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
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
0 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2002 Ford Explorer windows / windshield problems

windows / windshield problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2002 Ford Explorer:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #2

Feb 142005

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


Traveling in heavy rain when intermittent windshield wipers suddenly became non-operational. The wipers stopped midway on the windshield. The regular and fast wiper speeds are still operational at this point. In order to have the wipers return to the normal position on the windshield, the wiper switch has to be continually moved from the off position to the intermittent position until the wipers gradually move down the windshield. Vehicle needs to be taken to dealership to have problem diagnosed and repaired immediately.

- Fallston, MD, USA

problem #1

Feb 122004


  • miles
Windshield wipers came on and went off intermittently in inclement weather. Windshield wiper stayed in the up position while in operation. Consumer informed the dealer about the problem on numerous occasions. Mechanic determined that motor needed to be replaced.

- Durham, NC, USA

Not what you are looking for?