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.

10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
35,612 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2002 Ford Explorer windows / windshield problems

windows / windshield problem

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2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #31

Feb 212012

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 143,000 miles

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

None of the windows will work, they were operating properly and just quit. This vehicle is unsafe to drive, in an emergency, (such as a crash). The occupants of the vehicle could become trapped in the vehicle because the windows would not operate. If a fire occurred the results could be tragic. Ford is aware of this problem along with several other problems on this vehicle. Yet they choose not to repair or replace any of the known defective components. My vehicle has a lot of miles on it, but this problem along with other problems on this vehicle happens on lower mileage vehicles also.

- Channahon, IL, USA

problem #30

May 142011

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • miles
I have a 2002 Ford Explorer that I purchased 8 months ago. I have had to replace the switch that controls the windows 8 times now. The driver side window goes down while noone is touching it and will not go back up. I have jumped the window up and disconnected the plug until I could afford it every time that this has happened. The cost is about $200 to repair. I feel that this is a safety issue because it is so frequent and until a person can afford to fix the problem you have to jump your window and disconnect the plug, allowing none of the windows to go down. What if there was an accident and putting a window down was the only way for an adult or a child to get out of this vehicle? to me that is dangerous! and terrifying! in 8 months of owning a vehicle that I paid $6,500 for I have now put $1,600 into on top of it! and I will continue to have to do so if this problem is not recalled. I have taken the vehicle to 4 different garages and the only "fix" option I am getting is to replace the switch! there has to be something more than this if the switch is going bad every month or more! this last time it took a whole 3 days for the switch to go bad again! I understand that some people may feel as though this is not dangerous or is not a safety issue, but lets be real here.....if the plug is not connected the windows cannot got down. So if there is a fire or an accident and this is the only way out people may die!! some people may say to just keep paying to have the problem fixed, however it is getting expensive and it is not truly fixing whatever the problem is! Ford made this vehicle and should have to fix this issue!!

- Altoona, PA, USA

problem #29

Jun 012005

Explorer

  • 10,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Explorer ext wagon. The contact that stated that upon purchasing the vehicle he noticed that the transmission would shift in an awkward manner. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer who informed him that there was nothing wrong with the vehicle. The failure suddenly recurred and he had to replace the transmission. He also stated that 3 out of 4 window regulators have failed. The windows are not working normally. The liftgate in the rear of the vehicle was fractured which made it difficult to open. The vehicle had only been repaired for the transmission and the 3 window regulators. The failure mileage was approximately 10,000.

- Woodbary, NJ, USA

problem #28

Jun 052010

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • 134,575 miles

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

After starting the ignition on my 2002 Ford Explorer, my husband and I noticed an obnoxious smell in the car. My husband pulled over and looked under the car and did not see anything. I looked at the driver's door and saw smoke coming from the power window buttons. My husband turned off the ignition. He felt the buttons and they were very hot. Eventually the smoke subsided. He later on removed the fuse that correlated with the power windows. He drove the car home without incident.

- Somerset, MA, USA

problem #27

May 182010

Explorer

  • 81,500 miles
All 4 windows on my 2002 Ford Explorer no longer work properly. You either can hear they are going to soon fail or have already failed (the driver's side window has already failed and I had to spend over $500 for the repair and now my passenger-rear window has failed and will no longer go back up).

- Marietta, GA, USA

problem #26

Jan 012010

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • 68,000 miles
I have a 2002 Ford Explorer. There was no accident or any reason leading up to the failure. Both of my rear door windows can not be moved down (or up). The switch mechanism does not work and needs to be replaced. This is an on-going problem that Ford is aware of, that is costly to the consumer to repair and which could prove fatal should an accident occur and the occupants could not escape through the windows. I feel that a recall needs to be done about this problem as it seems to be a manufacturing/component defect of Ford's.

- New Milford, CT, USA

problem #25

Apr 292009

Explorer

  • 71,000 miles

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

Rolling down passenger side window when I heard a loud pop and the window slid down and will no longer go up or down.

