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.


definitely annoying
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
75,000 miles
Total Complaints:
1 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace pinion seal (1 reports)
2003 Ford Explorer drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2003 Ford Explorer:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2003 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #1

Apr 152009

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles


No major problems with my Explorer until now. The ride is noticeably rougher, so I took into to an independent garage to get the wheels aligned and hoped for the best. I was told that there were several problems that needed attention, including a broken pinnon drive seal. Associated problems included the left rear wheel bearing, left front wheel bearing, rear brakes and rotors, and a new transmission solenoid. All together $1,800 worth of repairs. I need the vehicle and am getting everything fixed, but I am not a happy camper with Ford. These seem like a lot of problems to have to take care of...

- , Munster, IN, USA

Not what you are looking for?