It sounds like the Park setting has gone a bit haywire. You see when you shift your Explorer into Park there’s a lot going on. While you might see it as simple, when you push the selector into P(ark), a bushing at the end of the output shaft that has a series of dogs or notches on the collar must line up with an anchor point on its housing. When everything aligns correctly, your vehicle stops and won’t move again.
Normally, when you shift back into gear, the output shaft and its housing separate so that the output shaft can spin freely and your Explorer can go into and out of gear and you can go on your way.
Now, in the valve body there is a series of levers that line things up so that your Explorer’s transmission can go into Park and the bushings and the housing can mate, immobilizing the shaft and your car. If one of those small levers has slipped or bent, then it is unlikely that you will be able to get your car to move again, even though the shifter is moving.
Since the levers aren’t deactivating the lockup between the output shaft and its housing, even though your shifter may be going back and forth and even though the gears are engaging correctly, your Explorer just won’t move.
I know it may seem odd, that it must be something big, but I suspect that lever that’s about six inches long is to blame. And, since it is in the valve body, which sits astride the transmission housing, it’s a lot easier to get to.
Yes, it will cost about $525 for the work, but, think about it: at least you won’t have to replace the transmission which costs about six times as much.
CarComplaints.com Notes: The 2002 Ford Explorer is hands-down our worst vehicle on record. "Avoid like the plague" is putting it lightly.
The 2002-2005 Explorer has a very well-established record of expensive transmission failure at under 100k miles. The Explorer has an enclosed transmission which is typically replaced with a rebuilt transmission at a cost of almost $3,000.
Another common problem for the 2002-2003 Explorer is wheel bearing failure at around 90k miles, with a typical repair bill of $500 to $1000 depending on how many wheel bearings failed.
Adding insult to injury, the 2002-2005 Explorer also has a massive problem with the rear panel cracking. While it's a minor annoyance compared to transmission failure, ironically the crack usually goes right through the Ford logo.
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- '02 Explorer Transmission Fix - Serious leak of transmission fluid between pin and bore of the overdrive servo (piston). check line pressure from pump, under 500 psi you have a leak. the pin of the servo is hardened steel and the case of the transmission is soft aluminum. Brass bushings must be inserted which means you also have to bore. Lory transmissions in florida has the manual and parts. It's not just the 02's that have this problem
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Sunday, January 17th, 2010 AT 2:25 PM
Transmission Not Go Into Gear Problems of Ford Explorer - part 1
1 Transmission Not Go Into Gear problem of the 2020 Ford Explorer
Failure Date: 03/09/2021
Transmission is catching which switching gears. Car has under 6,000 miles. Transmission will not switch gears and catch. Car will jolt forward and it feels like I am being rear ended.
See all problems of the 2020 Ford Explorer 🔎.
2 Transmission Not Go Into Gear problem of the 2020 Ford Explorer
Failure Date: 01/29/2021
I have a 2020 Explorer limited edition, with just over 10,000 miles. Since I got it, I noticed that shifting from 2-4 gear was pretty rough, and jerky. About 2 months ago, I left the driveway, heard a thud when I put it in d, and it didn't move. I hit the gas harder, and it moved, but would not leave 1st gear. Got a check engine light. Turned it off, waited a while, tried it again, and it drove fine, but check engine light was still on. The car drove fine for a couple of weeks. The check engine light went off the next day. 2 weeks later, I took it out of the drive, put it in drive and again, it wouldn't leave first gear. Put the car back in the garage, waited a while, and it was fine. Called the dealer, and scheduled an appt because I can't have these serious issues continue. My concern was that they won't be able to duplicate the issue, and just send me on my way. Needless to say, they ran several diagnostics tests, and found some issues/codes. They performed a pinpoint test trace and found codes p062c, p2242. They then performed TSB 20-2217 again, and the codes were clear. For a short time after, the jerkiness in the shifting of the gears went away, however that has since returned. Stopping and starting, and driving especially in neighborhoods, is very frustrating. It is uncomfortable to say the. Least, the very aggressive shifting, and jerking of the vehicle at low speeds. I have not yet had the same issue where the vehicle refused to change gears, or was stuck without moving, however the transmission as a whole is very problematic, and somewhat scary to drive.
