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.

8.8

pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
$2,236.00
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 1 of 5)

problem #88

Apr 262016

Taurus SES 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 142,134 miles

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

After the transmission failed with no warning I researched and found this is a very common problem for this model of ford. There are other major issues as well which I will be reporting.

- , Pomona, KS, USA

problem #87

Mar 122016

Taurus SES

  • Automatic transmission
  • 149,000 miles

I ran by a friends house to pick up an item. After putting my gear selector in reverse I realized that I not only couldn't back up, but could not get any gear to engage! My transmission had completely failed with absolutely zero indication that it was about to die.

- , Granite, OK, USA

problem #86

Nov 072015

Taurus SE V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,800 miles

It is absolutely ridiculous how unsafe this vehicle is, after seeing how many other people had this problem as well. WHAT A PIECE OF DANGEROUS JUNK!! SHAME ON FORD FOR PUTTING THE ENTIRE WORLD AT RISK BY FAILING TO RECALL THIS VEHICLE, AND FOR SHAMELESSLY ALLOWING A VEHICLE THAT CAN STOP FUNCTIONING WITHOUT WARNING AT ANY SPEED, IN ANY LOCATION. DO YOU NOT HAVE A CONSCIENCE? Do they not realize how DANGEROUS that is??

Luckily this was a secondhand car that did not cost me much. It had about 40,000 miles when I started driving it.

I had it for almost 8 years. It was a clunky, somewhat ugly car, and a pain in the behind to park on the streets. But, it did keep me safe in an accident and it got me from Point A to Point B. Definitely a gas guzzler though.

It was getting close to 80,000 miles.The engine light had been going on and off repeatedly, it did stay on for a few weeks but then it shut off, so I figured the car is ok.

I noticed that when I was driving the car felt like it was jolting forward, but then it stopped doing that.

A few days later, when I tried to start it, there was a VERY loud noise coming from under the hood, even when the car was idle. I apprehensively put the car in reverse (fortunately I was in a driveway) and the car would not budge! The engine would rev, I was able to accelerate, but the car just wouldn't move. I tried all the gears, and no luck. I had the car evaluated by a mechanic and a mechanical assistant and they both agreed that the transmission is "fried."

I was far away from home and had to spend a LOT to get my car towed home. When I got it towed hours later, the tow truck driver also tried to get the car to move, and the car was no longer making a loud noise, but would not budge at all in any direction.

The transmission would cost more than the car's value to replace. So I think it's goodbye for this car. I would have to spend a lot just to get it towed to a transmission expert, let alone what it would cost to evaluate, and replace if necessary.

What a piece of junk! The transmission should not fail at less than 80,000 miles! I was SO thankful that this did not happen while on the road, because I could have lost my life had this happened on the highway.

Thanks Ford, for putting our lives at risk. By failing to issue a recall on this widespread problem, you are jeopardizing the lives of millions. Anyone driving a Ford Taurus can have the transmission fail at any time, and this has already happened to many people. ALL the people who drive a Ford Taurus, as well as their families, friends, acquaintances, and other loved ones or people they drive in the Taurus are at risk as well!!! AND let alone all the people in cars in the vicinity of ANY Ford Taurus when it is on the road, BECAUSE THIS CAN HAPPEN AT ANY TIME!!! So, the entire NATION is really at risk from this damn vehicle.

No incentive to support the US economy when its cars are a POS with MAJOR safety risks involved. When a car stops working on the highway or street without warning, people can DIE!! For heaven's sakes!!

- , Flushing, NY, USA

problem #85

Jun 162015

Taurus LS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 165,000 miles

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

I have been hearing a lot of complaints about the transmission failing in the 2004 Ford Taurus. My car was running great, until I tried pulling out of my driveway the car would not go anywhere. Like the other person said it was like it was in neutral. Never had any signs of transmission problems prior, and had plenty of transmission fluid. I want to know why there is NOT a recall on this problem

- , Godfrey, IL, USA

problem #84

Jan 022014

Taurus SE 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,000 miles

Ford is aware of the problem. I love fords, but, this is it. Contacted Ford, and, told to basically get lost. Tougue converter was bad at the spline. Thickness was under sized. Transmission shop says he loves Ford for all the business. He will send a Christmas card to them this year. The car was blowing fluid out of the dip stick prior to total failure. Vent pipe was NOT clogged or blocked. I have had nothing but trouble with this car. It just died on me while I was on the highway at 65 mph. I was lucky enough to get to the shoulder. I would like to drive over the clown that design this car. May you burn in hell.

