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.


definitely annoying
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
60,950 miles
Total Complaints:
2 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (2 reports)
2003 Ford Explorer accessories - interior problems

accessories - interior problem

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2003 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #2

Sep 102012

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 97,000 miles


My vehicle has served me well except for the cracked panel underneath the rear window. This really devalues my vehicle in the looks of it. I take pride in taking care of what I own, I would think that Ford would take pride in putting their name on their product. I checked into having it repaired, but was told this problem wasn't covered. Since this was not caused by something I did and is definitely a manufacture defect, Ford should pay for it to be repaired. Please man-up and do the right thing!!! Protect your reputation!

- , Poplarville, MS, USA

problem #1

Mar 202009

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 24,900 miles

I am very upset with the problems that have occurred with my Ford Explorer!!! I spent more than $32,000 on this vehicle, and now i realize that was a mistake!!! There is no way i should be having the problems that i am having, because my truck has been well maintained and i am the only person who drives and rides in it. (I don't have any kids)

- , Spring Lake, NC, USA

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