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 8 of 10)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #41

Sep 052007

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,339 miles


I have a 2002 Ford Explorer. In Sept of 2007 I had to have the front left wheel bearing replaced. It cost me ~500 from a local tire service company. I did a bit of research on the web and was quite surprised with all the bearing problems I found for this vehicle. Well sure enough another wheel bearing failed this week (Dec 07), rear left, cost a bit more to fix ~565. Now I'm wondering whether I should just get rid of this vehicle, it has ~92K for mileage. I like to work on my own vehicles but from what I have read fixing these bearings is not that trivial. I have an 2005 Corolla with ~100k, no problems yet...

- , Danville, NH, USA

problem #40

Aug 082007

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles

Vibrated like the left tire had a flat spot on it. Lived with it for a month or two... Took it in...Left wheel bearing hub assembly shot... Gouged by local mechanic to the tune of 385.00... Feels like right one is going now....Will replace myself this time...Not difficult...can buy new hub assembly for 150.00...This is my second Explorer...and my many chicken sh*t issues....tired of bearing the beta tester for poor engineering...on to the transmission page...

- , Beaver, PA, USA

problem #39

Dec 032007

Explorer XLT 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 106,000 miles

So, at around 90K all hell breaks loose in my rear end. Both springs fail, both sets of wheel bearings fail, full brake replacement also necessary. Around the same time I have to have the transmission completely rebuilt. Dollar figure was like a bad dream. I'm thinking it's worth it because all's well now - WRONG. Now it's 18 months later and my rear left bearings have FAILED AGAIN!! Thank you FORD. Parts are only warranteed for 12 months or 12,000 miles. I've put on about 24K in 18 months - so I'm out of luck. What kind of parts are they putting in these cars? I know Nasser was having quality problems back in 2000-2001 and they claimed they made some corrections and re-dedicated themselves to "QUALITY IS JOB ONE", but it doesn't seem to be playing out that way to me. Bearings aren't supposed to fail after only 18 months, but at FORD MOTOR COMPANY, that's now EXPECTED!! Service guy was apologetic and it seems there are LOTS of folks with my same complaint. I'm making this one a mission and I'll push as many buttons as I need to to get satisfaction. Friggin' transmission completely failed at under 90K. Ever heard of THAT being normal? Pissed me off. - best regards to fellow complaintants on this string

- , Saline, MI, USA

problem #38

Jun 202007

(reported on)

Explorer Limited 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles


by 80,000 I had to replace all four wheel bearings and hubs. I'm at 100,000 and the left rear bearing is shot again.

that makes 1 new rear diff, 5 new bearings and hubs, 2 radiators, 1 set of emergency brake shoes, 1 heater/ac motor... all by 100,000 miles.... quality...

- , Clifton, VA, USA

problem #37

Nov 092007

(reported on)

Explorer XLS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

My suggestion before someone buys their next ford is to print out one of these

forums, bring it to the sales manager with your check book in hand and get a min 10 year bumper to bumper warranty with a loaner car option, or get up and take your money elsewhere. Lets see.....My rear windows do not like to go down in the heat, cigarette lighter in center console stopped working, Needed major air conditioning overhaul (compressor/evap core) at 60K, and now both rear wheel bearings. I guess i am the lucky one as my cost is only $535. yahoo!!!!!

- , Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #36

Nov 102007

(reported on)

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 69,000 miles

Heard noise from the front. Dealer diagnosis: Both front hub bearings must be replaced. Plus: both rear wheel bearings must also be replaced. Cost: $1,700. All 4 in bad shape -- just after 5 years from purchase, and even after strictly following the scheduled maintenance with the same dealer. Additionally, the pinion bearing + diff also need to be replaced - cost $ 1,600.

Dealer could not help. Ford Customer service was a joke - two days after my query, they responded that since there is no recall, they cannot help in any way. Well, my next car that I bought last month is definitely not a Ford.

- , Herndon, VA, USA

problem #35

Nov 092007

(reported on)

Explorer Eddie Bauer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles


Took vehicle in to the shop for roaring noise from rear. Had to have both rear wheel bearings replaced.

- , Mooresville, NC, USA

problem #34

Nov 052007

(reported on)

Explorer XLT 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,250 miles

Car would develop a loud roaring noise once I hit 50 MPH, along with some vibrations. Took the car to a local repair shop and they found the right-front wheel bearing is faulty. In the shop right now, so I don't know how bad it really is (judging from the other posts, it may crumble before I get a chance to see it).

- , Lyndhurst, OH, USA

problem #33

Nov 042007

(reported on)

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles

Yet another wheel bearing failure in 2002 Explorer. Just replaced both rear bearings for $1000 2 months ago. Now the front left is gone and im sure the front right will be next. This is pretty scary considering the mechanic said the wheels were about to fall off. My children and i could have been killed. Never mind the inconvenience, money, time, etc. Also have had a $2000 transmission job done. No I will never by another FORD AGAIN>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

- , South Denis, MA, USA

problem #32

Oct 272007

(reported on)

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

If we want to make a difference and possibly get a recall on this product; please voice your opinion at the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration website at:

This product should be recalled.

- , Bonnieville, KY, USA

problem #31

Oct 242007

(reported on)

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles


Reported clunking upon start up to Dealer. Both rear and one front wheel bearings replaced under extended warranty. I understand this is a common problem with this vehicle. This vehicle has bee out of service for extended periods for numerous issues.

- , Monroe, CT, USA

problem #30

Oct 172007

(reported on)

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,800 miles

Another one of those common problems! My friends have trucks twice as old and have had a quarter of the problems. None of them have had any problems with wheel bearings. Really loud noise coming from the tires, everyone that gets in my truck asks what's wrong with it.It's humiliating, something always wrong.

