pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
128,749 miles
Total Complaints:
69 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. ford should have a recall (56 reports)
  2. had the head re-threaded (7 reports)
  3. not sure (4 reports)
  4. replaced engine head (2 reports)
2003 Ford Expedition engine problems

engine problem

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2003 Ford Expedition Owner Comments (Page 1 of 4)

problem #69

Nov 052015

Expedition XLT 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 157,000 miles


So many people have had this problem. Ford should be required to repair/replace heads and/or reimburse any person who has had spark plugs blow out and be responsible until the vehicle is junked/destroyed. I have had 3 plugs blow out and it takes the coil with them, #1, #3 and lastly #7. I'm crossing my fingers and toes that there will be no more spark plug blow outs. It is apparent it is a design problem both in the heads and the spark plugs. I'm a former Ford light line mechanic and other current and former mechanics all agree it is Fords problem and should NOT be foisted on the consumer of their defective product at the consumers cost.

- , Mound, MN, USA

problem #68

Dec 122016

Expedition Eddie Bauer 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 117,000 miles

This is the second time this has happened, on a different cylinder this time. Last time I paid $604.37, this time I am figuring out what to do...

Pissed off. This is BS as you cannot trust this vehicle anymore, and with only 117K.. It should last a lot longer than that.

- , Pompano Beach, FL, USA

problem #67

Apr 052016

Expedition Eddie Bauer 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 138,704 miles

FORD should take responsibility for faulty aluminum heads and recall all fire danger is apparent and can be immediate. Heli coil is only temporary fix as this to will eventually weaken and blow due to head.

- , Bonita Springs, FL, US

problem #66

Sep 182015

Expedition Eddie Bauer 5.4L Triton

  • Automatic transmission
  • 180,000 miles


This is the third time I've had a plug blow out of a head since purchasing the vehicle(July of 2013). This time the cylinder had apparently(before me) had already had a helicoil installed so it blew out as well. So with no real easy way to fix it other than head job or buying a used motor that's good to replace it with, I still haven't got this fixed. Head job is to expensive in my opinion for me to do especially when I feel that Ford should have to fix this problem since there has been many cases other than my 3 experiences that are the same problem. If I can find a good used motor to replace it I will but otherwise I don't see dropping over $2,000 into this motor that ford should have to fix. Either way that I get it running it will be gone once its fixed and I no longer or will ever own a Ford again.

- , Maynardville, TN, USA

problem #65

Jul 042015

Expedition Eddie Bauer 5.4L Triton

  • Automatic transmission
  • 180,000 miles

I was heading to vacation destination with my wife and 3 children. The spark plug blew out(not sure which cylinder) and left us stranded 50 miles from our destination. It was July 4 so there wasn't any garages open at the time. I had to Get other family members to come get us(they had went on ahead of us to destination). This all happened on a Saturday. The following Monday while we were still on vacation my father-in-law and I had to drive 50 miles back to where I had to leave my vehicle to get it and take it to a repair shop where the service they gave me was outstanding and fair priced(they helped make a bad situation a little bit better). The point of me saying all of that is....the fact that hasn't had a recall with all of the problems that I've read about since this happened to me is just ridiculous. If they had a recall this probably wouldn't have to me and many others. I think Ford should be held accountable and have to fix these problems.

- , Maynardville, TN, USA

problem #64

Mar 022015

Expedition Eddie Bauer 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 142,000 miles

Been buying Ford cars and trucks since 1972. This Expedition will be the LAST Ford vehicle I will buy and I will encourage all family members and friends to avoid Ford vehicles from now on. This problem would have been very easy for Ford to identify and redesign the heads, between the years 1997 and 2008. It should have been eliminated as a problem by 1999-2000. Absolutely no excuse for this problem lasting for eleven model years.

- , La Porte, IN, US

problem #63

Jul 072015


  • Automatic transmission
  • 159,000 miles


I have rebuilt engine, replaced every part you can think of and now the spark plug blew and I cannot get another one in. So for 3 months I have been without a car. This car has been nothing but problem and the Ford dealership that I used only cause more problems.

- , Manchester, NH, USA

problem #62

Nov 062015

Expedition EB 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 180,000 miles

This is the third time, twice in one week! I didn't know this was a major problem until I researched it! Ford just make it a recall before someone gets hurt! Be loyal to your old and new customers and Ford will continue to be a front runner in the automotive industry! Ford hear our plea for your success! Without the consumer, where would Ford be?

- , Athens, GA, USA

problem #61

Nov 272015

Expedition Eddie Bauer 4.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 247,000 miles

Now that I found out about this on going problem with Fords...It disgust me!!!...Ford needs an immediate recall to permanently fix this problem and STOP DANCING AROUND IT!!!

- , Leonard, TX, USA

problem #60

Dec 122015

Expedition 5.4L Triton

  • Automatic transmission
  • 205,000 miles

I just experienced a problem with my Ford Triton motor where the spark plug will eject from the aluminum cylinder head. I have a 2003 Ford Expedition that experienced this on Saturday. I was driving home from Wal-mart with my family in the truck, we turned a corner and my heart stopped! It sounded like I was involved in machine gun fire. I pulled over immediately and looked. Couldn't initially see anything. My husband checked under the truck thinking it was exhaust related. We were luckily, only two blocks from home so we were able to get it home and into the driveway.

My husband began trying to diagnose the problem and I took to the internet. He took the engine cover off and discovered the spark plug missing and the coil wire broken off and sparking. Long story short, it seems that we have experienced the situation where the cylinder head has stripped on the one spark plug. We have begun looking into ways to fix the situation but it seems Ford has not deemed this to be an issue. Truly don't understand how so many people can report the exact same happenings and no one will do anything about it..... Merry Stinkin Christmas!!!

