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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hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
81,199 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 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2003 Ford F-150 Owner Comments

problem #10

Jan 212009


  • 659,344 miles


Similar to other complaint, I discovered that my 4 wheel drive was not engaging when I turn it on using the switch on the dash. My independent excellent mechanic (I would never use the Ford dealer here) found that a wire on the transmission case had been simply disconnected. He reconnected it - no charge. Works fine. P.S. I test the operation every couple of weeks now to make sure it is working just in case I need it.

- Peterborough, 00, USA

problem #9

Feb 252008

F-150 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,650 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford F150. In an attempt to drive the vehicle, the four wheel drive failed to engage. The vehicle was taken to a dealer and they determined that the shift fork failed and needed to be replaced. The VIN was unknown. The current mileage was 55,661 and failure mileage was 55,650.

- Keene, NH, USA

problem #8

Jul 212005

F-150 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 23,000 miles
With only 23000 miles on my 2003 F150 supercrew 4X4, my transmission had what they called an "internal failure"... transmission had to be completely rebuilt.

- Surprise, AZ, USA

problem #7

Jul 162005

F-150 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


On an average of once a month, the transmission will not come out of park and the truck has to be pushed from the front with another vehicle to get the transmission to release.

- Newport News, VA, USA

problem #6

Nov 292004

F-150 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 36,000 miles
Transmission line cracked on my 2003 Ford 150 super crew. Trasmisssion began to shift erratically leading to total transmission failure at around 36,000 miles.

- Hiram, GA, USA

problem #5

Feb 242003

F-150 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 24,000 miles
Purchased the 2003 F-150used from hertz rental at 22,00O miles. Within 2000 miles, a grating sound began to occur periodically. Basically, after you are at a stop or complete a turn, the truck will make this grinding sound as you accelerate. It lasts for a second or so and sounds and feels like you ran over a cattle guard. It does it sometimes and not others. Also, the truck will sometimes drop its idle to 100 while stopped and almost die. Also the air conditioning makes a loud groaning type while when you first turn it on. You have to turn the truck off and back on to make it stop. Ive had the vehicle 3 months and its been in the shop 8 times. Each time they tell me they cant find a problem. I dont beleive this considering theres many others on here with the same problems. Ive called customer assitance and they just say go to the dealer. Its got 30,000 miles on it. My warranty time is running out. I cant sell it because id have to take a loss on it. Ford has hung me out to dry. Please please help. My wife and I cannot afford this kind of financial hit. I dont expect a new truck, I just want my truck fixed so I can trust it.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #4

Dec 252003


  • miles


1 bought a 2003 F150 extended cab. The transmission is always loud, sluggish when it does shift and slips all together.

- Essex, MA, USA

problem #3

Jun 052003

F-150 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,000 miles
Within a few thousand miles of purchase, we began noticing a sporadic grating noise from the rear end. More distubing is the hard shifting between 1st and 2nd gears that is also sporadic. The shifting problem happens on long trips of 150 miles or more. It will usually happen about once a day but of course we never know when. The grating noise is less frequent and can happen anytime. Our vehicle is currently at the dealership for a fourth visit for these problems. Ford has not been able to replicate the grating and hard shifting which makes sense but at the same time we are stuck with a vehicle that has not provided new truck performance. Since the problem has become more frequent, it will probably lead to transmission failure once it is out of warranty. I have considered selling it but that would be unethical since the next person would eventually experience the same problems. Ford needs to step up and replace the transmission. There is one other similar complaint in the data base.

- Chesterfield, VA, USA

problem #2

Oct 012003

F-150 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 9,000 miles
Having a problem with transmission slipping or not changing gear correctly. Plus a noise or vibration grinding. During this time as well. Very upset. I have taken the vehicle to the Ford dealership but they cannot duplicate the problem while there. Ford said they will not fix until duplicated. I am very upset have taken to dealer four times.

- Arlington, TX, USA

problem #1

Sep 022003

F-150 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 3,000 miles
I have many problems with my 2003 Ford F150 from engine noises to transmission leaking and slipping. My vehicle has been in twice now and nobody at Ford or their engineers seem to know what is wrong. Fords does not know what to do. I would greatly appreciate if someone could look into this matter because no one should have this many problems with a brand new $30,000 vehicle.

- Taylor, MI, USA

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