2003 Ford Explorer Ford Explorer 2003

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2003 Ford Explorer repairs by problem area

Engine (23%)

Transmission and Drivetrain (17%)

Brakes and Traction Control (2%)

Suspension and Steering (28%)

Electrical and Air Conditioning (23%)

Paint, Rust, Leaks, Rattles, and Trim (5%)

Other (4%)

Chart based on 133 repairs.
See TSBs and recalls for the 2003 Ford Explorer.

2003 Ford Explorer repair cost distribution

$2500+ (4%)

$1000 - $2499 (7%)

$500 - $999 (14%)

$100 - $499 (44%)

< $100 (30%)

Worried about potential repair costs? An extended warranty can provide peace of mind.

Chart based on 113 repair trips. The repair cost chart excludes repairs made under warranty, do-it-yourself repairs, and repair trips that include maintenance.

2003 Ford Explorer

Engine not specified

Ford Explorer in New Jersey, United States
Sep 2014 - Oct 2014
Oct 2014

92000 mi
after reversing out of driveway would not shift into gear 

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2003 Ford Explorer 4dr SUV

239-horsepower 4.6L V8 5-speed automatic AWD

Ford Explorer in Missouri, United States
Aug 2010 - Jun 2011
Sep 2010

94000 mi

US $302
air sensor 

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2003 Ford Explorer 4dr SUV

239-horsepower 4.6L V8 5-speed automatic 4WD w/low range

Ford Explorer in Michigan, United States
Jul 2008 - Apr 2010
Mar 2010

110000 mi

US $70
Changed alternator 
Ford Explorer in Idaho, United States
Dec 2008 - Dec 2012
Jun 2008

42000 mi

US $210
DPFE - EGR Pressure Sensor IAC - Idle Air Control Sensor both replaced at same time 
Ford Explorer in Michigan, United States
Nov 2004 - Mar 2010
Apr 2004

5000 mi
April 2004 A/C no-op. Warranty repair. 
Aug 2005

27000 mi
The following was covered under the Extended Warranty (and was told only because of Ext Warr!): New transmission & cooler. Timing chain rattle. Hood rust (since re-appeared). ECM reprogrammed. 
Nov 2006

68000 mi
Ext'd Warranty: A/C operation intermittent. New control head installed. 
Ford Explorer in Colorado, United States
Jun 2013 - May 2016
Dec 2014

175000 mi

US $3500
Transmission fluid pump died and caused tranny to run dry. 
May 2016

188000 mi

US $4500
One of the bearings disintegrated while towing. Engine is a complete loss. 
Ford Explorer in Ontario, Canada
Sep 2005 - Jun 2008
Jan 2005

49600 mi

C $2000
Don't remember all the dates but the transmission was rebuilt 2x out of warranty and then replaced completely and paid for by Ford Canada & the dealership. Also antilock & reverse sensors repaired 3x in warranty. Heater blower, cruise control and computer 
Dec 2007

143840 mi

C $465
Heater Blower Fan 
Apr 2008

154380 mi

C $90
Wiring harness for windows loose. 
Jun 2008

154380 mi

C $200
New ignition on the steering column since the old one came out with the key 
Ford Explorer in Wisconsin, United States
May 2008 - Mar 2010
Feb 2008

65000 mi

US $80
Driver's seat heater went out. 
Aug 2008

75000 mi

US $40
Shudders occasionally at about 40mph, since towing with overdrive still on. Think I messed up the transmission a little bit. Mechanic couldn't find anything wrong, advised always locking out overdrive when towing. 
Ford Explorer in Ohio, United States
Aug 2008 - Jul 2013
Jan 2008

54111 mi

US $38
Blew out blocked moonroof drains, replaced parking sensors, lubricated driver's "door ajar" switch 
Sep 2008

54111 mi
Replace rear parking sensors.  Lubricate door latch switches. Replace glovebox light assembly. Cleared sunroof drain lines Blew out blocked moonroof drains 
Oct 2008

56000 mi

US $340
Left front wheel bearing hub assembly failing, replaced both front wheel bearing hub assemblies 
Jun 2009

67000 mi

US $60
Multi-function (turn signal) switch failed, replaced with OEM part. 
Jan 2010

77000 mi

US $80
Idle air control valve replaced to correct rough idle 
Sep 2010

88000 mi

US $170
#3 fuel injector failed and was replaced. Spark plugs also replaced. 
Apr 2011

94000 mi

US $750
Failed drive axle seal 
May 2011

95000 mi

US $350
Replace upper and lower front ball joints, upper control arms due to failed ball joints and rusted control arms 
Jun 2012

104000 mi

US $150
AC refrigerant loss - system sealed and recharged Driver's side blend door actuator failed 
Dec 2012

