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.


really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
108,000 miles
Total Complaints:
2 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (2 reports)
2002 Ford Explorer accessories - interior problems

accessories - interior problem

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2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #2

Oct 162013


  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,000 miles


If I turn the dome lights at nite the radio stops working, and at some point the truck will just quit running, it takes a long time to jump start. My volt meter is always in the normal, is just a pain. I would like to know is there a recall on some electric switch, or the light switch????

- , East St. Louis, IL, USA

problem #1

Jun 032012


  • Automatic transmission
  • 123,000 miles

door ajar light is on, hear clicking from the dashboard behind the door ajar light, interior alarm beeps intermittently while driving down the road while the doors lock and unlock themselves. Alarm goes off for no reason at all at all hours of the day. I just spent $500 on this problem and they said the wiring was fine but that the connectors had corrosion. They cleaned that up and thought it would fix the problem. The door ajar light is no longer on, but the beeping continued although less often on the ride home from the repair shop (so any long term fix is still to be determined). The alarm is STILL going off for no reason at all. Does anyone have a fix for this?

- , Corte Madera, CA, USA

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