really awful
Crashes / Fires:
5 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
5 / 0
Average Mileage:
105,916 miles

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« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #179

Feb 022013

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 140,010 miles
Bought a used 2002 Explorer with 116,000 miles on it, went through all the ware items and replaced with new. I drove this vehicle to work for a while, enough to get the mileage to 140,010 miles then suddenly started to slip into 3rd or miss all together 3rd gear. 1st to 2nd works fine, 2nd to 3rd is gone (engine raves like it went into neutral) when you let off the accelerator it goes into 4th gear on will pull again, O/D works also. Dangerous for anyone in vehicle, this is a very serious safety concern, if someone was to have to get into traffic and this vehicle was to this they could very easily be run over by a vehicle they are trying to stay ahead of or had pulled out in front of. Ford has known about this problem for years now and is doing nothing to make it go away are remedy the poorly designed transmission and it just ticks me off that the federal highway safety people don't make Ford do a recall to fix the affected vehicles before someone gets killed.

- Rushville, OH, USA

problem #178

Dec 032012

Explorer 6-cyl

  • miles
Pulled into park, went to shift vehicle into park (was fully stopped) and gear shifter broke off. I did not apply any force, just the normal typical action of shifting the gear. Good thing it was in neutral when it snapped. Took rubber seal off of the gear lever arm and the part which the lever arm was attached had totally broken off. The metal was not stripped or twisted but broken. Part #905-104: Column shift repair.

- Longview, TX, USA

problem #177

Jan 122013


  • 130,000 miles
Transmission took a crap, it seems to be a know problem with the 2002 & 2003 Explorer. Guess we should have looked into the Explorer better.

- Gwinn, MI, USA

problem #176

Jan 162013

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 201,000 miles
Pulling in driveway stopped the vehicle going to put it in park shift lever broke off inside of steering column went on internet found 146 complaints as the same thing happened to them on Ford Explorer carcomplaints.com.

- Belle, MO, USA

problem #175

Jan 152013

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 157,000 miles
My Ford Explorer has had so many ridiculous problems. This one is extremely inconvenient. The car has trouble shifting gears, it spins from 1st to 2nd gear and then I have to let go of the accelerator for it to shift again, it skips 3rd gear altogether and jerks into fourth after pressing and depressing the accelerator a series of times. Once it's in 4th gear, it doesn't go past 50 mph. My mechanic says his monitor detected a faulty solender and the entire pack has to be replaced, but that may not be the only problem. If that doesn't do the trick (even though it needs to be replaced regardless) he will have to open the transmission and possibly rebuild or replace some of the parts. I have encountered hundreds of other 2002 Ford Explorer owners with the same problem. Aside from this, I have a list of other dangerous issues that this car has had and that has endangered my family's and my life numerous times: - gear shift breaking off the steering column as I shifted from reverse to drive in the middle of a busy intersection. - ignition cylinder/switch breaking - possible spontaneous explosion recall related to the cruise control - rear latch breaking and inability to use the rear latch. - electrical system failure - doors not closing properly & draining the battery - faulty alarm system - faulty temperature gauge and radiator - Ford not allowing customers to buy just the parts needed for replacement and repair and forcing their customers to purchase entire packages only in order to get the necessary parts at extremely high prices. Ford should be incriminated for selling these vehicles knowing full well that they are flooded with life threatening issues to their customers.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #174

Mar 142012


  • 98,000 miles
I was driving my 2002 Ford Explorer about 25mph when I felt the rear end drop down. Pulled over to the side of the road and all 5 studs had sheared off. The second time it happened I was only backing out of my driveway when I put it into drive & started to accelerate the opposite side studs sheared off. This time only 4 studs broke so I limped the truck back onto my driveway. The third time this happened I was driving about 15mph going around a turn & 4 studs broke off again. If I was going any faster the truck could have flipped over.

- West Allis, WI, USA

problem #173

Jan 102013

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 126,000 miles
Multiple issues with the transmission. From park, when shifted into reverse there is a surge that overcomes the brakes and causes the vehicle to move roughly 4-5 feet. Also, the transmissions shifts so hard that it shakes the entire vehicle. When shifting through the gears the transmissions stalls then shifts so hard it overcomes the steering wheel and sometimes causes a change of direction. When traveling at highway speeds 50mph + in overdrive the transmission will surge the vehicle violently as it attempts to stay in gear. After regularly scheduled service of the transmission and multiple discussions with the Ford dealership they have not offered a solution other than spend thousands of dollars on another transmission that may cause the same result. This is an unsafe vehicle and needs to be remedied before an accident or death occurs.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #172

Nov 202012

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 112,000 miles
While pulling out from a stop sign the transmission was slipping causing the Explorer to barely pull out into a busy intersection in the path of oncoming traffic which had to stop to avoid hitting me. This was not the only time this has happened, and it happens with no warning.

