2003 Ford Explorer - Consumer Reviews

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Very Solid Vehicle
By Frank on 03/16/09 08:03 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

2003 Ford Explorer Limited AWD 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A)

Review

I bought my Explorer used from CarMax with 29,000 miles on it. In nearly 4 years, I have put 40,000 miles on it with one major problem, a rebuilt transmission that cost me $2500. Other than that, just oil changes, tires, brakes-- the usual stuff. If not for the transmission, it would have been a near-perfect vehicle.
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2003 Explorer
By 2003 Explorer on 01/13/09 22:14 PM (PST)

Vehicle

2003 Ford Explorer XLT AWD 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A)

Review

Purchased pre-owned with 47000 miles. AC problems within first six months. Had to replace entire AC system due to metal throughout. Driver's door handle broke off when it was cold. Back panel beneath the liftgate window cracked when it was cold. A coat hook in rear compartment snapped off first time I used it. It just seemed that something was breaking or needed repairs. I am planning on trading this vehicle within the next week or so. Enough of "Quality is Job 1." Lots of positive reviews from this model as it was one of the reasons I purchased the Explorer. Maybe I just had a lemon but I will never buy a Ford again.
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No more Fords for me
By S on 01/05/09 12:34 PM (PST)

Vehicle

2003 Ford Explorer XLT 4WD 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A)

Review

For a 5 year old vehicle I have had too many problems to count- my most recent the AC- I have had 2 different leak check and they can't find a leak- they don't have any idea of what the problem is and when my warranty expires I will have to pay out of my pocket several thousand dollars before I can have it fixed- great SUV- will never purchase Ford again
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Original owner
By Jim on 12/29/08 10:40 AM (PST)

Vehicle

2003 Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer Rwd 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A)

Review

I finally choose to buy American with an extended warranty, glad I bought the warranty. The rear end was replaced within one year, tail lights replaced, several of the power windows replaced, ball joints replaced, a/c replaced. All of the repairs have been done under 60000 miles. Not a good testament to quality. I thought that I would save moneyand buy American, the resale value has offset any savings. I will purchase a Japanese vehicle next time.
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Best SUV I've ever owned
By Jon Heath on 11/05/08 18:13 PM (PST)

Vehicle

2003 Ford Explorer XLT AWD 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A)

Review

I bought this vehicle in 05 with 17k,we now have almost 80k on this vehicle and have only replaced the tires once and the rear brakes once. I was nervous about buying a Ford but would now buy one again.It is costly regarding gas but most SUV's are and the reliability more than makes up for the fuel cost. This vehicle is very utilitarian for us and we treat it more like a truck than a SUV. I haul everything in it and at times can be pretty rough on it, it takes it all in stride. Also the AWD makes this thing a tank in the winter,and we live in the East. Makes me feel safe when my wife and kids are in it. This is a daily driver for us and we have taken many road trips in it with no problems.
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Just saved my husband's life
By adizziedoll on 11/05/08 07:26 AM (PST)

Vehicle

2003 Ford Explorer XLT AWD 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A)

Review

My hubby just got T-boned by a large work van (bigger then him, always envisioned it as the other way around) doing 60mph, never even slowed down for his red light. The truck is completely destroyed, but my hubby walked away. The sensors worked and all the right air bags went off. Even if me and my son were sitting on the pass. side, we would have been OK. 100% worth the mechanical problems (but my hubby is a Ford mech. and we can get these things fixed easily and inexpensively). When everything is running top notch, fuel economy is actually pretty good. Watch your O2 Sensors and plugs, sparks- you'll see it in your gas tank. The rear design as someone mentioned - not so good.
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Very Unhappy
By Angie on 10/13/08 05:31 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

2003 Ford Explorer Limited 4WD 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A)

Review

I purchased this vehicle and the next day the check engine light came on. Dealer said was gas cap. The light was reset and then came right back on.I suggest getting a 5.4.I'm lucky if I get 14 mpg! When accelerating, it feels as if I'm pulling something. When at certain speeds, ex. 40,50,60 and 70 mph will jerk back and forth. Now only after having the Explorer for 3 weeks, will not start and is sitting in a parking lot.
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Where Did Quality Go
By Tom Tinsley on 10/06/08 16:00 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

2003 Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer 4WD 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A)

Review

I can only evaluate the 2003 Explorer by comparing it to my previous 1994 Explorer. In short, the 1994 Explorer was a quality vehicle. No major problems were experienced during the 9 years (108,000 mi) I owned it. On the other hand the 2003 Explorer has been a maintenance nightmare! The following items were replaced: light switch, back window motor, universal joints, then complete drive shaft, front wheel bearings, emergency brake parts. The rear end was replaced twice and then TSB 05-23-3 was installed all with the same results-- the rear end whine always returned after a few thousand miles. Where did Ford's quality workmanship go? The 2003 Ford Explorer is a substandard vehicle!
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2003 Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer
By Explorer in Toronto on 09/23/08 13:16 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

2003 Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer 4WD 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A)

Review

Well I hope I don't jinx myself with this review but I have to say I have been pretty fortunate with my Explorer. I bought it used in 2006 with 63,000 KM's, one week before the arrival of my son. It was either an SUV or a minivan and quite frankly it was a nobrainer for me since I don't like minivans and they stink in the snow anyway. 2 years later the truck has only given me 1 problem which is I had to replace 3 wheel bearings. Other than that I have had zero issues thankfully. The truck is very comfortable for long drives, the family loves it. I put in a 10" overhead DVD player for the family to watch movies and the kids are happy campers.
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Great Options, Poor Mechanics
By pshaver on 09/15/08 18:55 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

2003 Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer 4WD 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A)

Review

I've had my Eddie Bauer Explorer for a few years now, and it definitely has its high points. The features and comfort of the interior are great. There is adequate room for adults in the second row. The V-6 model pulls my 4,200lb boat/trailer combo pretty well (though I had to add a class IV hitch). My only complaint is the reliability. I never buy extended warranties, but I did on this vehicle (luckily). I've put only 12000 miles on this truck, and replaced the differential, axle seal, transmission cooler, cruise control servo, oil pan gasket, and rear main seal (all between 34000 and 36000 miles). Many of these failed prior to ever towing, so I can't blame that.
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