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2003 Ford Explorer
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.
Worst 2003 Explorer drivetrain Problems
Click on a problem below to read more.
- rear axle noise39
- rear end noise21
- loud noise from the front end9
- rear differential failure8
- transfer case/4 wheel drive problems8
- fluid dripping from the rear differential5
- dripping fluid from the front axle1
- front differential failure1
- front differential making a knocking noise1
- NHTSA: Power Train107
- NHTSA: Power Train: Driveline: Differential Unit28
- NHTSA: Power Train: Axle Assembly24
- NHTSA: Power Train: Driveline9
- NHTSA: Power Train: Transfer Case (4-Wheel Drive)7
- NHTSA: Power Train: Axle Assembly: Axle Shaft: Seal6
- NHTSA: Power Train: Driveline: Driveshaft5
- NHTSA: Power Train: Axle Assembly: Axle Shaft2
- NHTSA: Power Train: Axle Hubs2
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Compare Ford Explorer Model Years
Curious how the 2003 Explorer compares to other years?
Check out our Ford Explorer overview to see the most problematic years, worst problems and most recently reported complaints with the Explorer.