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.


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
98,342 miles
Total Complaints:
88 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (32 reports)
  2. new transmission (22 reports)
  3. rebuild transmission (21 reports)
  4. replace torque converter (9 reports)
  5. rebuild/replace transmission (5 reports)
2004 Ford Taurus transmission problems

transmission problem

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2004 Ford Taurus Owner Comments (Page 2 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #68

Jun 112012

Taurus SES V6

  • Manual transmission
  • 88,000 miles


Driving on the freeway engine revved but car continued to slow down as if the car was in neutral, had to have car towed

- , Detroit, MI, USA

problem #67

May 312012

Taurus SEL V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 154,000 miles

Coming home from work this evening, had to meet my wife at park and ride to drop something off and as I turned off the ramp, the car just seemed like it popped into neutral. No forward or reverse gears, but would at least go into park. Was fortunately able to coast into park and ride (where it still resides at this time). Then unfortunately I found this thread outlining this chronic issue........ FIGURES! Guess I'll see if I can find anyone interested in buying a higher mileage Taurus in need of a transmission!

- , Butte Des Morts, WI, USA

problem #66

Sep 142011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

I have a 2004 taurus and was driving on the main road when all of a sudden it stopped dead in its tracks and I had to coast to the side of the road and had to have it towed home. Luckily no one was behind me or it could have been a lot worse. I wouldn't be so upset but just 6 months earlier I had to have the transmission in my 2004 ford freestar replaced that cost me over $2000 - didn't have the money to get the taurus fixed. The worse part is that both these vehicles have the same transmissions and Ford knows there is a problem with them as of now they are replacing the torque converters in the freestars- hopefully they do the same for the taurus. In this economy we don't need to be spending money on a vehicle especially if the company knows there is something wrong.

- , Blissfield, MI, USA

problem #65

May 052012

Taurus V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 118,000 miles


I was driving home on Interstate 44 on a Saturday evening with dusk fast approaching. I went to step on the gas and the only thing that happened was the engine revved way up like I was in neutral. Fortunately for me, I was going downhill and was able to move to the right and make it to an area where there was a shoulder where my car would barely fit with a guardrail so I couldn't move any further over. I had just had my son with his learner's permit drive to my other son's house and luckily I was driving back home when the transmission failed with no prior warning. In fact, I had just been thinking how lucky my son was to learn to drive in a car that drove so nice and smooth. Now my husband tells me that the same thing happened to him in a Ford in 1973, so they clearly are well aware that their transmissions suck and they haven't done anything about it for 30 years.

- , Cedar Hill, MO, USA

problem #64

Apr 152012

Taurus 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,000 miles

driving on route 17 west, johnson city ny, center lane of busy hwy, tach goes up to 4,000 and car has no, none zero gears. What would have happened if my 88 year old father was sitting in the middle of the highway coming home from church. Thank God it was me, i threw on the 4 ways, moved over to shoulder as i coasted, and sat.. Down pouring 37 degree sunday afternoon with pops broken car. No warning, no noise, and no help, nice...Sure glad he always buys fords, and always has.. Way to step up to the plate for your long time customers. rp

- , Binghamton, NY, USA

problem #63

Apr 142012

Taurus SES 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,325 miles

What happened: Today as I was going to the store my car was about to shift into second or third gear (about 20mph) and all of a sudden the engine just revs up as if it was disconnected from the wheels. The car stops just rolls as if it shifted into Neutral on its own! I coast down the road and pull off to the side.

What I tried: After stopping I tried everything, I tried every gear, checked the Transmission fluid, and pushed it both backwards and forwards and nothing fixed it at all.

Dangers because of this: I was in the middle of one of the most sketchy neighborhoods on earth! There were people walking past me in my broke down car and at any point they could of taken an gun out or any weapon or busted the windows out of the car.

How I tried to salvage the situation: I got out of my car pushed it onto the road, turned the wheel left and got it in the other lane and started pushing it back twords my house. Cars were passing me like crazy as I was walking in the median of the road holding onto the steering wheel pushing the car. After about 45minutes of pushing the car down the road I called for help and got someone to pull me. Just for those who don't know, THE WHEEL WILL NOT TURN UNLESS THE CAR IS RUNNING. So I had to let the motor in the car remain turning the entire time wasting gas so that I could push this contraption that Ford created.