- , New Castle, DE, USA

problem #83

Nov 282014

Taurus V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 175,000 miles

This is my only car, I'm still paying on it and I don't have the funds to get it fixed.

- , Center, TX, USA

problem #82

Nov 172014

Taurus SE 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 215,000 miles

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

Well, I use to have a lot of faith in Ford, now, not so much. My 2004 Ford Taurus was at a red light, pulled out on the highway and my transmission failed, it was like I put the car in neutral. I never felt so helpless in my life and Ford has known about this for a very long time, why haven't they put a recall on their transmission, are they waiting for someone to get enjured or killed before they admit that they have a serious problem. It stands to reason if someone gets seriously injured or killed by this problem they will loose billions of dollars in lawsuits and damages. So what is it, Ford, admit to a recall or face lawsuits that will follow your neglect.

And I also had a heating problem, a faulty heater core was the problem. My faith in Ford has really dropped, I'm thinking foreign cars are the solution because Ford puts money first, than building reliable cars and trucks and SUVs. They need to be forced into recalls on my car and other vehicles on the road today.

- , Dunnville, KY, USA

problem #81

Aug 162014

Taurus SEL V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 126,000 miles

Looks like I'm not the only one with this problem. Took the family up to busy Estes Park for the weekend. Was at the busiest intersection in town waiting to turn left when the transmission failed, just like hitting neutral, no forward or reverse. Lucky for my family a park service jeep saw my plight and pulled in behind to shield with their flashing lights until a tow could arrive. The tow truck driver took one quick look at the transmission fluid stick (reading overfilled) and said, "yup, just as I thought. Pump is out, you're probably looking at a busted torque converter. We see this a lot."

I'm already out $275 for the tow off the mountain back home, and it looks like at LEAST another grand to get it fixed. I really hate this car. Don't think I will ever own another Ford.

- , Longmont, CO, USA

problem #80

May 262006

Taurus SES 3.9dohc

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

slip,hesitate,grinding gears,converter&transmission fail

My son was admitted to Riley Childrens Hospital at 2 weeks old in march of 2006. We almost lost him! He held on and after surgery we had to stay about 7 weeks in recovery. THE DAY I WAS ALLOWED TO BRING HIM HOME IN MAY OF 2006 I CALLED MY HUSBAND FROM WORK 2 HOURS AWAY SO HAPPY WE COULD COME HOME THAT DAY. ON HIS WAY TO GET US THE TRANSMISSION FAILED IN TRAFFIC ON I-70! HE CALLED A CAB AND CAME TO THE HOSPITAL. WE HAD TO WAIT 4 HOURS FOR MY FATHER TO TAKE MY HUSBAND BACK 2 HOURS AND PICK UP A TRAILER TO COME 2 HOURS BACK TO GET THE CAR AND MYSELF AND OUR INFANT SON! WE DID NOT WANT TO TRAVEL WITH HIM BACK AND FORTH AND I DID NOT WANT TO BE HOME WITHOUT A VEHICLE WITH A SON WHOM I HAD TO BE CERTIFIED TO BRING HOME!! so not only did the car cost a lot with what we were going through...all the money for the cab and trips and truck and trailer to get the DAMN car back home!! NOW I am having problems with my 2013 FORD FIESTA!!!! GOTTA LOVE EVERYONE ELSE WHOM WANTS CAR PAYMENTS BUT DO NOT MAKE THEM AS STRONG OR DEPENDABLE AS OUR GRANDPARENTS DROVE...FOR 5 TIMES THE COST!!!!! GREEDY? MEAN? RIDICULOUS?

BIG THANKS TO THE HOSPITAL FOR LETTING US USE THE ROOM AND FEEDING US WHILE MY HUSBAND AND FATHER TOOK CARE OF THE PROBLEM!!!! ONLY IF FORD FIXED AND MADE THINGS RIGHT LIKE THOSE DOCTORS!

