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pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
68,800 miles
Total Complaints:
11 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. changed transmission control system (speed control) (6 reports)
  2. not sure (5 reports)
2008 Ford Taurus transmission problems

transmission problem

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2008 Ford Taurus Owner Comments

problem #11

Jul 042017


  • Automatic transmission
  • 144,237 miles


About a year ago, the car suddenly didn't respond to gas.. It was like it was in neutral. I noticed the lights on the dash were all on like the car was stalled so I pulled to the side of the road and shut it off. I restarted it right away thinking it was some kind of computer glitch and it seemed to be. Everything was fine.

Six months later, it happened again. Same symptoms, same solution.

A month or two ago, it happened a third time, but I was in a construction zone. Pulling over was a pain, but I managed, but this time turning it back on didn't work. Each time I did, there was a clunk in the engine that made it clear something was still out of whack. I put it in drive and pushed the gas and the car inched forward like it was in the wrong gear. If I put it in reverse, it slammed into gear, but seemed to go a normal speed backwards.

In the end, I wanted to move it somewhere safer so I figured that if I just pushed the gas it would at least move forward 100 feet or so without problem. When I gave it harder gas, it "clicked" into gear and drove completely normally from then on.

I've barely driven it since then because I'm worried the problem is getting worse or it will happen at a really bad time. I don't know about cars, but it seems electrical/computer and transmission related. Like it's not sure what gear it's supposed to be in.

- likelyn, San Antonio, US

problem #10

Sep 012014

Taurus SEL 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 51,000 miles

At first shifting problems happened between 55-70 MPH. Now it can happen at any speed even from a dead stop. VERY dangerous when on Interstate and this happens, car feels like the engine is going to halt. This could cost me my life if not repaired. I am going to a transmission specialist next week and leave the car for them to drive until they have this happen to them. Local Ford dealership, no help. Took car to them 2 times. Could not duplicate the problem and nothing showed up on the computer. Ford has this same problem with the Focus and other models between 2003 and 2007. They recalled these cars as they should these.

- Debra Q., Vinton, VA, US

problem #9

Nov 112015

Taurus LTD 3.6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 111,168 miles

Love this car; however, started noting little 'slip' about a week ago, a couple of really hard 'clunks' when upshifting, then today when I pulled into traffic, no response at all when I stepped on accelerator, no power, no movement, just revved engine. Then pulled out very slowly, extremely little power, and never shifted into the next gear. Eventually lost all power and had to pull off the road. Sat there a couple minutes; discovered dead cell phone so tried to drive again and this time it started, upshifted normally, and I made it home. I've also had a few instances of having the motor surge/rev when I was actually braking and thought I must have accidentally hit the accelerator pedal with edge of my foot; now I know that is not the case. It was actually revving on its own when I applied the brake; adding this only because I don't know but that it may be related to the cause of erratic shifting. Terrified of this vehicle right now; have an appointment with the mechanic. More to follow...

Update from Apr 22, 2016: The issue with my Taurus turned out to be very simple: It needed a tuneup with new wires, injectors, etc. It was still on its original equipment.

- miford, Delton, MI, US

problem #8

Dec 202014

Taurus ES V6

  • Manual transmission
  • 51,000 miles


Right after I purchased this vehicle I noticed the transmission jumped gears at 40-65 MPH. Took it to Magic City Ford , where I made the purchase. They have driven it 3 times and not produced my problem.I have taken it to 3 other shops and they said it ran fine. I am not crazy my husband, and son have has this occur while they were driving it. All Taurus cars with this problem should be recalled and fixed. The reason it had such low mileage on it was the previous owner got rid of it.

- Debbie Q., Vinton, US

problem #7

Aug 102010

Taurus SES 3.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 34,000 miles

was told something was "fishy" but since no codes found, couldn't do anything. had problem again, (would not shift and clunked when put in reverse. nothing found. next day car wouldn't shift out of first and trans. light came on, parked in a parking lot and was towed to another dealer. they rebooted computer, said that would take care of it. a few months later did it again, was told to do a bg flush 300.00, still not shifting right, occasionally when shifting, will remain in "neutral" before going to next speed. was told no codes and can't do anything.

