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:
90,338 miles
Total Complaints:
2 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace front pinion seal (2 reports)
2002 Ford Explorer drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #2

Dec 312009

Explorer XLT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 111,847 miles


brought x in for service for clunking noise in awd when tires would slip in snow, had to replace the u joint on the drive shaft it was seized up, then noticed at the garage the transfer case was leaking got it repaired and went on my way, got it checked a year later, about 5000 km as its my winter vehicle, and it was gone again this time replaced it on my own, wondering if this is going to happed every year, i bought this SUV in 2008

- , St Johns, nl, Canada

problem #1

Oct 132008

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,828 miles

posford!!!!just brought it in to overhaul front and rear brakes, replace brake fluids, and flushed the transmission oil and replaced transmission filter. then told us our front differential is leaking oil- replace front pinion- $200

- , Hanapepe, HI, USA

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