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 4 of 17)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #275

Dec 062012

Taurus SES 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 149,998 miles


Leaving work getting on the highway. Suddenly revved up. I put it in neutral and was able to coast to the side of the road. None of the gears worked, OD, D, 1, Reverse.... Seems very dangerous to fail without warning at highway speeds.

- , Florissant, MO, USA

problem #274

May 012013


  • Automatic transmission
  • 127,000 miles

I just had the taurus serviced at the Ford dealership and sent my daughter off to college in it. She was there for two weeks and called and said that it wouldnt drive over 20 mph and the RPM's were going high...she took it to the dealership where she was and the transmission was bad. They said it couldn't even be rebuilt. we had it replaced but she was stuck there without any transportation what so ever as it was summer session and most kids were not on campus. This car gave absolutely no symptoms of anything going just worked that morning and then was bad by the time she got out of class.

I realize the car has a little over 100,000 miles but has had the recommended service maint. work done on it everytime the dealership had recommended it to be done....this was always done by the dealership and Ford had record of this and still did not stand behind it what so ever.

- , Lee's Summit, MO, USA

problem #273

Jan 112013

Taurus SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 132,000 miles

My son was driving the car returning from work and lucky for him that he cross a big intersection when the car just stop without a sign and he could take a solo. The car does not take reverse, d or d1 is just like in neutral I had change the transmission filter and the safety control shift but is still not move they told me that is the transmission these will be a very expensive repair. When I see all these comments they should do a recall on these car o repair the transmission for free. Up-sad! Mad!

- , Casselberry, FL, USA

problem #272

Jan 182013

Taurus Wagon 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,000 miles


Heard a noise, slowed car down, stopped it put it in park. Listened and heard nothing, put it in drive and it shifted into it but would not move, tried reverse, same issue. Tried other Drives nothing. Had to have it towed 3 doors from home, cost 50-, my brother is a Master Mechanic he says its probably the input shaft, the car has 62,000 on it, no fore warning regarding this.

- , Jackson, MI, USA

problem #271

Jul 012013

Taurus V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles

I think the engineers we have creating our vehicles, appliances, ect. are making them to fail before they should on purpose. They sure don't make them to last as long as possible! MY car problem was the transmission pump shaft going into the gear in the torque converter was only a half dollar size washer 1/8 in. thick with gear teeth lmao. I would think it should have been at least a half inch or at Least a 1/4 in seeing that the gear teeth on the pump shaft was about a inch long.

Its a real shame to have to put up with this after paying 20,000 grad for this car. was a show car at the dealer had like 20,000 mile when bought and it having only 55,000 thousand miles for a 2003. It was my mothers car she passed away few years ago. So we only got to have 35,000 miles before this repair!

These people that taking advantage of the none suspecting world of people should be horse whipped before being put to death! My wife was 150 miles away with a car load of gran kids when this happen! What a fricken ...... NIGHTMARE!.....

- , Live Oak, FL, USA

problem #270

Feb 212013

Taurus SES

  • Automatic transmission
  • 127,000 miles

This was my mother's car, I know it was well taken care of and never abused. My mother never did highway driving. I drove it for 4 months. I commute 35 miles one way to work using the highway. Drove to work the other day. No problem, went to go out for lunch, started the car, made a whining noise so I shut it off. Started up again and it sounded fine. Went to shift into reverse and NOTHING, no reverse, no drive, nothing, no warning something was wrong. Got it to my garage via AAA, transmission is cooked!! I have to replace it, I need to get to work! The car is solid in every other way so I guess I'm going to fork out the cash to fix it with a new transmission. My mechanic told me there have been 8 upgrades to this particular transmission since the car was built!!

