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

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2003 Ford Taurus Owner Comments (Page 14 of 17)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

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

problem #74

May 202010

Taurus SES 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 44,000 miles

44000 miles and the transmission is junk. It left my wife and two kids stranded on the highway, car revs but will not move at all. This is my second ford and will definitely be my last!

- , St Paul Park, MN, USA

problem #73

Apr 092010

Taurus SES V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 112,495 miles

All I can say is that all of the other reports I have read regarding this problem sums it up completely. The symptoms were exactly the same other than I was on a dark two lane county road.

I was told by a transmission repair shop representative that this particular transmission was not only used on Fords but also Nissans and other manufacturers.

The estimate that I have received to fix the problem is to have the transmission replaced for $2500.00+. The KBB trade-in value before this problem was $2975.00. UGH! To say the least, I am not a happy Ford owner right now.

- , Sugar Hill, GA, USA

problem #72

May 102010

Taurus SES

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,000 miles


Same thing that everyone else has reported; the car just died, even though the engine was revving. Tried all the gears--nothing! Luckily, it happened 200 yards from my house and I had a neighbor push it to my driveway. Estimate to replace the transmission range from $1800 for a rebuilt one to $6,000 for the dealer to replace it. This came without warning and could have been a disaster if it had happened on the highway, like so many of the others reported.

This shouldn't happen to a car with this few miles on it! No wonder Ford is known by the acronym Found On Road Dead! And like everyone else, who has an extra $2,000 lying around to pay for a repair on a car that shouldn't need it yet! I don't think I would feel safe again driving this car, let alone my children, who mainly use it. What a piece of crap!

- , Newtown, PA, USA

problem #71

Apr 072010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles

I was driving in the middle lane on a business highway and my transmission went out with out any notice not light to warn you or nothing. I had to put my hand out the window to ask traffic to please let me get over and roll out the traffic into a parking lot not one would help me I was a long way from home had to find away home. I brought my car as is from Estabrook Motors I payed 4200 for my car. Now I am back walking

- , Pascagoula, MS, USA

problem #70

May 102010

Taurus SE 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,247 miles

2003 FORD Taurus SE 3.0L V6 THIS ISSUE IS AS SERIOUS AS THE TOYOTA ISSUE AND AS DANGEROUS! Well, here's another case of the 2003 Ford Taurus transmission failure without warning. As my wife pulled out into a busy intersection the car wouldn't move forward or in reverse. The car has 87,247 miles on it and has never experienced any transmission problems, noises or issues. This just happened with no warning. She could have been hit broadside as cars had to swerve to miss her. When I mentioned to the tow truck driver that I read about 68 cases of the same problem, he stated he has probably towed that many himself with this problem. I called Ford @ 800-392-3673 and got case #1541491300 and was told there is no re-call on this problem. She advised me to call the dealership and "try to get" cost relief. When I called the service manager where I have bought many FORDS (Tom Holzer Ford - (Farmington Hills, Mi) he became very upset and yelled about them telling people to call the dealership just to get rid of the complaint. He also would not give me the name and number of the Ford zone representative. Today I rec'd a call from the repair shop stating that I have 2 options; 1. a re-manufactured transmission for $3500 with a 100K, 5 year warranty or, 2. having the transmission rebuilt in shop for $2700 and a 2 year, 24K mile warranty. I have filed a report with the US DOT NHTSA, ODI #10329753 since this is a"life threatening" situation that left unnotice could cost several lives if it hasn't already. I recommend a class action suite be filed against FORD to get this problem resolved. Please file your complaints with the US DOT NHTSA at

- , Farmington Hills, MI, USA

problem #69

Mar 192010

Taurus SE 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,421 miles


Loss all gears (forward and reverse) while pulling out of an intersection. I work in the transmission industry supplying Ford with clutches on their auto transmission so I have contacts at the testing facility in Livonia. I told a teardowm mechanic of my problem and he knew of the problem right away and of the fix. It was on the torque convertor spline (gear) and input shaft gear interface. He informed me that he does this fix numerous times weekly and the problem stems from a bad heat treament on the torque convertor stamped steel part. So for 1k he pulled the transmission and replaced the torque convertor, input shaft and it runs fine now. So it would be nice to track the supplier down who supplied the badly heat treated splines and make them pay but I am sure that this will not happen. It is much easier to make us pay for their mistake.

