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 8 of 17)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #191

Nov 172011

Taurus SES 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 173,000 miles

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

wow I guess I was lucky to get the mileage I got. i was warned about the bad trannys. I was on the nyc thruway and it just failed. not one indication of a problem. I pulled over to the shoulder and had nothing, no gears at all. didn't realize it was such a big problem. I feel screwed.

- , rochester, NY, USA

problem #190

Nov 042011

Taurus SES 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,000 miles

I wanted to let everyone know that has this transmission problem with their Taurus that I also filed a complaint with NHTSA at 1-888-327-4236. I am sure some have , but I think the more of us that do we will have a better chance of them making ford to file a RECALL. If they do even if you have paid for the repair then as long as you have the receipts for the repair then they will reimburse you the repair..

Update from Dec 30, 2011: I have contacted National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to report the transmission problem. They already have almost 200 reports. if we all send in reports they might make ford to make a Recall for our cars. Even if the car is already fixed. They will reimburse us for the cost as long as we keep our reciepts. I hope his will work. most of us can not afford to fix this and it should be thier responsibility because this is a safety hazzard. there has been one person that has lost thier life because of the problem.

- , Hollywood, FL, USA

problem #189

Nov 132011

Taurus SES

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,000 miles

getting ready to leave for work at 5a.m on 11/13/11 car won't move, no warning at all. I'm an everyday working man (age 30)...paycheck to paycheck... no extra money...bank still owns the car. So I'm really pissed off trying to figure out what to do...no car to get to work,

and no money to fix this car!!!

- , Wiscasset, ME, USA

problem #188

Jul 022011

Taurus SES V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 113,110 miles

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

This is the third Taurus of that body style I have owned.

1st: 2001 Taurus SES w/ DOHC engine. Had 250,000 miles on it when traded. Never had any problems.

2nd: 2004 Taurus SES w/o DOHC motor. I traded my 2001 for it. It was involved in a "roller crash that hit a block wall in Nov.15, 2007. It had 190,000 miles on it when totaled. Never had any problems with it other than normal maintenance.

Do to owning the above two Tauruses I thought it be safe to buy another. My wife and I walked and rode the city bus service for 18 mos. after the accident. I owed $12,250 on the car and the other drivers' ins.co. Nationwide, you know the one that has the jingle on their commercials "Nationwide we're on OUR side".

So we purchased our 3rd: 2003 Taurus SES w/o DOHC motor. Had 85,000 miles when purchased Feb 27,2009. Date and mileage transaxle went out Sat. July 2,2011 at 8:15 pm. I too also had no warning. I too have contacted and filed a complaint with the NHTSA in regards to this matter plus another complaint about those DAMNED yellow headlight lenses. The most hazardous the auto industry has allowed to be put on a motored vehicle, second only to allowing cell phone use while driving. Lee Barry, Bristol,Va.

- , Bristol, VA, USA

problem #187

Nov 092011

Taurus SES V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 84,000 miles

Same problem as everyone else here Took it for emissions test and it passed with flying colors. Drove to the DMV to renew license plates. Mailed the car payment to Ford along with the insurance premium. Many miles and stops later I headed home and parked in the driveway. Went out about an hour later and it started right up but would not go into gear. The shifter moves but does not click into any gear. Reverse lights come on in the back but the car remains stuck in neutral. It will no longer even go into park mode. Had a mechanic friend come to look at it. Checked the cable, fluid, all the obvious things and everything is okie dokie. So he referred me to a transmission specialist who I will talk to next week. He advised me this is a very common problem and the repair should be around $2000.00. I'm sure I forgot to mention that I am currently unemployed, recently divorced and have no credit cards. Looks like my Taurus is going to be sitting in my driveway for quite sometime. If anyone out there is from the Chicago northwest suburbs, please let me know if you know anyone who may be able to help me....I live just north of Elgin and have no idea what to do next. I will be calling Hopkins Ford tomorrow, which is where I purchased the car from. Maybe there is some sort of Angel that works there that can help me. Hanging on a wing & a prayer with my fingers crossed!

