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Ford Expedition



  • ivy_28ivy_28 Posts: 1
    Hi all. I have done research past 2 weeks and have narrowed my search down to (used) 03 Expedition or Explorer. Currently have 01 Passat 2/ 4-motion awd (for 5 months: Hubby's choice) had traded 00 Infinity qx4 4wd (I miss the space). I know this is long message, but I have not seen these issues addressed, and though this would be a good place to start. My criteria: 1. Safety for occupants and driver (I'm 5'5": we have a lot of rain in FL, sometimes "flooding storms" with lots of water on roadways) 2. Space (BIG Sam's club trips, twice yearly trips to Ohio at 1000 miles each way) 3. Gas mileage is going to suck on both of these, but is still a consideration. Mini-van or conversion van is out of the question. 4. Must be a V-8. We plan to keep this for 6 years +/- I wanted all input from you folks on several questions.. (taking into account possible resale value & wear & tear) 1. IS leather worth the extra?? 2. Any experiences w/ reverse-trac option? 3. Any advantages to driving in rain w/ 4wd? Hubby seems to think 4wd would be better 4. Thoughts on 02 vs 03 for resale? Hubby says high mileage (under 30) would be better than less miles on 02. He thinks that resale value of 03 would be better because of changes made in 03. 5. Any thoughts on explorer vs expedition? I am leaning towards explorer somewhat, with a bit better gas mileage (or so I have read. Hubby worries about safety, thinking if I am going big, I might as well go expedition for safety. I appreiciate all assistance and comments. Also, why doesn't edmunds give used values on 03? Any good sources other than, or
    Thanks Stacey
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Isn't out here at Edmunds, because it's not considered a "used" car. Yet. ('03 prices are still linked off the new car pages under the '04 section). I'm not sure how many new '03's are still in the pipeline at the dealers.

    Steve, Host
  • davantdavant Posts: 294
    Ivy 28 (Stacey),

    You call that long? Watch this. Since you're hunting opinions:

    1. Safety for occupants and driver (I'm 5'5": we have a lot of rain in FL, sometimes "flooding storms" with lots of water on roadways)

    Re: I take it you're worried about being washed away at 5'5"? That's some storm, I'd take the boat. We have a 2WD '03 EB and live in NW FL, same problem but I'm 6'2", not that size matters (in vehicles of course). The XP is sure footed and handles well in lake and puddle surprises. Longer wheelbases tend to do better. The reality is that at 45 MPH and up you'll hydroplane so it doesn't matter how many wheels are powered as they aren't touching the road much anyway. The poundage the XP offers helps is plow through better than any vehicle we've owned, last was a '00 Rodeo, yuck. Can't speak for the Explorer directly but two pals have nothing spectacular or bad to say about wet weather handling. Best 'there if we need it' Expedition safety feature is the side airbags that stay puffy in rollovers. Sounds good on paper and I'm sure we'd want occupants and any broken glass to stay as one happy family plus it blocks the view of impending external peril.

    2. Space

    Re: XP rocks, could use a little more behind the third row when it's up but hang out until '05 and that'll be fixed. Fold all seats down and there's room for an Explorer in back, 'nuff said.

    3. Gas mileage is going to suck on both of these...

    Re: Yup. Our '03 Eddie B. 5.4L rated 13/18 gets 16 tops in 50/50 C/H mix. Not bad considering it's 6,500 lbs compared to the 15/19 rating on the Explorer that's a good bit smaller and lighter.

    4. Must be a V-8. We plan to keep this for 6 years +/- I wanted all input from you folks on several questions.. (taking into account possible resale value & wear & tear)

    Re: Both offer V-8's, XP has two, 4.6 and 5.4. Exploder's 4.0 is adequate but my pals seems just as anemic as the XP with a 4.6 I test drove.

    1. (A.?) IS leather worth the extra??

    Re: I think so. It's comfy, durable, and most of all, easy to clean. We have a munchkin and love the wipe and go aspect.

    2. (B.?) Any experiences w/ reverse-trac option?

    Re: Nope, 2WD here and we drive forwards most of the time. No need to ever go backwards to wind it up. Advance-trac on 4WD model was boasted by northern owners as having merit in snow/ice.

