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.

8.9

pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
$2,515.00
Average Mileage:
109,098 miles
Total Complaints:
51 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (20 reports)
  2. enclosed transmission overhaul (18 reports)
  3. new tranny (13 reports)
  4. replaced with a newly remanufactured transmission (1 reports)
2002 Ford Explorer transmission problems

transmission problem

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2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments (Page 2 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #31

Aug 192010

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

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

This is now the second transmission to go out on this car. The first time the transmission went the miles were 65,000. Now the rebuilt (because you can't get a new one) transmission is showing the same problems as before. Ford should really step up and admit that they made a mistake with the transmission. I am complaining to every agency that will listen. Ford should resolve this problem with all of their customers. Any class action law suits going on surrounding this issue??

- , Houston, TX, USA

problem #30

Aug 062010

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 127,000 miles

JUst shocked to learn that it is an existing problem, yet nobody wants to own up to it. nice.wish i could treat my customer that way and still be "successful"

- , Berlin, MD, USA

problem #29

Jul 052010

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 179,000 miles

i noticed the od light flashing and then it would quit for a while then start back after a few weeks the transmission would slip going from first to second then it cleared up a few weeks after that now its doing it from second to third. od light blinks and mechanic said solenoid in transmission looking at over 600.00 thats just to get started. if any one knows of something that ford has rcecalled that may help i sure would like to know.

- , Birchwood, TN, USA

problem #28

May 032010

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 108,000 miles

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

for the second time my tranny went out, first time it happened at 5000 miles which the warranty paid, but now at 108000 it happened again o/d light came on and the bastard wouldn't get out of 3rd gear i had to let off the gas so it would shift, the whole thing cost me $1500, reading all the complaints tells me there's something ford is hiding they should at the very least acknowledge that those trannys suck ... lol

- , Miai, FL, USA

problem #27

Feb 192010

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 138,000 miles

I was hearing some trouble with the Exploder getting to the next gear and also heard some loud noise (like a plane getting reading to take off/land). We were quoted by the Ford dealer (that sold us the vehicle) that it would be $2600 for a used transmission, or $3600 for a new one....never once saying that it could be rebuilt. After talking/complaining to some people I learned that I actually knew someone that could "rebuild" my transmission for much less (I didn't know he "specialized" in trans. work). Luckily he charged me $1650 to "rebuild" my transmission and did updates to anything (in the trans) that needed it. On top of this, he gave me a one year warranty on the whole thing. This leads me to the next complaint.....

- , Lansing, MI, USA

problem #26

Apr 082010

Explorer ES 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 118,000 miles

O/D light started flashing and I couldn't go over 11 mph without the RPM's going through the roof. Guess what? Yep, that's right. Lost 3rd gear. Had to get a new (used) tranny. I'm very pissed off about this cuz' judging from these posts, I'll be doing it again in another 20K miles.

- , Milton, WI, USA

problem #25

Apr 052004

Explorer XLS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 38,000 miles

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

Let's just say I was really pissed at Ford because at 34,000 I took it in for it's transmission service and they didn't say anything. So 2000 miles later it takes a dump. I was so mad at Ford I had Aamco go to the dealer and pick it up. They fixed it for 2,556 in April 2004 and gave me a year warranty. It started acting up again but Aamco kept telling me there wasn't anything wrong. Liars! I took it back to Ford paid them 94$ to diagnose the problem (3rd grear again) took that back to Aamco and told them if they didn't fix it I would sue them. They fixed it again in January 2005. I am writing because I have just returned from paying another 2300 to have it fixed again in March 2010. I am going to post another complaint for that repair...

- , Laguna Niguel, CA, USA

problem #24

Nov 122009

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 73,000 miles

Same deal, won't shift into third.I have to take second and shift into drive skipping 3rd. Bought used at about 35k, went out at 73k.Dealership played dumb,of coarse.Will be calling Ford to at least get on record and will be filling complaint with NSTA. Class action?

- , Lancaster, PA, USA

problem #23

Jul 242009

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,206 miles

Another Transmission in the garbage...Tranny would not shift out of 2nd, rpm's through the roof....This was really painful.... $4600 Canadian to replace..... This vehicle is a piece of crap...I will never buy American again..... Looking at Toyotas....

- , Calgary, AB, Canada

problem #22

Mar 202009

Explorer XLT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles

I had no warning at all, the transmission just went out. There weren't any lights or anything to let me know of the problem coming. All at once, the o/d light came on and I had no 3rd gear. I had to drive it 30 miles in 2nd gear at 20 mph (pissed me off). I want Ford to do something about this problem cause I have searched the net and have found multiple cases of the same problem ranging from $1,400 - $2,500 and there are no recall bulletins. I want it fixed and to be reimbursed!

