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.


really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
102,377 miles
Total Complaints:
2 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (2 reports)
2002 Ford Explorer windows / windshield problems

windows / windshield problem

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2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #2

Dec 262010

Explorer XLS 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 116,000 miles


Just like everyone else, it was cold this morning the day after Christmas, the struts stopped holding the window open about a week before, my daughter goes out to put a suitcase in the car and opens the rear glass window and lifts it and it explodes on her. Luckily no injury to her, but glass all over the place. Had to drive home in a snow storm from NJ to VA with a plastic tarp and duct tape covering the back lift gate. Taking it to the dealership tomorrow, but not optimistic given what others have previously said. This sucks. Merry Christmas, etc....

- , Herndon, VA, USA

problem #1

Dec 242006


  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,754 miles

I did all I could to find the problem but nothing I did (ran the line, Checked Motor) worked. I even had Ford look at it and they couldn't figure it out. Pretty sad that FORD cant fix the vehicles they make/sell.

- , Virginia Beach, VA, US

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