- November 18: Ford Fusions Recalled So They Don't Roll Away
- November 23: Ford Explorer Exhaust Fumes Lawsuit Still Breathing
- November 4: Ford Recalls 202,000 Vehicles For Numerous Defects
- October 30: Ford Recalls 205,000 SUVs That Can Catch Fire
- October 17: Ford Recalls 2015 Mustang to Fix Seat Belt Buckle Assembly
2003 Ford Explorer
Problems & Complaints
CarComplaints.com Notes: The 2003 Ford Explorer one of our worst vehicles 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.
Worst 2003 Explorer Problems by Category
Click on a category below for details. Help?
- body / paint problems565NHTSA complaints: 333
- transmission problems431NHTSA complaints: 161
- wheels / hubs problems166NHTSA complaints: 63
- interior accessories problems104NHTSA complaints: 19
- drivetrain problems87NHTSA complaints: 157
- AC / heater problems84NHTSA complaints: 5
- engine problems69NHTSA complaints: 100
- windows / windshield problems55NHTSA complaints: 37
- brakes problems24NHTSA complaints: 43
- electrical problems13NHTSA complaints: 39
- suspension problems12NHTSA complaints: 63
- seat belts / air bags problems8NHTSA complaints: 46
- exterior accessories problems6NHTSA complaints: 35
- lights problems5NHTSA complaints: 6
- cooling system problems3NHTSA complaints: 5
- steering problems3NHTSA complaints: 22
- fuel system problems2NHTSA complaints: 13
- clutch problems1NHTSA complaints: 3
- miscellaneous problemsNHTSA: 23
- exhaust system problemsNHTSA: 4
A D V E R T I S E M E N T S
Stay Up to Date
Compare Ford Explorer Model Years
Curious how the 2003 Explorer compares to other years?
Check out our Ford Explorer overview to see the most problematic years, worst problems and most recently reported complaints with the Explorer.