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.


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
61,000 miles
Total Complaints:
2 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (2 reports)
2003 Ford Explorer steering problems

steering problem

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2003 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #2

May 122010

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles


Power steering fluid leaked an ocean of blood red fluid all over my garage floor. Dealership supposedly fixed it and after that it dripped again - several times. I brought it to a local repair shop and they said that the rack and pinon steering was in trouble and that I would have a big repair coming up soon.

- , Irvine, CA, USA

problem #1

Oct 012008

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,000 miles

We kept leaking p/s fluid so we took it in and were told our rack was leaking - $750! This was the same time we got the estimate for the ring and pinion rear axle grinding problem. This car is just falling apart. Did I mention that two of the windows don't work. The motors need replaced. This will be the last Ford I buy - what a piece of crap.

- , Austin, TX, USA

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