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2002 Explorer WORST YEAR???

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Old 12-11-2006, 04:45 AM   #1
basenjib123
 
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2002 Explorer WORST YEAR???

Hello all, I just purchased a 2002 Explorer, V-6, 4.0, 3.73 Axle, 71K miles. Seems to be in excellent condition. I have been reading alot about this particular year and model and the information for the most part is pretty negative. Consumer Reports for instance gives this one a pretty poor rating. Was this a particularly bad year for the Explorer? I hear the transmission are both unreliable and one cannot even check the fluid levels? Sure would appreciate any tips/advice/info. Thanks, Joe.
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Old 12-11-2006, 07:18 AM   #2
Nevea'sExplorer
Pittsfield, Ma
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My 2002 Explorer has 56k on it and it runs great (knock on wood). I have yet to have any major problems associated with it being just a 2002 Explorer. I read that Consumer Reports didn't like the sluggish transmission and the way it shifted and it did hang a little before switching gears at times so I really did have to agree with them on it. But since I put in a Volant cold air intake the problem doesn't seem to not be there any more. It really shifts so much nicer now.

The transmission is a sealed unit so there is no need to have a dip stick to check it. Just have it serviced when it needs to be like changed and flushed and you shouldn't have any problems with it.

It's a nice running truck that I've had for a couple of years now and plan on keeping for a while. It doesn't burn any oil and I change it every 5k with synthetic oil.
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Old 12-11-2006, 08:35 AM   #3
jsbaker
La Porte, TX
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I have a 2002 that I purchased a few months ago with 91,000 and now has 97,000 miles on it. Besides the miles you would have thought it was brand new when I got it. I have had a few issues with mine, airbag light (harness under seat) engine light (O2 sensor) and rear end whine which is a common problem that I can live with until it really needs to be fixed. I have also had to change the a/c pulley and belt due to a chirping sound. As soon as the first cold snap hit here my ABS light has now been on constantly. I knew that it had a lot of miles when I bought it and that it was likely to be some issues. Would I get it rid of it any time soon?? Not likely. I love it some much more than or 2005 corolla that the corolla just sits in the drive way now and the explorer is our main vehicle.
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Old 12-12-2006, 12:50 PM   #4
plumbah22
London, Ont
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I just bought a 2002 explorer sport with 170 k on it and it seems to be running great, we just got a 3 foot dump of snow up here in canada and it went anywhere I wanted like there was no snow at all, BUT during all the fun I noticed my ABS just came on, on about the 2nd day of driving, is there any way of getting rid of this e.g replace a sensor, fuse etc. because the abs doesn't work anymore
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Old 12-12-2006, 01:25 PM   #5
piperRonnie
Chicago, IL
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I have a 2002 xlt, 37k miles. ABS light went on a couple of months ago (and is still on). When I get to a heated garage, I'll check the rear speed sensor, then there's a module near the brake fluid resevoir, then there is the aforementioned under-seat module.
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Old 12-12-2006, 01:40 PM   #6
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I think it got poor reviews and people say it's the worst because it's a completely new vehilce design. A lot of people don't like to buy the first year of a design because of potential problems. Also so that the manufacturer can work out any bugs in the later years. This is not always the case though. If anyone has an '02 and not having any problems, then they shouldn't worry about anything. Just keep up regular maintenance like you should and you'll be fine. My .02
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Old 12-12-2006, 01:56 PM   #7
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the SOHC engine and your transmission have been around in the Explorer since 97, so the bugs are pretty much worked out of that.
The body and rear suspension are all new, and I am pretty sure the front suspension and steering is a new platform in 02, so you may have issues there.

The V6 drivetrains have always had the transmission as the weak link, so this is nothing new, even though your auto trans has been around for some time and is heavily upgraded behind the SOHC in 2002 compared to earlier models, it is still alot to ask of these transmissions in a heavy 4x4 SUV like the Gen III Explorer.

Fords are great trucks, dont let the reviews make you think you bought a lemon, if you take care of it it should be a good solid work horse of a truck for you, as Colin said the first year of a new platform is always the worst one to get, but its still a good platform

IMO 95 was the worst year of the explorer V6 auto, the first year of the Gen II and before true OBD-II computers....




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Old 12-12-2006, 02:37 PM   #8
Explorer_gal
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CAN

I've had my Explorer XLT since the first of July this year and have put almost 12000kms or about 7200 miles on it. So far except for a cracked rear hatch panel it has been a terrific truck. No problems with anything mechanical in it. This vechical now has 150,000kms/90,000 miles on it. Maybe all the bugs have been worked out of mine. *fingers crossed*

Last edited by Explorer_gal; 12-12-2006 at 05:05 PM. Reason: typing error
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Old 12-12-2006, 03:05 PM   #9
dkkne
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my 2002 XLT had a ton of wheel bearing problems. I replaced all four wheel bearings twice withing the first 60K. I also had transmission problems which I caught early and a simple fluid flush saved it. I installed a large aftermarket trans cooler and the truck is still driven by my ex wife with 120K on it. The timing chain makes noise when its started cold int he mornings I guess.. but I personally would buy another one, but it woudl be an 03 or newer...




