hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
72,466 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 2 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #23

Aug 012009


  • 94,000 miles


2003 Ford Expedition 5.4L ejection of factory spark plug form cylinder head.

- Bakersfield, CA, USA

problem #22

Mar 172009


  • 99,876 miles
Driving from las vegas to phx we were at wickenberg, AZ a loud pop occurred and knocking sound from the engine. The smell of gas was present and wouldn't run properly. The Ford dealership in wickenberg was luckily open and instructed us that the spark plugs had blown out in the 1st and 2nd cylinders. They did also tell us that this occurs often in and there is a temp fix for it. They tapped out the head and inserted a steel sleeve for those 2 cylinders. Taking 2 hours it was fixed and we were on our way very happy to have it fixed but not happy at all at Ford for having such a blatant design flaw. This needs to be fixed.

- Chandler, AZ, USA

problem #21

Mar 122009


  • 65,000 miles
I have a 2003 Ford Expedition with a 5.4L engine. Was driving the truck when I heard a pop and the engine started to misfire. Spark plug no. 7 had been ejected breaking the coil. I have owned the truck since it was new and it has been well maintained, only 65000 miles. I have read many of the other complaints online and I'm amazed at the numbers of issues with this engine. This was obviously a bad design that spans a number of years.

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #20

Aug 012007


  • 58,400 miles


My 2003 Ford Expedition blew a spark plug completely out of the cylinder head without warning. This happened while driving at almost 65 mph, and the engine stalled, causing a very dangerous condition. The vehicle had less than 59K miles at the time of the incident. It cost me over $4K to repair, and I now find out that this has happened to thousands of owners with Ford Triton motors from 1999 to 2004.

- Sterling, MA, USA

problem #19

Jun 012008


  • 99,000 miles
I have a 2003 Ford Expedition and have had 3 spark plugs blow causing the cylinders to misfire. In each case, I have the car repaired and each time it was a different spark plug to blow, not a previously fixed one.

- Lees Summit, MO, USA

problem #18

Mar 122008


  • miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Expedition. After inserting oil into the engine, the oil level abnormally depleted shortly afterward. The vehicle was taken to the dealer on several occasions, but they could not determine the cause of the failure. The failure mileage was unknown and the current mileage was 93,000.

- Gainesville, FL, USA

problem #17

Dec 152008


  • 97,222 miles


Coil #1 misfire & had to be replaced. Mileage 97,000.

- Moss Point, MS, USA

problem #16

Nov 152008

Expedition 8-cyl

  • 53,000 miles
I have experienced the ┐blown spark plug┐ problem with Ford's Triton 5.4 liter engine for a second time. My 2003 Ford Expedition blew the # 3 spark plug on November 15, 2008. I am the original owner of this vehicle. The original engine was replaced August 22, 2006 with 86K miles because of the same problem at a cost to me of $5,400. This engine has 53K miles and was installed by koons Ford of annapolis. Although Ford accepts no responsibility for this failure, the dealer assured me that Ford's redesigned V8 engine had resolved this issue. It is time for the Ford Motor Company to take ownership of this problem and at least take care of their customers that have experienced this defect.

- Stevensville, MD, USA

problem #15

Aug 222006


  • 86,000 miles
My 2003 Ford Expedition blew the #3 spark plug on August 22, 2006. The Triton 5.4 liter engine has 86K+ miles. The dealership informed me that this is a known problem that Ford refuses to acknowledge. I have been a loyal Ford customer purchasing 12 Ford vehicles over the past 32 years. It is time for the Ford Motor Company to take ownership of this problem and at least take care of their customers that have experienced this defect. My replacement cost of the engine was $5,400.

- Stevensville, MD, USA

problem #14

Nov 102007


  • 66,000 miles
As I was driving, my vehicle made a loud pop, and then a rattling sound. I immediately pulled to the side of the road, and popped the hood to see what was going on, and noticed that my spark plug had ejected out of the cylinder head. I then had to walk approx 1/2 mile (while I was 8 months pregnant) to call a tow truck to have my vehicle taken to a mechanic. The mechanic reported that the plugs that were in were factory, and informed me that this was a very common problem among Ford. The mechanic replaced the plugs with a healing coil, and then informed me that this was not a guaranteed fix, it was more like putting a band aid on the problem, if I wanted to guarantee the issue was fixed, that I would need to replace the head. I opted to replace the plugs because they were considerably cheaper, and about 5 months later, I experienced the same problem again. Since I was quite a ways away from the mechanic that had previously worked on it, I took it to a different shop. They fixed the problem by putting an insert in, and charging me an additional $300.