What someone else said: I get back to the house and someone that likes to work on cars looks at the common problems, gear shifter, transmission fluid, etc and can't find anything. He even connected the car to the OBDII machine they use at garages to see what code the car was throwing out, and there were none at all! The car's computer was reporting that it was working correctly and the check engine light didn't even come on. That's outrageous! How could the car not know that it's straining itself to death and not moving!? Thanks Ford for not programming anything about this into your Check engine codes!

if (ResistanceWhileInDrive == ResistanceWhilteNotInDrive) {throw "Transmission failure!"}

What to do now: I live 20minutes from the closest town and am going to have to TOW my car to the dealership and have to have them look at it and get it repaired!

Why this is horrible: I am a full time college student who barely makes any money, and the money I had saved went into buying this car, and now I have to have it fixed.

My opinion: After looking at everyone else's problems with this transmission as well and Ford doing absolutely nothing about it, they have got the absolute last dime out of me, and that is not going to change! (oh and the car does look nice, still looks like brand new.)

All in all: Ford Taurus 2003 and 2004 models, Great on the outside, Horrible on the inside!

- , Wilmington, NC, USA

problem #62

Mar 292012

Taurus SES 3.0L Flex Fuel

  • Automatic transmission
  • 129,000 miles


we bought this vehicle used in 2005 with 32000 miles on it. The only problems we encountered was anti lock brake control module went out. then large emission leak which took me several weeks to fix. Then we sell the car to my daughter in march of 2012 and 2 weeks later transmission with no warning will not shift into any gear. What kind of crap is ford motor company trying sell the public. It is know wonder their profits are down. This should have been a recall. We now purchased a nissan altima used with no complaints.Ford better get their quality up or they will wind up like the edsel did.How can I support American made whe ford sells junk like this.

- , Pleasant Garden, NC, USA

problem #61

Feb 102012

Taurus 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,000 miles

I have a 2004 Ford Taurus and back in February 2010, I was just leaving my mom's house after a family dinner, pulled out onto the main street out of her community, hit the gas, and nothing. Felt like neutral. Engine revved, but the car wouldn't go anywhere. My cousin is a mechanic so he fixed it for me. Turns out it was the torque converter that was shot. However, just about a month ago and last week, the car has started something similar, but not all the way. I'll be sitting at a stop light, will hit the gas when it turns green. The engine revs and the RPMS go all of the place, but nothing happens. Then just a split second afterwards i feel this big jolt (almost like i was hit from behind, but i wasn't) and the car starts moving again. This is my only car for me and my 6 year old daughter. If this type of problem, with so much I've read on this site, isn't a recall issue, I don't know what is. This is serious! Ford needs to take responsibility. I paid $750.00 the last time to my cousin, but I know darn well that I would be paying at least $1200 if not more, to replace the entire transmission. I can't afford that!

- , Oldsmar, FL, USA

problem #60

Feb 152012


  • Automatic transmission
  • 113,000 miles

My car was working normally. Then, as I just dropped off a co-worker near midnight in a bad neighborhood, the transmission just stopped working. The engine ran normally but it was like the car was in neutral. No warning, no previous symptoms, nothing. It just failed and left me stranded. Thank God AAA got there in an hour and thank God it was cold out and no murderers were on the street.

It is in the service station now, being diagnosed.

- , Fords, NJ, USA

problem #59

Feb 162012

Taurus SES V6 Dohc

  • Automatic transmission
  • 104,000 miles

My newly licensed teenager driving home from school turns onto our road to come home and the car just revs up and does not continue to pull.

He was able to slowly get it off the road and it would not pull in any gear at all.

No noise no nothing to suggest a problem.

I have found many complaints of the exact same thing.

We the ford taurus owners deserve a recall.................NOW or a class action lawsuit will be started..........

