- March 4: Ford Agrees to Fix 1,600,000 Cars That 'Limp Home'
- February 8: Ford Wants Class-Action Lawsuit Thrown Out
- February 6: Congrats Chrysler! Most Recalls of 2013
- February 5: Investigation Closed Into Steering Gear Problems in Ford Trucks
- January 21: 10 Out of 11 Minicars Flunk Crash Test
- January 19: Ford Recalls Vehicles for Steering and Windshield Problems
- January 15: Ford Recalls Edge (Again): Gas Leak Could Cause Fire
- January 14: Class-Action Lawsuit Filed Over MyFord Touch Complaints
- January 3: The Worst Cars and Car Problems of 2013
- December 30: Ford Recalls Lincoln MKZ Hybrid For Roll Away Risk
- December 23: The Safest Cars to Drive in 2014
2003 Ford Explorer
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.
Worst 2003 Explorer transmission Problems
Click on a problem below to read more.
- o/d light flashes transmission messages135
- o/d light flashes87
- transmission failure68
- transmission slips, upshifts hard occasionally39
- clunking into gear20
- RPMs too high shifting from 1st to 2nd gear20
- transmission slipping13
- delay when shifting9
- transmission grinding with acceleration4
- surges when braking3
- surging under acceleration3
- 4x4 high light flashes2
- band broke and messed up housing2
- not able to service properly and fast2
- rattling noise from transmission2
- downshifts too easily, poor gas mileage1
- shifting roughly1
- NHTSA: Power Train: Automatic Transmission141
- NHTSA: Power Train: Automatic Transmission: Torque Converter9
- NHTSA: Power Train: Automatic Transmission: Control ...4
- NHTSA: Power Train: Automatic Transmission: Lever And ...3
- NHTSA: Power Train: Manual Transmission2
- NHTSA: Power Train: Automatic Transmission: Gear Position ...1
- NHTSA: Power Train: Automatic Transmission: Park/Neutral ...1
Stay Up to Date
Compare Ford Explorer Model Years
Curious how the 2003 Explorer compares to other years?
Check out our Ford Explorer overview to see the most problematic years, worst problems and most recently reported complaints with the Explorer.