AT IT...WOW THAT WAS NICE...."WHAT WOULD HAPPEN WHEN YOU SEE IT"...."CHARGE ME WHAT EVER YOU WANT BUDDY"..."HELL NO".......IT DRIVES PERFECT...WHEN IT DRIVES, I JUST DONT UNDERSTAND...I EVEN DROVE IT TO CHICAGO LIKE THIS...14 HOURS, AND ABOUT 20 HOURS BACK DUE TO THE WEATHER... AND HAD NO PROBLEMS,,,, AS LONG AS I DONT PUT IT IN PARK ITS OK...IT JUST TAKES TOO LONG TO SHIFT IN DRIVE...I DONT HAVE THE MONEY TO FIX IT NOW AND IM STILL PAYING FOR THE TRUCK...SO IM JUST GOING TO DRIVE IT TO THE GROUND LIKE THIS AND HOPEFULLY IT WILL LAST THE DURATION OF THE CONTRACT....BUT IT IS A SHAME THAT THERE IS NO RECALL FOR THE TRANNY,,IF I WOULD HAVE KNOWN...I WOULD HAVE NEVER BOUGHT THIS P.O.S, I AM DISAPPOINTED WITH FORD,,,IM A SINGLE DAD...AND WHEN I PURCHASED THIS TRUCK,,I THOUGHT IT WOULD OUTRUN THE 1995....MODEL...BUT GUESS WHAT...THE 1995 IS STILL RUNNING LIKE NEW AND MINE IS NOT...ANYBODY WANNA SUE THIS BASTARDS....COUNT ME IN...I WILL BE RIGHT NEXT TO YOU IN COURT....ITS JUST NOT RIGHT AND IT IS INJUSTICE WHAT THEY DID WITH THIS MODEL...NO DIPSTICK...THAT IS A MISTAKE...AND THEY NEED TO REIMBURSE US ALL FOR THEIR MISTAKE..EVERYBODY I TALK TO WHO HAS A NEWER MODEL FORD...ITS THE SAME STORY...WITH THE TRANSMISSION....ITS NOT FAIR.....AAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHH!!!!!

- , Atlantic City, NJ, USA

problem #226

Dec 222008

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,000 miles

Overdrive off light started blinking, then shut off after a few mins. Took it into a transmission shop just in case and found out the overdrive unit had gone bad which caused an internal lock message on the vehicle computer. Once they pulled the transmission apart it would not go back together, it was a mess. Well $3000 and a rebuilt transmission later is what it needed. I see so many complaints about these transmissions I am shocked that Ford has done nothing about it. I called Ford and of course there are no recall's for this transmission issue. As soon as it was fixed it traded it in for a new 08 Chevy Suburban. I will never buy a Ford again!!!!!

- , Maricopa, AZ, USA

problem #225

Dec 032008

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,300 miles

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

Hi. Just wanted to add the same ole story. O/D light flashing, check engine light on, slipping from first to second, etc. etc. This is beyond acceptable!

Brought the car in to our local Ford dealership two years ago (when it was still covered under warranty) with tranny concerns...we were leaking fluid, dealership said "the tranny was sweating" Whatever that's supposed to mean. Unfortunately, we accepted that answer and continued to drive the truck. The truck would hesitate to go into reverse than slam as it finally shifted. The problems continued to get worse. At this point, we have failure in 2nd gear and 5th gear and no overdrive. The same local dealership says there is no easy fix, now (no more warranty) we need to replace the tranny. Go figure - that's an easy 4 grand to them. Whoever heard of a sealed transmission anyway, it is insane not to be able to check your own fluids. It certainly ensures Ford service job security. I cannot justify paying more on a repair than what the car is worth (especially when we still owe money on this vehicle). We are so disappointed to read all these posts and know that this company has no intentions of fixing the problem. We would be interested in a class action suit, but don't know the first thing about filing one. Thanks for listening...good luck to all of us....Hoping for a recall soon....Happy Holidays!!

