- April 11: Ford Recalls 435,000 Escapes For Rusted Subframes
- March 4: Ford Agrees to Fix 1,600,000 Cars That 'Limp Home'
- February 8: Ford Wants Class-Action Lawsuit Thrown Out
- February 6: Congrats Chrysler! Most Recalls of 2013
- February 5: Investigation Closed Into Steering Gear Problems in Ford Trucks
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. Want help understanding this graph?
- body / paint problems540NHTSA complaints: 326
- transmission problems419NHTSA complaints: 161
- wheels / hubs problems162NHTSA complaints: 62
- drivetrain problems86NHTSA complaints: 149
- AC / heater problems79NHTSA complaints: 5
- electrical problems62NHTSA complaints: 39
- engine problems58NHTSA complaints: 98
- interior accessories problems51NHTSA complaints: 19
- windows / windshield problems46NHTSA complaints: 37
- brakes problems24NHTSA complaints: 43
- suspension problems12NHTSA complaints: 63
- exterior accessories problems7NHTSA complaints: 33
- seat belts / air bags problems5NHTSA complaints: 45
- cooling system problems3NHTSA complaints: 5
- fuel system problems3NHTSA complaints: 11
- lights problems3NHTSA complaints: 6
- steering problems3NHTSA complaints: 21
- miscellaneous problems2NHTSA complaints: 22
- clutch problems1NHTSA complaints: 3
- 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.