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:
Average Mileage:
70,500 miles
Total Complaints:
4 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. glue the trim back on before it gets damaged (2 reports)
  2. not sure (1 reports)
  3. put lock tight on and replace the bolts (1 reports)
2002 Ford Explorer body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #4

Jul 162014

Explorer Eddie Bauer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles


Ford logo plate on back is missing. Need replacement.

- , Pace, FL, USA

problem #3

Jan 012004

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 20,000 miles

First crack appeared 2 years after I bought the car. They said that the trim wasn't covered under the warranty.

- , Brentwood, CA, USA

problem #2

Oct 012007

Explorer XLS 4.0L

  • Manual transmission
  • 60,000 miles

Again, trim issues with a Ford product, shocking I know.

- , Arvada, CO, USA

problem #1

Jun 132007

(reported on)

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,000 miles

The wood trim on the driver door fell off. Unfortunately it was further damaged once it fell off. I went into the ford dealer and they stated that you have to buy an entire door panel for $215 to replace a small strip of wood trim. This is utterly ridiculous. I noticed the one on the passenger door is now starting to fall off. This time I'll put sticky stuff behind it to keep it on.

- , San Diego, CS, USA

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