    3. (C.?) Any advantages to driving in rain w/ 4wd?

    Re: Reading several boards I truly believe that the AWD (auto-4WD) function is useful but the 1 MPG trade-off, added weight and cost, plus drive train noise problems prevalent last Oct made me think again. If you plan to go off road go for it, Exxon will thank you.

    4. Thoughts on 02 vs 03 for resale?

    Both are great vehicles but don't expect either to hold value any different than previous MY's. As your hubby eluded the last year before major revision is worth less (not worthless) but sometimes the first year of the newbie is too. Age, mileage, and condition matters most.

    5. Any thoughts on explorer vs expedition?

    Re: You came to an Expedition board, remember? Escape=S, Explorer=M, Expie=L, Excur=XL, pick one that fits your needs. This large size Expie-owner loves the extra space, quickie convert seats, safety features & proven track record, and especially the new suspension and steering. '02 had rigid rear axle & recirculating ball vs. '03 with independent rear suspension and rack & pinion, it rides & handles so much better than an '02. The Explorer is a fine SUV but hasn't broken any new ground lately except for hideous colors on the Sport-trac. Despite the large size, the Expedition feels more nimble than you would expect, commanding and confidence inspiring IMHO.

    Also, why doesn't edmunds give used values on 03?

    Re: As Steve said, too new, with incentives have you considered a new one? Our EB was $33.5 (5.4, side bags, elect 3rd row) and there's an extra grand rebate I don't work for Ford.

    Any good sources other than, or

    Re: I know of a few good sites that talk up vehicle problems but since I'm still in the 30 minute edit window, can tell you Steve said it's not appropriate to post them here. You can buzz me at if you wish. I bet Steve is back from the walk just when my half hour is up, thanks for the quick hook-up host-meister!

    Now, get up and stretch, that was long!

    Dave writes Ford novel, film at 11
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Promoting other auto forums is frowned upon around here.

    (thought you were gonna get me eh? <G>. Don't worry, Tidester would have nabbed you if I didn't, LOL).

    Steve, Host
    (time for a walk!)
  • caseman22caseman22 Posts: 8
    I have a 2001 Expy, I believe you can buckle the set belt, unbuckle it then buckle and finally unbuckle and it will disable the selt belt reminder thingy until you turn off the ignition.
  • davantdavant Posts: 294

    I think you're right and that's prolly true on an '03 as well. I thought I did something like that once when I kept running back into the house but never could figure out the sequence that snuffed the alarm. Thanks for setting the record straight.
  • caseman22caseman22 Posts: 8
    I have read in other forums "not mentioning any names Steve" about the sub woofer in the Expy. I have heard that it cannot be removed. I also heard that there may be a seperate relay for the sub, check the owners manual you may be able to fix the problem with a simple relay replacemnt. Do a internet search for "expedition subwoofer" and see what you can find.

    Then you can go to Crutchfields web site to see what it can be replaced with, if it can. Wait...this is a ford, you have to purchase a $200 tool to remove it then buy the new sub from them for $500. Just kidding. would not suprise me though.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 11,859
    just some random thoughts about both

    have a new gen explorer 4x4 w/v8, towing package.
    gas mileage is usually 16-17. about 15 in bad winter weather, better (18+)on a long trip.
    expy 4x4 5.4 v8. got about 13. 12 in bad winter driving. 16-17 on a long trip.
    drove an '03 expy 4x4. i think the mileage would be a bit better since i think it defaults to a 2wd mode. someone will correct me if i'm wrong.

    had a 2k expy and have first hand on the highway, in-your-face, collision experience. other driver's fault. left front wheel and suspension ripped off vehicle. had to wake up daughter in 3rd row, when it was time to put it on the flatbed. left corner hit in front. airbags did not go off. drove it another couple hundred yards on 3 wheels to get under an overpass since it was drizzling. the crumpled crush zones on the left front fender were a thing of beauty. the engineers did put some thought into this. feel VERY STRONGLY that this is a very safe vehicle if you don't try any drastic maneuvers with it.

