hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 4
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
142,906 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2003 Ford Expedition Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #30

Dec 122016


  • 117,000 miles


Spark plus blown out of the engine which can cause fire.

- Pompano Beach, FL, USA

problem #29

Nov 052015


  • 157,000 miles
All 3 happened while driving on highways and in cold weather putting occupants at risk. #1, #3 and #7 spark plugs have blown out over a period of 15 months, destroying the coil in the process. All were the originally installed spark plugs from the Ford assembly plant. Reading and talking with other former and current mechanics, it is definitely a Ford design flaw and Ford should be held liable for repair/replacement, reimbursement and lifetime warranty or until the vehicle is junked.

- Mound, MN, USA

problem #28

Dec 112016


  • miles
We were waiting in line to go through santa's magical kingdom last weekend when one of the spark plugs shot off. Completely off. The coil pack was damaged and we were told it would need to be rethreaded.

- Rolla, MO, USA

problem #27

Sep 122016


  • 224,000 miles


2003 for Expedition not running properly shutting down while driving passenger window stuck brakes not working properly when vehicle shuts down.

- Texarkana, TX, USA

problem #26

Aug 162016


  • 50,000 miles
The vehicle will randomly shut off at any speed, under any condition. Engine dies unexpectedly at highway speeds creating a panic to get out of the roadway. Power to steering and brakes are gone when the engine dies. Vehicle will restart after a couple minutes. The faulty part is the fuel pump relay. It is integral to the fuse box and cannot be changed without changing the entire fuse box. The fuse box is only available from a Ford dealer for $485.20 parts only.

- Wrightwood, CA, USA

problem #25

Aug 052016


  • 280,000 miles
In the last month and a half I have been driving down the freeway at 65mph and blown 2 plugs out of the engiene. This is getting a little costly.

- Niles, OH, USA

problem #24

Jul 052016


  • 143,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Ford Expedition. While driving 56 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle was taken to be diagnosed, but the dealer could not duplicate the failure. The manufacturer was made aware of the issue. The failure mileage was 143,000.

- Upper Marlboro, MD, USA

problem #23

Mar 072016


  • 139,000 miles
Spark plugs blow out of cylinder head at highway speed.

- Bonita Springs, FL, USA

problem #22

Jul 032016


  • 129,000 miles
My Ford Expedition is equipped with a 5.4L Triton engine and like many other engines of the same family, it blew a spark plug out of the head while driving down the interstate. This allowed fuel to escape and almost created a fire under the hood. Luckily, I was able to contain it without any damage. However, I am mechanically savvy, so others may not know what to do in such an event. However, the reason is because the spark plug came out of the engine without assistance and being that I have never installed spark plugs in it, the failure was not due to my negligence. Being that this has happened to many other people and the nature of it being potentially fatal, I do not understand why this has not been addressed and considered for a recall to remedy this issue.

- Christiansburg, VA, USA

problem #21

Dec 122015


  • 205,000 miles
Spark plug ejection! I just experienced a problem with my Ford Triton motor where the spark plug will eject from the aluminum cylinder head. I have a 2003 Ford Expedition that experienced this on Saturday. I was driving home from wal-mart with my family in the truck, we turned a corner and my heart stopped! it sounded like I was involved in machine gun fire. I pulled over immediately and my looked. Couldn't initially see anything. My husband checked under the truck thinking it was exhaust related. We were luckily 2 blocks from home, so we were able to get it home and into the driveway. My husband began trying to diagnose the problem and I took to the internet. He took the engine cover off and discovered the spark plug missing and the coil wire broken off and sparking. Long story short it seems that we have experienced the situation where the cylinder head has stripped on the one spark plug. We have begun looking into ways to fix the situation, but it seems Ford has not deemed this to be an issue. Truly don't understand how so many people can report the exact same happenings and no one will do anything about it..... merry stinkin christmas!!! we are reaching out to our local Ford dealer but am pretty sure they are going to tell us we are crap out of luck and will fall on us to repair if we choose.

