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
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
93,493 miles
Total Complaints:
335 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace transmission (154 reports)
  2. not sure (81 reports)
  3. replace torque converter (37 reports)
  4. sitting in drive way trying to figure something out (33 reports)
  5. rebuilt the transmission replacing only failed parts (18 reports)
  6. scrap it! (5 reports)
2003 Ford Taurus transmission problems

transmission 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 10 of 17)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #155

Aug 082011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 115,705 miles


I was driving on a busy 3 lane road in Greenville SC when the transmission completely failed. Luckily a gap in the traffic came by and I was able to pull over without incident. The car was towed to the local Ford dealership and three days later was quoted a price of $3400 to put in a rebuilt "Quality Ford" transmission. I told the service rep I had zero confidence in his transmission and took it a well known transmission shop in Mauldin SC (Advance Transmissions). They replaced the transmission for $1825 in less time than it took the Ford dealership to tell me what the obvious problem was. Total costs were right at $2,000 for this problem. When I called several other Ford dealerships in the area to get prices for the transmission they are were all quite aware of the problem with the 2003 Taurus transmission. Ford needs to recall this car. I am sending letters to the Attorney general and voicing my complaint where ever I am able until Ford does the right thing!

- , Greenwood, SC, USA

problem #154

May 202011

Taurus SE V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 300,000 miles

we were going off to vacation and without no warning the transmission just stopped working we coasted on tot he side of the road the car sounded fine just didnt go into gear after that, now Im told it will be over 1000 to fix! My mechanic is still checking it out to make sure it wasnt just a sensor....ugh!

- , Amarillo, TX, USA

problem #153

Jul 022011

Taurus SES 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,000 miles

We have owned the car since 2004 and it was a really great car until saturday. Went out to the car and started it and found out there were no gears! Car just revs up. NO WARNING JUST QUIT WORKING!!!!! I have been a fan of Ford for years but I'm not so sure anymore. I have read thousands of complaints for the very same problem. Our Taurus only has 103,000 miles and now it needs a transmission thats costs more than the car is worth!

Now it's a lawn ornament. Ford should recall this POS transmission.

- , New Richmond, WI, USA

problem #152

Jul 042011

Taurus SES 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 123,021 miles


My college student granddaughter was coming home from her apartment at Huntington, WV (Marshall University) for the 4th. of July and the car transmission dis-engaged like it was put in neutral, she luckily was able to coast to the side of the towed (which was not cheap) to my home. The car starts & runs but won't move when it is in ANY GEAR. Googled 2003 Ford SES Transmission failure and found this site with the same complaints as with my vehicle...I thought oh, SH*T!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm screwed!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My First and Last Ford and that's a PROMISE Ford Motor Company. No recalls for this on going failure of this type transmission is my complaint. And we wonder why our jobs are going across the waters???? And why buying AMERICAN is not such a good thing... I find it hard that I just said these words. Damn I'm pissed! No recalls! And did I mention...Damn I'm pissed!

- , London, WV, USA

problem #151

Jun 242011

Taurus SE 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 124,641 miles

Drove home from problems...went out on 6/24/11...stopped at a red light...everything was fine...went about 50 feet...Transmission dis-engaged and coasted to the side of the towed home for $148.00...have no friggen Idea what to do does not respond in ANY drives...nothing....sits in the driveway right now...Damn you Ford Motor Company!!!!....DO SOMETHING!!!!!....I PAID YOU GOOD MONEY for this car....I trusted your wonder the car companies are in screw the customer...will NEVER buy another Ford product AGAIN!!!!!

- , Mentor, OH, USA

problem #150

Jun 212011

Taurus V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,432 miles

Up until June 21, 2011 I have not had problems with my Taurus. I bought it used a year and a half ago and it has always run good. Then on the 21st I was sitting at a light on the main highway in Kokomo waiting to turn left and when the light turned green the car went about four or five feet into the busy intersection and then just wouldn't move anymore. The car was still running, but nothing happened in any gear. Cars were going around me from all directions and I had to try to push my car out of the intersection by myself. Finally some young kid stopped and helped me push it out of the intersection. It was very scary and dangerous. There was no warning, no fluids leaking, nothing. It just suddenly happened. I had the car towed to the shop and was told the transmission needed to be replaced and it would cost $2700 (for a rebuilt transmission). I don't have that kind of money just laying around, so I can't even afford to get the car fixed! It's ridiculous that Ford knows there is a problem with the transmissions on 2003 Taurus's and they won't fix it! I will never buy another Ford product because of this experience.

