Print this page 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:
95,950 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

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2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments (Page 1 of 4)

problem #78

Dec 222014

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,312 miles


Think about having no springs in the rear end. Every bump, every turn etc.

Was told Ford had issues with their "pouring" thus the springs I had snapped into little pieces.

Just another of many fixes we had to pay for a vehicle which should never have been allowed onto any road, anywhere.

- exploder02, Calgary, AB, Canada

problem #77

Apr 012008

Explorer Limited V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles

I have never seen a coil spring broken. This is definitely a first.

My brother's Explorer (2003) also had the same problem.

What a lemon.

- Pat C., Bayside, NY, US

problem #76

Aug 262014

Explorer XLS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

Went in to get my tires rotated and vehicle inspected. And boom... discover broken spring in left rear suspension. Looked at right one and discovered a broken tail portion of spring was missing too! I guess heard it break and fall off while I was driving on the highway couple of weeks ago. Initially I thought I must have driven over a piece of metal and only realized this now! I am stuck with two broken springs around the strut and have to shell out $612 to replace! I am going with KYB strut assembly and staying away from Ford dealer!

- Milton H., Providence, RI, US

problem #75

Aug 152010

Explorer XLS 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 152,000 miles


I have been driving since 1966 and I can honestly say I have never broken a rear spring in any of my vehicles until this POS Ford Exploder.

- Mike N., Louisville, KY, US

problem #74

Dec 182005

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 37,000 miles

this has happened twice with this suv, about every 40000 miles

- fordlover1000, Saginaw, MI, US

problem #73

Mar 172012

Explorer Limited 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 173,891 miles

I have had my stuts replaced and a brake job all the way around and when driving down the street my truck sounds like an old squeaky mattress. It is awful!!! and going over bumps is like riding on a roller coaster.

I have also had to have my transmission rebuilt twice.

I love my truck!!! I would really like to upgrade to another explorer but these problems are annoying.

- henderscd1, Houston, tx, US

problem #72

May 012013

Explorer LS 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles


So I see this is NOT an UNCOMMON failure for this vehicle.

- Blair E F., Williamsport, PA, US

problem #71

Sep 072012

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 166,245 miles

click to see larger images

rear coil spring failure

Surprised to say the least that something as important as a rear suspension component would rust through and fail. Just happy i noticed it before any serious accident occurred.

- Will C., Clementon, NJ, US

problem #70

Aug 012011

Explorer LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles

Both rear springs rusted through. Probably have been driving car with broken springs for a long time. definitely dangerous and ford probably knows of the problem but hopes to get away without having to fix it. They should be held accountable if someone gets killed as a result.

- Rondohar A., Galena, OH, US

problem #69

Jul 272012

Explorer XLT V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,000 miles

click to see larger images

rear coil spring failure

Rear coil springs are rusted and cracking, piece fell off. It appears that inadequate or deficient metal was used. Mechanic says very rare for coil springs to rust like this, springs look as though they have been in a junk yard for 30 years.This vehicle is a family car, not used for off-roading and kept in a garage. According to my research many other owners have had the same issue, some have even had the pieces puncture tires causing a blowout while driving. I can only assume that Ford is not concerned with consumer safety, but only with their own profits and are waiting for people to die before taking responsibility. This is just one of many issues with this model and Ford needs to step up.

- sbiotech, Bethlehem, PA, US

problem #68

Mar 232012


  • Automatic transmission
  • 109,800 miles


I just bought this Explorer in August of 2011. I have never had this much trouble with a SUV. I had family member change the brakes on all 4 wheels as the were squealing. As he was changing the rear pads he noticed the spring was broken. I don't go off roading or anything like that, so how on earth could the rear spring break? I hate this SUV. I still owe a lot of money on this car.. I can't keep repairing daily!!

