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:
101,000 miles
Total Complaints:
4 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (3 reports)
  2. replace with better tires (1 reports)
2002 Ford Explorer wheels / hubs problems

wheels / hubs problem

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2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #4

Apr 222011

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles


I have had replace my rear tires on my explorer about every 20,000-40,000. I have tried many brands expense and cheap rated 40,000-100,000. I made sure I had them rotated and balanced on schedule the last two times and the very reputable shop prorates them but it is still an added expense. Along with this I have to replace the rear wheel bearing hubs 4 times in 4 years.

- , Nokomis, IL, USA

problem #3

Nov 012010

Explorer V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 162,000 miles

My front tires wear down alot fastert than they should and its because of something in the front end that cause my tire to lean a certain way and wears down the inner part of my tires

- , Newark, OH, US

problem #2

Sep 062004

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles

I'm here again with my 2002 Ford Explorer XLT, 4.0 V-6. Why did ford put michelins tires on this car? They stink. Just about got 30,000 miles on them and had to change. Put Dunlaps on... Much better tire.

- , Norwalk, CT, US

problem #1

Apr 032007

(reported on)

Explorer Eddie Bauer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,000 miles

Had new Michelin APT tires put on my SUV at 45,000 miles. About a month ago I started noticing that I had a lot of "road noise". My husband checked the tires and noticed that the front ones were showing unusual wear, with high and low places. We took it back to Sears and they tell us it has to be the car's fault. All they did was rotate them to the back but this did not help the noise. Does anyone have any idea what might cause this?

- , Burnsville, NC, USA

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