NHTSA — Power Train: Automatic Transmission Problems

2002 Mercury Mountaineer (Page 1 of 5)

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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
62,574 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 Mercury Mountaineer transmission problems

transmission problem

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2002 Mercury Mountaineer Owner Comments (Page 1 of 5)

problem #89

Dec 172010

Mountaineer 6-cyl

  • 72,000 miles


Transmission would not shift into third gear. 70000 miles no towing just street driving. Had to have the transmission rebuilt. Seems to be common issue for Ford on 2002 Mercury Mountaineer and Ford Explorer.

- Park Ridge, IL, USA

problem #88

Feb 132011

Mountaineer 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Mercury Mountaineer. The contact stated the vehicle had a very hard shift for a few months. While driving the transmission failed and the overdrive light came on prior to the failure. The vehicle was taken to the dealer several times since it was purchased and was always told that nothing was wrong with the transmission. The dealer recently stated there was a blow hole at the bottom of the transmission and the hole expanded which caused the failure. The dealer told the contact there was a repair kit that could be used, but not until the transmission failed completely. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was unknown, but the current mileage was 75,000. Updated 10/18/11 updated 3/22/12 updated 8/11/12

- Sterling Heights , MI, USA

problem #87

Oct 012008


  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Mercury Mountaineer. The contact stated that the gears failed and would not shift from the park position intermittently. The vehicle had not been inspected or repaired. The contact believed the column shift to be the cause of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 90,000. The VIN was unavailable. Updated 01/26/118lj updated 02/11/11

- Oconto, WI, USA

problem #86

Nov 102010


  • 120,929 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Mercury Mountaineer. While the vehicle was parked, a 19 month old toddler sitting in the driver's seat moved the gear shifter into reverse without the keys being in the ignition. The rear door was open and the vehicle crashed into a gate and rolled into the middle of the street. The rear door and the gate were damaged. There were no injuries. A police report was not filed. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileages were 120,929.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #85

Sep 162010

Mountaineer 6-cyl

  • 65,000 miles
Wife driving to work when car stopped moving. Pulled off street (near a car shop), paid $100 for them to do a diagnostic check and they said that gears and belt blew out and that he used to work with Ford and that this is a common problem in earlier 2000's SUVS (Explorer and Mountaineer). ~$3000 to fix by them. Researched on line and saw all of the problems people are having. Something needs to be done before someone gets killed.

- Aurora, IL, USA

problem #84

Aug 102010


  • 86,000 miles
Purchased 2002 Mercury Mountaineer from Ford dealership in 2007. Transmission was slipping, took in two days later and still under warranty and informed new transmission put in. In August 2010, vehicle suddenly would not start, towed to dealership and informed the transmission was once again defective and sensors as well as cpu unit would need to be replaced. Researched on line on www.autobeef.com and noted many other defects on similar make, model and years with very similar problems. Approximate cost to fix $2,400 dollars.

- Saint Charles, MO, USA

problem #83

Jun 172010


  • 150,000 miles


I have a 2002 Mercury Mountaineer, I have had more problems on this car than are countable. The transmission has slowly been slipping since I bought the vehicle. I have had to replace the transfer case within the past two months, and now my check transmission light and od off light is on. Mechanics now say I need a new transmission. I have looked at numerous review on this make and model cars and all have transmission problems, and those who said they replaced the transmission, the problem recurred and it was a waste of money. I am just trying to figure out what to do these prices is getting very costly for a car that seems like cannot be repaired.

- Huntington, WV, USA

problem #82

Jun 012010

Mountaineer 8-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
I own a 2002 Mercury Mountaineer. The tailgate developed a crack between the emblem and the rear glass lift. It was fixed once already and has since cracked again. Since this crack has developed, the door ajar light has come on. I have noticed the same crack in almost every Ford Explorer and Mountaineer that I see. I contacted the dealer to have it repaired again and was told that they only cover the repair once. I don't feel I should have to pay out of pocket for an obvious manufacturing defect. I then contacted Ford and was told there is nothing they can do for me. Keep in mind, I have also had numerous visits for my transmission having issues from the beginning and I have also had issues with the cruise control where it suddenly "takes off" and goes really fast. Ford needs to stand by it's vehicles and fix them when there are obvious manufacturer defects!

