Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 11
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
77,017 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2003 Ford Expedition electrical problems

electrical problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2003 Ford Expedition:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2003 Ford Expedition Owner Comments (Page 3 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #25

Oct 012008


  • 64,000 miles


Live in Chicago il. (20 minutes outside) and my Expedition was left outside. It got cold (48 outside) over night, and my Ford was dead in the morning, (dome lights wouldn't even turn on). I jumped it, and noticed that the climate control was inoperable (doesn't even light up). I took it to Ford, and they had thought that the unit burned out. Cool, I can buy one on E-bay for about $40 instead of $326 that they quoted me... I left feeling a little better, knowing what the problem was....then something strange started happening... the 4WD high/low is flashing in 1 minute intervals at the same time. The driver seat is adjusting on it's own, while I am driving, and cannot be stopped, leaving me crammed into the dash/steering wheel, the back up aid is not working, when I exit the vehicle the radio stays on, I have to re-open the doors and close them again to turn it off, and I still have the problem with the climate controls. Call me stupid, but this sounds a little more indepth than a climate control burning out. After reading countless issues with the Expedition (including the cool feature of auto ignite, where it decides to burn it's self to the ground after being parked for 3-5 hours due to electrical fires) I am not sure I am very fond of this truck anymore. I am not encouraged by everyone on this having similar electrical problems, and not having Ford be able to identify the problem causes grave concern, seeing how my wife and 3 kids (who are secured in their car seats) are driving in a fire laden death trap, or worse, my wife getting pinned against the steering wheel from the seat going haywire, then hitting another car and the air bag going off.... this is serious, I need you to investigate this a little more closely, please for my family's well being.

- Lombard, IL, USA

problem #24

Sep 302008


  • 55,800 miles
My husband's 2003 Ford Expedition caught on fire. He had been out of the car for about 30 minutes. We heard a loud popping noise and thought nothing of it. We heard another loud popping noise, and went to see what it was. When we got outside there was smoke coming from under the hood. Then we saw flames coming from the dashboard. At that point we called 911. The fire department came and put the fire out, and said it was caused by something electrical. There was some sort of short in the wiring. He had taken the car in for repair because the door ajar light stayed on, although there were no doors open. This problem was supposedly fixed by car max. There have been no modifications to the vehicle.

- Forest Park, IL, USA

problem #23

Jul 012007


  • 20,000 miles
First, the door ajar light came on and stayed on. I continued to go around the vehicle opening and shutting the doors and the light remained on. Consumer could not start the vehicle since the light came on, and had to get a jump to start it. After a few days of this the battery was finally ruined, and I was forced to buy a new one. I used lubricants to try and clear debris from the door sensors and this worked for 3 months. Now it will not work at all. Talked to dealer and they want to charge 600 dollars per sensors. Nothing wrong with sensor its just dirty. Second, the rear ac is making a clicking noise and will not control temperature. I sent it under warranty to the dealership and replaced the ac mechanism, stated "this was a common defect with the vehicle". 5 months later this part went out again and it was no longer under warranty and the dealership would not replace the problem and wanted to charge me over 300 dollars. They apparently replaced the defective part with the same defective part and would repair it again 5 months later!!!. third, the side panels on the Expedition exterior started fading at about 20,000 miles. The dealership replaced them under warranty. About 20,000 miles later we noticed they had faded again. We took it to the dealership and they would not replace the defective panels this time because it was know longer under warranty. Even though it was another defect replaced with a defective part. Forth, the rear passenger exterior door/window trim is bubbling and peeling off. This looks horrible! fifth, the front passenger and font driver window switches that roll down the windows are having issues. I had the motor replaced for the passenger window and it fixed the issue for a little bit. Now the passenger can not roll down the window. However the driver can"?" please help! I need help with any or all of these issues. I don't know where else to go!

- League City, TX, USA

problem #22

Jan 062008

Expedition 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 18,000 miles


Outside mirror lights and interior lights would not go off after getting out of vehicle and pressing remote lock button. They eventually ran the battery down. This was after a hard rain. A few weeks later the same thing happened only this time, the radio would not turn off (key out of ignition and doors open) the chime kept going off and the battery went dead because I did not disconnect it. I researched online and found this is not uncommon because the windshield leaks, from the factory, and water drips down onto the computer module and fuse box. I checked my fuse box and I did have dripping water in it along with corroded connectors, inside the vehicle, indication long term intrusion of water. This causes all kinds of problems. Other owners have reported complete loss of power while driving. Upon inspecting my oem windshield I found it completely separated at the top and I could see light between the glass and seal. I now have to buy a new windshield along with fuse block and computer crap. The other problem is that the entire top of the windshield, as mentioned, is not sealed. I have been informed that the windshield integrity is a huge part of the strength of the vehicle and the windshield is used to support the passenger side air bag in case of deployment. I don't have that integrity on my vehicle. This is very unsafe condition and this should be something that Ford pays for.

