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 22 of 22)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #15

Sep 292006

(reported on)

Explorer XLT

  • 71,000 miles

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

I bought a 2002 Explorer 3 months ago from a private owner with 69000 miles. The interior/exterior was in great shape and the price seemed right. After only 2000 miles the OD off light is flashing. After reading all the posts on the internet the problem seems obvious. How can ford have this many complaints about this transmission and not issue a recall is beyond comprehension. And they wonder why they have been losing market shares and americans are buying foreign. Why can't we who have been wronged get somebody like 60 Minutes or the better business burea involved? Maybe even the local news organization.

- , Hampton, VA, USA

problem #14

Sep 272006

(reported on)

Explorer

  • 40,000 miles

I first noticed the car jerking into gears and sometimes felt if driveshaft coming through floorboard.Ford told me I need a new transmission at 35,000. I was in shock! I thought Ford made excellent trucks.

First the warranty is typical 3yr 36,000, so it's my money I have to depart with.

I will never buy a Ford product again even though my father never drove anything else ( he never had problems with transmission with his vehicles) but Ford is not owning up to this flawed transmission. I have talked with other 2002 owners and up. Explorer owners saying transmission are jerky and won't shift in reverse without a 3 to 4 second delay.

If Ford wants to keep customers then do the right thing and recall these transmissions!

- , Brown Summit, NC, USA

problem #13

Sep 232006

(reported on)

Explorer XLT

  • 110,000 miles

I purchased this Ford 1 1/2 years ago and now the transmission is going out. It was purchased from a reliable use car dealership but they failed to tell me about the transmission. I got a quote from a transmission shop for a cost of $1,695 to $2,100 to have this fixed.. My first car was a Ford and I should have known that all Fords are still the same no matter what year they are. Ford sucks. I'm going back to foreign cars.

- , Memphis, TN, USA

problem #12

Sep 082006

(reported on)

Explorer Eddie Bauer

  • 66,000 miles

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

I too have an 02 Explorer with a bad transmssion. It was fine this morning, and I got it on the road just a few minutes ago and BAM, problems. It winds up to the red line on the tach and will not shift until you let off the gas. When it shifts, it jerks into gear and shudders. I believe it goes from 1st to 3rd. It will not shift back down into lower gear for passing. It just loafs there in high gear until it jerks down to 1st, squealing tires and redlining it. The O/D off light is flashing and the service engine light is now on. There is a nice little "check transmission" display on the computer. The local Ford dealers were very quick to point out that it was out of warranty. Honda had a similar problem with its transmissions, and upon realizing it issued an "implied warranty" up to 100,000 miles for transmissions on those affected cars. Ford could care less. Its no wonder America buys Japanese.

- , Winston Salem, NC, USA

problem #11

Sep 132006

(reported on)

Explorer Eddie Bauer

  • 46,500 miles

Similar problem as all the others here. 2002, V8, 46500 miles, purchased new, no trailer tow package, never pulled a thing in it’s life, female driven, very easy life. “Check transmission” warning in message center came on, O/D off light flashed on and off rapidly. Warning lights would come on at about 50 mph and reset when key was turned off. No warning lights at all in low speed city driving. All shifts appeared to be normal. O/D engaged OK. Torque converter might not have locked up at highway speed, tough for me to tell since I drive it so rarely. Bottom line, took to dealer, they found a “chunk of copper in valve body” and other metal shaving throughout the entire transmission. Entire transmission replaced with a new Ford remanufactured transmission. Fortunately the repairs were still covered by Ford ESP extended warranty so total out of pocket was only $50. Was told the bill would have been over $4,000 without the warranty.

Transmissions should not fail after 46000 miles. Never did like the idea of a sealed transmission. Whether I could have detected early warning signs of failure by checking the fluid regularly we’ll never know. But as President Reagan once said, “trust, but verify”.

- , Kansas City, MO, USA

problem #10

Sep 132006

(reported on)

Explorer EX

  • 56,000 miles

There is a Techinical Service Bulletin out on this, THEY (FORD) say its not a safety issue.... so no recall was issued, but I beg to differ. With two kids in the car when your on the highway with no previous indications of any problem you suddenly have a car that stops dead.

