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.

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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
9,699 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 F-150 drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2003 Ford F-150 Owner Comments

problem #7

Dec 162005

F-150 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,448 miles


Driving in my back yard, testing new snow tires, speed aprox. 25 mph, hit 10" deep hole, broke axle, directly behind brake disc, rear wheel on the drivers side, pictures available. Had to replace axle.

- Surry, ME, USA

problem #6

Oct 072004

F-150 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 20,808 miles
While driving at 45 mph, suddenly the right rear axle broke and snapped off. This resulted in the right rear tire flying off followed by the driver losing control of the truck and impacting a ditch. The driver sustained minor bruises. The engineer stated that the axle flew off on impact even though the tire flew off prior to impact.

- Osceola, WI, USA

problem #5

Feb 062004

F-150 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50 miles
2003 Ford F-150 super crew, howling/whining noise from rear differential during accelleration. Noise only occurres between the speed of 40mph and 60mph, most noticable at 50 mph. So far defect has not caused operational failure. Problem has been brought to attention of the Ford dealership who sold me the truck. First attempt to repair resulted in no work performed, noise considered acceptable by Ford specs. Second repair attempt (after writing to dealership) reslulted in service manager diagnosing a ring and pinion gear problem. They replaced the ring and pinion gear 3/30/2004. Problem reoccured after 4 weeks, additional attempt to repair resulted in originial conclusion that noise was acceptable per Ford specs. Inconsistent pattern of repair with problem still existing.

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #4

Nov 152003

F-150 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 4,500 miles


Rear axle whine noise at 45 to 50mph & 67 to 72 mph. Loud & getting louder. Ford dealers all over the area said Ford knows of noise but has no fix. Said they were told Ford would not spend money to fix because they were not making much as a company now. Two repars on rear end & still noisy, engineer had dealer put 125 wt grease in rear axle to try & quiet noise down. No good> lost fuel economy also. I need help getting repaired or getting a buy back from Ford.

- Joplin, MO, USA

problem #3

Aug 062003

F-150 8-cyl

  • 90 miles
Heard unusual noise coming from the rear-end of my 2003 Ford F-150 supercrew the noise starts at 90 mph. Is this an on going problem? please look into it.

- Wesley Chapel, FL, USA

problem #2

May 152003


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Purchased new Ford harley pickup. Loud noise in rear, shop could not identify. Rear axle broke in curve and rear wheel on driver side was several yards from where truck finally ran off road and overturned. Total loss.

- Deridder, LA, USA

problem #1

Mar 262003

F-150 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 2,000 miles
We own several Ford F-150 trucks. In the last 3 months we had four separate problems with the rear axles. One truck the axle broke and the wheel came completely off. Another truck the axle was destroyed and had to be replaced. The last truck is brand new with less than 2000 miles and experienced the same problem yesterday.

- Roanoke, VA, USA

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