2002 Ford Explorer Review and Model Lineup

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If you are considering buying a 2002 Ford Explorer you have probably looked at a review or two. If you haven’t it would be a good idea to do so. Whenever you look to purchase a vehicle, and particularly a used vehicle, it’s a good idea to research the performance, specs, blue book values and just about any other information you can find. Never make a large purchase without doing the proper homework to know as much as you can.

New For the 2002 Model Year

When the 2002 Ford Explorer hit showroom floors, the vehicle was the best-selling SUV in the world. That didn’t stop Ford from making changes to the truck. In fact, for that year in particular there were basically two different Explorer platforms. The Explorer Sport and Explorer Sport Trac (the two door Explorers) were built on the same platform as the previous year. The four door version, though ““ with four different trim levels (XLS, XLT, Limited and Eddie Bauer) was a completely different vehicle ““ inside and out, top to bottom. In fact, less than ten percent of the parts from the previous year were still used on the 2002. That’s about as major of a redesign as you can get. Even the tires were different. The frame was built to be more solid than the previous models. Previous models had a live axle in the rear, but control arms were added as part of the new design.

Drive Train

While the V6 offering for the 2002 Ford Explorer was the same 4 liter engine (210 horse power) as was offered the previous year, there was an all new V8 introduced for the 2002 model year. The V8 was a 4.6 liter engine that produced 240 horse power. The five speed manual transmission (6 cylinder only) is essentially the same transmission from previous years, but with some revisions and upgrades. The automatic transmission was a new one for the Explorer, although it had been used by Lincoln on vehicles. Even then, this transmission was upgraded from the Lincoln one to handle the extra vehicle mass.


Here’s where you really want to think about what you are doing when you buy the 2002 Ford Explorer. There are some serious issues with reliability that have turned up over the years. First off, the four wheel drive versions have been known to have some serious transmission problems. If the four wheel drive system fails you can expect to spend several hundred to perhaps a thousand dollars on repairs to get it up and running again. That’s the worst problem that’s been somewhat common on the vehicle, but failure of DPFE sensors on the engine are not uncommon. That one should only cost a hundred or so to have repaired. Another problem that’s somewhat common on the 2002 Ford Explorer is failure of a sensor in the braking system. When this fails you can expect to spend somewhere around $200 to get it fixed. Beyond those problems, though, the vehicles are fairly trouble free.

Whenever you think about buying a used vehicle (no matter how reliable the model is) you should consider getting a professional inspection done. It’s important to do this before, rather than after, you purchase the vehicle. Once it’s yours the problems are, too. No matter how reliable a given make and model might be, if an owner has abused the vehicle in any way it could lead to equipment breakdowns. Finding out about potential issues ahead of time can keep the money to fix them in your pocket because you can find a different vehicle to buy.

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