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:
No data
Average Mileage:
15,000 miles
Total Complaints:
1 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace / repair rubber seal around window (1 reports)
2003 Ford Explorer windows / windshield problems

windows / windshield problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2003 Ford Explorer:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2003 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #1

May 012004

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 15,000 miles


The wind noise was quite loud from the front passenger window. At times I would look over expecting the window to be part way down. Took to dealer and when I got the car back (after paying $78 "repair" charge) the wind noise was still there. I complained to the dealer service department and was told that since their first try did not work (surprise!) they could replace the window seal at about $200. I said the work should be done under warranty or (dreamer) "good will." ("Good will? We don't need no stinkin' good will.") I finally decided to give it a go. I forced the seal into place and used black silicone sealant. Taped the seal in place while the sealant dried overnight. Problem fixed! Stopped going to the dealer for service.

- , Warren, OH, USA

Not what you are looking for?