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.


definitely annoying
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
100,000 miles
Total Complaints:
1 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (1 reports)
2003 Ford Explorer windows / windshield problems

windows / windshield problem

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2003 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #1

Jul 012010

Explorer Eddie Bauer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles


Crack down from back window center. I've noticed that a majority of Explorers have this problem. A Ford tech says he sees it all the time--an engineering problem. I asked about getting it fixed, and he said the way that it's made, it would just do it again. I asked about a recall from Ford, and he told me, I'd have to pay out of my own pocket to get it fixed. Since this is such a common problem, too bad Ford doesn't provide a fix.

- , Burgin, KY, USA

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