- Kim S., Capron, IL, US

problem #67

Jan 252012

Explorer Eddie Bauer V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,584 miles

click to see larger images

rear coil spring failure rear coil spring failure

Both rear springs broke - I couldn't believe it, less than 75,000 miles and they have been broken for some time judging from all the rust. I couldn't tell it from driving it, I mean it has always ridden like a truck more than a car. Goodyear found the problem when rotating tires for me. I decided to use after-market parts instead of Ford parts as I understand Ford has had many issues with springs. Clearly these parts are defective. Previously I had always gone to a Ford dealership for service, and probably still would have if the one close to me had not closed. I have to say I love my Explorer and mean to keep it a long time, but this was a huge surprise because I don't off-road with it.

- Bill P., Indianapolis, IN, US

problem #66

Dec 282009

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

Noticed coil springs were broke after washing the truck. The truck had 130,000 miles and was never off road. Went to the Ford dealer and they tell me " Oh yeah this happens all the time" and its a $600.00 repair. I asked about a recall or warranty. And the reply was no and no. I had worked as an Auto Body repairman for over 20 years and I had never seen completely cracked coil springs in all the years I repaired cars. Some were bent but never broken. After doing some research I found that Ford purchased cheep springs from China. This was my second Ford and second Explorer and I can tell you this is the last time I will purchase a Ford. Also lost the transmission at 77,000 miles. Just so tired of all the little things and big things that go wrong. And then the Ford dealership telling me oh yeah this happens all the time. Not for me anymore. You just lost another customer on their way to a Honda dealership.

- jimbrew, Kinnelon, NJ, US

problem #65

Jul 132011

Explorer LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 121,000 miles

This is the second time I am replacing the rear coil spring. once in 2005 and now again, come on you should never have to replace more then once if at all. this year of explorer is full of problems

- Michele T., Bushkill, PA, US

problem #64

Sep 292011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles

Second time in 2 years having to have the rear wheel bearings replaced. Mechanic found broken springs. I'm waiting to hear back about the cost, but imagine it will be painful. That makes rear bearings twice, front bearings and hubs, complete transmission rebuild. Soon I'll have more into it than it'll be worth.

- Chris R., Wichita Falls, TX, US

problem #63

Aug 182011

Explorer LX 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,000 miles

This is actually my sisters ford Explorer. She needs a brake pad change so she brings it to Midaz. Midaz inspect her vehicle and found both rear coil springs broken to pieces .A few days back she had one of the rear tires blowout while going 60 miles per hour in the high way. Tire shop inspected the tire and found that the tire might have hit something sharp or punctured by someone intentionally. Ford needs to step it up to stop this issues before somebody gets killed. This is very dangerous and Ford should not wait to fix this issue.

- abaya, Anchorage, AK, US

problem #62

Feb 042011

Explorer XLT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 160,000 miles

I went in for some new tires and brakes, came out with a repair estimate that stated that the right rear spring is broken. Their solution is 2 quick springs (can't just replace one because the car will sit crooked). I have not yet repaired this, however I have to do it soon, as you can't align the tires with this issue.

- Paul K., Florence, KY, US

problem #61

Sep 212008

Explorer XLS 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles

Like many others, Ford did not want to hear about this and they refused to say there was an issue. I had to replace the rear bearings and at that time i was informed the both rear springs were broken.

- bhaskins, Liverpool, NY, US

problem #60

Mar 102011

Explorer Limited 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 121,563 miles

Took car to local mechanic to have front & rear struts replaced. Upon removal of the appropriate suspension pieces, he found that all 4 coil springs were broken at the top, about tow-thirds of the coil was broken off. I had been wondering about the noise when going over bumps??? I reported the issue to as should everyone that has had this type of problem. I have never had a vehicle that suffered a broken spring condition, and this one had them all broken! FOMOCO has a problem and they just won't acknowledge it. As others have done, I had to have the transmission rebuilt and it now shifts better than new. I reported that to NHTSA also.

- slavens001, Cross Lanes, WV, US

problem #59

Apr 022008

Explorer XLT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

Truck was driving horrible...had to get it fixed. garage's estimate was too steep...bought loaded rears for the back, on e-bay, hubby installed... cheapest, easiest fix we could come across for this!

- Karen C., Buffalo, NY, US

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