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.


fairly significant
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
83,350 miles
Total Complaints:
3 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (3 reports)
2002 Ford Explorer AC / heater problems

AC / heater problem

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2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #3

Jan 012009

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles


Air conditioner sometimes works in the front or sometimes in the back, sometimes not at all. Don't dare take it on a long trip in the summer.

- Colleen E., Brentwood, CA, US

problem #2

Mar 012010

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles

out of all the many problems with my explorer the heat and ac only work on high, this is super annoying and with all of the other problems im ready to just junk this beast! 150000 miles isn't too much for a vehicle and its been having troubles all of its life

- D D., Hornell, NY, US

problem #1

Mar 182004

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles

half blows hot the other blows cold.. it was strange and the dealer had all sorts of excuses. now we are in 2008 and the problem is back. took it back to the shop for 300 dollars worth of tests but they keep adding freon and saying that the problem is fixed

- Romeo F., George Town, BWI, Cayman Islands

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