3 Transmission Not Go Into Gear problem of the 2020 Ford Explorer
Failure Date: 09/30/2020
Vehicle jerked very hard while slowing down, around 30mph and 1500 rpm, worsening to include violent bucking when pulling out around 1000-2000 rpm and 20-30mph, worsening yet to affecting another gear while slowing down. Dealership told me to drive it until appt. (over a week later). Snap ring broke and transmission housing cracked upon inspection at dealership, new transmission installed.
4 Transmission Not Go Into Gear problem of the 2004 Ford Explorer
Failure Date: 12/12/2018
Tl-the contact owns a 2004 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that their son was driving and they attempted to shift gears. The contacts son pulled a little to hard and he fractured the gear shift leaver. Now the leaver is loose and will not go into any gear. The dealer was not contacted. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the vehicle. The failure mileage was unknown. Jw.
See all problems of the 2004 Ford Explorer 🔎.
5 Transmission Not Go Into Gear problem of the 2010 Ford Explorer
Failure Date: 12/31/2017
Car sitting in park will not shift out of park with brake pedal fully pressed. Can't drive car because it will not go into gear.
See all problems of the 2010 Ford Explorer 🔎.
6 Transmission Not Go Into Gear problem of the 2016 Ford Explorer
Failure Date: 02/15/2017
While driving the vehicle in heavy traffic on a city street I lost power. The vehicle would not shift into gear. When I parked the vehicle it would not go in reverse. I had to put the vehicle in neutral and get pushed out of the parking lot. The vehicle would not shift into gear to drive home. The vehicle had to be towed to the dealership. The second time this happened I was on a 600+ mile trip out of state. I was driving at high speed on the interstate. I took the vehicle to a dealership when I reached my destination. There service department could not fit me in t look at it. I drove the vehicle directly to the dealership when I returned home. The third and fourth time I was 150 miles from home. I was driving in heavy traffic on a 4 lane highway. The issue also happened when the car was stationary sitting at a stop light then attempted to proceed into traffic. I have had the same issue 4 times without the "nonconformity" being resolved. I have taken it into the dealer 3 times for service. The vehicle has been out of service greater than 15 days. Carfax indicate the electric throttle body was repaired a month before I purchased the vehicle. That information was not disclosed to me at the time of purchase by the dealership.
See all problems of the 2016 Ford Explorer 🔎.
7 Transmission Not Go Into Gear problem of the 2005 Ford Explorer
Failure Date: 11/03/2016
The gear shifter/lever broke off into my hand when attempting to shift from park to reverse. The gear shifter/lever broke at the base, inside the steering column. The broken part seems to be a cast metal part, that the gear shifter/lever rotates to change gears. The fracture surface appears rough -- it is not clean. Fortunately the car is stuck in park, not another gear, and in a safe place (parking garage). Should this have happened when in any other gear I would have to turn off the car in that gear, if I had enough room to maneuver the car to a safe place. Otherwise it would just have to sit wherever it was left, no matter how inconvenient to other drivers. I called Ford and they state this is not a documented issue, therefore no recall or reimbursement is available. However, an internet search reveals this is has happened to many people, with pictures of the same exact break point that I have experienced. Also, there are after-market replacement parts for this exact part, further hinting this is a known problem.
See all problems of the 2005 Ford Explorer 🔎.
