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.


fairly significant
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
100,049 miles
Total Complaints:
8 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (2 reports)
  2. replace blower motor resistor (2 reports)
  3. replaced the motor assembly (2 reports)
  4. replace heater switch (1 reports)
  5. replace resistor (1 reports)
2002 Ford Explorer AC / heater problems

AC / heater problem

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2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #8

Dec 032014

Explorer XLT V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 143,000 miles


The heater switch stopped working and apparently melted on position three. The others worked but there was an awful burnt plastic smell coming from the dashboard. I removed the panels to get to the switch to find it all melted and needing replacement. It cost over $80 for a new switch. THANKS FORD, for your quality engineering.

- , Edwardsburg, MI, USA

problem #7

Feb 202005

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles

Heater doesn't work on feet setting it only blows out the top.

- , Puyallup, WA, USA

problem #6

Nov 102014

Explorer XLS 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles

I have put two different used blower motors in this explorer.

- , Edmond, OK, USA

problem #5

Jul 242002

Explorer 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 8,000 miles


The blower for the AC/heater would not work at all. They replaced the motor assembly.

- , Mechanicsburg, PA, USA

problem #4

Mar 012012

Explorer 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 180,000 miles

click to see larger images

blower not working on all settings blower not working on all settings

Its either 1 of two resistors and you can test your wires to find out. Both resistors cost the same and do the same job. One is the actual switch that you turn when your change the blower fan speed. Just pop out the bezel remove the nob pinch and pull to remove this. The other resistor is the flat one and it is behind the glove compartment and left of the blower motor. It has 2 8mm hex bolts that are diagonal from each other. You will have to unplug it and move the wire aside. There will be another cluster of wires in your way for the top bolt they have a body pin/clip that you can just pull them out and away and when you are done replacing your resistor push back in.

- , Gainesville, TX, USA

problem #3

Aug 292007


  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,853 miles

I am sick to death of the repair cost on this vehicle! I have put entirely too much money into this thing for me to do anymore!!

- , Virginia Beach, VA, US

problem #2

Jul 072009

Explorer XLS 6 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 118,118 miles

Since the blower only works on low and high it is very difficult to get comfortable with the air conditioner is on. The blower is too noisy to use on high and too hot down here in Florida to use it on low

- , Hypoluxo, FL, USA

problem #1

Oct 222008

Explorer LXT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,421 miles

I got in the car one day the windows were foggy, I turned the blower on and found it would only work in high. Sometimes it made an awful screeching sound. The blower motor resistor had to be replaced. Let see so far I've submitted complaints for the transmission, a/c condenser, passenger window motor, the crack below the rear window, the blower and I still have to put in about the rear window lifts falling off, the right rear spring and the universal joint or whatever it's called. I'm sick of writing. Ford should go under, they don't know how to build vehicles anymore. Oh yeah and my brake light switch went. Hmm, I wonder what other problems I will have? probably some that haven't even been heard of yet the way this vehicle is going!

- , West Nyack, NY, USA

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