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 9 of 17)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #175

Jun 082011

Taurus SES 3.2L V6

  • Manual transmission
  • 108,770 miles


This car has been nothing but a money pit since I bought it used from the Ford Dealer. Now the transmission went out completely and needs to be replaced so the car is just parked in the driveway collecting dust. I am single mother who is trying to work and go to school and now have no means of transportation. I just got finished pouring every last dime into the car the week before for a different problem.

- , Tehachapi, CA, US

problem #174

Sep 092011

Taurus SE 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 109,000 miles

Had worked hard all day and had went to friends house for a little fishing at the private pond. Had great and relaxing time fishing, but had to leave early to get up to report to work at 530 am the next day. Started my 2003 Ford Taurus SE started to back out of friends drive and lots of revved up motor sounds, but no movement. Borrowed friends car to go home and report to work the next morning. Having little or no money, my friends and I tried to trouble shoot the problem. Realizing it was beyond our talent, I called my insurance carrier and I had my 2003 Taurus towed to the nearest Ford garage 20 miles away. Paul Miller Ford, in Lexington Ky informed me it was a torque converter and probably would need transmission. Handle it for $3500. Come on, car not even worth that much, however, I still owed a finance company so I needed to repair this car. Called Ammco Transmission and they said they could repair for $700 if Torque converter only or $1700 if transmission repaired. Of course, needed transmission so have paid $1700. However, computer not set and needed to return to have transmission cleaned and computer reset. Two weeks later and over $2500 spent I now have an automobile I need to drive until I die. Which may be sooner than I want due to stress from this incident. FORD really does need to address their problem with this transmission. Having read a great deal of the other responses, It appears we all have the same problem.

- , Lexington, KY, USA

problem #173

Sep 002011

Taurus SEL Dohc

  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,500 miles

I came off of a major hwy w/o incident, only to get stuck in bumper to bumper traffic. As traffic began to move, I hit the gas & my car barely moved... sounding like it was in neutral. I thought maybe I'd accidentally hit the gear shifter, but when I looked over, it was still in drive! I hit the gas again, and WTF!!! I had just enough momentum to get into the right lane & pull onto the side street. That was it... put the car into park & it never went into gear again! I had my elderly, mostly blind aunt with me, as I'd just come from taking her to her doctor. Luckily, my 4 y/o was not in the car, but I had only an hr + a half to get to her school to pick her up, and it was half hour away! It was hot as heck outside, but luckily my car was still running & everything else, including the AC still worked! Thank goodness it didn't happen 10 minutes earlier, on the hwy, or I probably would have been rear ended & worse!!! The tow truck took about 45 minutes & my insurance covered $50 of the $70 fee, thankfully, so I only had to give the tow guy $20 on the spot! That was all I had!! He towed it to my home, as I don't have the money to even get it looked at, never mind worked on, or have it stuck in some repair shop... being charged for storage! I was able to call a friend & help me drop off my aunt & get my daughter. This happened about 2-3 weeks ago, and yesterday, I finally got a friend to come look at the car; he's not a mechanic, but his dad is, and so my friend has a basic knowledge about cars. He looked at some minor things & then made a guess as to it being the torque plate/converter. Well, when I googled it, it fit everything that I experienced, and as I went thru these complaints... I found myself getting very angry! Based on what I relayed to an actual repair shop, it's gonna cost about $2200 to rebuild/repair... They'd give me a 2 year/24,000 mile warranty, that's also valid in Florida. Oh, did I mention... in 3 weeks I'm moving to Florida & was supposed to be driving my Taurus!!! Thank goodness this didn't happen then!!! I don't have the money for the repair, and have no thought as to what I'm gonna do. I'm not working right now, and currently borrowing a family member's car for the next 3 weeks. Here's the other part of this that is really peeving me off... I've had an issue with my Taurus from "day 1" involving this "popping sound", kinda like when u squish a plastic bottle & it pops back... I've had it pretty consistently almost every time, upon coming to a stop & then re-accelerating. I've brought it in to Ford several times & every time, I'm told... "It's not doing it now, and there's no issue that we can find". I had a 7 year/75,000 mile extended warranty, and kept bringing up the issue, in order to get it fixed within that time frame, so that it'd be covered. Well, I'm at 8 years/89,000 miles, and now the tranny's shot, and I'm reading that the "popping" noise I've heard all this time, is a symptom of this specific tranny issue with the torque converter!!!! AAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

- , Deer Park, NY, USA

problem #172

Jul 112011

Taurus SEL 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,085 miles


Wife gets in car after work last night from second shift. Gets in car and starts it, puts into gear and nothing but motor revving. Car goes in to reverse and all sounds fine but nothing in drive. I read about same issues, near same mileage with same transmission...

Ford are you reading these?

I am in Florida as we are planning to move and she was driving the car down with my son in 2 weeks. Bought the car 4 months ago. No warranty. Seriously?

