really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 11
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
77,017 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 Expedition electrical problems

electrical problem

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2003 Ford Expedition Owner Comments (Page 2 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #45

Apr 232014

Expedition 8-cyl

  • 139,000 miles


The car was running well and suddenly it die. No lights in dash board, no shakes, no any previous sign of trouble. Simply it die. I pumped the accelerator pedal and the car continue running. Next time, few days after the incident, the car does the same. This time do not continue running when I pump gas. I have to put in neutral and start it again. It start at once. Could be more than two weeks without signal of problem and then, it happen again. Some other time, it happen 4 or 5 times in a half hour trip.

- Rogers, AR, USA

problem #44

Apr 042014

Expedition 8-cyl

  • 155,207 miles
Driving down state highway when the battery gauge went to "L" and the ABS light came on. The engine was still running. Pulled into apartment complex parking lot and the engine shut off. All lights and bells were still working. Aaa was called and performed a diagnostic and determined the starter was going bad. The starter is less than 2 years old as is the battery. Was told it was safe to drive home. Took vehicle to local repair shop where another diagnostic test was performed and was told it was not the starter nor the battery and another diagnostic should be performed to determine cause. Engine has not shut off while driving since but am apprehensive to drive very far from home. Will wait for 3rd diagnostic test.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #43

Mar 162011


  • 120,000 miles
Driving on interstate 70 mpg vehicle stalls then proceeds, this happened several times over a course of 1 year. One later incident engine died but restarted. Several months later completely dies. After several hrs vehicle restarts. Ford mechanics claim they cannot make a diagnosis. It will never stall or quit when it's in the shop. I'm afraid this vehicle will be someone's death trap.

- Pell City, AL, USA

problem #42

Dec 072013


  • miles


Bulbs melting third brake light assembly internally. This happened to original and recently replaced unit. Bulbs were seized to the plastic mounting and melted/deformed both bulb mounts and reflector. Unit is now defective.

- Spring, TX, USA

problem #41

Jul 012013


  • 130,000 miles
Was driving the 2003 Expedition on interstate 10 near pensacola, when the vehicle shut off. The car coasted to a stop, luckily I did not cause a wreck and my family and I was safe. It has happened several times, at least 10 so far. We have replaced the fuel pump, fuel pump relay switch, the fuel filter, had the injectors inspected and it still does it. I did some research into the problem and it turns out the right side front passenger window leaks down onto the interior fuse panel and is causing the electrical system to short out. In all cases once the vehicle cools down, the car starts right back up again. I have taken it to 4 garages and now I have it at the Ford dealership in pensacola. Where they are looking at it. It turns out that the P0231 code keeps re-appearing in the system (fuel pump relay circuitry) which shows the problem could be the fuse panel since the fuses are soldered to the board and not plugged in. Hopefully Ford recognizes this problem and will order a recall soon.

- Pensacola, FL, USA

problem #40

Jun 172012


  • 120,000 miles
We moved it around in our shed at about 10pm on 6/16/12 and we awoke at 4 am to our shop, machine shed, and chicken coop engulfed in flames. We lost over $100,000 in property. The fire marshall determined that our Ford Expedition was to blame and that it started under the hood, somewhere in the electrical. We only had liability only on 2 of the 3 vehicles in the shop along with our motorcycle and trailer so they were not covered by insurance. I think Ford should of compensated us for the items we did not get paid for. They should do a recall on this vehicle, and compensate the people that had fires with this vehicle.

- Grove City , MN, USA

problem #39

Jun 202013


  • 137,000 miles


While driving down the freeway I put my foot on the gas and did not get any response. In a few seconds I pushed on the gas again and nothing. I started to pull over and pushed on the gas again and the car had power. The same thing happened 25 minutes later getting back onto the freeway. Next incident was starting from a stop light the car just died. No warning. Engine light, battery light and service now lights come on. Again I pulled over put the car in park and it started back up. We had the coils and plugs changed. Next time driving at 35 mph out of the blue no power to the gas and the car shuts down. Changed a relay. Took it to the Ford dealership who can't figure out what the problem is. We changed the battery next time I am coming to a stop and the car stops. No battery light, no service light nothing. Again I pull over and it took a long time to get the car started again. Took it back into Ford. This time I gave them a thread of email about others having the same issue. Now they have changed another relay and we hope this solves the problem. This is a huge safety concern. For a person who is driving 55-66 mph on a highway or freeway and their car dies is a big accident waiting to happen. I did email Ford but so far have been told to talk to the service person.

