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hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 6
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
83,592 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2003 Ford Expedition Owner Comments (Page 2 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #50

Nov 072010


  • 58,000 miles


On 11/7/10 traveling home with my family in my 2003 Ford Expedition I heard a loud bang thought I blew a tire. I started smelling a strong odor of gas. The car started to misfire. I pulled it over to make sure it wasn't on fire. Turns out a spark plug blew out of the engine. Found out threw some research on the internet that this is a on going problem with Ford. Why are they not standing behind there product. I've heard it is a design flaw with the spark plugs not having enough thread on them. I am very disappointed. This is going to cost me somewhere around $3000 to get fixed. I bought this truck new from the dealer. I only have 58,000 miles on it to me this is still a new truck something has got to be done they do know that there was a design flaw because in 2004 they changed the design. Shame on Ford. An american made vehicle.this should be recalled and Ford should make good on there product.

- Farmingdale, NY, USA

problem #49

Sep 042010


  • 85,017 miles
2003 Ford Expedition spark plug blew out of head at 85K miles. Ford dealership acknowledged that it sees 2 spark plug blow outs a month and Ford is aware of the problem in 2003 Expedition. Repaired with a Ford fix - heliacoil or liner installed into head for damaged spark plug. For true fix, Ford needs to replace the head and spark plugs to ensure that other spark plugs don't come unthreaded as mileage increases.

- Maple Grove, MN, USA

problem #48

Mar 202010


  • 120,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Expedition. While driving approximately 65 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The contact was able to restart the vehicle as it operated as normal. The failure recurred approximately 5 months later. While attempting a turn at approximately 20 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The contact was able to restart the vehicle after twenty minutes. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic but the failure could not be duplicated and the mechanic was unable to produce any failure codes. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 120,000 and the current mileage was 127,000.

- Discovery Bay, CA, USA

problem #47

Aug 112010


  • 88,546 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Ford Expedition. The contact stated that while driving approximately 55 mph the vehicle began to smoke inside of the engine compartment and vehicle. The vehicle also made a loud noise and would stall. The vehicle was towed to a Ford dealer who stated that a spark plug melted into the engine and that the vehicle needed a new engine. The dealer stated that the contact would be responsible for the repair cost. Ford Motor Company stated that there was nothing they could do. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileages were 88,546.

- San Jose , CA, USA

problem #46

Jul 222010


  • 79,000 miles
I was driving my 2003 Expedition O the highway with my family in the car, all of a sudden the Jeep just cut right off no warning anything I hit my blinkers to come on try and cut it on again and it did but again cut right back off. I had to continue cutting on and cutting on constantly until I got it to the side of the road. It was the scariest moment of my life this could have caused a serious accident injuring not only my family but other people on the highway. When I take the Jeep to the mechanic he states that this is a problem a lot of people complain of and Ford will no take responsibility for it. Ford build this Jeep this way so people can only return to Ford for the repairs which cost a lot. The coils on the Jeep were white and rusted because the way this Jeep was but is very difficult to get to them a mechanic literally has to move the motor or motor parts toget to it. Ford has this problem as a recall on other Ford vehicles but will not honor this as a recall for the 2003 Expedition.

- Claymont, DE, USA

problem #45

Jul 222010


  • 94,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Expedition. While the contact's wife was driving at 60mph the engine failed. The engine over heated. She was able to pull over on the side of the road. The vehicle was towed to the contact's home. The contact diagnosed the vehicle himself, he located the failure at the number seven factory plug it ejected causing the vehicle to overheat. The manufacturer was contacted, but he didn'tT received a response. The vehicle was serviced. The failure mileage was 94,000 and the current mileage was 94, 2000.

- Milroy , PA, USA

problem #44

Jul 212010


  • 105,002 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Ford Expedition, eddie bauer edition. The contact stated the vehicle unexpectedly exploded while parked in front of her place of residence. The contact stated the vehicle and the front yard of her home was engulfed in flames and smoke. The fire department advised that the fire originated from the engine. A fire report was available. The contact stated there was severe damages done to her garage and a large portion of the exterior of her home. The vehicle was destroyed. The failure and current mileages were 105,002.

