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:
93,606 miles
Total Complaints:
334 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 (32 reports)
  5. rebuilt the transmission replacing only failed parts (18 reports)
  6. scrap it! (5 reports)
2003 Ford Taurus transmission problems

transmission problem

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2003 Ford Taurus Owner Comments (Page 13 of 17)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #94

Aug 122010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 76,354 miles


Going down the highway at 60 mgh and without warning the engine revs but the car will not go forward. Hot day, no cell service in the middle of nowhere> No good. Torque converter shot. $1400 to replace. Ouch! A week without my car, when I have a job to get to. With a the complaints I've seen on the same problem, it should have been recalled! I have been a loyal ford customer, but I won't buy another.

- , Gwinn, MI, USA

problem #93

Jul 012010

Taurus SES 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,067 miles

I hope this turns out well.I am taking out the tranny tomorrow. My wife was driving thru a intersection when the car just stopped.No forward or reverse motion.However,I will continue to buy Fords.Just read all the other complaints, on all the other makes. Calm down and try to fix it yourself.It really is not that hard.

- , Tiffin, OH, USA

problem #92

Jun 012010

Taurus SEL V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles

I have owned 3 Ford Taurus - 2 have had blown transmissions with low miles 61K and 65K miles. Will never buy a Ford again. Transmission specialist says flush your Tranny especially with Ford.

- , Peabody, MA, USA

problem #91

Sep 162009

Taurus LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,758 miles


We were driving and the transmission just stopped.+ Mike Knapp Ford offered to fix the transmission for $2000.00 and then give me $1000.00 for a trade in. This vehicle has been a nightmare. New oil pan rusted gas tank struts springs transmission

Absolutely insane.

- , Welland, ON, Canada

problem #90

Dec 072009

Taurus SE 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 106,000 miles

Yep, me too! I was driving down the interstate at about 75 mph with the cruise on when suddenly the tach pegged. Fortunately, I had the presence of mind l to disengage the cruise control and it was night and traffic was light. I was able to coast up the exit ramp and park it on the shoulder. Under other circumstances this could have been a disaster! I ended up with two gears--park and neutral. Now it was just one more problem for my Ford. I bought it used with 54k in '06. Let's see...A/C hoses failed, air bag computer died, bad oxygen sensor, windshield washer hoses rotted, broken wire in the door allowed the windows to go down, but not up, bad tie rod ends, and the tranny. One or two of these things, I could attribute to an old car. Now, I just think Ford doesn't make very good cars and I'm just waiting for the springs to go.

- , Pinckney, MI, USA

problem #89

Jun 282010

Taurus LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 41,070 miles

My car only has 41,000 miles and I was at a stop. When I went to put my foot back on the gas, it would not drive, it was acting as if it was in neutral. I tried placing the car in all gears and nothing woudl work only neutral. The car needed to have the transmission rebuilt and it cost me 1800.00!! The car has 41,000 miles...SERIOUSLY??? The transmission place I went to said that he sees this all of the time with Ford Taurus. I filed a complaint with Ford and I am thinking about putting together a class action suit. Anyone interested in joining, please email me!!

- , Mchenry, IL, USA

problem #88

Jul 152010

(reported on)


  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles


I was lucky enough to be driving on a side road when the RPM's spiked and the car acted like it was in neutral. Read the other complaints for the rest of the story. I hope someone at Ford and the parts manufacturer loses sleep over this at night, and my prays are with those who may have lost their lives to cheap parts that may be designed to fail intentionally simply to make profits on parts sales. Now I'm worried for my own life and cannot wait to get a new car...too bad I won't be able to afford a new vehicle after this bill. I don't think I will let passengers ride with me anymore, as I do not want to put their lives at risk in a dangerous vehicle.

On the bottom of this page is an advertisement to buy Ford. Maybe hold off on advertising for awhile and help your customers, Ford.

For those who read this after I post please take the time to add your complaint. Lives are at risk.

