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.


really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
112,000 miles
Total Complaints:
2 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace struts, allign rear suspension (2 reports)
2003 Ford Explorer suspension problems

suspension problem

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2003 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #2

Jan 062015

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles


Replaced rear struts and front sway bar. Don't buy a Ford.

- , Saint Paul, MN, USA

problem #1

Aug 292008

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,000 miles

At 75,000 miles,the rear struts are shot. It will cost $450 to have them replaced. They have to do an alignment on them. Next time just get a car with rear leaf springs!

Screwed again !

What a disgrace for Ford to sell this lemon to the public. Who do they think they are fooling? Will never buy one of these again, and will tell everyone I know what a awful crappy vehicle this is. What goes around, comes around!

- , Minden, NV, USA

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