109000 mi

US $190
Failed tensioner pulley bearings 
Feb 2013

112300 mi

US $80
#3 spark plug shot out of head after threads in head failed. Destroyed #3 coil pack when it happened. Apparently a common problem in 4.6L Triton engine. Driver's seat heat switch failed, replaced switch 
May 2013

114000 mi

US $180
Both front wheel bearing hubs failed, replaced both hubs 
Ford Explorer in California, United States
Feb 2009 - Jul 2010
Sep 2009

96000 mi
Air conditioning compressor was in need of replacement- dealership replaced at no charge because I had just purchased it used. 
Oct 2009

97200 mi
Driver's side rear window motor stopped working. Dealership replaced at no charge because it was missed in inspection before I purchased the vehicle. 
Jan 2010

101300 mi

US $424
Paint on roof directly above driver began to peel. Top coat of white paint only, primer underneath was still intact. Ford refused to even consider a repair based on poor paint quality. 
Ford Explorer in Michigan, United States
May 2009 - Jun 2011
Jun 2009

92000 mi

US $500
Failed wheel bearing w/ damage to hub bearing race. 
May 2010

93000 mi
Heated seats stopped working; turning on rr defrost turned on all interior lights & gave "door ajar" warning. Dealer claimed bad harness to liftgate. $600+ (seriously!) repair was refused. Vehicle returned--issues had disappeared! 
Oct 2010

99000 mi

US $600
Corroded ground: rear defrost, automatic light timeout and heated seats no-op. Heated seats still not functional. 
Ford Explorer in New South Wales, Australia
Nov 2012 - May 2017
Apr 2017

137020 mi

A $275
Slow leak in radiator plug. Can wait. Ball joints required to be replaced at next service. 
Ford Explorer in Pennsylvania, United States
Sep 2007 - Sep 2018
Oct 2007

44000 mi

US $160
Broken heat shield on front transfer case. Broken duct vent in dash. 
May 2008

52000 mi
Broken duct vent in dash.  Rear window motor replaced. 
Apr 2009

62000 mi

US $750
Left and right front wheel bearings replaced under extended warranty. Transmission problem fixed with computer flash at owner's expense. Pinion seal and rear axle seals replaced under extended warranty. 
Feb 2010

74000 mi

US $1000
Replaced front & rear shocks/springs, replaced upper & lower ball joints. 
Dec 2010

83000 mi

US $1500
Paint on hood was bubbling due to iron contamination in aluminum hood (see TSB 06-25-15 ALUMINUM BODY PANELS - CORROSION). Aluminum hood replaced with steel hood & repainted. Vehicle was beyond paint warranty time frame. 
Aug 2011

93000 mi

US $200
Replaced all 8 ignition coils and spark plugs. 
Jun 2012

104000 mi

US $400
Replaced all seals and fluid in rear differential. 
May 2013

116700 mi

US $200
Replaced rear wheel bearings(Timken). Very difficult to remove old wheel bearings from assemblies; burned them out with a torch. 
Feb 2014

124900 mi

US $2500
Transmission developed major leak while driving. Transmission rebuilt by local transmission specialist. 
Sep 2018

151467 mi

US $25
Replaced rear stabilizer/sway bar links. 

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2003 Ford Explorer 4dr SUV

210-horsepower 4.0L V6 5-speed automatic RWD

Ford Explorer in California, United States
Jan 2012 - Feb 2012
Feb 2012

151000 mi

US $70
Rear A/C blend door not working and constant clicking noise. Plastic part connecting radiator hose to engine failed. 
Ford Explorer in Texas, United States
Mar 2013 - Dec 2014
Dec 2013

178000 mi

US $150
Thermostat housing cracked leaked coolant. 
Mar 2014

180000 mi

US $200
Upper control Arms/ball joints. 
Ford Explorer in Arizona, United States
Nov 2011 - Jun 2016
Dec 2011

148000 mi

US $100
leaking water pump 
Ford Explorer in Texas, United States
Mar 2010 - Nov 2010
Apr 2010

107000 mi
blender door not allowing air conditioner to work properly. due to cost, will fix myself with help of friend. 
Jul 2010

111000 mi

US $536
issue had been previously reported as blender door. was actually fresh air intake assmbly. i believe was damaged by previous dealer work/maintenance. new dealer repaired without issue. 
Ford Explorer in Illinois, United States
Jun 2014 - Sep 2016
Jun 2014

71000 mi

US $1
Replace Upper Ball Joint 
Dec 2015

89000 mi

US $775
Right and left front wheel bearings with ABS sensors 
Ford Explorer in Alabama, United States
Feb 2015 - Jun 2018
Jun 2016