- Gaithersburg, MD, USA

problem #81

Jun 022010

Mountaineer 8-cyl

  • 87,000 miles
2002 Mercury Mountaineer AWD V8 - approximately January and May 2009 both rear hub bearings went bad at 87,000 and 90,000 miles, both sets of emergency brake shoes were disintegrated when taken off. Rear coil springs are broken. Front differential box has leaked for some time now. Rear end axle seal has been leaking for some time now. Going on 4th set of brakes on front. June 2010 at 109,000 miles transmission finally went out - after acting up from time of purchase at 37,000 miles - it would slip when put in drive at first morning startup and would jerk erratically at low speeds - we have never pulled anything with vehicle.

- Lucasville, OH, USA

problem #80

Apr 092010

Mountaineer 6-cyl

  • miles
The problem was not noticeable at first. The SUV felt heavy when accelerating, it will jerk every now and then it was like this for a period of two days then the O/D light flashed rapidly and on the message center it displayed check transmission< the transmission constantly slips on every gear it revs without accelerating and when unexpected it catches itself and lunges jerks forward. It also makes a loud noise whenever the transmission shifts gears. This is everytime the vehicle is in use. I have no other means of transportaion. I took it to get diagnostics checked and they told me the transmission was faulty that there had been hundreds of complaints in my area dealing with the same make and model and year. I have not tried to correct the faulty tranny. I believe Ford should consider the safety of it customers /consumers and should have a nationwide recall to repair such faulty transmission. I have been more close to crashing this year than all my years of driving. This faulty transmisssion is dangerous.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #79

Nov 142008


  • 77,000 miles


Transmission problem. Less than 80,000 miles on vehicle. Maintenance kept up to date. I started the car and began to drive away when suddenly it would not pick up speed and it kept jerking. It was not driveable at especially on a highway. Everywhere I went told me it was the transmission. It cost me over $2,000 for another transmission. I am shocked to see so many others with transmission problems. I had no problems at all with this vehicle until this happened. I find it strange that I never had any other maintenance problems with this car and suddenly I lose a transmission. It sounds like a recall was due to myself as well as thousands of others with this same make and model. I was ready to make Mercury my main choice of vehicle but after this, I don't think so. I would love to be included in a class action suit.

- Willingboro, NJ, USA

problem #78

Feb 252010


  • 116,000 miles
Our 2002 Mercury Mountaineer's transmission blew after 116,000 miles. We have spoken with several transmission shops to get an estimate to fix it and they all told us the Mountaineer is famous for this defect and no one, including NHTSA has done anything about this. I think it is grossly unjust that a car's transmission fails after only 90-100,000 miles and it's so common that it is apparently accepted. This is wrong. I am certain if you investigate the sheer number of Mountaineer with this problem that it will prompt a recall and at least a fix at no cost to the unsuspecting owner who has faithfully maintained their vehicle in every way, only to have this happen.

- Cranston, RI, USA

problem #77

Mar 012010

Mountaineer 6-cyl

  • 99,000 miles
The transmission on the early model 2002's go bad early. Research on the internet revealed many many complaints. I found a few that said that Ford was aware of the problem. Redesigned the transmission in the middle of the year, but will not correct the problem.