- , Derry, NH, US

problem #171

Oct 012011

Taurus 6.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 112,000 miles

Oh yeahh i can yell as much as i can? fu*cken ford taurus is awful!!! it is not worth to buy ever again.They will just ripped u off. As*@ole stop selling ford taurus.There should be a recall for this 2003 model.Gonna print all the complaints and send to General attorney.Problem in the transmission is what happened to my car.I was on interstate and it suddenly like its in wont shift until i just stop and had my car towed. ford taurus bullshit!!! STAY AWAY FROM THEM.I hope no one will buy them and that they will lose business and they will go back to the farm and plant corn

- , Bradford, VT, USA

problem #170

Jul 062011

Taurus SEL 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles

My daughter was driving home from college. Engine revved up but car wouldn't move. Towed it to a repair facility who said the transmission was bad. A remanufactured transmission was going to be $3,400 to $3,600. I went with them rebuilding the transmission and that was lowered to $2,500. Car had regular service and care. It gave no previous warnings or problems that the transmission was having problems. The transmission just stopped working. I feel this is a product defect and that Ford has a responsibility to make it right. I don't feel comfortable letting my daughter drive this car knowing this has happened as it makes me wonder what could fail next without any warning. I have two Ford vehicles now, but I am very tempted to get rid of them.

- , Newnan, GA, USA

problem #169

Sep 132011

Taurus ES

  • Automatic transmission
  • 117,000 miles


Looks like no surprise another 2003 Ford Taurus with a bad torque converter or transmission!! I was driving to work and stopped at a signal light waiting to make a left turn. The light turned green. I punched the gas pedal to change lanes because there was a very slow moving truck in front of me. It was an uphill turn with two lanes of traffic. Thank goodness I was in the outside lane. I cleared the intersection and then the car acted liked it was in neutral. The motor was running but nothing happened when I pushed the pedal. I was able to drift to the curb. First I tried putting the car in low gear. Pushed the gas pedal. Nothing happened. Turned the motor off. Started again. Tried to accelerate. Nothing happened. I could tell by the sound it wasn't going into gear. Called my husband to wish him a HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Called tow truck. Called local mechanic. So strange my husband described our problem to the mechanic. You want to guess his response??? You guessed it! Said he had replaced SEVERAL torque converters lately in Ford Taurus'. I'm upset after reading all the comments on this site. It sounds like a very common problem with the Ford Taurus especially the 2003 model. I was thankful it broke down where it did. This problem has great potential for a very serious accident. No warning signs! Cars can be replaced and my next will not be a Ford. Lives can not! I would hope that Ford will do the right thing and make known the problems with this car before it leads to a tragedy if it hasn't already.

- , Lebanon, VA, USA

problem #168

Jul 102011

Taurus SES V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles

My Ford SES transmission just failed as I was coming home from the city. How embarrassing standing on the side of the road with no help. Luckily the tow driver of the $135 tow trip was nice. But Now i have no idea how i'm getting to work in the morning. Great This is just what I DIDN'T need. Thanks FORD. There was no warning all of a sudden my car started acting like it was in neutral and no gears would engage. Now i'm in between a rock and a hard place. No car, don't know how i'm going to get it fixed or when i'm going to have the time. I could go to work on the bus but when am i going to get this problem fixed if I do. :( i'm totally bummed. Someone warned me this would happen and now it has.

- , Birmingham, AL, USA

problem #167

Jun 132011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

Driving back from a family vacation from PCB on June 13th 2011, our 2003 Taurus transmission went out about halfway through the trip. It left my family stuck in Eufaula Alabama on the side of the road at 11 pm. We were going through a red light when the car stopped accelerating and now will only go into park or neutral (it seems). We had to have family come and rescue us and tow us back the folllowing evening. Now mind you it was 101 degrees, I am due any day now with my 3rd son and had my oldest 2 sons in the car with me (7 and 9). The car had NO issues prior to the trip. If it had not been for the local police and the kindness of a local church we would have been in some serious trouble.

- , Douglasille, GA, USA

problem #166

Jun 172011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,000 miles

Just joined the faild torque converter club at 89,000 miles, cruise control set at 70mph, suddenly RPM meter skyrockets. Pull over, no gears, nothing! Totally out of the blue while on my way to work, no warning sign, nothning! out 2k. Buddy of mine sent me this link after i told him of my problem.

- , Yankton, SD, USA

problem #165

Jun 092011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,000 miles


No need to explain the frustration. Simply put I had the exact same thing happen yesterday while cruise control was on. Just out of the blue, no gears. Class Action should be filed. This is ridiculous at 89,000 miles, majority of whice are highway.

- , Yankton, SD, USA

problem #164

Sep 062011

Taurus LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 185,000 miles

Should I be complaining about a 2003 Ford Taurus LX with 184,000 (yes one hundred eighty four thousand) miles needing a new transmission?

