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:
89,500 miles
Total Complaints:
2 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. let truck warm up (1 reports)
  2. not sure (1 reports)
2002 Ford Explorer drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #2

Jul 222007

(reported on)

Explorer XLS 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles


My 4x4 low and high engages right at start up when the weather is cold and or rainy. Really sucks!!! Found away around it for me but a pain in the ass. Just got to let it warm up at least 5 minutes and it will dis-engage itself. Different truck different solution. Will get it fixed one of these days. Thought summer was the perfect time to trade it in but my tranny went out first. Son of a biscuit!!! I HATE FORDS!!!

- , Milwaukie, OR, USA

problem #1

Feb 062007

(reported on)

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 81,000 miles

Started to act up when the weather got cold out. The Explorer would not want to go into gear because the computer in the car would tell it to go into 4 low. It would stick there until it wanted to come out. The last time it did it there was a smell of burning electrical wire and smoke. Now it is stuck in 4 low and can't drive it. I just bought this Explorer 1 month ago.

- , Maxwell, IA, USA

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