- , Columbia City, IN, USA

problem #21

Oct 012007

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 67,000 miles

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

Similar experience to many with the 5R55W transmissions. O/D will blink at times, 3rd gear is gone, transmission slips to neutral in a hard brake (I think it always did this). The Ford service was never very useful. An independent mechanic was the one who told me, 'your transmission is going out, this is a common problem with Ford 2002 Explorers' when the early signs of the problem were appearing. I had it serviced twice at the Ford service center when the early signs of the problem were showing, and both times it was a transmission flush and filter change, which never solved anything.

Does anyone know why they replaced the 5R55W with 5R55S half way through the model year? I have experienced several other similar problems (i.e. bearings going bad, coolant leaks via head gaskets, etc...). Anyone know of a class action law suit? This is by far the #1 problem vehicle on Autobeef. I had a discussion with someone who had a similar transmission issue with a Honda Odyssey out of warranty. Honda replaced the transmission at no cost, no questions asked. Maybe it is time to switch from a US auto company.

- , McHenry, IL, USA

problem #20

Jan 012009

Explorer 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,000 miles

i just wanted to say that hearing others with the same issue and ford still not making good on any of these issues is why these companies are failing. if this company would just value the consumer a little more i believe it would benefit them. i truly will never buy american again. i also will tell you that i am a god fearing, gun toting republican with strong nationalism in my blood. let's open up more toyota plants. screw ford !!!!

- , Dunmore, PA, USA

problem #19

Jun 142008

Explorer XLT 4.0L VV6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 18,000 miles

GRRRR! I bought a new car so I wouldn't have to deal with it falling apart like my old junker I drove before this, it was cheaper to keep fixing the old car than this thing!

I had only had the think for six months when this happened, not cool!

- , Superior, WI, USA

problem #18

Nov 022008

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

Earlier this year, the 4x4 lights started flashing and the front end sounded rough. I could not get the 4x4 to work at all. I took it to a friend of mine who owns a repair shop. He hooked it up to the computer to scan it. Guess what, it wouldn't give him the code, only a dealer could get this code. Dealer replaced the 4x4 module at a price of $600. Well this past Sunday my wife tells me something is wrong with her car. She said it was driving funny and shifting hard. She tends to over react, so I drove it. The O/D light started blinking, the service engine soon light came on and it would about jerk your head off when it shifted from 3rd to 4th. (think i can sue Ford for neck pain???) Again take it to my friend's shop. Scan says "line pressure" and "gear 3 ratio incorrect". Had to take it to dealer, even gave them the codes. They test drove it, adjusted a band screw and gave it back to me for at a price of $146. Drove fine for about halfway home. Now 3rd gear out completely. Took it back to dealer. Just got called and was told I had a major problem and was looking at $2500 dollars on the low end! LOW END!!! Don't know about y'all, but if I could afford to throw out $2500 here and there, I sure as hell wouldn't be driving an explorer. Not to mention Christmas around the corner. Merry Christmas kids, we got you a new transmission!!!! THANKS FORD!!!!!! WHAT A PIECE OF CRAP!!!!

- , Dalton, GA, USA

problem #17

Oct 132008

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 107,000 miles

I thought I had got the SUV I had always wanted but what I got was a good looking SUV with a piece of ^%$^& transmission. The darn thing don't even have a dip stick to check the transmission fluid level!

- , Kevil, KY, USA

problem #16

Aug 302008

Explorer Eddie Bauer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,000 miles

Took my car to a Transmission garage and told me that all of my gears were slipping.

- , Cochranville, PA, USA

problem #15

May 092008

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

I am a used car dealer, and have had lots of older Exploders, my wife wanted a newer one for us to drive, so I got an 02 at auction. seemed good for a few weeks, then I find out all this! Same old !!! Talked to my transmission buddy and this is common, funny how the Ford dealers are all surprised but the repair guys know all about it ( wish I had called him FIRST ). Anyhow, easiest fix , if you can find one, is a used one, WAY cheaper, and the used parts guys say put in a new filter, and an AFTERMARKET COOLER, don't depend on the radiator, or factory cooler, and you shouldn't have another problem. I am doing this now and will let you know if this is the fix. I'll probably use one of the Ford Police car coolers, have lots of them laying around, and they do work. I am going to try to figure out how to check the fluid , or maybe flush it every so often after it's in, and we'll see what we've got.

