Ford Taurus Transmission Problems & Overview

In 1986, midsize family sedans were very square, and not very well made. The Ford Taurus sought to change all of that with its rounded styling, FWD, and impressive (for the time) build quality. Americans loved this revolutionary new Ford, and bought over 2 million of them between 1986-1991. The second generation 1992-1995 Taurus was just as popular, and remained America’s Best-Selling Car for its entire production run.

The 3rd generation 1996-1999 Taurus remained a strong seller, but lost its sales title a year after it was introduced. The 4th-gen 2000-2007 Taurus became the victim of budget-engineering, and was forced to finish out its final year as a ‘fleet only’ model. However, Ford realized that dropping such a popular nameplate was a mistake, so they affixed it to the un-popular Ford 500, and gave that fullsize sedan a styling makeover, along with several new powertrain options.

By 2010, the 6th generation Taurus had become the Blue Oval’s default fullsize sedan, and received an entirely new platform, along with modern engines, transmissions, and a hot twin-turbo Taurus SHO performance model.

Does something seem wrong with your Taurus? Let’s look at some of the most common Ford Taurus, and see what you can do to get your car back on the road.

Ford Taurus Recalls

1997 Taurus – Fire risk from ATF leak – 97V097000

On June 30, 1997, a recall was issued for 100,000 copies of the 1997 Ford Taurus. It seems the low-intermediate servo cover on the AX4S transmission could come off while the car is being driven. If this happens, transmission fluid could leak onto the catalytic converters, creating a serious fire risk.

If the catalytic converters are hot enough, the transmission fluid could ignite and start a fire.

Ford instructed dealers to inspect the transmission and replace the defective servo covers. For more information, owners can contact Ford at 1-800-392-3673. Or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at 1-800-424-9393.

1996-1997 Taurus – Unexpected Vehicle Roll Away – 96V166000


On September 23, 1996, a recall was issued for the 1996-1997 Ford Taurus. It seems that 40,000 of them were fitted with a park prawl abutment bracket that could prevent the park prawl from engaging the Park gear, even though the gear shift is in the Park position.

If the transmission isn’t in Park when the driver releases the brake pedal and exits the vehicle, it could potentially roll away, causing serious injury or property damage.

To fix the problem, a Ford dealer would inspect the transmission, and if necessary, install a revised park prawl abutment bracket. For more information, owners can contact Ford at 1-800-392-3673. Or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at 1-800-424-9393.

Ford Taurus Technical Service Bulletins (TSB)

2013-2014 Ford Taurus – TSB 14-0056 – 15-0079


Cars equipped with the 6R35 transmission may develop a leak around the left half shaft seal. This happens because the half shaft surface finish can cause premature wear to the case bushing and seal.

To plug this leak, an updated case bushing, seal and half shaft will have to be installed.

2010-2012 Taurus – TSB 45132

Harsh downshifts on rebuilt transmissions

If unusually hard downshifts occur after rebuilding the transmission, it’s likely due to the wrong valve body separator plate being installed. The OEM Motorcraft Overhaul kit (part # MTKV-K5600-A or AU2Z-7V575-A) contains the wrong valve body separator plate, which should be replaced with part # BT4Z-7Z490-B.

2013-2014 Ford Taurus – TSB 44852 / 10057815


Cars equipped with the 6F35 transmission may not be able to upshift, or first and reverse are the only gears available.

This issue could be caused by a software issue, a problem with the low one way or low reverse clutch.

How to Diagnose & Fix

  1. Check the OBD Codes
  2. Check the fluid level
  3. Test transmission pressure
  4. Drop the transmission pan
  5. Repair, replace or rebuild

What to Read Next

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3 thoughts on “Ford Taurus Transmission Problems & Overview

  1. I have a 2007 Ford Taurus and I was on my way to get my son from school and I was at a light and my car just would not go I put it in park then drive still would not move it’s like it stuck in neutral no noises clicks or bumps. I’m a single mom of two and that’s my only transportation please help if you can. Thanks in advance

  2. I have a 2001 Ford Taurus I started the car n it shifted in the reverse gear but didn’t move when I step on the gas. Iknow then there is something wrong. I was able to put it in drive firstgear was fine.the car got up to 35 MPr n went to 2 rpm but it would not shift into 2 the my interfaces light came on. I haven’t had any problems with the car besides now got it bran new.does anybody have an idea. Yes i trust to rest the computer but oxidant work

  3. Hello I just bought a 2000 Ford Taurus with 140 k miles and the torque converter needs to be replaced. Now I’m thinking is the car gonna be OK if I just replace the torque converter or should I go ahead and replace the whole transmission. The mechanic I have is charging me 645 to replace the torque converter, do oil change, tune up, check AC.

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