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.

3.3

definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
40,804 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2003 Ford Explorer body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2003 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #6

Feb 232016

Explorer

  • 188,000 miles

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

The contact owns a 2003 Ford Explorer. The contact stated that the door ajar warning light illuminated, which caused the dome light to remain illuminated. The vehicle was not diagnosed nor repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 188,000.

- Chesapeake, VA, USA

problem #5

Jan 202008

Explorer 6-cyl

  • miles
Large crack appeared on hatch door below window. Many complaints on internet with same problem.

- Estill Springs, TN, USA

problem #4

Dec 292011

Explorer

  • 53,000 miles
Door adjar sensor fails in 2003 Ford Explorer its all over internet.

- Levittown , NY, USA

problem #3

Nov 242011

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • miles

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

I went to leave for work one morning & I noticed the rear panel was cracked. It wasn't like that the night before, so it literally happened overnight. My mechanic said it was cosmetic & common problem with these trucks. I was told the window would be fine, but there is a chance of the panel piece falling off. I haven't had it fixed yet due to the expense, but I am afraid a piece may fall off while driving which could injure someone. To add insult to injury, a week later, my transmission started slipping & the O/D light was flashing. I had it towed & sure enough, it had to be rebuilt. It also needed a new hub bearing and both front ball joints had to be replaced.

- Kings Park, NY, USA

problem #2

Dec 312003

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • miles
Numerous problem: Brakes, rear window opening, seat belt retraction, heater, rear defrost, body work, etc.. while braking the brake pedal went to the floor and caused extended stopping distance. The rear window hinge failed which caused the window to open while the consumer went through a car wash. The seat belt retracted slowly which caused the belt to become hooked onto the door lock system. As a result the passenger could not get out of the vehicle. The left wiper was not clearing the windshield. The left rear door would not close all the way unless it was slammed hard.

- Mountain Home, ID, USA

problem #1

Jun 122003

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 3,823 miles
While the consumer was driving at an undetermined speed engine check light appeared on the dash, causing the vehicle to stall. Consumer contacted dealer on four occasions, but problem still occurs. Consumer seeking or vehicle replacement reimbursement for repairs on engine, right rear door, and center console lid.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

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