2002 Ford Explorer XLT 4.0 from North America


Great car, junk transmission


Wheel bearings.

Transmission x 3.

General Comments:

This is a great, solid comfortable SUV.

The quality of the interior is exceptional.

The ride quality for an SUV again is exceptional.

I bought my car with the view to keeping it until literally fell apart. I treated it like that - oil fluid changes etc etc.

Instead, I swear to never buy another Ford product.

If FORD would acknowledge and fix the transmission instead of ignoring it and treating the public like morons, I would be an Explorer owner forever more.

I fixed this transmission 5 times...

First time I took it in, at 83000m, they (independent transmission place) rebuilt it, it wasn't right, so I took it back, still wasn't right.

Eventually after three trips, it seemed to be working right.

Then at 103000m it went again, out of warranty.

I took it to a local transmission place and they replaced the solenoid pack and torque converter.

I got about a month out of that, and the whole thing went again. So I ended up buying a used transmission, and having it changed out after spending the money on the solenoid, the torque converter, and labor.

I read since about all the horrendous transmission problems people have had with this year Explorer. Even the tranny place recognises he sees more Explorers than anything else of a similar age.

I got rid of it, as I have no faith in the vehicle; I need to be a first responder at work.

I write because I would have loved to have kept American, this was my 4th Ford. But they are abusing the goodwill of their customers, so I bought a Subaru and love it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 14th June, 2010

2002 Ford Explorer 4.0 V6 from North America


A lemon


Abnormal wear of rotors and brake pads.

I had to change the tie rods and wheel bearing twice!

Very poor 4x4 system. I was stuck in the woods more than 5 times in almost normal terrain.

The control arms needed to replaced more than once. Shocks had to be replaced more than once.

Oil leak and so on.

I spent over 7000 dollars for repairs in the little over 2 years I owned it. My Mercedes was cheaper to own and to drive. And more important, more reliable!!! Never a Ford for me. Ford built tough my ass.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 26th October, 2009

27th Oct 2009, 20:39

Sorry to hear about your misfortune. It's too bad you had to learn the hard way. Fords were good vehicles... up until about 1980 or so. Remember the Granada?? Too bad they don't have the courage to build them like that anymore...

28th Oct 2009, 16:57

Maybe you really did get a lemon. I have a 2002 Explorer Sport that I have been very happy with. However, it could be that 2002 was the first year of redesign for the 4-doors, while the Sport remained the same until 2003, when they quit making them. I'm at 110,000 miles and never a problem.

It sounds like you might have been hard on yours taking it out in the woods. What you consider normal terrain, others might have considered a mud bog, especially if you were breaking tie rod ends. Sounds like you beat on it.

7th Dec 2009, 00:18

I know of a woman that had an '02 Eddie Bauer Ford Explorer XLT, and she had to have the transmission replaced 3 times in it. She let her dad trade it in on his, because the rear end was about to go out in it, and it had close to 141,000 miles on it.

8th Dec 2009, 20:51

Sounds like she beat it pretty hard. I never heard of a car needing three transmissions.

18th Jun 2010, 00:03

She had a friend that she knew who worked on cars, that said that '02 was the worst year for the Ford Explorer, and Ford in general.

4th Nov 2010, 23:16

I am a die hard for Ford, and I can tell you that the 2002 Explorer (In any capacity) is a POS. I am on Explorer Forums everyday, and the trans in them (5r55e, 5r55s, 5r55w) are all based on the same transmission. There is a problem with the transfer case, which subsequently cause whatever transmission you put in front of it to fail. Not to mention the transmission itself has a virtual life expectancy of 100K miles - they manufactured them with plastic thrust bearing washers. I have a 99 Explorer Sport that the transmission just dumped on too. If I were to ever get another, it would be the V8 with the 4r70w transmission - my sister has over a quarter million OEM miles on it - no problems to report. Sorry to be so wordy.