- Lynnwood, WA, USA

problem #38

Dec 012011

Expedition 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,905 miles
Why is there no warning light, or signal of any kind when the PCM fails? our PCM failed, which caused our catalytic converters, 02 sensors, & fuel pump to fail. Our ignition coils had to be replaced. Would have been nice if a warning light came on the dash. This has caused our Expedition engine to randomly shut off while driving countless times! I have miraculously been able to maneuver my Expedition to the side of the freeway &have it towed eight times without killing myself, my family or any one else! we have had odd electrical and performance problems since August of 2002 when we purchased it. Not one Ford mechanic (3 different dealerships) could ever diagnose or repair issues. Because there is no warning light/code when the PCM is out, the damage snowballs. There are no computer codes, or warning lights to show up on the dash board when the PCM is out, which befuddles the mechanics. We are literally $5,000 in the hole so far! Ford dealership "repaired" our Expedition by replacing the PCM ($1,300). 48 hours after they replaced the PCM, and 18 miles after we drove Expedition off the Ford lot, the "service engine soon" light came up on the dashboard -for the first time ever! we drove back to the Ford dealership, and he said for $3,400 plus tax he could replace our new catalytic converters in "bank one" that were destroyed again, & the "bank two" converters which are now very weak, not up to spec. The driver's seat motor that has been fickle since Aug of 2002, stopped working when we went to pick it up, so I can't drive it, because I can't reach the gas or brake pedals. $800 will fix that, Ford says. If you google "2003 Ford Expedition eddie bauer engine shuts off randomly", thousands of people are reporting the same issues. Until someone crashes and dies, I don't think Ford cares. The consumer also stated the vehicle had electrical problems. The consumer stated the driver's seat motor stopped working while being serviced at the dealer, there were problems with the windows as well.

- La Canada Flintridge, CA, USA

problem #37

Sep 192011


  • 75,500 miles
While driving at highway speeds the engine cuts out/dies.

- Spirit Lake, ID, USA

problem #36

Nov 192011

Expedition 8-cyl

  • 97,000 miles
After making a complete stop at a traffic light I made a left turn and began to accelerate when I heard a loud pop which at first I thought was a tire blow out. The engine was running so erratically that I could feel it in my steering. We inspected the vehicle for a flat when we noticed every tire was fine. I opened the hood and removed the top cover to the engine to discover a spark plug laying on top of the engine and the coil that was once attached blown off of the plug and damaged off to the side still connected to its electrical source. This cold have caused a fire. For the record these plugs were the original factory spark-plugs. Via the internet I have discovered this website to file a complaint.

- Holbrook, NY, USA

problem #35

Jun 122011


  • 150,000 miles


At 4:40am, was woke up by the police and fire department who responded to a call in of our vehicle, a 2003 Ford Expedition being on fire. Based on the information received from the fire crew chief, the fire had started in the engine compartment, on the driver's side, and appeared to be electrical in nature. The car had last been used the prior night at 8pm, when we returned from eating dinner, and had remained idle since that time. Upon hearing our story, several friends mentioned that they had read stories about Ford vehicles that had an issue with the cruise control switch causing fires, even in vehicles that had remained idle for several hours. I checked and it does not appear there were any recalls for my vehicle's year, but had been for the prior year's (2002). Here is a link to one article (although there are many): articles.cnn.com/2005-06-16/us/Ford.vehicles_1_ford-vehicles-brake-fluid-cruise-control?_S=pm:us the car is a complete loss, the engine mostly gone and the tire and part of the body melted to my driveway. The damage inspector for our insurance company stated it was likely that they would not be able to cover our full lien amount and I believe at the very least Ford should make whole for us. The insurance company is working with Ford about possible subrogation, but it is unclear at this point in time if the insurance company will ask for dollars beyond what they would pay out in the loss. We were fortunate it did not spread to our home, my husband's Ford parked next to it or to our boat which was directly in front of it. It was very, very close and could have easily happened. We feel very fortunate that we did not park the vehicle in our garage or any closer to the boat, whose cover had melted and could have easily set on fire given the heat and severity of the fire.

- Omaha, NE, USA

problem #34

Mar 182010

Expedition 8-cyl

  • 135,000 miles
My 2003 Ford Expedition will be driving fine, then all of a sudden it will die in traffic and have had several close calls of being rear ended. One other time it died and while coasting after it died, it started again causing vehicle to lunge and my wife almost rear ended someone else. The vehicle is at the repair shop and it is diagnosed as a PCM that is and now has a hard failure.