8 Transmission Not Go Into Gear problem of the 2006 Ford Explorer
Failure Date: 04/03/2016
Complete and total catastrophic failure of transmission while driving 65 mph on highway. I was traveling in my car with my family when we heard a loud explosive bang from under or car. I shook my wife and scared my children. I knew it definitely was not good and felt an immediate loss of forward momentum at highway speeds, we were traveling in the fast lane at the time and other vehicles were following behind us. They were not happy and hammering their horns at our sudden and unexpected deceleration. Luckily no one rear-ended us or panicked and slammed on their own brakes which could have caused a major collision on a major interstate. I was able to coast over to the emergency lane and come to a safe stop with in a few feet of a yellow emergency call box. We signaled for assistance and help came to me and my family within 10 minutes. (thank you to all by the way) we had the car towed to a local major brand transmission shop where they found the transmission fluid to be burnt and black, metal pieces in the pan and determined the transmission to be a complete loss and have it replaced with a certified rebuilt transmission. 69,000 mile at time of failure. Not acceptable at less than 100,000. This is a safety issue because if this were to happen to an inexperienced driver or other drivers around these vehicle when it happens at highway speeds, a serious possibly life threatening or fatal accident could result from this type of mechanical failure. This is not a slipping transmission or a car that wont shift gears or an issue similar to those type of complaints. This is a total and complete failure of a major vehicle component under normal operating circumstances. I don't have pictures, as I am remote from the vehicle until I pick it up when service is finished but I will be able to provide towing receipts and repair bills from servicing transmission shop.
See all problems of the 2006 Ford Explorer 🔎.
9 Transmission Not Go Into Gear problem of the 2006 Ford Explorer
Failure Date: 11/27/2015
My 2006 Explorer has recently started shifting hard and sometimes will not shift into gear right away. When I pull up to a stop light or become stationary it will try to die and sometimes will. And will also not go into gear unless I give it a lot of gas and then it takes a minute to pick up complete speed. I have already had to replace multiple things on this vehicle and am seeing that others have been having the same trouble. Ford do the right thing and recall this vehicle. Also my interior lights have gone out and is not the fuse or bulbs.
10 Transmission Not Go Into Gear problem of the 2007 Ford Explorer
Failure Date: 09/01/2015
The vehicle hesitates when shifting from park to reverse, or park to drive or any other gear. You have to put the car in the gear you want and wait for it to shift. It then gives a jolt when it shifts, and then you can move. At times, the car will shift to neutral when stopping for red light, and you have to move the gear to another gear then back to drive on green to move the vehicle. The vehicle only has 73,950. 9 miles and the mechanic advised it needed a new transmission. The date below is an estimated date. We have had the vehicle in the shop several times in the past year.
See all problems of the 2007 Ford Explorer 🔎.
11 Transmission Not Go Into Gear problem of the 2002 Ford Explorer
Failure Date: 03/10/2015
The transmission would not shift between gears in my 2002 Ford Explorer resulting in my being unable to accelerate on the massachusetts turnpike at rush hour.
See all problems of the 2002 Ford Explorer 🔎.
12 Transmission Not Go Into Gear problem of the 2007 Ford Explorer
Failure Date: 03/09/2015
The contact owns a 2007 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that while driving at 35 mph, the vehicle started to jerk without warning causing the vehicle not to shift into gear mode. The failure recurred several times. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic, who diagnosed that the transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 58,000. . . . . Updated 06/09/bf the consumer stated the vehicle was repaired. Updated 7/16/2015.
13 Transmission Not Go Into Gear problem of the 2006 Ford Explorer
Failure Date: 10/01/2014
The vehicle was hesitating and would not engage into gear when accelerating during a turn causing the rpms to rev . This caused several cars to swerve to avoid an accident. After taking it to the shop as it was a known problem with 2006 Ford Explorer that it was a failed transmission. Cost to fix is $2,508.
14 Transmission Not Go Into Gear problem of the 2014 Ford Explorer
Failure Date: 07/03/2014
My transmission would not shift gears. This is the fourth time this has happened. As soon as I put in in drive the vehicle did run but would not shift. . . I was stuck on a mountain road unable to pull over and my rpm's were pegging without my transmission shifting into 2nd gear. I almost got rear ended. I was only able to go like 15 miles per hour, my car started smelling like it was burning and the engine was stressed. When I was able to finally pull over I had to put the car in park turn it off, turn it back on and then it worked fine. Again this is the fourth time this has happened. I called the Ford dealer, for the fourth time and they said I could bring it in but if it didn't act the same way with them there isn't much they can do. Not the answer I wanted. I have a neighbor who has the same vehicle and it has also happened to her. There is obviously a systemic problem here.
