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:
93,608 miles
Total Complaints:
330 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace transmission (152 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 4 of 17)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #270

Feb 212013

Taurus SES

  • Automatic transmission
  • 127,000 miles


This was my mother's car, I know it was well taken care of and never abused. My mother never did highway driving. I drove it for 4 months. I commute 35 miles one way to work using the highway. Drove to work the other day. No problem, went to go out for lunch, started the car, made a whining noise so I shut it off. Started up again and it sounded fine. Went to shift into reverse and NOTHING, no reverse, no drive, nothing, no warning something was wrong. Got it to my garage via AAA, transmission is cooked!! I have to replace it, I need to get to work! The car is solid in every other way so I guess I'm going to fork out the cash to fix it with a new transmission. My mechanic told me there have been 8 upgrades to this particular transmission since the car was built!!

- , Concord, NH, USA

problem #269

Feb 042013


  • Automatic transmission
  • 112 miles

Sorry you guys had such horrible experiences with the transmissions of these lemons! I wish that Ford would do something for you, but in the meantime, they are losing customers thanks to your posts! I almost bought one, but a quick google search brought me here and now there is no way in hell! I just can't risk it. No wonder these cars are so cheap. I had a similar experience with the Ford Contour, except it was the wiring harness. The bare wires were touching causing fuses to blow and once I was on the interstate, lost all power. Scary stuff! I read it was common and was also a recall at one time because some people's entire engine caught fire due to this. When I called ford about it, they told me that the harness was a discontinued part. A discontinued, recalled part? Needless to say, I had to tow it to the scrap yard. Almost lost my life, then lost my car. Such a greedy, selfish company Ford is.

- , Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #268

Feb 262013

Taurus ES V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,789 miles

I was finished work, I drove 1/2 of the block and transmission disengage. I thought that I accidentally put in Neutral, but I shifted to drive and car wont move, I tried reverse same result. So I have to push my car back to the parking, because there is not parking in the street. When I took to the shop they told my that was the transmission pump and will cost $900.00. When I complaint because my car has only 55000 miles, they told me that is a common problem that Taurus has.

- , Miami Beach, FL, USA

problem #267

Mar 172013

Taurus SES 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 57,000 miles


I pulled out of my driveway on the way to work. I turned the corner and the engine revved up and the car wouldn't move. I thought maybe the rug was under the gas pedal or brake pedal. I'm in the middle of a residential street, mind you. I put the car in park, pull the rug back and put my Ford Taurus back in drive. Nothing but RPMs going up. Put it in reverse to get out of street. Nothing but RPMs going up. Put the car in over drive, nothing. Got scared because I don't know what's wrong and I'm going to be late for work. I walked around the corner to a relative's house who had a guy to help them push my car around the corner. He checked transmission fluid-it was full. Checked the main belt-it was intact. Mechanic called. Stated the transmission was gone! No warning, no slipping, no nothing. Just stopped driving.

I'm so disappointed in Ford. I looked on several web sites and the ratings for the Ford Taurus 2003 model is severely low especially when it relates to the transmission going out without any prior problems. I would like to be notified of any class action suits.

- , Memphis, TN, USA

problem #266

Jun 012011

Taurus SEL V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 126,000 miles

Had transmission replaced in June of 2011. Now the transmission light is coming on. Can maybe drive 36 miles (most of the time) before the light comes on. I stop, shut the car off, then restart the car, the light goes out. Then, anywhere from 10 to 20 miles on down the road, the light comes back on. Seems I can drive further in colder weather than warmer weather (most of the time). Transmission fluid is full. Never drive the car over 55 (hence the name grannie). HELP!!!!

- , Milton, IL, USA

problem #265

Jan 252013


  • Automatic transmission
  • 53,300 miles

Same as others here, transmission failed without symptoms or warning. Did learn that FORD has acknowledged the problem and has resolved the issue in the new replacement transmissions. One step closer to FORD accepting responsibility for the problems with the transmissions. Count me in on class action or any recall efforts.

- , Spoakne, WA, USA

problem #264

Jan 062013

Taurus LE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 57,000 miles


Ford should recall the 2003 Ford Taurus transmission.

- , Cypress, CA, USA

problem #263

Dec 222012

Taurus SES 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 142,000 miles

Started my car and put it in drive took off got a little ways down the road and then it just wouldn't go and reved up. made sure it was in drive, it was, tried putting it in other gears and nothing. NO warning signs what so ever . went out right before Christmas. i don't know how i am going to get to work. we have another vehicle but its my husbands and he has to have it to get him back and forth to his job. I don't know what to do, this really sucks !!!!!!!! if i would have had some type of warning i would have put it in the garage and had it looked at and fixed. now I'm stranded without a vehicle, no way to get back and forth to my job. i work for an EMS company & i have people who depend on me. i am so screwed because i live about 30 miles away from my job.

- , Jackson, OH, USA

problem #262

Dec 052012

Taurus SES

  • Automatic transmission
  • 47,500 miles


- , Glenolden, PA, USA

problem #261

Nov 262012

Taurus SE 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

Hello fellow failed transmission partners.. my 2003 Taurus 120,000 transmission failed last night as well. Just normal driving on a lonely stretch of highway in the hill county (where i live luckily) and the engine revved up high and i was like WTH, so i pulled over on the shoulder, just realized i was coasting the for the last couple seconds and not even know it. So i put in park and it stayed. Put it in R, D, D1, nothing at all caught on. Neutral worked lol. All my levels were fine, no leaks, not even the transmission gave no warning at all (i,e gears slipping, hard to switch gears, etc) no signs of problems at all. When it worked, the transmission shifted smoothly like it supposed to do. SO i noticed the only thing to do is take it to a mechanic and pay the $1500 or more to fix it.. Does the sensors make a difference or anything else to check? Clueless at this point..

