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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.

8.1

pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
$816.00
Average Mileage:
88,188 miles
Total Complaints:
174 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace wheel bearing (76 reports)
  2. replace bearing and hub (43 reports)
  3. replaced wheel bearings (32 reports)
  4. not sure (14 reports)
  5. replaced causual part, and surrounding parts (3 reports)
  6. don't buy this vehicle (2 reports)
2002 Ford Explorer wheels / hubs problems

wheels / hubs problem

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2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments (Page 1 of 9)

problem #174

Jun 032008

Explorer XLS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

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

Had to replace all four wheel bearings as they got worn out! Had between 50K to 60K miles when these bearings got worn out!

- , Providence, RI, USA

problem #173

May 282013

Explorer XLS 4.6L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 145,000 miles

The wheel bearings were so bad everyone was scared to drive it because it felt like the wheels were going to fall off. I missed a week of work because it took so long for the shop to fix it. All 4 bearings were bad but could only afford to fix 2.

- , Glassboro, NJ, USA

problem #172

Jul 172007

Explorer 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 69,460 miles

The left wheel bearing needed replaced. Fortunately I bought an extended warranty and it was covered.

- , Mechanicsburg, PA, USA

problem #171

Feb 012013

Explorer XLS 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 175,000 miles

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

Just had the right rear bearing replaced... now its out again.. This truck's going to the junk yard...

- , Bloomington, IL, USA

problem #170

Sep 012012

Explorer XLS 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 165,000 miles

Both rear bearings out... you turn left going down the interstate and the vehicle wants to go right. Stay away from this vehicle.. as soon as I find another vehicle this one is going to the junk yard. I refuse to pass this vehicle along to someone else!

- , Bloomington, IL, USA

problem #169

Mar 202012

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 117,000 miles

This is the second time I am replacing the bearings. First the back and now the front. UGH!!

- , Meriden, CT, USA

problem #168

Oct 052011

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

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

I will try to make my mom proud and be as lady-like as possible. I've been hearing a chirp, like crickets when I apply brakes. Went to garage - RR rear brakes. Again, now 2 weeks go by chirping when accelerating - RR serpentine belt. Again, still have a loud squealing coming from right side can't tell if it's front or rear...ok...I go to a local garage. The man there is fair and very talented and I refuse to put anymore Ford employees kids thru college and warranty is out.

I dropped by our local garage again today on my way home cause the squealing started and I figured - if he can't duplicate the complaint I can show him. Note this complaint is when the axel has time to warm up...hum...he said he'd take it in next week, no time today and he was really busy. So, now I'm home and alone and talking to myself. I think ok, just look at the wheels. I'm Italian so look means touch...LF wheel, cold to touch, some brake dust. LR same thing. RR same thing, cold metal. Now, we are talking about an hour since I got home. RF wheel is HOT! HOT! HOT!!! Brake dust all over the wheel.

So now I'm talking to you all. Any thoughts? John says calipers were alright, will redo brake job cause it's under warranty. Can I just tell you - I'm worried? I've also nicknamed this vehicle Christine, after that haunted '57 Plymouth Fury from the Stephen King movie. Yeah, I'm a girl, but a bit of a gear head in my younger days.

And, after two Ranger XLT's, 2 F-150's, 1 Expedition and now this Explorer, I'm telling you, I'll NEVER buy another Ford again. If it's not electrical or cracking aprons, it's something else. I could have had a new Subaru for what I've put into this vehicle!

Thanks for letting me rant, any thoughts?

- , Webster, NH, USA

problem #167

Dec 052011

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,000 miles

I think I had the left rear bearing replaced awhile back but dont remember. Now the right rea bearing. Mechanic said its dangerous to drive as is so am stuck. Ford needs to do something.

- , sugar grove, IL, USA

problem #166

Aug 112011

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 126,000 miles

I just bought this Explorer and seemed nice but needed new tires. When I was having tires put on the guy said the wheel bearings were bad on passenger rear. I scheduled it for replacement and then they told me the drivers side front wheel bearing was bad too. I just can't imagine a vehicle with so many problems with the wheel bearings and the Ford companies doing nothing about it. Mine has 126,000 miles on it but in this day that isn't a lot of miles. I also have wheel sensors that need replaced. I am assuming this went bad because of the wheel bearings. So now I have another trip into the repair shop and another day without a vehicle. $693 later I hope I can drive the silly thing..I wish I would have looked into the problems with this year of Explorers before I bought this one.

- , Numa, Iowa, USA

problem #165

Jul 232010

Explorer XLS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles

While driving to work I heard a noise in the tire , on the way home had to have the truck towed. Replaced the calibers and bearings in front tires, could have really been hurt while driving this vehicle this truck has to many problems. REAR END, TRANSMISSION, DASH LIGHTS, WHEEL BEARINGS, CALIBERS, SERVICE ENGINE LIGHT, DOOR A JAR, LIGHT STAYS ON AFTER ALARMING ALARM OOOOOOOOOO BAD CHOICE. Spoke to a Ford mechanic and he stated all 2002 explorers have rear end problems because Ford changed the rear end that year along with transmission, problems.Come On Ford, We pay your salary, don't we deserve better treatment, well no more money from me.

