Just purchased an 2003 Expedition.

Discussion in '2nd Gen - 2003 - 2006' started by Rick Boswell, May 10, 2019.

  1. Rick Boswell

    Rick Boswell New Member

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    Hello everyone! I'm looking for some tips from other Expedition owners. This is my first ever Expedition. And what a beast it is! One owner, 170K miles, well maintained and garage kept. Dark blue with beige interior. What are some things that I might want to look out for? The lady that I bought it from keep the vehicle serviced but seemed to know little else. I purchased the Carfax before my purchase and it was a good clean report on the vehicle. I was thinking of switching to synthetic oil when I change the oil soon. Any thoughts on that? I've had this vehicle now for over a week, gave it good detail cleaning (wasn't very dirty, to begin with) and have put about 250 miles on it. Strong engine, drives and handles well, and everything is in good working order. This vehicle is not my everyday driver. I had sold my old camper as I was pulling that camper with a Honda Odyssey. The Ody did the job but it is not designed to tow anything really. This Expedition will mostly be used for towing the boat to the boat ramp and for towing a camper when we find another one that we can afford.
     
  2. bsutton1705

    bsutton1705 Member

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    lets see some pics of it! What motor? 4x4? My 2003 tows great and while some people say they sag easy I have loaded down my 16 foot trailer with 3 ricks of wood and it did not sag much at all, really just made it sit level
     
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  3. MrSticker

    MrSticker Full Access Members

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    Scheduled maintenance. Which is difficult because you don't know what was done.
     
  4. Hamfisted

    Hamfisted Full Access Members

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    I would highly recommend Mobil One 10w-30 synthetic oil in that motor. Don't use the 5w-20 weight oil if you want the motor to last. Check the roof channels for rust and pitting on the ends and fix them early so you don't get rust holes through the roof. Look at the radiator support area and take care of that rust early as well. You can use Mobil One synthetic ATF as well. Put a Magnefine 5/16" inline filter in the return line behind the radiator (passenger side) to help keep the trans fluid clean. Use Akebono ceramic brake pads to keep the rims clean from brake dust. Check the rear differential fluid level at least once a year.
     
  5. MrSticker

    MrSticker Full Access Members

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    How do you check the rear diff fluid?
    How do you fill it if low?
    Use this?
    31Yh7gjncsL.jpg
     
  6. Hamfisted

    Hamfisted Full Access Members

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    I'm not sure Amsoil has the limited slip additive in it. I use Mobil 1 gear lube that already has the LS additive in it. If your Expy doesn't have a limited slip rear axle I guess you can use whatever brand you want. If your axle code is H6 you have a 3.73 LS rear axle. You can find the code on the door jamb sticker. I use one of those mechanic's syringes to refill the axles. Seems to make the least mess.



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  7. CaptOchs

    CaptOchs Full Access Members

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    I have a 2003 as well. I've got the 5.4L. Other common issues I've run into not discussed:
    • Bad door sensor causes the car to think someone is opening the door while driving. Sensors are almost $50. I ended up pulling the plug and putting a jump wire in.
    • The rear wiper blade can get hard to move. I've already taken mine apart to grease it once. It's starting to get bad again. I found this issue troubleshooting a parasitic draw. The rear wiper motor couldn't move the wiper and was drawing power even with the truck off.
    • Thumping coming from rear A/C. There are whole forums on that topic.
    • My truck has a bad habit of going through bearings. I've replaced driver's side front twice and the others at least once. Passenger's front is going for me, again.
    • Driver's front window dropped on me in the middle of a snowstorm. Had to tape the window up and replace the window regulator.
    • Wiper transmission broke. Only driver's wiper worked. Replacing it was not easy because of the shape of it.
    • I had a differential leak. It was an expensive repair because the rear axle practically had to be removed due to the crossbeams.
    • Rear brake lines shot. Typical for WNY though.
    Despite those issues, the engine, transmission, and 4WD have never let me down. I've done the fluid changes. I pull at camper that weighs like 7000 pounds empty. Favorite memories include
    1. Camping and boating trips.
    2. Pulling the old camper out of a field with almost 2 ft of snow with 4x4 after we traded it in. That was beast mode.
    3. Yanking a rotted tree down that was precariously leaning up against another.
     
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  8. 367KIX

    367KIX Member

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    I have a 2003, 5.4, 4WD, with over 230K miles, and have always used synthetic Castrol 5W-20, with no issues. I'll also add that you consider a coolant check/flush if you don't know how old it is.

    I'm guessing yours has had at least one spark plug replacement, and I've seen them last at least 100K miles. If you get a misfire, it will throw a code to tell you which plug is the culprit (back plugs are no fun to replace, BTW). I think the need for new coils is exaggerated in this forum, and have never had to replace any as new plugs eliminated any misfires. If yours is hitting on all 8 cylinders, I wouldn't do any plugs until you feel a misfire and get a "Check Money" (aka Check Engine) light and find out what the OBDII code is.
     
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  9. CaptOchs

    CaptOchs Full Access Members

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    I've done the plugs and coils too. The coils are pretty expensive if you replace with OEM or parts stores. It was $35 each or $200 for all 8. I bought some on Amazon that were $35 for 8. They had good reviews. I wasn't expecting a whole lot, but they work great.

    Misfire due to a bad plug causes CEL. A bad coil doesn't display a CEL. It just runs rough on lower RPMs. I noticed it doing around 50MPH or decelerating from highway speed and then suddenly accelerating again.
     
  10. Frank Swygert

    Frank Swygert New Member

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    Most of the "bad coil" issues aren't bad coils, but the boots between the coil and plug. They have a conductor inside that links the coil to the plug. I didn't know that, the mechanic who replaced the plugs told me he always changed those with the plugs and had fewer coil failures later. I started to change the plugs myself, since I'm a reasonably good amateur mechanic (I've done some EFI engine swaps and car rebuilds in older cars), but so much has to be moved just to get to the plugs I caved and paid! Mine's a 2005, had just under 100K on it when I bought it. Computer was reporting "multiple misfires" and it would "stumble" some under certain load conditions, but not all the time. That is usually reported before a misfire on a single cylinder, but it varies. I first thought the trans or torque converter was slipping since it only "stumbled" going up or down hills, but a check of the computer gave the misfiring code. Was a relief -- I just had it a few weeks! I've only had it just under a year now, bought to tow a camper and just use when we need a larger vehicle.
     

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