- , West Dundee, IL, USA

problem #186

Jul 072011

Taurus SES 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 83,000 miles

Same problem as everybody else, transmission went out with no warning. My wife was driving and was able to coast to a safe stop. I AM VERY INTERESTED IN A CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT!

- , Greenwood, MO, USA

problem #185

Oct 302009

Taurus SES 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,000 miles

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

I'm pissed and i want something done about it. my transmission failed when i came to a stop.

- , Abington, MA, USA

problem #184

Nov 072011

Taurus SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 57,000 miles

I WAS DOING 25 MPH, JUST WENT THROUGH A INTERSECTION AND LOST SPEED ENGINE RUNNING, EVERYTHING WORKED BUT HIT THE GAS AND ENGINED REVVED BUT NO SPEED LUCKILY WAS ABLE TO PULL OFF ROAD INTO PARKING LOT. I HAVE PARK BUT NO DRIVE, REVERSE,ETC. RAN DIAGNOSTIC -NOTHING, TRANSMISSION FLUID CHECKED CLEAN NO PARTICLES IN FLUID- NO CHECK ENGINE LIGHT. OUR MECHANIC SAID THE ONLY THING HE COULD THINK OF IT BEING IS TORQUE CONVERTER! OK THIS GONNA COST OVER 1200 TO FIX. i SEE HUNDREDS OF 2003 TAURUSES HAVING SAME PROBLEM. WHY IS THERE NOT A RECALL THIS COULD HAVE BEEN A DISASTER IF I HAD BEEN ON THE INTERSTATE! THIS IS A SAFETY ISSUE!!!!!!!!

- , Hedgesville, WV, USA

problem #183

Nov 042011

Taurus SE 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 96,115 miles

I WAS DRIVING DOWN THE ROAD ABOUT 60 AND HEARD THE ENGINE REV UP. I PUT IT IN ''N'' AND COASTED OFF THE ROAD. TOWED IT HOME, CHANGED TRANY FILTER N FLUID STILL SAME PROBLEM. NOT TOO HAPPY 96,000 MILES AND HAVE TO RIP TRANY OUT ALREADY.NOT A VERY GOOD DESIGN WITH THAT LITTLE OF MILES I EXPECTED MORE FROM FORD.

- , Bremen, IN, USA

problem #182

Jul 132011

Taurus SEL 3.0L

  • Manual transmission
  • 93,000 miles

driving my kids back from Karate practice and stop at a stop sign. Take off and then it stalls and revs high. i manage to coast to the side of the road. it won't go into any gear at all.

WTF the car has 93k miles. my wife's escort has 185k miles and still runs like a champ! i have a windstar with 188k miles and finally died (oil leak).

- , Esmond, IL, USA

problem #181

May 302011

Taurus ES V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,000 miles

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

I HAVE A 2003 FORD TAURUS. TODAY I WAS SITTING AT A STOP LIGHT, WENT TO TAKE OFF AND THE ENGINE JUST FREE REVED. WOULDNT BUDGE. IT WILL SHIFT INTO THE PROPER POSITION BUT NO GEARS WILL ENGAGE. FORWARD OR REVERSE.. MEMORIAL DAY. AND WE TOOK TWO CAR LOADS OF PEOPLE TO PUSH THIS ONE CAR!!!! LOOKED FUNNY, BUT IT WASNT.PUSHED IT 2 MILES. CHEAPER THAN A TOW, AND THE NEIGHBORS RALLIED. GO TEAM.

I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN A FORD GUY BUT DAMN, FORD YOU ARE SERIOUSLY SCREWING THE POOCH.COME ON I KNOW YOU CAN DO BETTER. TECHNOLOGY IS SUPPOSED TO HELP, NOT HINDER!!!! I THINK I KNOW WHAT THE PROBLEM IS, BUT NOT ENTIRELY SURE. NO NOISES, NO LIGHTS, NO WARNING. FLUIDS GOOD, WELL TAKEN CARE OF.

