If you find CarComplaints.com is helpful ... We rely completely on word of mouth. Talk about us on Facebook, Twitter, tell your mother-in-law. Help us help more people.

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.

7.8

pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
$150.00
Average Mileage:
62,890 miles
Total Complaints:
10 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (10 reports)
2003 Ford Explorer AC / heater problems

AC / heater problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2003 Ford Explorer:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2003 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #10

Oct 012010

Explorer XLT 4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

This last year has been hell with this car. This was a first of many problems. I started hearing a clicking sound when I changed the air blend to cold. It made a load slamming noise and I thought that was the end of the problem. The more I had to change the blend the worse it got. Finally I had no heat! I went online and found out what had happened and the cost of the repair is to outrages to pay just to fix a small plastic gear that ford couldn't design right in the first place!! I found a manual lever on one side of the Blend box. Held it in place and turned the nob to hot. It stays there but as soon as you move it back to cold you're screwed!

- , Pueblo West, CO, USA

problem #9

May 272009

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

Why does Ford make cars with rear AC/Heat, if the controls or components are not going to last? This car is almost new condition inside. It has been taken care of. Now, no fan in the rear AC?. The rear AC option was extra on this model. Never again.

- , Rio Rancho, NM, USA

problem #8

Jul 012009

Explorer LXT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,000 miles

Air conditioner would only worked occasionally. On the hottest days it would not cool the car.

- , Santee, CA, USA

problem #7

Jul 262009

Explorer Eddie Bauer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

On a 90 minute drive I had the a/c on auto and it was working fine for about an hour - then then it just stopped blowing out the dash vents. I could hear it blowing, but it wasn't coming out the vents. It sounded as if it was blowing under the dash on the passenger side, but very little cool air was coming out from under the dash.

I changed the settings to manual and turned it up high, and it was just roaring, but still no air coming into the cabin. I continued to my destination and turned the car off, when I came back 1/2 later it worked fine. I made a few more short trips with no problem. When I drove back home the same thing happened after about an hour. Again after a stop of about 45 minutes it worked fine.

Does anyone know what this could be. I read a few stories about a blend door actuator - does this sound like that problem? I found a site that explains how to fix that myself, but it's a lot of work so I don't want to do it only to find out that wasn't the problem.

Any help would be appreciated !!!!

debnkev

- , Abbotsford, BC, Canada

problem #6

Apr 262009

Explorer Limited 4.6L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

Just one more issue to the long list - the air conditioning is going out! Should this be happening to a 5 year old car?

- , Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #5

Jun 012007

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,100 miles

Cooling system is faulty and should have been covered by extended warranty, had it checked several times and paid the $50.00 fee to have it checked and they claimed it worked...brought it back to the dealer again said it worked, had it fixed by an outside mechanic and it worked for 1 season and now it is broke again, really annoying!!!!!!!! The dealers mechanics are really hard to work with and the extended warranty, was really not worth the money!!!

- , Landing, NJ, USA

problem #4

Jan 162006

Explorer 4.0V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

I own a 2003 ford explorer and the AC don't work worth a flip. You have to put the sob on high for it to be comfortable, and then it's so loud you can't even hear yourself complain about it. My husband has charged it several times-nothing helps. we live in south Mississippi and the heat and humidity here is miserable. i will sell my car so my 2 children will not have a heat stroke just going to the grocery store. and i am not just complaining b/c it's hot. I'm not that vain. the Ac problem is just one of the many small stupid things that could be fixed easily if ford would actually care. I own 2 Fords and if I can help it I will never again. I try to buy American and look where I stand. I have owned foreign in the past and that is what i will go back to. sorry I tried!!!!

- , Moss Point, MS, USA

problem #3

Jun 132008

Explorer 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles

2 months after purchasing this car that i still luv (until the transmission goes) the ac stops working. and its not covered. i went to pepboys and they told it would cost either 1000 r 1200 to fix. i told them its going to be a hot summer

- , Marrero, LA, USA

problem #2

Jun 062003

Explorer 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 800 miles

While going on vacation in our "new" Ford Explorer we had just gotten two weeks prior, we noticed that the air wasn't coming out and water was running down into the floor board. Just about enough to make you want to scream.

- , Trafford, AL, USA

problem #1

Jun 122007

(reported on)

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.2L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles

I also turn on my ac and it is cold but no air comes out. When i turn all the way up to high it is so loud I can here the radio on low or talk on my cell phone. Even on high barley any cold air blows out. Please help it is getting hot out here. Can I change out my fan motor to a more robust model?

- , Cos Cob, CT, USA

Not what you are looking for?