- , Kokomo, IN, USA

problem #149

Jun 212011

Taurus SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,578 miles


Ford ABSOLUTELY NEEDS TO RECALL! Its happened to way way too many people! Its not anything we are doing wrong its Fords fault for building a faulty car! Im so mad I cant even contain it. I was driving 70mph down a busy freeway and I had my cruise tried to keep up with the speed I set it but it couldn't so my rpms went up to 6 or so and my gas pedal went to the floor. IT SCARED THE CRAP out of me! And because I was scared I almost rammed a flippen car next to me trying to get off the road because there was a semi right behind me. This IS ABSOLUTELY DANGEROUS! Ford doesn't want to recall because its not classified as a "safety issue", UM YES IT IS a safety issue! To sideswipe another car or get rammed in the tail of your car is a safety issue. I dont have the money to fix this problem, So there fore I cant get to work and when I cant get to work Im not making the money I need to get it fixed... I find it funny I started antidepressants the day this happened because I would prolly be sent to a hospital for stressing too much over it. Thanks Ford for all the help fixing your bad, not. I used to be a die hard Ford fan before this and I found out they wont recall, Ill be switching to a different car company next time I buy a car unless they see that too many people are having this issue and do recall.

- , Addison, MI, USA

problem #148

May 112011

Taurus SES V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 129,000 miles

Beyond some other problems I had in the past with my Taurus, it finally happened to transmission failed while I was driving 75pmh on a very busy highway coming home from work at 9:30pm. Without any warning lights or any strange noises driving at 75mph, my rpm Guage and engine suddenly revved high and I couldn't accelerate my car anymore in drive. It was like having the car in neutral in the drive position in 5 lane highway. As my car slowed down and was only coasting, I had to dodge cars coming from the rear at 70-80mph just so I can get over 4 lanes to the closest shoulder on the road. Luckily I managed and the car did well coasting far along to reach an exit and finally stopped on the side of the road where I was towed later.

It was a very frightening experience and with all these similar complaints you would think ford would do somthing about it. I could've easily been in an major accident that night, but was fortunate thank God! What is Ford waiting for...DEATH due to faulty defective transmissions! Just replaced Transmission in my wife's 2003 Winstar. Same issue and she was driving with our 1 year old baby when it happened on road..luckily nothing happened to them either!

- , Coral Springs, FL, USA

problem #147

Apr 232011

Taurus SES 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,142 miles


- , Easton, PA, USA

problem #146

Feb 192011

Taurus SE 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,443 miles

My wife was on her way to set-up a surprize baby shower for our daughter. The car was loaded with food / gifts / decorations etc... . She got about a mile from our house when the transmission failed with out any warning...What a stressful day...the baby shower unfortunately did not turn out to be a surprize, but it did happen...come on FORD do the right thing...

- , Ramey, PA, USA

problem #145

Apr 012011

Taurus SEL 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,836 miles


The transmission failed without warning, like most of these reports. Luckily it happened in light traffic. I was towed to the nearest Ford dealership, and three days later, the famous failed torque converter was diagnosed. However, the further the mechanic dug, the more problems found; pump shaft sheared off, shift rod worn, seals, gaskets, etc. I did report this to Transport Canada, Road Safety, and I was the first Taurus in Canada to report it! Lots of Windstars though. Ford Customer Service was sympathetic, but the repair was not covered under any warranty or Customer Satisfaction Program; I was on the hook for the full cost (+ the 2 weeks of rental car).

Ford likely doesn't consider this as a safety issue. The driver still has power steering and brakes so has control of the vehicle. I must say that the Taurus does coast very well in Neutral, but I wouldn't want to try it across four lanes of heavy traffic. I would recommend anyone who has experienced this failure to report it to your national transportation safety organization. It's the only way that Ford might listen.

- , Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, canada

problem #144

May 022011

Taurus ES 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

My vehicle runs very nice, on the May 02, 2011 I was on my way to report for Military duty, as I waited for the light turn green I hit the gas and my ford taurus did not move. Now I'm just waiting for the dealer to call me to get my vehicle back. Not a good deal.

