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.


really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
115,575 miles
Total Complaints:
1 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (1 reports)
2002 Ford Explorer drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #1

Oct 212009

Explorer XLT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 115,575 miles


well apparently there was a small crack in my rear end which i was shown at the garage, so paid 1000 for a used rear end and paid 900 labour to get it installed, 3 months later it went again so i got it fixed again but got the rear end under warranty and paid another 900 for labour, and still have the shutter noise in this rear end which might have 5000 km on it, i wont be fixing it again if the rear end is gone this is such a pain in the butt since i tried to get a better vechicle for the winter when i had a newborn baby on the way, should of kept my 96 cavalier with 290000km on it, beside brakes and tires only had to replace the temp sensor

- , St Johns, nl, Canada

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