    i'm 6'2". explorer is a lot less roomy, but not horrible. much easier because of size in everyday use. 7 passengers instead of 8 in expy. 2 adults can sit back there though. engine is very smooth and explo is peppier,although that isn't a big deal to me. transmission is ok. drive the 5.0 if i want some acceleration.
    the auto 4wd has very little slip in it. seems like it takes only about half a wheel turn for it to engage. (try some extra gas pedal uphill from a stop on damp pavement.)
    many of the features i like are probably common to both, keyless entry, multi steering wheel controls, good stereo, dual air, split tailgate.
    the biggest disapointment to me is that the leather seems much like vinyl. also goodyear tires(which i don't think they put on them anymore)give off a lot of vibations, unless the temp is above 80 or so.
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2014 Ford F-150 FX4
  • We are looking at a new (45 miles) 2003 xlt premium. When we took it for a test drive, I noticed a hissing noise coming from the passenger side vents. I brought this to the attention of the fleet manager and he had his technician look at it. They said it must have been something in the vent that cleared itself out or maybe the vent wasn't all the way open, as it is not making the noise anymore (this was after I suggested they check the seals/compressor/condenser and leak test it). Anyway, any thoughts/similar experiences? Thanks.
  • I looked at the sequoia, the yukon, the tahoe, and the expedition. One of our main goals was to find a vehicle with plenty of room. We were sold on the expey because of the fold flat 3rd row (which was the roomiest to sit in as well). For the money, we found the expey to have the most safety features, the best crash test results, and the most options. I own a 98 F-150, and have owned an 96 explorer xlt. I am a function over form consumer and have found the ford product more advantageous in that respect. If I had the extra 5 grand to blow, my wife would have made me buy the sequoia, but of all the third row seats, this one was the least friendly. Besides, I can't even spell it without looking at the brochure!! I can honestly say that I have not had any major problems with either. My F-150 will clock 100k this year. I don't really like the cheap plastic door handles and faux chrome vents, and really wish the speedometer had tick marks at the 5 mph intervals. These are really my only complaints. We live in sw va mountains, and i took the 5.4 v8 on the steepest incline around, and it held cruise speed (74mph) w/o any problem. Just my $.02 in case anyone is teetering.
  • gteach26gteach26 Posts: 576
    Mechdeclined, I own an 03 Navigator (same truck basically)and whenever one of the a/c vents is closed it sends LOTS of air to the other vents and it can make a hissing noise if they are positioned in a certain way. Also, if a vent is more than 3/4 closed the rushing air makes the same noise. Adjusting the vents to eliminate the noise is easy -- you've just got to play with it a little.

    The A/C vents are a different shape on the gator vs. the expy (round vs. rectangular) but I assume their inner workings are very similar if not identical. Hope this helps.
  • davantdavant Posts: 294
    Expie vents can hiss if you close one just a scosh at max air, at least our '03 Expie EB does. Good news is the others will roar so loud you won't notice. Navi vents differ as they add the faint scent of oil based currency ink to the air stream and occasionally wine (2x word score). Remember the hiss rolling off you lips after reading that joke, you'll need it when talking to the service manager.
  • shand32783shand32783 Posts: 76
    Has anyone added these to there 97-01 Expy? I have a 01 and am thinking of doing this. Would like to know how hard the install was and if there worth it?

  • mardynmardyn Posts: 12
    I want something that is simple to operate... I don't want to read the owner's manual every time I need to adjust something or change settings...
    Jeez... Ford must think we're all rocket scientists...

    Anyway, thanks for all the ideas on temporarily disabling the seatbelt warning tones...

    btw... my '03 Expy continues to do well, I'm very satisfied with the purchase and performance thus far.
  • gtech26 & davant
    I hope that will take care of things. If not, I guess i have 3yrs/36k to let ford tinker with it. Davant, I wish you hadn't mentioned the currency ink and wine scents, as now I will feel very inferior, even with a beefy motor and big tires!
  • sstaylorsstaylor Posts: 35

    I had the 30K service on my '01 Expy done in late May (my actual mileage was 35500). I had it up on ramps this past Sunday, looking at something else, and noticed that there appeared to be a minor transmission leak at the back of the trans. fluid pan. I called the dealer and scheduled a visit to get it checked/fixed. They replaced the pan gasket, topped it off, and sent me on my way.

