Ford Taurus Problems: 3 Known Issues (Explained)

Over the years, the Ford Taurus has been popular and a top choice for car buyers.

The Taurus has won the hearts of thousands with its sizable cabin to accommodate the family, a touch of elegance, and its cheap costs, which make it ideal as a daily driver.

UPDATE: We just posted a list of the best and worst years for Ford Taurus.

In this article, we will discuss the three most common problems of the Taurus based on owners’ complain.

1. Transmission Problem

Transmission issues hold the title of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd worst Taurus problems on Car Complaint based on several factors, such as repair cost and average mileage when problems occur.

The model years of the Ford Taurus with the most established transmission problems are 2003, 2004, and 2005, with the 2003 model year taking the number one slot for worse year model followed by 2005 and 2004 model years.

According to Car Complaint, the 2003 year model transmission problem of the Taurus has a typical repair cost of $1,930, and this occurs at an average mileage of 93,200 miles

For the 2005 model year, the transmission failure has a typical repair cost of $2,170, and happens at an average mileage of 80,450 miles.

For the 2004 model year, Car Complaint estimates the repair cost for transmission problem at $2,200, and this problem occurs at an average mileage of 98,850 miles.

Possible Causes and Solutions

Here are some causes of the Ford Taurus’ transmission problems and their solutions:

Transmission Failure

When a failure occurs, the car stalls/seize and then stops abruptly.

Here are some causes of transmission failure:

  • Low transmission fluid
  • Failed transmission solenoids
  • Poor fluid maintenance

The most common solutions to this problem, according to Ford Taurus owners, is replacing the transmission or rebuilding it.

Transmission Slipping

A slipping transmission system can slide from one gear to another instead of gliding smoothly, as it should. This is one of the clear transmission problems for the Taurus owner and it is the 2nd only to transmission failure.

Signs of transmission slipping in a Ford Taurus include difficulty shifting gears, interrupted acceleration, and delay or failure to go into reverse.

In more severe cases, it might produce strange sounds during shifting; the check engine light might come on, and you may perceive burning odors.

There are different reasons for a slipping transmission, it might be caused by worn-out gears, worn-out transmission band, or burned transmission fluid.

The most common causes of a slipping transmission system are difficulty with the torque converter, faulty clutch, and a failed solenoid.

We have a list of signs you have a slipping transmission here.

What To Do

If an expert confirmed it is a failed solenoid that makes your transmission slip, replace the shift solenoid.

Most Taurus owners faced with transmission problems either rebuild the transmission or replace it with a new transmission set.

Transmission Lunges

Few Taurus owners reported transmission lunges and experience rough shifting. This leads to difficult acceleration, struggle to change gears, or a lack of a smooth transition. The problem can lead to a shutter or vibration in the driveline during a tight turn, a thump, or clunking noise during light acceleration.

A faulty sensor, low transmission fluid, a problem with the vacuum, or a faulty solenoid can cause this issue. To solve this problem, owners resorted to reprogramming the transmission control, replacing faulty sensors, and solenoid assembly replacements. In critical cases, the replacement of the transmission is the best option.

Related: 11 Ford Taurus Statistics You Should Know (Facts & Numbers)

2. Suspension Problems

According to, Ford Taurus owners have a huge complaint about the vehicle’s suspension.

The suspension problem of the Ford Taurus has been increasingly drawing attention since 1996.

There are different suspension issues, but problems with the front suspension coil springs and the rear suspension coil springs are the most critical.

Problem With the Coil Springs

The Ford Taurus has an enormous problem with coil springs breaking, which can puncture or even shred tires while driving. The coil springs absorb vibrations and bumps on the road, aiding a smoother ride. It is attached to the wheels of a vehicle, one to support each tire.

Our research shows that the coil spring problem affects over 5 model years from 1999 to 2003. The coil springs don’t need any maintenance, but they may need to be replaced. This fracture happens mostly above 70,000 miles.

When a coil spring fractures in motion, a very loud metallic clanking sound breaks out. This might puncture the tire and can lead to a serious accident.

Therefore, it is necessary to know some of the major causes of the coil spring fracture, so you can observe it while inspecting your Taurus.

Here are the common causes of the Ford Taurus coil spring breakage:

Corrosion: This is the most common cause of coil spring breakage in Ford Taurus. It is more rampant in the salt belt region with ice, snow, cold temperatures, and salt on the roads. These factors can increase the rate of corrosion of the coil spring.

