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:
80,000 miles
Total Complaints:
2 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (2 reports)
2002 Ford Explorer AC / heater problems

AC / heater problem

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2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #2

Oct 072008

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles


A/C unit randomly blows hot out of drivers side and cool out of passenger side. We do have dual AC units, but this is just random, happens 3-4 times a month. I just recently got rid of this POS and I bought a 2010 Hyundai Santa Fe. I hope it has less problems.

- Roland P., San Diego, CA, US

problem #1

Mar 162010

Explorer XLT 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

We have a single zone A/C package with rear console vents. When A/C is on, cool air blows out of the passenger side vents and warm air out of the driver side vents. Again, we do NOT have a dual zone system, so I don't even know how that is possible, but the Exploder never ceases to amaze me with its ability to fail. I haven't had it looked at yet since I know it will be a real pain to pull apart the dash and diagnose. A real pain to someone means it will be expensive for me.

- generok, Atlanta, GA, US

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