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:
38,000 miles
Total Complaints:
2 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (1 reports)
  2. replaced lift cylinder and mountings (1 reports)
2002 Ford Explorer windows / windshield problems

windows / windshield problem

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2002 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #2

Feb 052004

Explorer XLT 6 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 16,000 miles


I have had the panel below my tailgate fixed three times. The auto body shop said it is a chronic problem with the Ford Explorer. I had it fixed at the Ford dealership I bought the vehicle from within the first month. I went through the car wash this morning and it must have been loose and cracked and broke in half. I believe Ford should be replacing these. It's obvious I am not alone.

- , Broad Brook, CT, US

problem #1

Jun 152006

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

The rear window lift cylinders/mountings were replaced proactively by FORD dealer due to a "Recall". A year later, the right rear cylinder broke free from it's mounting and the FORD dealer again replaced the lift cylinder and mountings. The day after this repair I tried to open the rear glass window, but it remained shut and has not opened since.

- , Chandler, AZ, USA

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