Notes: The 2003 Ford Explorer one of our worst vehicles on record. "Avoid like the plague" is putting it lightly.

The 2002-2005 Explorer has a very well-established record of expensive transmission failure at under 100k miles. The Explorer has an enclosed transmission which is typically replaced with a rebuilt transmission at a cost of almost $3,000.

Another common problem for the 2002-2003 Explorer is wheel bearing failure at around 90k miles, with a typical repair bill of $500 to $1000 depending on how many wheel bearings failed.

Adding insult to injury, the 2002-2005 Explorer also has a massive problem with the rear panel cracking. While it's a minor annoyance compared to transmission failure, ironically the crack usually goes right through the Ford logo.


fairly significant
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
133,438 miles
Total Complaints:
1 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (1 reports)
2003 Ford Explorer AC / heater problems

AC / heater problem

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2003 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #1

Mar 082012

Explorer LXT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 133,438 miles


When I have my A/C running at the dash and then lay on gas to accelerate the air switches to the dash. When I let off my gas it returns to the dash.

I just bought my car from a trusted mechanic and I have had nothing but problems in the 2 months I got it. The torque converter went out after I asked about it, I was told it was checked out. I had a Trailblazer that did the same thing. I was stranded w/my daughter on a busy hywy when it went out. When I shift from P to D, it shifts hard. AND my heater clicks when I turn the control to hot. Needless to say I am going to think twice before buying a Ford and do more research next time I buy any vehicle.

- , Aiken, SC, USA

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