- , South Ogden, UT, USA

problem #29

Oct 102007

(reported on)

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 51,000 miles

Where to begin with this piece of sh*t. Oh I am sorry this FORD. Heard a funny noise, thought it was low tire pressure, filled the tires it didn't go away. Sound got worse and worst, so took it to a friend of ours who works out of him home on the side. Told us it was the wheel bearing. Left the car there for him to work on, called the next day and said that not only was it the left front, but also the right as well. I am alittle pissed now, seeing how we have already had to repair the panel on the back (where the FORD logo is), and a leaky transfer case. So we have already put close to a grand in the car. Now we were looking at $600 more, we just bought the turd on wheels 5 months ago.

I came on here and read all these complaints so I know now to expect the rear to need replaced soon.

I called FORD and lodged a complaint. Boy do they hire the best of the best sh*t heads in customer service. I said that I wanted to be reimbursed for this that I thought that this was a serious safty issue that needed to be dealt with, I got....well you are the first to complain. RIGHT!!! Then he asked where my car was told him ummm at a mechanic. He told he here are your options. Take your car to a Ford Dealership for them to replace the parts, and then we will see what we can do to get you some of your $ back. I tod him that one had already been replaced. He said have him put the old part back on and drive it to a dealership. YEAH I am going to risk the life of my 3 kids to do that you freakin moron. So I asked what my other options are and he said that was it. THATS IT??? I told him he needed to look up the word option, that if I have options then I get a choice of different methods of dealing with this. He said that he gave me options, risk my life with sh*t parts that Ford failed on or pay for it myself. HUH!

Well needless to say I didn't put the sh*t parts back on. But on the way home I started hearing the noise in the rear. F@@**$ FORD.

I would also be interested in a class action or SOMETHING to get Ford to admit they failed.

- , Perrysburg, OH, USA

problem #28

Oct 042007

(reported on)

Explorer XLS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,000 miles

Just got told yesterday when I took it in to have the windshield replaced that it sounded like I had a wheel bearing out. What a piece of Junk!

- , Woodbridge, VA, USA

problem #27

Sep 242007

(reported on)


  • Automatic transmission
  • 147,000 miles

This is the car that my wife drives, and this job is not a little honey do task. This auto is serviced at the right intervals. Now when she looks at my 92 Chevy truck and it has never had a wheel problem, she ask me why the failure. The only answer I could tell her was that I am no secret agent, but it is probably cheap bearings, and made with the wrong metal. We do not drive this vehicle in water, that is where my truck comes in. We are Christian folks and will pray for justice. As my boss say( WE PAY YOU GOOD MONEY), well we pay good money for these autos too. I failed to mention that my 92 Chevy has 177,000+ miles on it. I should have got the message when they recalled the back glass. And now some of the Fords are being recalled for Cruise Control Fires. Anybody wants TOO GIVE me a Ford, SORRY, I DO NOT WANT IT.

- , Beaumont, TX, USA

problem #26

Aug 212007

(reported on)

Explorer XLS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,000 miles

I was driving and all of a sudden heard this unbearable grinding noise in the rear end. Took it to the mechanic the next day and was told my wheel bearing was bad, when he went ahead to fix it he told me it was so bad it crumbled in his hand. Two weeks later hear the noise again, again the bad bearings, this time he checks all of them and found 2 had to be replaced. One month later the transmission is screwed up.

- , Buffalo, NY, USA

problem #25

Aug 172007

(reported on)

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

There was a very loud sound coming from the front of the car. Both front wheel bearings were replaced. The cost of this repair was approximately $1,000.00 at a Ford dealer in March of 2007. Then, in August 2007, I had a very loud noise from the rear of the car. The left rear wheel bearing was replaced for $500.00. From my understanding, this is a very serious problem because the wheel can lock up. I asked Ford Motor company why this is was not reported to its customers. Here's the response I got... what a joke.

Dear Matt,

Our records indicate that you contacted the Ford Customer Relationship Center on August 16, 2007, and our Customer Care Representative advised you that your vehicle is not involved in any recalls or customer satisfaction programs at this time. Moreover, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which is the federal agency responsible for motor vehicle safety, and is the only organization with the authority to order a recall.

Ford and the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) work together to proactively identify areas of concern through investigation of consumer and dealer feedback. During an investigation Ford cooperates fully with NHTSA. Ford does not speculate on the outcome of any current investigation or future actions. Due to our rigorous safety standards and constant testing, not all issues result in Field Service Actions or Customer Satisfaction Programs. If a program is announced on a specific component, Ford will notify you by mail.

At this time we are unable to provide you with an alternate response. If any additional information regarding this matter should become available in the future, please let us know.

- , Eldersburg, MD, USA

problem #24

Aug 192007

(reported on)

Explorer 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

Both rear wheel bearings failed 4 weeks apart. Thank you Ford for the American Dream!

- , Longmeadow, MA, USA

problem #23

Jun 042007

(reported on)

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

My slight whining noise was with vehicle when I purchased car. Had 90,000 miles. It sounded like tire noise to me. The noise now has turned into a roar. Ford knows they have a problem with this but refuse to recall. If any attorney wants/files a class action lawsuit to hold ford accountable for their products I will sign up. Contact me at

- , anderson, sc, USA

problem #22

Jun 072007

(reported on)

Explorer Limited 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 32,000 miles

This is definitely not a problem you want to have when you are driving on the interstate with two children in the car with you. All of sudden my truck just starts dragging, which will happen when your wheel comes completely off, down the interstate. Ford you should look into this before someone or somebody's get killed if they haven't already.

- , Princeton, LA, USA

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