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:
70,000 miles
Total Complaints:
1 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace control arms (1 reports)
2003 Ford Explorer suspension problems

suspension problem

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2003 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #1

Feb 042014

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles


we were driving home, thank god we were turning through an intersection so we were driving slow, when the front drivers side wheel just about came off. it was hanging by a thread. the truck pulled so hard that we both banged our heads and cracked 3 teeth. Thank god we were not on the highway or even a main road or we would have flipped the truck! We had it towed ad our mechanic said he never saw such a thing- it had to be a defective part. We called ford they did not agree said there was no recall. Now a few weeks ago it was on the news saying the parts had a defective coating causing them to rust out- not normal! We are so mad it has cost us thousands and now were waiting to see what ford does. If anyone else has this problem please let us know We're tready to start class action lawsuit if possible!

- , Sandown, NH, USA

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