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- May 27: Ford Recalls 443,000 Ford, Lincoln and Mercury Cars
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 engine Problems
Click on a problem below to read more.
- engine failure23
- engine tapping/knock11
- timing chain broke10
- engine cuts off while driving6
- engine surges5
- engine idles rough4
- spark plugs eject out of engine4
- surges when braking4
- whistling noise in cold weather3
- hesitation on take off and while driving2
- engine runs like crap in heavy rain1
- idles rough when cold1
- NHTSA: Engine And Engine Cooling23
- NHTSA: Engine And Engine Cooling: Engine18
- NHTSA: Vehicle Speed Control13
- NHTSA: Vehicle Speed Control: Cruise Control6
- NHTSA: Engine And Engine Cooling: Engine: Gasoline: ...2
- NHTSA: Vehicle Speed Control: Accelerator Pedal2
- NHTSA: Engine And Engine Cooling: Engine: Gasoline1
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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.