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Considering a 2003 Ford Explorer Sport Trac


September 10, 2014
Reaction score
City, State
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Year, Model & Trim Level
2010 Ford Escape Hybrid
Hello all,

I am looking at buying a used 2003 Ford Explorer Sport Trac 4x4 with 76k original miles on the engine. I have looked the vehicle over thoroughly myself, aside from typical wear and tear and some superficial rust on the underside and the running boards, it is is pretty good shape.

Is there anything specific I should be concerned about or may specific attention to? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Here is a link to the ad for the vehicle if anyone is interested. FORD EXPLORER SPORT TRAC Gray


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The price seems a little high to me. I got my 01 for less than that with 70k miles and that was bak in 2008. It could just be my eyes but the headlights look like they had hazing and someone cleaned them up with a de-hazing kit. I would look for other signs of sun bleaching around the truck just to see.

Mechanically, make sure there is no ticking or what sounds like chains rattling when the engine is running. The 4.0 has a problem with timing chains going out but can be avoided with smart driving and good maintenance. Usually doesn't become a problem until 150k miles or so though.

Also, check to make sure that 4hi and 4lo both work. Electronic transfer cases sometimes seize up from not being switched over every now and then.

It looks like a nice truck in good condition though!

Nice looking truck but 11K is really high. Looks exactly like my 04 but I don't think this one is the premium trim. If it is though, you'll be running 4:11 gears so do a thorough test drive and feel for vibrations which are pretty common on these trucks with those gears. I live in Chesapeake and didn't know this one was out there.

I also agree it is a little high for the year. I recently purchased(4 months ago) a 2005 st with 90k on the clock and it came fully loaded with adrenalin package for that price.

Thanks for the replies guys. I am waiting to hear back from the dealer today. The locking mechanism on the bed cover was broke, and as they promised to fix it I asked that they do that prior to my buying it.

So, am I correct in thinking that if I hold off for now I can find another with equivalent mileage at a lower price?

I have bought my last 6 vehicles seaching either or

You can search by price, miliage and distance from you. Amazing to me how driving 3 hours saved me 4K on our '06 Expedition

I agree, sounds high to me. I just purchased a 2001 with 69,300 miles (leather, sunroof) for 7,000.

I'd keep looking.

I would post a pic but I'm not sure how to do that yet!!

I agree, sounds high to me. I just purchased a 2001 with 69,300 miles (leather, sunroof) for 7,000.

I'd keep looking.

I would post a pic but I'm not sure how to do that yet!!

1. Upload pictures to photobucket or something similar.
2. Copy the direct image link. (It'll say it on the sidebar of the picture on photobucket)
3. Go back to the thread you want to upload pictures to and click the insert image icon at the too of the reply box. It's the yellow postcard with a mountain on it.
4. A little dialog box will pop up. Delete the highlighted text in it and then paste your copied link into the box.
5. Click done and then click submit post.

I paid $11,000 for my '02 in Dec 2012. It had 63,850 miles on it at the time. It was possibly in better condition than you're describing, but has no options at all.

Market price varies by location.

Sorry, not trying to hijack your thread. This is the 2001 I recently bought.


NADA says around $10k for clean retail. Offer $9500 if you really want it.. Looks like a nice 'Trac in the pics. If you have a mechanic you trust have them check it out first though.

I agree, $9500 would be a good price with that mileage, leather, 4x4 and a sunroof.

I looked for quite some time before I could find a reasonably priced one with low mileage. Not that easy to find.

Thanks for all of the insight guys, I bought it last night. Got out the door at 10,200, plus tax which is fair from what I can tell from KBB and Nada. It did come with a small, 3 month, warranty, which though I put little trust in at least gives me something to fall back on if the engine, transmission... etc tanks.

:thumbsup: Keep her maintained well and she'll treat you right for many, many years to come. Best vehicle I've ever owned

Looking her over now. She has a fair amount of surface level rust on the undercarriage, with a few spots of it going deeper. I live only a few miles from the beach, so on a 11 year old car this is expected with the salt and humidity. Any recommendations as to how to remove it, and keep it from re-occurring?


I'll be interested to hear some replys cus my 2001 is the same way. I was thinking of maybe getting mine oil sprayed.

Congrats on the purchase! I think you'll really enjoy the sport trac and all of it's versatile features.

I've read a few threads of what guys use on their Super Duty's but can't remember what exactly it's called. I'll see if I can't find it.

I have a 2000 Explorer (Not sport Trac). I live up in Maine where they treat the road with some nasty chemicals, and heavy salt. A few years ago, after some rust repair I started undercoating my vehicle. A few hours with a chipping hammer and a pressure washer, then a few more hours with a spray gun and a gallon of rustoleum professional (Black). I coated the entire frame, and underside of the body. Redid it two years later, only had a minimal amount of rust.

You can go for more expensive treatments, (3M makes a kit that includes a rust converter treatment, then a heavy duty paint), but I would highly recommend the rustoleum pro stuff. $25-30 a gallon (hardware store or walmart), just make sure you get the underside clean and dry.

I have friends who use the same stuff as I do on their trucks, they have had the same results.