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
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
99,851 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2003 Ford Taurus drivetrain problems

drivetrain 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 4 of 9)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #102

Jul 152013


  • 120,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Ford Taurus. The contact stated that while driving 20 mph, the vehicle suddenly stalled. In addition, the power train malfunctioned and caused the vehicle to roll downhill. The contact stated that the vehicle would not function in any gear other than park. The contact took the vehicle to a local mechanic for a diagnostic test. The mechanic stated that the transmission was defective. The contact did not have the transmission replaced. The failure mileage was 120,000.

- Nixa, MO, USA

problem #101

Jul 272013


  • 61,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Taurus. The contact stated the transmission failed. While driving out of a parking lot the transmission made a loud noise and the vehicle stopped moving. The contact had the vehicle towed to a mechanic who determined that there was an internal problem with the transmission and it needed to be replaced. The VIN was not available. The failure and current mileage was 61,000.

- Indianapolis , IN, USA

problem #100

Sep 292012


  • miles
Calipers front right F reb caliper remove and inspect and overhaul caliper front one side. Brakes were grinding again which required that inspection which I find out that the same area in the brake system needs replaced. Recomd, tie rod inner remove and replace tie rod end one side inner, ball joints lower front left remove and replace F ball joint one side, 2 brake hoses front. Brake rotors front both needed replaced. Suggested tires due to mileage also rubber valve stem. System failure- required. Recd, brake fluid exchange with ABS, and bleed brakes. Ceramic disc brake pads PD598 both front. 03/02/2013 mil 151213. 3rd repair shop, replaced all four tires with warranty brakes and pads along with discs needed replaced for the 4th time. Transmission flush due to leaking fluid. Qt dex 3 proline. Brake drums and shoes replaced. Replaced brake fluid, tie rod end one side inner along with replace of the shaft seal remove and install F axle shaft assembly one side. Tran's seal cr. Cv axle replacement. Ball joint replacement along with wheel cylinder rear both, brake service with rear brake drum. Engine light off/ runs poor diagnostic, replacement of PCV valve assembly, replaced upper and lower intake manifold gasket remove and replaced PCV valve along with tune up package. Relearn engine idle, rear brakes basic pc pkg, dorman rear right wheel and left cylinders. During these 3-4 repair shops cannot fix the cruise control to get the car to stop driving it self when above 30mph along with acceleration, back tail light right side shorts out continually. It is very difficult and very unsafe to control a vehicle that has had more than three or four repair shops try their hardest to fix a problem that apparently has some of these problems. I am with the belief that the brake system along the electrical system within the 2003 Ford Taurus ses DOHC is unsafe for street use in the U.S. due to our standards here of motor safety. When put into gear the transmission jumps loud.

- Apopka, FL, USA

problem #99

May 312011

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 105,497 miles


Ford Taurus 2003 ses, engine 3.0L car was purchased on May 28, 2011. Left side electrical along with components of the turn signal snap back when attempting to use this safety feature made for vehicles. On 06/15/2011 the front right brakes of the vehicle went out and required the vehicle to be towed to a local repair shop. During the drive home which was from a distance of about 20 miles I experienced uncontrollable steering and almost lost control of the vehicle. The replaced brake caliper bolt came loose and was lost along the highway. On 07/19/2011 after the vehicle was towed back to the repair shop the A/C compressor had failed again along with the transmission as the transmission was slipping roughly during normal driving conditions. The vehicle was towed and was blowing hot, brakes grinding, transmission flare shifting 2-3 shift. Repair shop stated slipping at 30mph and stated rebuilt transmission. During a week period around 07/22/2011 the brakes were grinding again and the lower ball joints were installed. Transmission slipping around 30mph and ac was still blowing hot. Transmission was rebuilt during this time frame due to flare shift 2-3 shift. Vehicle was towed back to the shop each time. 08/17/2011 check engine light on, transmission does not shift, grinding noise when accelerate and brake, A/C blows hot. On 08/31/2011 the transmission would not shift, stated need to replace all electronics in transmission, one or more solenoids are defect. 09/12/2011 odometer 112377 out O. on 09/20/2012 mil 140,768. Balanced 55 series and above rear right wheels balanced parts for flat with plug. Vehicle was inspected for power steering fluid and it was normal. The vehicle jumps when put in reverse and into gear and seems to want to stay on cruise control. I will post further comments to my complaint as there is not enough space for facts.

- Apopka, FL, USA

problem #98

Jun 012013

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 135,518 miles
Minnesota: Transmission torque converter completely failed. Car would not move from standing position. Park is only gear that worked, all others were like neutral. No forward nor backward motion when in R or D. replaced transmission with rebuilt. Cost: $2550.24.

- Rochester, MN, USA

problem #97

Jun 022013

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 87,000 miles
Was driving 50 mph when with no warning the car started slowing down and I almost crashed into a retention pond.cannot drive due to transmission failure! no money and still making payments on only S.S.

- Altamonte Springs, FL, USA

problem #96

Apr 222013

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 129,300 miles


Our Ford Taurus was driving just fine. We stopped at a stop sign and when we started to go and hit the gas pedal the car didn't go...the RPM's went to a high rate and then the car kicked into gear and drove but the rpms remained running high. A light on the dash lit up. It was a " ! " with a wrench type circle around lit up on the dash. We pulled into an autoparts store and they checked the car and they said it was a transmission issue. We have taken it to three different repair shops and they all say it needs a new transmission and they have seen several '03 tauruses with transmission issues and to check with Ford to see if there has been a recall yet. As far as Ford has told us they were unaware of the issue.

