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.

5.3

fairly significant
Typical Repair Cost:
$90.00
Average Mileage:
98,333 miles
Total Complaints:
3 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace brake light switch (2 reports)
  2. not sure (1 reports)
2003 Ford Explorer lights problems

lights problem

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2003 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #3

Nov 172010

Explorer LS 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles

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

BRAKE LIGHT SWITCH STICKING DRAINING THE BATTERY, IT IS BAD BAD AFTER EIGHT YEARS OF SERVICE AND COULD NOT FIND THE RIGHT SWITCH ON ORDERING THE PART. IT TOOK ME AWHILE TO FIND THE RIGHT ONE, THE SERVICE MANUALS ARE WRONG.

- , San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #2

Apr 042007

(reported on)

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

The brake lights stay on, causing the battery to run down. They also remain on when I'm driving causing my cruise control not to come on. I wonder why the 03 Taurus was recalled for this exact same problem??

- , Wichita Falls, TX, USA

problem #1

Oct 272008

Explorer XLT V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

not sure why this part is here....kind of redundant...

tail lights/brakes lights won't go off ....

ideas????

anyone>>...

- , Mankato, MN, USA

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