- , Ripley, OH, USA

problem #58

Feb 062012

Taurus ES

  • Automatic transmission
  • 57,100 miles


Driving to work yesterday on a busy freeway in Detroit when all of a sudden the car felt as it had slipped into neutral. Luckily, in busy traffic I was able to get the car over to the shoulder, tried to get into any gear but without any luck. I bought this car March 2011 with 31000 miles on it (little old lady). I have a long commute, all freeway driving and have put 26000 miles on it since then. I haven't had any problems prior to this and have taken very good care of it

Just got the call from the shop and it's going to cost $2450.00 to replace the transmission. This is the same problem I've been reading about, the mechanic told me this is very typical in this year of the Ford Taurus. There is no way a transmission fails at 57000 miles unless it was inferior equipment to begin with.

I was going to be looking for a new car soon and thinking of a Ford since they didn't take the bail out and seemed to be on the right track. If this is the type of garbage they put in their cars maybe I should be looking at something else, actually I think I've pretty much given up on American cars.

- , Macomb, MI, USA

problem #57

Jan 272012

Taurus ES 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 119,000 miles

After reading all the complaints about the same car Ford Taurus 04, I am more upset than ever, why there is no recall to this transmission? We are from Central Oregon, we went on a trip last Thursday 01/26/2012 to go Boise, Idaho which is about over 250 miles from where I live, with my wife, my son and my daughter. My 12 years old son has a gymnastics tournament on Friday the 27th of January in the afternoon. We were in Boise to get to our destination and just about 20 minutes to my son's gymnastic tournament, our car all of a sudden was revving and I feel like I am in neutral. I tried to push the gas to go, it went for a little bit and then it did it again. This time its not running, there was RPM's from the engine but no power to the wheels. So my wife and my two children went out to push the car on the side of the road because we were in the busy highway. I called AAA to get it towed, thank God we have AAA and I don't have to worry paying for the towing. AAA recommend to take it to the nearest mechanic which is AAMCO. Told the manager about what happened and he gave me a little bit of information what will be the estimates to fix it.

The car was running in great condition and we even took it to Las Vegas last year round trip from Oregon with no problem whatsoever. We have the car for just about seven years and we've never had a problem with it. I changed oil and transmission fluid as it was scheduled and recently just flush out the coolant and change oil last month. We have no choice, we had to rent a car to go back home and we have to have it for a week or two until the Ford gets fixed. Right now, we are still waiting for the result of the mechanic's diagnostic about what really happened to the transmission and we will find out tomorrow. The car is still in Boise, Idaho. I am still blessed that didn't happened in the express way and not in the middle of nowhere, where there is no cell signal and houses...My son almost didn't make it to his gymnastics tournament, thank God we have a friend there at the meet that picks them up. We were to stressed and very hungry that day, we did not eat lunch until dinner time. what a nightmare, I am going to call the number to complaint and to the This transmission needs to be recall...

- , Redmond, OR, USA

problem #56

Jan 202012

Taurus SES

  • Automatic transmission
  • 57,000 miles

Was accelerating from a green light, next thing I know, as many others have said, my engine is revving and I feel like I am in neutral. Coasted into the nearest parking lot where I waited for a tow. From what happened, I read, heard, and assumed it was the torque converter or trans fluid pump. Now, as I read this, I see I might also soon be the proud new owner of a new transmission. Bollucks! Haven't gotten it repaired yet, but I agree with everyone that if this issue was this common, Ford should have done something about it! Toyota stood in the face of a lot of adversity to recall all those throttle bodies in 8.5 million vehicles. Could have hurt them, but rather than deal with 8.5 million upset customer when their car broke or hurt someone, they fixed the issue and will probably be better off.... Good thing I'm going with GM when I trade this puppy in... No wonder they are the number 1 car company in America, Ford doesn't care anymore once you drive it off the lot.

- , Memphis, TN, USA

problem #55

Jan 182012

Taurus LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

My Taurus transmission died this evening. Absolutely no warning at all! I was driving and it seemed that my car lost gears. My car would not go forward or backwards. Very scary! I had hoped I could take care of my car and be able to drive it to 200k.It now has 120k. I do not know how I am going to pay for this or replace my car if needed.......

