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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.

8.8

pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
$1,198.00
Average Mileage:
105,547 miles
Total Complaints:
69 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace rear windshield (33 reports)
  2. ford should pay for it (22 reports)
  3. not sure (14 reports)
2002 Ford Explorer windows / windshield problems

windows / windshield problem

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2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments (Page 1 of 4)

problem #69

Jan 152014

Explorer LS 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 114,332 miles

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

Absolutely astounded to find such a high occurrence of this problem.

I had the cracking problem start in the applique and just about every other Explorer on the road here in South Australia has that problem so I didn't think too much about it other than it's a Ford quality control issue. But when the rear window explodes all over yourself and your wife just through the simple act of shutting the lift-gate then you get really worried about quality and safety. We both got showered in glass,it ruined our holiday as the lift-gate glass has everything attached to it...the wiper... the latch and with it all in bits the lights stay on and flatten the battery.

Will be chasing Ford Australia....every Explorer owner should be made aware of the danger this design flaw can cause...this is a vehicle designed for off road and on road use and it should be durable.Our Explorer window exploded in a shopping center car park with other people nearby.We were showered in glass and had cuts from the fragments.Fortunately nothing major, but Ford have a lot to answer for. 955,000 recalled stateside but there is no mention of an Australian recall. Lets hope Ford Australia will do something.

- , Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

problem #68

Jul 142013

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 158,000 miles

Man--when Ford made the Explorer I am not sure what the heck they were thinking! This car has been nothing but headache after headache! Motor mounts being loose, engine needing replacement, transmission needing to be replaced, oil leaks, thermostat bad, and now the rear window explodes on us for no reason at all! I am so fed up with my Explorer. It's time to look for a new car. This car has been one bad omen after bad omen. After reading everyone else's complaints I am glad I am not alone, but nonetheless, this is RIDICULOUS! How can a rear window just explode for no reason at all. My husband and I just opened it because we noticed it looked like it was loose and then BAM tiny pieces of glass everywhere. We looked around to see how much it would cost to replace--but it is sooo not worth it! This POS car is going straight to the junk yard! No more Fords--EVER!!!!

- , Amarillo, TX, USA

problem #67

Apr 062013

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,000 miles

I am a ford man,I have been buying fords for years, also have had other Explorers.This one really takes the cake. first the panel like everybody else has cracked and been replace of course, then the latch started causing the alarm and the lights to go off and on. Then last week I go to shut the glass and it explodes in my hands glass everywhere in my face and cuts my hands. As I see other complaints on the internet sounds like a big problems with this year of Explorer. Shame on Ford for not standing by their products and doing some recalls on these problems before someone is seriously injured.

- , Goshen, IN, USA

problem #66

Mar 172013

Explorer XLS V6 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 157,000 miles

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

My 2002 Ford Explorer has always been a pain in the ass. I bought it new and it now has 157,000 miles.

Yesterday, after spending $1500 dollars to repair oil leaks-just one of the few problems I have had-I was at my son's house visiting.

The Explorer was inside his garage. My wife and I came out, ready to leave, when we saw the rear window completely shattered.

The button component, which is made of plastic, was laying inside the back floor. The outside temp was in the 70's.

A note: If you see this type of Explorer, it will have a crack across the button plastic component.

As of now, I don't know how I am going to fix this problem. I guess I start looking in the local junkyard for a replacement window. I will try to talk to the Ford PEOPLE.

- , Laporte, Texas, USA

problem #65

Jan 222013

Explorer XLT V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 155,000 miles

The lift gate did not go up all the way. My husband bummed his head as he reached in the back so he lifted the glass up further and it all exploded and crashed around us. I had our 1-year-old in my arms at the time. It is very cold right now in Wisconsin, but still the vehicle should have the tolerance to operate normally.

My husband has already replaced the engine, transmission, rear bearing and brakes. Ford should step up and replace the entire lift gate and glass.

- , Madison, WI, USA

problem #64

Jan 052013

Explorer Eddie Bauer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 142,000 miles

click to see larger images

rear lift gate window exploded

Lift gate glass exploded into a million pieces when I opened the gate to load my fishing gear. Outside temps were 60 degrees. Completely ruined a day of fishing and now going to cost a fortune to fix. Not sure it is even worth investing in this 11 year old explorer. This glass should not have failed from the simple act of opening the lift gate--very unacceptable.