- , Carleton, MI, USA

problem #68

May 052010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 187,000 miles

Well now there are 2 Taurus's in the family that have had transmissions fail. My in-laws were luckily driving only about 25 miles per hour in town and the all the sudden the car stops & as you all know--goes NOWHERE!!! I on the other had was VERY BLESSED!!! My husband and I had driven to W.V. when the transmission light came on, but things seemed fine. We went ahead and got to our destination, got up next morning to head home. All was fine, light was off. We drove all over Columbus, Ohio for the next 3 days with NO issues!!! On Tues I went to work and home NO issues!!! (75 miles round trip) Got up on Wed to go to work turned car on, put into gear and the car jolted forward then died. It would start, but kept dying when put into gear!! It was able to go if put in the gear with a 1 on it, but I didn't' chance it!!! NOW it's gonna cost $1600 (at least) to fix!!! I love my Taurus but this is a severe concern, that Ford needs to deal with!!! I believe that from hearing you stories someone has probably gotten killed due to the cars that STOP in the middle of the highways and etc!! I plan on calling Ford to file the compliant, as suggested in an earlier complaint at this website. I hope all of you do to!!! Let's put Ford on the line!! We give them OUR tax money for a "bailout" but WHERE IS OUR BAILOUT!!!!! I'm sure the money we put out for these cars, isn't easy for US to come up with!!!! So lets bond together and FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT!!!!!

- , Lancaster, OH, US

problem #67

Apr 212010

Taurus 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 108,000 miles

After exiting 695 beltway, the car just would not move. It was a terrifying experience, since there were tractor trailers coming towards me at least 55 miles per our. My insurance does not cover this nor do I have the money to rent a car and as a result I'm forced to use my vacation days until I can figure something out. It really sucks. I don't have any family in this town and that makes it tougher. Help!!!!

- , Laurel, MD, US

problem #66

Mar 292010

Taurus Wagon Se V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 118,000 miles

Okay so I purchased this crappy piece of a car 2yrs ago.@80,000miles. Within the first 6mths of purchasing it the starter went out. The next couple of months the TRANSMISSION went out.....myself and my children were almost rear-ended in the middle of a busy street. The car just stopped driving and came to a coast. Total cost to fix $1400--had a used tranny put in-- now another 10mths has passed and the TRANSMISSION has failed again WTH. It's costing me another $1100 to fix. I am a college student and have almost failed out of school because of this unreliable, piece of a so-called-car..I AM VERY UPSET AT THE DEALERSHIP THAT SOLD ME THE CAR AND FORD FOR MAKING IT------but I can understand why Ford makes crappy cars----IT'S ALL ABOUT THE BENJAMINS. They make money on repairs.

- , Cleveland, OH, USA

problem #65

Apr 092010

Taurus SE 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 101,000 miles


Transmission failed like everyone else cost me $1800 to fix. Everyone who has had this problem needs to call Ford customer service like I did. The person I talked to said that they establish recalls that way and if there is one you are entitled to 100% of your money back if you have the receipt. Please call 800-392-3673 Mon-Fri 8am-5pm and tell the what happened so we can get a recall and hopefully our money back.

- , Fort Wayne, IN, US

problem #64

Apr 142010

Taurus SES V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles

Same problem as everyone else...driving along and suddenly not going anywhere...engine just revved. This is definitely a safety hazard. I was stuck in the middle of the road beside a school. Buses were coming at me from the left, cars from behind and in front.

- , Philadelphia, MO, USA

problem #63

Apr 092010

Taurus 3.0L V6 Ohv

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

Dont ever get a ford. the tranmission in these ford Taurus's is built weaker than the actual motor which causes them to blow out so fast and easy. I was riding up 70 and the car just gave out and the motor remained crunk sounding good but it wouldn't go forward nor in reverse. It didn't give out no signal that it was going out either. ford stands for fire, on, road, dead. Ford you suck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

