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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.

7.7

pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
$347.00
Average Mileage:
65,373 miles
Total Complaints:
6 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replaced drums (6 reports)
2003 Ford Explorer brakes problems

brakes problem

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2003 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #6

Oct 042011

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 97,236 miles

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

I have to replace the brakes every 2 months!This seems to be a big problem when you are limited on money.

- , Terra Alta, WV, USA

problem #5

Feb 072011

Explorer EddieBauer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 104,000 miles

Last week 02/07/11 I heard some squick took the vehicle to the dealer for inspection, Surprise surprise, was told I have to change all pads and rotors front and back and that my strout or front springs may be bad.

This is my first time, I may have posted my very 1st note wrong. I should have been describing my transmission not the molding.

- , Dayton, OH, USA

problem #4

Sep 102010

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles

Had to replace brakes and rotors again, This time did not buy Ford cheap parts. Maybe now they will last!

- , Ashland, OH, USA

problem #3

Sep 012007

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,000 miles

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

Now again just 3 years later, ad 15000 miles, rotors and brakes again need replaced!

- , Ashland, OH, USA

problem #2

May 012009

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.0L V6 Flex Fuel

  • Automatic transmission
  • 51,000 miles

click to see larger images

brake drums had to be replaced brake drums had to be replaced

All four rotors were warped and had to be replaced at 50,000 miles. This shouldn't happen at this mileage mark. Original rotors were junk. Wrong alloys, venting, design, thickness...

- , Yarmouth Port, MA, USA

problem #1

Oct 012007

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles

Had the brakes checked out and found out that the drums needed replaced. The mechanic said it was very unusual for this problem on a car with low mileage.

- , Austin, TX, USA

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