- , Wabash, IN, USA

problem #79

Sep 022013

Taurus SE V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,500 miles

I really wish I would have thought to check this car complaints site before we bought the car a year ago. There's almost 80 complaints on here for the same issue so one would think it's the transmission that Ford installed in these cars. I noticed the 2003 and 2005 Ford Taurus's have even more complaints than the 2004 for the same issue. Three years in a row with bad transmissions. I honestly can't believe there hasn't been a recall on this. There was no sign of any issue with the transmission whatsoever. It just went out. The car only had 52,500 miles on it!! My daughter was turning on to a side street, stepped on the accelerator and nothing but revving of motor. She pulled to the side and we had it towed to the shop. $2200 later, we have it back, Sounds like it's only a matter of time/miles before it goes out again. Disappointing Ford, very disappointing! Where's your pride of building top of the line products???!!! Along with registering this complaint, I'll also be calling Ford directly. Eventually if they receive enough calls, maybe they'll do something about it.

- , Liberty, MO, USA

problem #78

Jun 012010

Taurus

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

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

Yep, tranny went out, just like everyone else. Had it rebuilt for $2700. What a bargain! NOT! Since then, my car does some funky jolt. It feels like I've been tapped from behind by another car. You can physically see the car jolt forward if you are looking at it from the outside. I sent my car back to the tranny shop and they could not find the issue. Took it to my regular mechanic 3 times, can't figure it out. Took it to some stranger, he couldn't figure it out. 2 years later and it's still jolting forward. NOW, my brake booster is out. So, I just recently got new brakes, tune up, oil change, the whole sha-bang. I am driving my car up a hill on the freeway at 75 mph when I lost power. By the time I managed to pull over, I was going 25mph! Turned car off and back on and took off and seemed fine. Now, and this has happened several times; I will be sitting there in my car with foot on brake. Release the brake and before I touch the gas, my car just TAKES OFF. Seriously! Then I hit my brake and nothing. Barely get that thing to stop. I pull over, put it in park and THEN, while in park, my RPM's rev up to almost 3RPM. Turn car off and on a couple of times, problem stops (temporarily). I called my mechanic and he says, get it off the rode and bring it in asap. Unsafe to drive. Brake booster is out. GREAT!

- , Newport Beach, CA, USA

problem #77

Sep 072012

Taurus SES

  • Automatic transmission
  • 43,000 miles

Wow this is a serious problem and now I realize how common it is! I am not a knowledgeable car person so when this happened last year I paid a fortune and fixed several parts. Now a year or so later and tonight I was traveling down a busy freeway at 70 mph and the car just started slowing down, it sounded like it was revving up and I could see the RPM dial raced up and down as I began to pull off the freeway it just stopped in the emergency lane (very dangerous and I was reprimanded by a Security driver) and would not move from that point, not forward or backwards. I had to call a tow, accept a ride home from a stranger, and $70.00 later it’s in my driveway. The cost to fix it is to be determined however it is a must as I need to get to and from work and it is my only transportation. This is very upsetting as it appears to be a faulty product and WHY no recall? Guess it will be my last Ford!

Very Disappointed Ford owner...

- , North Port, FL, USA

problem #76

May 192013

Taurus SES 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,000 miles

I have never been a Ford fan, however, after being hit by an idiot pulling out in front of me and ending up in a pond, and classes fixing to start, I was desperately in need of a car. I found this 2004 Taurus with only 54,000 mile that was owned by an older lady and got a really good deal on it. Word to the wise, if the deal sounds too good to be true, there is a very good reason for it. I have had the car for a year, put approximately 15,000 miles on it and started having trouble with it pulling. I mean, the motor runs really well, but after getting the car up to the speed limit, if you slow down below a certain speed when the person in front of you is turning, it WILL NOT pick up speed, it's like it slips into neutral. When you live as far from town as I do, this is not a good thing. I don't believe that it is the transmission, or it would do this all the time. Most of the time it works fine, so I believe it is probably one of two sensors, the one that controls the transmission or the speed sensor, which I am in the process of checking. However, even if it is the transmission (or whichever it turns out to be) it had to have been defective to begin with. There is no way this should happen with only 70.000 miles on a car. Needless to say, I will be getting rid of this car and absolutely WILL NOT buy another Ford!

