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:
125,000 miles
Total Complaints:
2 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (2 reports)
2002 Ford Explorer electrical problems

electrical problem

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2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #2

Jun 092017


  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles


I purchased this 2002 Ford Explorer June 9, 2017 at 10:01 am. I brought it home and parked it by my house where I always park my vehicles. I took my friend home because she went with me to get the vehicle. She drove my other vehicle. I was gone 10 minutes at the most. Came home and found my house engulfed in flames and the vehicle was already destroyed by fire. I ran toward the house. I got my daughter out of the house and at 11:14 am I was calling 911. We lost everything. I feel that Ford Motor Company owes me a new home. These vehicles should not be on the road. The vehicle was not running when the fire occurred. I am completely sick about this.

- , Dunbar, US

problem #1

Feb 112016

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

The car started fire as I was driving down the highway. Now I find out that the car has some default that it does start fire. How this car was allowed to be registered legally when this is a known issue is bad. My life flashed before my eyes. It was seriously scary. My feet were super hot and I nearly died trying to pull off the road by other traffic. A shocking and disturbing experience. I'll never sit in a Ford Explorer again.

- , Jupiter, FL, USA

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