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:
51,707 miles
Total Complaints:
1 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. towed to dealership/ performed cooling system diag (1 reports)
2002 Ford Explorer cooling system problems

cooling system problem

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2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #1

Mar 122011

Explorer 4DR XLT 4X2 4.0L Sohc V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 51,707 miles


The original was my fault. My neighbor replaced some hoses and did not replace radiator cap tight, however, dealership stated they placed coolant mix into vehicle,

ONE YEAR LATER I CHECKED COOLANT TO FIND THERE WAS NO COOLANT MEASUREMENT AT ALL IN RADIATOR OR OVERFLOW. FORTUNATELY, I LIVE IN TEXAS SO THE ENGINE DID NOT CRACK DUE TO THE FREEZING TEMPERATURE. I HAD BEEN CHARGED FOR COOLANT THAT WAS NEVER PLACED INTO THE VEHICLE. Makes me really wonder what other things I am charged for are not replaced and we are charged. When I took it back and talked to manager at Covert he asked what I would like for him to do. My response was why don't you start with coolant and pray that I do not have permanent damage. Which how would I EVER PROVE ONE YEAR LATER that Covert did not fill with coolant.

- , Austin, TX, USA

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