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:
131,170 miles
Total Complaints:
2 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (1 reports)
  2. replace or solder hinge (1 reports)
2002 Ford Explorer body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #2

Jan 192016

Explorer XLT 4.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 200,341 miles


the backdoor hinge is cracked. It is not just my truck, I have saw a lot of the Ford Explorer that the back door hinge are cracked.

- , Columbus, GA, USA

problem #1

May 012008

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,000 miles

I'm not sure what happened to my door. One day it was fine and the next day I heard a creaking sound whenever I opened the driver's front door. At first I didn't notice what was causing it but later in the day I saw where the hinge was cracked on the lower part of the door. I am on a very limited budget with major health concerns and can't afford to spend money to get this repaired. I want to know what potential problems can occur. One other thing, the outside of the part looks perfectly painted but you can see the rust where the part cracked. Is it possible that this truck could have water damage that escaped car facts?

- , Decatur, GA, USA

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