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.

CarComplaints.com Notes: Most people need a car that shifts gears & coil springs that don't shred tires. The Taurus fails in that respect.

The 2003 Ford Taurus has major issues with the transmission failing. Typically the 2003 Taurus transmission failure costs $2,000 to fix by about 90k-100k miles. Not good.

Adding insult to injury, the 1999-2003 Taurus also has a huge problem with coil springs breaking which can puncture or even shred tires while driving.

The US government spent THREE YEARS (2008-2011) investigating the 2002-2003 Taurus coil springs. Although Taurus/Sable from earlier years were recalled, ultimately the NHTSA did not force a recall. They determined that because there had been no deaths & very few bad crashes & injuries, the broken coil springs defect was no big deal & not a safety defect. Tell that to all the owners who had close calls...

9.1

really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
$1,920.00
Average Mileage:
93,651 miles
Total Complaints:
331 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace transmission (153 reports)
  2. not sure (81 reports)
  3. replace torque converter (37 reports)
  4. sitting in drive way trying to figure something out (31 reports)
  5. rebuilt the transmission replacing only failed parts (18 reports)
  6. scrap it! (5 reports)
2003 Ford Taurus transmission problems

transmission problem

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2003 Ford Taurus Owner Comments (Page 10 of 17)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #151

Jun 242011

Taurus SE 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 124,641 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Drove home from work...no problems...went out on 6/24/11...stopped at a red light...everything was fine...went about 50 feet...Transmission dis-engaged and coasted to the side of the road...got towed home for $148.00...have no friggen Idea what to do now...car does not respond in ANY gear...no reverse...no drives...nothing....sits in the driveway right now...Damn you Ford Motor Company!!!!....DO SOMETHING!!!!!....I PAID YOU GOOD MONEY for this car....I trusted your company....no wonder the car companies are in trouble....you screw the customer...will NEVER buy another Ford product AGAIN!!!!!

- , Mentor, OH, USA

problem #150

Jun 212011

Taurus V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,432 miles

Up until June 21, 2011 I have not had problems with my Taurus. I bought it used a year and a half ago and it has always run good. Then on the 21st I was sitting at a light on the main highway in Kokomo waiting to turn left and when the light turned green the car went about four or five feet into the busy intersection and then just wouldn't move anymore. The car was still running, but nothing happened in any gear. Cars were going around me from all directions and I had to try to push my car out of the intersection by myself. Finally some young kid stopped and helped me push it out of the intersection. It was very scary and dangerous. There was no warning, no fluids leaking, nothing. It just suddenly happened. I had the car towed to the shop and was told the transmission needed to be replaced and it would cost $2700 (for a rebuilt transmission). I don't have that kind of money just laying around, so I can't even afford to get the car fixed! It's ridiculous that Ford knows there is a problem with the transmissions on 2003 Taurus's and they won't fix it! I will never buy another Ford product because of this experience.

- , Kokomo, IN, USA

problem #149

Jun 212011

Taurus SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,578 miles

Ford ABSOLUTELY NEEDS TO RECALL! Its happened to way way too many people! Its not anything we are doing wrong its Fords fault for building a faulty car! Im so mad I cant even contain it. I was driving 70mph down a busy freeway and I had my cruise tried to keep up with the speed I set it but it couldn't so my rpms went up to 6 or so and my gas pedal went to the floor. IT SCARED THE CRAP out of me! And because I was scared I almost rammed a flippen car next to me trying to get off the road because there was a semi right behind me. This IS ABSOLUTELY DANGEROUS! Ford doesn't want to recall because its not classified as a "safety issue", UM YES IT IS a safety issue! To sideswipe another car or get rammed in the tail of your car is a safety issue. I dont have the money to fix this problem, So there fore I cant get to work and when I cant get to work Im not making the money I need to get it fixed... I find it funny I started antidepressants the day this happened because I would prolly be sent to a hospital for stressing too much over it. Thanks Ford for all the help fixing your bad, not. I used to be a die hard Ford fan before this and I found out they wont recall, Ill be switching to a different car company next time I buy a car unless they see that too many people are having this issue and do recall.

- , Addison, MI, USA

problem #148

May 112011

Taurus SES V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 129,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Beyond some other problems I had in the past with my Taurus, it finally happened to me..my transmission failed while I was driving 75pmh on a very busy highway coming home from work at 9:30pm. Without any warning lights or any strange noises driving at 75mph, my rpm Guage and engine suddenly revved high and I couldn't accelerate my car anymore in drive. It was like having the car in neutral in the drive position in 5 lane highway. As my car slowed down and was only coasting, I had to dodge cars coming from the rear at 70-80mph just so I can get over 4 lanes to the closest shoulder on the road. Luckily I managed and the car did well coasting far along to reach an exit and finally stopped on the side of the road where I was towed later.

