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:
0 / 5
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
70,946 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 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2003 Ford Taurus Owner Comments (Page 3 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #30

Mar 012008


  • 33,000 miles


2003 Ford Taurus SE with 33,000 miles. Blower fan quit working on low speeds spring of 2008. Repaired July 7, 2008 by replacing blower motor resistor. This worked for less than a month before failing again. Determined that banging on dash would allow blower to work. After first freeze of the 2008 winter season the blower quit and has not worked since. The car is unsafe to drive: The windows have ice on the inside severely limiting visibility, the temperature inside the car is near ambient - which is currently below freezing.

- Appleton, WI, USA

problem #29

Mar 012008


  • miles
I discovered earlier year that water was leaking into the floorboard of my car's passenger side front seat. I never noticed it before, since I am always the driver, and rarely have passengers. In researching the problem, I found that it was a design error, and I have tried to plug the holes where water is coming in. I still have periodic leaks. As a result of the water leak, my blower has now shorted out. This is design error and Ford should have to rectify it. This is an ongoing complaint with Ford, please see other complaints attached to recall number 03V087000 and complaint 10184014. Please help!!

- Biltmore Lake, NC, USA

problem #28

Nov 142008


  • 84,500 miles
I own a 2003 Ford Taurus which experienced a heater motor and heater switch failure last year. I replace the components myself for around $250. This year I have been experiencing water in the passenger side floor after heavy rains and have not been able to determine the cause or location of the water entering the vehicle. This week with the torrential rains we have been experiencing, water was found coming out of my heater motor and heater and draining onto the passenger side foot well carpet while using my heater and defroster. Once I got home I removed the heater motor from the air duct and approximately 8 oz. Of water poured out on the floor. I surmised the water of this great volume was coming in through the windshield. I search the internet to see if there were other occurrences of this situation and on you web site I found there was a compliance recall on this issue on March 3, 2003 on vehicles built between October 29, 2001 and April 27, 2002 regarding windshield retention requirements. I am filling this complaint on November 17, 2008 in hope other owners will be notified of this defect(s). This poses a considerable financial undertaking by the consumer should the water infiltrate the electrical harness in the suspect vehicles and cause consider electrical component damage within said vehicles. To date I have not received any notification from Ford regarding my 2003 Ford Taurus SE with a manufacture date of 12/02 VIN.#. I feel the NHTSA should institute an national recall on said vehicles since we are talking about a major fleet model driven vehicle as well one the highest volume model cars driven in Ford history my the consumer in general. Your attention to this matter is greatly appreciated. I look forward to your need response on this damaging situation that most consumers have no knowledge of. Sincerely, J. christopher veach.

- Fairlawn, OH, USA

problem #27

Jun 082008

Taurus 6-cyl

  • 92,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Ford Taurus. The contact stated that there should be a splash shield over the cabin filter, located above the heater and near the blower fan. When it rains, water enters and shorts out the resistor or fan. As a result, power is lost. The dealer stated that there was no recall, only service bulletin number 31506. The contact has to purchase a splash shield, which prevents water from seeping down into the blower fan. He stated that this was the third resistor that has been installed since June of 2008 because they continue to short out. The failure mileage was 92,000. Updated 11-25-08 updated 11/26/08.

- Cheshire, CT, USA

problem #26

Oct 022008


  • 65,213 miles
My 2003 Ford Taurus blower motor started to work only part of the time and then eventually stopped completely. I have read many other having this same problem. I live in northern mn where we temperatures at the end of Jan beginning of Feb of - 40 below and highs of - 5 below. The blower is extremely important. Others that have the same problem are being told that water is getting into the blower and destroying them time after time.

- Tower , MN, USA

problem #25

Aug 202008


  • 105,000 miles
Dash lights won't work except for hazard lights which stay on at all times when light switch activated. All other interior and exterior lights work. Started during cold months but would resolve when car warmed up. Now the lights are totally out. This is a safety hazard since I cannot see the gauges as I am driving to and from work in the dark. It seems to be a crossed wire or circuit board malfunction. Tried to explain problem to local dealership, had appointment and then they wanted it to sit there for 3 days while technician who started the work was off!! it will be going to a new dealership on Monday!

- Moon Township, PA, USA

problem #24

Apr 102008

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Ford Taurus. While driving 55 mph, the anti-theft warning light illuminated and the vehicle lost all power and shut off. The dealer replaced a sensor at the cost of $400, but the failure continued. The vehicle was taken to the dealer three times and they replaced the sensor again. The automatic control and powertrain control modules were replaced and a new computer was installed; however, the failure continued. During the final time the vehicle was taken to the dealer, they stated that an engineer would be flown in to determine the cause of the failure. The engineer concluded that the vehicle was losing 2.4 volts while driving, which caused it to shut off. Bypass wires were installed on the vehicle in an attempt to get it to operate correctly. The vehicle was in the shop for over 30 days and is currently awaiting repairs. The failure mileage was 65,000 and failure mileage was 66,693. Updated 09/25/08 updated 09/26/08.

- Bluffton, SC, USA

problem #23

Aug 242008


  • 60,000 miles
Water leaks into the passenger side front floor board. Water also accumulates in the blower motor housing, causing it and the control resistor to short out.

