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.

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.

7.0

pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
$800.00
Average Mileage:
95,583 miles
Total Complaints:
4 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. pay $800 to have the dashboard taken apart, and a new heater (3 reports)
  2. not sure (1 reports)
2003 Ford Explorer AC / heater problems

AC / heater problem

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2003 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #4

Jan 122009

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 83,333 miles

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

It would be nice to have heat when it is cold.

Should be an easier way to get this taken care of then to take the whole dash board apart.

- , Columbia, SC, USA

problem #3

Oct 012013

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

The heater doesn't work on this stupid vehicle. If the temperature knob is turned the least little bit toward the heating side- no hot air is blowing out and there's a truly annoying, thumping sound. My husband and I have gone online and have found that this is actually a VERY common problem with the Ford Explorer and the only options are to get it fixed at a cost of $800.00 or perform the work around by going through the glove box to manually get the stupid thing to blow heat. I will never buy another Ford again because it's stupid stuff like this that always tick me off with Fords. I refuse now to buy Chevys and Dodge products because of the government bailout so I guess I am stuck buying foreign cars that are more reliable and are a lot less annoying... like my 98 Honda Accord.

- , Quinton, VA, USA

problem #2

Apr 042010

Explorer LXT 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

I HAVE 2003. I LOVE MY CAR .I WISH FORD WILL HEAR US ALL.FIX THE PROBLEMS.FORD CARS NEED TO LOOK GOOD ON THE ROAD..MY PROBLEMS ARE THE SAME AS OTHERS.HEATER/AC MAKING BANGING SOUNDS.BACK PANELS UNDER BACK WINDOW CRACKED 2 TIMES.SIDE BLACK PANELS BETWEEN THE DOOR FADED.TRANSMISSION PROBLEMS .I CALLED ABOUT THESE PROBLEMS.THERE ARE NO RECALLS .NO.ANSWER.FORD I HOPE YOU READ THIS .HELP US ALL.

- , Downey, CA, USA

problem #1

Mar 032008

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 69,000 miles

When you turn the heater on, there was a loud banging sound. We took it to our local Ford dealer, and they said this was a common problem. They wanted in excess of $900 to fix the problem. They said it's a 8 hour job, as they have to take the whole dash apart. Seems like this was engineered to screw the consumer ! Well, we took the Explorer to our local repair shop (Not Ford dealer), and he fixed it for $800. Our mechanic said that it was the worst design he ever saw. This is another Ford attempt to screw the public, and up revenue for Ford dealer service!

- , Minden, NV, USA

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