- Gardena, CA, USA

problem #13

Jun 082008

Expedition 8-cyl

  • 87,628 miles


I was driving to a ballgame when I heard a loud pop. I pulled over to determine the problem. I opened the hood to notice the #3 spark plug in my 2003 Ford Expedition 5.4L V8 was flopping around on top of the hood. I had the vehicle towed home. I took my vehicle to the local Ford dealership and was told that the entire right side head needed to be replaced from this one spark plug blowout. After doing research on several online websites, forums, and blogs, I have determined this is a major problem with the design of the Ford engine. Numerous complaints have been made from Ford owners about this same problem.

- Pearland, TX, USA

problem #12

Jun 172007

Expedition 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Expedition. While driving 80 mph, the vehicle caught fire under the hood. The contact stated that the air conditioning shut off and the blower produced warm air before the fire occurred. He smelled something burning and he shut down the engine completely. The contact then noticed smoke coming from the defroster vent under the windshield. The state police and fire department arrived and extinguished the fire. The vehicle was towed from the scene. The VIN, purchase date, and engine size were unknown. The current and failure mileages were 95,000.

- Hopkinton, MA, USA

problem #11

Jan 102007

Expedition 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 71,880 miles
While driving along I suddenly heard a loud 'bang'. thinking it must be a flat tire I pulled over to inspect my tires. After I found no issues with my tires, I noticed that the noise was in fact coming from my engine which also smelled as if something was burning. After having the vehicle towed to be inspected, I was advised that the aluminum around the spark plug had melted and I needed a new head replaced which will cost over 3000 dollars. They initially thought the spark plug had ejected. What will it take to have Ford stand behind their vehicles?

- Andover, MN, USA

problem #10

Dec 282006

Expedition 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,300 miles
Driving normally. #3 spark plug blew out damaging ignition coil and ruining threads. This seems to be a frequent problem with these Ford truck engines.

- Chaska, MN, USA

problem #9

Nov 022006

Expedition 4WD

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
: the contact stated while traveling 65 mph on normal road conditions, a loud popping sound was heard. The contact pulled the vehicle to the side of the road and had it towed to a local dealer. Upon examination, it was determined that the spark plugs blew due to inadequate engine design of the threading. The vehicle was not included in a recall due to the VIN. The dealer replaced the spark plugs and threading. The contact encountered similar complaints about the engine and engine cooling:engine that related to the contact's issue.

- Murrieta, CA, USA

problem #8

May 122006

Expedition 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 18 miles
1.) I was just driving the vehicle and the spark plug blew out of the engine. 2.) I have a 2003 Ford Expedition 5.4 L Triton V8 with 78,000 miles and the spark plug blow out of the engine. 3.) a Ford dealer is replacing the head on my Expedition, cost $3000.

- Andover, MN, USA

problem #7

Jan 182006

Expedition 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,000 miles
On January 18, 2006 I was driving my 2003 Ford Expedition with a 5.4L Triton V8. Just South of Chicago the engine blew a spark plug from the #5 cylinder. Ford wants $4500 to repair and seems to believe that there is no known problem. This could have resulted in fire since the plug was out of the engine and the injector was still firing putting raw gas in the cylinder. I could smell the gas. If it had spilled out onto the engine, a fire could result. Ford has no interest in repairing this problem.

- Sherrard, IL, USA

problem #6

Apr 082005

Expedition 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,646 miles
A spark plug blew out of my 2003 Ford Expedition and mess up the whole engine, requiring replacement of both heads. Ford denies it was a engine problem, but there are thousands of incidents like mine around the country.

- Weaver, AL, USA

problem #5

Nov 182003


  • 10,000 miles
Consumer was at a stop in traffic while gradually the vehicle moved up. Upon depressing the brakes the pedal went to the floor and would not stop the vehicle. This problem occurred more than ten times in the last six months. Also, while driving at any speed the engine check light and battery light came on. Sometimes, the lights blinked rapidly, and sometimes they would just stay on. Dealer examined the vehicle seven times, and was unable to resolve the problem.

- Jonesboro, LA, USA

problem #4

Dec 102003

(reported on)


  • miles
When starting the vehicle the consumer noticed that the engine would not turn over.

- Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

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