- dt5088, Culpeper, VA, US

problem #6

May 012013


  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

My employer bought me my 2008 Ford Taurus brand new as a bonus. We have an on site mechanic who maintains all company vehicles including my car. I have less than 75,000 miles on it. My car sometimes will completely stall out if I am at a stoplight and on a slight incline. IF I turn it off and on, and try to accelerate my car does not get out of first gear and it clunks. If I am lucky it will shift up into second gear but, once again makes a hard shift into gear. I have been almost rear ended with my children in the car! On our trip road trip (400 miles) I had my car in cruise control and it started intermittently accelerating and losing power in the fast lane. I had to take it off cruise control and that seemed to help. Once again very scary as there were big rigs behind me and on the side of me going down HWY 5 with my children. My car has done this about a few times a year for the past 4 years I have owned it. When I buy a vehicle I will not be going with Ford.

- Lisa H., Martinez, CA, US

problem #5

Aug 282012

Taurus SEL 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,851 miles


Very disappointed in my Ford Taurus. Had vehicle since new and always maintained it. When I accelerated from a stop light the car proceeded slowly and made a very loud clunking sound when going from 1st to 2nd gear and then didn't want to go at all.

I pulled over and waited about 5 minutes and drove it straight to my mechanic starting out in low and then shifting to drive. He changed the speed sensor and a few other things and it seemed to work OK for one month. Now the same thing is happening again. I never bought a foreign car but now I am really thinking about it. Thanks Ford

(Fix Or Repair Daily)

- Daniel E., Cicero, IL, US

problem #4

Sep 132011

Taurus SEL 3.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,100 miles

I purchased veh in July 2011, approx 3 weeks later I shifted out of park and my tach needle went way up but little or no power. I had to put in park, shut off and it reved but very little movement. After the 3rd time it went into gear. Well the same thing happened today Sept 13th coming out of park at a supermarket parking lot. Shifted into drive and it hardly moved but high reving tach. I am def going to take veh in for service and pray it isn't an expensive fix.

- bboy2008, Philadelphia, PA, US

problem #3

Feb 272011

Taurus Eddie Bauer

  • Manual transmission
  • 43,000 miles

I am experiencing rough shifting 1st/2nd, 40 to 50 mph and no acceleration. There is definitely something wrong. No codes show as they re-set when you turn the car off. Not confident in my car any longer. I want a new transmission! It has been back and forth to the dealer several times. They have fixed a few things but can not duplicate the same issue of the backing up, putting the car in drive and no power. The car does go in reverse. It clunks and will not go into drive unless you turn the car off.

I can't believe Ford doesn't know what is wrong and how to fix this problem!...or perhaps they won't. Someday they will have to. Thankfully, I purchased the extended warranty.

- E P., Wayne, NJ, US

problem #2

Mar 022010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,000 miles

On the first road of over 2 hours and cruise had been on it started loosing power then gaining this happened several times untill I took it off of cruise. Then shortly after that I had to stop and when accelerating it slammed into gear. It has continued to do this at random intervals. And after three trips to the dealer it is still not fixed.

- Hope S., Philadelphia, MS, US

problem #1

Jul 192010

Taurus SEL

  • Automatic transmission
  • 47,427 miles

Well the problem I had was that when I started the car up. I backed up and shifted to drive. The vehicle felt like it had no power. The drivetrain light came on. I shifted it to reversed and it slammed into reverse. I shifted it to drive and it slammed into drive. I shifted to park and turned the vehicle off. Crunk it back up and got out and checked the trans fluid. It was fine. I got in the car and the light had went out (drivetrain). I shifted to drive it slammed again. I then shifted to reverse and it changed out fine. back to drive and it changed out fine. I drove it home with no more problems.

Later during the week I was leaving work and it was slamming into second gear. It done this twice, then was no problem the rest of the way home. Took it to deal and they changed the speed control. It fixed the problem. They say that the speed control also effects the gas mileage of the vehicle. My gas had went from 26 mpg to 19 in about a week so.

If your have the same issues check that first. Also no light (check engine) ever came on saying that the speed control sensor was faulty. Just the drivetrain that one time.

- Eddie B., Laurel, MS, US

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