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.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
60,297 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2003 Ford Explorer Sport Trac engine problems

engine problem

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2003 Ford Explorer Sport Trac Owner Comments

problem #3

Mar 252015

Explorer Sport Trac 6-cyl

  • 84,292 miles


Took vehicle in fluid changes, complete check, and to investigate a leak under vehicle. After "complete" check said they found bad serpentine belt, air filter and but nothing valve cover gaskets as cause of leak. Cost to repair gaskets over $1000. While doing repair they called again and said they found that the rear timing cartridge was broken and pieces of it missing. Told me that bolt was wore half way through as timing chaining was rubbing it. Said if it breaks before repair engine will "blow" and need to be replaced. Told me it would costs over $2,500 to replace this cartridge. Total cost was now over $4,000. I asked why part was bad when engine only had 84,000 miles and why this wasn't found with the "complete" check. Mechanic stated only saw it because he had things apart to fix valve cover gaskets. Told me it was a plastic part and even with low mileage the plastic deteriorates with time. Said part only designed to last 100,000 miles. If I am to believe this Ford mechanic, Ford uses a plastic part in a crucial part of the engine (timing) and if that part fails the engine will "blow". and they cannot know the part is bad unless they have the engine apart for other major repairs. So if the valve cover gaskets were not leaking the issue would have been undetected by the Ford maintenance "complete" check up. In addition Ford has not issued a warning that this engine will possibly "blow" after only 100,000 miles if this part not replaced by a $2,500 - $3,000 repair. Ford should pay for this repair. They design a vehicle this way with no warning to the buyers/owners. If I am to believe the Ford mechanic there is no way to really know you may have a problem. How are we to protect ourselves? my friend showed me this site and did some searching on other blogs/sites dealing with vehicle issues. There are numerous cases of this unacceptable issue.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #2

Mar 092014

Explorer Sport Trac

  • 96,600 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Explorer Sport Trac. The contact was driving with the vehicle speed control engaged at 68 mph when the failure occurred. The vehicle began to decelerate and some smoke was present underneath the vehicle. When the contact opened the hood there was no evidence of smoke in the engine area. The contact was concerned about the housing unit being cracked other than for being defective, cold temperature or high heat that comes in contact with it. The housing unit should never split apart. The thermostat housing unit was leaking. The over drive warning light illuminated prior to the failure. The contact was forced to drive the vehicle onto the emergency lane. The vehicle would drive forward or in reverse and it also failed to function in first gear. The vehicle would only move forward in second gear. The contact was able to continue driving five miles in second gear to his residence at 35 mph. After the failure occurred the contact also added anti freeze to the vehicle. The transmission also failed shortly after the failure occurred and he was unable to drive in reverse gear. The mechanic stated that the bands in the transmission may have caused the failure to occur. A local mechanic replaced the thermostat housing unit which has three hoses attached to it. Ford was currently checking the transmission to determine the cause of failure. The failure mileage was 96,600. The current mileage was 96,620.

- Livonia , MI, USA

problem #1

Dec 212013

Explorer Sport Trac

  • miles
My engine went out after only 140000 miles on it with no warning. I know several people that own a 2003 Ford Explorer and there engine went out after only with 100000 miles on it. It cost me over $3200 for it to be repaired.

- Plymouth, FL, USA

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