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Ford Taurus/Mercury Sable Sedans Pre-2008



  • upsetter1upsetter1 Posts: 205
    Along with weak brakes it is another well known weakness of 2000 Taurus/Sable (may be of '96 Taurus also). I read about it in some reviews. I have no problems because am driving in town or freeway so don't really using headlights.

    In general clear-lense headlights are less effective than old fashioned headlamps. It was a matter of fashion when they changed more effective old Taurus headlamps to the clear-lense ones in '96 Taurus. There was so heated debate inside DN101 team about new lamps that leading headlight engineer resigned after all, but because at the time Honda Accord had already clear-lense headlamps it was decided to go in the same direction to beat 'em (and Toyota for that matter that continued to use old approach even in '97 Camry, what is a proof that it is not fashionable headlights or flamboyant style that sell midsize family car).

    But anyway, even clear-lense headlamps can be excelent, no question about it. It is more about engineering - how good are software and engineers, how much resources and time you have, what are specs and etc.
  • danielj6danielj6 Posts: 285
    Let me say it one more time, the headlights (low beams) on my 2000 Sable aren't strong enough. I often need to turn on the fog lights to supplement illumination of the road. I have 20/20 vision and don't have problems driving at night.

    Regarding brakes, I don't notice any difficulties with mine. I read in reviews that they feel "spongy", I believe is the description I saw.
  • landru2landru2 Posts: 638
    Are you sure your lights are aimed properly? If your fog lights are illuminating the same section of road as your low beams it sounds like something isn't aimed right.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,564
    Fog lights will only illuminate at most the first 5-10 feet of road low and immediately in front of the car. This area is an area that headlights do not normally illuminate much as any object you get this close to at night you should have seen coming from further away.

    I have never read any reports anywhere about poor headlights in Taurus/Sable before these recent posts and have not noticed any problems with my Taurus-and it does not have fog lights available anyways.

    Ford claimed that headlights in the current generation Taurus are 20% brighter than the past generation-this was in the Edmunds writeup for 2000 Taurus.

    Are Sable headlights are poorer than Taurus? I don't know. I suppose it is a possibility as the exterior shape of the headlights are different, but being engineered by basically the same group in Ford, I doubt there is any appreciable difference.
  • s852s852 Posts: 1,051
    I have a laptop that I plan to use as a navigation system in a 2002 Taurus that has a single disk CD player and no cassette.
    If it had a cassette, I would just get a cassette adapter to run the audio from the laptop, but that is not an option. I also heard that there are FM transmitters than could be used, but they work poorly.
    Someone said there is someway to tap into the unused factory CD changer input so I could connect the laptop or even a MP3 player and get full fidelity.
    Anyone have an idea how this could be done?
    It would be really cool to use the laptop to play MP3s and also simultaneously hear the navigation commands if that software was running at the same time.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    Just as a sidenote, today's results were released by JDPowers, which surveys customers on Initial Quality on the first 90 days. I don't take this survey seriously in any way, but nice inidication....

    Sable placed 1st place for Premium Midsize Car.

    Here's the link if anyone wishes to view it.
  • ssartorissartori Posts: 15
    About 11 months ago while my 1999 Mercury Sable was still under new car warranty, which at that time had about 23,000 mile and 3 months left, I developed a small oil leak. I would see a few drops of oil every morning on my garage floor. I brought it in to the dealer, for an oil change and had it checked out. They thought it was a loose plug. I still had the small leak. Then one morning, after pulling out of the garage, I noted a pretty good size oil puddle under the car. Took it to the dealer immediately, and they discovered that the oil filter at the bottom where the gasket and threaded flange is, was bower out making it convex instead of concaved. Interesting, thought it was a faulty filter and placed a new one on the car and off I went.

    For the next few months, I had the consistent oil leak maybe a few drops every few day. Took it back again and couldn't’t find the leak. Well last December, with maybe 25,000 mile and about 4 months out of new car warranty, while driving home from work in the shadier side of town, my check engine light came on and the engine shut down. I smelled oil burning. I opened the hood and check the dipstick and it still showed no oil and there was a huge puddle under the car, about 5 quarts worth.

    At that Point I thought to myself thank God, I had ESP extended warranty. Well I called the 1-800 for roadside assistance. The rep on the line told me I had no roadside assistance coverage, had no record of me ever buying this car, even though I’m still paying for it through Ford Motor credit, His data base only showed me as owning a 1986 T-Bird (that car has been gone for about 6-7 years), and living at a address that I moved from about 8 years ago. He gave me the name of 2 guys who they use to tow. Now mind you this all was happening in the shadier side of town it’s dark and about 6pm. I called the first guy and he said it would be about 3 hours before he would come, called the second guy, and he just laughed about the location the car was at and hung up. At that point I called the dealer and by luck they were still there. The owner of the dealership called Ford and bamm, in 10 minutes I got a call from roadside assistance asking where I was and there will be a tow truck there in 15 minutes.

    Back at the dealership, they checked out the car and it seemed that the oil filter exploded this time draining the oil out in seconds. Oil was all over the engine compartment along with the road. So the dealership diagnosed the problem as a faulty oil pump. They gave me a loaner car and in about a week, had the new oil pump in. Brought the car home and for the next 3 weeks still saw the few drops of oil on the garage floor. Brought it back to the dealer once again and they took it apart again making sure they did not do a faulty job replacing it the first time. Did a dye check etc. About a week or two later got a call from them and they said it was ready to go. Brought back my loaner, picked up my car and sure enough for the next month I had the constant 3-5 inch diameter leak on my garage floor. I called the dealership and ask if they would like me to take it somewhere else. They said no, they would give it one more shot. This time after talking to Ford, they took the engine out of the car and found a small leak between the upper and lower block. Yes, the 3.0 Duratec has an upper and lower block and there is a seal between the two blocks. Well that was almost 6 weeks ago and my car is still with out an engine, sitting on a lift at the dealer.