- , Memphis, TN, USA

problem #164

Feb 102011

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles

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

I put down the date of the last wheel bearing replacement but this is the 6th wheel bearing replacement. The first was the rear drivers side and I took it to shop for brake noise. They replaced it for 400.00. Next was rear passenger ,then drivers front, then passenger front, only to be followed by rear driver side twice now. Luckily my brother is a great manager at an Ol'Rielys parts store. He is now well rehearsed it only takes a couple of hours to fix. The first one took him 5 hours. He charges me only for parts about $100.00 and we have bought the tools to fix ourselves. A person can rent it from Ol'Rielys for $0.00.

- , Nokomis, IL, USA

problem #163

Jan 202011

Explorer XLS 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 135,000 miles

The complaint thing only let me pick one date. However, this happened on multiple occasions. The first time it happened, it happened in August 2008. I just moved into my dorm, and I had to go home for a little while. I was on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, and my truck began swerving to the point that I had no control over it, and I had to pull over. when I got out, I pulled the lug cover off the rear passenger side wheel to find that four of the five lugs were snapped. I had to pay $400 to have it towed, and when it got to the garage, they found that the wheel bearings and hub were damaged. The next time it happened, it happened on the driver's side rear wheel, and, again, the lugs snapped and they found the hub and wheel bearings to be the cause of it. This was about a month after the first incident. The third incident involved both front wheels, but luckily only the wheel bearings and hubs were damaged and my wheels stayed in place. This happened about November of 2010. In January of 2011, the rear went again. This time it was in the middle of a snow storm, so I had to wait in the freezing cold for two hours until the tow truck could come. Why in the freezing cold you may ask? Your heater will still work if the wheels fall off, won't it? It sure will, but not when the engine is idling at 8,000rpms. That's the best part of all. Simultaneously, when the wheels decided they no longer wanted to be a part of the truck, the throttle decided it was going to throw a temper tantrum and get stuck. I didn't turn the engine on because I was afraid I would destroy it. Anyway, $1500 later, the transmission is going. Thanks Ford. My tax money bailed you out, and this is what I get in return?

- , Meyersdale, PA, USA

problem #162

Jan 062009

Explorer XLT 4.3L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,021 miles

Bought this POS back in 2009 and with in the first week of driving it wheel bearings let go and needed to be replaced. Then within 6 months they were replaced a total of 6 times and now that it has been a while they are going again,Top it all off the tranny needed to be replaced 4 times with in the same timeline as well as the rear control arms and balljoints. I would think that FORD would get there ac t together and solve the problem, Will never get a FORD again,will go back to Chevy as I have never had any problems with their Trucks ,Ford tuff ya right should say Ford ...will fall apart the first time you drive it .

- , Red Rock, Ontario, canada

problem #161

Aug 112008

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles

Replaced front right wheel bearing in 03/09. It is now needing to be replaced again. Just replaced the front left wheel bearing this month (03/11) which was replaced also in 08/08.

The front right was replaced with a genuine Ford bearing through a friend who works for Ford. The front left was replaced by a ring & pinion shop which charged me $265.00 for the part. I figured it was the better one of the two on the market.

The right rear was replaced in 2007 for $341.00.

- , Ortonville, MI, USA

problem #160

Oct 252010

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 165,000 miles

I am on mt 6th rear wheel bearing !!!!! It is Jan.7,2011 today I had it replaced on the last week in Nov. of 2010 that is barley 6 weeks !! I don't understand why they can not recall this part or what ever is causing it to go out!! All they have to do it count all the complaints!! I know my SUV is old but other than this I have had NO problems with it.. It still looks good, runs good and seems to have a lot of miles on it. I would love to keep it especially since it is paid for but I can't keep replacing this part and sinking money into the same part. If I can not get any help from the Ford company I WILL be sporting a Chevy next time!!

- , Lexington, TN, USA

problem #159

Feb 132009

Explorer XTL V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 84,000 miles

Only had the POS 2 weeks and the rear wheel bearings go bad, and to top it all off the place I bought if from gave me a hard time about fixing it. than when I took it to their shop they keep it form almost 3 weeks and i have a full time job and go to college and i also have a family. Please I beg you DO NOT BUY THIS POS your better off taking the bus if you have to and its cheaper.

- , Mentor, OH, USA

problem #158

Feb 042010

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 127,000 miles

My neigbor just had the same proble at 70000 miles. Same vehilcle.

- , Berwyn, IL, USA

problem #157

Dec 012010

Explorer XLS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

Well, i replaced the rear bearing assembly at 35,000. Now both front are out at 100,000. Please anyone visits the website and has a problem, call ford, let them know if they want us to buy their cars, they better fix their bad design. I believe ford is trying to improve its image and I hate to see people buying foreign cars, so let us help them.

- , Canton, MI, USA

problem #156

Sep 252010

Explorer XLT 4.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles

Wheel bearing all the way around started going out in 2008. Ive dealt with the noise for a while now but the tires are wearing bad so Im in the process now of replacing the fronts before I get new tires. Other issues have been: Engine locked up, replaced it myself. 4x4 module went out, let the dealer replace it when I had my breaks replaced. Transmission is going out.

- , Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #155

Aug 122009

Explorer XLS 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

I have replaced three wheel bearings on my crappy Ford Explorer. Three. Not an inexpensive repair and a potentially dangerous problem. Crappy Ford...

- , Richmond, VA, USA

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