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Old 12-13-2006, 03:44 PM   #10
Anna's 2002
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Mine has 120K on it and has only had a few problems... one rear wheel bearing, water pump. I do keep up on the services regularly. The only disappointment is the rear axles through the frame, hence no lift kits(except for body lifts.) The faded paint on the plastic corner pieces and the paint coming off the roof rack shouldn't happen with a newer vehicle but that can be repainted.
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Old 12-13-2006, 04:09 PM   #11
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Bought my 02 xls with 45k on it. Now its at 70k miles. The torgue 4x4 module behind the glove box was changed and no more 4x4 lockups. I changed my tensioner and pulley, idler pulley. I am getting some whine out of the rear end, but the dealer can't hear it. I am under warranty so I will drive it till it really complains. I love this truck with its "character". I run mobil1 throughout the truck, except tranny, but will this summer. Snow is its buddy. When new york had its heavy snow a bit back, I had no issues at all. I did the flush on my tranny and she shifts beautifully now. You can still experience a hard shift or a delayed shift now and then, but ohterwise she is working better than ever. The fadded plastic corners will get painted this summer.
Gonna keep her as long as I can. I still have lots more to do to it( guages, electric fan, etc).




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Old 12-14-2006, 02:36 AM   #12
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Thanks for the replies guys..much appreciated! nm

nm
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Old 12-14-2006, 09:19 PM   #13
skifreakpro
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i have never had any problems with my 02'. ive had it since new and it now has 52,000 on it. the only problem i have had is with the 4wd module that went out from switching it on and off and what was my fault not the trucks. i know people with 1st gen's with 170k on the engine and tranny that aren't that good about replenishing the tranny fluid; as a result, the tranny runs like shit until they put more fluid in and it runs as if nothing happened with no damage wut so ever. thats how good an explorer really is. no matter what year.




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Old 12-15-2006, 06:30 PM   #14
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I noticed Edmunds gives the 2002 Explorer a "Used Car Best Bet" award. Interesting.

http://www.edmunds.com/used/2002/for...rer/index.html
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Old 12-17-2006, 08:20 AM   #15
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I bought my 02 new in may of 2001. To date I have over $40,000 in it. It has been the worst vehicle that I have ever owned. I love the ride and the looks when it is working properly. All maintenance schedules have been followed with oil changes every 3000 miles. It has had all wheel bearings replaced. All went bad at separate times. Differential pressure switch . for egr been replaced twice. Rear diff leaks and seals replaced 3 times. Rear diff wines and was replaced. 4x4 wouldn't work. Needed new module. Transmission shot and replaced. Abs light on all the time. Needed rear sensor. Air bag inop. Harness under seat. Eats tires in less than 20,000 miles. Has been aligned over 5 times. 2 front shocks. Leaking for no apparent reason. Has never been off road and most miles are turnpike miles. Only had 36,000 mile warranty. All of this I paid for. Never again.
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Old 12-17-2006, 06:17 PM   #16
trucku
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WOW....sorry to hear that...downer and a half !




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Old 12-17-2006, 06:47 PM   #17
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chris2002, that stinks. Did the same garage or dealership do the repairs?

I am currently experiencing a growling from the rear when starting from stop. The odd thing is that I don't hear sometimes. Other times, it's horrible. Not sure what it is. It has been doing it for a year or so.
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Old 12-17-2006, 08:02 PM   #18
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The dealership I bought the vehicle from I won'tlet touch the vehicle. I do have 116,000 miles on it now but this is an awful lot of failures. It still looks like new. Kill as for your noise if it is the rearend normally you hear the noise when you are on the gas and it quits when you let off. If not it's a wheel bearing but they fail pretty quick. Noise and then tire is ready to fall off. Thump,thump,thump. Good thing I'm pretty handy
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Old 12-18-2006, 09:03 PM   #19
jrey09
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bought new 2001, maintenance performed timely and complete. transmission and rear end differential replaced by warranty at 93k after I noticed sagging/slipping trans and shutter when making left turn from a stop. now i have 103K, no warranty and more gray hairs than i'd like. it's a very comfortable truck, i just wish that i had more confidence in it's reliability to enjoy it more.
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Old 12-19-2006, 11:52 AM   #20
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Feeling down about this thing now...

I appreciate the responses from all of you. Do you think I should trade this thing in now and cut my loses ASAP? Thanks, Joe.
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