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:
Average Mileage:
94,500 miles
Total Complaints:
2 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (1 reports)
  2. replace control arm assembly on both sides (1 reports)
2002 Ford Explorer suspension problems

suspension problem

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2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #2

Jul 102008

Explorer XLS 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles


The same thing happened to me last night.I was driving about 20 mph near home then i felt a noise on the back of the truck, and i thought i had a flat tire. My surprise was that the entire tire was rolling zigzag. I got scared because it could had happen earlier while driving at 65mph.!!

- , San Diego, CA, USA

problem #1

Nov 162007

Explorer ES V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,000 miles

I went to back my Explorer out of the driveway yesterday and suddenly it seemed to lock up and there was a horrible grinding sound. At first I thought I'd hit something- checked- nothing- and tried again with same result. Saw that the rear passenger tire was tilted. Had it towed and the tire practically tore off as it was hoisted onto the flatbed. The drive arm had essentially torn off. If this had happened on the highway we would have rolled over. How can something this serious and dangerous just happen with no warning?! Have already replaced the struts and wheel bearings (while warranteed)- now this is a $1200 job- they are replacing assembly on both sides as other side doesn't look great either.

Has this happened to anyone else???

- , Somers, NY, USA

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