Print this page 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:
92,800 miles
Total Complaints:
2 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

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

fuel system problem

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2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #2

Mar 022012

Explorer XLS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,543 miles


It is a pain in the ass to try to fill up!!! The pump clicks off every 2 sec. it takes forever to fill up. The service station workers have come out and asks me to move the nozzle in or out and it doesn't help. It is embarrassing!!!!

- Larry P., New Philadelphia, OH, US

problem #1

Oct 202009

Explorer XL 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

Recently I have been experiencing difficulty when fueling my 2002 Ford Explorer. I place the nozzle in the filler tube and begin fueling. I can get about 1 gallon in when the automatic nozzle shuts off. It sound like the gas is coming up the filler tube. I have to continue squeezing the fill nozzle at the pump about 50 times until I can get around 16 gallons into the tank. Takes about 15 minutes to completely fill the tank. I then stop, not sure if the tank is trully full. This happens all the time and is very annoying when trying to fill the gas tank. I have been told by a repairman that I will need a complete new gas tank to fix the problem. Approx. $450 dollars. I don't have that in pocket change right now.

- David D., Carmel, IN, US

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