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:
53,650 miles
Total Complaints:
4 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

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

accessories - interior problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2002 Ford Explorer:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #4

Jan 052013

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,000 miles


If you don't mind not being able to see anything when your getting in your car at night, then this is the car for you.

- , Findlay, OH, USA

problem #3

Apr 012008

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.6L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles

Now we have to carry flashlights to see anything at night, I've replaced damn near everything on this f*cking piece of sh*t car. I liked it so much when it was new now it's falling the f@ck apart!

- , Carrington, ND, USA

problem #2

Dec 012002

Explorer Limited 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 600 miles

I noticed right away, that in cold weather the interior lights to not come on when you get into the car......the brand new car......THANKS FORD! I can't afford to take time off from work to fix all these annoying problems.

- , Summerville, SC, US

problem #1

Mar 222007

(reported on)

Explorer V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,000 miles

The interior lights on our Exlorer do not turn on when opening the door or when using the remote to unlock. The lights will turn on about one minute after getting in the vehicle. Haviang this problem checked at the dealer. Their first comment was a sticking door switch, but I do not believe that is the case. I suspect that it is a control unit somewhere.

- , Amboy, IN, USA

Not what you are looking for?