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 14 of 22)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #175

Apr 142008

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 94,500 miles

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

Without warning, the transmission simply failed. There were no indicators on the dash,nothing. The car simply began revving but not going and suddenly shifting with a huge lunge and clunk. Initially took to Ford to inspect and told 3rd gear gone and intermediate bands broken. They would gladly replace with a re manufactured trans along with a 3 yr 100k warranty for $3500.00 I asked the service guy why won't Ford offer that warranty upfront at the initial time of purchase. No answer. Purchased this vehicle new and it has always acted quirky with shifting on occasion. Reading the complaints, I see I am not alone. Ford has got a problem and they need to recognize it. Never again will I purchase a Ford. Sorry Henry, the quality is not there!

- , Alabaster, AL, USA

problem #174

Aug 192006

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles

I'd like to echo several posts. Blinking O\D light, transmission will only shift into overdrive under no load, late and hard shift from 1st to 2nd (or accelerate to about 20 mph then back off to minimize jar to drive line components), and 4-wheel drive will not engage. From the day I bought this Explorer new, the transmission shifted later and harder than I though appropriate. Then at about 80 to 85k miles the OD and 4-wheel drive stopped working and shifts btwn 1st to 3rd became much worse. The torque converter lock up still seems to be working (can tell when it's running road speed in 3rd gear).

After some research using Ford Shop Manuals, there seems to be direct relationship between 1st to 2nd late/hard shifts and the overdrive problem but I can;t find an official Ford posting or Tech Bulletin to provide details. Internal pressures control the shifting and there are several valves, orifices, solenoids, etc that can cause improper control pressures.

I'm not a professional but I've been an engineer for 30 years and have been racing and working on cars as a hobby since I was 5. I'm not afraid to try corrective maintenance if I can find the proper tools and information such as shop manuals, and current TSBs. I got the Explorer shop manuals but unable to get the emissions manual that provides info to complete troubleshooting.

Ford must know of the problem and truthfully, I think the reliability of the tranny in the IRS Explorer falls well below the public's expectations and should be even farther below Fords acceptance criteria. No wonder they didn't use IRS in their top of the line Ford Mustang. The Shelby or Cobra (always mix it up) has a standard differential. Despite the premature failure, I would probably be content if Ford provided their Explorer owners a detailed description of the failure, developed a long term fix, provided Ford owners some reasonable options to install the parts and/or make the modifications needed for a long term fix (to include self repair as an option), and establish a help desk to assist customers with this extremely high transmission failure rate.

An earlier post hit the nail on the head when they said "I bleed ford blue but this shakes my faith in Detroit. its just plain sad." I too bleed Ford blue. I have 3 Explorers (91, 96, 2002), a '52 F-250, '57 F-150, and a 66' Pony. The least reliable, well the only one that has failed on me, is the 2002 Ford Explorer. This is the car I bought (new) for my wife so she would have reliable transportation as she works and plays soccer mom for our three children. It is sad, very sad. Ford, please take some action!!!!!

- , Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #173

Oct 172002

Explorer XLS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,000 miles

OD light starts blinking, stopped at a stop light tried to take off, revved way up going from 2nd to 3rd gear had to back off it several times before it finally went into gear. Service guys says band needs replaced and slight overhaul at $2000 bucks........So we fixed it at a Ford Dealership with Ford Replacement parts. 17 month later same thing, Found out that the replacement parts are only Gar. for 12 month so we have to pay $2300 to fix it again. What the HELL, I called ford, that was funny, SORRY NOT A PROBLEM THAT IS A RECALL

- , Louisville, OH, USA

problem #172

Apr 282005

Explorer XLT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,000 miles

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

AT FIRST WHEN I PURCHASED THE VEHICLE I THOUGHT IT JUST RAN A LIL ROUGH FROM THE PREVIOUS OWNER. HELL NO. NOW FROM READING ALL THESE COMPLAINTS THIS CAR IS A PIECE OF SH*. I LOVE THE LOOK OF MY CAR AND I HATE EVERYTHING ELSE. I PUT SO MUCH MONEY ON AFTER MARKET PIECES THAT ITS NOT EVEN WORTH IT ANY MORE. 1ST STARTED WITH TRANNY WITH O/D LIGHT FLASHING AND HESITANT SHIFTS WITH A CLUCK. THEN DRIVER DOOR DOESN'T SHUT ON OCCASION WITH THE ANNOYING CHIME AND LIGHT STILL ON WHILE DRIVING. LOUD CLICK OR CLUNK FROM ENGINE WHILE IDLE WITH NON-STOP SHAKING. EVERY TIME I KILL THE ENGINE THERES A LOUD POWER DOWN NOISE LIKE AN AIRPLANE POWERING DOWN. NOW AN EMBARRASSING LOUD CLICK COMING FROM THE REAR WHEELS AT LOW SPEEDS ( ACCELERATING, BRAKING, AND CRUISING ) AND SO MUCH MORE. ANY ADVISE ON ANYTHING SO I DON'T GET FCKED OVER BY THE DEALER. ALREADY GOT TRANNY REPLACED AND NOT EVEN A MONTH LATER SAME PROBLEMS ALONG WITH THE TIMING CHAIN. GOT EXTENDED WARRANTY STILL BUT FOR SOME REASON STILL ENDED UP PAYING 1500 LAST TRIP TO DEALER CUZ OF CERTAIN PARTS THE WARRANTY COMPANY DIDN'T COVER. IM NOT RICH SO I CANT TRADE IN. NEVER AGAIN A FORD COSTUMER!!!

