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:
88,874 miles
Total Complaints:
181 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace wheel bearing (78 reports)
  2. replace bearing and hub (45 reports)
  3. replaced wheel bearings (34 reports)
  4. not sure (14 reports)
  5. replaced causual part, and surrounding parts (3 reports)
  6. replaced the following wheel bearings, tyrod, caliper, rotor (3 reports)
2002 Ford Explorer wheels / hubs problems

wheels / hubs problem

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2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments (Page 2 of 10)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #161

Aug 112008


  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles


Replaced front right wheel bearing in 03/09. It is now needing to be replaced again. Just replaced the front left wheel bearing this month (03/11) which was replaced also in 08/08.

The front right was replaced with a genuine Ford bearing through a friend who works for Ford. The front left was replaced by a ring & pinion shop which charged me $265.00 for the part. I figured it was the better one of the two on the market.

The right rear was replaced in 2007 for $341.00.

- , Ortonville, MI, USA

problem #160

Oct 252010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 165,000 miles

I am on mt 6th rear wheel bearing !!!!! It is Jan.7,2011 today I had it replaced on the last week in Nov. of 2010 that is barley 6 weeks !! I don't understand why they can not recall this part or what ever is causing it to go out!! All they have to do it count all the complaints!! I know my SUV is old but other than this I have had NO problems with it.. It still looks good, runs good and seems to have a lot of miles on it. I would love to keep it especially since it is paid for but I can't keep replacing this part and sinking money into the same part. If I can not get any help from the Ford company I WILL be sporting a Chevy next time!!

- , Lexington, TN, USA

problem #159

Feb 132009

Explorer XTL V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 84,000 miles

Only had the POS 2 weeks and the rear wheel bearings go bad, and to top it all off the place I bought if from gave me a hard time about fixing it. than when I took it to their shop they keep it form almost 3 weeks and i have a full time job and go to college and i also have a family. Please I beg you DO NOT BUY THIS POS your better off taking the bus if you have to and its cheaper.

- , Mentor, OH, USA

problem #158

Feb 042010

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 127,000 miles


My neigbor just had the same proble at 70000 miles. Same vehilcle.

- , Berwyn, IL, USA

problem #157

Dec 012010

Explorer XLS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

Well, i replaced the rear bearing assembly at 35,000. Now both front are out at 100,000. Please anyone visits the website and has a problem, call ford, let them know if they want us to buy their cars, they better fix their bad design. I believe ford is trying to improve its image and I hate to see people buying foreign cars, so let us help them.

- , Canton, MI, USA

problem #156

Sep 252010

Explorer XLT 4.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles

Wheel bearing all the way around started going out in 2008. Ive dealt with the noise for a while now but the tires are wearing bad so Im in the process now of replacing the fronts before I get new tires. Other issues have been: Engine locked up, replaced it myself. 4x4 module went out, let the dealer replace it when I had my breaks replaced. Transmission is going out.

- , Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #155

Aug 122009

Explorer XLS 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles


I have replaced three wheel bearings on my crappy Ford Explorer. Three. Not an inexpensive repair and a potentially dangerous problem. Crappy Ford...

- , Richmond, VA, USA

problem #154

Aug 302010

Explorer Eddie Bauer V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 71,053 miles

I have been a loyal Ford owner for 20 years, but this is the last vehicle I will ever purchase from Ford. This front wheel bearing failure was the last straw, and I also had to repair the transfer case and the same time.

I've spent $6,000 repairing/maintaining this vehicle in the last 18 months. After I replaced the transmission last year, I thought I had made the most expensive repair I could face, so I wanted to keep the car a few more years to get a return on my repair investment. Well, the troubles just kept on coming.

The Ford dealership in my town was not helpful. When I told the service manager my sad story and asked if Ford would help cover the cost of my latest repairs, she told me that the repairs I needed (ABS brake module) were considered a 'maintenance' item, and Ford would not help me. In fact, when I had my car in for service at this dealership, they usually recommended repairs or maintenance that wasn't necessary.

Most companies that want to maintain a relationship with you will give you some for of compensation when they have treated you badly. Apparently, Ford does not want my business any longer. Good bye and good riddance.

- , Rancho Santa Margarita, CA, US

problem #153

Aug 012007

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

In the last 3 years, the wheel bearings have gone bad on 3 different occasions. The first time it was 3 of them, second time 1, now it's 2. This is getting ridiculous.

- , Wexford, PA, USA

problem #152

May 092009

Explorer Limited V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles

Slowly the noise from my wheel bearings grew and grew and is now unbearable. I need to have it fixed but don't have $2,000 to do it....