- Everett, WA, USA

problem #21

Nov 282007


  • Manual transmission
  • miles
For the past few months I have been having problems with the mirrors and windows on my Ford SUV. I took it to the dealer they claim they could not find out what the problem was. They were able to fix the broken gear shift and jam radio. One month later I wake up to my truck on fire after sitting for seven hours.

- New Orleans, LA, USA

problem #20

Nov 242007

Expedition 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles
My 2003 Ford Expedition is shutting off while I am driving, nearly causing me to lose control and be rear ended. It happens when I least expect it and the dealership is baffled. All their expensive diagnostic equipment can't even track down the issue. So far they have replaced some fuel parts and my fuse box but it still shuts down unexpectedly. I am $900. In the hole already, let alone I am going to have my first grandchild within a week, and I have this tank that shuts down on the middle of the highway. It sounds electrical and I am in fear of catching fire.

- East Canton, OH, USA

problem #19

Dec 262006

Expedition 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 20,800 miles


Rear view mirrors fail to return to correct position after backing up causing a driving hazard. This has been an on-going problems since purchasing this vehicle - new in 2003. Dealer has looked at it and stated they could not duplicate the problem and no service bulletins existed as of March 2006. Other intermittent electrical problems exist - 1. passenger side rear door - automatic lock doesn't always operate. 2. interior lights stay on as if a door has been left open, even when all doors and hatches have been checked to ensure they are completely closed.

- Olmsted Falls, OH, USA

problem #18

Sep 192006


  • miles
2003 Ford Expedition lost all power and almost got rear ended. ***** the vehicle crossed into oncoming traffic and was almost involved in a head on collision. The vehicle finally stopped and was able to be restarted and driven to the consumer's home. The next day the vehicle was taken to a dealer. The dealer was unable to duplicate the problem and returned the vehicle to the consumer. About a week later the vehicle stalled again without warning. The vehicle was taken to the dealer a left for a few days so they could try to duplicate the problem. Unfortunately they were unable to and the vehicle was again returned to the consumer. The primary driver of the vehicle no longer felt safe driving the car especially since she transported her children in it. The consumer read somewhere that the wiring harness was the caused of the problem. The consumer told the dealer of his findings but they were not interested. They told him that the could not fix it unless they found the problem.

- Apple Valley, CA, USA

problem #17

Feb 062006

Expedition 4WD

  • 59,751 miles
2003 Expedition relay junction box burned. ***** the vehicle stalled while being driven. The problem was diagnosed as a relay problem and replaced the relay. After repair the vehicle would not shift into overdrive. The dealer performed diagnostic test which determined that the junction had melted. The junction box was replaced but the vehicle still had no overdrive nor third gear. The dealer removed the transmission pan and found internal transmission damage. The consumer feels that the transmission was destroy when the junction box burned out. The consumer has the burned junction box in his possession. Prior to this failed the vehicle alternator had to be replaced.

- Reedsburg, WI, USA

problem #16

Oct 032005


  • miles
Consumer is having problems with air condition making noise, power windows only lower, radio volume gets louder when accelerating seat control buttons are inoperable. Water leaked from the sunroof, even though it was closed. The vehicle was taken to the dealer on 3 separate occasions due to brake and rotor noise. The consumer experienced lack of power when attempting to accelerate. The consumer was unable to hear the radio separately when the dvd was playing.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #15

Jun 272005

Expedition 4WD

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles


Orange wire under the third row seat, this wire started smoking. We left the car. This wire burned into. Flames were coming out from under the seat, and it smoked up the vehicle. Parked the car, and the car had not been moved since. This happened 6:30 pm, and all the dealerships were closed.

- Memphis, TN, USA

problem #14

Apr 012005

Expedition 4WD

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles
The door ajar light came on and stayed on. Could continue to go around the vehicle opening and shutting the doors and the light remained on. Consumer could not start the vehicle since the light came on, and had to get a jump to start it.

- Reisterstown, MD, USA

problem #13

Dec 142003


  • Automatic transmission
  • 26,000 miles
#1 nothing out of the ordinary #2 car had be parked for almost an hour when a passerby knocked on the door to say that the car was on fire and she had already called the fire department. #3 fire was put out. Car was a total loss. Also, the car parked in front of mine was burned when the fire spread and that car was totalled as well. It belonged to my friend, olivia jackson oke, whom I was visiting and my car was parked directly behind hers in her driveway. I filed a claim with my insurance and so did olivia.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #12

Dec 202003

Expedition 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While making a stop, the check engine light appeared on the dashboard and remained on. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for inspection numerous times, but the mechanic could not duplicate the problem. While applying the brake pedal, the vehicle failed to stop completely. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for inspection, and the mechanic determined that the brake rotors needed to be replaced. When stopping, the motor starts shaking and the vehicle would shut off. When turning the vehicle, it would not respond until attempting 2 or 3 times, then finally a lot of smoke appears. The suspension appeared to be loose and one sensor on the wheels did not respond.