- , Steilacoom, WA, USA

problem #171

Mar 292008

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,500 miles

Having trouble with your transmission? DO NOT CALL FORD. They just ask questions make you feel like your getting somewhere say sorry and than make it another complaint to file away. I just called ford I was told they had no solution. I asked how many complaints they needed for a recall they said it was not a safety issue. NOT A SAFETY ISSUE!?!?!?!? When your driving down the road at speeds around 50,when your overdrive light starts blinking and though your pressing the gas peddle it just revs your engine as you loss speed with cars whizzing by you your children in the truck and you have no place to pull over and you don�t know what�s going on, That is a safety issue. ALL you can think is this is not happening, why is this happening and please GOD don�t let us get hit. I find that makes it a safety issue.!!!!!~NOT A SAFETY ISSUE!!!!!DO they drive the SUV? TRANSMISSION FAILURE IS A SAFETY ISSUE!!!!! What if I was on the highway? What if we got stuck in a storm? I bought a SUV with 4wd so I can get to places I have to go no matter what. I use it less often because of gas prices, my mom uses more gas in her small FORD car than I do. I could not for the life of me figure out why I would need a new transmission in a SUV so young. I thought it was poor gas and I find out its not the gas its FORD. I guess the saying is true buyer beware but they are not giving all the info. There has to be something that can be done. WE are just trying to survive like the rest of the world don�t WE as consumers have a right to feel safe in a SUV that is sold using tactics to make us feel we are safer? Who makes the decision if its a safety issue? DO THEY DRIVE IT?WOULD THEY? I am happy to be able to vent here I hope others will see. I wish I knew about this site eairler.well now I take this to other sites and maybe more will join the complaints here.How many do you think FORD will need before doing something like replace it or even warn others? I think they will wait for someone to die.I think mr. ford would roll over in his grave if he saw his company now.Found On Road Dead. Fix Or Repair Daily NO I KNEW NOT TO BUY A FORD AND SOME POOR SUCKER IS RIGHT BEHIND ME.anything for a buck.

- , Sanford, ME, USA

problem #170

Mar 292008

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,500 miles

I posted earlier and I went to the web site NHSA.gov that was suggested.GOOD IDEA

if your having trouble complain here because this site puts it in order and go to NHTSA.gov the more the better maybe the government will get them to do something before someone is killed

- , Sanford, ME, USA

problem #169

Jan 182008

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 81,000 miles

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

The transmission failed at approx. 81,000 miles and we took it to the dealer where we bought it. They called the extended warranty place (First Service or something like that). They replaced the transmission with one shipped from Texas and it ran fine for 800 miles. Our warranty runs out in another 1000 miles. We called Ford which to no surprise gave us no help. We will keep calling and I am going to try and start a class action lawsuit or something. Ford needs to do something .............

- , Gtown, ME, USA

problem #168

Mar 082008

Explorer LST V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

Transmission should not fail after 60,000 miles. Judging from the number of complaints, Ford knows of the problem, but offers no relief for their customers. I bought American to help our economy. I will not buy another Ford.

- , Millersville, PA, USA

problem #167

May 162007

(reported on)

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,000 miles

2002 Explorer XLT 104 000 miles NEVER pulled any trailer boat etc.. My wife just drives to work store etc.. what a piece of squeeze. I looked around and the average price for rebuild is $2500. The o/d light started flashing and shifting was rough. I was told the tranny was losing pressure.. is TOTALLY ELECTRONIC.. DO NOT BUY.. Ford said we could trade it in for $5000 ..the truck is in perfect condition. It has never been wrecked, is perfect, all service by Ford.They said they never saw a problem.. imagine that... The longest trip we took in this truck was about 500 miles round trip. We have changed all fluids on or about..(within 500 miles ) of dealer recommended intervals... If the dealer is going to charge what they do and tell you need a new tranny go with another make of vehicle. We plan to repair it and trade it in for another brand. Maybe we can get a vehicle that can last longer without a MAJOR DRIVETRAIN PROBLEM.. I can take some minor window, paint, or other small problems but engine or tranny failure when it has been kept up .. no way!!!!!!!!

