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.

8.3

pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
135,373 miles
Total Complaints:
6 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (5 reports)
  2. driver door ground wire broken (1 reports)
2003 Ford Explorer electrical problems

electrical 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 #6

Dec 232014

Explorer Sport V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 224,000 miles

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

OK, so I have a 2003 Ford Explorer Sport and it is pretty old and has 224,000 miles, but it has been taken very good care of and has held up pretty good for it's lifetime with repairs here and there. I haven't really had any problems in a while and then all of a sudden on Christmas Eve I was coming down a hill and the car just slowly all of a sudden died on me and lost all power, brakes locked up..not even the e-brake worked! I turned the car off and started it back up again and it started just fine. The battery and check engine light came on temporarily so I figured it was a dead battery.

I got my battery tested and that seemed to be fine so I have no idea because i had just gotten my alternator replaced a few years ago as well so that should be ok. The car died once more in the middle of traffic on the way home, but again i turned the car off and restarted and made it home. I drove again coming home from work on the highway and the car jerked like i stepped on my brakes real hard, but made it almost home then died completely again. Now this is extremely scary! I called out of work because i didn't want to have to drive the highway and have my car die randomly and get killed! I went down the road real quick for breakfast and on the way back my car died yet again, check engine light and battery light came back on real quick. I shut the car off and back on again and it got me back home, but i am so nervous to drive anywhere far....any ideas???

Previous to this problem my car has been having what seems to be electrical issues..above the mirror the temperature does not display anymore, but that little green light will still flash on and off sometimes. I always make sure the e-brake it off, but the light will stay on most of the time and when i turn my headlights off my lights flash on and off if the car is still running..

- , Southington, CT, USA

problem #5

Dec 232013

Explorer XLT 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 106,700 miles

Bought car with many problems and was able to work through them. The door locks, power windows and power mirrors were not working. I was able to track down a broken ground wire in the driver door. This took care of all these at once.

- , Cambridge, OH, USA

problem #4

Mar 152014

Explorer XLT

  • CVT transmission
  • 156,000 miles

Acts like battery is dead, only in the morning. Starts fine in the middle of the length of time parked. Doesn't matter,replaced battery, starter,ignition switch, starter relay. Also, interior lights and head lights don't work on automatic, have to turn dimmer switch off to turn off interior lights. Interior lights coming on by themselves,abs light is on ,4x4 high light flashes most of the time, radio shorts in and out ,spit out cds by itself at start up, and now cd player won't work at all. Any help on these issues would be greatly appreciated thank you MJ

- , Parkersburg, WV, USA

problem #3

Mar 152014

Explorer XLT

  • CVT transmission
  • 156,000 miles

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

Acts like battery is dead, only in the morning, starts fine in the middle of the length of time parked, doesn't matter. Replaced battery, starter, ignition switch, starter relay. Also interior lights and head lights don't work on automatic. Have to turn dimmer switch off to turn off interior lights, interior lights coming on by themselves, abs light is on, 4x4 high light flashes most of the time, radio shorts in and out, spit out cds by itself at start up, now cd player won't work at all. Any help on these issues would be greatly appreciated, thank you. MJ

- , Parkersburg, WV, USA

problem #2

Jul 072013

Explorer Eddie 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 119,539 miles

Please, I need help for this door ajar problem. The car will be on motion with the doors lock but the door ajar light will come on. And when the car is park the alarm comes on all the time.

- , Port Harcourt, Rivers, Nigeria

problem #1

Oct 082008

Explorer XLT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles

abs sensor,inside light does not go off, door ajar stays on,phone adapter does not work, unlock on the driver side does not work,mirrors do not work and the explorer makes a clicking noise. Going today to get fixed. We will see

- , Middletown, OH, USA

Not what you are looking for?