- Huntington Park, CA, USA

problem #11

Aug 282002

Expedition 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 33,000 miles
While driving 30 mph, the vehicle vibrated uncontrollably. Suddenly, the vehicle stalled. The driver tried to restart the vehicle and was not able to do so. The vehicle was towed to the dealer for inspection. The mechanic informed the driver that the alternator and battery needed to be replaced. While unlocking the driver's door with the automatic switch both side rear view mirrors would automatically move up and down. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for inspection. The mechanic replaced both side rear view mirror motors. Consumer adds both side view mirrors motors replaced 2 to 3 more times. The fog light housing replaced, rear light covers replaced due to moisture, heater core switch replaced from dash. Brakes squealing when applied. Transmission slipping and power steering pump winding.

- Norfolk, VA, USA

problem #10

May 012004

Expedition 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The vehicle had dead battery and required jump start. The attempt was successful how ever I began having electrical problems almost immediately. The instrument panel lights and odometer display malfunctioned on several occasions, including jumps in mileage or no change after a trip, radio would go off or change stations by its self, door locks would unlock and lock byself, and instruments not working. The cigarette lighter mounted next to the ashtray in the dash some how became welded in place. On occasion when starting the vehicle as you put key in ignition you would hear the door chime as normal then when you turn key to start position chime would die and nothing happened then return the key to off and back to start and it would start fine on the second attempt. I took the vehicle in to my dealership and they replaced the radio but this did not solve the problem. They where unable to find the problem and fix it. I continued to have the problem and it just seemed to happen randomly.

- Land O Lakes , FL, USA

problem #9

Jun 302004

Expedition 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 4,000 miles
Car stops running while driving a speed. This has happened 4 times in the last 9 months. The dealer cannot correct problem until it is reproduced.

- Tacoma, WA, USA

problem #8

Dec 092003

Expedition 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 14,723 miles
During a recent trip to denver, the temperature dropped below 20 degrees and the back-up warning began malfunctioning. At the same time, the advance trac light illuminated and although I cycled the switch, the system would not come online. The back-up warning system either emitted a constant tone, even though nothing was behind me or I could get right next to something and it failed to alarm. I took the vehicle into the dealer where I purchased the vehicle and was told that since it is an intermittant problem that only occurs when it is cold, that there is nothing that they could do, as their shops are heated to about 68 degrees. This vehicle also experiences problems with the side mirrors moving of their own Accord. The direction is not isolated to a single direction. Sometimes they move up and other times down. Mostly with the passenger side, but it has happened in both. In some cases it is only a minor change and at other times it is quite drastic. The dealer states that the minor changes are because I sit in the seat differently each time I sit in the vehicle and the major changes in settings cannot be duplicated and therefore, they cannot fix it. Aside from this, I asked the dealer if there were any outstanding recalls and was told no. According to the vehicle page that they provide, there are 8 recalls for this vehicle and they claim that they have notifed me of these recalls. The recalls are: 01V310000, 02V154000, 02V018008, 02V317000, 03V074000, 03V094000, 03V251000, 03V317000, and 03V362000. When I look these up on your site, they show that they do not belong to my vehicle as most are for rvs, which makes this all the more confusing.

- Fountain, CO, USA

problem #7

Dec 112003

Expedition 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,000 miles
Within 1,000 miles the back up sensor rang when ever you put the car into reserve - has been serviced three times still does it today. Within 5,000 the mirrors would tilt too far to the outside then pop as they tried to continue to move further outside. Within 18,000 1)advancetrac light came cause the right front brake to lock up when turning left and the left front brake to lock up when turning right. Engine was shutting down going traveling at 70 mph. Transmission would not change out to next gear until very high RPM. Pop and clicking noises from under the dash (front passanger and drive side). Engine would not start. - authorized Ford blue oval repair center has replaced 2 ABS modules, the battery, made repairs to the wiring harness, replaced two other computer modules. Car was in the shop for three weeks and returned three times. Vehicle is still not correct.

- Columbus, GA, USA

problem #6

Sep 082003

(reported on)

Expedition 8-cyl

  • miles
There is a rattling noise in passenger side door. And at time it is hard to close. When the vehicle reached 43 mph a humming noise could be heard. The humming continued when the vehicle reached 59-72 mph. The technicians replaced the drive shaft twice but the noise continued. There was a roaring noise which came from the wheel area. The dealer adjusted the park brake shoes. The was noise the steering wheel was turn right or left. The technician added a wheel additive. The passenger door was difficult to close. The dealer adjusted the striker. The front windshield weather strip was loose. The dealer resealed it. The was rattling in the center of the dash. The dealer removed and reinstalled a cluster and reinstalled the insulation. The driver side seat belt twisted.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

Read the next 5 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?