- , Eldridge, IA, USA

problem #180

Sep 172011

Taurus

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,172 miles

Joining the 2003 Ford Taurus failed transmission group! On a trip, using the cruise control at 70 mph, stopped at a rest stop for about 5 minutes, got back in the car, started it up, drove about 200 yards, and out of the blue with no warning at all the car would not go forward, engine would rev up, but it would not go anywhere. Ended up being towed back home over 100 miles, took it to the Ford dealer and am out $3600! I am ticked off! I love my Ford Taurus, but not sure I will ever buy another Ford if they don't do something about this problem! I cannot afford to replace my car right now. I am retired and on a fixed income!

- , Louisville, KY, USA

problem #179

Oct 122011

Taurus V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,000 miles

Recently purchased from a private seller the 2003 Taurus, at 49k miles. Driving with only 58k miles the car decides to just stop, no drive, no reverse, no anything, but a body.

Transmission is gone........ I cannot believe that there was not a recall for this problem! The car is in absolutely excellent condition fully loaded, you name it for a 2003 it has it.

What are we left with - a cost of $2,000.00 to fix. Too many situations with the transmission on this site for Ford not to have a recall! maybe going foreign next car.......

Ford should step up to its faults on this one!

- , Richboro, PA, USA

problem #178

Oct 132011

Taurus SEL

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,177 miles

Well I have joined the Transmission Failure Club!!!!! Happened last night. No warning of any kind. Just driving down the highway and then nothing. Although I must say that for the last week there has been a noise from what I thought was from a front wheel bearing. My mechanic friend assumed the same thing. Whether the two things are related, who knows. Now I'm just waiting to hear from shop to see what the cost will be. Happy Times!!!

- , LONDON, Ontario, canada

problem #177

Oct 112011

Taurus SES

  • Automatic transmission
  • 39,464 miles

Yet another defective torque converter!! Actual mileage on my car 39,464!! I have filed a complaint with NHTSA and I called the Ford 800-392-3673 number and filed a complaint with Ford. I was fortunate enough not to be on the road when this happened to me, I was just trying to get to work! I cannot afford to have this fixed at this time and I do have another vehicle I can drive, which is a Ford also. If Ford does not take care of their loyal customers, or any customers on this issue, I am DONE with FORD. If you had one of these defective torque converters and had it fixed, Ford is suppose to reimburse you IF THEY PUT OUT A RECALL ON THEM! File your complaints with NHTSA and call Ford @ 800-392-3673. Let your voice be heard, or buy a Honda, which is what I will be buying from now on, if this is not resolved

Update from Nov 14, 2011: Just picked up my Taurus, paid $1295.00 to replace the stripped torque converter. I recently just filed a compaint with my State Attorney General also, along with Ford

- , Loudonville, OH, USA

problem #176

Sep 302011

Taurus SEL Dohc V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 108,000 miles

Bought the car brand new, currently has 108K miles, up to this point no major problems to speak of. All of a sudden, went to take off while stopped at the light and the car responded as if it was in neutral. Fortunately I was able to coast into a parking lot and I was able to use AAA for the tow. I'm waiting to hear back from my mechanic now but from the postings on this site I'm expecting the worst. I can't afford another car right now (recently bought a brand new Buick Enclave that we love - so far) so I will have to bite the bullet and fix the Taurus. I am terribly disappointed to hear that this is a common problem and that Ford has done absolutely nothing about it.

- , Bolingbrook, IL, USA

problem #175

Jun 082011

Taurus SES 3.2L V6

  • Manual transmission
  • 108,770 miles

This car has been nothing but a money pit since I bought it used from the Ford Dealer. Now the transmission went out completely and needs to be replaced so the car is just parked in the driveway collecting dust. I am single mother who is trying to work and go to school and now have no means of transportation. I just got finished pouring every last dime into the car the week before for a different problem.