- Independence , MO, USA

problem #95

Jan 132013

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 96,866 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Taurus. The contact stated that while driving 5 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The technician diagnosed that the transmission was defective and needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was repaired. The failure mileage was 96,866 and the current mileage was 97,000.

- Davenport , IA, USA

problem #94

Apr 142013


  • 110,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Taurus. The contact stated that while driving approximately 20 mph, the transmission failed to operate without warning. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic for diagnosis and they informed the contact that the transmission would need to be replaced. The vehicle had not been repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the malfunction. The approximate failure mileage was 110,000.

- Harriman, TN, USA

problem #93

Apr 092013

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 155,000 miles
Transmission completely failed without warning. Suddenly lost power to axles though rpms were up, as if car was in neutral.

- Oakland, CA, USA

problem #92

Apr 042013


  • 83,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Ford Taurus. The contact stated that the vehicle would not respond to acceleration while in drive. The contact took the vehicle to a local mechanic and was advised that the torque converter was defective and needed to be replaced. The contact did not have the torque converter replaced. The contact called the manufacturer but the manufacturer did not provide any assistance to the contact. The failure mileage was 83,000.

- New Philadelphia, OH, USA

problem #91

Nov 042005

Taurus 6-cyl Diesel

  • 56,000 miles
While driving for about 40 miles turned off li expressway came to a light when I stepped on gas pedal to hear engine revving up but the car not moving. Had to call aaa to have it towed home and then had the Ford dealership come pick it up. They told me I needed a new transmission and it was no longer under warranty so with my choices being 1- fix it at my own expense or 2- buy a new car. I had to have the Ford dealership replace the transmission to the cost of $3066.24. This is usually when your just breaking in the engine on a car not replacing a transmission and at my cost. Now fast forward 7 yrs Dec 12 2012 with 18800 miles while driving on the li expressway I was driving 55 mph when all of a sudden the car speeds up tp 75 mph without warning I applied the brakes but could feel the engine fighting me all the way. The cars RPM needle starts to rise to 5500 to 6000 rpms this happened all the way home now its at the repair shop I can just imagine how much this is going to cost. Never again will I buy a Ford.

- Moriches, NY, USA

problem #90

Mar 042013


  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Taurus. The contact stated that while driving 45 mph uphill, the transmission failed. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for inspection and they stated that the transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 100,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Quipman, AR, USA

problem #89

Feb 272013

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 67,550 miles
I was driving to work going approximately 10 mph and my car just stopped moving, the engine continued to run, but I could not get the car to move in any gear. I also noticed transmission fluid leaking onto the road. I had the car towed to a service garage to have it checked out. The mechanic called me later that day and told me my transmission was shot. I was given 2 options, have a new transmission put into the car or have mine rebuilt. This would include replacing the torque converter and a chain in the transmission shaft that was showing signs of excessive wear. I choose to have it rebuilt. The mechanic informed me that there was a recall on Ford Windstar's for similar problems involving the transmission and the torque converter. He told me that the same transmission and torque converter were also in my Ford Taurus. I have owned and operated several vehicles produced by the Ford Motor Co. With more than 100,000 miles on them and never experienced any problems with the transmission. The mechanic told me I should file a complaint with the national highway transportation safety board.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #88

Nov 182012

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 92,900 miles
Went to my mothers for thanksgiving dinner. On the way home going 55 mile an hour the car stared excelling in speed. My husband was driving and knew to put the car in neutral to get the car to stop. He had to constantly stay on the brakes to slow it down. We got the car home, I looked on line and saw the complaints on your website. My husband then took the car to the local for dealership. He took a copy of the complaint with him. Ford service dept. Said they didn't want to see that article and wanted $80 to even look at the car. The car is not fixed, we plan on trying to get it fixed in the near future. If you would like to see what it is doing, that should take place in the next few weeks.

- Clarksville, IN, USA

problem #87

Dec 282012


  • 113,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Taurus. The contact stated that while driving 35 mph, the transmission failed without warning. The vehicle was towed back to the contact's home. After searching the internet he surmised that the torque converter was the cause of the failure. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic for diagnosis. The contact was advised that the splines inside the torque converter were the cause of the failure. The entire transmission was overhauled. The manufacturer was notified but offered no assistance. The failure and current mileage was 113,000.

- Anderson, SC, USA

problem #86

Dec 032012


  • 103,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Taurus wagon. The contact stated that while driving 35 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle was towed to the contact's residence and was inspected by a personal mechanic. The mechanic advised the contact that the failure could have been caused by the transmission or the torque converter. The manufacturer was notified who advised the contact that there were no recalls for the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 103,000.

- Warwick, RI, USA

problem #85

Dec 172012

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 135,000 miles
Brake light switch failed, at first the car wouldn't go out of park, after several tries it finally did. At that point it was noticed that the brake lights wouldn't turn off. I found an old recall that appeared to match the vehicle (04S12) but the Ford dealer stated my car was not part of that recall and they would not state whether the car had already had it done or not.

- Winnetka, CA, USA

problem #84

Dec 142012


  • miles
As I was driving on the exit ramp at approximately 65 mph December 14, 2012 my 2003 Ford Taurus began to decelerate at a fast rate. When I pushed down on the accelerator there was no power. As I pulled off to the side of the road and dropped it into a different gear there was no change in condition. After idling in park and moving the gear into drive again the rpms increased, but there was no acceleration.

- Osseo, WI, USA

problem #83

Jun 152012

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 102,441 miles
Affected part: Transmission I was accelerating after stopping at a light. The car lunged and made a pop sound then lost speed. I coasted to a shoulder and placed it in park. Then tried reverse and drive and it would not move. It started but would not go anywhere. Had it towed to a transmission shop for repair.

- Bedford, TX, USA

Read the next 20 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?