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.


definitely annoying
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
104,000 miles
Total Complaints:
1 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. re-engineer e-brakes on rear wheels (1 reports)
2002 Ford Explorer brakes problems

brakes problem

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2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #1

Aug 162007

(reported on)

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 104,000 miles


The E-brake has froze up twice in off position due to non-use [used about once a week] and has been taken apart/serviced twice. Mechanic says the setup is different and may be prone to rusting/freezing up. It is now frozen again, and seems even with use, you can feel it starting to go bad anyways. Ford should consider redesigning it. Does anybody know if Ford has revamped their explorer models since 2002? It seems to be a nice vehicle, with a lot of them on the road, but unless they change the tranny, and maybe the brake situation, they are going to lose customers. I for one am looking elsewhere.

- , Marienville, PA, USA

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