- , Denver, PA, USA

problem #87

Jul 142010

Taurus SES 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,243 miles

This POS Ford is the biggest money pit I have ever owned. Fuel tank? yep, replaced the entire damn thing. Heater Core? yep, replaced it. Front coil springs? yep, replaced them both because one of them snapped and put 5" of coil straight into the sidewall of my driver side front tire. Dodged a bullet because it happened in my driveway. Replaced the other front one because I was scared to death I would be going down the highway at 70 MPH and end up killing myself, my family and possibly other motorists. A week after the heater core was replaced, what the f*ck?! There goes my damn transmission. Right now it is sitting at the shop. The car is paid off and has been for awhile, but the blue book is like $3,500..why the hell would I pay $2K to get the tranny fixed. My taurus has been treated very well and still...issue after issue.

Ford can kiss my ass. I'll never buy a Ford again. "Fix Or Repair Daily" is actually quite accurate. I'm going with Honda. F*ck american cars

- , Rochester, NY, USA

problem #86

Jul 072010

Taurus SES 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,244 miles

man f*ck that car its a piece of sh*t. all it ever did was f*ck me over. f*ck you ford for even selling this crap! built tough huh? not tough enough. it worked all day just fine then in the evening as i sparked a joint and open my 40 ounce and started to reverse the car suddenly stopped and proceeded to act as if in neutral. i shifted to drive and the same thing. i dont know what happend and it killed my high???? f*ck u ford may hell raise upon u and may u burn motha f*cka

- , Brownsville, TX, USA

problem #85

Jul 062010

Taurus SES 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 101,763 miles

Pretty disappointing really, pulling on to Highway 15 in St. Cloud the car quit moving with out any warning. The garage said it was the torque converter and about a $1000 dollar cure. This car has also had the front spring break puncturing the tire and that whole trip. I was told by the dealership that the recall was only good on 99 thur 01 taurus's. That was a $850 dollar cure for a pair of struts and new coils and of course we have had the blower repaired with the leaking blower compartment issues to the tune of $400 dollars.

What can you say really Other then when life gives you lemons make lemonade. Unfortunately I get heartburn from lemonade. I've had a lot of heartburn with this auto.

- , Glencoe, MN, USA

problem #84

Jun 092010

Taurus SES 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 116,000 miles


started down the road and only got 3 blocks away from home when the transmission stopped working gonna cost 2grand to fix and some people just don't have that kind of money laying around

- , Williamsport, PA, US

problem #83

Apr 232010

Taurus SES 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 101,000 miles

DON'T BUY FORD PRODUCTS>>>PROBABLY JUST AS DANGEROUS AS TOYOTAS!!! Transmission failed today on my old lady (who is a fairly new driver) leaving her coasting to a stop in the middle of the road. No warning says to junk the car because the whole tranny will need replacing even though they think it's the torque converter that went bad...they stated this is very common with Fords and is very expensive to try to fix. Ford's quality department needs to be looked into. I will never buy another piece of sh*t Ford vehicle again!!

- , Oswego, NY, USA

problem #82

Jun 192010

Taurus SE 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 168,421 miles

why ford do something about this problem they know the transmission goes out why not replace it and keep customers happy because if they dont and im not saying me but ford is a good car my father had 7 fords myself ive had 4 and HEVER

- , Snellville, GA, USA

problem #81

Apr 192010

Taurus SES V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,986 miles

My 2003 Ford Taurus has also just stopped working out of nowhere. I was going over a railroad track following a truck like 5mph over it and all of a sudden it stops than moves again so I pull over and that's when it just decides not to move whatsoever! I turned the car off and turned it back on in which the engine sounds perfectly fine and no emergency lights were on so I was baffled! And it turns out the transmission is out and now I have to replace it... awesome! NOT! Ridiculous.

