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...


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
86,200 miles
Total Complaints:
11 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replaced both strut assemblies & tires (6 reports)
  2. replaced both in front springs (3 reports)
  3. not sure (1 reports)
  4. replaced the right & left strut assembly and left sway link (1 reports)
2003 Ford Taurus suspension problems

suspension problem

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2003 Ford Taurus Owner Comments

problem #11

Feb 052015

Taurus V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 133,000 miles


First off, let me just say this could've been life threatening...we transport our 8 month old granddaughter regularly and there would've been a hell of a lawsuit had there been any injuries...

Second, thank God....the spring broke and punctured tire while we were in the garage getting ready to back out.

There was an awful explosion like boom, then the tire deflated-the tires were fairly new and in great shape so we thought it was a faulty tire....had it taken to our local mechanic and got the news-spring had punctured tire on driver's side. the $$$ meter started....did we want to fix the passenger side as well...hell yes, we no have 0 trust in Ford products, when previously that's all we owned! $$$ final bill for all repairs is close to $1100.

I can only shudder to think what would've happened on the open road had that happened-what the hell is wrong when something like that can happen and has happened to countless other people!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

- , Jefferson, IA, USA

problem #10

Aug 182013

Taurus SEL 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 104,000 miles

Took my car for an oil change and drove home afterwards. I was driving at speeds of 85 miles an hour. I parked the car and went inside. Today I woke up with a flat tire. My tires are brand new maybe 8k miles or less. So I put the air pump on and sat there for 10 minutes and nothing happened. So I took off tire and the mess I saw was terrible. The strut was in bad shape and the coil was broken and my tire was ripped in 7 places. So I got mad and then I thought how fast I was crusin' the day before and Thanked God for sparing me from anything worse. So now I am stuck. Called around and it is 300-400 per side to fix. I don't have the cash right now and don't want to use credit cards. What a pain. Time to Pray.

- , Hollywood, FL, US

problem #9

Mar 162012

Taurus SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 132,000 miles

Came home from vacation late in the evening, had my daughter move my son's car out of the driveway and it had a flat tire, so I pulled the tire off drove into town bought a new tire came home in the dark and put it on. I left the car in the turn around. Next morning I let my daughter take my vehicle to work instead because i wanted to verify the tire was on properly. I got in the car later drove 12 feet, it was making a rubbing noise so I got out and while looking at it, it went pop, woosh and completely flattened. The spring had been broken and completely slashed the New tire all the way around. I am so mad at myself for not seeing the spring in the dark and the tire company for not asking what the heck had happened to the first tire. My son drives 70 mph to college round trip, my daughter just got her license and this was to be her first solo drive. This was the drivers side front tire, had the tire not been flat when we got home this would have been a major disaster, at these speeds were talking head on collisions or roll-over, especially with an inexperienced driver. I wish i had found this website sooner so we would know what to watch for.

- , Chisago City, MN, USA

problem #8

Jan 302013

Taurus V6

  • Manual transmission
  • 73,000 miles


I am waiting for the tow truck now. Had this happen at speed or on a busy road, I could have been killed or injured. I was backing out of a parking spot and heard a snap and then heard the air leaving my tire. When I went to put on the spare I quickly realized what had happened. The coil spring (front left) popped and slashed the tire. When I called for a tow, the tow truck guy listened to my story and said "So, is it a Ford Taurus". Seems everyone knows about this. Why, then, when I bought the car used at McClean Ford in Pine Plains did they not alert me to the seriousness of this defect. I am pissed!

- , Millbrook, NY, USA

problem #7

Feb 162013

Taurus SE 3.0L 6v

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,415 miles

When the front, driver-side coil spring broke, it pierced the tire, blew it out, and locked the wheel preventing rotation. I was lucky in the fact that the failure happened as I entered my own driveway.

I had just brought my two granddaughters home from school and, if it had happened while driving them in traffic, it would have pitched me into the oncoming lane and I shudder at what might have been the outcome of that.

- , Pittsfield, MA, USA

problem #6

Apr 002005

Taurus SE 6 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 25,000 miles

The front right spring broke on my 2003 Ford Tarus broke & shredded the tire. Fortunately this happened in my drive way. If it would have happened 20 minutes sooner when I was on the interstate I would have crashed! The car was still under warenty & the dealer wouldn't replace the other spring or even align it!! I had to take it to Midas!! This is a 2003, not a 2002. I think that this may be a larger problem than what Toyota had.

