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 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
67,093 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 #5

May 262011

Explorer Sport Trac 6-cyl

  • 117,000 miles


Engine & multiple parts in 2003 Ford are not 2003, they are 2001 & 2002. 2002 engine and earlier had a tsb for the timing chain guides & oiling. Even though taken into the dealership with that complaint, mine was supposed to be 2003, not affected by those problems, so service did not repair for tsb. Later on timing jumped because guides not replaced, bent valve and ruined the engine to tune of $5,000, plus parts spent to get to that point & rental cars. Should be noted the first replacement motor installed by Ford ran only 15 minutes before it blew from timing chain defect/poor manufacturing. History: Before end of 75,000 mile extended warranty I took the Sport Trac into the dealer to take care of all the little complaints. One complaint was slight rattle type of sound when the car was cold/cold morning. Dealer suggested an engine flush & to switch to full synthetic oil. That did help for several thousand miles. Engine rattle came back, only very occasional but worse sound than before on real cold mornings. Was coasting toward red light, light changed & I gave it gas, engine started missing severely as I took off w/check engine light coming on. Limped the car home. Put code reader on & started replacing parts called for, mostly tune up, then egr components, etc., new code thrown after every repair. Smog parts for 2003 did not fit, I had to take the parts back & exchange them for 2001. When engine was changed service rep told me engine in car was 2002, even had to replace thermostat housing because routing was different, angle incorrect, not 2003, I took pictures of block & #'s, not a 2003, it is 2002 (pictures show my engine, no dirt accumulation at all). Carb states I cannot install an engine older than the chassis into the car, most especially older smog components. Can Ford" can Ford sell a car as new, specific model year, but use leftover parts from previous years & still call it a new car? isn't this fraud? how can vehicle be repaired, tsbs followed, etc."

- Apple Valley, CA, USA

problem #4

Jul 202006

Explorer Sport Trac 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 200,000 miles
Vehicle shuts down when driving---both low and high speed--brakes, steering, electrical, gas--all quit. After a few minutes the car will start again. Has happened numerous times. Dealer, vista Ford, says nothing wrong/can't duplicate.

- Bell Canyon, CA, USA

problem #3

Sep 012003

Explorer Sport Trac 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 11,000 miles
I purchased my 2003 sportrack in December of 2002 from sunrise Ford. I drove my SUV home, parked it and went inside for less than 20 minutes. When I came out to drive drive my guests around the block, the vehicle would not start. I called sunrise Ford and spoke with the service department. They sent the sales person to my place rather than a mechanic. He basically belittled me infront of my guests by telling me I did something to my car. It was embarassing enough that the vehicle would not start now I had to deal with the sales person, who as it turns out knew absolutely nothing about the sportrack, telling me I did something wrong to my vehicle to make it not want to start. He finally called the service department, had a mechanic come out and they tried to start it. No luck. Long story short I found sunrise Ford's sales and support staff were very hard to work with right after my sale. I felt misleaded. From arranging a loaner because of this problem to getting a qualified person to diagnose my vehicle. I had had the car nearly 1 week before the problem could be completely solved. My next problem began in August of 2003, roughly 9 months later. It is now stalling. Most cases have been while stopping for a stop sign or light. Other times just after leaving the stop light or sign, it usually stalls immediately when I accecelerate. The worst case has been while on the on ramp to the freeway. In all cases I lost all power, except for the radio, and was able to restart the engine. After having the Ford dealership run a diagnnostic test on my vehicle the found nothing...

- Sherman Oaks, CA, USA

problem #2

Jun 132003

Explorer Sport Trac

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,965 miles
Vehicle engine missing and lost power while attempting to accelerate onto on-ramp. Attempt to restart failed. Had to call for tow. Dealership couldn't find anything wrong.

- Fort Worth, TX, USA

problem #1

Feb 202003

Explorer Sport Trac 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 4,500 miles
The vehicle expelled gasoline everytime the consumer was refueling the tank and the gas pump automatically shut off, as it is designed to do. The process of filling the tank increased five fold, taking approximately 25-30 minutes, because the pump repeatedly shut off and expelled gas. The manufacturer was notified and was aware of the problem but there was no current fix for the problem. The emergency brake needed adjusting and the check engine light illuminated.

- Kingston, WA, USA

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