pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
109,100 miles
Total Complaints:
386 complaints

Most common solutions:

  1. ford needs to recall their faulty transmission (123 reports)
  2. not sure (120 reports)
  3. complete rebuild (78 reports)
  4. new tranmission (46 reports)
  5. new solenoid, pistol in tranny broken (11 reports)
  6. new solenoid (4 reports)
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This problem may be covered under warranty. Ask your Ford dealer.

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #286

Apr 282011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles

All that I can say is that Ford knows that its a problem with the transmission. o/d light is on & making loud noises. contacted Ford after seeing all the complaints with the same problem I'm having. They tell me Aw there are no recalls on it, there's nothing we can do. If you ask me that's BS cause I feel they should at least fix the problem or give us a discount .

Never Again

- taylortn, Antioch, TN, US

problem #285

Nov 242004

Explorer XLT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,000 miles

its some bs everyone i know who has had or does have a ford explorer has had trans problems and ford want help anyone... when they have put faulty trans in there autos i have had a ford f150 a ford Taurus and this ford explorer xlt and everyone of them have had tranmission problems....wonder why people are buying cars from over seas is because we get junk from here i will NEVER NEVER NEVER buy a junky ford again in my life and willllll not let my family buy one either ford stands for found on the road dead for sure... a ford vehicle is a wast of money no one should spend there hard earned money on one EVER..... to helll with ford...

- Robert S., Old Hickory, TN, US

problem #284

Apr 022011

Explorer XLT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 131,500 miles

I do not understand they say this is a common problem with the early 2000 explorers so why haven't they recalled it to fix the problem. they want 3000 dollars to replace the transmission like people just walking around with that kind of money to throw away. Some people say you just need to replace the solenoid pack but its hard to find someone to just replace that and that's like 650 itself and there is nothing saying 100 percent that that;s going to fix it. It's just crazy to me now I have to come up with all this money to fix it so my family can go where they need to go. This is why non American made cars sell better they have less problems like this.

Update from Jan 1, 2013: MY truck is not a 2002 it is 2003

- Ontario J., Jacksonville, NC, USA

problem #283

Mar 272011

Explorer XLS 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 155,000 miles

I was driving home from work last night, 3-27-11, and I noticed that my O/D OFF light was blinking. However, there didn't seem to be any problems, and I figured it was something with the wiring, considering that my Door Ajar light will not go out even though all my doors and the hatch are properly closed. I drove about 60 miles with the light blinking until I came to a stop at the end of the exit I needed. When I accelerated after the stop, the Explorer kicked violently after accelerating past 30 mph. The real problem came when I tired to go to school this morning, 3-28-11, and the Explorer began kicking after every gear shift, and I eventually could not make the vehicle go very fast at all. I read in the manual that if the light is blinking, it means that there is a problem, and it should be seen immediately. Immediately in my area means waiting four days for the only mechanic. Thanks Ford. I've replaced both wheel assemblies in the rear TWICE, both in the front, only once. I've had both rear wheels fall off while driving. I'm glad Ford cares enough about their customers to furnish them with caskets.

- Dexter W., Meyersdale, PA, USA

problem #282

Mar 272011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,300 miles

Bought my 2002 Explorer brand new. This past week my O/D light started blinking and I notice when it automatically shifts it is not as smooth as it used be. Taking it to the mechanic tomorrow..worried that I am going to hear "new transmission".

- Julie K., Sacramento, CA, US

problem #281

Dec 082010

Explorer XLT 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,000 miles

Like so many others with this make and model, I was driving peaceably along one day when the o/d light came on and started blinking rapidly. Within minutes, the car began to have difficulty shifting gears and accelerating. Finally there were several ominous thunks from the rear of the vehicle. It all happened so fast that I'm still boggled. The initial diagnosis is that the transmission needs to be overhauled. This seems utterly ridiculous in a car with 89,000 gently applied miles. At the suggestion of fordcomplaints.com, I called Ford's customer care line to see if any courtesy discounts are available. Given how widespread the complaint seems to be (particularly for 2002 Explorers) and the rotten market for American cars right now, you would think the company would take care of their loyal customers. Nope. The repair will cost me a stomach churning $3000 out of pocket: almost half the vehicle's current Blue Book value. Yikes!

I will be registering complaints with this site, with the Center for Auto Safety, with NHTSA and with Ford itself. I suggest anyone with this problem (transmission failure in a Ford Explorer from the early 2000s) do the same. Maybe together we can get Ford to take responsibility!

- D. L. Z., Clarksville, TN, USA

problem #280

Mar 142011

Explorer 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 117,000 miles

Brought the Ford Explorer previously own in 2004 with 29,000 miltes on it. Have not had any trouble with the transmission until 3/14/2011. Service engine soon light came on when I started the vehicle and did not go out as I was backing out of the driveway. As I put the vehicle in drive and started accelerating, the O/D off light started flashing and was not shifting out of 1st gear. Engine was racing, then transmission shifted up with a jerk. There wasn't any metallic noises just a whine and then it shifted up. Drove about 12 miles to work okay, but each time I had to accelerate from a stop the same situation happened. Was told by the Dealership Service Dept. that a lotl of codes came up, indicating internal damaged to the case, recommended a new transmission at a cost of $6300.00 dollars. Did not authorized repair, picked up Explorer and drove it home.

