If you find CarComplaints.com is helpful ... We rely completely on word of mouth. Talk about us on Facebook, Twitter, tell your mother-in-law. Help us help more people.

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:
$1,939.00
Average Mileage:
93,204 miles
Total Complaints:
304 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace transmission (138 reports)
  2. not sure (78 reports)
  3. replace torque converter (34 reports)
  4. sitting in drive way trying to figure something out (29 reports)
  5. rebuilt the transmission replacing only failed parts (16 reports)
  6. scrap it! (4 reports)
2003 Ford Taurus transmission problems

transmission problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2003 Ford Taurus:

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

2003 Ford Taurus Owner Comments (Page 1 of 16)

problem #304

Aug 242012

Taurus SES 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 61,500 miles

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

August 24th 2012, my wife and I started out on our 4 day mini-vacation. I was driving 65 mph with the cruise control on in the carpool lane when all of a sudden my engine raced for about 3 seconds. I hit the brake to release the cruise control and then stepped down on the gas pedal and the car felt like it was in neutral. I pulled over to the side of the road. We had to be towed to the nearest Ford dealer. With only 61500 miles on the car and we have never towed anything with the car, the transmission had failed. They charged us $3700.00 to replace the transmission.

After looking up all the Taurus transmission problems from 2001 to 2008, I was really disgusted that Ford never did anything to correct this problem, they continued to sell these vehicles without changing any of the parts that were failing in the transmission knowing all along that their customers were going to have trouble with their transmissions and will be coming back for service work to repair these defective transmissions. Ford should have corrected this problem !! I will never buy another FORD !

- , Seattle, Washington, USA

problem #303

Oct 292014

Taurus TSE V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

I was getting off of work and stopped at the bank to get some spending Money, got in the car and made left hand turn to get on the highway, then it was like I was in neutral, no gear at all, nothing. Well, there goes Christmas..

- , Cleveland, Ohio, USA

problem #302

Sep 192014

Taurus SES 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

I work until midnight, left work with no problem. Got on the highway and driving along doing the speed limit (70mph) and all of the sudden my car felt like it was in neutral! As I was losing speed in the center lane semi(s) and cars passing me I had to try to get over to get on the side of the highway. Scared sh*t-less due to not having the speed to get over before getting hit!!!

It was a well maintained car!! Had it towed to the shop and I was told it was my transmission!! No RECALLS!!!!! I called and they told me there were none...... I hope and pray no one is hurt or killed due to this problem!!! Just happens ought of the blue. Yes, there are good people who will stop and help and then you have some people who look for a woman on the side of the road who needs help in the middle of the nite, and thank god I didn't have children in the car when this happened..... !!!!! Not a happy person!!!!

Update from Oct 23, 2014: Had the problem fixed, it was my only car and the cost was 948.68

- , grand rapids, Michigan, USA

problem #301

Sep 142014

Taurus SE V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,000 miles

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

Sounds just like all the rest of the complaints here. Slowed down for a stopped vehicle in my lane, hit the gas to change in other lane and the engine roared but the car would not move. Had just enough forward momentum to pull off to side of road. At 56,000 miles this is unacceptable! Saw a YouTube video where Ford uses a cheap thin piece of metal in the torque converter that has a known record of failure. I was hoping for at least another 50,000 miles out of this thing. Not paying to fix and now car is virtually worthless!

- , Chicago, IL, USA

problem #300

May 292014

Taurus 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

Like main other complaints I have just read there was no way to know that "BAMM!! " all the sudden the transmission in my car went out! There was no problems occurring before hand, no weird noises and it was running normal. I am a single mother of 2 young boys, I drive over 430 miles every other Friday to pick my boys up for the weekend and then another 250 miles on Sunday to meet there father. Now that my car is not running because of a "faulty transmission" I have no way to pick my kids up and spend time with them. Ford needs to recall the 2003 ford Taurus, and do what is right. I am one pissed off Momma.

