Take on a major replacement project to breathe new life into your Ford Explorer. Whether cruising off-road trails or commuting to work, a 2003 Ford Explorer transmission is a critical part of your drivetrain. Find out how to spot signs of failure and where to shop for a reliable replacement component.
What Does a Transmission Do?
There are many transmission variations, but the basic process remains the same. Whether you have an automatic 2004 Ford Explorer transmission or a manual version from another year, this component transfers power from your engine to your wheels.
Without a transmission, your perfectly running engine can’t give you any forward momentum. A failing transmission could be caused by improper maintenance, like not changing the transmission frequently enough, but it could also be the result of daily wear over the years.
Signs of Failing Automatic Transmission
Any of these Ford Explorer transmission failure signs need to be treated seriously. Consider ordering a new transmission and reviewing the installation steps if you notice one or more of these signs:
- Inability to change gears
- Grinding while idling or changing gears
- Leaking transmission fluid
- Burning smells
- Check engine light illuminated
Some of these signs point to engine or transmission fluid issues. A check engine light in particular can be warning you of a wide range of issues, so be sure to take additional steps to find the source of the problem.
How Much Does a New Ford Explorer Transmission Cost?
Expect to pay between $2,000 and $6,000 to order a new transmission. This cost doesn’t include any refundable core deposit, shipping or other costs. If you’re taking your Explorer to a mechanic, you’ll likely pay much more for the replacement process.
Some transmissions only need to be repaired, not replaced. Be sure to properly troubleshoot your drivetrain issues before purchasing a replacement transmission. You may only need to change the fluid or order a rebuild kit.
Steps To Replace a Transmission
Removing and replacing a transmission is a complex process. Be sure to review in-depth replacement guides and videos, and don’t hesitate to ask an automotive store representative questions about the process.
There are more steps to the process, but here are the basic steps to remove your Ford Explorer transmission:
- Disconnect the negative battery cable
- Disconnect the throttle linkage at the throttle body
- Remove oil filler tube
- Lift your Explorer with a jack and jack stands
- Remove writing connectors, starter wiring and starter
- Drain transmission fluid pan and remove pan
- Disconnect exhaust, shift linkage and speedometer cable components
- Use a transmission jack to support and carefully remove the transmission
Once the old transmission is removed, you’ll need to follow similar steps to install your new component. Some additional parts and steps are required depending on the year, trim level and transmission type of your Explorer, so review specific instructions for your SUV before taking on this DIY project.
Where You Can Order a Replacement Transmission
Head to a trusted online store to find a replacement transmission and other components for your Explorer. From a full replacement to a fluid change, enjoy competitive prices and convenient shipping options to get the parts you need, when you need them.