- November 23: Ford Recalls 452,000 Cars To Fix Gas Tank Leaks
- November 21: Ford Recalls E-350 and E-450 For Trailer Brake Problems
- October 28: Ford Recalls 131,000 Vehicles, Mostly SUVs For Fire Risk
- October 20: Ford F-150 Electric Brake Vacuum Pump Investigation Upgraded
- October 3: Investigation Expanded Into Ford Explorer Police Interceptors
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 flashes237
- transmission failure79
- transmission slips, upshifts hard occasionally42
- clunking into gear25
- RPMs too high shifting from 1st to 2nd gear21
- delay when shifting16
- transmission slipping16
- transmission grinding with acceleration5
- band broke and messed up housing3
- o/d light is on3
- rattling noise from transmission3
- shifting roughly3
- not able to service properly and fast2
- difficult to shift into "park"1
- downshifts too easily, poor gas mileage1
- 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
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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.