- Glendale, AZ, USA

problem #22

Aug 152008


  • 30,000 miles
Poor vehicle design allowed water to leak into HVAC system causing damage to blower resistor and blower motor. Now unable to defrost / defog front windshield.

- Edmond, OK, USA

problem #21

Aug 192008


  • 72,000 miles
The air conditioner fan has stopped working due to a leak in a defective cowl.

- Somerset, TX, USA

problem #20

Feb 022008


  • 75,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Ford Taurus. The contact experienced several wiring malfunctions with the vehicle. The instrument panel lights would periodically illuminate automatically, and the headlights were also turning on and off without activating the light switch. The engine would also rev automatically and, when switching from park to drive, the engine would rev again. In addition, when in park, the vehicle would shut off by itself and have to be placed into neutral in order to be restarted. An independent mechanic could not locate the cause of the failure. A diagnostic was also performed, but it did not produce a failure code. The VIN was unknown. The failure mileage was 75,000 and current mileage was 81,000.

- Chipley, FL, USA

problem #19

Jan 102006


  • 60,000 miles
When driving my 2003 Ford Taurus wagon it stalls for only a few seconds but comes back on by itself. This doesn't happen all the time but you never know when it will. At traffic light & all dashboard lights came on &car did stall & I had to restart car. Driving at 65mph on highway all lights on dashboard will come on & car stalls but restarts on its own which is scary. Warranty already expired.

- Port Jervis, NY, USA

problem #18

Oct 242007

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles
2003 Ford Taurus. Severe stalling problems. Also, before each stalling incident the dashboard lights will flash on and off, and the speedometer and tachometer will fluctuate. These problems occur when the auto is at driving speed or at idle. The most severe incident occurred when I was driving at approximately 50 mph. The dashboard lights flashed and the engine died. I have taken the auto to the Ford dealership in norman, ok. They have not been able to diagnose the problem.

- Norman, OK, USA

problem #17

Jun 222003


  • miles
Same as complaint no. 10194207 but with a second vehicle. It hesitates or stalls with no notice other than all the dash lights coming on for a few seconds. Then, there is a loss of power. Happens when car is in motion and at intersections. Car can be going 60 mph or can be at a stoplight. Has been on flight recorder and computer, but no codes. Different fixes have been tried by Ford, but so far nothing has worked for very long. Had both cars in shop again this month for the problem. No one is able to identify the specific problem, so the trial and error method has been for the most recent stays in the shop. Left one of the vehicles at Ford for about a week earlier this month. The other was in on and off 2 or 3 times this month. The hesitation and stalling and repeated repair attempts have been going on for awhile because we were told the problem was fixed or could be fixed, but now it is very unlikely with two cars having the same problem and yet to be fixed.

- Manor, TX, USA

problem #16

Jun 232003


  • miles
Vehicle hesitates or stalls out while in motion. All the dash lights come and then there is a sudden loss of electric power. Have two of the same vehicle and have the problem with both. Ford has tried to correct this but all attempts have failed. Both cars are still under warranty and have about 54000 miles. The cars have been driven with recorders and computer but no codes come up. Lately, they have been hesitating/stalling at least a couple of times a week. Sometimes they stall while driving and sometimes while at a light. The worst is when the lights all come on and they hesitate while moving at 65 mph with an eight wheeler or SUV right behind. My wife, two daughters, & I have all experienced this situation and it's very frightening.

- Manor, TX, USA

problem #15

Oct 292006

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,000 miles
I own a 2003 Ford Taurus and I had to replace the blower motor, a resistor and the bower motor wheel. This was do to a defective design by Ford that lets moisture into the blower motor area thus causing it to fail, they refuse to do a recall and I have seen thousands of the same complaints on websites for auto repair.

- Lake Ridge, VA, USA

problem #14

Apr 172007

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 76,292 miles
When someone was going to do something about the stalling problems while driving2003 Ford Taurus. Sometimes it wasd at a stop, but it also happened at highway speeds. It choked out, the gauges went haywire, and it stalled. Thiswas something I found on blogs was a common complaint by Taurus owners. It was a distraction that could cause an accident at highway speeds. It was scary when it happened.

- Ogden, UT, USA

problem #13

Mar 152007

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 16,300 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Taurus. The contact stated that the windshield defroster must be powered on and off in order for it to operate. The contact was unable to retrieve air or heat inside the vehicle. The weather conditions were rainy. The manufacturer advised the contact to bring the vehicle to the dealer. The dealer stated that the blower motor failed and contained water damage. Ford agreed to pay for half of the repairs. The current mileage was a 16,400 and failure mileage was 16,300. The consumer states he would like to reimbursed for amount he paid of $182, however Ford only agreed to pay for a portion of the repair. Updated 05/04/07

- Canton, OH, USA

problem #12

Jan 112007

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles
While driving at highway speeds the vehicle went dead for 1 to 3 seconds and then started back up again. It was to the point that I would not allow my wife to drive the vehicle since she may panic and have and accident. I have taken the car to dealer, and no one seemed to know the cause for this.

- Plano, TX, USA

problem #11

Nov 142006

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 44,076 miles
Blower motor (blown) issues with water leakage and a very wet and smelly car.

- Bethlehem, PA, USA

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