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.

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, USA

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