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.

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.

8.0

pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
$3,075.00
Average Mileage:
134,598 miles
Total Complaints:
4 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. rebuild transmission (3 reports)
  2. not sure (1 reports)
2003 Ford Explorer transmission problems

transmission problem

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2003 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #4

Apr 102016

Explorer ES V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 154,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Everyone on this site has described exactly what is going wrong, how it sounds and the fear of the unknown safety issues -- time off work and money spent trying to find out what the problem is...over and over again spending more money to get to the answer!!! urrggg. I have had several mechanics take a look and there is no getting around it now that i have spent a lot of money trying this and that...it is the transmission and it will not be a pleasant bill. Try to get interest free financing and pay it off as fast as you can.

I have a great distaste for FORD and would like to file a class action law suit -- NOT happy. I wish everyone safety as they chug and jump down the freeway to be able to get to a safe spot. SHAME ON FORD!!!

- , Poway, CA, USA

problem #3

Oct 192010

Explorer XLT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 104,390 miles

Several issues with the transmission. Twice it just slipped out of all gears. Turning off and back on, it worked, but for how long? Then OD light on, or flashing, I could smell it burning, over heating. An ill informed designer/engineer thought it would be a good idea to be hauling a load up a hill and have a sealed transmission under pressure, so you can't even add fluid road side. Another great money making scheme are these scans that you pay for them to tell you no code is tripped, even as the OD light is flashing at you.

I put a rebuilt in, in about 2010, and the same issue is happening again, about 100,000 KM..I will never buy an automatic Ford, or one that has a sealed transmission, I don't care what or how old of a vehicle, it just will never happen again.

- , Bonnyville, AB, Canada

problem #2

Sep 102012

Explorer XLT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 160,000 miles

I had to get the transmission rebuilt because the o/d light wouldn't go off and second gear went out. I took it to the Ford dealership and they tell me it's a common problem so I ask well why don't y'all fix it?

- , Jacksonville, NC, USA

problem #1

Mar 142011

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

Over drive light appeared 5 minutes before I got to work this morning. Found this website while trying to trouble shoot. Now I am scared that this is just the beginning. Maybe I should trade it today! I was planning on it within the next few weeks--watch it die and be worthless before I do that. With all these issues, maybe I will go for a Chevy this time. All my other Fords made it to 200,000 miles with no issues though.

- , Clarksville, NH, USA

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