We are reaching out to our local Ford dealer but am pretty sure they are going to tell us we are crap out of luck and will fall on us to repair if we choose.

- , Dover, DE, USA

problem #59

Aug 262015

Expedition Eddie Baue

  • 160,045 miles


Just ticked over 160k on my 03 Expedition and had the number 3 plug blow out the threads. Have heard that Ford says the replacement plugs could be over torqued....I changed the plugs at 103,000 miles so you can't tell me the truck went 57k on a faulty torque. I had a helicoil put in it and have heard they can be a cheap fix that lasts...could also blow out again. The helicoil was about $500 all said and done... $300 for the helicoils kit, $50 for coil plug, plus labor. The other option is $1,800 or so to have the cylinder heads replaced.

I've had this truck for almost 8 years and have had VERY few issues out of it. I wanted to keep this truck for 4 or 5 more years but now I'm wondering if I should start looking for something else....thought about an f150, but they have the same motor. Should I switch to Chevy after almost a decade of dedicated service from this truck?? I literally just bought a house less than a month ago so I know I can't get approved for an auto loan, at least not one south of 15% interest.

- , Fort Walton Beach, FL, USA

problem #58

Sep 152015

Expedition Eddie Bauer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 179,123 miles

SECOND SPARK PLUG TO BLOW OUT!!!! See other rant about fuse box and FIRST spark plug. I'm done! So done!

- , Winchester, KY, USA

problem #57

Apr 032015

Expedition Eddie Bauer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 170,125 miles

I will never, ever buy another Ford product!!!! I have had the fuse box go out and now my second spark plug has ejected, all in the last 5 months. I have always driven older vehicles and NEVER felt like I couldn't go anywhere I wanted. I had no problems taking off and driving 400 miles on a whim. Now it's been a crap shoot this year if I make it to work. I'm a single mom (widowed) with two young daughters. I barely make it, but I do and without any kind of government help. I work full time, run my kids around and care for my place and my older sister's farm. I don' t have the time, the money, or the inclination to put up with this garbage. I don't have anyone to come get me every time this POS quits on me. I have been towed 4 times in the last 5 months. Shame on Ford for knowing about this problem and doing nothing. I tried defending Ford for a long time when my friends made fun of me. No more! I will tell everyone I know to NEVER buy a Ford.

- , Winchester, KY, USA

problem #56

Sep 302015

Expedition XLT 4.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

This is a obvious issue. Spark plug blowout. They need a recall. This is wrong how they have not recalled it.

Step up Ford. Man up. With the millions dollars Ford profits and they can't fix a issue with their poor design?

I'm a hard working father of 2, last thing I need is this issue.

- , Clearwater, FL, USA

problem #55

Aug 302015

Expedition XLT 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 153,772 miles

I hear what sounded like an exhaust leak for a week or so. Nothing major. Actually it sound quite minor, like a pinhole leak in the exhaust system. Is it related? Unsure but I will say the timing is suspect. It's been hard since I've installed helicoils so any advice is greatly appreciated.

- , Houston, TX, US

problem #54

Mar 012015


  • Automatic transmission
  • 180,000 miles

On the way back home to Arkansas from Vegas..spark plugs blew..leaving carload of 6 stranded on highway in Texas.. had to replace all plugs, coil, casing, etc..fast forward 30 days later..taking kids to school...same exact thing happened..30 DAYS LATER!!!! FORD NEEDS TO RECALL!!!!!!!!!!!

- , Bentonville, AR, USA

problem #53

Feb 012014

Expedition Eddie Bauer 5.4L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 126,779 miles

Fix the problem, it's a defect from the manufacturer, these are still factory installed plugs.

- , Saint Helens, OR, USA

problem #52

Aug 012012

Expedition Eddie Bauer 5.4L Triton V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles

I called Ford Customer Service to discuss.They informed me that they could do nothing to assist with this situation and that they did not see it as an issue, as there were no recalls.

There is no need to rant, the next time I pay cash for a $50K+ car, it will be a different brand. That is the consumers only recourse.

- , Bourbonnais, IL, USA

problem #51

Sep 082014

Expedition XLT 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,880 miles

First off, I am a young single mother with VERY little income with health issues that could bring a giant to his knees pain wise and now a cancer scare. I bought this car to be more "reliable" than my previous car, and it had the seat room as well. My daughter has to be seen in Madera CA for one of her CP and LA for her craniofacial appointments. Now, I dropped my kids off at school which are all in kindergarten (twins and a child i am raising), which is across the street from where I live, I get in the car, and make it maybe 50 when the car starts to jerk and sound like a motorcycle. I am about to lose my ever loving mind. I have my youngest in the car who is three. luckily there were two guys that were working at the warehouse across the street. They looked at my car and said the spark plug had blown out of the head and that the coil or distributor was now shot out. I buy all new spark plugs, and a new coil. Which by the way, we only replaced that one because we could only hand tighten it, don't know if there is a socket made for Fords in this particular department. But we get the parts changed and i turn it on. Its ok. I turn it off because my neighbor helping me said since its only hand tightened that it is not wise to take it too far or drive excessively. So I didn't touch the car... Until today. I turned on the car for the first time after testing it and the coil is out of the boot and I am back to square one. I WANT THIS FIXED. I have stuck with Fords since I could drive, and this is what I get... Thank you FORD. Thank you for taking advantage of a mother who is barely making it, not knowing if her electricity is going to be paid. Now I get to deal with THIS.

- , Bakersfield, CA, USA

problem #50

Jan 212014

Expedition Eddie B 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 129,500 miles


- , boise, ID, USA

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