2003 Ford Explorer Reviews & Ratings

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2003 Ford Explorer (14 Reviews)
Body, Interior & Misc.
Drive Train
Electrical & Lights
Exhaust & Emissions
Heating & Air Conditioning
Suspension & Steering
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I brought the truck brand new , around 94,000 miles the rears went in the truck, then around 95,000 the transmission went bad. Had to get a engine because the timing jumped. Overall the truck was good until it got to 94,000 then everything started going wrong. My brother had a 2004 Ford explorer same thing happened transmission then the engine. Ford knows it's a problem but won't honor or recall the vehicle.
2003 Ford Explorer 120K
Replacing the transmission due to servo bore issue
All wheel bearings have been replaced and front-end control arms and ball joints.
Crack on back tailgate
AxC leak
Blend door failure
my turn signal's don't work, I already checked all the fuse
hello from surrey b.c Canada. I have a 2003 explorer 119k that has been idling rough and making a howling sound about every 3 sec to a min. sound comes from the air filter intake.I read some reviews and took the advice of one owner.
I removed the Iac valve at the throttle body and cleaned it with ford tune up spray. the inside was black with carbon. then removed the intake tube from the throttle body and opened the buttetfly manually and cleaned the inside of it . it wasy very black and full of carbon too. the truck runs 100% now. very easy to do on 4.6

I had this problem for about a year and slowly got worse . even took to a mechanic and charged me 100$ but cant fix it.
remember when we were young and we had carburators we would use carbout or something like that ..

2003 FORD EXPLORER is where you can get a fix for your transmission if the OD light is flashing or Check Engine light is on. If you get Codes for your trans like PO 775 or PO 745, it is most likely the servo bores. This place gets you a 200.00 fix that you can do in your driveway in 2 hours. It fixed my 03 2 weeks ago and is now doing fine! Ford originally replaced my transmission case at 36,000 miles for this problem. Now it happened again at 148,000. Puts more mileage on a nice vehicle!
Warning about 2003 Ford Explorer. Per my mechanic this model year and even through 2005 it is almost an expectation, a guarantee, that the TRANSMISSION WILL HAVE TO BE COMPLETELY REPLACED. I have 171,000 miles on mine and the "O/D Light" and "Check Engine Soon" light have been flashing for the last 10,000 miles. If your "O/D Light" starts flashing or "Check Engine Light" stays on the majority of the time or for that matter even starts to flash a little, guaranteed you are SCREWED, SCREWED, SCREWED. Do not kid yourself. You will be out at least $1,800 up to $4,000. The majority of my miles are highway miles and I have babied this vehicle since purchasing it. I had the same thing happen to my 1994 Explorer as well at 185,000 miles. I have loved my Explorers, but will never purchase one again, never. I should have gotten the message the first time. My mechanic told me there is a reason that his family has 7 Nissans of various models. I think I will be switching to a Nissan from now on.
Man, what nice stories! My 2003 is a V8 EB Edition. It was a leased and it had just fewer than 36K miles in 2006. The Ford Dealer that sold it to me told me I did not need a CARFAX report as they do a 115 point inspection BS! Within the first year it was in the shop for some type of repairs. By the 2nd year over 12 times “Items repaired or replaced in 1st Yr.: Computer board that controls the 4X4 in the 2nd week, all 4 half axles, rear end, Trans, brakes, AC clutch, Tires. 2nd Yr.: brakes, all 4 wheel bearings, rear end again, AC clutch again, Door Sensor Driver side” 5 year Radio gone!
Things that need work AC blown, rear end again, Wheel Bearings and on and on..
Nice vehicle. I purchased the 2003 back in early 2004 with 14,000 miles. It has served me well thus far and I have recently registered 141,000 miles. I have not had any transmission problems or heating or AC issues until now.

I would spring for another of the newer models in a couple of years based on my experience with this one so far.
2003 Explorer. Same problems with door sensors and cracked back hatch trim. Front balls joints are out at 120K miles.
Nice SUV but, tranny is going to fault between 75.000 and 130.000 miles, door ajar switches are very low quality, seats air bags sensor faulty early 50.000 miles, rear liftgate trim gets crack and Ford no recall these problems.
We purchased this Explorer about 4 years ago. It has operated great. Good Milage and ride. The only issues we have found are.
-- Heater blend door. This is a known problem with ALL these vehicles. the fix can be upto $1000 at the dealer. DIYers can get it done in your drive for $160 in parts.
-- Rear hatch body panel cracked. A known issue. Only cosmetic.
-- Suspension arm ball joints have completly lost their rubber. This seems a little soon for a failyre in these parts.

Overall a very nice vehicle.
03 ford explorer 190,000+ miles on it, runs great. AC compressor just blew estimated cost of 1200 dollars... the front hubs had to be replaced. alternator had to be replaced around 160,000mi.
This is my third Explorer, and I've had it for 7 1/2 years now. It's the best one so far, the paint has stayed put, which was a problem for my frist one, and the AC hasn't had as many problems as my second one (although it is a weak point and I have had some repairs). Overall. a great car. Takes a lickin' and keeps on tickin'. Plus it looks great, classic body style, still proud to drive her.