- , Tehachapi, CA, USA

problem #174

Sep 092011

Taurus SE 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 109,000 miles

Had worked hard all day and had went to friends house for a little fishing at the private pond. Had great and relaxing time fishing, but had to leave early to get up to report to work at 530 am the next day. Started my 2003 Ford Taurus SE started to back out of friends drive and lots of revved up motor sounds, but no movement. Borrowed friends car to go home and report to work the next morning. Having little or no money, my friends and I tried to trouble shoot the problem. Realizing it was beyond our talent, I called my insurance carrier and I had my 2003 Taurus towed to the nearest Ford garage 20 miles away. Paul Miller Ford, in Lexington Ky informed me it was a torque converter and probably would need transmission. Handle it for $3500. Come on, car not even worth that much, however, I still owed a finance company so I needed to repair this car. Called Ammco Transmission and they said they could repair for $700 if Torque converter only or $1700 if transmission repaired. Of course, needed transmission so have paid $1700. However, computer not set and needed to return to have transmission cleaned and computer reset. Two weeks later and over $2500 spent I now have an automobile I need to drive until I die. Which may be sooner than I want due to stress from this incident. FORD really does need to address their problem with this transmission. Having read a great deal of the other responses, It appears we all have the same problem.

- , Lexington, KY, USA

problem #173

Sep 002011

Taurus SEL Dohc

  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,500 miles

I came off of a major hwy w/o incident, only to get stuck in bumper to bumper traffic. As traffic began to move, I hit the gas & my car barely moved... sounding like it was in neutral. I thought maybe I'd accidentally hit the gear shifter, but when I looked over, it was still in drive! I hit the gas again, and WTF!!! I had just enough momentum to get into the right lane & pull onto the side street. That was it... put the car into park & it never went into gear again! I had my elderly, mostly blind aunt with me, as I'd just come from taking her to her doctor. Luckily, my 4 y/o was not in the car, but I had only an hr + a half to get to her school to pick her up, and it was half hour away! It was hot as heck outside, but luckily my car was still running & everything else, including the AC still worked! Thank goodness it didn't happen 10 minutes earlier, on the hwy, or I probably would have been rear ended & worse!!! The tow truck took about 45 minutes & my insurance covered $50 of the $70 fee, thankfully, so I only had to give the tow guy $20 on the spot! That was all I had!! He towed it to my home, as I don't have the money to even get it looked at, never mind worked on, or have it stuck in some repair shop... being charged for storage! I was able to call a friend & help me drop off my aunt & get my daughter. This happened about 2-3 weeks ago, and yesterday, I finally got a friend to come look at the car; he's not a mechanic, but his dad is, and so my friend has a basic knowledge about cars. He looked at some minor things & then made a guess as to it being the torque plate/converter. Well, when I googled it, it fit everything that I experienced, and as I went thru these complaints... I found myself getting very angry! Based on what I relayed to an actual repair shop, it's gonna cost about $2200 to rebuild/repair... They'd give me a 2 year/24,000 mile warranty, that's also valid in Florida. Oh, did I mention... in 3 weeks I'm moving to Florida & was supposed to be driving my Taurus!!! Thank goodness this didn't happen then!!! I don't have the money for the repair, and have no thought as to what I'm gonna do. I'm not working right now, and currently borrowing a family member's car for the next 3 weeks. Here's the other part of this that is really peeving me off... I've had an issue with my Taurus from "day 1" involving this "popping sound", kinda like when u squish a plastic bottle & it pops back... I've had it pretty consistently almost every time, upon coming to a stop & then re-accelerating. I've brought it in to Ford several times & every time, I'm told... "It's not doing it now, and there's no issue that we can find". I had a 7 year/75,000 mile extended warranty, and kept bringing up the issue, in order to get it fixed within that time frame, so that it'd be covered. Well, I'm at 8 years/89,000 miles, and now the tranny's shot, and I'm reading that the "popping" noise I've heard all this time, is a symptom of this specific tranny issue with the torque converter!!!! AAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

- , Deer Park, NY, USA

problem #172

Jul 112011

Taurus SEL 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,085 miles

Wife gets in car after work last night from second shift. Gets in car and starts it, puts into gear and nothing but motor revving. Car goes in to reverse and all sounds fine but nothing in drive. I read about same issues, near same mileage with same transmission...

Ford are you reading these?

I am in Florida as we are planning to move and she was driving the car down with my son in 2 weeks. Bought the car 4 months ago. No warranty. Seriously?

- , Derry, NH, USA

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