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
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
10,300 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2002 Ford Explorer brakes problems

brakes problem

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2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #1

Dec 132006

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 10,300 miles


-the contact stated that while driving 50 mph in the 2002 Ford Explorer he heard a loud noise coming from the back of the vehicle. The contact took the vehicle to dealer for a wheel bearing repair when the odometer reached 10,300 miles, and was informed that both the rear spring and the emergency brake cable were fractured. The contact stated that he tried to get a resolution for repairs on the vehicle because it was still under warranty, but the dealership refused to repair the vehicle unless the contact paid for the repairs. The contact purchased the vehicle from wentworth motors, and they told the contact that he had to take the vehicle to a Ford dealership for the repairs. The current mileage was 10,600. The rear springs failed. Updated 04/12/07.

- Waylan, NY, USA

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