- , Tampa, FL, USA

problem #63

Dec 212012

Explorer XLS

  • Manual transmission
  • 147,000 miles

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

A few weeks ago, the suppports for the upper half of the liftgate started to malfunction. When I opened the rear window portion, sometimes it would not stay up. It would sag and the window would come down on my head or in front of my face.

Tonight I opened the rear window to remove some cardboard for recycling. As I started to reach into the car for the cardboard, the liftgate dropped in front of my face again. The lower edge hit my forehead about an inch above my eye. When I lifted the gate to get it away from my face, the rear window blew apart like it was a friggin hand grenade. There were glass shards all over the ground and in the back of my car. Fortunately, I didn't even have a scratch but this situation needs to be addressed. The faulty supports allow the window to fall on your head or in front of your face. If you try to raise the window , it may blow up like a bomb.

Ford's design team must have been kindergarden flunkouts.

- , Auburn, PA, USA

problem #62

Nov 272012

Explorer XLS 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 94,000 miles

Like the other explorer owners, glass was being closed (slowly as usual) when the window just exploded into thousands of pieces and little fine shards. Even the junkyards are quoting around $1000 dollars for the glass and I don't think that was installed either. FOr the price of that glass, I bet I can find a whole new explorer and salvage it for parts. Based on the voulume of similar complaints, this is an engineering defect.

I'm in Florida and the temperature is near 80 so temperature is not the issue. Glass does not flex(much) and when this type of glass breaks, it shatters into small pieces to avoid major lacerations in case of accident/impact/ejection. When fords hydraulics fail and bind, it exerts a torque on the window frame. In other words, it tries to make inflexible glass TWIST - resulting in the all too familiar exploding glass. Ford engineered this design, engineered this flaw, and should have taken responsibility if they had any honor/integrity. I didn't buy a $5000 car to spend $1200 on one piece of glass, and my transmission has been making a weird noise too. Sounds like another $3000 in the near future.

Ford: I know you read these reviews. You have the ability to manufacture a couple thousand of these glasses at a fraction of the repair cost we have to pay. You know and have known there was a problem. Store the darn glass and ship it to your customers when there's a problem. There shouldn't be this type of problem in the first place, but mistakes happen, so you should be honest and practical in righting your wrongs.

....rant over..

- , Miam I, FL, USA

problem #61

Aug 202012

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 123,000 miles

My wife and mother went outside to take a ride to get food and I had the back lift gate open,my wife closed it gently w/one hand and it smashed into millions pieces and a big piece of the silver ford truck part even came off. My wife had glass all over her and she was covered in blood as she was bleeding from the shards of glass that flew everywhere.Now the truck is sitting in our driveway as we don't have over 1.000 dollars to fix it. My wife is still bleeding the next day. She's very lucky it could have been worse Not to mention we JUST paid ford 1200.00 dollars to have work done to 3 weeks prior.... This is awful and very dangerous. Ford needs to fix this problem as I also noticed the arm was hanging off!

- , Pelham, NH, USA

problem #60

Aug 032012

Explorer XLT 4.0L

  • Manual transmission
  • 138,000 miles

Had just loaded up the back of my truck, went to close the window and it exploded as it latched. I was covered in glass along with everything in my truck. I also am now covered it small little cuts and hours later still picking bits of glass out.

- , Wyoming, MI, USA

problem #59

Jun 082012

Explorer Eddie Bauer 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

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

It was pouring rain on Friday. Went to open the my back hatch and the WHOLE window exploded!! Cut me in 3 different places and my 8 year old stepped on a piece of glass!! I am beyond furious. Had the recall replaced back in 05' when the whole thing fell off in the middle of a busy 4 lane road, raining of course! Called to Ford recall on Saturday center and they were like, sorry. WHAT! SORRY!! How about replacing my window. I am a single mom. Are they for real?? Never ever again will I own another piece of crap Ford!!

- , Sarasota, FL, USA

problem #58

Apr 272012

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 175,000 miles

click to see larger images

rear lift gate window exploded

Add my second rear window explosion to the other 20 or so problems I've had with this piece of junk. I encourage everyone to pot your complaints to Fords facebook page, if Ford has the balls to put up a page..... I would drop this POS off at my local landfill but I hate to insult the garbage already there!!