- Penn Run, PA, USA

problem #76

Feb 242010


  • 130,000 miles
My Mercury Mountaineer is having transmission issues. I have read through everything I could find and apparently this is a very common problem with the 2002 Ford yet they are unwilling to do anything to fix it. I was driving down the freeway with my 7 month old daughter when the transmission decide to slip out of gear and luckily I was in the slow lane and able to get onto the emergency lane without getting hit because I was no longer accelerating od light started blinking right before this happened. I talked to my mechanic and was informed that Ford transmission in 2002 was bad and he rebuild/replaces more on that vehicle than any other vehicle and they should be recalled. I called for and they said in short its my problem. Now I am looking at a 2000 dollar repair because of Ford not doing anything about there faulty transmission.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #75

Feb 022010


  • 63,000 miles
O/D light blinking - hesitation when shifting while driving occurring each time the vehicle was operating - took it to transmission expert who fixed for 2000 because dealer quoted 3500! trans guy asked if it was 2002 or 2003 as soon as he heard the make and model. Cracked liftgate that was fixed in the first year of owning the vehicle but second time it cracked the dealer would not fix it and quoted $700 Ford would not fix either. An obvious defect!

- Belleville, NJ, USA

problem #74

Dec 062009

Mountaineer 6-cyl

  • 130,000 miles
2002 Mercury Mountaineer V6 AWD 130,000miles! transmission problems O/D light flashing one day causing transmission not to shift correctly. Ten minutes later start the vehicle and light not on and transmission shifts fine. Happens on several occasions. Several with similar vehicles have reported same problems! also has wheel bearing issues!

- Richboro, PA, USA

problem #73

Jul 062009


  • 87,000 miles
2002 Mercury Mountaineer, transmission is bucking, over drive light flashing, check transmission light on. Also rotated tires, changed brakes, and had rotors cut yet there still is a pulsating felling in front end when stopping.

- Easton, PA, USA

problem #72

May 102008

Mountaineer 8-cyl

  • 59,000 miles
2002 Mercury Mountaineer V8 AWD 4.6 transmission failure. Vehicle had under 60,000 miles, but had surpassed extended warranty time frame. Reverse vehicle would not move. Shifted very hard through gears. Sometimes tacking at 3000 RPM. Took to a transmission specialist. Repaired at a cost of $2600. Have since returned vehicle to same place for same issues plus transmission overheat light and leaking transmission fluid. Seat belts locked down for no reason. Would not retract. Called dealer, could not do anything because I was over restraint warranty by 3000 miles. Have replaced all 4 seat belt restraints. Front air bag light stays on or blinks, or is off. Called dealer, stated repair would not be covered due to mileage. I purchased this vehicle brand new June 2002. Today it has 65,00 miles on it. Is driven primarily on the highway for vacations. Have had several small repairs that were covered under extended warranty. I am very disappointed in the performance of this vehicles drive train and safety restraint system to include seat belts and air bag issues. With as many complaints I see on line about the transmission and front air bag issues, seems to me something should be done to help those of us that purchased in good faith what should have been a great vehicle. I have been a Ford/ Mercury owner since 1971. This is the first vehicle I have had that had major issues.

- Muncie, IN, USA

problem #71

Jul 232009


  • 79,421 miles
My transmission failed while I was driving on the freeway with my child in the car. This cause my car to "buck" and come to almost complete stop. Thankfully I was in the right lane and able to get off onto the shoulder. My car then would only go into 1st and 2nd gear. It would not shift to 3rd. I took it to a service center (actually 3 of them) who told me I need a new transmission. This is an extremely dangerous situation occurring with these cars. There were not tell tail signs. It was not slipping or rattling previous to this. In searching the internet on google I find there are thousands of people who are have experienced this same problem with Mercury or Ford 2000-2003 vehicles. Why isn't there a recall on this part. This is unacceptable. Eventually someone is going to get hurt. This repair is going to cost me approx. $3000. In addition to this one of my seat belts stopped working. When buckled it comes undone when I am driving. This is a rear passenger seat belt where my child sits. He can not refasten it by himself. I no longer seat him in that particular seat. But how long before the other stop working as well. For some reason your website will not take this number. I just called Ford and they verified the #.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #70

Mar 222009


  • 119,888 miles
Od light starting flashing, then check transmission light starting flashing, then 3 and 5th gear started snatching, transmission went out. I heard alot of these SUVS are having problems just like mine.

- Eastaboga, AL, USA

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