- , Morrow, GA, USA

problem #166

Sep 062007

Explorer XLT 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,000 miles

Same old story, blinking O\D light and no 3rd gear. Ford knows about the problem and even issued a TSB but no recall and won't lift a finger to help. To date I have gone through 3 trannys and 2 rear ends. I bleed ford blue but this shakes my faith in detroit. its just plain sad.

- , Chatsworth, GA, USA

problem #165

Jun 012004

Explorer 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles

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

I was experiencing some problems with my explorer not shifting - I tried to check the fluid and took it to a transmission place - non of us could find the dip stick - The solution there is no dip stick! I took it to several transmission places and was told by one place that the technician had just been to his update class and he showed me that there was a 2-4 problem with those transmissions as well as other problems listed in the updates- Ford would not handle the problem so I took it to a place that my mechanic referred me to take it. I have had it back there several times but they have taken care of me! Some of it has just been sensor problems - WHAT A NIGHTMARE monthly payments and over $5,000.00 worth of repairs and still counting!

- , Jerome, MI, USA

problem #164

Mar 222008

Explorer XL V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 38,000 miles

This is the second time I have had to replace a transmission, the first lasted 122,000 miles, not great but not bad, and cost $3400. The third transmission, replaced by Ford, lasted 38,000 miles and cost $3600.

- , Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #163

Mar 272008

Explorer LXT 4.0L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 114,000 miles

Always people Talk about The Transmissions problems and are true mines don't work like have too

- , Mayaguez, PR, Puerto Rico

problem #162

Jan 162008

Explorer XLS 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

Everyone who has a 2002 Ford Explorer needs to call Ford at 800-392-3673, and complain about the Transmission- they will probably tell you there is nothing they can do about it, but if enough people call FORD @ 800-392-3673, they may issue a recall on the tranny, and possibly reimburse any Money paid out for the Repair.

Everyone needs to call!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

- , Gainesville, FL, USA

problem #161

Feb 152008

Explorer XLS 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

Bought the vehicle used in Aug 2007, tranny would rev before shifting into 3rd gear, took it back to Wade Raulerson Honda (where I bought it and the extended warranty) They told me they couldn't do anything unless the check engine light was on??!!?? So I took it to a Transmission place and he advised it was probably the band. I called my extended warranty (Phoenix American) and they tols me "sure, that's covered." My mechanic took apart the tranny and when he submitted the claim, they turned it down due to a "faulty seal". Now my transmission was all taken apart and my warranty was not covering the repair. $2,000 to do the basic rebuild and I'm still having problems with it. My mechanic advised me that his Parts place recommended to not even give a 12 month, 12,000 mile warranty, when the standard is 36 month, 36,000 miles. THIS TRUCK SUCKS!!!!!!!!! Ford needs to do something about this problem!!

- , Gainesville, FL, USA

problem #160

Mar 022008

Explorer XLT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 101,000 miles

my wife and i bought this truck 1 year ago i am deployed to the middle east right now and this is the only truck we have running the problem is very bad for us will never buy a new ford ever!!!

it was at a light and just quit.

- , Santapaula, CA, USA

problem #159

Mar 102008

Explorer V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 84,000 miles

This should not have happened. The O'D light began flashing and we immediately took the car in for service. The transmission needed to be rebuilt. This car is driven by my wife primarily to shuttle our children around town. Is there a class action lawsuit pending; I was told that there was.

- , Millburn, NJ, USA

problem #158

Mar 102008

Explorer V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 84,000 miles

I was apprised that there is a pending class action lawsuit for 2002 Ford Explorers for transmission failure. Has anyone heard of such a class action lawsuit. Our transmission failed. The car was used by my wife primarily to shuttle my children around town. The transmission should not have failed.

- , Millburn, NJ, USA

problem #157

Mar 172008

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 76,000 miles

transmission won't go into reverse won't go into third gear

- , George Town, BWI, Cayman Islands

problem #156

Apr 102007

(reported on)

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 57,808 miles

suddenly out of the blue the OD light starts blinking, stopped at a stop light tried to take off, revved way up going from 2nd to 3rd gear had to back off it several times before it finally went into gear. Service guys says band needs replaced and slight overhaul at 18oo bucks........come the hell on ford! read this board and fix this damn problem. Too many people with the same problem for it NOT to be yours.... no more fords for me! im getting it fixed and trading for a foreign car or maybe a Chevy who the hell knows.. im pissed

- , Hannibal, MO, USA

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