- , Porterville, CA, USA

problem #299

May 092013

Taurus

  • Automatic transmission
  • 54,000 miles

Well maintained 2003 Taurus with 54,000 miles and the transmission quit! No forewarning, no slipping, no fluid leaking; start up from a red light and engine just revs as if car was in neutral. Call AAA for a tow after the police department pushed the car to a safe spot. Estimated $2000. to fix a car that has a book value of $2500 to $3000. Plus just put over $600 in to replace springs and struts 3 weeks ago. AND had just stopped at the gas station and put $30.00 in!!!

Ford doesn't want to know anything about it so we now are stuck with a car payment and have a Chevy. I just cannot express how angry I am that not only did this happen on a car of which we took such care to maintain, but that Ford doesn't want to know anything about it. Grrr!

- , Rochester, New York, USA

problem #298

Feb 142014

Taurus SES

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

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

While driving to work husband stopped at a stop sign and car would not move when he tried to proceed through

intersection. After getting a hold of mechanic I was informed that Ford's id my year and model as known for transmission going out. It's going to cost me $2800.00 total to fix this. There was NO warning signs at all, it just happened. 2003 Ford Taurus.

- , Pana, IL, USA

problem #297

Feb 062014

Taurus

  • Automatic transmission
  • 91,000 miles

Thursday, February 6, 2014, I was driving during morning rush hour traffic traveling westbound on the Pennsylvania Turnpike in the right lane just passing mile marker 347 from Bensalem to Willow Grove at a speed of 60 to 65 miles per hour staying with the pace of traffic. I was not trying to pass anyone, just keeping pace with the vehicles in my lane. I wasn't pushing the car to speed up. I had just come out of a left super-elevated curve in the road where I had lifted my foot off the gas pedal to coast through the curve and then pushed the gas pedal to maintain speed.

Without any warning, or any previous indication of any problem, when I pushed the gas pedal the only response was the engine rpm's rising and appropriate motor revving sound. There wasn't any acceleration. I pushed the gas pedal again and received the same response. I was now coasting and beginning to slow down. I was lucky to be at an area where the shoulder was cleared well from the previous weeks of snow accumulation, and had a safe shoulder strip to slow down and pull over. When I stopped, I put the car in park, then back into Drive, pushed the gas pedal and received the same response. I tried all of the gears, Reverse, 2nd and 1st, and received the same response ... the transmission was gone! There was no indication of any transmission problems when driving before this, no slipping gears, no jolts or bucking, no grinding gears, no slow acceleration then quick burst, nothing.

As many drivers also can relate, I can "feel" the car. I guess I learned how to "feel" the car from my years of driving manual transmission when you learned to feel and hear the car. After years of driving the same vehicle, you know when something is odd. Nothing odd before this transmission problem.

- , Bensalem, Pennsylvania, USA

problem #296

May 252014

Taurus LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,000 miles

I was driving to the airport and about to enter the freeway when all of a sudden the transmission blew. The engine still worked, but when I hit the pedal the car wouldn't go anywhere. I almost got hit by a car heading on the freeway, and someone helped me push the car to the side. Needless to say, I am thankful I didn't actually get on the freeway or I could have got into a major accident.

There was no indication that the transmission had anything wrong with the car at all. No warning lights, sounds, or jerky feelings. One minute the car worked, the next it didn't. I think this is absolutely ridiculous! Ford needs to start warning people this will happen. With as many complaints about transmission failure out there, you would think they would warn us. This is irresponsible on their part. The car was in great condition, but the cost to get a new transmission is not even worth putting into the car. I might as well get a new one.

- , Elmwood Park, IL, USA

problem #295

May 122014

Taurus SES

  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,000 miles

It's crazy that so many people have had this same exact problem and nothing has been done about it.. I bought my car used 1 year ago. I've had several problems since, some normal (flat tires, engine oil leak, check engine light for leaking fuel injector) and some notorious for Ford Taurus' (broken coil spring on front passenger tire and most recently transmission failure).

