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:
149,032 miles
Total Complaints:
2 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace muffler (2 reports)
2002 Ford Explorer exhaust system problems

exhaust system problem

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2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #2

Feb 202014

Explorer XLT 3.8V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles


Why would the tail pipe just rust and fall off and the rest of the system is in great shape.

- , East Haven, CT, USA

problem #1

Sep 262009

Explorer 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 148,063 miles

Driving up my street and I heard a cracking noise. Parked in front of my house and noticed my darn muffler was hanging off. I hate this car. So far I've had problems with REAR COIL SPRINGS, REAR WHEEL BEARINGS AND HUB AND MUFFLER. This suv is super costly i'm ready to pull my hair out!

- , Pittsburgh, PA, USA

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