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The Mountaineer is positioned as a posher version of the Ford Explorer. Optional third-row seating brings passenger accommodations to seven. Conveniences include optional adjustable pedals that allow shorter drivers to optimize their driving position and an audible reverse warning system. The standard engine is an adequate-performing but coarse-sounding 4.0-liter V6; a 4.6-liter V8 is also available.
Alerts
There is 1 recall on this vehicle. Learn More.

Reliability

Reliability indicates how models have performed in the past, providing the basis for predicting how the vehicles will hold up in the year ahead. These charts provide the most comprehensive reliability information available to consumers. Based on information received from our latest subscriber survey, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how used vehicles are holding up in 17 potential trouble spots, ranging from the engine, transmission, and brakes to power equipment and the electrical system.

Overall Reliability
Most Common Trouble Spots
Common Trouble Spot
Common Trouble Spot
The 2003 Mercury Mountaineer has been recalled 1 time by NHTSA. View Recalls
Research Years *Redesign year
Worse Better
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01
02*
03
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05
06*
07
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Overall Reliability Verdict
NA
NA
Potential Trouble Spots
Engine Major
NA
NA
Engine Minor
NA
NA
Engine Cooling
NA
NA
Transmission Major
NA
NA
Transmission Minor
NA
NA
Drive System
NA
NA
Fuel System
NA
NA
Electric System
NA
NA
Climate System
NA
NA
Suspension
NA
NA
Brakes
NA
NA
Exhaust
NA
NA
Paint/Trim
NA
NA
Body Integrity
NA
NA
Body Hardware
NA
NA
Power Equipment
NA
NA
In-car Electronics
NA
NA
Reliability indicates how models have performed in the past, providing the basis for predicting how the vehicles will hold up in the year ahead. These charts provide the most comprehensive reliability information available to consumers. Based on information received from our latest subscriber survey for about 500,000 vehicles, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how 2000 through 2018 vehicles are holding up in 17 potential trouble spots, ranging from the engine, transmission, and brakes to power equipment and the electrical system. NA indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.

Learn more about car Reliability.

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2003 Mercury Mountaineer owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Condenser

“Leaks "freon" and needs the cause of the leak determined and fixed”

Allen N., MD (2003 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.5-L V8)

“Condenser was leaking. would not hold coolant”

Mike L., CA (2003 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.5-L V8)
Refrigerant leaks

“Had to add freon”

Elaine P., MD (2003 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.5-L V8)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

Backup or other camera/sensors

“Backup sensor Failure”

Gerald B., SC (2003 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.5-L V8)
CD player

“CD player jammed”

Gerald B., SC (2003 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.5-L V8)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

“Heck, with 123,000 miles front brake work would be perfectly normal. The rear brakes are still original and have 25% left on the pads”

Stephen W., AZ (2003 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.5-L V8)
Regular brake failure

“Brakes stopped working”

Anonymous, IL (2003 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.0-L V6)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Rust

“The passenger rear well got o hole in it and had to be repaired . It should be noted that their was never any accident damage”

Gerard H., MD (2003 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.5-L V8)

“Rock chip in the paint on right rear wheel well and it is rusting and spreading”

Anonymous, IA (2003 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.0-L V6)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

Springs or torsion bars

“Back right spring broken. Told by mechanic it was a common problem. Had to replace both back springs”

Anonymous, NY (2003 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.5-L V8)
Steering wheel vibration

“it has had a continuous problem with steering and vibrations”

Anonymous, MA (2003 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.5-L V8)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Headlights

“Problem with alignment”

Larry H., CO (2003 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.5-L V8)
Alarm or security system (excluding aftermarket systems)

“The computer that controls the system”

Anonymous, FL (2003 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.5-L V8)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Tailgate, hatch or trunk

“The tailgate had to be replaced TWO times because the tailgate CRACKED”

Gerard H., MD (2003 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.5-L V8)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

Sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor)

“We had an idle issue develop over time, along with a noise that was concerning and annoying at start up. 3 unique sensors, a new air cleaner and $500 later we were back in business”

Allen H., IL (2003 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.5-L V8)

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

What Owners Say

Slipping transmission

“Hard shifting and slipping, have not been repaired”

Anonymous, IL (2003 Mercury Mountaineer None 4.5-L V8)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

Compare 2003 Models

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This score shows whether the model had more or fewer problems overall than the average model of that year, calculated from the total number of problems reported by subscribers in all 17 trouble spots.
Recalls
PROVIDED BY
VISIBILITY:GLASS, SIDE/REAR
Dec 11 2007
IN THE EVENT OF A VEHICLE CRASH, THE OCCUPANT(S) MAY BE SERIOUSLY INJURED BY SHATTERED GLASS.
Summary:
CERTAIN CURVED TEMPERED REPLACEMENT GLASS MANUFACTURED BY HANGZHOU SAFETY GLASS LTD AND SUPPLIED TO SAFELITE BY AUTO TEMP INC., IDENTIFIED AS DOT-430, AND SOLD FOR USE ON CERTAIN DOMESTIC AND FOREIGN VEHICLES MAY NOT BREAK INTO SMALL PIECES AS EXPECTED OF TEMPERED GLASS AND FAILS TO CONFORM TO FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 205, "GLAZING MATERIALS."
What should you do:
SAFELITE WILL NOTIFY ITS RETAIL CUSTOMERS AND REPLACE THE GLASS FREE OF CHARGE. RETAIL CUSTOMERS CAN CONTACT SAFELITE TOLL FREE AT 1-888-843-2906. SAFELITE WILL NOTIFY ITS WHOLESALE CUSTOMERS AND REIMBURSE WHOLESALE CUSTOMERS FOR CURRENT INVENTORY AND AT A SPECIFIED RATE FOR REPLACING THEIR CUSTOMER'S GLASS. WHOLESALE CUSTOMERS CAN CONTACT SAFELITE'S WHOLESALE DIVISION, SERVICE AUTOGLASS TOLL FREE AT 1-888-246-6298. THE RECALL BEGAN ON JANUARY 15, 2008.
For more information:
THIS RECALL ONLY PERTAINS TO CERTAIN CURVED TEMPERED REPLACEMENT GLASS MANUFACTURED BY HANGZHOU SAFETY GLASS, LTD. (DOT-430) AND SUPPLIED TO SAFELITE BY AUTO TEMP INC., AND HAS NO RELATION TO ANY ORIGINAL EQUIPMENT INSTALLED ON THE VEHICLES LISTED ABOVE. CUSTOMERS MAY CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY: 1-800-424-9153); OR GO TO HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 07E104000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 1657
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