I had no warnings of a transmission problem( slipping, rough shifting, etc..), but as I was driving down a busy street with my 3 small children in the back seat at about 40 mph, my car suddenly was idling, speedometer decreasing, like in neutral. I coasted into an abandoned parking lot barely having enough juice to make it. At this point I'm trying to figure out how I'm going to get the money to fix this insanely expensive problem but also I thank my lucky stars this didn't happen on a highway as we travel frequently to visit family all around.

I find it outrageous that multiple people would have to die for this even to be considered a safety hazard! Ford needs to step up and take responsibility for this problem!!

- , Buffalo, NY, USA

problem #294

Dec 042013

Taurus 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 158,000 miles

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

Dropped my daughter off at school, turned the corner and it was just like someone slipped the tranny into neutral. The common problem of the torque convertor splines shearing off. The crappy thing about this is Ford recalled the identical trans for this on the Freestar, but not the Taurus. Of course, there's a whole lot more Taurus' than Freestars on the road. I was a Lincoln Mercury technician for 20 years and if anyone has a lawsuit and needs expert testimony that this is a defect that has the potential of a safety concern, I'm your guy.

- , Lakewood, OH, USA

problem #293

Nov 072013

Taurus 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 96,000 miles

PRETTY SURE WE ALL THAT WERE DRIVING A 2003 FORD TAURUS AND ARE ON HERE. WE HAVE EXPERIENCED THE SAME PROBLEM. LUCKILY I WASN'T ON A PACKED INTERSTATE WITH CAR RUNNING 70 TO 90 MILES PER HOUR. WAS NO WARNING WHAT SO EVER..NO CHECK ENGINE LIGHT INDICATOR OF ANY KIND. NOTHING AT ALL TO EVEN THINK TRANSMISSION WAS GOING BAD. PULLED OUT OF GETTING HAIR CUT AND THOUGHT I JUST HADN'T PUT IT ALL THE WAY IN DRIVE AND IT POPPED INTO NEUTRAL..BUT NO, COME TO FIGURE OUT THE TRANSMISSION HAS WENT OUT....96,000 MILES..WHAT A JOKE...

THEY DEF. NEED A RECALL ON IT, IF THIS MANY OF THEM ARE DOING IT. ONE THING, IT'S VERY DANGEROUS SECOND THING, VERY COSTLY...THIRD THING, VERY INCONVENIENT. IT'S BUNCH BS. THEY DRIVE FOR US TO BUY AMERICAN MADE CARS BUT THIS IS WHAT WE GET FOR IT. THX FORD

- , Southpittsburg, TN, USA

problem #292

Feb 202014

Taurus SES

  • Automatic transmission
  • 111,000 miles

Was driving 2003 Ford Taurus when transmission failed completely. Car just idles in any gear. I can shift the car but the the car doesn't move. Car gave no warning signs of any problem at all. Car has been well maintained. I've been told everything from replace just the Torque Converter to replace entire Transmission. Between $1,100 to $1,600.

Update from Mar 21, 2014: The car had to be brought by flat bed truck to the transmission shop. I had the Torque Converter replaced at Klopps Transmission Repair Shop in Corning NY. I was very happy with their service and work. The total cost was approximately $1,100-$1,200. I still feel Ford Motors should issue a safety recall for this problem. Someone could be killed if this problem continues.

- , Painted Post, NY, USA

problem #291

Feb 222014

Taurus

  • 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 www.carcomplaints.com and suggest others with this problem do the same. This car should be recalled for this safety issue!

- , Kane, Pennsylvania, 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: counselorlyons@aol.com -- 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

Taurus

  • 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....

http://owner.ford.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=Owner/Page/ContactUsPage

- , Myrtle Beach, SC, USA

Read the next 20 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?