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fairly significant
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
9,756 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 Mustang engine problems

engine problem

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2003 Ford Mustang Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #28

Mar 272009


  • 104,965 miles


All technical service bulletin stating that vehicles built before 12/19/04 have this problem. A engine cylinder with no compression. Ford is aware but does not want to do anything about it. If fact they want the damaged part return and it's not for a core exchange since the new part has to be brand new replacement. Must be for evidence of faulty part.

- Lancaster, CA, USA

problem #27

Jan 212008

Mustang 8-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • miles
July 2007 through current date. Car stalls when pushing in clutch to stop or make turns. There is a tsb (17542)on this issue but no recall. This is a dangerous condition which could be fatal to a novice driver; especially when car stalls during a left hand turn.

- Kingsport, TN, USA

problem #26

May 172006

Mustang 8-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 1 miles
2003 Ford Mustang cobra has a stalling problem, this happens when decelerating, or shifting into neutral when stopping. This presents a serious problem, such as rear-ending someone, since you loose power braking and steering. There is a supposed fix for it, (a computer reflash) which I have had twice, but it just plain doesn't work.

- Middleburg, FL, USA

problem #25

Mar 232006

Mustang 8-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 41,330 miles


While sitting at the traffic intersection awaiting the light to turn green. I heard a loud pop from under hood and all of sudden the car began to run like crap. I pulled over to check under the car to see if something had fallen off, but I found nothing. I then checked under the hood to find out my spark blew out my passenger side cylinder head. I took it to the Ford dealership for repairs, but my extended warranty would not pay for the repair because they do not cover spark plug damages. This left with a $4,463 repair cost to fix my car that I only owned for three months. While doing research on the internet and asking questions in mechanic shops, it has been apparent that Ford engines have defective cylinder heads and recall needs to be issues in regard to this matter. There are many victims affected by this issue and Ford has done nothing about this problem. I drive a 2003 Ford Mustang cobra. I have not repaired my car yet because I'm still hoping for $4000 to fall from the sky.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #24

Dec 042005

Mustang 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 28,450 miles
While slowing down, downshifting or switching gears, the car engine will just fail and shut off/stall without any warning. The car will not "buck" or shake, it will just turn off, causing the power steering to stop operating. I have had two close incidents where I was turning into a parking lot and almost hit a car because the power steering shut off when the engine died without warning. I am afraid this problem will cause a bad accident, especially when I have two young children riding in the vehicle most of the time. I took the car to Ford dealership they stated that they did a full inspection but did not find anything wrong. I am still experiencing the same problem at least several times a day when my engine will just shut off without any warning or notice while I am operating it. Both my husband and my father have driven my car and experienced this problem so I know that it is not the way I am driving it.

- Cerritos, CA, USA

problem #23

Aug 252005

Mustang 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 37,456 miles
Purchased a 2003 Ford Mustang with 22,000 miles on it in Feb 2005. Had a ticking/tapping sound coming out of engine bay area at 30,720 miles. Took it to gervais Ford in MA, tech looked at it quickly out in the lot and said it was nothing to worry about but I could make an appointment if I would like to. Made an appointment the following week, had 2 tech's look at and they both said it was normal and not to worry about it. Well to my surprise at 37,000 miles 1,000 miles after the warranty has expired the engine fails. Took it back to gervais Ford and was told both head gaskets blew and it will cost me close to $2,000 to repair. Possibly more if any internal damage has been done. This is absolutely ridiculous on a vehicle that is new and the issue could have been possibly resolved earlier if that Ford dealer properly diagnosed the vehicle.

- Boxborough, MA, USA

problem #22

Jan 212005

(reported on)


  • miles


2003 Ford Mustang stalled 5 times between 3rd and 5th gear. ** answer required***. the dealer was unable to find a defect.

- Unknown, DC, USA

problem #21

Oct 152003

Mustang 8-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 11,000 miles
My 2003 Ford Mustang svt cobra coupe has an engine stalling issue. The engine can stall after following these sequences in order while operating the vehicle in motion. First I release my right foot fully from the gas pedal, then press it onto the brake pedal, and while holding on the brake pedal I also then with my left foot depress clutch pedal down fully, the car may then stall, but it does not always do so. Stalling can occur when these sequences in order are followed while operating the vehicle in motion. If driving into an intersection, this can pose risk due to lost vehicle power steering and power brake systems if the engine has stalled. The power brakes on my 2003 Ford Mustang svt cobra are boosted by the power steering system's pump which is driven by the rotating engine, the brakes on my 2003 Ford Mustang svt cobra are not power assisted by the engine's intake vacuum which is very common with domestic vehicles. With a vacuum power assist design, power assist can still be available to the brake pedal even though the engine has just stalled. On the other hand, when the engine driven power steering pump stops turning when the engine stops turning (ie has stalled) on my 2003 Ford Mustang svt cobra, power assist to the driver to push onto the brake pedal is lost and therefore the force needed to push down onto the brake pedal in order to slow the car is significantly more. This can be a problem for those who do not have the ability to exert enough force onto the brake pedal to stop the car in a timely manner for the circumstances needed in an intersection, should the engine stall. Also, of course, the power steering assist to the driver in order to easily turn the steering wheel is lost. Ford should figure out why the engine stalls while the car's in motion during these conditions and put forward an effort to fix it. Thank you. Joe.