It was a very frightening experience and with all these similar complaints you would think ford would do somthing about it. I could've easily been in an major accident that night, but was fortunate thank God! What is Ford waiting for...DEATH due to faulty defective transmissions! Just replaced Transmission in my wife's 2003 Winstar. Same issue and she was driving with our 1 year old baby when it happened on road..luckily nothing happened to them either!

- , Coral Springs, FL, USA

problem #147

Apr 232011

Taurus SES 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,142 miles

i AGREE WITH EVERYONE ELSE'S COMPLAINTS REGARDING THE TRANSMISSION FOR THIS VEHICLE. THE MAGNITUDE OF PROBLEM BEING EXPERIENCED SHOULD REQUIRE THE ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE OR CONSUMER ADVOCATES OFFICE TO INTERVENE AND HAVE FORD RECALL THESE CARS FOR THIS PROBLEM.

- , Easton, PA, USA

problem #146

Feb 192011

Taurus SE 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,443 miles

My wife was on her way to set-up a surprize baby shower for our daughter. The car was loaded with food / gifts / decorations etc... . She got about a mile from our house when the transmission failed with out any warning...What a stressful day...the baby shower unfortunately did not turn out to be a surprize, but it did happen...come on FORD do the right thing...

- , Ramey, PA, USA

problem #145

Apr 012011

Taurus SEL 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,836 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

The transmission failed without warning, like most of these reports. Luckily it happened in light traffic. I was towed to the nearest Ford dealership, and three days later, the famous failed torque converter was diagnosed. However, the further the mechanic dug, the more problems found; pump shaft sheared off, shift rod worn, seals, gaskets, etc. I did report this to Transport Canada, Road Safety, and I was the first Taurus in Canada to report it! Lots of Windstars though. Ford Customer Service was sympathetic, but the repair was not covered under any warranty or Customer Satisfaction Program; I was on the hook for the full cost (+ the 2 weeks of rental car).

Ford likely doesn't consider this as a safety issue. The driver still has power steering and brakes so has control of the vehicle. I must say that the Taurus does coast very well in Neutral, but I wouldn't want to try it across four lanes of heavy traffic. I would recommend anyone who has experienced this failure to report it to your national transportation safety organization. It's the only way that Ford might listen.

- , Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, canada

problem #144

May 022011

Taurus ES 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

My vehicle runs very nice, on the May 02, 2011 I was on my way to report for Military duty, as I waited for the light turn green I hit the gas and my ford taurus did not move. Now I'm just waiting for the dealer to call me to get my vehicle back. Not a good deal.

- , Reading, PA, USA

problem #143

Apr 082011

Taurus SE 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 83,000 miles

I was driving home from work and it was going amazing. The car never had any issues under the hood and compared to most cars, it was in amazing shape. Then I turned the corner and went to accelerate....and it decided it wanted to take a break...and still is...

- , Allen Park, MI, USA

problem #142

Feb 192011

Taurus SES V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

I bought my Taurus used about 6 months ago after a car accident totaled my Ford Escort. I liked the escprt, bt wanted something larger to accomdate my growing Family. Taurus was it, great storage space in the trunk, and roomy inside. It was inspected by a mechanic to ensure it was in top condition. I was a loyal Ford owner until now. Only after my trasnmission failed without warning, no slippage, noise, or fluid issues... I located this site and never again will I buy a Ford. I was told by my shop that Ford changed transmissions in the Taurus after 2003, but where does that leave us? The middle class american that loved to buy American cars for a good value??? Most of us dont have an extra $2000 laying around. great Job Ford, you blew it.

- , Jeffersonville, IN, USA

problem #141

Jan 272011

Taurus LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,779 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

This is the second time I am having to replace my transmission. The first time was on October 7, 2010 my vehicle had 87,119 miles on it and had been maintained on a preventive maintenance plan, by the book, from day one. This time it happened on January 27, 2011, same problem, shift the lever into drive and it will not budge. The car has 88,779 miles on it (that is 1,660 miles between transmissions). The car is still in the shop, today is April 14, 2011. How can your transmission go out twice and there not be a problem with the transmissions used in 2003 Ford Taurus?

- , Hattiesburg, MS, USA

problem #140

Oct 072010

Taurus LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,119 miles

It is hard to believe you would have to replace your transmission with only 87,119 miles on your vehicle and this vehicle is on a strict preventive maintenance plan, everything by the book. The car has been serviced on time. This seems to be a common problem with the 2003 ford taurus. How come this has not been a recall on this car? It cost me $2011.00 to have it fixed and be without a vehicle for 37 days!

- , Hattiesburg, MS, USA

problem #139

Apr 112011

Taurus SES

  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,900 miles

HAPPENED WITHOUT ANY WARNING. I was just going down the highway and the car just stopped running. At least I was able to get to the side of the road. The car starts and runs and none of the warning lights are lit up. NOTHING HAPPENS WHEN I PUT THE CAR IN GEAR. I found this site and felt the need to add my complaint. There should be a recall, it is the right thing to do!!!