- , Edgewater, MD, USA

problem #54

Jan 072012

Taurus SES 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 131,866 miles

2004 Ford Taurus. Automatic transmission. We were at a busy intersection waiting for the light to turn green. When the light turned green, I pushed on the gas peddle, but the car would not move. I had RPM's from the engine, but no power to the wheels. I shifted into other gears, but the car could only move in reverse. The transmission had completely given out. We had to push the car manually through the intersection with a semi-truck following close behind, trying to get around us. At the time we were about 28 miles from home, and so we had to get the car towed to a transmission shop near our home. The shop is currently installing a rebuilt transmission with a one year warranty on it for a total of $1,284.

I filed complaints with at 1-800-424-9393 and also to the Ford Motor Company Complaint Line at 1-800-392-3673. I would urge you to do the same with your vehicle transmission problems. We might be able to get a recall on these faulty transmissions.

- , Derby, NY, USA

problem #53

Dec 282011

Taurus V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 41,000 miles

Driving from New Orleans to St. Louis to visit my folks for Christmas, the transmission failed. I was doing 65 mph and trying to pass another car when, without warning, I was suddenly in neutral. Two dogs, a 5 year-old kid, and a dead transmission on the side of a bridge waiting for AAA, does not make for a good time. I called the dealer and they told me there weren't any recalls. When I asked the guy about transmission failure at 41,000 miles, he just said "Sorry."

I've got a '72 Plymouth Valiant with at least 170k, and her transmission is just fine. How is this level of quality allowable?

- , New Orleans, LA, USA

problem #52

Sep 182011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles

OMG. My teenaged daughter was driving back to EIU when the car just stopped moving forward, 65mph on the highway. After a $250 tow bill, I found out the torque converter and input shaft are shot. I am now finding out this is a big issue with Ford Taurus. I hear class action law suit. Anyone having info on this feel free to get back to me.

- , Washington, IL, USA

problem #51

Dec 132011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles

Same as most other people. One day just would not move. Says need a new transmission. Car was perfect before that, now I need thousands of dollars to get my car out of the shop.

- , Easton, MD, USA

problem #50

Aug 192011

Taurus LX 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,671 miles

2004 FORD TAURUS, 125,000 KM, V6 - Without any warning, the "check transmission" light suddenly appeared. I immediately checked the tranny fluid and it was to the limit and light-amber in colour, no metal filings. When I re-started the car, the light went away but came back on twice during the next 1 hour of driving. I promptly took the car to "Mr. Transmission" franchise who performed a diagnostic code check which revealed, "TORQUE CONVERTOR PERFORMANCE" and they quickly informed me it would be approximately $2500 - $3000 to re build the transmission. A second competitive estimate came in at approximately $2100 plus taxes.

I emailed Ford Canada in the hopes that they may assist. I followed by phone and you got it - NO, was their answer because the 100,000 kilometer warranty on the tranny had expired. The female representative of Ford was just doing her job and explained that the "buck stopped" with her and their was no further recourse that I could pursue with the Ford Motor Company. She didn't want to discuss the negative history of the 2004 Taurus transmission problems but advised if I wanted to take the car to my local Ford Dealer and have them diagnose the same problem, it would cost me $90 to find out something I already know - it's the TORQUE CONVERTOR!!

GOODBYE FORD - We have owned 3 Ford vehicles and will be the last. But you know, Ford doesn't care. We will have the tranny rebuilt because it's the most economical and dependable method without going in debt for a new car. I care to join the growing list of unhappy Ford customers that have experienced this and similar transmission problems with the Taurus and no doubt other Ford models. I'm also aware that, like so many other large, troubled USA manufacturers, standing behind the quality of the product and long term customer satisfaction is at the back of the profit bus.

- , Port Coquitlam, BC, Canada

problem #49

Nov 132011

Taurus SES 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,000 miles

I've had this car for 7 years, and never had any problems with it. I had just pulled out onto the highway to go to town and the car started revving like it got put into neutral. Tried putting it in every gear, and none of them would work. Had my father-in-law tow it home (thank god I was only about 2 miles from home). Had a tow truck tow it to the Ford dealership so there went $150.00. Dealership says it's the transmission and they can get a rebuilt one for around $1600.00, that's not including the labor. Good thing it's been paid off, because it's getting sold and I'm getting a Toyota. I will NEVER buy a Ford again.

- , Markham, TX, USA

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