Spring Coatings: Usually, the coil spring is manufactured with a plastic coating to prevent the spring from foreign materials that might lead to rust. When the spring is continually squeezed in use, the coils rubbing together might damage the coating, which may increase lead to exposure that can cause corrosion and spring failure

Wheel Imbalance or Misalignment: Misalignment is one of the major causes of wheel imbalance, and this affects both the tires and the coil spring. It causes uneven wear to tires and can lead to breakage of the coil spring. When a tire is imbalanced, it puts the suspension and springs in your car under a lot of stress, and if they break, your car’s steering system and brakes could be damaged as well.

What To Do

The general solution to a broken coil spring is to replace it with a new one.

Related: Are Ford Taurus Good In Snow & Winter Driving? (Explained)

3. Engine Oil Pan Gasket Leak

The engine oil pan gasket leak is another Ford Taurus issue. Although this is not a very dangerous problem but the number of complaint about leaky oil gaskets and burning engine oil smells is alarming.

The leaky gasket affects Taurus’ from 1990 to 2014, and across a multitude of engine configurations.

The gasket is a seal that joins the two metal parts of the engine, such as between the block and the head(s) as well as the engine block and the oil pan.

Some causes and signs of engine gasket leak include:

  • Buildup Sludge: Oil that breaks down over time in the gasket affects the seal of the gasket because of prolonged temperature exposure. This increases pressure, leading to leaks and failures in the seal of the gaskets.
  • Underside Damage: This can occur when running over road debris, rocks, or traveling off-road. Any of these can cause dents and compromise the gasket seal, which can cause minor to severe leaks.
  • Smoking Issues: This is caused by oil dripping on the exhaust pipes or manifold, producing smoke. This is a very notable symptom of an oil gasket leakage. The smoke gets worse as the leakage increases. If not resolved quickly, it can lead to other problems like damaging your oxygen sensors and other car components because of being soaked for a long in oil.
  • Engine Overheating: The engine will overheat as the level of its major lubricant gets low because of leakage. The engine coolant and oil reduce excess heat and friction in the engine and keep the engine running at standard temperature. Engine overheating can cause damage to the engine and other components.
  • Oil Puddles Under Your Taurus: One of the major visible signs of a leaking gasket is to notice leaked oil when the car is parked. When the rubber material used in manufacturing the gasket deteriorates because of exposure to high engine temperature, it can lead to oil pump failure and will affect the smooth running of your Ford Taurus.
  • Low Oil level: This is a major sign at the early stage of oil gasket leakage and it is hard to detect. In this case, one of the major symptoms is the frequency at which the engine oil is below the gauge. This can lead to the display of the check engine light on the dashboard.

What To Do

The major solution to a faulty oil gasket is a total replacement.

Related: Ford Taurus & Keys: 12 Questions Answered (For Newbies)

General Pros and Cons

Here are some pros and cons of the Ford Taurus


  • Quiet and comfortable
  • Large trunk
  • Quick SHO model
  • Surprisingly snug cabin


  • Transmission Problem
  • Suspension Problem
  • Engine Oil Pan Gasket Leak

What Do the Reviews Say?

“The Ford Taurus is a full-size sedan designed to provide basic transportation and utility in a slightly more upscale and comfortable space than the automaker’s midsize sedan”.

“The Taurus offers ample leg- and headroom throughout. It also boasts one of the largest trunks in this class. The Taurus’ composed ride transports passengers in comfort, whether you’re navigating broken city streets or cruising on the open road. It might seem like the Taurus is the ultimate road trip vehicle, with plenty of space and storage for four passengers and luggage”.

What Is the Resale Value of the Ford Explorer?

Year Mileage Price
2019 59,550 $18,998
2018 20,333 $24,000
2017 51,445 $16,000
2016 54,249 $15,994
2015 53,346 $15,495
2014 94,867 $11,427
2013 54,729 $11,995
2012 106,473 $9,799
2011 87,895 $7,883
2010 122,530 $6,030

GO BACK > problems for all Ford models.

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ⓘ  The information in this article is based on data from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recall reports, consumer complaints submitted to the NHTSA, reliability ratings from J.D. Power, auto review and rating sites such as Edmunds, specialist forums, etc. We analyzed this data to provide insights into the best and worst years for these vehicle models.