- , Waterford, CT, USA

problem #138

Nov 052010

Taurus SES

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,000 miles

We bought our 2003 Taurus in March 2009. We had relatively no issues with it until about November 2010. While driving the car it just stopped responding. After checking it out we realized that the transmission had gone out. We spent $1000 to get a new transmission and were happy with the results...until. A few days ago my husband was on his way to work and it HAPPENED AGAIN!!!! The car will start but when you try to put it in gear nothing happens. I am at my wits end with this car. My husband searched online for similar problems and it seems that this happens to most owners of Taurus'. One interesting thing that he found was that the same year Windstar has the same transmission and problem. The only difference-- Ford recalled that transmission!! I don't know what we're going to do. We really can't afford to put in two transmissions in less than 6 months.

- , Manassas, VA, USA

problem #137

Nov 052010

Taurus SES

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,000 miles

Ford needs to recall this transmission. The car runs fine and I had had no problems since purchasing it two years ago. When the transmission went out I had no warning--the car just stopped responding.

- , Manassas, VA, USA

problem #136

Mar 122011

Taurus SES V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

I was riding on I-95 and all of a sudden my car wouldn't accelerate. I was going about 60mph at that point so the car had enough momentum to make it to the next exit. When i got off at the exit, I pulled into a safe place and put the car in reverse, it didn't move. In drive, it didn't move. After being diagnosed the transmission guy told me that it was definitely a transmission problem and it probably need to be rebuilt. I'm awaiting the final diagnostic.

I don't know what to say, I am totally upset. Since I was small, I wanted an all American car. I really wanted a Ford. My second car was a Ford Contour in which I had to have the transmission rebuilt for ($2800). Now my Taurus may need a rebuilt transmission. Really,,,,,Really.....I think my Ford dreams are over.

- , Pompano Beach, FL, USA

problem #135

Feb 042011

Taurus SE 3.0L Voulcan

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,453 miles

i was about to leave to go to school one morning so i stepped into the car, placed the key in the slot, turned on the car shifted it into reverse and pressed the gas when suddenly..."what?" i press the gas again and the car did nothing but rev. none of the gears worked. all the car did was sit there. like some of the other people, i researched about transmission problems in a Taurus and as it turns out, its a very common problem amongst these cars! i don't mean to get sentimental, but my father passed away not too long ago so now its only my mother and i. can you imagine how hard this impacted my mother's economy!? she has to pay the bills, the rent, and NOW THIS!? I THOUGHT WE COULD RELY ON THIS CAR! i wish i could help my mother with the expenses but i cant get a job due to the rigorous school schedule that i have. FORD SHOULD RECALL THESE CARS JUST LIKE THEY DID TO THE 1998-2003 FORD WINDSTAR, AND FIX THE PROBLEM!

- , Arlington, TX, USA

problem #134

Mar 092011

Taurus SES V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

I bought my 03 ford taurus new no miles.I now have 75,000 miles on it.Guess what the transmission failed while my wife and 4 year old son were on the way from dadeville to auburn .This was terrible,stuck and miles from help.Now I am walking to work because I had to leave my truck for my wife and son. I never expected this would happen so soon ,at 75,000 come on!!!Over the last 6 years i have bought 3 ford products,never again.What I have learned is that this a common and well known problem.Ford should do something to help loyal customers,yea wright, it will be my fault, it had to be something I done.That is how it will be. It sucks I don't have the money to have it fixed.will have to save for at least a year.

- , Dadeville, AL, USA

problem #133

Mar 072011

Taurus SE 3ol V3

  • Automatic transmission
  • 117,322 miles

Yesterday, as I was behind other vehicles at a stop sign, the car just stopped moving in gear. I had to wave other cars around me. When I turned it off and then restarted, it did the same thing. No warning__nothing ! Had to get it towed home (thank God for AAA). I went online and googled "car won't move in gear", and here I am. I believe if this has been a recurring problem with this Ford make, that it should be addressed by FORD MOTOR COMPANY. I have no doubt that it is a well known problem because when I called the transmission repair people, they said it is a common problem and that they can fix it but cannot guarantee that it won"t happen again.If I had know this before I bought it, I would have had a lot of second thoughts.

- , Rocky Point, NC, USA

problem #132

Dec 162010

Taurus SES 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 131,000 miles

I thought I bought a reliable used American made car for my daughter to get to school & work in, she drove it for about 11 months with no problems then all of a sudden one morning it wouldn't engage into gear (forward or reverse). I thought maybe it was the linkage from the shifting lever but discovered no problem. I then searched for a solution online and ran into this website. After looking up this car i said HOLY SH*T! this car has a serious problem that should've been recalled by Ford. I just sold it on Craigslist & said goodbye to Ford forever!

- , Westfield, MA, USA

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