- , North Olmsted, OH, USA

problem #9

Aug 182006

(reported on)

Explorer XLT

  • 65,000 miles

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

I definitely got a sick feeling to my stomach reading these other complaints because mine was so similar. The O/D would flicker and it couldn't shift from 1st to 2nd gears. I am so lucky that the previous owner had an overhaul done while it was still under warranty (for the exact same problem) and that his warranty on the overhaul covered my repairs. Had I not extensively researched the car's history, I wouldn't have known about the overhaul already being done once. I made sure that the dealer would honor the warranty from the previous owner before buying. Good thing or I would've been out $3500. But what about all of my fellow owners here who weren't so lucky? Ford says, "Too bad," I guess. Now, I feel like I'm just biding my time until it happens again. What a joke. No recall on this? Ford has lost my business forever.

- , Denver, CO, USA

problem #8

Jul 232006

(reported on)

Explorer XLT

  • 65,000 miles

transmission slips and O/D light is flashing. Ford vehicles suck I will never buy another

- , South Bend, IN, USA

problem #7

Jun 092006

(reported on)

Explorer Limited

  • 96,000 miles

Because my vehicle is over the 36k mile limit ford told me it wasn't their problem, but they are willing to take my arms and legs to fix it. Everyone with explorer problems needs to contact customersaskford.com and register all of these complaints so that hopefully they will issue a recall. There you will find a question page just ask(how do I file a complaint with ford motor company) this will get the ball rolling. This is the 2nd eddie bauer explorer I have owned and the 3rd transmission I have had to replace.

- , Elkland, PA, USA

problem #6

Jun 192006

(reported on)

Explorer XLT

  • 49,500 miles

Purchased the vehicle used, with 49,000 miles on it -- the day after we took it home, we noticed that the vehicle lurched out of, and into 1st gear -- we took it back to the dealer and 3 days later were told that it was a torque converter clutch problem -- were told that we were lucky that we had the 30 day used car warranty, or it would have cost us $3500! Had another transmission problem 14 months later, but that's another story...

- , Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #5

Jun 192006

(reported on)

Explorer XLT

  • 68,000 miles

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

The O/D light started to blink one morning and the truck would lurch out of 1st gear into 3rd -- was told after the diagnostics that I had lost 2nd gear and that the "pin" had broke... The dealership had to "rebuild" the whole transmisison and gave me a 1 year warranty on the work. 4,000 miles later, all is still okay.

- , Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #4

Dec 142004

(reported on)

Explorer

  • 61,000 miles

Just a single guys car. To and from a desk job no towing or hard driving with this truck. One morning truck just wouldn't keep rpm and o/d light stayed on. Ford Dealer said it was the transmission band. Is this a problem for others?

- , Northboro, MA, USA

problem #3

Dec 092005

(reported on)

Explorer

  • 50,000 miles

First transmission failed at 300 miles. Yes 300 miles. Then at 50,000 miles it failed again. It has been in the shop a week and the dealer still has not diagnosed the problem. They would not give me a replacement until they diagnosed the problem. The customer service supervisor then proceeded to hang up on me when I asked to talk to his manager. I will never buy another Ford and would not recommend the car to anyone

- , Billerica, MA, USA

problem #2

Jan 062006

(reported on)

Explorer XLT

  • 105,000 miles

When the O/D lite began flashing, we had it serviced and the error code pointed to a torque converter clutch problem. Assuming that the valve body gasket had blown and needed to be replaced (around $400 service cost), we had a technician drop the valve body after he discovered that there was 'chunks' of brass and steel in the pan. He dropped the valve body, the gasket was fine, but there were more 'chunks' of brass and steel in the valve body. The next day, the transmission would not ramp up beyond first gear. I'm looking at having to overhaul the transmission. Ford said there are no recalls on the 2002 Explorer transmission. Someone tell me how normal driving conditions causes 'chunks' of metal to appear in the valve body and transmission pan!

- , Corydon, IN, USA

problem #1

Mar 222005

(reported on)

Explorer LX

  • 95,000 miles

This piece of crap has been on the tow truck more than the road. The entire transmission went out after it was only 1,015 miles out of warranty. Ford said too bad. Then the next year.... over $ 1,800 worth of work... and the dealership (Tampa) said it was not the work previously done. Then less than 8 months later... the transmission completely went out again... after extensive conversations with the dealership and Ford.... it was my tough luck. I purchased a Ford Explorer at the time they were having trouble with Good year. I was advised by almost everyone that this was a mistake... but how was my loyalty to Ford repaid? Over $ 5,687 worth of repairs in two years. Please pass the word. Post this story all over the Internet. Friends Don't Let Friends Drive Fords.

- , Ft. Wayne, IN, USA

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