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. 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.


fairly significant
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
113,833 miles
Total Complaints:
3 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (2 reports)
  2. tensionator (1 reports)
2003 Ford Explorer seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2003 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #3

Sep 052012

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles


Air Bag Light On and Off during cold temperature. It's disabled due to bad connections.

- , Saint Paul, MN, USA

problem #2

Oct 202014

Explorer XLT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,000 miles

Should be a recall issue. Makes the light come on. Its under the seat and it breaks because of the movement of the seat back and forth.

- , VA Beach, VA, USA

problem #1

Sep 172014

Explorer NBX 4.0L, V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 128,500 miles

The airbag warning light came on. I did not count the blinks, but I think it blinked 3 times, then 4, then the light stayed on. My first thought was "what the hell is wrong with this car now" as I just had the transmission rebuilt at 114,500 miles by AAMCO who was significantly less expensive than the dealer, but that is a separate complaint. Anyway, as my wife had moved the seat when she drove it the day before, I moved it all the way back to where I normally have it. The light went off. When I got home, I looked up the problem in this forum. Some folks suggested disconnecting and reconnecting both sets of wires under the front seats, but that is a pain in the rear as they are hard to see and reach. I just jiggled the wires and made sure the connections were tight by squeezing them. I drove it around again, but no light this time.

- , Colorado Springs, CO, USA

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