Print this page 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.


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
65,800 miles
Total Complaints:
3 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (1 reports)
  2. replaced blower motor (1 reports)
  3. used zip ties to fix a/c blower fan (1 reports)
2002 Ford Explorer AC / heater problems

AC / heater problem

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2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #3

Jun 012008

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,400 miles


When I turned on the rear a/c, I could hear a loud clicking sound and could smell burning plastic. Already went to Ford for a similar problem and they were no help. I took off the rear left panel and removed the blower motor. The wheel/fan had a crack in it and when it spins the crack would opened up and rub on the plastic around the air intake. I had to sand down the intake housing because the fan took chunks out of it. Then I used zip ties on the fan blades to hold the crack together. So far it's holding and I have rear a/c again. NO THANKS TO FORD. I have had several Ford vehicles and this is the only one that has given me any problems.

- matrix_tx, San Antonio, TX, US

problem #2

Jul 102007

(reported on)

Explorer Limited V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles

Was told it could be a blend motor issue - clicking is really annoying in the back when either the heater or the a/c is used


- Marlene F., Phoenix, AZ, US

problem #1

Jan 092007

(reported on)

Explorer XLT 4.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 53,000 miles

The dealer had a chance to fix previously but put "have customer return when problem persists." They did that a lot. Five times for the horn assy. They replaced the blower motor and the problem has been resolved under extended warranty. They also fixed a whistling noise while the A/C was on. Mostly during acceleration.

- Daniel M., Howell, MI, US

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