- , Salisbury, NC, USA

problem #62

Mar 312010

Taurus SES

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,670 miles

Was driving along CA Interstate 5 at about 65 MPH when noticed car was losing speed. Depressed accelerator and the tachometer revved but car continued to decelerate. No dashboard warning lights came on nor was there any unusual auto noises. Was able to safely exit freeway to a side street and had car towed to a local Ford dealership. The dealership gave me an estimate of $172.00 in which to run a 27 point inspection. On 4/3/10 I received a call from service rep stating that they could not find anything and would have to remove the transmission for further evaluation at a cost of approximately $1500.00. I had my 60,000 mile maintenance check performed at the same dealership on 1/27/10 at which time car passed their evaluation. On 4/5/10 I called the Ford Customer Service at 800-392-3673 and spoke with a representative named Chris. He stated that since I bought the car used in 2007 and that FORD only has a 3 year 36,000 mile warranty that FORD has no liability for the failure. I asked him how many complaints their department receives regarding FORD transmission failures and what the approximate life expectancy is for a regularly maintained transmission to which Chris had NO ANSWER. Of course, I was not surprised. So I asked who would be liable if I was not able to safely exit the freeway when transmission failed and possibly cause an accident on I-5 to which again the FORD customer service representative had NO ANSWER. In light of the recent TOYOTA acceleration problems I find it amazing that another car dealership has no regard for their product! I purchased this car from a fleet dealer with 23,584 miles on it and after I put an additional 25,000 miles on it the car no longer does what it was purchased to do. Go from point A to point B!!! FORD should change its slogan to "Quality is job NONE!" I have filed a complaint with the NHTSA (complaint # 10323711) at Would like to file a class action suit if can find other interested parties as this is a SAFETY issue!

- , Sacramento, CA, US

problem #61

Mar 242010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles

Could not believe it was driving and as I was driving on a winding road all of a sudden the car just had no forward movement. No drive, no reverse and I did not hear any noise, I put my foot on the brake and put the car in park. Pressed down the gas petal and could hear the motor running fine. Wow - what I pain. Had to pay for towing and now garage is telling me that it is the transmission. Catastrophic failure they called it. What the heck is that??? Cannot believe it . Found this site and now realize that I am the victim like everyone else listed here. Ford - Shame on you.

- , Willoughby, OH, US

problem #60

Mar 012010

Taurus SES 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 63,000 miles

this was #2! didn't waste the time contacting ford- went to dealership where purchased, they couldn't help me because "the car was too old". This time, I was stranded out in traffic! Pulled out of work into oncoming traffic & with no warning what-so-ever, the car stopped moving. No forward, no reverse, no nothing! There are no more Fords purchased by this family. We are tired of dealing with the junk AX4N automatic trans axles. No wonder ford is making so much money, they are using junk parts & not helping out the people who are buying the vehicles.

- , Hicksville, OH, USA

problem #59

Mar 232010

Taurus SES

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,900 miles

So like everyone on this website, I had no significant problems with my Ford Taurus until I was driving one rainy day down the street when all the sudden my engine revs up and the RPMs go up. The car begins to slow down and I glide the car to safety. After having the car towed to a transmission shop I was told that the vehicle needed to be rebuilt as the converter shattered in there. Cost of the repair was over $2300. I spoke with Ford who told me that the cost of the repair is at the customer's expense.

I want to encourage everyone who comes to this site to report the complaint with NHTSA to force an investigation and a recall of this problem as its a significant safety issue. Their website is:

- , Montville, NJ, USA

problem #58

Mar 182010

Taurus SE 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles

well like everyone else my 03 pos car would not move transmission was shot i feel something should be done where is the lemon law?now i.m with no transportation to get to work because i don't have 2400.00$ to fix the problem

- , Abingdon, MD, USA

problem #57

Mar 122010

Taurus V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles

Another POS from FORD..Catastrophic transmission failure while going through an intersection uphill, with no prior warnings.

Dealer says converter is shot and wants to replace tranny for $3100. I will let local tranny shop fix it and I'm selling this POS..

- , Lenoir City, TN, USA

problem #56

Feb 122010

Taurus SES 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,000 miles

at 87,000 miles the transmission completely failed. car would not move in any gear which left us stranded on the highway. prior to this happening we never had any problem with the car and it was very reliable but now after being fixed its the car your never sure you want to take out of the driveway. total cost of repair $2,000. for anyone who needs a transmission or motor, use everdrive... they are cheap and have great warranties

- , Califon, NJ, USA

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