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.

10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
0 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2003 Ford Explorer fuel system problems

fuel system problem

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2003 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #1

Sep 282007

Explorer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles

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

My vehicle continued to stall at near stops or while stopped. Or whenever accelerating from a stop. Took to shop, where the "throttle position sensor" was replaced. Also replaced was the throttle body assembly. Was told that the throttle body assembly was defective (warped). The repair person (dealer authorized repair shop) who worked on my 2003 Ford Explorer used to work for a Ford dealership, and he said he had seen this happen before. I have the part they replaced. If this is something that has happened to others before, shouldn't there be a recall?

- Oceanside, CA, USA

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