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
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
77,379 miles
Total Complaints:
3 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (3 reports)
2002 Ford Explorer electrical problems

electrical problem

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2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #3

Jun 242011

Explorer XL 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 115,000 miles


When the fan knob is turned on it causes static noise through the radio.

- , Granby, CO, USA

problem #2

Sep 012005

(reported on)


  • 55,000 miles

I am waiting for a replacement for my "lemon" now.

I am so tired of all this. One repair after another! I call it Christine on a regular basis. Love the car hate all the trouble. We make a Joke that Explorers are made monday mornings or Friday afternoons. Either way workers are not doing it well. they are missing something.

- , Rock Port, MO, USA

problem #1

Sep 292008

Explorer XLT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,137 miles

I recently installed an hf land mobile radio in my 2002 explorer, I bonded the tailpipe and doors,hood as per fords recommendation but still have noise,(not as bad,but still noise). I believe it is coming through the antenna which is on a magnetic mount. What can be done !

- , Greenfield, MO, USA

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