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:
45,367 miles
Total Complaints:
3 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (3 reports)
2003 Ford Explorer seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2003 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #3

Jan 012007

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles


I would love to know if there is a solution. Am I the only one with a Ford Explorer experiencing this? See other remarks given on a complaint regarding paint on hood

- , Zeeland, MI, USA

problem #2

Jan 012003

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100 miles

This defect has existed since I purchased the Explorer. I have also had fabric tuck issues on visor since purchased. Last year, the visor cover broke off. See other comments on my complaint about paint issues on hood. Note: I will never buy a Ford product again.

- , Zeeland, MI, USA

problem #1

Apr 032007

Explorer Limited 3.6L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 66,000 miles

Again, avoid the Ford Explorers, they have multiple problems. The seat belt issue is minor compared to all the failed transmissions on the 2002 and 2003 trucks.

- , Chicago, IL, USA

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