A rattling noise from the engine may indicate that the timing chain cassette is worn. Our technicians tell us that installing an updated cassette and timing chain tensioner should correct this concern.
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Repairpal verified 2003 Ford Explorer problems
A coolant leak may develop from the radiator. Ford has released and updated radiator and powertrain control module (PCM) software update to address this issue. The software update includes revised cooling fan operating parameters. Failure to complete both service procedures may result in repeated radiator failures.
A failed heater blend door or actuator can cause the temperature control for the HVAC system to stop working. A clicking sound from the dash area would commonly indicate an actuator fault. If the heater gets stuck on the hottest setting, the heater blend door may be broken requiring replacement of the heater box to repair the issue.
The radius arm bushing may wear, causing a clunking or popping noise when driving over bumps. To repair, the bushings need to be replaced. Depending on the severity of the wear, the brackets may also need replacement. Driving with worn bushings will shorten tire life and cause tire cupping (uneven tire wear).
A cosmetic crack may develop on the plastic liftgate trim panel. Ford has released a service procedure to replace the applique without damage the the liftgate glass.
The composite (plastic) intake manifold may crack near the thermostat housing and cause a coolant leak. Ford released an updated manifold that was reinforced to prevent a recurrence. No recall was issued for this problem but Ford did extend the warranty to seven years on some models from the date of purchase.