Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety.


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
29,641 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

1998 Ford Taurus transmission problems

transmission problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 1998 Ford Taurus:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

1998 Ford Taurus Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #47

Sep 012010


  • 87,000 miles


My son is away at college and was driving our 1998 Ford Taurus SE with less than 100,000 miles. In the middle of driving the car just stopped and would not go into gear. From reading other complaints this seems to be a transmission defect in the Ford Taurus. We have been the owners of this vehicle since being purchased new off the dealer lot. Cost to fix this transmission problem is prohibitive and makes no financial sense given the current kbb value. Ford needs to recall these vehicles and correct the defect. Now we have our child stuck at college 3 hours away with a junk vehicle also stuck 3 hours away while still paying costly insurance on it.

- Tullahoma, TN, USA

problem #46

May 072007

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 116,000 miles
Jerking, doesn't want to go, felt like fuel filter, but think its transmission.

- Phoenix , AZ, USA

problem #45

Jun 012006


  • Automatic transmission
  • 134,000 miles
My 1998 Ford Taurus has 134,000 miles and has been a good car. We have had it for 6 months. It is the only vehicle I have. All of a sudden it kicks itself out of drive when you are driving. So far we have not had an accident because of this--I quit driving it but I came very, very close to being hit by a semi-truck when it just stopped in the middle of the road. I was very lucky!! I have had numerous things done to it but it still continues to do this. I am very angry as I cannot afford to get another vehicle!!!

- Goreville, IL, USA

problem #44

Oct 182005

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40 miles


The service engine soon light came on. 2 code read internal problems with transmission - fourth gear and solenoid. Code was cleared but came back a week later. Had transmission rebuilt to the amount of over $3200. Bought 1998 Ford Taurus used in 2001 with 52000 miles - now 91400. Just wanted to make other consumers aware of this costly problem. I have had no other major problems in the 4 years of ownership.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #43

Aug 012005

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 187,000 miles
1998 Ford Taurus. The consumer states the speed sensor goes out. The vehicle will down shift while going 70 mph. This happens at all speeds. The vehicle has been to the dealership, they insist it is an owner's problem, not a vehicle problem. They indicate the vehicle needs a new transmission. He has had all of the sensors replaced and the vehicle still behaves poorly. This problem started two weeks ago on August 1, 2005. The vehicle is currently at a local mechanic. Ford refuses to do anything other than replace the transmission or give the consumer $500 for the vehicle.

- Laurel, MT, USA

problem #42

May 182005

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 174,699 miles
The transmission stalled and started leaking transmission fluid all over the engine and on the road which caused smoking.

- Springfield, MA, USA

problem #41

Mar 052005

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,598 miles


1998 Ford Taurus station wagon began low power acelerating at stop times 2. a third incident occured from a complete stop with foot on brakes an this time it could not be stopped with both feet on breaks. It ran for about 75 feet and then quit on its own. Took to local Ford delears ship and they could find nothing wrong with my car. I asked if this were common and was told they never heard of such thing. Keep car two days I contacted the Taurus club of americal at their web line and it seems there have been many incidents such as this and they called it surging.

- Lexington, KY, USA

problem #40

Jun 022004


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While driving at any speed vehicle stalled. The problem was due to a faulty automatic transmission.

- Santa Fe, NM, USA

problem #39

Jan 282003

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 102,000 miles
Vehicle purchased new, 2000 miles transmission quit working was rebuilt under warranty by Ford. Transmission is out again car will not move without increasing rpms to 2,500, transmission slips and car is not drivable. Makes loud knocking sound. Estimated $2,500 rebuild needed. Head gaskets went out at 80,000 miles and were replaced for $600, this is a common problem with Taurus.

- Tracy, CA, USA

problem #38

Oct 222003

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 117,350 miles
As I was pulling away from my driveway about 5 mph I heard a loud noise between hood and front seats. I soon realised that when I steped on the acceleration pedal the car won't go foward. I parked the car immidiately and turned off waited for a couple of minutes I got off from the car and I personally inpected the car from the exterior of the motor, and underneath of it and no oil was spilled (motor or transmission). I turned the car back on steped on the break and shifted to drive, and steped on accelaration pedal, but car wont move. I alo tryed reverse and did not move aswell. When U putted the car into 2nd gear it took a couple of seconds for the car to move. I also tryed 1st. Gear and it did not move as well.

- Loa Angeles, CA, USA

problem #37

Dec 172003

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 63,100 miles


98 Ford Taurus, well maintained, had catastrophic transmission faliure at 63,000 miles. Ford has stonewalled &/or ignored the situation.