- , Concord, NH, USA

problem #269

Feb 042013


  • Automatic transmission
  • 112 miles


Sorry you guys had such horrible experiences with the transmissions of these lemons! I wish that Ford would do something for you, but in the meantime, they are losing customers thanks to your posts! I almost bought one, but a quick google search brought me here and now there is no way in hell! I just can't risk it. No wonder these cars are so cheap. I had a similar experience with the Ford Contour, except it was the wiring harness. The bare wires were touching causing fuses to blow and once I was on the interstate, lost all power. Scary stuff! I read it was common and was also a recall at one time because some people's entire engine caught fire due to this. When I called ford about it, they told me that the harness was a discontinued part. A discontinued, recalled part? Needless to say, I had to tow it to the scrap yard. Almost lost my life, then lost my car. Such a greedy, selfish company Ford is.

- , Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #268

Feb 262013

Taurus ES V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,789 miles

I was finished work, I drove 1/2 of the block and transmission disengage. I thought that I accidentally put in Neutral, but I shifted to drive and car wont move, I tried reverse same result. So I have to push my car back to the parking, because there is not parking in the street. When I took to the shop they told my that was the transmission pump and will cost $900.00. When I complaint because my car has only 55000 miles, they told me that is a common problem that Taurus has.

- , Miami Beach, FL, USA

problem #267

Mar 172013

Taurus SES 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 57,000 miles

I pulled out of my driveway on the way to work. I turned the corner and the engine revved up and the car wouldn't move. I thought maybe the rug was under the gas pedal or brake pedal. I'm in the middle of a residential street, mind you. I put the car in park, pull the rug back and put my Ford Taurus back in drive. Nothing but RPMs going up. Put it in reverse to get out of street. Nothing but RPMs going up. Put the car in over drive, nothing. Got scared because I don't know what's wrong and I'm going to be late for work. I walked around the corner to a relative's house who had a guy to help them push my car around the corner. He checked transmission fluid-it was full. Checked the main belt-it was intact. Mechanic called. Stated the transmission was gone! No warning, no slipping, no nothing. Just stopped driving.

I'm so disappointed in Ford. I looked on several web sites and the ratings for the Ford Taurus 2003 model is severely low especially when it relates to the transmission going out without any prior problems. I would like to be notified of any class action suits.

- , Memphis, TN, USA

problem #266

Jun 012011

Taurus SEL V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 126,000 miles

Had transmission replaced in June of 2011. Now the transmission light is coming on. Can maybe drive 36 miles (most of the time) before the light comes on. I stop, shut the car off, then restart the car, the light goes out. Then, anywhere from 10 to 20 miles on down the road, the light comes back on. Seems I can drive further in colder weather than warmer weather (most of the time). Transmission fluid is full. Never drive the car over 55 (hence the name grannie). HELP!!!!

- , Milton, IL, USA

problem #265

Jan 252013


  • Automatic transmission
  • 53,300 miles


Same as others here, transmission failed without symptoms or warning. Did learn that FORD has acknowledged the problem and has resolved the issue in the new replacement transmissions. One step closer to FORD accepting responsibility for the problems with the transmissions. Count me in on class action or any recall efforts.

- , Spoakne, WA, USA

problem #264

Jan 062013

Taurus LE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 57,000 miles

Ford should recall the 2003 Ford Taurus transmission.

- , Cypress, CA, USA

problem #263

Dec 222012

Taurus SES 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 142,000 miles

Started my car and put it in drive took off got a little ways down the road and then it just wouldn't go and reved up. made sure it was in drive, it was, tried putting it in other gears and nothing. NO warning signs what so ever . went out right before Christmas. i don't know how i am going to get to work. we have another vehicle but its my husbands and he has to have it to get him back and forth to his job. I don't know what to do, this really sucks !!!!!!!! if i would have had some type of warning i would have put it in the garage and had it looked at and fixed. now I'm stranded without a vehicle, no way to get back and forth to my job. i work for an EMS company & i have people who depend on me. i am so screwed because i live about 30 miles away from my job.