- Covington, LA, USA

problem #24

Jun 302008

Explorer 4WD

  • 35,000 miles
Purchased a 2002 Ford exp eddie bauer ed used with 35,000 miles. Transmission had to be repaired within 3 weeks due to 4WD malfunction covered by warranty. Passenger side window motor assembly has been replaced once, and window regulator has been replaced once, and is in need of a second replacement. Took to local dealership and was told window was not meant to be lowered halfway. The rear hatch has also cracked completely down from window to lower panel. Dealership will not acknowledge issues with this occurring, but upon further research have found this to be a common problem with this vehicle make and model. Overdrive light blinks continuously and dealership reports it to be a malfunctioning electrical switch repair cost at around $400. Have continued to drive vehicle, but will no longer drive vehicle after discovering that this is a precursor to transmission failure. May possibly trade-in this vehicle and lose monetary value for private sale. Will not be responsible for selling this vehicle to a private party and risk injury to next owner. Shame on Ford for not taking care of their customers.

- San Angelo, TX, USA

problem #23

Jan 012008

Explorer

  • miles
We own a 2002 Ford Explorer that we purchased used with 40,000 miles on it. Since purchase we have had 3 power window motors go bad, both rear bearings replaced, the back door panel is cracked, the A/C doesn't work, and now it looks as if the transmission is going bad. If so many people with this vehicle have all the same problems how can there be no recall?

- Ephrata, PA, USA

problem #22

Jun 102008

Explorer

  • 56,000 miles
2002 Ford Explorer- a nightmare of problems that keep getting worse. It has 56K miles on it and I am about to replace the transmission. Fuel pump, 2 rear springs, 2 wheel bearings and the drivers side window motor have already been replaced. Neither of the 2 rear windows roll down and the back hatch lift replace on recall is broken yet again. This is the biggest hunk of junk on 4 wheels. Ford needs to do something. Thank god I didn't buy it new because that really would have been a rip off.

- Rome, NY, USA

problem #21

Jan 012007

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 40,000 miles

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

On my 2002 Ford Explorer SUV I have had to replace 3 of the 4 wheel bearings and hub assemblies(approx $250 each), with the 4th not far behind. I have also had to replace the 4-wheel drive module(approx $400-$500). I have had problems with the rear window motors going bad and having to replace these too. The air conditioning unit has stopped working. The passenger air bag dummy light has come on for no reason. The seat belt warning chime often comes on and will not go off, even though you have buckled your seat belt. You have to slam the buckle into place for it to go off and sometimes this does not work either. The transmission is now making a lovely clunking sound when shifting from park to drive and when you try to put it back into park, it does not want to. You have to put it up to park as far as it will go then go back to neutral and then into park from there. We have replaced the emergency brake shoes on both sides because they were completely worn off even though we do not use the E-brakes. These problems are just piling up one after another. I went to an internet site that has complaints about vehicles and found that there are hundreds of others with the same problems on their 2002 Ford Explorer of all kinds (XL, eddie bauer, special edition, etc.). why hasn't Ford done any recalls for these problems" does it require multiple injuries or even death for them to take responsibility??"

- Monroeville, OH, USA

problem #20

Mar 102008

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,000 miles
Where to start... broken cruise control, headlight switch has a short, driver side passenger window doesn't roll down, trouble going into gear, car suddenly dies at interstate speeds, loud grinding sound from the engine bay (like an electric knife sharpener) that is getting increasingly more frequent, service engine soon light will not go off, brakes squeal and don't stop the vehicle properly, support for the hatch (which is cracked 8 inches or so in two places) doesn't lift hatch completely, and the fuel economy is down to 4-6 mpg in the city. I hate it! I don't feel like my girlfriend is safe driving it, and I think Ford should be forced to make their wrongs into rights!

- Cordova, TN, USA

problem #19

Feb 112008

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,910 miles
Power window opener on drivers side quit.

