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. 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.


really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
70,500 miles
Total Complaints:
2 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace compressor (2 reports)
2003 Ford Explorer AC / heater problems

AC / heater problem

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2003 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #2

Jun 052015

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,000 miles


The compressor was shot and shavings were everywhere on the system. Had to service the whole thing and it was a double A/C. Had to change the compressor, filters, condenser and gaskets. for a car that has a double A/C it should come with a more potent compressor. Summer here spikes to 130s IN THE SHADE, engineers should consider rough weather conditions for this type of car.

- , Calexico, CA, USA

problem #1

Jul 072011

Explorer V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,000 miles

Ford wanted over $2000.00 for a new compressor & all the parts including labor. I had to resort to another shop!

- , Lancaster, TX, USA

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