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.

8.0

pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
$108.00
Average Mileage:
40,333 miles
Total Complaints:
6 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. Ford needs many improvements (4 reports)
  2. not sure (2 reports)
2003 Ford Explorer accessories - interior problems

accessories - interior problem

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2003 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #6

Jun 062005

Explorer XLS 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 20,000 miles

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

Driver's side visor bracket disintegrated, since it seems to be made of, say, marzipan or animal cracker. The visor dangles and obstructs the driver's vision. I had to remove the defective visor in order to see.

I never bothered to buy the $100+ part (you need to buy the whole visor assembly from Ford), because there's no use buying a new part with exactly the same engineering flaws.

I'm going to try out this enterprising fellow's home-made solution, if it works for '03 models: http://ezclipsunvisorrepair.blogspot.com/

- , Falls Church, VA, USA

problem #5

May 182011

Explorer Limited V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

This is my THIRD time replacing these junky visors! Why hasn't Ford recalled these and offered to fix them. Mine falls repeatedly while I am driving blocking my vision! The visor is essential when driving into the sun every day!

- , Huntington Beach, CA, USA

problem #4

Jan 012008

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles

I purchased the Eddie Bauer Ford Explorer in 2003. Since that time starting in 2008 I have had to replace the driver's side visor 2 times. I called the dealership where I bought the SUV and was told there was no recall and then they ordered the part for me.

So they have a record of it. Now two weeks ago it had broken / cracked again. It is mounting bracket that is cracking

- , Alexandria, LA, USA

problem #3

Sep 182007

(reported on)

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles

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

Flappy broken visor! Yet another of this years Explorer issues. Will Ford fix anything out of warranty?

- , New Salem, PA, USA

problem #2

Apr 082007

(reported on)

Explorer XLS 4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 36,000 miles

Visor jammed and cracked

I got the vehicle when it was new. At 6,000 miles, the driver side visor started to make a loud squealing sound when every time I tried to flip it up and down. Then it started to jam up and it was cracked around the mounting plate of the visor.

When that became a major problem, I notified a dealer near by. They scheduled me to come back for a visor replacement. When I got it replaced about a year. The same problem came back again. I contacted a dealer near by and brought the car back for them to look at it. They told me that the visor is out of guarantee. This coverage seemed to be not so fair for me, so I decided to call Ford Customer Relation. The result was… 30 minutes at least on hold and they finally told me that the part is out of guarantee.

Well, then I had to pay a 100 dollars to purchase a new visor. Four months later exact, the visor went out again. This time I had to come back to a dealer for another replacement. Of course, I had it replaced for free of charge. But guess what? About four months later, it started to make a squealing sound and it jammed, cracked again. Then I was kind of very curious that I started to check the passenger side visor. The passenger side visor just has been worked fine since.

Unfortunately, I was so upset that I took it to another dealer that is close to where I am living now for another replacement. The dealer close to where I live refused to replace it for me and they told me that I have to bring it to the dealer where I purchased it. So frustration, I had to chat with the Ford Customer Relation again and finally they told me that I have to bring it to the dealer where I purchased it. Last year, I had to drive 40 miles from where I am living now to the dealer for the visor replacement.

Guess what? About a month ago, the visor got a squealing sound and got stuck again. I was so pissed off that I cut off the visor and found out that Ford did not lubricated it with any grease. So far, I had the other one that I had to open the cover and lubricated the mechanical handle with the white grease that I purchased from a Pepboy store. To anyone who read my post, do you think Ford has a policy to not let the customers to exchange guaranteed parts from different dealers? Do you think Ford needs the Ford Customer Relation Department at all? To me, I love the Ford’s designs, but when it comes down to the manufacturing, Ford does not do a very good job. Matter of fact, the Ford Customer Relation is so f'd up. If their people do not keep up with the customers’ demands, they will lose all in the future.

- , Stockton, CA, USA

problem #1

Apr 082007

(reported on)

Explorer XLS 4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 36,000 miles

Visor jammed and cracked

I got the vehicle when it was new. At 6,000 miles, the driver side visor started to make a loud squealing sound when every time I tried to flip it up and down. Then it started to jam up and it was cracked around the mounting plate of the visor. When that became a major problem, I notified a dealer near by. They scheduled me to come back for a visor replacement. When I got it replaced about a year. The same problem came back again. I contacted a dealer near by and brought the car back for them to look at it. They told me that the visor is out of guarantee. This coverage seemed to be not so fair for me, so I decided to call Ford Customer Relation. The result was… 30 minutes at least on hold and they finally told me that the part is out of guarantee. Well, then I had to pay a 100 dollars to purchase a new visor. Four months later exact, the visor went out again. This time I had to come back to a dealer for another replacement. Of course, I had it replaced for free of charge. But guess what? About four months later, it started to make a squealing sound and it jammed, cracked again. Then I was kind of very curious that I started to check the passenger side visor. The passenger side visor just has been worked fine since. Unfortunately, I was so upset that I took it to another dealer that is close to where I am living now for another replacement. The dealer close to where I live refused to replace it for me and they told me that I have to bring it to the dealer where I purchased it. So frustration, I had to chat with the Ford Customer Relation again and finally they told me that I have to bring it to the dealer where I purchased it. Last year, I had to drive 40 miles from where I am living now to the dealer for the visor replacement. Guess what? About a month ago, the visor got a squealing sound and got stuck again. I was so piss off that I cut off the visor and found out that Ford did not lubricated it with any grease. So far, I had the other one that I had to open the cover and lubricated the mechanical handle with the white grease that I purchased from a Pepboy store. To anyone who read my post, do you think Ford has a policy to not let the customers to exchange guaranteed parts from different dealers? Do you think Ford needs the Ford Customer Relation Department at all? To me, I love the Ford’s designs, but when it comes down to the manufacturing, Ford does not do a very good job. Matter of fact, the Ford Customer Relation is so f*ck up. If their people do not keep up with the customers’ demands, they will lost all in the future.

- , Stockton, CA, USA

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