    Well, naturally, as soon as I hit the road I experienced a problem. At first I got a hard thunk between first and second. I then heard a whine, then the transmission would kick out of and then back into gear. This made the vehicle basically undriveable (except to reproduce the problem, which I was able to do).

    Both the service writer and a/the service manager think that it is the torque converter. Has anyone heard of any TSBs, recalls, etc. with torque converter failures for Expys with 5.4l and electronic trans.? I have 39k miles on it right now.

  • Does anyone know if you can unbolt and remove the third seat on a 2003? Does it leave a flat floor or is it indented for the seat? Has anyone been able to buy one without the (optional) third seat? I need more vertical height for equipment. Thanks.
  • tkenny53tkenny53 Posts: 41
    If you could do it over, what would you have changed.
     I'm looking at trading my '01 supercrew for a '03 expedition. 0@-48/60 looks better than the 6.9 I have now.
  • alman08alman08 Posts: 282
    does Ford plan on using diesel engines in the Expedition in the near future? thanks
  • I should start this off by saying I always buy well-depreciated vehicles. Even repairing/ replacing a starter, alternator, battery, suspension, rear end, tires, alignment, brakes...all in the first year I have it...adds up to way less than payments on a new vehicle.

    If I puke an engine or tranny, I just get rid of it.

    So right now I have a line on a '98 Expedition retired from police K9 use. 116K miles.

    Pros: Price $8500. 4.6, 4x4 auto. Meticulous maintenance. Heavy-duty electrical system. Clean body. Vehicle is stripped (vinyl floor, no 3rd seat, etc.) so weight reduction = less tranny wear & better mpg.

    Cons: 116K miles + probably many more hours idling. Probable history of hard accelerations. 20 holes all over the dash from mounting radios, lights, etc...

    I've owned a '98 F150 with the 4.6 and a '93 F250 with the 7.5. Drove the F150 from 93K miles to 145K with no problems. Should the Expy be about the same?

    Another question. It has the stock 255/70.16 tires. I have a new set of 265/75.16's on the Toyota I'm currently driving. Will they fit without rubbing? Will I have to put a new cog in the speedo?

    Muchas gracias.

  • willimjowillimjo Posts: 73
    I was purusing and came across a report of seat frames in 2003 Expeditions and Navigators that are rematurely rusting because Ford chose to save $1.11 per vehicle by just applying a rust inhibitor rather than painting them. I'd like to believe that Ford modified their procedures at some point during the model year, but the article doesn't indicate that.

    Check out the article, then take a look at your seat frames. m
  • bscottsbscotts Posts: 3
    I've just gotten around to reading Edmunds full-size SUV comparison, and as an Expedition fan I'm disappointed with their choice of vehicle trim and equipment levels, and with some other rather significant errors the Edmunds staff made.

    First off, they chose the richest trim packages for Tahoe (LT), and Sequoia (Limited)...while using the more basic XLT-with-skid-plates-and-firm-off-road shocks FX4 package as the Expedition entry...putting the Ford at a $4,000 to $7,000 price disadvantage. (Of course, after incentives the Ford ends up being substantially cheaper still...)

    The Eddie Bauer Expedition would have been a much more appropriate trim level -- equipped with optional power fold 3rd row seats, the softer/smoother EB suspension settings, electronic AC, lighter aluminum wheels, steering wheel-mounted audio and AC controls, etc., etc. -- all for well under the $45K price point of the over-priced Chevy. This undoubtedly would have been a stronger competitor, and would have pointed out more clearly some of the more desirable features of the Expedition lineup. (My dealer tells me about 50% of Expeditions are EB, while only 3% are the FX4.)

    Anyone who has driven the FX4 back-to-back with the EB Expedition knows the FX4 shocks are much firmer -- it seems Ford tuned them for high-speed off-road running at maximum control -- not the soft-ride settings Toyota uses on their TRD models. I've found the XLT and EB Expeditions have a much more compliant ride than the FX4. It's not mushy-Buick-Roadmaster-soft like the Tahoe -- rather it's tuned more like a mid-90s BMW -- firm, reassuring, in-control, but not too rough.

