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.


fairly significant
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
107,333 miles
Total Complaints:
3 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

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

windows / windshield problem

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2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #3

Jul 272014

Explorer XLT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 167,000 miles



Just bought this car, so I figure this is part of the shakedown. It appears that the jaws the receive the U-latch are closed . After trying every trick in my abbreviated book, I can find no way to get them open. So, shall it be a locksmith or a car mechanic? Must fix pronto so if any of you all could get back w/ ideas-solutions by early PDT.

Thanks !!

- , Junction City, OR, USA

problem #2

Oct 152007


  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,000 miles

had a recall on whole hatch hydraulic lifts, they were replaced or they probably wouldn't be working either...

glass only hyd. lifts..both have failed...under front engine hood, both have failed as well...tried to get parts for glass in back hatch....they changed parts during assembly and I can't match the connection parts....went to dealer...they charge 35.00 each.....

i think that stinks......something that obviously has flaws should be replaced at least at a reasonable price......the parts that dont fit my car are on the internet for 15.00 each...I am going to see if a junk yard has any that fit....

- , Glen Allen, VA, USA

problem #1

Jan 142008

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,000 miles

Rear window latch stopped working correctly and the rear window would not always close to a locked position. The dealer replaced the latch at my expense and it did not resolve the problem. I returned to the dealer and the mechanic ground the holes oblong in the latch assembly to get it to work properly.

- , South Lyon, MI, USA

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