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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.

5.0

fairly significant
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
113,500 miles
Total Complaints:
2 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (2 reports)
2003 Ford Explorer engine problems

engine problem

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2003 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #2

Feb 012009

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 145,000 miles

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

Well let me see ... where should I start? It started off as just a rough idle,then it got worse. After a few days it started to feel like it was gonna shut off when i would stop at a light and you could feel it pulling while stopped. while driving the truck would buck up untill i reach 50 miles or higher. Took it for a diagnostics test and one place said it was the D.P.F.E sensor, put a new one on about an hour ago no change yet. Another place said it was the timing chain and another said it was the timing belt tensioner. Anyone have any suggestions on which one of these could be the problem.... if any?

- , Allentown, PA, USA

problem #1

Oct 282007

(reported on)

Explorer XLT 4.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,000 miles

I HAVE NO COMPLAINTS, I KNOW THINGS CAN GO WRONG I LIKE THE WAY MY VEHICLE HAS PERFORMED. I WOULD LIKE TO FIND OUT HOW TO REPAIR THIS PROBLEM.

- , Hutto, TX, USA

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