- Randy M., Orlando, FL, USA

problem #279

Feb 162011

Explorer XLT 3.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 122,579 miles

I'm with the rest of the world who drives a Ford anything. If the problem continues I think FMC should be responsible for the operation of their vehicles and they see its a problem. Why not help the people who are making them rich.

- Aaron E., Detroit, MI, USA

problem #278

Jun 202010

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

I have a 2002 Ford explorer. I have had it for five years i just paid it off, 16,000 dollar car that's hardly worth anything now the o/d light flickers from time to time especially when I go up hill or go on long drives when the o/d light comes on the car runs like crap. it slows down and push on the gas and it doesn't want to go any faster. but when i shut the car off and turn it back on it runs ok. I'm confused, I think there's something wrong with my transmission. If i knew what i know now i would have never bought this pile of sh*t. worst mistake of my life.

- Holly D., Oroville, CA, USA

problem #277

Mar 072011

Explorer Eddie Bauer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 141,654 miles

Transmission needs to be recalled. Far too many brakedowns to be a coincidence.

- Mike R., Baldwin City, KS, US

problem #276

Oct 112010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 83,623 miles

In oct of 2010 the o/d light was flashing and would not turn off. Even if I turned the car off and turned it back on the light would continue to flicker. Then at around 25 miles and hour the car started to jerk forward. I went to the station the next day. While driving to the station at around 25 miles an hour it started to go into neutral then would throw us forward when it kicked into gear. At the station they did a system check and they said "it didn't look good". They sent me to "Quality Transmission" the next town up from us. Quality Transmission confirmed the transmission failed. The owner said would you like a new transmission or a remanufactured one. Since the engine failed on the 2002 Explorer a year and a half ago, we decided to get a new one to the tune of $3,114.50. 3months and 3,000 miles later the exact same thing happened. Quality transmission sent us to the ford dealership even though we paid quality transmission. I have found from the dealership that not only was the transmission NOT new (and we requested a new one) but they cannot take the car for 5 days and the warranty does not give a loaner car and will not pay for a rental. Quality Transmission has over 3,000dollars and the ford dealership will be paid from Ford to replace the 3 month old transmission and I will not have a car for at least 12 days and I'm out over 3,000 miles and absolutely no customer satisfaction. Will this happen again in another 3 months?

- Barbara G., Brookfield, CT, USA

problem #275

Oct 102008

Explorer XLT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

I only had mine for one year and the transmission problems started to surface. Flashing O/D light continues. I can't afford to pay the $1000's its going to take to get it to a reasonable condition to drive. Still have another year to go on payments and I am stuck with a piece of crap that nobody is going to want to buy so I HAVE to fix it. Problem is how does a single parent afford to do this? I really had confidence in the Explorers after owning a 97 and getting numerous positive reports from the guys that maintenance it. I really hope Ford will finally do what's right.

Update from Feb 25, 2011: put in a remanufactured selenoid and now it's worse than it was before. bought it on ebay. can't get the seller to respond. would like to know more about where this part came from and there's any others with similar results or where to even go from here... light stays on all the time now where before it only came on some of the time. ....

- Vicki K., Blomkest, MN, USA

problem #274

Dec 302010

Explorer Limited 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 119,852 miles

The OD light began blinking in 2008 on my Explorer. I had 85,000 miles on the rig and it was not quite paid for yet. I figured that since I wasn't quite done paying off the vehicle, it made more sense to pay $3000 to have it replaced. I was under the impression that I was getting a re manufactured transmission which would carry a decent warranty. It was back in the shop (at a Ford dealership) four times to get all the "bugs" worked out.

More recently, I was towing a light trailer across the state of Washington to go pick up a motorcycle. December 30, 2010 to be exact. I was in the middle of the state and the OD light began blinking while just traveling down the highway. I pulled in to the first town I came to and found the Ford dealer. I explained the symptoms to them and they assured me that the transmission had internal problems. I asked about a warranty that would crossover. They looked at the paperwork and informed me that for $300 more they could have put in a new transmission which would carry a 100,000 mile warranty. Sadly, my warranty was on 12 month, 12,000 mile warranty. For about $3000 they could replace my transmission but it would take about a week. I needed to get to the other side of the state that day. I traded in my broken Explorer and bought a 2005 Dodge Durango. This was a $15,995 repair to Fords problem!

- Andrew R., Nine Mile Falls, WA, USA

problem #273

Jan 102011

Explorer 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 145,671 miles

Hopped on-line to find out what the problem is, and I find nothing but consumer complaints about the exact problem I am having. No one has any antidote or reason explaining why it happens other than poor engineering by Ford, or simply the tyranny is fine, but it needs a rebuild anyway. Every other issue I have ever had with a car, when I looked it up, something always told me; who, what, why… Well we know why, FORD.