- Dover, DE, USA

problem #20

Aug 012015


  • miles


The contact owns a 2003 Ford Expedition. While driving at an unknown speed, the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle was able to be restarted; however, the failure recurred several times. After inspecting the vehicle, the contact noticed that one of the fuse relays was melting into the fuse box. As a result, the fuse box and the power control module relay needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The VIN and failure mileage were unknown.

- Seguin, TX, USA

problem #19

Aug 012014


  • 190,000 miles
We were driving with the kids headed home, going about 45mph and loud noise and smell of fuel, we pull over lifted the hood and saw my coil pack busted off, we drove the rest way home to ark it, and looked again. The spark plug arched inside the head and busted the coil pack bolt and all. Shame that we tried an insert to repair it and doesnt work. I have been stressing this considering im a single mom of two that have disabilities and we have these appointments left and right and its hard walking across town all the time. This problem needs fixed by Ford. I researched and its a known problem cause the cheap aluminum heads. We really need our vehicle...

- Chambersburg, PA, USA

problem #18

May 152014


  • 130,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Expedition. While driving at 60 mph, the engine stalled without warning. The vehicle failed to restart. The vehicle was towed to the contact's residence where an independent mechanic diagnosed that the fuse box failed and needed to be repaired. The vehicle was repaired, but the failure recurred. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 130,000.

- Lockeford, CA, USA

problem #17

Mar 052015

Expedition 4WD 8-cyl

  • 135,856 miles
I was driving at 45mph and a spark plug blew out on my 2003 Ford Expedition XLT with the 5.4L V8.

- Lanesville, IN, USA

problem #16

Jan 262015

Expedition 4WD 8-cyl

  • 255,000 miles
Transmission slipping @ 30-50 mph.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #15

Oct 012014


  • 200,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Expedition. The contact stated that while driving approximately 60 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The contact was able to restart the vehicle after waiting for several minutes. The dealer was unable to diagnose the failure. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The VIN was unavailable. The approximate failure mileage was 200,000.

- Santa Clara , CA, USA

problem #14

Feb 072014

Expedition 4WD 8-cyl

  • 135,000 miles
My 03 Ford Expedition started cutting off every time U put it N drive unless U keep the gas pushed a little this is happening every time U put it in gear.

- Easley, SC, USA

problem #13

Jun 202014

Expedition 4WD 8-cyl

  • 140,000 miles
I was traveling at 70 mph on the interstate. The car popped, sputtered and died. Has steadily gotten more and more frequent. Engine dies at idle, dies at slow speeds as well as faster speeds. Very dangerous! have replaced the PCM, wiring harness, and fuel pump. Is not repaired. Power mirrors readjust themselves when the keyless entry is used. Several warning lights stay on, door ajar, check fuel cap, advatrac will not turn on. Rear window will not work. Back up sensor will not work. Interior lights as well as exterior lighting will not power off when car is turned off. You must manually turn them off or the battery drains.cd player will not eject cd's loud popping sound in the front end and grinding sound when stopping. I have had this in the shop since June of 2014 and they cannot find the problem. Have already spent $1000 trying to repair. This vehicle is dangerous and can very likely cause an accident. It is not safe to drive. Ford auto shop wants to charge me $100 an hour to diagnose the problem then they are not sure if they can find the problem, they are telling me it could cost between $500-$1000 just to find the problem. I have checked several web sites and see that there are many, many people with the same problems with the same type of vehicle. This should be looked into before someone is injured or killed in an accident caused from the car stalling!!!

- Lowell, AR, USA

problem #12

Aug 132014


  • 164,523 miles
After accelerating from a stop, a loud bang was heard. What had happened? a spark plug blew out of the aluminum head, taking the threads with it. I was not aware that fuel would continue to blow out of the spark plug hole which could have been ignited by the ignition coil or exhaust manifold. Ford is aware of this issue, but has not recalled the defective aluminum heads, but rather offered a repair kit to fix the stripped threads when this issue occurs. This could have been a very different ending if the fuel would have ignited.

- Ephrata, PA, USA

problem #11

Jun 192014


  • 132,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Expedition. The contact stated while driving approximately 65 mph the vehicle suddenly stalled. The contact indicated that after restarting the vehicle it began to function normally however, the failure recurred. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who was unable to diagnose the failure. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 132,000.

- Lithonia, GA, USA

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