- , San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #260

Nov 022012

Taurus SE 3.0

  • Automatic transmission
  • 129,142 miles


I was supposed to go and do my errands my on november 2, 2012 at Los Angeles CA The transmission failed on that day. I immediately towed it to my house. the tow truck charged me $130 really awful..i called a mechanic and He took a brief look... checked axles... tranny fluid... and all appeared well. He may not get around to it this weekend . I goggled the incident and came across this site with over 200 identical complaints. Every post matches exactly what happened to me. I thought i knocked the shifter into neutral as i was driving but when i checked and seen i was still in Drive i knew it was bad. It is my only vehicle... and family vehicle. This incident could not have happened at a worse time. Seeing how common it is, I hope Ford owns up to their fault.


- , Paramount, CA, USA

problem #259

Sep 162012

Taurus 4d

  • Automatic transmission
  • 91,000 miles

Driving on freeway and the motor reved up. Got off freeway because we were losing power. Coasted to a stop and put in park. None of the gears worked. Had to get a tow from AAA- they took forever.

- , Burleson, TX, USA

problem #258

Oct 102012

Taurus SES V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,000 miles

I was on my way to work and as made my turn the transmission would not engage. I was able to coast to a safe place, but was unable to move. I had no warning of any kind, the engine would just rev. Thankfully I was alone in the car and I was not on the highway.

I had to have it towed and am waiting to hear what the damage is.

Update from Oct 15, 2012: Cause was a stripped Tourque Converter, which cost (with towing) $1400. I have had several cars and never had something like this happen with out any warning. You would think that if it happened slowly there would have been some slippage shifting gears or acceleration. Like I stated above, one minute I was under normal power, then nothing.

- , Royersford, PA, USA

problem #257

Mar 082012

Taurus SEL 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles

Well, I was on my way to work at 5:30am and with no warning at all and half way to work my F***ing TAURUS stopped moving. I have taken really good care of this car and planned on driving it for many years, it still smells like new and looks like new but sure doesn't drive like new. The car would not move at all, just started slowing down like it was in neutral. Ford needs to help people out if they plan on return customers, I really like the car but... not the problem. If people change their fluids regularly and can document it I don't see why FORD can't help out $$$$. FORD knew about the torque convertor problems and did nothing and also the pump problems and still no recalls. Boy, they sure did sell a lot of Taurus cars, maybe they had job security in mind for the dealerships ???

- , Sterling Heights, MI, USA

problem #256

Jul 152011

Taurus SEL V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,000 miles

had been having ongoing problems with the car "hiccuping"..hesitating when accelerating or letting off gas, & the amps would jump around..but had had car to the shop only about 2 weeks before for this problem. kept getting what they called "phantom codes" on the check engine light. my grandson died, & i went to a store to get flowers ordered for his funeral, came back out & tried to leave BUSY parking right in the middle of a steet there & car wouldn't move. no big noises,or grinding when putting in gear,or anything...just gone. cost nearly $2,800 to replace. this is a car i had bought brand new,& had maintained it specifically to manufacturer specifications. it only had 62,000 miles on it,& wasn;t driven hard at any point.

- , Lincoln, NE, USA

problem #255

Jul 182012

Taurus LX 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

The car worked fine earlier in the morning, later drove about 3 miles from home and the transmission stopped working in any gear, reverse or forward.. No sound was made.

- , Beaumont, CA, USA

problem #254

May 122012

Taurus SES 3.0L V6 Flex Fuel

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,100 miles

Bought this car April 13, 2012 and with no warning transmission failed on April 12,2012. Dealer would not give new transmission so we got a deal with the dealer to pay half for a new transmission since we would not take anything less than a new transmission. Definitely not the experience I hoped for from my first car. Car has failed 5 times on me within two months. Scared to drive the car now.

Update from Aug 8, 2012: Bought car April 13th. Transmission failed May 12th.

- , Kdh, NC, USA

problem #253

Oct 042011

Taurus SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 69,000 miles

It was pretty bad as my son had my granddaughter age 1 at the time and he had to walk most of he way home. I had just bought the car approx a month before, when all of a sudden it made a loud pop and quit running.

- , Delmar, DE, USA

problem #252

Feb 152012

Taurus SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles

This was the second time the transmission failed. This time I had traveled to pick up my husband from work. Stopped at a stop sign and it wouldn't go. Had to coast...

Update from Aug 20, 2012: This time I was on my way home from picking up my husband from work when I stopped at a stop sign and the car wouldn't move. Had to coast into a parking lot. called a tow truck. My sons are both mechanics and replaced the transmission that the auto dealer swapped out.

- , Delmar, DE, USA

problem #251

Aug 032012

Taurus SE V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 181,000 miles

I start my new job on Aug 6, 2012 at BNSF railroad in Fresno, CA. Fresno is a hour drive from where I'm located. The transmission failed on Aug 3, 2012, the Friday afternoon before my Monday morning start date. I immediately towed it to my mechanic who was wrapping up for the day. He took a brief look... checked axles... tranny fluid... and all appeared well. He may not get around to it this weekend so now I'm stressing starting my new job. I googled the incident and came across this site with over 200 identical complaints. Every post matches exactly what happened to me. I thought i knocked the shifter into neutral as i was driving but when i checked and seen i was still in Drive i knew it was bad. It is my only vehicle... and family vehicle. This incident could not have happened at a worse time. Seeing how common it is, I hope Ford owns up to their fault.

- , Visalia, CA, USA

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