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:
15,889 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

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2002 Ford Explorer:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #4

Mar 162007

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


The contact owns a 2002 Ford Explorer XLS. The mechanic was rotating both rear tires and changing brake pads. The mechanic stated that the rear coil springs sheared off. The current mileage was 51,600. The consumer has provided both the invoice and pictures of the broken coil springs. Update 4/23/07

- Hinckley, OH, USA

problem #3

Mar 032006

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
2002 Explorer rear coil springs broke at 76,000 miles. The front brake pads were replaced.

- Uniontown, OH, USA

problem #2

Nov 072005

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,656 miles
: the contact stated while shifting gears, the automatic transmission made a clunking noise and the vehicle displayed a jerking motion. The vehicle was seen by a dealer and the solenoid housing of the automatic transmission was replaced. Afterwards, the problem persisted and the solenoid housing was again replaced by the dealer. The front pads were replaced. The drivers side door would pop open. There was a delay when shifting gears, and then the vehicle would slam into gear. Updated 04/06/06.

- Weatogue, CT, USA

problem #1

Nov 072003

(reported on)


  • 17,900 miles
While having front brake pads replaced mechanic noticed that the rotors rusted and cracked. Also, the rear rotors are starting to rust. The front rotors were replaced. The cause of the rust was undetermined.

- Detroit, MI, USA

Not what you are looking for?