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
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
43,510 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2002 Ford Explorer exhaust system problems

exhaust system problem

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2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #2

Aug 032007

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles


My 2002 Ford Explorer had a failed tube mounted "differential pressue feedback from egr" (dpfe) sensor after 30K miles. Ford created a technical service bulletin (tsb) regarding this know issue affecting several 2000-2003 Ford models including the 2002 Explorer (see Ford tsb 04-11-1 May 25, 2004 ). however, when Ford turned this issue of the faulty dpfe sensor into a recall, or "field service action" (fsa) as they call it, they did not include the 2002 Ford Explorer in the dpfe recall. All vehicles included in fsa 02M01 were given an extended 2yr/24K mile warranty on the dpfe sensor. The 2002 Explorer was not included in this extended warranty despite the fact that the 2002 Explorer was included in the original tsb on this issue and the fact that the 2002 Explorer was know to use the same tube mounted differential pressure sensor as all the vehicles included in the recall. See fsa 02M01

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #1

Dec 132006

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 57,020 miles
There is Ford tsb 02M01 and ntsb 10007207 for replacement of the egr sensor on 2002 Ford Explorer. The Explorer needed that sensor replaced, but the warranty claim was denied although my vehicle fell within age and mileage guidlines. I would like Ford to compensate me for the cost of the repair.

- Canonsburg, PA, USA

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