- Bluff City, TN, USA

problem #171

Dec 122012

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 145,000 miles
Three months ago the overdrive light began flashing on my dashboard. The automatic transmission made a loud noise when changing gears. Sometimes the RPM's will rev but the car will not increase in speed.the light will not turn off and the transmission continues to shift harshly.

- Winnetka, CA, USA

problem #170

Oct 012010


  • 85,420 miles
Merging into heavy traffic on US23 N. in Ohio, tried to accelerate just as I always do and the transmission decides it doesnt want to shift, then when it finally did (approx 5000 RPM) it slamed into gear. Narrowly avoided being rear-ended. Turned vehicle around, tried fluid/filter change with no success. Did a search on the net and found thousands upon thousands of the same problem. Checked for recall and to my surprise there was none.

- Chillicothe, OH, USA

problem #169

Jun 012012

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 125,000 miles
Drive train, bucks, grinds, is slipping. Makes alot of noise. Had the rear end replaced and it did not work, paid $1000 or so and did not take care of the problem.

- Longview, WA, USA

problem #168

Nov 102012

Explorer 8-cyl

  • 127,875 miles
I just purchased the vehicle in a private sale on 11/09/12 and on 11/10/12 went to shift from park into reverse on a flat surface and my shift lever broke off and I am not able to shift my vehicle.

- Front Royal, VA, USA

problem #167

Nov 072012


  • 167,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that while driving 2 mph and attempting to shift into park, the gear shift lever became detached, leaving the vehicle stuck in reverse. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic where the contact was awaiting diagnosis of the failure. The dealer and manufacturer were not notified. The VIN was unavailable. The failure and current mileage was 167,000.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #166

Nov 252011

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 146,000 miles
The O/D light keeps flashing on and off. Also the transmission does no longer want to shift gears; and when it does it shifts very hard.

- Goose Creek, SC, USA

problem #165

Oct 222012


  • miles
On the afternoon of October 22nd 2012 my pregnant wife was leaving the speech therapist with my son went to put the car in reverse and the shifter snapped off in her hand. The car every since we had it when U put it in park as a delay and rolls for ward a bit I feel that this is a recall that Ford should issue for this car. Its just not fair to have to pay over 1200 dollars to fix something that is not my fault.what if this would have happened in the street luckily my wife knew to shut the car off and apply the emergency brake. This problem really could end up in serious injury or even fatality to an individual.

- Live Oak, FL, USA

problem #164

Oct 212011


  • 65,000 miles
Transmission failed for the second time. Failed originally at 65,000 miles and had to be replaced. Failed again 3 years later at 130,000 miles and had a rebuilt transmission installed. 10 months later at 140,000 miles the transmission is leaking and starting to slip. I don't anticipate paying for a 4th transmission on this vehicle. Obviously there is something wrong with the design.

- Naperville, IL, USA

problem #163

Oct 032011

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 125,000 miles
I was driving in town when I accelerated from a stop light and the transmission would not engage into 3rd gear. The engine revved highly and then suddenly the transmission kicked into gear with a sudden jolt forward.

- Holmen, WI, USA

problem #162

Sep 252012

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 152,000 miles
While coming off a freeway my car suddenly jerked and the transmission failed. Causing my vehicle to stop. When trying to move forward the car began to try to roll backwards into the car behind me. I was lucky I was coming to a stop rather then going full speed on the freeway. After much research I have found that this is an all too common problem with this make model and year. The transmission now needs to be completely rebuilt according to 2 mechanics.

- Portland, OR, USA

problem #161

Sep 122012

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 195,000 miles
Went to put car in drive from the park position and the shifter completely broke and was hanging. Also, I was not able to get my key out of the ignition. We were planning to make an out of town trip the following day, however, had to change plans due to this situation. After searching online, I have discovered there has been numerous complaints for this exact defect for the exact type of vehicle. It seems that since there has already been so many same situations, that a recall would have taken place by now. Not has it only been inconvenient, but could also be potentially dangerous!

- Valdosta, GA, USA

problem #160

Aug 152012

Explorer 6-cyl

  • 194,000 miles
Transmission failed on the highway at 70mph pulled off exit and continued on city roads to our jobs parking lot and is no longer drive able.

- Rochester, WA, USA

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