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:
Average Mileage:
58,333 miles
Total Complaints:
3 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (1 reports)
  2. replace instument cluster (1 reports)
  3. replaced fuel pump, sensor and vapor valve (1 reports)
2002 Ford Explorer accessories - interior problems

accessories - interior problem

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2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #3

Feb 012011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles


How do you ever know how much gas you have???? I'm always worried I'll run out. Plus now my check engine light keeps coming on because there is a so-called leak in the seal for the gas cap.

- , Coggon, IA, USA

problem #2

Jul 092004

Explorer XLS 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 20,000 miles

Ford service tried telling me it was inferior gas I was using (Shell, a top tier gas supplier)and that it would take up to 24 hours for the gauge to read full. I can't believe what the service manager was telling me to put up with.....for the life of my car. He said its either that or he'd have to replace the entire instrument cluster. I told him do what you have to do! What a tool! I asked how was I supposed to "live" with this problem while on vacation, traveling hundred's of miles each day? His answer was to keep track of miles using the trip odometer. I told him, how long before that breaks as well?

- , Park Ridge, IL, USA

problem #1

Sep 012005

(reported on)


  • 55,000 miles

I am mostly upset because with fuel prices now I don't need my fuel economy messed with!

One minute it would say I had 35 miles to E I put in 2.5 gal and it said I 52 miles to E then I went and put in MORE gas 5 gal it said 78 miles to E I had NO Idea how much gas I had or not!

- , Rock Port, MO, USA

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