- Litchfield Park, AZ, USA

problem #33

Feb 272011

Expedition 8-cyl

  • 107,000 miles
2003 Ford Expedition would not start after long tow to mechanic it was a burnt relay switch but now it turns off while driving, change the relay switch and problem is temporarily fixed now since the relay is for the fuel pump and PCM my transmission is acting up not shifting 3rd or over drive no one can figure out the problem but we are scared to drive the truck!

- Elizabeth, NJ, USA

problem #32

Jun 152010


  • 47,000 miles
One of my spark plugs blew out of the head with only 47,000 miles on my 2003 Expedition. 4 hours to fix it. Now I have to go back and torque the other 7 plugs and hope the piece of crap doesn't spit out any other plugs. This is my last Ford!

- Milford, CT, USA

problem #31

Aug 132009


  • 49,688 miles
I have an 2003 Ford Expedition SUV, the spark plug in the #3 cylinder head pops out every 5-8K miles. Resulting in a loss of power, per the 3 dealerships I have spoken to as well as the B.a.R Ford is aware of this problem and refuses to fix it. Per the B.a.R. it is an casting/manufacturing defect. Im worried that I will be on the freeway and loose power, and get in an accident due to not being able to exit the free way under my own power. The problem goes back to the 2000 model year. I have had the car worked on at the Ford dealership 2 times to correct this issue, and it is currently broken again. The dealer ship refuses to fix it as an warranty on their repair done on 8/13/09 or as an factory defect from Ford direct. Don't know where else to turn, any help or direction would be greatly appreciated. [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- San Jose , CA, USA

problem #30

Dec 262009


  • 56,000 miles
I was driving down the freeway when my Expedition made a noise, the inside dash lights flickered and the transmission started acting up. I pulled over at a hotel. I called a tow truck who came to pick it up a few days later. When he started it the wiring harness caught unfire. The entire wiring burned up on the lift side of the vehicle. The mechanic told us we were luck to have stopped. If we continued down the highway my family and I would have been in great danger. I believe the fire was the fault of bad wiring. I check the recall sites and my vehilce was not part of the faulty wiring recall.

- Fpo, AE, USA

problem #29

Jun 192009


  • 99,600 miles
On June 19 2009, returning home from a short trip, thick smoke erupted with strong rubber smell from underneath the driver seat. I immediately turned off the ignition and exited the car. The following day I contacted Ford Motor Co. And inform them of the safety issue, after going back and forth, Ford general consul office made decision that the issue is not safety hazards and will not repair the vehicle. Pat milliken Ford has the vehicle, and inspected the damage, which declared to be very extensive the repair cost may exceed $2000. Ford general consul was informed of the damage and still will not consider it as safety issue because the vehicle did not burst on fire. My smart and quick reaction to turn off the vehicle and cut the power off prevented a disaster to happen, and yet as a consumer IżM left with hefty repair bills for a possible manufacturing defect in the wiring.

- Dearborn Heights, MI, USA

problem #28

Apr 052004


  • miles
2003 Ford Expedition- after it rains I am having many different things happening within the electrical system. The doors won't lock, the radio won't light up any more, the interior lights won't shut off, the front windows won't work, mildew smell in the car. The electrical problems alone can cause a fire but with the doors not being able to be locked is a completely different story and I am concerned for my families safety. I heard from the dealer and others that Ford will not issue a recall for this ongoing problem.

- Loxahatchee, FL, USA

problem #27

Nov 072008

Expedition 8-cyl

  • 83,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Expedition. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer because all of the instrument panel indicators illuminated, except for the brake light. The interior of the vehicle was torn apart and there was an electrical fire. The dealer is ordering a new wiring harness. The vehicle was initially taken to the dealer for the illuminated indicators; however, another failure was found without the contact's knowledge. The failure and current mileages were 83,000. Updated 12-02-08 the consumer also had a problem with the brake lights and the cruise control had to be repaired as well. The consumer stated he never reeived a recall letter for the cruise control. Updated 12/02/08

- Oakahbor, OH, USA

problem #26

Nov 072008


  • 83,000 miles
Loss of brake lights to 2003 Ford Expedition, took it into dealership they found a fire in overhead wiring harness. Ford claims to have no problems with harness. None of these wires were visible to us, but had melted the underside of overhead compartment. Visible burn marks on metal interior of roof. All overhead wiring has to be replaced.

- Oak Harbor, OH, USA

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