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. 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...


really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
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 3 of 17)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #291

Feb 222014


  • Automatic transmission
  • 66,000 miles


Engine roar, no power to gears, had to coast to side of road

- , Olmsted Falls, OH - Ohio, USA

problem #290

Feb 222014

Taurus SES 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 66,000 miles

I have a 2003 Ford Taurus, with 66K that my daughter was driving. She was headed for home with my grand kids when the engine acceleration increased and the car stopped moving forward. Lucky she wasn't on a busy highway and was able to coast to a wide spot in the road. The transmission quit working without warning, which could have been disastrous had she been on the expressway or in a major intersection. The car had to be towed. After this happened I researched other complaints of this same year Taurus and there have been many! I strongly feel this is a definite safety issue with this car and intend to report this to Ford and the auto safety administration. I also intend to make a post on and suggest others with this problem do the same. This car should be recalled for this safety issue!

- , Kane, PA, USA

problem #289

Jul 152013

Taurus SD 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,000 miles

Was on way to hospital to see grandson came off expressway no problem at all no slippage of transmission at all stop at red light turned right went about 100 feet and the transmission just stopped working with no warning at all . Got off road and it would not move at all the vehicle. no clicking or slippage of any kind at all. Really a pain to have to deal with.

- , Demossville, KY, USA

problem #288

Jun 092013

Taurus SEL 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 129,000 miles


I have a 2003 Ford Taurus the transmission went out on June 9, 2013. I bought another transmission on October 11, 2013 with 82,000 miles and just found out that transmission is going out. I'm not going to go off. Better yet I'm a 38y/o black female with no children, just graduated from RN school (May 2013), out of work do to two torn tendonitis in my foot (off for 3mths & counting) & can't go back to my job as a telemetry tech nor get a job as a RN. I need my car to get to therapy, doctor appointments & get away from the all the people that thought I wouldn't amount to anything in life.

To Ford, if you are a company that have standards you will look at all of our complaints, consider we bought American, the bail out helped you and now (FORD) you should HELP US!

- , Chicago, IL, USA

problem #287

Jul 052013

Taurus SES

  • Automatic transmission
  • 91,879 miles

First of all, I can tell you that I had the most frightening experience of my lifetime on Friday morning, July 5, 2013. It was about 7 o'clock am and I was driving on the U.S. 215 at 65 mph [miles per hour] while traffic was going around and passing me at 80 to 90 miles per hour. I was in the process of departing the freeway SW at St. Rose Pkwy, in Henderson, NV. Then I made a left turn in the left fast-lane ongoing... on St. Rose Pkwy and suddenly, the transmission of my 2003 Ford Taurus began '...idling...' as if the automobile was in neutral . . . slowing.... stopping; ----as cars began breaking behind me to avoid running into my rear end. I immediately found myself in a dangerous situation . . .in the fast-lane without any gears; ---for more than an hour I was diverting traffic around my car and thinking... Only God knows why this did not happen moments before on the U.S. 215 ---I would have been killed. Now I'm sure, if no one makes Ford or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration do something about the defective transmission in the 2003 Ford Taurus; sadly, someone is going to be killed, very soon.

The major concerns now . . . there is no warning --- I experienced it ...the most frightening moments of my life: 1) there is no warning whatsoever; 2) it's sudden and happening instantly as you are driving; 3) I'm immediately in a state of confusion... having no sense of what is actually happening? It's extremely dangerous when its happening while you're driving!

Today, right now --- I'm working with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration NHTSA to get a recall on the 2003 Ford Taurus; it's potentially dangerous after advanced mileage... like 90,000 on... it could happen at any time. -----If you've got a 2003 Ford Taurus---- Let's all keep in touch about this matter. You never know what might develop?