    The Edmunds team made several errors in their feature comparison as well -- they missed the fact that a DVD system is indeed available on Expedition (they were the first to have one in a full-size SUV), they gave Toyota credit for having side curtain air bags that protect front and rear passengers...but they only cover the front row, they say that Tahoe has standard power pedals (sorry...they're optional), and they missed the fact that Expedition does indeed have steering wheel mounted audio (and AC) controls on the EB model.

    Sometimes it takes a new competitor to bring out the strengths of an overlooked model -- it will be interesting to watch the reviews of the new Pathfinder Armada, which seems to be a slavish copy of the 2003 Expedition -- from it's independent rear suspension, to it's fully-boxed frame, to it's fold-flat-into-the-floor 60/40 3rd row seat, to it's 40/20/40 second row seating arrangement. Once Ford gets that 300HP F150 engine in the Expedition, we'll have quite a comparison test!
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Nice post, Bscotts. Mistakes can be fixed - please use the Feedback Form. I don't see the DVD option for the FX4 model though: link. Maybe the feature set has changed since our comparison review? (I do see it w/ DVD optional at Ford Direct).

    Here's the link for those who missed it when it came out last April:

    2003 Full-Size SUV Comparison Test

    Steve, Host
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    If you are in the market for a used Expedition, you may want to run a Carfax report if the one you're looking at is a white 2000 model with tinted windows and Colorado plates. John Elway just had his stolen in northern Idaho :-)

    The story is at, but you have to register to read it.

    Steve, Host
  • I have a '01 XLT Expedition with the 5.4 V8 and it has stalled twice when I am stopped at redlights and the gas gets around a 1/4 tank. It will start again but then the low fuel light will come on and the gas guage will stay on Empty. When I stop to fill up I still have at least 6 gallons in the tank. I put it in for service and FORD said it is a known problem and it is a design flaw and there is no fix. Has anyone else had this problem?
  • I bought my 03 Eddie Bauer Expedition in May, and now have almost 5000 miles. The vehicle has not had a single problem except for the upper right windshield molding just needing a little more adhesive - a 10 minute job and they did not write it up.

    So far vehicle is quiet, powerful (but haven't towed yet), and comfortable. My only complaint concerns excessive break dust on the front wheels, gas mileage could be better, and the air conditioning fan sometimes ceases for very short periods on long trips.

    I read an earlier post about $10.00 dust shields that I will try.

    I would like to see better mileage. Does anyone know if a "Tornado" (a round metal part placed in the air intake to create a vortex or air) found on a website with a similar name, costing roughly $75.00, will provide a 10-20% better gas mileage? If anyone has any success with that invention (or similar) please let this discussion know. (Oh by the way, I did read some negative comments on other posts in the Town Hall that the "tornado" is probably snake oil.)

    One last note I found out when I traveled 500 miles on one hot afternoon. On a couple of occasions the air conditioning fan turned off for about 20 minutes twice on this 500 mile trip, but came back on. Now cold air was still lightly breezing thru the front vents, just not coming out forcefully, it still was annoying. I didn't sweat however, I just didn't expect this to happen even on a long trip. I called Ford in Detroit, they told me it is not unusual for this to occur. Like I said, it only happened twice on my 500 mile trip for about 20 minutes, and the same on the return trip in 90-100 degree weather. I was not too worried. Has anyone experienced this as well?
  • We got a new '03 Expedition a few weeks ago with the DVD player. I would like to be able to have the DVD playing through the headphones and the rest of the stereo playing a CD or listening to the radio. I've read the manual a few times, and experimented, but just can't seem to make it happen. The headphone button on the rear console allows the audio to be heard through the wireless headphones, and the radio on the dash says "dual mode," but when I try and change the dash radio to FM radio or CD the DVD shuts off. Has anyone figured out how to get both the DVD playing through the wireless headphones and the radio (or CD) playing through the speakers at the same time?
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