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:
134,062 miles
Total Complaints:
23 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (15 reports)
  2. new transmission (7 reports)
  3. replace pc board (1 reports)
2002 Ford Explorer transmission problems

transmission problem

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2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #3

Oct 012010

Explorer XLT 4.0

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles


After shifting from park to drive the engine revs to 3000 rpms before the car starts to move. As the car warms up the problem goes away. My understanding is that Ford has a huge problem with the 2002 explorer transmission and nothing has been done by the Company to resolve the problem.

Very frustrated!

- , South Bend, IN, USA

problem #2

Dec 132007

Explorer LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,500 miles

Everytime I would go from Reverse to Drive it would slip, stall ect. Sometimes at stoplights.

- , Roanoke, VA, USA

problem #1

Jan 012009

Explorer XLS 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 144,000 miles

Will shift into all gears, but will not accelerate.

- , Fort Worth, TX, USA

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