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:
13,500 miles
Total Complaints:
2 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (2 reports)
2003 Ford Explorer suspension problems

suspension problem

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2003 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #2

Feb 102004

Explorer LX 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 7,000 miles


I have had this annoying sound comming from my left rear window off and on every since I bought the car in 2003.

The noises (click, click, click)) goes away and just when you think you will never hear it again, the damn noise starts up again. The noise is not loud, but annoying. I thought that whatever component is making this clicking noise by now would have worn out after clicking for over eight years.. .

- Jerry B., San Diego, CA, US

problem #1

Jan 232007

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 20,000 miles

The noise coming from the rear of the vehicle(inside), was very annoying!!! Another reason for me to regret purchasing an American made vehicle. I won't make that mistake again!!! The noise was a clicking noise that sounded like the locking button in the rear of the vehicle was clicking non-stop.

- lsibert, Spring Lake, NC, US

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