This problem came out of nowhere. I have always got some kind of warning when a tyranny needs service. Never just an immediate failure. O/D light just started blinking and now it’s slipping. I can see by reading all the posts that this is very common, even on brand new Fords. Bottom line….I was getting ready to get another SUV this week, and I figured another Explorer, but not after this. Now I know Ford will not back their trucks, so I won’t back them. Toyota time….

- Rob V., Thousand Oaks, CA, USA

problem #272

Dec 122011

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 112,000 miles


- Roni J., Inglewood, CA, USA

problem #271

Jan 272011

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 122,000 miles

AFTER 122.000 miles o/d light is blinking and car drives about 20 miles per hour. Transmission is shot and needs to be replaced with a rebuilt transmission from ford costing only $3,600. Blue book says car is only worth $3500. Also in 2005, ford had to replace entire steering column because car would not shift gears. It is still difficult to change gears. I am the original owner that maintained the car by the book and for w-hat? Another useful site is www.fordproblems.com/Explorer/transmission-failure.shtml Ford customer service number is -1-800-392-3673 calll to see if you are under warranty. I just missed it by a few months.

- Liza W., Suwanee, GA, USA

problem #270

Aug 122010

Explorer LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 135,000 miles

O/D light blinking, need a solution for one of the many problems with this SUV

- bbarnes, Gorham, ME, USA

problem #269

Jan 042011

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,223 miles

Enough said on this issue in the forum regarding OD light blinking.

I agree with whomever wishes to start a formal legal complaint to FMC about the known issue that they clearly have chosen to ignore.

BTW...did you all know that FMC chose to eliminate the dipstick filler? What does this mean? As consumers, we are unable to check or a technician the level or condition of the tranny fluid. This is ridiculous!

I will help where I can, but I am not an attorney, but fairly well versed in vehicles as well have managed transmission repair centers in the past with my Father.

What say the rest of us?

- Keith K., Thomasville, NC, US

problem #268

Nov 062008

Explorer XLS 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 128,952 miles

I have a 2002 ford Explorer XLS and the O/D is always blinking every time my gear hang or climbing up a hill...this always happen when I climb a hill or when I go about 25 to 30 MPH the O/D light would start flickering...so when I shut down my car and start it back up the blinking light would disappear..I don't tow anything or abuse this car I actually baby..I had this car for about 5 years now since I was a junior in high school..all my friends that know about cars once told me that I need the tranny replaced and all that stuff..but i thought it was just the sensor cuz my gear is shifting fine.. but sometimes on 2nd to 3rd gear my RPM seems to be going past 3 grand which seems not normal...nice car to drive but has so many god damn problems to it..all I have to say that my Ford was once nice but now god damn junk..

- Randy S., Searsport, ME, USA

problem #267

Dec 302010

Explorer XLS 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,525 miles

I know that I am supposed to do this one complaint at a time but since I have seen everyone of these on the first 50 complaints I figured that it is truly a systemic Ford Issue.

Where do I begin?

First let me say that I have been a Blue Oval guy my whole life.

Until this weekend I thought that I had relatively small set of issues with my 2002 XLS Explorer. On a 500 mile one way trip for New Years the OD light started to flash. Earlier this summer while towing it happened once and never repeated.. Well this time it continued to flash even though the tranny was in 5th gear. After a short time the Check Engine soon light illuminated and we stopped to check all the obvious things. When I restarted and started driving again the OD Light stayed off but the CES light stayed on. I contacted a Ford dealer and told him of my situation (500 plus miles from home, holiday weekend, safety concerns, etc and was told basically “pound sand.”

A local family shop near Traverse City, MI was then contacted and the infamous code P0775 was in the computer. He could not locate any parts but told me I would probably make it home. He did not charge me anything for the diagnosis. I know that if the Ford Dealer had looked at it I would not have been so lucky! If you are ever in dire straits in the area look up TC Family Auto care in TC, MI.

We did make it home though the OD light did come back and the truck would not go into 5th gear for my wife. While I was driving I did get it to shift into 5th with very slow acceleration. That went over with limited approval from my fellow holiday travelers on the Illinois Tollway. Off to the local repair guy this week. Not a chance the Ford Dealership on Madison, WI’s Eastside is going to get their hands on my truck again. (Another Story).

Now for all the other little complaints that I have had that I did not realize were systemic to this vehicle. 1. 3 Rear Brake Calipers 2. 2 Broken Rear Coil Springs 3. 2 rear Wheel Bearings 4. 4X4 Controller (while truck under the Certified Ford Used Car Protection, denied of course. 5. Idler pulley, also denied as it wasn’t power train. Isn’t this thing bolted to the engine? 6. Intermittent Gas Gage and Odometer cluster. Luckily the odometer works when it’s cold outside and the gas gage works when it’s warm outside. 7. The Cruise Control recall that I haven’t even had done yet! 8. Door ajar light and interior lights stays when the car gets really damp. Yeah that never happens in WI in the winter, spring, summer or fall! 9. Windshield leaks

And to think I was actually going to look at the new 2011 Explorer.

- John L., Sun Prairie, WI, USA

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