- , Canton, OH, USA

problem #5

May 302011

Taurus SES 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 44,600 miles


77 year old Mom bought the car new, puts around 5500 miles a year on it, about half-and-half city/highway. It's been remarkably problem- free for a Ford (say what you want, I fixed cars for a living for 25 years). A couple of weeks ago she went out to the garage, started it up, and put it in reverse...nothing. Stepped on the gas, and it rolled back about a foot before the right front spring went through the 2-month old right front tire. $1100 later she had a new front suspension and another new tire. When the earlier models were recalled, all they did was install a shield so the spring wouldn't go through the tire. There is currently an investigation open with 355 complaints received on the EXACT same problem. The problem didn't go away after the recall; the LEAST they could have done was install the shields during production. Now I'm reading about transmissions on these cars quitting without warning? I should replace the rear springs before they come apart too, but I don't know. I'm going to try to convince her to sell this wondercar before another known defect in these cars sneaks up and bites her in the checkbook. Just another reason I've always said, "Remember, friends don't let friends drive Fords".

- , Buffalo, NY, USA

problem #4

Dec 202010

Taurus ES 3.0L V6 Ffv

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles

My wife was driving on busy IL SR-2 at approximately 45 mph when the tire "popped" which caused her to go in the ditch.

Upon retrieval from the ditch and subsequent tow to the tire store we discovered that the left from spring broke and punctured the left front tire. This car has run well, but has been plagued with problems.

We are fortunate that she did not veer into oncoming traffic.

- , Rockford, IL, USA

problem #3

Dec 032010

Taurus SEL V6 4DR

  • Automatic transmission
  • 104,390 miles

Both front springs broken with one tire puncture/destroyed. It is difficult to imagine why this is not a recall item. At highway speed the outcome could be very severe.

Also had one of the rear springs broken

This mileage on this car was 70% highway driven - no rough roads.

The problem appears to be a metallurgical failure - salt and metal fatigue that Ford needs to solve.

I had an almost identical problem (broken front coil springs and tires punctured) with my old 1993 Mercury Sable at roughly the same mileage. Ford has a quality issue.

I'm sorry now that I recently purchased my new Fusion

- , Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada

problem #2

Aug 242010

Taurus 3.0 V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,800 miles

While girlfriend was backing out of driveway left front spring broke taking out tire. Right front cracked but not all the way through.She was so very lucky, as she was on her way to Dr appointment and would have to use 4 lane highway to get there.This could have been tragic, spring breaking at 65 mph.

- , Lorain, OH, USA

problem #1

Apr 042010

Taurus SE 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,000 miles

When I first bought the car it had 27,000miles on it, and about 42,000miles later, I heard a chirping under the hood. So we thought it was a serpentine belt. Replaced that and it still chirped. We took it to a friend an he said it was the transmission getting ready to lock up. So I spent the 1,200 dollars and rebuilt it. then at about 93,000 I went to leave and looked at my tire here it was flat. So we went out to change the tire an found out that the spring on the driver side front had broken and sliced my tire that I just got about 3 months ago and spent 750dollars on. I had put an automatic car start in it about a year after I got the car, and I went to camp for 2 days and came back and it wouldn't start. So we thought it was the battery, lol nope we hooked the charger up to the battery an down by the computer started smoking an the needle for my speed o meter went clear to 120 and back down. no it didn't catch fire haha. so we called the place that put the 350dollar car starter in to take it out, and they wanted to put a new one in I said hell no, take it out. Needless to say they left wires hanging everywhere. Now today April 2010 I sometimes have no dash lights at night. I have to tap on the dash to get them on sometimes that wont even work. And everything in my car is electric, and I have electric door locks, I have to manually lock and unlock just the driver side door. I wish I never would have gotten that automatic car start put in my car. I will never never put another in my car any of my cars ever again. so people that think its nice an all yeah its nice to go out to a warm car in the winter but its not nice to not have dash lights an your door not lock. So just make sure you're ready to take the good with the bad if something goes wrong with it. But all in all I will never buy anything else than a ford NOTHING else. If something god forbid something goes wrong with the 2003 taurus SE that I have now, I will definitely get another Ford, like the new taurus is a very nice car and the ford edge is nice too either one I would buy.

- , Altoona, PA, USA

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