- , Jefferson Valley, NY, USA

problem #224

May 142008

Explorer V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 57,000 miles

I will never buy another FORD. As far as I'm concerned they owe me $5700.00 between the 2 transmissions I had to replace in both my 2002 explorers in the last 8 months. I also have an electrical problem with this one that was in 4 or 5 times under the warranty and they said they kept fixing the problem. Well guess what, warranty is up and I still have the same electrical problem. I need to get rid of the pieces of garbage. I say don't bail Ford out.

- , Hoffman Estates, IL, USA

problem #223

Dec 152006

Explorer Eddie B 4.0L?

  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,000 miles

I replaced the Transmission at about 80k tham had to replace the motor at 110k because the camshaft cap fell off. Now it has 175k and the transmission is gone again. We need a class action on this POS

- , Ashland, MA, USA

problem #222

Dec 152008

Explorer 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 81,000 miles

I added a complaint a while ago and this is just an update of sorts. Took my explorer in today to see just what exactly would happen with this tranny. The repair shop says the whole thing will need to be replaced. It will cost $2450.00. Great, just in time for Christmas AND my Anniversary. I am SO ANGRY. I can't believe Ford will not do a thing to resolve this. I will never EVER buy a Ford again. No wonder their company is going down the crapper.

So today I'm going to take the $2000 that I had saved up (because originally I thought that was all it was going to cost and I have no way to come up with another $500) and try to trade this POS in. I will be killing my credit in doing this, due to the loan being upside down, but at this point, I just want out from under this POS. At least if I go to a GMC dealer, I will get a vehicle that will last me the life of the loan! Shame on Ford.

- , Oak Grove, KY, USA

problem #221

May 162006

Explorer Limited 4WD 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,341 miles

This is BS...Can you fix it right the first time...How incompetent can you be!!! You repair it, rebuild it, then replace it! Incredible.

- , Lemoore, CA, USA

problem #220

Dec 222005

Explorer Limited 4WD 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,844 miles

A great ski trip gone bad...I left my tranny in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Thanks alot Ford for a great product

- , Lemoore, CA, USA

problem #219

Dec 052008

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

I am very upset Here it is Christmas and I have a 2500 transmission rebuild bill, only to come to this sight and find it is a major problem that Ford is not doing anything about. I have always had a ford but this is my LAST one

- , Watsontown, PA, USA

problem #218

Dec 032008

Explorer Limited V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,230 miles

I love my Explorer, minus the gas mileage, and this transmission. Ford makes nice cars but I will never buy again. My parents had an explorer transmission went out at 34000 miles, lucky for them it was covered under warranty, unlucky me, mine is not. I would expect ford to stand by their consumers and fix THEIR problems, not us. Isn't if the problem exists in every car, or the majority, they should fix it. F&*K em. I actually hope with this recession they go out of business, but not, alot of people loosing jobs. Ford has lost another customer, I have had two fords and both crap. Good looking, comfortable, but bad workmanship.

- , Brunswick, ME, USA

problem #217

Dec 012008

Explorer SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 83,000 miles

I can't believe this, wish I had looked up the car before I was hyped up by the Ford dealer. I bought this car to replace our junker thinking it would be good to have a car for our three children to ride in that was safe and dependable. Well, two years after we bought it, after dealing with several other minor issues, including the horrid clunk of shifting from park to reverse, the D@#* thing is in the shop today because as my husband was leaving to go to work the transmission started making the worst sound I have ever heard. So, merry Christmas kids, Santa is getting a new transmission because he still owes more on his sleigh than it's worth. Sorry about the lack of dolls and trucks under the tree, Ford has done it again! I will never own another ford, and I am definitely calling to complain, this eeds to be recalled-transmission failures consistently happening under 100,000 miles? that's ridiculous. My 95 Chevy ran better than this!

- , Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #216

Jun 012007

Explorer Lmtd Eddie Bauer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 107,000 miles

NEVER EVER BUY A FORD! This was my first - a very expensive Eddie Bauer Ford Explorer- and I had to have the transmission rebuilt at 107,000 miles. I babied this car - I took it in for regular service checks, etc. I asked the dealership to call Ford and help with the expenses and I was told because I had over 100,000 miles it was my responsibility to pay for it. I will never buy a ford ever again!

- , Huntley, IL, USA

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