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:
$2,827.00
Average Mileage:
94,281 miles
Total Complaints:
438 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replaced with rebuilt transmission (113 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 (39 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 5 of 22)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #358

Dec 172011

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

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

This is extremely frustrating. I am still paying for this car. I owe 5000.00 on it. I bought it a year ago and it had absolutely no problems and had been well taken care of. In fact, the engine is still in perfect shape, as per the read on the diagnostic machine. I have had no problems with this car until the transmission started acting up. One day it is fine, the next day, it is skipping and slipping out of gear, and then jamming into gear. It has 130,000 miles on it. It should not even need to be serviced until 150,000. We has the fluid checked, since it has no dip stick, we had to take it to a shop, and the fluid was not low. This is a faulty design made by ford and ford should be replacing it. I have owned four fords. Two were brand new off the dealer lot, the other two were used. This is the only one we have had an issue with, but it will the last. I will not be purchasing another ford product.

- , Dothan, AL, US

problem #357

Aug 302011

Explorer XLT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 132,232 miles

THIS IS THE 4TH TRANSMISSION IN THIS VEHICLES LIFE!

I heard that these have weak transmissions, so before I bought one I found one that had the transmission overhauled already by the first owner @119,000 miles. (I bought the explorer with 122,000 miles on it). Had to overhaul it again at 130,000 miles and again at 132,000 miles. The most recent one was under warranty, but the tow bill was not covered. I still don't have it back yet. Both times the overhaul was done a very reputable transmission shop. I think the trans is just a bad design or something. This time they said it was a bad planetary gear set which was a Ford Part.

- , Portage, MI, USA

problem #356

Nov 292011

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 143,000 miles

I called the Ford customer service number and was told that it is a customer problem (I'm on my own). The thing about this that gets me is that it is a sealed transmission and there is no way of maintaining or monitoring the transmission on my own. Also, I understand that it has 143k miles but the scheduled maintenance is at 150k! Seriously, if I can't do anything to help it, it's Ford's issue!

- , Murfreesboro, TN, US

problem #355

May 012011

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles

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

I'm still paying on a vehicle that doesn't move forward or backwards! With making payments on the loan I can't afford $2,000 for a new transmission. Called Ford, they said not enough people have made them aware of the problem so they don't have it listed as needing recall!!!!!

- , Coggon, IA, USA

problem #354

Oct 252011

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 258,789 miles

I took my ford to a local Transmission shop. The owner stated this was a common problem on this make and model. He then gave me a quote and then called me in a couple of days and naturally it needed more work and money.

- , San Angelo, TX, USA

problem #353

Nov 022011

Explorer XLS 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 122,623 miles

This is a sealed transmission. The transmission isn't due for it's first service until 150,000 miles. Have never had any indications of a leak, so I assume the transmission is full, but can't check due to not having a dipstick.

- , Alexandria, VA, USA

problem #352

Nov 012011

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 215,000 miles

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

Truck sitting in the drive way won't go in drive, won't go in reverse, I have seen THOUSANDS of the same complaints, it is a crime that Ford won't own up to their mistake. single mother of 3 children, what am I supposed to do? This beyond sucks.

- , Braggadocio, MO, USA

problem #351

Jul 132011

Explorer Limited 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

I purchased the Explorer from a long time Ford dealership mechanic. He told me that the transmission was rebuilt at the dealership in Jan/2010. I thought that was great. A "fresh transmission" a little more than a year old.

The vehicle was purchased at 8:00 pm on Tueaday, July 12, 2011. I drove it home, no problems. Wednesday morning I had $600 worth of new tiers put on it. My wife and daughter went shopping in it Wednesday afternoon. She called me at 2:30 to tell me that something was wrong with the transmission. I had them stop and pull over. I went to meet them ad drove the vehicle. The transmission shifted very hard from first into second gear, then stuck in second and would not shift again. The Overdrive light and check engine light were flashing on the dashboard. So less than 20 hours after purchasing the vehicle, I am having to spend another $3,500 to replace the transmission.

I SUPPORT A FORD RECALL OF THIS PIECE OF CRAP!!!!

- , Orlando, FL, USA

problem #350

Oct 222011

Explorer XLT 4.01

  • Automatic transmission
  • 157,000 miles

The problem of the OD indicator light blinking and it associated problem of transmission failure is no secret to Ford. Ford's " anything but assume responsibility for it's defective products. Ford is still making and selling Pintos - just new names and sizes.

- , Buffalo Grove, IL, USA

problem #349

Apr 012008

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,000 miles

2002 Transmission failed in April 2008 was slipping gears, hard to shift gears, and went into gear with a big clunking sound. Did research and found this was a lemon transmission. I was out of warranty and I replaced with a Ford Dealer installed rebuilt transmission that I was told would not have the same problem, because for released another transmission. Well here am 40,000 miles later and the same thing happen and my 3 year/100,000 mile warranty for the rebuilt transmission is out of date by 2 months. Taking this complaint to the top, because I am not paying for this a second time!!!! Very disappointed that Ford has not recalled this transmission. I am also concerned about reports of the 2002 explorer moving while in park, I have 2 young kids and this is a real concern. FORD MAKE THIS RIGHT!

