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:
56,276 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2003 Ford Taurus Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #16

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 #15

Oct 012007

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Taurus. The vehicle shut off while driving 70 mph in germany. A private mechanic stated that the valve spring failed. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer advised the contact to notify a Ford dealer in germany. The dealer stated that because the vehicle was not repaired by a Ford dealer, they would be unable to inspect the vehicle or the part that was replaced. The dealer information was unknown. The current mileage was 78,000 and failure mileage was 77,000.

- Mcbee, NC, USA

problem #14

Sep 182007

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Taurus. While driving 70 mph, the vehicle shut off in the middle of the highway. All of the instrument panel lights illuminated. The vehicle was able to be restarted, but then shut off again. The contact stated that the speedometer also displayed the incorrect speed. The dealer acknowledged the failures, but the diagnostic indicated that nothing was wrong with the vehicle. The vehicle is currently at the dealer. The current mileage was 122,000 and failure mileage was 100,000.

- Saginaw, MI, USA

problem #13

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 #12

Jun 062007

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Taurus. The contact stated that the vehicle's cooling fan has failed. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who found that the blower motor had failed along with the cooling fan. The failure was caused by water entering inside of the cow panel. The failure of the blower motor caused the cooling resister to work intermittently. The current and failure mileages were 75,000.

- Winchester, KY, USA

problem #11

Sep 282006

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 69,000 miles
: the contact stated water leaked onto the passenger floor board through the blower motor vents causing the defroster/fogger blower motor to short out. The vehicle stalled out suddenly without warning while driving 55 mph on two occasions. Also, the engine will stall while idling. All of the warning lights blinked on/off prior to stalling. An independent mechanic replaced the blower motor and ran a diagnostic test, but could not duplicate the stalling problem. The dealership was aware of the problem.

- New Tazewell, TN, USA

problem #10

Jun 192006

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 84,598 miles


Yesterday my Ford Taurus 2003 while my child was with me had the engine go wild out of control. The engine all by its self started racing at high speed and there was no control of it. I had good sense to hold down the brake and shifted it into neutral. It ran this way for a minute or two. I almost killed myself and my daughter. I took the car right away to westfield Ford 708-354-8600 and was told that the computer that controls the engine went wacky and needed to be re-programmed. This is a very serious condition when the car can just take off by its self with no safety shut down. Please investigate maybe someone was killed this way because of a defect in a computer. If there was more traffic present I could have died along with my child. The customer report from westfield says 94490 diagnosis J# 1 06F0Z0engd. The Ford people seemed to act like this has happened before to other people.

- Cicero, IL, USA

problem #9

Jun 032006


  • miles
Engine misfired then shut down completely while driving.

- Norman, OK, USA

problem #8

Feb 222005

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles
Heater and air conditioner fan motor stopped working. Water leaks in on the passenger side with large puddle on passenger floor. Water leak has been noticed several times but blower motor just stopped working.

- Woodbridge, VA, USA

problem #7

May 192005

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles
About four months ago the engine would completely shut down while driving with a loss of power. This happened without warning, no previous stalling. Once the engine died, a period of about ten minutes would pass, and then a restart would be possible. Sometimes it would take numerous times to restart. After the first occurrence, the consumer took the vehicle to a Ford dealer, where it was still under warranty, and they replaced the fuel pump. The fuel pump did not correct the problem because the engine would still die. The consumer did return to the dealer, and they performed a diagnostic test which showed a valve assembly control failure and it was replaced. Also, they performed fuel pump pressure test, recorder monitor road test, check of battery condition, and a replacement of the electrical fuel pump assembly. After all of these tests and corrections, this was still a problem. The vehicle continued to have a problem that has not been corrected. The consumer went to the dealer six times, and has not contacted Ford manufacturer. After all of these attempts the dealer suggested to the consumer to call NHTSA and check the lemon law. Updated 12/27/05.

- Plantation, FL, USA

problem #6

May 012005

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 38,500 miles


Engine experiences a very short hesitation when accelerating from a stop. On one occassion engine stalled in intersection. Vehicle has been to dealership on two instances and problem is still there.

- Murrieta, CA, USA

problem #5

Apr 152004

Taurus 6-cyl

  • miles
2003 Ford Taurus has problems with transmission, engine backfiring, hood latch is broken, and seat bracket fell off. The tires were continuously going flat. Six flats occurred while the consumer was on a trip, the transmission was slipping and would jerk in traffic, the engine would back fire intermittently and stalled on one occasion, the seat bracket was replaced by the dealer but failed again (the seat bracket was incorrectly installed from the start), the engine also displayed knocking and had taken about 9 visits before the problem was corrected, it was discovered that a valve was sticking out. The A/C did not cool, the consumer smelled coolant which leaked inside the vehicle. The tires and rims were a problem and the vehicle had been in for repairs about 18 visits/two rear tires remained a problem due to severe inflation problems and the tires would need to be inflated several times daily. The consumer requested another vehicle. The gas mileage was poor. Tire loosing air pressure from the time of purchase. The consumer was involved in an accident on 2-25-06 and the air bags failed to deploy. Updated 03/29/06.

- Corona, CA, USA

problem #4

Feb 132004


  • 19,000 miles
Consumer stated vehicle started intermittently. Dealer could not duplicate the problem.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #3

Apr 092004


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Consumer received NHTSA recall 04V105000 regarding the air filter. Dealership still did not have the parts available to conduct recall repairs.

- Pine Bluff, AR, USA

problem #2

Feb 182004

Taurus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,575 miles
Dealership indicated that they were unable to perform air filter recall 04V10500 repairs because the parts were on back order. Consumer spoke to the manufacturer, and they indicated that the parts were available.

- West Lafayette, OH, USA

problem #1

Mar 032004

(reported on)


  • miles
Request for details about the defect trends ODI uses for determining recall factors.

- Simi Valley, CA, USA

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