- , Cuba, NY, USA

problem #57

Jul 052008

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

I own a 2002 Ford Explorer. In 2008 or 2009 while on vacation, I unloaded my trunk at the hotel , closed it and the whole back window shattered. I'm thankful that I removed my small child from the vehicle minutes earlier as her car seat was full of glass!!! I recently found out the 2002 Ford Explorer's transmissions were built wrong. I just had my transmission replaced. I am a very dissatisfied Ford customer and want to join any class action lawsuit there is on the window and transmission

- , Birmingham, AL, USA

problem #56

Dec 012011

Explorer 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 137,457 miles

FORD= Fix or Repair Daily, Found On Roadside Dead, Found On Redfields Dump!!!!! Same problem here. Went to open back window, didn't open all the way, so when lifting window up the glass, it exploded. Was a bit cold but apparently that doesn't matter. Thankfully it wasn't my wife or kids this happened to. No injuries. Thankfully I have full coverage, so the glass is covered but its a rare item. No telling how long it'll take to fix, and no telling if the bottom plastic housing needs to be replaced.

- , Central Square, NY, USA

problem #55

Aug 202011

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

On saturday, Aug. 20 2011, bought catfood. Went to load using back hatch glass. Glass raised normally, but when I went to close glass next thing I knew had thousands of shards of glass everywhere. Around my ankles, ground, on the roof and all over the back of vehicle.

- , Benton, Maine, USA

problem #54

Dec 032011

Explorer Eddie Bauer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

Opened rear lift gate, lift gate slowly kept dropping down because hydraulic strut supports not holding lift gate up properly, so pushed back up with hand and then window exploded into a million pieces, completely destroyed; glass and lower frame fell all around me and tons of glass in back of car.

- , Annapolis, MD, USA

problem #53

Jun 202011

Explorer 2dr Sport

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles

Back in June, my fiance was driving down a paved street in our city. Didn't think much of it, till all of a sudden the rear hatch window while driving exploded. It was a sunny day about 80 degrees, thought maybe it had something to do with the heat, that because it got too hot while driving that it would break. So we took it in a couple of days later to get the window fixed, spent $500 and didn't think much of it. When we got it to the shop, they said it would was going to cost about $250 to replace it. When we brought it back in to get it replaced, they said it was the wrong window and going to cost $500. There is some special type of window for this make and model that it requires. So, we spent the $500 and got the new window. For some reason, after that, never could open the back door again with that window. It would never pop open. So, we just decided to leave it be and not use it. No big deal. Yesterday, October 30, 4 months later, my now husband, takes the vehicle to the car wash to get it washed, its a nice fall day, sunny, and 50 degrees. He starts spraying the car, and the back window just shatters all over again. He had to spend most the time in the car wash spraying the glass down the drain. Now, don't you think there is really something going wrong with this? I mean, 2 windows in 4 months, what if we had kids in the back seat. Thankfully, at this point, we are taking the car in tomorrow, but it should be covered under warranty. Will let ya know how this turns out again. And btw, we are looking for a new car now.

- , Sioux City, Iowa, USA

problem #52

Oct 012011

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,329 miles

Just yesterday my family and I were getting ready to go out and spend some quality time with each other. I had asked my oldest son who is 13 years old to help me carry some small bags and load them at the back end of my wife's explorer. The second I pushed the button to unlatch the back glass window the whole glass just shattered into a million pieces. Tiny little pieces of glass were all over me and my son. I had a few minor cuts and scratches. My son thankfully did not. He only had pieces of glass all over his hair. If there are so many complaints about these back glasses shattering, shouldn't there be a recall?

- , Humble, TX, USA

problem #51

Mar 252011

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles

Opened rear liftgate to load groceries, liftgate slowly kept dropping down because hydraulic strut supports not holding liftgate weight up properly, so pushed back up with hand and then window exploded into a million pieces, completely destroyed; glass and lower frame fell all around me and tons of glass in back of car. Temperature was around 40 F degrees.

- , Fairfield, CT, USA

problem #50

May 012011

Explorer 4.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

Have been a Ford owner all my life. Have a 2002 Ford Explorer and have had nothing but trouble with it. This morning I opened the back window and the struts would not hold the window up so I went and lifted the window back up and it exploded all over me. Will NEVER buy a ford vehicle again.

- , Scribner, Nebraska, USA

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