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:
Average Mileage:
92,384 miles
Total Complaints:
7 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. change erg/egr valve (2 reports)
  2. not sure (2 reports)
  3. replace dpfe sensor (2 reports)
  4. replaced coils and spark plugs (1 reports)
2002 Ford Explorer engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #7

Sep 242014

Explorer XLT V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 139,400 miles


My 2002 Ford Explorer started running on seven cylinders on the way home one day. After O'Reilly auto part diagnosed it as a coil pack I purchased one and replaced it myself. The job was not that difficult but still a pain in the butt now that I know what all is wrong with my truck. Ford you should be reading my list of problems and offering me some kind of assistance getting this vehicle repaired. I have owned nine Fords in my lifetime, 5 of them new, but this one may be my last since you won't fess up to your poor engineering on this model truck.

- , Edwardsburg, MI, USA

problem #6

Jul 112006

Explorer 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,373 miles

The check engine light came on and would not go off.

- , Mechanicsburg, PA, USA

problem #5

Feb 202010

Explorer XL 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

Check Engine light goes off and on in last 6 months on constantly.

- , Granby, CO, USA

problem #4

Aug 012009

Explorer XLT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 44,000 miles


changed erg sensor valve 2 times within 10,000 miles..costly and annoying

Update from Aug 11, 2016: Timing chain broke,$2500 to pull engine and replace,14 months later timing chain again, found out the 2008 mustang engine will fit right in its place, must change fuel injectors,valve covers,oil pan, runs great now! $4,000 in 14 months! 2002 ford explorer worst vehicle i ever owned!

- , Melvindale, MI, US

problem #3

Oct 262009

Explorer V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 137,000 miles

I replaced the ERG/EGR valve twice and there was never actually a problem with it my light wold come on for 1 to 2 day and then go off and i wouldn't see it again for 2 months.

- , Newark, OH, US

problem #2

Jul 062010

Explorer 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 97,472 miles

I was given an 02 ford explorer from my grandfather in january of 09 ive put 8,000 miles on it since then. i had to replace a battery twice in the same year, check enginge is repeatedly coming on after i pay to have it fixed, my gas pedal has stuck after taking it out of cruise control, brake lines r going. so basically i will never buy a ford peice of sh*t !!!! again.

- , Whitle Lk, MI, USA

problem #1

Jul 282005

Explorer Limited 4WD 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 63,444 miles

A sensor goes out for no apparent reason....Just make me a car that works consistently please.

- , Lemoore, CA, USA

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