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:
114,350 miles
Total Complaints:
3 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (3 reports)
2002 Ford Explorer lights problems

lights problem

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2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #3

Jul 232012

Explorer XLT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 173,000 miles


I have a 2002 ford explorer.I have had so many problems with this vehicle,ranging from transmission problems to liftgate problems and many more.The most recent is my car would not shift from park to anything and I had no back brakes at all.We found out it was the upper back brake on the liftgate.It kept blowing fuses.This has happened on multiple occasions and it had to be towed.The problem was the plastic piece that holds the bulbs gets to hot,melts and catches fire.We went to 4 different junk yards and no one had them except 1 and they tried 7 different ones and they all had the same exact problem as mine.They were all melted! i definitely think that there should be a recall on that piece and also a recall on the sprocket thing that holds the back glass on.If you have this problem try changing the fuse and check that piece that holds your bulbs in.Chances are yours are probably melted to and this could save you thousands of dollars in repairs.Lucky for me my husband figured it out!

- Amy T., Connelly Springs, NC, US

problem #2

Mar 012010

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles


This problem randomly started happening on my 2002 ford explorer, the rear lights stick on and off whenever they please, including when the SUV is shut off killing my batterie or just in everday traffic this is just one of the many problems happening with my ford

- D D., Hornell, NY, US

problem #1

Oct 012008


  • Manual transmission
  • 20,000 miles

Another pain in the ass problems with my explorer. I have burned through at least 7 rear taillights and brake lights with no explanation. I guess I need to buy at Costco in bulk!

- William D., Grand Terrace, CA, US

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