- , Lewisville, TX, USA

problem #348

May 012010

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

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

I, too, am fed up with Ford. I keep only because it is paid for and I don't want to take on any more payments. At a cost of around $36,000 new, you would think Ford would pay a little more attention to the drive train.

- , Canon, GA, USA

problem #347

Oct 102011

Explorer XLT 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 134,033 miles

I'm an international student at US. My parents together earn around 400 if calculated into USDs every month, and they gave me 5000 to buy this SUV for school commute.

I'm a very careful driver and the car kept running good till Monday night, just in a sudden the odo meter overshoot 3000 all the time and letting go of gas pedal won't help. Sometimes it struggled and made it to gear up, and it feel like someone kicking really hard at the back of my car.

Though it was random to happen on a modestly operated vehicle and internet tell me oh it's not random. Local mechanic reports over $2000 bill to either rebuild or find a replacement from junk yard. And personally they advised me to just salvage it and buy another car.

What am I supposed to do? I live on a $1100+ monthly university scholarship, no other income, illegal to work off campus, pay heavier taxes to federal and state governments than US citizens for this scholarship income, yeah and our school registration fee raised to compensate the damn bad economy, being thrifty all the time and buck by buck saved a total of $800. Someone tell me how am I supposed to get this fixed.

So yes, I'm broken, not by economical depression, not by disabling injury, nor by stock market mis-investment, but by a poorly designed car with a not-makers-business defect in the richest country of the world.

- , Auburn, AL, USA

problem #346

Sep 172011

Explorer EB 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 114,000 miles

THE TRANNY SHOULD NOT FAIL AT 114000 MILES. ITS NOT SUPPOSED TO BE SERVICED UNTIL 150000 SO FORD NEEDS TO MAKE GOOD ON THEIR PRODUCTS. IN THE LAST YEAR I HAVE REPLACED TWO WINDOW REGULATORS AND THE 4X4 CONTROL MODUAL SO I'M SEEING SIGNS THAT I NEED TO DUMP THIS CAR AND GET A NEW ONE

- , Yakima, WA, USA

problem #345

Jan 052005

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles

1st Ford ever and LAST! Ford would not stand behind this car despite admitting it was a premature failure. How many of us out there have had transmission problems with the '02 Explorers? I think we should do a class action lawsuit. No wonder my mechanic calls them "Exploders"!!!

- , Plymouth Meeting, PA, USA

problem #344

Dec 182008

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 138,054 miles

This transmission gave out in less than 36,000 miles and in only 18 month after the last replacement. Please call ford to complain so they will issue a recall at 800-392-3673. If we don't stand united and force them to recall, you and thousands more will waste your hard earned money.

- , Redlands, CA, US

problem #343

Feb 082007

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 102,383 miles

Please call ford at 800-392-3673. The more complaints the better results and hopefully a recall. But you have to call ford to complain or they will never issue the recall. Please call them.

- , Redlands, CA, US

problem #342

May 012011

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,000 miles

This is the 6th time I had to repair the transmission. The first 3 times were under warranty since when my new explorer had 3000 miles the transmission stop working, had to be replaced. It happends for 2 more times after that. I called the Ford offices and called DACO and I couldn't do anything since nobody helped me with the problem. Since that time I had to change the tranmission 3 more times. It is almost once per year. That is why it cost me around 18000 since everytime I had to replace with a new transmission.

- , San Juan, PR, Puerto Rico

problem #341

Mar 162011

Explorer 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,000 miles

I was told by several mechanics that this is a common problem with this year make and model. The new one should last about two years before it has to be replaced again! That is really something I look forward to! If Ford knows about this, and I don't see how they can't, why don't they fix it. I will never ever buy another Ford product!!

- , Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #340

Jun 222011

Explorer XLS 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,738 miles

This is absolutely ridiculous. Why won't Ford recall these damn things if they know they've produced a defective transmission? It failed without any warning. Not to mention the idea of a sealed transmission (in an SUV) is stupid in itself. How do I know the fluid level? How do I know if it's burnt/needs replacement? My vehicle has been regularly maintained in and out. It still failed. Now I need to find a source of RELIABLE transportation. FORD- IF YOU'RE READING THIS, I'D FIX THIS ISSUE IF I WERE YOU, AND AVOID THE CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT.

Update from Jul 5, 2011: * Also* After the removal and dis-assembly of transmission, with re-use of components salvagable, the cost is $3440.21 (For replacement of defective components, broken components, and updated components, with labor alone at $1147). Serviced at AAMCO Transmission.

- , Middleburg, FL, USA

problem #339

Jun 012011

Explorer LXS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

This is the damn 3rd trans I have put in this car. I just spent 1,700 on a rebuilt. I have called Ford but they refuse to do anything about it.

HOW CAN WE FILE A CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT? I'M WILLING TO DO ANYTHING

I CAN BE REACHED AT

MRKBSMITH@GMAIL.COM

6783341016

- , Roswell, GA, USA

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