- Detroit, MI, USA

problem #18

Oct 152007

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,000 miles
The noise was the indication of a problem, took the car in for noise coming from the wheels. Was told by Ford garage all four wheel bearings needed to be replaced I was very shocked. When Ford mechanic said this was a recurring problem and common in this year and model I was angry. Not soon after that the four wheel drive module went out and needed replaced. This car is five years old with at the time 82,000 miles on it. Now the transmission is slipping. Earlier we had to replace the automatic driver's window power motor which was also expensive. Had to replace rear axel bushings too.

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #17

May 012006

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 37,000 miles
After owning for a week and a half, had to have the G ears in the rear end replaced. Later informed that the tires were not evenly worn which was causing the rear end to pop. After replacing the tires, the four wheel drive would not work. The 4 X 4 module and the wiring need to be replaced, costing $1000. That is not including the driver window switch needing to be replaced as well as the window regulator. Now there is an electrical problem coming from the dash. Unable to figure out what it is yet.

- Garfield Heights, OH, USA

problem #16

Jul 062005

Explorer

  • miles
I am presently having problems with the rear passenger windows on my 2002 Ford Explorer. It appears that there is a serious problem with the motor and/or window track system. At present, I am not able to operate neither of the windows. In fact, when and if I attempt to do so, all that is heard is the motor attempting to maneuver the window. Neither one of the windows come down when I attempt to do so operationally. On the other hand, they come down on there own (slides down everyday). Unfortunately, I have to wedge an object on the side of the window, so that one of the windows could stay in place (to no avail, it continues to come down). I have attempted to reach out to winner Ford in cherry hill, N.J., (where I purchased the SUV, nevertheless, they claim that there are no known recalls, and instructed me to call the Ford manufacturing company ). in taking their advice, I have attempted to call Ford complaint department, just to be told that they are not able to do anything. It is apparent that they are just tossing the problem back on the consumer. I have done some research on the above mentioned problem and have noticed that there are other owners who are having the same, if not, similar problems with the rear passenger windows. Hence, as a result of an incident with winner Ford a little over a year or two ago, I am not willing to invest money into a problem that is obviously manufacturer related. I had purchased a window control (driver's side) that had been recalled and was told that since I purchased the control prior to the recall, I was not entitled to a refund. Your assistance is greatly appreciated. An unhappy consumer, armando andujar P.S. the incident date is a estimate.

- Pennsauken, NJ, USA

problem #15

May 312005

Explorer 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 43,000 miles
At a complete stop vehicle surges (accelerates). Have to place in neutral at standing stops to prevent an accident. Driver's side power window switch failed, had replaced, also the window whines when rolling up. Passenger's side power window regulator(cable) snapped?? when rear windows are down at a speed of 20 mph+ it sounds like a helicopter is in the back seat(actually physically hurts your ears!!!) <<<auto and auto>high. Can not pin point problem. That about wraps up my lovely experience with this vehicle. I am a married father of two and the only one working on a limited income. I bought this truck with very low miles thinking it would be dependable not unaffordable.

- Pelham, NH, USA

problem #14

May 102006

Explorer

  • miles
2002 Explorer with 95K miles: Power windows, airbag and front/rear wheel bearings. Dealer was not surprised by these problems at all. $3K estimated repair cost.

- Glen Allen, VA, USA

problem #13

Jul 012005

Explorer 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 49,000 miles
The contact stated the instrument panel cluster was no longer working. The service dealer did not state why the panel was no longer working. The electrical components failed, such as the radio, blowers, windows, airbags, and all of the safety equipment. The dealer stated it was a common problem within this type of vehicle. The part to repair was no longer available. The consumer contacted the manufacturer; they referred him to the dealer to find an aftermarket product to repair the problem.

- Norfolk, MA, USA

problem #12

Oct 122004

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles
Consumer received a recall letter for the rear window liftgate. The parts have not been received by the dealer. Liftgate bracket NHTSA 04V442000.

- Columbus, GA, USA

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