181000 mi

US $1200
Damaged Tie rod end was replaced. Front upper a-frames on both left and right sides were also damaged. 
Nov 2016

184000 mi

US $100
Transmission wouldn't move immediately when put in gear. If you gave it a good amount of throttle, it would jerk into gear, then drove fine. It did this in forward and reverse gears. Got two different opinions and both agreed. Drivers side window power actuator broke. Replaced with aftermarket part. Rear hatch window actuator cable failed. Replaced with OEM part. Rear stabilizer bar linkages were broken. Replaced with OEM. 
Jul 2017

192000 mi

US $250
Alternator was bad. Replaced with new one. 
Mar 2018

199000 mi

US $250
There was an engine code that the temperature was not getting to optimal conditions. It ran fine, in fact it's been like that for over a year, but the problem turned out to be the thermostat. While I had a day off, I replaced the spark plugs and wires, air filter and the cruise control switch. 
Ford Explorer in Wisconsin, United States
Feb 2017 - Jun 2018
Oct 2017

135000 mi

US $200
Transmission servo wore out the case. Replaced with aftermarket o-ringed version. 

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2003 Ford Explorer 4dr SUV

210-horsepower 4.0L V6 5-speed automatic AWD

Ford Explorer in New Jersey, United States
Sep 2012 - May 2014
Feb 2012

115000 mi

US $2600
replaced w/ rebuilt w/ 1 year warranty. work done by trans specialist shop. 
Sep 2013

135000 mi

US $2000
oil pump broke, engine seized. replaced with used engine. 90 day warranty. 
Nov 2013

145000 mi

US $120
both front struts were replaced after the spring on the right front strut cracked. bolt attaching strut to tie arm was rusted and seized. needed to grind bolt out. 
Dec 2013

147000 mi

US $485
wheel bearing worn down and had to be replaced 

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2003 Ford Explorer 4dr SUV

210-horsepower 4.0L V6 5-speed automatic 4WD w/low range

Ford Explorer in Minnesota, United States
Jan 2016 - Dec 2017
Mar 2016

146000 mi

US $10
PCV valve 
Ford Explorer in Indiana, United States
Jan 2016 - Feb 2016
Feb 2016

149000 mi
Timing chain is going out and rattling - engine needs to be replaced 
Ford Explorer in Washington, United States
- Jun 2006
Jun 2004

32000 mi
Transmission failed, repaired under warranty 
Jun 2006

65000 mi

US $100
Transmission shift solenoid pack failed. Repaired under certified warranty. 
Ford Explorer in Wisconsin, United States
Apr 2018 - Jun 2018
May 2018

137412 mi

US $200
Both upper ball joints loose, replaced both upper control arms 
Ford Explorer in British Columbia, Canada
Jun 2015 - Jun 2017
Jun 2016

155000 mi

C $150
I intermediate band replacement 
Ford Explorer in North Carolina, United States
Jun 2015 - Jun 2018
Apr 2017

114000 mi

US $281
Left wheel bearing making noise. Had it replaced. 
Mar 2018

132000 mi

US $422
Right front bearing replaced 
Apr 2018

130000 mi

US $770
Replaced both rear wheel bearings 
May 2018

132000 mi

US $40
Alignment 
Ford Explorer in Michigan, United States
Jun 2016 - Jul 2016
Jul 2016

92000 mi

US $400
The truck overheated while pulling a trailer. Replaced water pump and thermostat housing (that melted from the heat) 
Ford Explorer in Ontario, Canada
Jan 2013 - Feb 2013
Feb 2013

85560 mi
upper and lower ball joint replacment for certification right pass window inoperable 
Ford Explorer in Minnesota, United States
Dec 2014 - Jul 2016
Feb 2015

157400 mi

US $650
Thermostat housing was leaking. Flush coolant, replaced thermostat housing and refilled. 
Feb 2016

171000 mi
Thermostat stuck open. Vehicle wouldn't reach operating temperature. 
Ford Explorer in California, United States
Dec 2007 - Sep 2010
Sep 2007

63000 mi

US $110
Re-flash computer to resolve surging on deceleration/coast. 
Jan 2008

65000 mi

US $585
Front wheel bearing failed. Had fuel filter and trans filter replaced at same time. Unable to duplicate poor mpg issue. 
Ford Explorer in Connecticut, United States
Sep 2006 - Oct 2015
Mar 2006

43623 mi

US $660
Front pinion seal leak; Power window (rear) drive/switch replacement. Covered by ESP. 
Aug 2007

66900 mi

US $2000
Rear differential bearings; front sway bar bushings; both front lower ball joints; solenoid pack for the transmission. Covered under ESP plan, $2k was quoted cost w/o plan. 
Nov 2007