See all problems of the 2014 Ford Explorer 🔎.
15 Transmission Not Go Into Gear problem of the 2006 Ford Explorer
Failure Date: 04/21/2014
Ford has an ongoing issue with these vehicles. Right after purchasing the vehicle, Ford increased the vehicle warranty from 50,000 to 75,000 miles. The transmission slips, fails to go into gear, slams hard when it goes into gear and is safety issue. The vehicle also has issues with the radiator, which in my case has been replaced twice at my expense. The transmission should have been recalled and replaced. In talking with my Ford dealer, it is a known issue that Ford has failed to address. If you search the internet you see it is an issue as there are many complaints about this same failure. I first experienced this a couple years ago when the vehicle had 53,000 miles and I was told to drive it until it failed and then replace it. Ford should be replacing this transmission. They should assume responsibility for the defect in design or manufacturing.
16 Transmission Not Go Into Gear problem of the 2000 Ford Explorer
Failure Date: 03/27/2014
Before my transmission went out my over drive would flash then my 4wheel drive stopped working. I had the 4wheel drive switch replaced and everything was fine until I went to sacramento. After taking care of my eddie bauer Explorer having the transmission flushed and filled on a regular basis. While leaving sacramento stopped at a chevron to fill up before heading back up to tahoe. As im leaving the gas station all of the sudden there's a loud crunch of metal sound coming from under my car and it wont kick into any gear. Had to have it towed and after reading the thousands of complaints from other owners about their exploders doing the sme thing I figured I would complain. Im tired of big companies screwing the little people over who purchase their products when they are perfectly able to fix it. Shame on u Ford.
See all problems of the 2000 Ford Explorer 🔎.
17 Transmission Not Go Into Gear problem of the 2005 Ford Explorer
Failure Date: 03/05/2014
As I was driving in traffic, the panel suddenly started beeping and flashing lights and my car would not change gears. The o/d light came on and the information center indicated there was something wrong with my transmission. Now the car will not shift into 3rd gear until it reaches very high rpm and when it does shift it is very hard. I drive the car to and from work a total of 6 miles a day and almost never on the highway. It is almost 10 years old and it only has 70,000 miles. I've heard this has been a problem with Ford transmissions for over 10 years but they refuse to take responsibility for the defect. I have been buying Ford cars since 1995 but this will be my last. Too many other problems that they refuse to fix.
18 Transmission Not Go Into Gear problem of the 2002 Ford Explorer
Failure Date: 12/17/2013
Yesterday evening, I got into my 2002 Ford Explorer and noticed the gear shift lever was stuck in park. I was unable to shift into reverse in order to back out of the driveway. This morning I figured I would give it another attempt as I needed to head out for work. As I tried again, I simply applied the break, grabbed the shift lever and as I pulled the towards me and began to pull down to shift into reverse the lever completely broke and is now hanging. I did not apply excessive force at any point. No more pressure then I normally do when shifting from park to drive to reverse, etc. I looked up this particular situation via internet and noticed many, many complaints of the same exact description. Hopefully Ford will recognize this issue and issue a part recall.
19 Transmission Not Go Into Gear problem of the 2003 Ford Explorer
Failure Date: 10/28/2013
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Explorer. The contact stated while driving approximately 25 mph, the transmission failed to shift gears. The over-drive and transmission warning indicators were also illuminated continuously. The vehicle was maneuvered to the side of the road where the engine was turned off. Upon restarting, the failure persisted. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the defect. The approximate failure mileage was 120,000.
See all problems of the 2003 Ford Explorer 🔎.