- , Scituate, MA, USA

problem #151

Sep 172008

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 96,000 miles


The first of many issues with this FORD. I wasn't too upset this time around due to it was covered under warranty.

- , Kansas City, MO, USA

problem #150

Nov 102009

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 132,000 miles

Bearing number two, different axle. This is becoming a real issue and beginning to irritate me. I don't get to replace brakes and rotors, I get the higher dollar items.

- , Kansas City, MO, USA

problem #149

May 102010

Explorer Eddie Bauer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 102,000 miles

We'll just like everyone else. I heard what I though was excessive tire noise coming from the rear end, similarly the same noise was heard in my wives 2009 Audi. I brought that in and it was defective wheel bearing (42,000mi). So I brought in my Explorer and both rear wheel bearings had seized. $1,200 including 7 hours of labor. Great!

- , Montvale, NJ, USA

problem #148

Apr 262010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 139,000 miles

So, part 2 of the story goes like this...

I experienced a sound while driving that sounded like I drove over a piece of metal or something, but nothing was in the rearview. Next day, same thing happened followed by some grinding/gravel type sound that got progressively worse. I called the guy that did the transmission job and he drove it the next morning and suggested that I shouldn't drive it much more. The next morning came and I drove it to work to meet him (this morning it sounded HORRIBLE backing out of driveway). He didn't even really need to make it 10-20 yards and knew it was bad. He came in and said "Oh, yeah, it's probably the rear differential, definitely bearings...that'll run you up to $1200." Then the next part is the kicker (he used to work for the dealer that we bought the car from) and said, "It's a common thing with the early 2000 models of the Explorer, I saw a lot of them when I was there......that and tranny work." So, he said those were the two big problems with the Exploders!! Do you think the dealer told us this when we bought it used in 2007, NO. I called Ford to "complain" and got a really nice guy. When I got done b*tching, I asked why these weren't recall items and he said that most people don't call in, and that's how things become recall items. SO, moral of the story, don't just b*tch to friends or on here, call the Ford complaint number and tell them 800-392-3673. The more of us that report things, the better chance there is of a recall.....and he said that if you have a receipt (and even if you've sold the vehicle) that you can get reimbursed.....even if it wasn't done at a dealer.

- , Lansing, MI, US

problem #147

Feb 022010

Explorer XLT 4.Ol

  • Automatic transmission
  • 12,332 miles

Had to get transmission repaired at Johnstown-gloversville centreal transmission by east perry st. Had barring replaced b a friend named kieth.

- , Johnstown, NY, USA

problem #146

Apr 112010

Explorer EXT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,772 miles

I have been feeling like car was all over road like a heavy load in rear so I jack up and found Right Rear bearing and hub practically destroyed PLUS both rear coil spring BROKEN. 125 for spring and 300 plus for parts and having someone press bearing. Thank GOD for good friends to help do the job or it would have been 8 or 900 around hear.

- , Shrub Oak, NY, USA

problem #145

Jan 272010

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 145,000 miles

we were on our way to church when a big clunk started in the rear area, and the wheel almost fell off, these vehicles are made of cow crap like no warning, nothing, just bang and the car almost goes on 3 wheels. thank god we made it home

- , Hornell, NY, USA

problem #144

Jan 012010

Explorer XLT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

At 70,000 miles had to replace the Bearings, Rotors and Brake pads. $1200. Now I'm panicking that the Transmission will be next as I keep hearing on this page. The Rear windows have stopped working and the vehicle sometimes doesn't read that the doors are closed. awful SUV RECALL!!!

- , Bowling Green, OH, USA

problem #143

Apr 012009

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles

First the left rear wheel bearing became destroyed, then a month later the front right one went out. Now about 9 months later the front left and right rear ones need to be replaced. I know of two other people who have had the same problem with the 2002 Explorers. How can this happen when they are sealed and should not be a problem on a vehicle that has 65,000 miles on it. Where's the recall FORD???

- , Wheaton, IL, USA

problem #142

Feb 082008

Explorer XLT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

I noticed a humming noise one day in my truck that just would'nt stop it was very irritateing i thought i had a flat or something but that was'nt the case. not to long later i'm driveing down the road at 55 mph and the ass end of my truck starts jumping side ways and my wheel is locking up then leting loose.. So anyway luckly i was comeing into my hometown and was able to make it home so my father and hubby pull my wheel off to check it out and discover the mess. luckly my dad work's at a trucking company so i got the part at cost and my hubby n him fix'd it so i did'nt have to pay labor. I got a quote and it was $500.00 parts n labor.. Sheww i got lucky but it was still a pain in the ass.

- , Mendon, Ohio / USA, USA

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