- , Plant City, FL, USA

problem #14

Mar 312008

Explorer Eddie Bauer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 116,550 miles

Check Transmission light came on and I drove to my dealer.

Tranny is all messed up -- won't shift to 3rd gear. Judging from this web site, I am not the first to encounter this problem!

Dealer says I can either spend $2025 to overhaul it, and get 12 month warranty or buy a rebuilt tranny for "about" $3,000 and get 5 yrs on a warranty. Car was extremely well maintained and we don't use it to haul anything but the soccer gear. Was intending to drive it another 2 yrs to make the purchase price worth it.

Will be trading it in and informing Ford that that was my last purchase from their company.

Loved my 1995 Explorer and got close to 200,000 miles in six years and a decent trade-in at the end. That's why I bought another. This 2002 model clearly sucks. Will take my lumps and move on to another car company rather than rewarding the dealer with the cost of the repair and rolling the dice with Ford again. Quality is Job 1. Yeah, right. . . .

- , Franklin Lakes, NJ, USA

problem #13

May 072007

(reported on)

Explorer XLS 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 71,000 miles

MY O/D LIGHT IS FLASHING, SERVICE ENGINE SOON LIGHT ON AND SHIFTS HARD FROM SECOND TO THIRD AND SOMETIMES WONT SHIFT INTO THIRD GEAR. WOW SO MANY COMPLAINTS ON THIS EXACT SAME PROBLEM. IF THERE ARE SO MANY COMPLAINTS ON THIS EXACT SAME PROBLEM WHY DO FORD DEALERSHIP PRETEND THEY ARE IN SHOCK EVERY SINGLE TIME A 2002-2003 EXPLORER COMES IN WITH THIS PROBLEM. RIGHT NOW IM HAVING THAT EXACT SAME PROBLEM WITH MY TRUCK AND THEY ACT LIKE BECAUSE YOU OWN A FORD YOU JUST HAVE 3-4 GRAND JUST LYING AROUND READY FOR YOU TO HAND IT OVER. WELL NEWS FLASH I HAVE A FAMILY LIKE MANY OTHER PEOPLE IN THIS COUNTRY AND IN TO DAYS WORLD PEOPLE DON'T HAVE THAT KIND OF MONEY TO JUST HAND OVER. I WISH I WOULD HAVE LOOKED MORE INTO THIS TRUCK BEFORE I PURCHASED IT. NOW IM STUCK WITHOUT A TRUCK BECAUSE I DONT HAVE MONEY TO FIX THE STUPID THING. I GOT THIS CAR BECAUSE I NEEDED A RELIABLE CAR FOR MY FAMILY, GUESS I WAS WRONG IN THAT DEPARTMENT. WHAT A CROCK OF SH*T. I NEVER THOUGHT I COULD GO WRONG WITH PURCHASING A CAR THAT WAS ACTUALLY MADE IN AMERICA I NOW KNOW WHY WE DEPEND ON FOREIGN COUNTRIES FOR ALL OUR DEPENDABLE NEEDS. DON'T BOTHER TO RESPOND THIS MESSAGE UNLESS FORD CAN GET OFF THERE LAZY ASSES AND FIX THIS PROBLEM THAT SO MANY PEOPLE ARE HAVING. THIS IS RIDICULOUS AND UNACCEPTABLE. THIS IS AMERICA AND WE ARE SUPPOSED TO DEPEND ON OUR OWN COUNTRY. IN ALL REALITY WE WERE BLIND-SIDED BY AMERICAN RIP-OFFS. I JUST CANT BELIEVE THAT FORD WOULD BE SO COLD HEARTED AND WOULDN'T WANT TO FIX THIS PROBLEM BUT I GUESS WHEN YOU MONEY HUNGRY SCANDALS YOU'LL DO ANYTHING TO MAKE THAT DOLLAR. SO NOW IM DEBATING ON DO I NOT PAY RENT AND LOOSE THE ROOF OVER MY FAMILY'S HEAD TO GET MY TRUCK FIXED OR GO WITH OUT MY TRUCK AND DEPEND ON EVERYONE ELSE TO TAKE ME AND MY FAMILY EVERYWHERE WE NEED TO GO. HEY IF I LOOSE MY HOME WE COULD ALWAYS LIVE IN A FORD TRUCK RIGHT.

- , Manassas, VA, USA

problem #12

Dec 302007

Explorer XLS 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,000 miles

tell ya what won't ever buy a ford vehicle again......... and i was a ford junky

- , North Wales, PA, USA

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