- Lawton, OK, USA

problem #43

Jun 132010


  • 85,000 miles
Spark plug ejecting from my 2003 Ford Expedition 5.4 Triton engine. 3rd plug that has shot out.

- Newtown, CT, USA

problem #42

Aug 132009


  • 49,688 miles
I have an 2003 Ford Expedition SUV, the spark plug in the #3 cylinder head pops out every 5-8K miles. Resulting in a loss of power, per the 3 dealerships I have spoken to as well as the B.a.R Ford is aware of this problem and refuses to fix it. Per the B.a.R. it is an casting/manufacturing defect. Im worried that I will be on the freeway and loose power, and get in an accident due to not being able to exit the free way under my own power. The problem goes back to the 2000 model year. I have had the car worked on at the Ford dealership 2 times to correct this issue, and it is currently broken again. The dealer ship refuses to fix it as an warranty on their repair done on 8/13/09 or as an factory defect from Ford direct. Don't know where else to turn, any help or direction would be greatly appreciated. [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- San Jose , CA, USA

problem #41

Apr 132010


  • 63,000 miles
I own a 2003 5.4L Ford Expedition ed bauer with 63,000 miles. My 2003 Ford Expedition very recently blew the #3 spark plug in May 2010. I purchased the Expedition in 2006 with only 14,000 miles. The spark plugs on the vehicle are the original spark plugs from the factory and have not been replaced. The Expedition started making a knocking sound. On may way home from work, as I tuned into the freeway entrance, the engine made a loud popping sound followed by a rattling soung. I continued to operate the vehicle for approximately 3 miles and then exit the freeway. There was also a smell of gasoline coming from the engine. Since I was not far from the Ford service center (galpin Ford in North hills, ca.), I continued to operate the vehicle to the service center for repair. A day later I received a call from the service technician indicating that the #3 spark plug blew out of the head. The technician mentioned that the enginene needed a new head since they could not repair the problem. Total parts and labor...$3834. After reading comments from this website, this is clearly a manufacturer defect that should not continue to be overlooked by Ford.

- Granada Hills, CA, USA

problem #40

Apr 302010

Expedition 4WD 6-cyl

  • 101,000 miles


2003 Ford Expedition spark plug blowed out and broke the coil and damaged the threads.

- Lansing, NC, USA

problem #39

Apr 192010

Expedition 8-cyl

  • 79,850 miles
We own a 2003 Ford Expedition eddie bauer. In January 2009, we had a "misfire" in the #6 spark plug and was advised to change all of the spark plugs - which we did. Since that time, we've had 3 other "misfires" in the #6, #8 and #7 spark plugs. Each time a repair is made, there is a misfire in another spark plug within 3 months of the repair. On 4/19/2010, the number 4 sparkplug blew completely out of the engine upon starting the car. We have had the vehicle serviced regularly at the Ford dealer and all repairs have been made by the Ford dealer. We've been told that Ford knows of the design defect in their engines and it is a regular problem with the V8 engines in the Ford trucks and they are choosing to do nothing about it. We have spent well over $3000 total to fix all of these issues. Why isn't Ford standing behind their product - are they waiting for a injury or worse, a fatality in order to issue a recall?

- Newtown Square, PA, USA

problem #38

Mar 072010


  • 112,800 miles
I have a 2003 Ford Expedition with the Triton 5.4L engine. I had the spark plug eject from the #7 cylinder. In my case the garage that I took it to had to remove the cylinder head to helicoil the cylinder. It took 5 weeks to get my truck back and cost over $1200 to fix. I had to replace 2 coil packs, a spark plug, the head gasket, intake and exhaust manifold gaskets, oil pan gasket, valve cover gasket and timing chain gasket.

