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.


definitely annoying
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
64,600 miles
Total Complaints:
4 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (4 reports)
2002 Ford Explorer transmission problems

transmission problem

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2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #4

Jan 012006

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 22,000 miles


This started happening a few years ago, and I have gotten used to it. I have to always keep it in mind when parking on a road that is not level.

- , Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #3

Mar 112008

Explorer XLS 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 102,400 miles

yea it happens to me too. i tried putting it in park and then turning my car off with my foot on the brake thinking maybe it wont roll.... but it did. i haven't tried to see if it did that with my e brake...ill try it soon and let u guys know. I'm afraid one of these days my car will roll and i wont be able to stop it.

- , Medford, MA, US

problem #2

Apr 182007

(reported on)

Explorer XLT 5.9

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles

Could be a potential safety issue!

- , Elsobrante, CA, USA

problem #1

Feb 072007

(reported on)

Explorer XLS 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 69,000 miles

Truck usually rolls after putting the car in park.

- , Atlanta, GA, USA

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