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.


definitely annoying
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
86,545 miles
Total Complaints:
2 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace serpentine belt (1 reports)
  2. replaced belt tensioner (1 reports)
2002 Ford Explorer engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #2

Jan 222009

Explorer XLT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 113,090 miles


squeaking when engine running replaced belt first and noticed when we pulled the tensioner backk it never sprung back in place, had to replace the tensioner not sure of the cost only paid for the belt and tensioner

- , St Johns, nl, Canada

problem #1

Jun 152006

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

On-going serpentine belt squealing, got bad at 60,000 miles, a spray down with belt conditioner would help for a week or two, but then the squealing came back. I finally had the belt replaced at 95,000 miles

- , Chandler, AZ, USA

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