Looking at the recalls here http://repairpal.com/ford-explorer-2003 I don't see any related to cracks on the panel but there is one about the liftgate hinges cracking.
What color is the fluid? Is anything above saturated or wet? If you're having trouble identifying the fluid just check the fluid levels (steering, engine oil, transmission, etc). Just covering all bases, are you sure it isn't water? (condensation off the ac compressor) hope this helps