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:
108,250 miles
Total Complaints:
4 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (4 reports)
2002 Ford Explorer accessories - interior problems

accessories - interior problem

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2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #4

Oct 262009

Explorer V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 137,000 miles


Not sure of the problem my light is only the 4x4 Auto light but it blinks 24/7 like a strobe light you rarely ever get 2 minutes down the road with out seeing that light.

- , Newark, OH, US

problem #3

Sep 012010

Explorer XLT 4.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles

The 4WD light keeps blinking. Ford - found on the road dead that is what I am feeling about my suv ford make the best looking cars but the other stuff thats happending cost to much for up keep we should not have this many problems with a vehicle

- , Vallejo, CA, US

problem #2

Sep 092009

Explorer Eddie Bauer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles

I think the Ford Explorer is a piece of junk and I will never buy another FORD!

- , Cloverdale, IN, USA

problem #1

Dec 012007

Explorer XLS 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 96,000 miles

4 wheel drive high light on instrument panel will flash 10 times then stop, then about 3 minutes it will repeat and repeat. when attempting to push the 4 wheel high button on dash the 4 wheel high light will not come on. After siting overnight in the garage the he 4 wheel light might come on when the button is pushed and stay on and work properly,but the problem will start all over again. Sometimes it works properly and sometimes not.Sometimes it will engage and sometimes not. On going problem every day whether it will work or not. Can you help.

- , Oberlin, OH, USA

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