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:
135,000 miles
Total Complaints:
2 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (1 reports)
  2. replace locking mechanism (1 reports)
2002 Ford Explorer body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #2

Apr 082013

Explorer XLS 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 160,000 miles


now just anyone can open my back glass and take what ever they want out of my truck

- , Hobbsville, NC, USA

problem #1

Sep 082009

Explorer ES V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

Locking mechanism that locks the glass down to the rear hatch will not lock with the glass properly in place. I have to actually manually stick my finger in the mechanism and lock it and just "lay" the glass over the "locked" mechanism. (I have to do this so my interior lights will turn off.)

Price quoted to fix this was around $700...

I do not recommend buying a FORD to any single mom...

- , Round Rock, TX, USA

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