- , Richland, MI, USA

problem #80

Apr 272010

Taurus SES 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 83,371 miles

Drove the car in the morning with no issues. Got in the car in the afternoon , put on the seatbelt , adjusted the radio , put the car in reverse and ..... nothing , nothing but a whirring noise and the whine of the engine , lovely ! Luckily I was in my driveway and not on the road somewhere. A day of reckoning is now upon me , a seven year old car w/ 83,000 miles on it. The plan was to drive this car another year or two and get a 2011 or 12 Mustang , the plan may just have changed.

So hey Ford , you worked your way up to the top of the car selling industry with your slogan of "Quality is Job # 1" , how about another slogan "Customer Service is Job # 2 ". There are 70 plus complaints about one issue on one make and model of vehicle , how many others who haven't taken the time to sign up and register their complaint are there ? How many more who may have called in their complaint and still more who have no idea about this website or do not even have computers are there. Step up and do something ! Offer something ! Half price on the repair cost , free rental vehicle while repair is being made , something !

- , Stamford, CT, USA

problem #79

Jun 162010

Taurus SE 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 124,000 miles

Same as everyone elses car just stopped engine revved but car would not move told it was transmission. about a month before tranny went out the transmission fluid just poured out of the fill/check opening had someone look and could not find anything wrong so just drove it then about 2weeks later did the same thing then 2weeks after that it quite. I am the originally owner bought it brand new in 2003. Love my car drove nice now this. VERY FRUSTRATING especially when you depend on your car to get to work. I also depend on it to get me to the fire station so that i can help others. WILL NOT BUY ANOTHER FORD!!!!!!!!!!

- , Hartville, OH, USA

problem #78

Jun 212010

Taurus SE V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 61,000 miles

I own 2 ford taurus and i had this same problem on my other car less then a year ago cost me over 1400$ how in the hell is it that 2 diff cars i own have the same problem and no recalls and then i see all the complaints here what the hell is going on. Torque Converter needs to be replaced. I don't know what to do or whom to complain to its not like this was a one time thing i have already had the same crap happen to me on my other car grrrr

- , Grand Ledge, MI, USA

problem #77

Mar 022010

Taurus 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,000 miles

watch out for ford..junk trannys..junk blower motors..junk brakes

- , Milford, OH, USA

problem #76

Mar 012008

Taurus V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles

With all these complaints I have been reading you'd think Ford would get off there ass and recall the damn transmission. This is a serious safety issue. I remember when we had our problem We would be driving on the highway at speeds of 75 miles an hour and the car would just shut down, and then restart it self. There were a couple of times we got pretty damn close to dying. We took it to the dealer ship it didn't do it for them they didn't know what it was they were not helpful at all. So we were drying thank god not on a highway and the car just stopped wouldn't go into a gear nothing. We didn't even have that car for 2 years. We bought it used from a dealership who closed it doors 2 months after we purchased it. We bought the extended warranty which didn't do us a damn bit of good bc the store closed they had no "record" of any type of service we had done. WE GOT SCREWED. Fords are a joke and shouldn't be allowed to be made. I think its kind of funny they all of a sudden stopped making the Taurus. Then not to long along they came out with a new taurus. OH wait the older style was a piece of sh*t so they screwed as many people as they could. We finally paid off the credit card we had to use for the stupid transmission. We are still paying off the car. We tired selling it no one wants it . I can't blame them its a piece of sh*t. We got 2000 Pontiac grand Prix gt it's got 170,000 + miles on it never had a problem . Minor issues but nothing like a transmission . Very frustrating.

- , Kansas City, MO, US

problem #75

May 172010

Taurus SES

  • Automatic transmission
  • 115,000 miles

2003 Ford Taurus 115,000 miles. Still have a payment on the car (got it used). My wife was driving home from the store with my 3 month old baby and the transmission just stopped working. None of the gears would catch. Required a complete rebuild for $2000. I realize moving parts do break down but on my Honda Civic had 167000 miles and it gradually went down hill. The Taurus just suddenly quit. I guess I'll keep this thing now that I just spent $2000 on it plus I still have a payment left.

- , Clayton, NC, USA

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