pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
131,459 miles
Total Complaints:
72 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. ford should have a recall (59 reports)
  2. had the head re-threaded (7 reports)
  3. not sure (4 reports)
  4. replaced engine head (2 reports)
2003 Ford Expedition engine problems

engine problem

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2003 Ford Expedition Owner Comments (Page 4 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #12

Nov 152008

Expedition Eddie Bauer Triton 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 139,035 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. I have been a loyal Ford customer purchasing 13 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.

Message to Ford: Once you've lost a loyal customer, chances are excellent that even if you greatly improve your quality and service, that customer and probably their children will move on to something else and won't return.

- , Stevensville, MD, USA

problem #11

Apr 092009

Expedition XLT 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 115,000 miles

Well this makes the 101st problem with this Ford POS. It started with windows not working, vaccum leaks, tires going bad every few months and brakes being replaced 5 times a year. Now I am coming home from the Post Office on a road in the middle of no where and I hear a gun shot sound from the front end. I noticed it was not a tire since they are brand new. I started to lose compression but the water and oil were fine so I babied it home almost 20 miles and shut it off. After opening the hood I found my problem - the back plug on the passenger side has popped out of the engine and the cap and coil are still attached setting on the battery. I am ready to send this thing off a cliff. I am tried of my "FIX OR REPAIR DAILY" or better yet "FOUND ON ROAD DEAD"! Dodge here I come. I am sold now.

Dodge RAM's will pull a house. But a Ford just thinks they can. I bought this to pull house trailers with. My Dodge Dakota with the 4.6 pulled the same 26" trailer and thought it was just a toy at 75 MPH down the interstate and got 25 mpg doing so, but this POS would not even pull at 55 MPH on the Interstate and only got 8 MPG If I was going down hill. FORD Take a flying leap!

- , Brownsville, TN, US

problem #10

Apr 262009

Expedition Eddie Bauer 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 96,000 miles

Ford needs to get there act together. They could skip all the pretty stuff and build the ford better. What good is paying 40000 for a piece of s**t. I would have a better engine.

- , Modesto, CA, US

problem #9

May 012009

Expedition Eddie Bauer 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 97,325 miles


I was driving and heard the spark plug pop again after it has done this before you know the sound. I was able to put the first plug back in and it would tighten up. The first time it blew out my plug coil also and that was one more thing to fix. This time the spark plug will not tighten up so this will cost me 1200.00 bucks to give it a cheap and unreliable fix.

I have owned Fords in the passed but I fell for 40,000 dollars you would think they could build a better car. My old 3000 dollar ford ran real good they build them more expensive and yet junk. I will buy a Toyota in the future. This is why the big three are going broke. I work hard for my money to piss it away like this.

- , Modesto, CA, US

problem #8

Mar 312009

Expedition Eddie Bauer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,000 miles

I am planning to buy a new car in about 18 months. I will never ever buy another Ford. How can this problem be so common and they not come forward with a recall? I have done every recommended maintenance and taken perfect care of my car. In the last three months I have had to replace the alternator, oil casing and now this.

$2,700 and a week wait for a new head. Thanks for nothing Ford. You try and do the right thing and buy American, no more.

- , Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #7

Jun 182008

Expedition Eddie Bauer 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 112,000 miles

Parked at a friend's house and went to start my vehicle and heard a noise like a shot gun going off. My spark plug blew out of the engine taking the coil with it...Local ford dealer heali coiled the head and put the spark plug back in with NO warranty....a month later another spark plug blew out of the head...Since there are 6 more spark plugs to go I didn't trust the vehicle anymore and ended up putting a new engine in with a 75,000 mile warranty..$5,200.00 later it works ok.......Ford should be taking care of this!!!!!!

- , Clarksburg, MA, USA

problem #6

Apr 142008

Expedition XLT 4.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 173,379 miles


Driving to church, heard a pop, rattling began underneath the hood. Called road side assistance to have truck towed to the nearest dealership. Spark plug #3 blew out, took two days to repair (helicoil).

- , Ellenwood, GA, US

problem #5

Feb 162009

Expedition XLT 4.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 188,000 miles

Driving a 2003 Ford Expedition, spark plug #2 blows out 10 months later after spark plug #3. This time I was out of town in Carrollton, GA an hour away from my home in Ellenwood, GA. Road side assistance towed the vehicle to the closest dealership and Carrollton, GA. They would not perform the Helicoil repair work, even though it is recommended on the Ford website. They would only replace the head for #2 which gives an estimate of $2700 vs. $700 job. Provided them with the information from the Ford website as to the repair that's recommended. They insist that they would not and have not done any helicoil work, when another service agent said they would the day before. Transferred vehicle to another dealership to have the work down closer to my residence.

- , Ellenwood, GA, US

problem #4

Jan 312009

Expedition 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

Off to Cosco with the wife and 5 kids in the car, I turned the corner into the parking lot and POOF spark plug popped right out breaking the coil. Spark plug hole stripped and now i'm down a car right as I am starting a new job, so I'm having to bum rides to work so I can make enough money to fix the problem that is apparently known about for years now.... it was the #6.... one of the hardest ones to get to, so it's going to cost more... thanks ford!! When can we start up this recall?? any day now? I will not be owning another ford because of this non-recall of a known problem, and I will make sure none of my family doesn't either.

- , Anchorage, AK, USA

problem #3

Nov 012008

Expedition XLT 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,000 miles

I was driving my sister and her friends to some haunted house when someone said they wanted McDonald. so being the nice brother i am i slow down and once i do POP with the sputtering of air right after pulled in shut it off didn't bother to pop the hood their cause i knew exactly what it was and which one it was when it got home checked sure enough i was right #6 cylinder plug shot out the head this problem should defiantly be recalled

- , Brookhaven, NY, USA

problem #2

Nov 012007

Expedition XLT 4.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 66,000 miles

While I was 8 months pregnant I was driving to work in my Expedition, and as I turned a corner I heard a loud POP followed by a rattling sound. I immediately pulled to the side of the road and popped the hood to see if I could identify the problem. I noticed that a spark plug had ejected from the cylinder head, and of course this being the one day I forgot my cell phone, I walked approx 1/2 mile to work to call a tow truck. Thinking my vehicle was under warranty since I had purchased it less than 3 months prior, I took it to the shop that the dealer recommended. Unfortunately this problem was not covered by my warranty, so the mechanic explained that there was 2 ways to fix this problem. One was to replace the entire cylinder head, which would guarantee the problem to be fixed, or I could take the more economical route and use a Heli Coil to replace the Spark Plugs. Since the second option was around $4700 cheaper I opted for that, even though I was warned that this was more like putting a band aid on the problem. The Mechanic also informed me that this was a very common problem with ford, and they knew of this, but were not choosing to do anything about it. I think this should definitely be a recall!!

- , Gardena, CA, USA

problem #1

Jan 232007

(reported on)

Expedition Eddie Bauer 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,000 miles

My wife was about to depart on a road trip consisting of several hundred miles on a lonely highway with my young daughter. Just as she was leaving she heard a loud pop and then the engine began surging. Luckily she was not far from home and was able to make it back. She took her commuter car on the trip instead. The problem was, and still is, the # 6 cylinder spark plug became dislodged from the head causing the # 6 cylinder to misfire. The vehicle is out of warranty but Ford should provide a good faith warranty since this is not an isolated incident. There was a petition started to implement a recall but it was denied. I was a pretty big fan of Fords and own another (2003 F150 Harley-Davidson). I was considering a Mustang GT but have changed my mind. I will probably have to go back to Japanese cars and trucks. They are more dependable and have better warranties and recall programs.

- , Tracy, CA, US

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