20 Transmission Not Go Into Gear problem of the 1996 Ford Explorer
Failure Date: 01/08/2013
The vehicle began hesitating during takeoff, allowing the engine to experience high rpm's but very little acceleration. The vehicle then began to not fall into 1st gear, when you shifted the car into drive from park the vehicle would hesitate for about 4 seconds then lurch heavily, the vehicle also does this at every stop, after you make a complete stop and precede to attempt to drive again the vehicle will rpm as you push the accelerator but won't move for about 4 seconds, after the 4 seconds the vehicle lurches forward heavily and spins both rear tires.
See all problems of the 1996 Ford Explorer 🔎.
21 Transmission Not Go Into Gear problem of the 2003 Ford Explorer
Failure Date: 10/16/2012
While I was merging from one road to the next the Explorer transmission felt like it popped out of gear. When I continued the transmission would not change gears without me "feathering" the gas. Took it to a repair shop and had to pay $2000+ to repair/rebuild the transmission.
22 Transmission Not Go Into Gear problem of the 2006 Ford Explorer
Failure Date: 04/11/2012
First incident occurred in early April 2012: my car was emitting a foul smell and overheating. Upon inspection, it was discovered that my radiator was leaking. I turned my vehicle into Ford and it was replaced. Second incident occurred early-mid oct 2012: my car was jerking and the check engine light came on. It was taken to have the codes checked and it was indicated that I had 2-3 random "miss-fires" to my spark plugs. As this is normally an easy at-home fix, we were able to replace all the spark plugs. The issue with this incident was that in the process of removing the spark plugs, all but one broke in half. This is such a common problem that Ford has designed and sells a specific tool to remove broken spark plugs. Once the tool was purchased, I was able to fix the problem and my car no longer jerked and the check engine light went off. Third incident occurred late Nov 2012: vehicle started jolting and jerking excessively and check engine light came on. Feels like transmission is not engaging gears properly. After much research, I found that this is a common and major safety issue regarding this vehicle. A safety recall needs to be done imminently. Another issue, started in the end of 2011: when going from park to reverse or drive, stick shift will stick and I will have wiggle and pull hard to make it move.
23 Transmission Not Go Into Gear problem of the 2002 Ford Explorer
Failure Date: 03/23/2012
Out transmission isn't out yet, it's on its way out. When accelerating it stops at 25-35 mph and the rpm rev up to the red limit if you don't take your foot off the gas and it wont switch gears for a minute or so. Sometimes you hear a loud dropping sound and the entire car jerks when it switches gears. This first happened when speeding up on a busy main road near detroit, almost causing us to be rear ended. We took it to a transmission garage and were informed it would be $2,000 or there abouts to fix. Had the other driver not been paying attention or had this happened on a highway myself, my fiance, our four children would have been seriously injured or worse. Apparently the transmission is a recurring problem with this model of vehicle and the manufacturer should be made responsible for this blatantly dangerous defect.
24 Transmission Not Go Into Gear problem of the 2002 Ford Explorer
Failure Date: 02/29/2012
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that while driving 70 mph, the over drive warning light illuminated as the vehicle started to skip gears. There was an abnormal increase in engine rpms and the vehicle would not shift into gear. The vehicle was taken to a local mechanic but the vehicle was neither diagnosed nor repaired. The failure and the current mileage was unknown.
25 Transmission Not Go Into Gear problem of the 2002 Ford Explorer
Failure Date: 12/28/2011
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that while shifting from park to reverse, the gear shifter fractured. A local mechanic inspected the vehicle and located the failure at the gear housing unit. The mechanic advised the contact that the gear shifter housing would need to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and the current mileage was 143,000.
26 Transmission Not Go Into Gear problem of the 2003 Ford Explorer
Failure Date: 11/28/2011
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that while driving 30 mph, the transmission would not shift into gear and failed. The check engine and the bs warning lights were illuminated. The contact notified a mechanic of the failure and was advised that the transmission would likely need replacing. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The VIN was unavailable. The failure mileage was 148,000.
