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.

9.5

really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
$1,200.00
Average Mileage:
89,089 miles
Total Complaints:
4 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (4 reports)
2003 Ford Explorer engine problems

engine problem

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2003 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #4

Jan 152011

Explorer Limited 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,355 miles

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

THREE TIMES I HAVE ATTEMPTED TO STOP AND CAR KEPT ROLLING EVEN WHEN STEPPING ON BRAKE IT KEEPS SURGING

- , Deming, NM, USA

problem #3

Oct 252010

Explorer

  • 139,000 miles

I love my Explorer and have never had a problem with it. Oil changed every 3,000 miles, service kept up with. Sitting in over 2 hours of bumper to bumper traffic and, BOOM, it just excellerated by itself. I slammed on the brake and nothing so I slammed on emergency brake and pushed into park. I slammed into the car in front on me. This was totally scary.

The annoying part, my mechanic, who has always been completely honest and I trust, did a diagonistic check and found there was an issue. My insurance company asked if I would have any problem for them to tow my Explorer to a Ford dealership because they would give a more accurate diagnostic report. I had no issue with that because I knew that would find a problem like my mechanic did. Well, SURPRISE, they found nothing wrong.

I am completely PISSED. My car excellerated by itself in bumper to bumper traffic, hit the car in front of me and Ford is saying, "Sorry, we found nothing wrong"!

- , San Clemente, CA, USA

problem #2

May 082010

Explorer XLT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,000 miles

This is ridiculous!!!!!!!!!! i bought the car used in march SOON after i realized tansmission problems! when i would stop at a stop light or brake farirly hard its like my car would be in park! when pressing on the gas my car would NOT go anywhere until reaching about 2000-3000 RPMs while the engine roars. then it "surges" and jolts off. i thought "maybe the fluid is low" so i took it into the "trusty" NOTTT. FORD (piece of sh*t) dealership to get my car serviced. first all they did was service the engine. (apparntley nohing was wrong with the transmission...) which cost me $836.82. then the freaking problem was STILL THERE!!!!1 ughh i was PISSED!!!!!! SO I TOOK it back ONCE more to thes dumd assesa (remember i said this is the FORD DEALERSHIPP I AM TALKING ABOUT! supposed to be the best place but apparantley its only the most expensive). and had the transmission serviced they did a fluid flush and and changed the filter. this sort of helped the problem and i stoped noticing the problem....then all of a sudden what do you know about a month or two later the PORBLEM IIS BACK!!!

I WILL NEVERRRR EVERRRRRRRR IN MY LIFEEEEEE buy ANOTHER FORD AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!! I F*#($ING HATEEEEE FORDD!!!! spread the effing word FORDD SUKCSSS (PIECEEE OF SHITTTT!!!!)

- , Sunderland, MD, USA

problem #1

Aug 012006

Explorer V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 38,000 miles

The vehicle surges forward while braking. Can be very dangerous at crosswalks. Ford has never identified the problem.

- , Pleasanton, CA, US

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