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.


definitely annoying
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
42,500 miles
Total Complaints:
2 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace sensors (2 reports)
2002 Ford Explorer accessories - interior problems

accessories - interior problem

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2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #2

Oct 172007

(reported on)

Explorer XLS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles


The coolant system has given me many problems and I am not sure if the problems are not unrelated to each other. The temperature gauge has been replaced twice, the fan clutch which is part of cooling system has failed, the radiator has developed a leak and consequently the whole thing needed replacing and then the hose from radiator was damaged. Although the temperature gauges and clutch fan were replaced by ext. warranty, the rest of the work has been paid for and been very expensive. When will all these repairs stop? The car has not even got a full cycle on its motor.

- , Mexico City, 52783, Mexico

problem #1

Sep 012005

(reported on)


  • 45,000 miles

the interior was about 10 degrees off and the check engine light kept coming on and when I finally got to the repair shop nothing... finally it was on and I went straight to the dealership and showed them before turning off the vehicle.

- , Rock Port, MO, USA

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