- November 23: Ford Recalls 452,000 Cars To Fix Gas Tank Leaks
- November 21: Ford Recalls E-350 and E-450 For Trailer Brake Problems
- October 28: Ford Recalls 131,000 Vehicles, Mostly SUVs For Fire Risk
- October 20: Ford F-150 Electric Brake Vacuum Pump Investigation Upgraded
- October 3: Investigation Expanded Into Ford Explorer Police Interceptors
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/knock13
- timing chain broke12
- engine cuts off while driving6
- engine idles rough5
- engine surges5
- 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 Cooling33
- NHTSA: Vehicle Speed Control27
- NHTSA: Engine And Engine Cooling: Engine24
- NHTSA: Engine15
- NHTSA: Vehicle Speed Control: Cruise Control6
- NHTSA: Vehicle Speed Control: Accelerator Pedal3
- NHTSA: Engine And Engine Cooling: Engine: Gasoline: ...2
- NHTSA: Engine And Engine Cooling: Engine: Gasoline1
Stay Up to Date
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.