- Dover , PA, USA

problem #37

Mar 112010


  • 112,000 miles
My 2003 Ford Expedition threw a spark plug.

- Greenup, KY, USA

problem #36

Feb 182010


  • 108,780 miles
I was stopped at a light. I went to go and I heard a pop, so I went under the hood and I could see the last spark plug in the rear on the passenger side firing.

- Riverhead, NY, USA

problem #35

Feb 042010


  • 69,000 miles
My husband was driving his 2003 Ford Expedition on the way home from work on Feb.4,2010. He heard a bang and smelled a small vapor of gas along with the truck not running very well. He made it home safely to find that spark plug blew through the head!! we went online to see about this problem, and what could be done. He has only 69,000 miles on it and he is the original owner and takes care to keep up on everyday mainentance. I have made phone calls to no avail--Ford cistomer relationship center told me to take it to the dealer or reputable service center. This is not covered under any warranty at all!! so I am going further with this because if you go to get it fixed--(a) it could happen again and (B) a fire could start, and (C) very expensive to get fixed. We have read many other consumers have had this same problem but Ford does'nt want to help out. This is a safety issue that needs to be addressed before worse scenarios happen with possible deaths. To make matters worse, I own a 2004 F-150 and have read stories of it happening in those engines too!

- Newport, MI, USA

problem #34

Jan 022010


  • 108,000 miles
2003 Ford Expedition spark plug blew out of cylinder head. Apparently a common problem that needs to be readdressed.

- Chappaqua, NY, USA

problem #33

Feb 012010


  • 82,421 miles
My Ford Expedition has less than 90,000 miles and the spark plug for #3 cylinder fell into the cylinder chamber thus the piston was hitting the spark plug, this repair can cost as much $1800...for a spark plug that cost around $5 on a SUV that cost $50,000... this could have caused a fire since the piston was pushing into the engine compartment, a fuel air mixture, plus, the presence of electrical spark are a perfect mixture for a fire... !!! I was charged $ $689 for a tow back to my home. I want this problem to be addressed by Ford asap before someone loses their life!!!! a recall is in order! I want Ford to pay for my repair and towing bill because this is an engineering flaw and it is extremely hazardous!!! contact me please! I hope this can helps other Expedition owners.

- Tehachapi, CA, USA

problem #32

Sep 302009

Expedition 8-cyl

  • 95,786 miles
My 2003 Expedition, with the V8 5.4 trition engine, is being declined to be fixed by local Ford dealerships, due to the fact of the "known" issue, with the spark plug, they want me to pay for the fix of the heli coil which isn't a guarantee and then hope it works, if not it will be a rebuilt engine, the first time the spark plug blew it was at night, upon starting, sounded like gun fire, had vehicle towed and then researched it on the internet for solutions, found out what it was and then replaced the spark plug and ignition coil and then hoped it would stay, upon starting it, it did it again, bought more spark plugs and ignition coils, and got it to seat better, and then 4 weeks to the day while driving is when it made the same sound like gun fire and we knew then what it was, pulled over on a highway and proceeded to look and see what damage had been done, once again a spark plug and a new ignition coil, however this time the spark plug was vastly discolored and burnt in appearance, 1 week and 1 day later upon starting it does it again, and this time no spark plug can be put in, there are no more threads is what I was told by my mechanic, they told be they will have to remove the engine to put the heli coil in, and that isn't a guaranteed fix, also that I should just replace the engine, since it can and probably will continue to happen again, I had the auto towed to my residence and I began to research my options, I called all the Ford dealerships in which they said they could do the heli and there is not a guarantee for this to work, so at what cost is a human life to Ford? per the info and research it does say that it can catch fire, and explode.....or pay a fortune for a car that can't be fixed. We do have some of 6 the spark plugs that have "shot" out, I am told because it is the 3rd plug near the firewall that the angle is not now!

- Albuquerque, NM, USA

problem #31

Oct 062009


  • 100,070 miles
2003 Ford Expedition spark plug # 2 blown out.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

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