- Iowa City, IA, USA

problem #20

Nov 282003

Mustang 8-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 5,000 miles
Vehicle's engine has died several times when decelerating. When this happens, the power steering and brakes are obviously lost as well. The first time it happened I nearly sailed into a busy intersection. The second time it occured I was coming off of an freeway exit and almost rear-ended the person at the light in front of me. My understanding, from talking with various people on the internet is that this problem is widespread among 2003 Mustang cobra owners. Something needs to be done to correct this situation before someone gets injured or killed.

- Corpus Christi, TX, USA

problem #19

Nov 282003

Mustang 8-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 845 miles
2003 Ford svt cobra new with 850 miles has stalled during deceleration eleven times to date causing a very dangerous situation since you have no engine power for acceleration, brakes or steering. I have just missed being in several accidents that could have been fatal to me and others. Ford svt keeps saying they have a PCM reflash and a tsb coming out in two weeks that will fix the problem. However, they have been indicating that for months and are obviously trying to avoid resolving the issue. There are many documented complaints on the board in the terminator forum including mine in addition to calls to svt on their hotline @ 1-800-367-3788. Please investigate this serious issue with Ford before someone is killed or seriously injured. Thank you.

- Grapevine, TX, USA

problem #18

Nov 272003

Mustang 8-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 1,000 miles


2003 svt cobra has a stalling issue. The car will stall while decelerating. While this has caused me no harm, it can be very dangerous. When the car stalls of course the power brakes and steering cut out drastically changing what you expect to feel from the steering wheel and the brake pedal. Why doesnt Ford fix this problem?

- Marietta, GA, USA

problem #17

Nov 152003

Mustang 8-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 5,350 miles
2003 Ford Mustang cobra coupe: During decelleration while shifting or in neutral, car stalls, losing power steering and brakes.

- Dublin, CA, USA

problem #16

Nov 232003


  • 924 miles
While driving 30 mph the engine failed. As a result the vehicle's steering became inoperative. Please provide additional information.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #15

Sep 172003

Mustang 8-cyl

  • 4,000 miles
Car stalls without warning.

- Severn, MD, USA

problem #14

Oct 062003

Mustang 8-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 10 miles
2003 Ford Mustang cobra engine stalls.

- West Seneca, NY, USA

problem #13

Jul 012002

Mustang 8-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 50 miles
I own a 2003 Ford Mustang cobra. This vehicle is prone to stalling on deceleration causing loss of power to the brake and steering systems. This condition occurs usually in the morning. This occurs at a rate of around once every week or two since I purchased the vehicle last June 2002.

- Cooper City, FL, USA

problem #12

Sep 092003

Mustang 8-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 6,300 miles
2003 Ford Mustang cobra... vehicle will stall without warning when clutch is depressed. Often this happens when coming to a stop and shifting gears. When this happens the brakes and steering immediately stop working. When stopping on an incline this can cause a situation where you either roll into the vehicle in front of you or out into the middle of an intersection. I have had no accidents yet because of this but I have had 1 close call.

- Apopka, FL, USA

problem #11

Sep 152003


  • miles
My 2003 Ford Mustang cobra stalled as I was getting off the freeway. When I hit the clutch after decelerating, the car stalled causing me to lose brakes and steering. If it wasn't for the people at, I wouldn't have known of this issue, and wouldn't have been able to start the car while it was still moving, narrowly avoiding slamming into a brick wall at 60 mph.

- Clinton Twp, MI, USA

problem #10

Jul 032003

Mustang 8-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • miles
2003 svt Ford mustang cobra convertible keeps stalling at stop with clutch fully depressed, does it most while running air conditioning during hot weather, the car has less than 1000 miles on it and has stalled 7 times, once nearly rear-ending the car in front of me due to no power steering or brakes. Our local dealer has had several complaints (same) and has me scheduled to go in late July to "reflash the computor" though it hasn't made much difference on other friends cobras. Please help !!!!!!

- Harvest, AL, USA

problem #9

Jun 142003

Mustang 8-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 1,177 miles
Frequent stalling when in a deceleration mode - coasting up to a traffic light - pressing in the clutch while braking. The idle speed drops to about 500 RPM, and then either catches itself and idles up, or does not, and stalls out. This has happened in turns, and this heavy car is hard to turn when the power steering is inactivated by the stalled engine.

- Midlothian, VA, USA

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