- , Jackson, OH, USA

problem #262

Dec 052012

Taurus SES

  • Automatic transmission
  • 47,500 miles


- , Glenolden, PA, USA

problem #261

Nov 262012

Taurus SE 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

Hello fellow failed transmission partners.. my 2003 Taurus 120,000 transmission failed last night as well. Just normal driving on a lonely stretch of highway in the hill county (where i live luckily) and the engine revved up high and i was like WTH, so i pulled over on the shoulder, just realized i was coasting the for the last couple seconds and not even know it. So i put in park and it stayed. Put it in R, D, D1, nothing at all caught on. Neutral worked lol. All my levels were fine, no leaks, not even the transmission gave no warning at all (i,e gears slipping, hard to switch gears, etc) no signs of problems at all. When it worked, the transmission shifted smoothly like it supposed to do. SO i noticed the only thing to do is take it to a mechanic and pay the $1500 or more to fix it.. Does the sensors make a difference or anything else to check? Clueless at this point..

- , San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #260

Nov 022012

Taurus SE 3.0

  • Automatic transmission
  • 129,142 miles

I was supposed to go and do my errands my on november 2, 2012 at Los Angeles CA The transmission failed on that day. I immediately towed it to my house. the tow truck charged me $130 really awful..i called a mechanic and He took a brief look... checked axles... tranny fluid... and all appeared well. He may not get around to it this weekend . I goggled the incident and came across this site with over 200 identical complaints. Every post matches exactly what happened to me. I thought i knocked the shifter into neutral as i was driving but when i checked and seen i was still in Drive i knew it was bad. It is my only vehicle... and family vehicle. This incident could not have happened at a worse time. Seeing how common it is, I hope Ford owns up to their fault.


- , Paramount, CA, US

problem #259

Sep 162012

Taurus 4d

  • Automatic transmission
  • 91,000 miles

Driving on freeway and the motor reved up. Got off freeway because we were losing power. Coasted to a stop and put in park. None of the gears worked. Had to get a tow from AAA- they took forever.

- , Burleson, TX, USA

problem #258

Oct 102012

Taurus SES V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,000 miles

I was on my way to work and as made my turn the transmission would not engage. I was able to coast to a safe place, but was unable to move. I had no warning of any kind, the engine would just rev. Thankfully I was alone in the car and I was not on the highway.

I had to have it towed and am waiting to hear what the damage is.

Update from Oct 15, 2012: Cause was a stripped Tourque Converter, which cost (with towing) $1400. I have had several cars and never had something like this happen with out any warning. You would think that if it happened slowly there would have been some slippage shifting gears or acceleration. Like I stated above, one minute I was under normal power, then nothing.

- , Royersford, PA, USA

problem #257

Mar 082012

Taurus SEL 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles

Well, I was on my way to work at 5:30am and with no warning at all and half way to work my F***ing TAURUS stopped moving. I have taken really good care of this car and planned on driving it for many years, it still smells like new and looks like new but sure doesn't drive like new. The car would not move at all, just started slowing down like it was in neutral. Ford needs to help people out if they plan on return customers, I really like the car but... not the problem. If people change their fluids regularly and can document it I don't see why FORD can't help out $$$$. FORD knew about the torque convertor problems and did nothing and also the pump problems and still no recalls. Boy, they sure did sell a lot of Taurus cars, maybe they had job security in mind for the dealerships ???

- , Sterling Heights, MI, USA

problem #256

Jul 152011

Taurus SEL V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,000 miles

had been having ongoing problems with the car "hiccuping"..hesitating when accelerating or letting off gas, & the amps would jump around..but had had car to the shop only about 2 weeks before for this problem. kept getting what they called "phantom codes" on the check engine light. my grandson died, & i went to a store to get flowers ordered for his funeral, came back out & tried to leave BUSY parking right in the middle of a steet there & car wouldn't move. no big noises,or grinding when putting in gear,or anything...just gone. cost nearly $2,800 to replace. this is a car i had bought brand new,& had maintained it specifically to manufacturer specifications. it only had 62,000 miles on it,& wasn;t driven hard at any point.

- , Lincoln, NE, USA

Read the next 20 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?