27 Transmission Not Go Into Gear problem of the 2001 Ford Explorer
Failure Date: 11/22/2011
Transmission failed without warning. Would not catch 3rd gear and then sounded like a toolbox was scattered under the car. Car successively lost all gears except 1st. Repair cost over $2800. 00.
See all problems of the 2001 Ford Explorer 🔎.
28 Transmission Not Go Into Gear problem of the 2003 Ford Explorer
Failure Date: 09/05/2011
While entering the highway, my SUV would not shift into gear. The fastest it would go was 35mph, the tachometer was pegged out, the o/d light was flashing on and off and transmission would not shift into the next gear. Almost got hit by vehicles traveling the speed limit which is 65mph, because the transmission would not shift properly for me to merge into traffic.
29 Transmission Not Go Into Gear problem of the 2002 Ford Explorer
Failure Date: 07/10/2011
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that while driving, the vehicle would not accelerate more than 20 mph, and the over drive warning light remained illuminated. Due to the type of warning light, the vehicle would not shift into gear, causing the transmission to fail. The dealer was not notified. The manufacturer stated that there were no recalls or warranties, and offered no assistance. The failure mileage was 68,000.
30 Transmission Not Go Into Gear problem of the 2002 Ford Explorer
Failure Date: 04/13/2011
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Explorer. The contact was driving 10 mph when the vehicle failed to shift gears properly. The over drive warning light illuminated during the failure. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was confirmed that the first and second gears of the transmission failed and needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was contacted. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 100,000 and the current mileage was 120,000.
31 Transmission Not Go Into Gear problem of the 2003 Ford Explorer
Failure Date: 12/15/2010
Explorer od light came on and truck would not shift gears properly. Check engine light appeared and the truck just made it to the mechanic. The truck needed a new transmission at the expense of $3000. It is obvious that the Ford Explorer is known for this type of failure. Sent an email to Ford and they will not assist on the expenses or admit there is a problem with these vehicles.
32 Transmission Not Go Into Gear problem of the 2005 Ford Explorer
Failure Date: 07/25/2010
Bought 2005 Ford Explorer with only $5700 miles on vehicle. By the time I had 60k miles, o/d light started flashing and I had to get new transmission. Now my vehicle has 125k miles and o/d light is on again. Will need another transmission. Both times, vehicle does not shift gears correctly and sounds like your transmission is going to fall out while driving down the road.
34 Transmission Not Go Into Gear problem of the 2005 Ford Explorer
Failure Date: 03/29/2010
Ford Explorer 2005 transmission failure. Car would not leave first gear. Had I been on a highway could have caused an accident. This problem seems to rampant with all Ford Explorers--Ford should have had a recall on them!!.
35 Transmission Not Go Into Gear problem of the 2002 Ford Explorer
Failure Date: 03/06/2010
We just purchased a 2002 Ford Explorer. We picked up the vehicle on March 3, 2010. The car drove fine the first 2 days. On the third day the o/d light starting blinking and the car skipped a gear. We heard a large clunk and the car keep skipping. After that the service engine light came on. We took it to two transmission shops today and they diagnosed it as the vehicle does not have a third gear. We received estimates of $2600 to repair.
Other Common Power Train related problems of Ford Explorer
Ford gear 2004 explorer wont go into
Wait. The guys washed the car and along the way asked me who I was, where I came from, what I was doing, and tried to joke. Gradually, immodest questions and vulgar jokes began to spread, as I could, I was pretending to be a young self-confident slut. And one thought pounded in my head - what am I doing, I have to run home, come to my senses. Finally, they finished washing and we got into the car.Shifter Stuck in Park!!!---how to diagnose and fix (Ford Explorer)
Some ten thousand, some fifteen thousand. For Vaska, such amounts were not money at all - so, nonsense in vegetable oil. He did not really fiddle with his debtors, he understood that it was difficult for them, the poor fellows. Yes, and - they are neighbors, nevertheless - their own.
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What are you doing. Do you have something to eat. - I will note that I have a very good mother-in-law.