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:
111,250 miles
Total Complaints:
4 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. pay again for the same repair (4 reports)
2002 Ford Explorer brakes problems

brakes problem

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2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #4

Sep 302014

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 180,000 miles


Every inspection, like clockwork, either the front rotors and pads or the back rotors and pads or both are shot. The inspection guy just laughs and laughs. In Pennsylvania, Inspection stations have sent more kids through college than the PELL Grant system. I Only drive this car back and forth to work or baseball, 8-10 miles a day tops yet it is always about the brakes and wheels, Wheel cylinders, axles, ball joints, you name it and I have replaced it several times if not once a year. I have used several different inspection stations.

I believe all Pennsylvania stations use inspections as their cash cow and it has nothing to do with safety anymore. Are there any reports or studies on how this system of ripping off PA drivers has made the state and their minions, millions of dollars per year. Do they have a lobby group to keep it in place, and is there any REAL way to fight to bring down this system?

- , Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #3

Dec 012005

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles

Every 35000 t0 40000 miles have to replace all rotors.

- , Saginaw, MI, USA

problem #2

Feb 012010

Explorer V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 145,000 miles

I have had my brakes redone 2 times in less than a year and they now need redone again the rotors wear down way to quickly and if you don't replace them as soon as possible your brakes will blow out i had this happen twice!

- , Newark, OH, US

problem #1

Apr 182007

(reported on)

Explorer XLS 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

I had to change all the freakin rotors on my truck again! This was the second time in 6 months. I was told ford used soft metal in the rotors the second time. Ok, so were rotors of the same type put on again? I had taken it in for my 70K service and it drove like sh*t-the brakes would shake really bad when used. I figured things had to settle out after having the tires rotated. Well they did not. This maybe due to the retards working at the Ford dealer-since it was not doing that before I went there and the prior rotor change was only a few months old by then.

- , Sykesville, MD, USA

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