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:
Average Mileage:
95,915 miles
Total Complaints:
78 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace coil spring (62 reports)
  2. replace coil spring yourself (10 reports)
  3. not sure (3 reports)
  4. replaced both rear strut assemblys (3 reports)
2002 Ford Explorer suspension problems

suspension problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2002 Ford Explorer:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments (Page 4 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #18

Jul 182007

Explorer XLT 4L 6 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles


Never towed with this vehicle. Pulling out of my drive way I heard a noise like something made of metal break and the vehicle sunk to the right rear. Took it to the dealer who said the right rear coil spring broke and the left was cracked. Had to replace both. Since then I have had to replace an airbag switch in the steering column, both front and rear wheel bearings, complete transmission, and it is in an engine shop now trying to diagnose why the engine failed. I have been a "Ford man" since I was old enough to have an opinion of my own, but this will be the last one I buy.

- , Rensselaer, IN, USA

problem #17

Jan 012009

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,000 miles

never towed or off-road. spring made of lousy steel

- , Allison Park, PA, USA

problem #16

Oct 142008


  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

I have an 2002 ford explorer and from the start I have nothing but problem with it.Last year I replaced both my rear hub bearing costing me $1200.Coming home from work and hear a noise took it in to Sear and found both my spring on my strut are broken,call my Ford dealer who gave me the run around.I'm not trying to locate parts after market as ford parts cost too much.I know I will never buy Ford again.

- , Valley Cottage, NY, USA

problem #15

Sep 182008

Explorer XLS Unk

  • Automatic transmission
  • 117,000 miles


I heard a noise from the car, which happened to be the wheel bearing. I took it to Wal-Mart in Council Bluffs, IA who put it on the hoist, looking for a bad tire. He found the rear coil springs, 2, had broken. I took this to my local mechanic, All Pro in Omaha, who fixed this and the wheel bearing along with all 4 of my brakes all at once. OUCH!

- , Crescent, IA, USA

problem #14

Oct 252008

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,350 miles

The challenge I have with this piece of JUNK is that there has been no recall on it, but I've found another site that says that we should submit complaints to the Safety Board. I do agree with this, as there are "original" manufacturer parts and they are made to go off road, take the bumps, as well as water that might get "stuck" in their. When we went to our mechanic to have it fixed they told us "This happens a lot." Called 2 dealers and they say "We don't ever see that problem." Now someone is just LYING through their teeth or they don't want to have to pay for the problem. These are definite safety issues and I think it needs to go further. Had an explorer in the past and didn't have this problem before. The cost to fix includes the strutts! What a bogus piece of junk and I let the dealer know.

- , Mechanicsburg, PA, USA

problem #13

Sep 172008

Explorer XLT 6 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

My Explorer has a lot of bounce to it. With about 70,000 miles, I figured it is time for new shocks. This animal takes struts all away around, so my mechanic checked them out. While checking the struts, he found a broken coil spring on the right rear side. His estimate to replace all 4 struts and front realignment is $720. He said the springs need replaced in pairs (rear axle). So, with the two coil springs included will have me a bill of about $1200 (which includes the struts and alignment).

Last week I just had the emergency brakes replaced (they fell apart in the drum). This past June I had to have the transmission (a real piece of junk) rebuilt. Now worn out shocks and a broken spring too !!!

This WAS a great SUV to own until now. I owned many vehicles in my lifetime (many Fords too), but never had so many problems at once with only 70,000 miles. If Ford had any honesty or pride, they should contact us and offer to rebate some of the costs for such a poorly built/designed vehicle (or the parts they used). If Ford or other automakers expect the public to continue buying "American Made" vehicles, then they better start backing up their product and treat their customers better.

I wish someone would start a class-action suit against Ford on this Explorer model to wake them up!!!!

- , Huntingdon, PA, USA

problem #12

Jun 112008

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,500 miles


i took the car in for a pre road trip check up and had to have brakes replaced; when removing wheel they found i had a broken rear coil spring, never had that happen before;

additionally i had to have the rear bearings replaced as well. i have never had that happen before, (spring) and with only 49000 miles on the car it doesn't make sense. no off road or heavy hauling, this is a family car

- , Key West, FL, USA

problem #11

Nov 222006

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

One night when I was driving over to a friends house, I went over a Speed bump... A SPEED BUMP! next thing I know I feel the whole back right end of the car drop, the spring had broken but was still drivable so I ended up driving home and the next day taking it to a shop, they said BOTH of the coils were crumbling into nothing... wtf?? I never towed anything, never went off road with it, just highway driving...

I'm so glad I got rid of that POS!!