- , Sedalia, KY, USA

problem #75

Dec 282012

Taurus SE 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles

I had planned a trip up north from Louisiana to Illinois for 2 months and had everything checked out that I could to avoid any problems on the road since it was myself and 4 kids. 7hrs from home and 10hrs from my destination the transmission goes out and I'm no longer able to go any further. The engine itself was just fine and kept running keeping us warm in the cold while waiting on a tow. I was so frustrated being stuck on the interstate in the middle of nowhere and the transmission goes out! I have owned plenty of Ford's in the past and never had any problems close to this! My 2004 Taurus only had 85k on it so it never crossed my mind I would ever be in this position. This has put a very bad taste in my mouth since having to use my emergency credit card to have it towed to the most reputable repair shop that gave me 24,000k warranty on my new transmission, which I'm thankful for, but put me back $2,500 for tow, part, and labor. Needless to say, Ford is out!

- , Lafayette, LA, USA

problem #74

Jun 072012

Taurus SES 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles

I bought the car used with 20000 miles on it. I had to replace the transmission at 55000 miles. I have had many cars but this is my first (and) last Ford. I was driving the car on the highway and all of a sudden my car stopped running. I called my mechanic and checked it and told me to have it towed to a transmission shop the trans had gone out. I have had a lot of cars but never have I had a trans go out on me especially with only 55000 miles.

Since this happened I have had the trans replaced three times and now am starting to have the same problem again. This is beyond annoying.

- , Grand Prairie, TX, USA

problem #73

Mar 212012

Taurus SEL V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

My story is the same as many here: driving on long highway trip, and stranded by a failed transmission. The repair was 3500, and I really had no choice in the matter given how far I was from home.

Growing up, my father would buy only American vehicles. He spent a lot of time under them and I learned to hate them. When I bought my own vehicles they were all Japanese and vowed never to buy anything else... but relented last year when I picked up a used but very nice Taurus wagon. Well, I re-learned my lesson!

(To add insult to injury, I was one of those people who supported the auto bailouts)

Never again.

- , Schaumburg, IL, USA

problem #72

Aug 202012

Taurus 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,124 miles

Got stuck on a road trip on the side of the road in 102 degree heat with three kids waiting for a tow truck. Had to rent a rig for a week while the car got fixed to get home then had to go back and pick it up...so total cost was actually over $3K!! Had purchased the vehicle used only a year before. So pissed!!

- , Aurora, OR, USA

problem #71

Dec 072012

Taurus SE 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

I was on my way home and after making a right onto a boulevard, I heard a faint snapping sound and I started coasting. After the tons of problems I have had in the year and a half of owning this car, I have stumbled over this problem before so within seconds I knew my transmission went out like all the rest of you.

I'm a broke college student, I barely made the $3600 to purchase this car, I have already put $1000 in it on several other (really annoying) fixes and now I have to come up with another $2000 to get this fixed? This is just ridiculous. I bought this car paid-in-full cash so I won't have any payments on it but ever since I bought it that's all I've been doing. If you are reading this right now and DO NOT own a Ford. KEEP IT THAT WAY!!!

This car should honestly be on Modern Marvels Engineering Disasters. Every time I went to the shop to diagnose or fix something, the mechanic always says "Yeah, it's a Ford thing". One of them told me "Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, if it wasn't for Ford, our tools would rust."

Like all you other guys have stated... If there's a recall or class action suit on that transmission problem... let me know.

I hope you all have less-sour and beautiful journey to purchasing a new car after having a Taurus.

- , Miami, FL, USA

problem #70

Aug 132012

Taurus SE 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles

Transmission on wife's Taurus just quit. Same situation as I have read countless times on this and other websites. No previous problem, no warning, just rev up and coast. Haven't heard from shop but can venture a good guess what the problem is. What a shame. Bought the car new, used seldom and definitely not abused----all for nothing. As mentioned, this is my wife's car. She has driven nothing but Fords in her 50 years of driving...it's a family thing. I've had everything BUT a Ford and this might be the end of her 50 year streak. Go Hyundai.

- , Brazil, IN, USA

problem #69

May 022012

Taurus SEL 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,000 miles

Riding on a highway, the car just died. The transmission failed. I understand that this transmission was used in one of Ford's trucks and was recalled, but for some reason not recalled in the Taurus. That information came from Ford dealership mechanic. I'm mad!

- , Marlton, NJ, USA

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