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:
Average Mileage:
58,333 miles
Total Complaints:
3 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (2 reports)
  2. replace lift gate shocks (1 reports)
2002 Ford Explorer body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #3

Nov 052012

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles


It keeps on buckling up. I fix it, comes back again and again!!

- , Cheshire, CT, USA

problem #2

Aug 102004

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles

Again with my 2002 Ford Explorer. Rear lift gate shocks went. Ford replaced them. Nothing like having the rear glass hit you in the head. Of course they started to leak after the warranty. Plastic on outside of car fading. Plastic inside near side windows fading or losing its color. Seat belt cutting through plastic piece up at post.

- , Norwalk, CT, US

problem #1

Jun 062006

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles

The rear lift gate rises soooooo slowly that the unwary are liable to hit their heads

when leaning into the cargo space. Even if you know to wait or duck, you can still

get bonked on the back of the head. I tried a silicone spray, but that did not help.

- , Huntsville, AL, USA

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