- , Boone, NC, USA

problem #10

Jul 102008

Explorer XLT V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles

I find it hard to believe that this massive spring would fail. I don['t do any off road driving just primarily on normal paved roads. The US government National Highway & Traffic Safety Administration ( NHTSA ) has about 30 complaints for rear coil spring failures listed on their site. If you want to file your complaint their the website is

It's free.

- , Falls Church, VA, USA

problem #9

Jun 032008

Explorer XLS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 71,000 miles

Well, we have been getting a lot of road noise. The tires looked poor, so I sent [I was working] the wife to get new tires, and change the oil while she is at a shop. Well after $440.00 for tires, they say for $660.00 they will replace the rear struts[1 leaking] , and the 2 broken rear coil springs. So, new tires, we still have the humming noise. After some Internet searches, I find the Hubs seem to go out a lot on this make, and model. So now next weekend, I need to get the Jack out and fix this junk Wagon., No way am I paying $300.00 in labor ..

I told the Wife Fords Sucked, and she shouldn't get this Explorer. Now I bet she wishes she listened.

- , Toledo, OH, USA

problem #8

May 142008

Explorer XLT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles


china is destroying this country with their junk ass steel ford should learn to stop dealing with this country along with the rest of us

- , NewBloomington, OH, USA

problem #7

Jan 142008

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,000 miles

Took the vehicle to the dealer to have three power window fixed, the ABS sensor replaced and the rear window latch replaced all costing about $1,300 They then told me the rear springs are cracked and need to be replaced!

I have gone from a happy Explorer owner to hateful one within a month. I can't believe the quality issues this vehicle has had and judging from this website it is not an isolated incident. My wife and I have only owned Fords and have had 12 of them over the last 28 years and this Explorer has had the most problems. I will be purchasing another make for my next vehicle this summer unless Ford does something to convince me otherwise. Ford, pony up and pay for your mistakes!

- , South Lyon, MI, USA

problem #6

Mar 202008

Explorer Eddie Bauer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

strictly a soccer mom SUV, broken springs make no sense at all. Have yet to try to get ford to help with this.

- , Fairfield, OH, USA

problem #5

Jan 012008

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles

At 95,000 miles, Ford Service advised both rear springs were broken. After having replaced most of the drivetrain by now, this was over the top. The vehicle is used to shuttle kids and has been well cared for and never overloaded. Looking closely, yes the springs are literally crumbling starting at the top. As an engineer, my assessment is this is a design flaw or material flaw. Well beyond warranty, but FORD SHOULD ISSUE A SAFETY RECALL or they will have another Firestone class action on their hands. WHY IS FORD IGNORING THIS SERIOUS SAFETY FLAW? Everyone please check your springs to protect life of you and your family. Advise Ford in writing. Maybe they will wake up. No more Fords for me (Fork Over Repair Dollars).

- , Schnecksville, PA, USA

problem #4

Feb 202008

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,758 miles

I noticed a noise from the rear axle of the vehicle and it turned out to need both rear bearings. While repairing these, the mechanic noticed both rear coil springs broken. No apparent reason for breakage as the car is driven mainly by my wife and has never been overloaded or used for off-road driving. My mechanic advised that there were recalls for other Ford vehicles with rear coil springs but there apparently is none for this model. This is not the first Explorer that he has seen this problem on. I have never used this vehicle for heavy hauling or towing. I own a heavy duty pickup which does all that type of work. NO WONDER NORTH AMERICANS ARE BUYING NON-NORTH AMERICAN BUILT VEHICLES. This vehicle is supposed to be built for heavy duty work.

- , Terra Cotta, Ontario, Canada

problem #3

Jul 212007

Explorer XLT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,000 miles

during the replacement of my left rear wheel bearing, the mechanic found that both rear coil springs were broke. This is bull sh*t. Ford needs to pull their head out of their ass and build a decent product instead of sticking it to everyone with junk. Until this piece of sh*t, I have owned nothing but Chevrolet. I should have never switched.

- , Watertown, NY, USA

problem #2

Nov 052007

Explorer XLT 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,500 miles

Went to a local auto shop to get new pads and rotors. When he took the rear passenger wheel off, he found the broken spring. He was at a loss as to how this could have happened, other than design flaw in the part, since I don't load thousands of pounds inside the car, and don't tow anything heavy.

- , Lyndhurst, OH, USA

problem #1

Nov 042007

(reported on)

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 36,500 miles

coil spring broke on top was told due to cold and snow,salt come to find out the springs are made in China can only get as of now at Ford

- , Keene, NH, USA

Not what you are looking for?