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:
No data
Average Mileage:
35,500 miles
Total Complaints:
2 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. change door hinge design (1 reports)
  2. not sure (1 reports)
2003 Ford Explorer body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2003 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #2

May 312007

(reported on)

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles


lost hinge screws on one side of the hatch door. Stuck inside door panel.

- , Muskegon, MI, USA

problem #1

Mar 132003

(reported on)

Explorer Sport

  • 1,000 miles

My new 2003 Explorer Sport which cost alot of money has faulty door hinges. When you open the door it won't catch & hold. If on the very slightest incline the door will slam on you. This is a very important safety issue for me as I have small grandchildren that ride in my vehicle & I find this dangerous not to mention inconvenient. When I drive my daughter & grandchildren anywhere I have to hold the door open while she puts one child in the back & she holds the door while I put the other child in the back in their carseats. The car dealership service dept stated all the other 2 door Explorers have the same hinge & they can do nothing to fix it. I'm sure mini-van manufacturers said the same thing when sliding doors slammed on people. Does anyone else have this problem or care about it?

- , Pittsburgh, PA, USA

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