Re: Is it time to dump my 2002 Explorer XLT?
It's the old phrase, 'damned if you do, damned if you don't'. You can spend the $2200 or so to get the vehicle back up to prime operating condition and hope that no more repairs will be required for a while, or get a newer vehicle which you'll probably be making payments on all the same. I'd get the SUV fixed. Shop around, as shops can vary greatly for the work. If the wheel bearing in question isn't making noise, leave it alone yet. For shocks, I recommend Bilsteins as good replacement options. If cost is an issue, Monroe is more in tuned with factory tuning specs.
Repairs are inevitable in vehicle that's 7, going on 8 years old. If you get lucky, $2200 might be all that you'll have to spend over the next couple of years. On the other hand, the A/C could require work if you like to have that convenience, or another bearing could go, or you'll have to replace some sensors (oxygen, idle controller, etc). Other things are fuel pump, oil pump, water pump, most will easily last til 150-200K before they cause a problem, but again, nothing is guaranteed. Still, I'd spend the moeny on the repairs unless you really want a newer vehicle.
'11 Ram Quad Cab 4x4 SXT 5.7L HEMI (stock); 48,500m
'06 Pontiac G6 GT 3.5L 220hp; 64,000m
'12 Chrysler 200 Limited 3.6L 283hp; 28,000m
'99 Taurus 3.0L 2V Vulcan 145hp; 154,300m - Traded
Amsoil in all vehicles!