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:
No data
Average Mileage:
5,000 miles
Total Complaints:
1 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. put lock tight on and replace the bolts when you loose them (1 reports)
2002 Ford Explorer body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #1

Aug 012002

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,000 miles


The check strap bolts wasn't screwed in and tightened from the factory.They was backed out and clicking when you opened the door in the showroom.The dealership tightened them up and we took it home.Every few months they start backing out again.I put locktight on the bolts and it seems to be holding now.Just one more thing that come from the factory undone on this truck.I guess I bought one that was built the Friday before shutdown and everyone was more worried about getting out of the plant rather than building a quality vehicle.

- , Taylorsville, KY, US

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