- , Reading, PA, USA

problem #143

Apr 082011

Taurus SE 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 83,000 miles

I was driving home from work and it was going amazing. The car never had any issues under the hood and compared to most cars, it was in amazing shape. Then I turned the corner and went to accelerate....and it decided it wanted to take a break...and still is...

- , Allen Park, MI, US

problem #142

Feb 192011

Taurus SES V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

I bought my Taurus used about 6 months ago after a car accident totaled my Ford Escort. I liked the escprt, bt wanted something larger to accomdate my growing Family. Taurus was it, great storage space in the trunk, and roomy inside. It was inspected by a mechanic to ensure it was in top condition. I was a loyal Ford owner until now. Only after my trasnmission failed without warning, no slippage, noise, or fluid issues... I located this site and never again will I buy a Ford. I was told by my shop that Ford changed transmissions in the Taurus after 2003, but where does that leave us? The middle class american that loved to buy American cars for a good value??? Most of us dont have an extra $2000 laying around. great Job Ford, you blew it.

- , Jeffersonville, IN, US

problem #141

Jan 272011

Taurus LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,779 miles

This is the second time I am having to replace my transmission. The first time was on October 7, 2010 my vehicle had 87,119 miles on it and had been maintained on a preventive maintenance plan, by the book, from day one. This time it happened on January 27, 2011, same problem, shift the lever into drive and it will not budge. The car has 88,779 miles on it (that is 1,660 miles between transmissions). The car is still in the shop, today is April 14, 2011. How can your transmission go out twice and there not be a problem with the transmissions used in 2003 Ford Taurus?

- , Hattiesburg, MS, USA

problem #140

Oct 072010

Taurus LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,119 miles

It is hard to believe you would have to replace your transmission with only 87,119 miles on your vehicle and this vehicle is on a strict preventive maintenance plan, everything by the book. The car has been serviced on time. This seems to be a common problem with the 2003 ford taurus. How come this has not been a recall on this car? It cost me $2011.00 to have it fixed and be without a vehicle for 37 days!

- , Hattiesburg, MS, USA

problem #139

Apr 112011

Taurus SES

  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,900 miles

HAPPENED WITHOUT ANY WARNING. I was just going down the highway and the car just stopped running. At least I was able to get to the side of the road. The car starts and runs and none of the warning lights are lit up. NOTHING HAPPENS WHEN I PUT THE CAR IN GEAR. I found this site and felt the need to add my complaint. There should be a recall, it is the right thing to do!!!

- , Waterford, CT, USA

problem #138

Nov 052010

Taurus SES

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,000 miles

We bought our 2003 Taurus in March 2009. We had relatively no issues with it until about November 2010. While driving the car it just stopped responding. After checking it out we realized that the transmission had gone out. We spent $1000 to get a new transmission and were happy with the results...until. A few days ago my husband was on his way to work and it HAPPENED AGAIN!!!! The car will start but when you try to put it in gear nothing happens. I am at my wits end with this car. My husband searched online for similar problems and it seems that this happens to most owners of Taurus'. One interesting thing that he found was that the same year Windstar has the same transmission and problem. The only difference-- Ford recalled that transmission!! I don't know what we're going to do. We really can't afford to put in two transmissions in less than 6 months.

- , Manassas, VA, USA

problem #137

Nov 052010

Taurus SES

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,000 miles

Ford needs to recall this transmission. The car runs fine and I had had no problems since purchasing it two years ago. When the transmission went out I had no warning--the car just stopped responding.

- , Manassas, VA, USA

problem #136

Mar 122011

Taurus SES V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

I was riding on I-95 and all of a sudden my car wouldn't accelerate. I was going about 60mph at that point so the car had enough momentum to make it to the next exit. When i got off at the exit, I pulled into a safe place and put the car in reverse, it didn't move. In drive, it didn't move. After being diagnosed the transmission guy told me that it was definitely a transmission problem and it probably need to be rebuilt. I'm awaiting the final diagnostic.

I don't know what to say, I am totally upset. Since I was small, I wanted an all American car. I really wanted a Ford. My second car was a Ford Contour in which I had to have the transmission rebuilt for ($2800). Now my Taurus may need a rebuilt transmission. Really,,,,,Really.....I think my Ford dreams are over.

- , Pompano Beach, FL, USA

Read the next 20 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?