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.


fairly significant
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
80,500 miles
Total Complaints:
2 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (1 reports)
  2. replaced headlights (1 reports)
2002 Ford Explorer lights problems

lights problem

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2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #2

Jun 012017

Explorer XLT 4.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 108,000 miles


rear customer side light panel leaks

Whenever it rains.... Afterwards, I have to remove the covering off of the passenger side brake light and turn it over a few times in order for the trapped water to be expelled.

- Latonya R., Jacksonville, US

problem #1

Jan 092007

(reported on)

Explorer XLT 4.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 53,000 miles

Showed dealer the water inside headlights this time. The last time was summer and was dry for three weeks. They replaced both the headlight and the fog light. Dealership paid as complaints were stated on other work orders previously.

- Daniel M., Howell, MI, US

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