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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 messages136
- o/d light flashes94
- transmission failure71
- transmission slips, upshifts hard occasionally39
- RPMs too high shifting from 1st to 2nd gear21
- clunking into gear20
- transmission slipping14
- delay when shifting10
- surging under acceleration4
- transmission grinding with acceleration4
- rattling noise from transmission3
- surges when braking3
- 4x4 high light flashes2
- band broke and messed up housing2
- not able to service properly and fast2
- 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
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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.