Update from Nov 20, 2013: Today, Wednesday, November 20, 2013 -- Now as I prepare to begin discussing the serious safety defects I have experienced with my 2003 Ford Taurus on July 5th if this year, I really wanted all owners of the 2003 Ford Taurus that has experienced any transmission problems of the kind I have explained, please let me know if you have had your transmission repaired? If so, how much did it cost? If you have any information or concerns regarding this matter... PLEASE send me an EMAIL: -- regarding your concerns?

- , Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #286

May 202012

Taurus LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles

Turned the corner into my driveway (thank God!) and it was like it went into neutral, coasted to a stop, no noise, no previous warning, engine running fine, but no gears. Was able to push over to the side with help. Haven't gotten the results from the garage yet. At first look they are puzzled. No leaks, transmission fluid clean, no clunking when it happened, and no gears.

- , Juneau, WI, USA

problem #285

Mar 272012


  • Automatic transmission
  • 162,000 miles


I know this may be a moot point, BUT, I just emailed Ford and would hope that if enough people did the same, just maybe they would listen. There are enough of us 2003 TAURUS owners who are pissed off to make a difference. Go to this website and find the tab for 'contact ford' Unfortunately you can't use profanity :) so keep it clean and get your point across. Good luck everyone, sitting here figuring out what I am going to do with my POS....

- , Myrtle Beach, SC, USA

problem #284

Mar 272012


  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles

Well, same as all the others. Daughter was driving it, had already climbed two hills, came downhill, noticed a surging as only warning, wouldn't climb the last 220 yard hill to our house. No previous indications that a problem was imminent. Put the selector anywhere you want, it acts like it's in neutral. Reported problem to Ford. Went to NTSA site to report defect, site didn't work p[roperly, no report. Bought car as 2nd car ayear ago with 75k on it, didn't find this problem when I was searching for reliability issues; guess you gotta put the right search terms in. Can't afford to NOT fix it. Used trannys much less than rebuilt, but who wants the same problem in a few 100 miles?

- , Binghamton, NY, USA

problem #283

Feb 262012


  • Automatic transmission
  • 54,000 miles

We were stopped at a traffic light and when the light turned green the car would not go forward or backward. The car only had 54,000 miles. From the reports I have read this is a common problem with the ford taurus. We all know what ford stands for. Need I say any more. This problem should be taken care of by a recall so all of us victims can be reimbursed.

- , Ashland, OH, USA

problem #282

Mar 242012

Taurus SES 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 136,000 miles

Same complaint lost transmission without any warning, wife work goes to college. Daughter goes to college, I work! We need reliable cars, not cars Ford new that transmissions were failing, I've been put in a bad spot right now, how can you help us Ford.

- , Abingdon, MD, USA

problem #281

Apr 112012


  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,000 miles


After reading ALL the other complaints on the 2003 Tauras transmission issues - seems I am far from alone! I have to say this is ridiculous if all of these problems are occuring and seems to well documented. You can't tell me with all of these SAME problems that there isn't a major issue with the transmissions in the 2003 Taurus......

First let me stress - I just had my car serviced yesterday - All was good - my car was doing fine - drove fine.. Haven't had any issues to speak of. But......

Driving to work this morning my car is going along just fine - then, all of a sudden and of course with NO warning my car stops accelerating then I roll to a stop right a light and there I am left sitting in the road. It will not go into gear-forward/reverse. Then I get to wait for a wrecker to drag my car away. A perfect way to start a morning. I'm just thankful for a wonderful son-n-law who didn't leave me stranded!

- , Hickory, NC, USA

problem #280

Aug 192013

Taurus E 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 124,000 miles

Same here...bought car from private owner, No symptoms of problem with just quit working ....very sad. Please Ford, RECALL the '03 and all others with similar problems. This car was apparently very well maintained and clean, no other issues.

- , Anoka, MN, USA

problem #279

Jul 272013


  • Automatic transmission
  • 61,000 miles

This is my mother's car. It only has 61,000 miles. It has been well maintained. She only drives short distances such as to the store and to church. There is no reason for this transmission to have failed! There needs to be a recall on this vehicle. It is obvious as there are so many complaints about the same failed transmission for this type of vehicle. Ford needs to fix these vehicles! Please let me know if there is a recall. What else can we do to make sure we are taken care of?

- , Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #278

Feb 212012

Taurus SES V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

Fixed dam car on Feb only worked for one month and transmission went out again ... and don't know what to do now I have no money to fix it and don't know what to do ...some one help me !!!

- , Uvalde, TX78801, USA

problem #277

Jul 192013


  • Automatic transmission
  • 155,000 miles

Ready to head home from work and transmission stopped working on hill without shoulder. Place car in park and tried re-shifting and nothing, had to back up down hill without power, around a corner with stop sign into a parking lot. Haven't been able to do anything with it as trying to figure out what is wrong, and saw all the same type of issues listed here. No prior issues with car other than normal wear and tear; tires, brakes, and the like.

- , Rozet, WY, USA

problem #276

Nov 072012

Taurus Centennial Edition 3.0L V6 Duratec 24 valve

  • Automatic transmission
  • 131,934 miles

Daughter stopped at a red light and when it changed the car would not move in any gear. Was able to get help pushing car out of traffic lane and called AAA. Had car towed home and will be getting it towed to transmission shop tomorrow to find out the bad news $$$$$$.

Had this happened 20 feet later she would have been stuck in the center of a busy intersection - an accident looking for a place to happen.

There were no odd noises or previous warning of transmission problems. Fluids are full and clean. From what I've read on this site that is the standard procedure for 03 Ford transmission failure. At 131K plus, I guess I've been lucky; however, the elusive little FORD gremlins have finally caught up to me.

Hopefully something will come of all these complaints and Ford will make things right. I will definitely be holding on to any and all receipts for repairs.

Henry Ford is probably rolling over in his grave right now - considering the bad rep his successors are giving his name.

- , Pensacola, FL, USA

problem #275

Dec 062012

Taurus SES 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 149,998 miles

Leaving work getting on the highway. Suddenly revved up. I put it in neutral and was able to coast to the side of the road. None of the gears worked, OD, D, 1, Reverse.... Seems very dangerous to fail without warning at highway speeds.

- , Florissant, MO, USA

problem #274

May 012013


  • Automatic transmission
  • 127,000 miles

I just had the taurus serviced at the Ford dealership and sent my daughter off to college in it. She was there for two weeks and called and said that it wouldnt drive over 20 mph and the RPM's were going high...she took it to the dealership where she was and the transmission was bad. They said it couldn't even be rebuilt. we had it replaced but she was stuck there without any transportation what so ever as it was summer session and most kids were not on campus. This car gave absolutely no symptoms of anything going just worked that morning and then was bad by the time she got out of class.

I realize the car has a little over 100,000 miles but has had the recommended service maint. work done on it everytime the dealership had recommended it to be done....this was always done by the dealership and Ford had record of this and still did not stand behind it what so ever.

- , Lee's Summit, MO, USA

problem #273

Jan 112013

Taurus SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 132,000 miles

My son was driving the car returning from work and lucky for him that he cross a big intersection when the car just stop without a sign and he could take a solo. The car does not take reverse, d or d1 is just like in neutral I had change the transmission filter and the safety control shift but is still not move they told me that is the transmission these will be a very expensive repair. When I see all these comments they should do a recall on these car o repair the transmission for free. Up-sad! Mad!

- , Casselberry, FL, USA

problem #272

Jan 182013

Taurus Wagon 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,000 miles

Heard a noise, slowed car down, stopped it put it in park. Listened and heard nothing, put it in drive and it shifted into it but would not move, tried reverse, same issue. Tried other Drives nothing. Had to have it towed 3 doors from home, cost 50-, my brother is a Master Mechanic he says its probably the input shaft, the car has 62,000 on it, no fore warning regarding this.

- , Jackson, MI, USA

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