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:
122,500 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

Dec 152014

(reported on)

Explorer 6.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles


Well now I am really getting peed off about this FORD SUV. The lovely wood grain trim lining the doors all fell off!!! I am I happy - NO I am not happy; oh and not the least of the problem the gaskets around the doors to keep dust and air out all fall off too.

What a cheap product you are turning out Ford, I mean really - you must not have any pride in your vehicles anymore. As it is reflected in your PRODUCT called FORD VEHICLES...........hah hah hah ha........what a joke. After trying many times to re glue these panels back on - I JUST GAVE UP. Garbage that is what you are turning out.

Interior garbage and exterior garbage. Nothing has changed it is FORD.............FIX OR REPAIR must be proud of yourselves?

Oh I didn't mention this is an EDDIE BAUER EDITION FORD EXPLORER...THIS IS THE TOP OF THE LINE that Ford puts out.............

What a joke. Not your money being used to fix any of the problems with Fords. Nope, you have done a fantastic job of downloading that all on to we the owners of your crap.

Read on my friends as it doesn't stop

- , Barrie, Ontario, Canada

problem #1

May 012013

Explorer Limited 4.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles

All plastic started breaking. at about 50k miles.

1. Tailgate glass escutcheon. 2. Glove box light bracket. 3. Seat Memory switch. 4. 12volt lighter plug in console. 5. Sun Visor Bracket LH. 6. Sun Visor Light Shield RH. 7. Imitation Wood trim on both doors.

I have spent several hundred dollars repairing or replacing most of these parts.

- , Nashville, TN, USA

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