72000 mi

US $100
Shifter was difficult to place in park after driving; TSB addressed the problem, part repaired. 
Aug 2009

100000 mi

US $50
Rear spring on the passenger side was broken. 
Feb 2011

127000 mi

US $600
Driver's front wheel bearing, sway bar links. 
Nov 2012

154600 mi

US $250
P0301 CODE REGULARLY SENT, NO RESOLUTION 
Jul 2013

165800 mi

US $150
Thermostat housing cracked 
Sep 2013

170000 mi

US $630
Exhaust noise, needed new muffler Sway bar link broken P0301 code still active Front bushings worn 
Dec 2013

173000 mi

US $200
P0301 code still active, replaced intake gasket and bolts. 
Sep 2015

187000 mi

US $499
Timing chain issue diagnosed with rear chain. $3500 to repair. No repair made. 
Ford Explorer in Oregon, United States
Feb 2008 - Mar 2011
Aug 2009

89000 mi

US $400
ABS - speed sensor bad. 
Mar 2010

94000 mi

US $125
Blend motor assy replaced. 'click of death' 
Jun 2010

96300 mi

US $3600
Transmission rebuilt with newer 07 -08 parts 
Ford Explorer in British Columbia, Canada
Sep 2007 - Jul 2010
Oct 2007

86800 mi

C $90
Suspension started sqeaking at bumps. Opened and lubricated. 
Apr 2009

99200 mi

C $701
Bearing made noise 
Jun 2010

118420 mi

C $450
Check Engine Light came on. Driver side Oxygen sensor needed to be replace. 
Ford Explorer in Michigan, United States
Feb 2009 - Jun 2011
Apr 2009

72000 mi

US $5
Upper Control Arm, two new rear coil springs 
Ford Explorer in Ohio, United States
Sep 2013 - Oct 2013
Oct 2013

118000 mi

US $450
Had Ford kit installed to reduce differential noise Left front wheel hub bearing went bad 
Ford Explorer in New York, United States
Nov 2010 - Sep 2016
Mar 2011

181000 mi

US $90
Rear calipers... $90 and did them myself. They were frozen but still working. 
Aug 2011

189000 mi

US $300
Hit a bump in road and front right spring collapsed. Parked for a week while drove Lincoln (waiting for parts) and had replaced at shop. Fairly inexpensive and quick fix 
Jul 2012

192000 mi

US $360
Ford dealer told me eventually would need to repair about 20k ago but not to worry. Last oil change they said it was bad- and it was! They said 450 for repair- told me I could save almost 100 if went to small mechanic shop! thanks! 
Mar 2013

199000 mi

US $125
Door ajar light wont shut off. Drivers door wire severed- common problem and a quick fix once the problem was found. Exhaust replaced 
Jul 2013

205800 mi

US $160
Rear wiper motor burned out. Bought part on ebay for $80, and dealer charged $80 to replace 
Ford Explorer in Pennsylvania, United States
Aug 2009 - Jul 2011
Sep 2010

86000 mi

US $300
Replaced rear springs because right side broken. 
Apr 2011

89300 mi

US $200
Cracked rear hatch trim below the lift up glass. Plastic body color trim piece cracking vertically. Mine cracked in 2 places over the period of 2 years, upon second crack, I replaced. bought part online, had painted professionally, I applied. 
Ford Explorer in Indiana, United States
Nov 2014 - Jun 2016
Jun 2016

186000 mi

US $750
Failed water pump 

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2003 Ford Explorer 4-door

8-cylinder automatic 4WD

Ford Explorer in Illinois, United States
Oct 2007 - Mar 2010
Nov 2007

39000 mi
took 03 explorer to ford dealer for a number of repairs covered under extended warranty with 50.00 deductable.window motor front end boot replaced factory radio door ajar sensor 
Dec 2007

40000 mi

US $50
replaced front rocker arms 

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2003 Ford Explorer 4-door

6-cylinder automatic 2WD

Ford Explorer in Illinois, United States
Sep 2007 - Dec 2007
Dec 2007

49000 mi

US $100
power steering pump leak 

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2003 Ford Explorer

4-cylinder automatic AWD

Ford Explorer in New York, United States
May 2009 - Dec 2013
Jun 2009

89000 mi

US $40
We hear a rattling noise but dealer could not hear it. 
Dec 2013

102000 mi

US $225
Rear end broke and was leaking fluid. 

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2003 Ford Explorer Repair Histories

See our lemon odds and nada odds page to see vehicles with no repairs or vehicles with more than three repairs. To see how frequently 2003 Ford Explorer problems occur, check out our car reliability stats.