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:
121,708 miles
Total Complaints:
2 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

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

transmission 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

problem #2

Apr 042010

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 118,417 miles


Why did Ford not advise me correctly about the Big problem it is having with it's 2002 Explorer transmission failures. If they would have said that we are seeing this problem system wide, they could have strongly recommend a rebuilt transmission versus a repair.

I fall into the same boat as all the other 2002 Ford Explorer owners that first spotted the O/D light flashing. Then came the "service engine soon" light with in 100 miles. I took it to the Ford Dealership and paid a few thousand dollars, only to have the same problem surface four months later. Now, the same Ford dealership claims that it is a "new problem" with the transmission and will not be covered by the repair.

REALLY FORD! You lost a loyal customer today!

- , San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #1

Sep 182008

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles

I'm saying its a pain in the ass, because we have to inspect this vehicle every year and with the engine light on we have to take it for repairs which it will cost another $600 dollars or have a new transmission install. The shop told me that what they fixed should have taken care of the problem. But the next day the light was on again.

- , Lawrenceville, GA, USA

Not what you are looking for?