- Middleboro, MA, USA

problem #36

Dec 052003

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 135,000 miles
While travelling to work on Friday morning, December 5, I had just accessed interstate 65 North and had travelled on it for approximately 2 miles. I had reached my normal cruising speed of 80 mph when I began to cross the bridge over the Tennessee river. On the downside of the bridge, I had no warning when all of a sudden my transmission ceased to function. Due to the speed I was travelling, I was able to coast until I exited the bridge. After approximately 1/4 a mile, I safely pulled the vehicle over into the emergency lane and came to a stop. I proceeded to check all the gears to determine if the transmission had completely failed. Unfortunately, it had. There was absolutely no warning to the transmission failure. There was no noise, no jerk, no anything. The vehicle has approximately 135,000 miles on it, and I ensure that routine service is performed on it. Twelve months prior, I had the transmission completely serviced. This complete failure came as a surprise to me as no warning signs were evident. Today, I am having to shell out $1600 for a complete overhaul of the transmission system. The company I have performing the repairs is known to be very reputible and told me that a great deal of damage had occurred within the transmission at or just prior to the actual failure. I was shocked when I found out today that others have experienced very similar situations. It appears that there is indeed a flaw in the Ford Taurus transmission system.

- Decatur, AL, USA

problem #35

Oct 302003


  • 35,441 miles
Vehicle had been in repair shop five times for transmission work. Transmission was repaired twice and replaced three times.

- Freehold, NJ, USA

problem #34

Jun 282003

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
1998 Ford Taurus; 78000+ miles: Recurring transmission problems. Owners manual indicates that the illumination of the check engine light may not be referring to a mechanical problem that will affect performance of the vehicle. Our light came on one month after we purchased the car. It would go off when we changed fluids or brand of gasoline. On June 28th there was a noticable change in drivability as the speedometer stopped working completely and the car would no longer shift from low gear. The engine would rev to 5000 rpms trying to shift but could not. I certainly believe this to be a dangerous situation while trying to maneuver in 55 to 65 mph traffic. Aamco now tells me that it will cost 1500 T0 2000 dollars to fix the problem. I ran a 1993 Ford van to 270,000 miles but I did not know that this model had a 12 year history of severe transmission problems.

- Millersburg, PA, USA

problem #33

Jun 252003

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Today, while driving at about 55 mph on rte 1, my 1998 Ford Taurus wagon suddenly starting to shake violently as loud noises like bottoming out on several boulders emanated from beneath the car. The engine continued to run smoothly and the A/C pumped out cool air, but when the car came to rest at a stop light it did not move forward until the RPM got quite high and only then at a very slow, herky, jerky pace. The car smoothed out at around 25-30 mph, but the problem got progressively worse. I noticed blue-gray smoke coming from the rear of the car and parked the car in a relatively safe place. I noticed liquid dripping from beneath the car near the rear of the oil pan. My husband checked on the car on his way home from work to ascertain that the liquid is transmission fluid. Without humor I recalled a woman telling me just two weeks ago that she had a car just like mine that she had to replace the transmission in recently, and I told her at the time that my car was running fine. This failure occurred without any warning. It was fortunate that I was on rte 1 and not on I-95, and in the day time on a hot sunny day and not on a cold, wet night.

- Stafford, VA, USA

problem #32

May 052003

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 64,077 miles
1998 Ford Taurus would occasionally not move from a complete stop. This happened four times between November 2002 and the present. After the fourth time (May 2, 2003), the vehicle was taken to the local Ford dealership. They stated that the transmission would have to be replaced at a cost of $2800. The vehicle was taken to an independent transmission shop for a second opinion. They found metal shavings in the pan and burnt mercon V. total cost for rebuilding the transmission was $1400-$1800. This is a preliminary estimate since the shop has to determine the amount of damage inside the transmission. The vehicle was not used for trailer towing or racing. Engine is the duratec V6 and the total mileage is 64077. This is to me a serious concern since a vehicle should last at least 100,000 miles without a major failure as what has happened. Every time the vehicle would not move from a complete stop was at a congested intersection, and one of the times this occurred was on a major highway where the maximum speed limit is 65 mph. This is a serious safety concern.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #31

Dec 232002

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 73,000 miles
1998 Ford Taurus transmission failure

- Riverside, PA, USA

problem #30

Nov 232002


  • miles
Transmission down-shifted at highway speed causing sudden de-acceleration without brake lights almost causing a chain reaction accident behind me. Cars were forced off the road to avoid smahsing into me and other vehicles tring to avoid me close call. Lucky for me everyone was paying attention and no one got hurt. This transmission has no fail safe in place to prevent sudden downshift when the speed sensor fails. Dangerous!

- Fitchburg, MA, USA

problem #29

Feb 012001


  • miles
While traveling about 65 mph on the highway. There is clinking noise coming from underneath the vehicle. And there is accessive speed. The dealership is aware of the problem.

- Pasadena, CA, USA

problem #28

Oct 092002

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,821 miles
While parking the vehicle without prior warning the vehicle locked up. The dealership is aware of the problem.

- Republic, MI, USA

Read the next 20 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?