I made a UTurn and hit the gas pedal a bit hard and then....nothing....that was it.

Death By UTurn.

2 Yr Warranty on all parts and labor and I figure I'll spend the next 12 months figuring out which car to get to replace this one while it's still running.

So...should I piss and moan or be glad I got this many miles on it.

- , Fairfax, VA, USA

problem #163

Sep 042011

Taurus SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 139,000 miles

So on Sunday the fair was in town thought we would take the kids for the first time (kids 2 1/2 and 9 months) got everyone loaded drove around the corner and BAM! Just like that, no warning, the car loses all power. Not a single gear worked. Shut it off turned it back on NOTHING! I thank God that this happened when it did. Side road, no traffic and my brother with a truck and tow strap right ahead of us. Strapped it on towed it around the block back into the garage and this is where it is going to have to sit. There's no way after reading all this I will fix the transmission and take the risk of this happening again but in a more serious situation. I am just horrified by the number of complaints on this problem and how nothing has been done about it. Ford is obviously well aware of the problem. What is wrong with you people! Do the right thing already! Get the vehicle off the road before it ends in a serious tragedy for some family.

- , Mineral Point, WI, USA

problem #162

Aug 302011

Taurus SES 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 108,400 miles

Ford Taurus(2003) with108000 miles and the torque converter just went. No leaks, no funny noises, no warning at all. I was driving along slowed down to turn and went to go again and had NOTHING but an engine that raced. I was very lucky not to be re-ended and was able to coast to a safe place to park. Ford wanted 1500.00 to fix. I was able to get Cottman to do for 1150.00. I have another 2003 Ford Taurus with 87000 miles. Is this going to go soon??? Come on Ford, I understand there are a lot of problems with torque converters. Maybe a recall should be issued.

- , Newtown, PA, USA

problem #161

Jan 042010

Taurus SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 107,000 miles

I was on my way home in the middle of rush hour and all of a sudden I couldnt accellerate to keep up with traffic. It was the middle of winter and snowing like crazy. I couldnt get the car to move into gear no matter how many times I tried, the engine only reveed. After waiting for a tow truck for 2 hours I was happy that all of the other features worked like the heat. This incident only proves what I have been told and that is Ford cars are not dependable.

- , Chicago, IL, USA

problem #160

Sep 032011

Taurus LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,000 miles

I was just driving, with no prior problems whatsoever and the transmission just locked up. I can't go forward or backward. It starts just fine but won't do anything thing else. What am I supposed to do now/ I cant afford another car right now, and I cant afford a few thousand dollars to fix this one. I thought I was going to have this one much longer.

- , Peru, IN, USA

problem #159

Dec 102010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,000 miles

Another failed transmission for your list. No fluid leak, no warning at all. Drove into my garage after work on Friday and couldn't get out on Saturday. Had to push the dang thing out of the garage to have it towed. The transmission shop said that the fluid was dark and burnt smelling and they were surprised I had no warning. This was the start of a long list of repairs. Had I know how much this car would cost me this year, it would now be sitting at the bottom of Lake Erie. JUST KIDDING!

- , Painesville, OH, USA

problem #158

Aug 222011

Taurus SES 3 V Six

  • Automatic transmission
  • 46,000 miles

This car was kept in a garage its whole life very low mileage 46,000. I just got off the freeway interstate 295 in Portland, Maine drove down from Winthrop, Maine. turned into first intersection and I heard a ting-ting then a clunk then nothing at all just rev up the motor and nothing in any of the gears. So I pushed thru an intersection jumping out as did my daughter - she fell and rolled over, jumped up and started pushing the car into a near-by hotel (clairion) parking lot. It did go in park and when shifted it was always in neutral or park. Had it towed back to Winthrop 90 miles - had to take apart frame to get engine and trainy out. Took apart and found failed torque converter. :-( WTF Ford you make a piece of sh*t for a car. I will never buy a ford again-you suck ford!!!! and im going to tell all my friends and rant on the internet about it. I hope your company fails because in the torque converter the splinze were all stripped and ford has not even addressed the problem selling same cheap ass tourque converter. there is an after market one that is more heavy duty cost more and its not made by ford.

- , Winthrop, ME, USA

problem #157

Aug 242011

Taurus LX 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,000 miles

Same issue as everyone else. Doing 70 on the highway and the transmission silently failed. Luckily I was able to coast to an off ramp or I would have been stuck between a concrete barrier and rush hour traffic. Transmission shop will happily take $2500 for a rebuilt transmission. I might just be able to get that money back out of the car if I sell it immediately.

- , Liberty, MO, USA

problem #156

Apr 022009

Taurus S 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,447 miles

I was driving down the highway and after going through a green light, my transmission just quit working leaving me stranded on a major highway. I then had to call a towtruck to haul my useless car to fix the transmission for $2250.00. I had to take out a personal loan just to fix this car.

- , Columbus, GA, USA

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