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.


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
90,000 miles
Total Complaints:
1 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replaced wiring in drivers side door (1 reports)
2002 Ford Explorer lights problems

lights problem

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2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #1

Sep 182007

Explorer XLT 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles


It started with the side mirror light and dome lights not shutting off when i left my car, I would have to turn them off manually every night. 2 years later my drivers side window would not role down so i did some investigating. Sure enough I found 2 broken wires in the wiring harness coming from the engine compartment into the driver side door. I reconnected and whalla! everything works fine, until about 6 months ago my door ajar light will come on and off randomly. I'm guessing its the same problem. I'll let you know what i find. Also i have noticed not just mine but maybe 6 out of 10 explorers i see have the crack below the rear window...Where is the recall for that?!

- halligan, Billings, MT, US

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