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.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
47,500 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2002 Ford Explorer accessories - interior problems

accessories - interior problem

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2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #2

Oct 152009

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Ford Explorer. While driving approximately 50-60 mph the lights on the dashboard flickered on and off which also included a beeping noise. The vehicle had not been taken to the dealer for the failure. The failure was intermittent and had been on going for more than a year. The contact stated that the failure happened more frequently while driving on the highway. The failure mileage was 95,000 and the current mileage is 114,376. Updated 03/29/11 updated 09/16/11

- Akron, OH, USA

problem #1

Aug 102005

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Digital odometer display numbers do not light up making it impossible to view cumulative mileage and use of trip computer and compass does not work.

- Cocoa, FL, USA

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