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
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
13,333 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2003 Ford Explorer windows / windshield problems

windows / windshield problem

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2003 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #3

Sep 302010


  • miles


The front windshield on my 2003 Ford Explorer reaches excessive temperatures. In mild weather on a sunny day the interior of the windshield can become so hot it can easily melt items placed against it. Additionally, it appears this is the original windshield from the manufacturer.

- Woodbridge, VA, USA

problem #2

Jul 172006

(reported on)

Explorer 8-cyl

  • miles
The consumer's 2003 Ford Explorer had a rock chip the windshield. A crack developed from the chip. The crack ran the entire length of the windshield. The consumer believes the windshield are poorly manufactured.

- Des Moines, IA, USA

problem #1

Oct 062004


  • 40,000 miles
No parts were available for recall 04S20 concerning rear windshield. Sterling Ford 703-430-7700.

- Great Falls, VA, USA

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