    Come to find out Ford ESP is demanding from the dealership refund for the second visit where the dealership double check the work done to replace the oil pump. I think the around is $900. The dealership said they did the right thing, fix the first problem, the oil pump that was probably turning out 300psi enough to blow apart a metal oil filter and possibly blow a gasket between the upper and lower block. Also they found scoring on the camshaft and cam bearings. The dealership wants Ford to send a new engine. I also want a new engine. The car has 26,000 mile and the mileage is not increasing anytime soon. Ford said they should have found the problem the first time. I called the Ford customer no-service number, they were very sympathetic but said they can’t do anything about the problem they are strickly new car only and said that ESP and the dealership will work it out.

    I’m very thankful that the dealership is giving me a loaner, as I really need a vehicle. Ford ESP is a different division of Ford and I guess they don’t play well with the new car warranty division. Because the oil filter didn’t blow out till after the new car warranty expired ESP is covering it, which I’m guessing is basically Ford internal warranty division, which may be set up like an insurance company.

    The owner of the dealership has called Ford Regional office. That’s where we stand now. I’m driving a 97 Mountaineer, as the loaner for the pass three weeks and before that I had a couple Sable demos and a Grand Marquee. I just wish they would let me drive a couple Lincolns. Oh well maybe a month from now.

    Now think about it, the dealership tore the engine (oil pump is not in the oil pan but running off the front somewhere and a bear to get to) 2 times at about 16-20 hours per visit @ $50-60 per hour. That’s about $2000. If they were to drop an engine in on the first trip they would have been about $900-1000 ahead. What $800 for a new engine and 8 hours labor. Instead I get to see how ugly, and how non-consumer oriented Ford Motor Company is. Let alone how they treat their dealers and most of all, the substandard quality of their product.

    Who would of thought that an oil pump would be blowing oil filters off a car at 24,000 miles.

    I’ll let you know what happens.
  • edmund2460edmund2460 Posts: 293
    Sorry to hear about your problems. (1) I think you may have a case for warranty compensation since the problem started within the warranty period - perhaps someone else can confirm this. (2) I would investigate small claims court if you can't get your way. When I had my head gasket fail, I got the same unsympathetic run around from customer service, I told them that I had been a loyal customer that had bought 4 of their cars in 5 years and they didn't care. I would have even taken a discount coupon on a new car. I know they made concessions to some others who had the same problem, extended the warranty on some cars (not my model year) and paid when some sued. It's their service strategy, do nothing till they absolutely have to, look at past history and you will see they have not changed. Note: before you loyalists beat up on me, I am making a point not about the car but what I perceive to be Ford's approach to getting back their market share...
  • danielj6danielj6 Posts: 285
    Although I don't have advice to give you, I do empathize with you as you suffer through this ordeal. I'd like to say or actually repeat what has been my personal belief and attitude for some time. My deepest dislike for car manufacturers and dealers. I only buy from whom I get the best deal. I have no loyalties and will not purchase more than 2 vehicles from the same maker.

    If tomorrow I see even the smallest oil leak under my car I will cut my losses and get rid of it. Oil leaks point to engine trouble and this means lots of bucks. I realize that for some people is not simple to go and trade their car for another and get into car payments. But the aggravation of having these "technicians" get their paws in my engine and suckered me out of $$$$$$$$$$$$ is just unecceptable.

    I got carried away. Don't want to start a controversy here. This is just mi opinion.
    ssartori I wish you very good luck!
  • caesarslegioncaesarslegion Posts: 109
    It would be lawyer time if it was my car. I had to lemon law a dodge shadow once so I know the head ache and problems you're going through. I wish you the best of luck and let us know how things work out.
  • regfootballregfootball Posts: 2,166
    so my dome light stays on after i shut the door and also my alarm just up and decides to go off by itself. From some net research I see the dome light problem is very common for this first fix attemtp is generous wd-40 on the door latch/ switch. Anyone else have any problems or issues with dome lights?
  • jtkz13jtkz13 Posts: 51
    Just a little FYI, they had to replace my longblock due to it blowing the spark plug out of the threads and cracking the head. It was like $4500 for the engine & install, so they aren't cheap.

    Fortunately mine only had 28,000 miles on it, and it was replaced within a week. I've got 68k on it now and it's been great since.

    Also, you won't get a "new" engine, it will be "remanufactured". This is actually a good thing, because reman engines are spec'd and inspected better than new, or so I've been told by numerous trusted mechanics and engine builders.
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,661
    who responded to my headlight problem...the clear lens looks quite similar to my Intrepid, but my Intrepid could light up Yankee stadium for a night game on a foggy night, and my Sable just ain't got the "light-power"...(lumens?)...bulbs aimed properly, just insufficient light...makes me want to test drive my next vehicle at night, just for that reason...I would think that, after all these years, something like "illumination technology" would be a no-brainer for automakers, kinda like the design of the brake and gas pedal, how much "refinement" do they need???...and, if lights are "getting better" where was Ford at the time???...just the fact that the new design was 20% better than the old ought to tell Ford something is wrong...I find this annoying, but only at night...:):):)
  • s852s852 Posts: 1,051
    Roughly, what is the expected mileage you should get on the factory equipped tires on a 2002 Taurus SES before they should need replacement? 30,000 miles? 50,000 miles?
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,564
    Unless you are a very aggressive driver, I would expect you would get at least 50,000 out of the OEM tires. I have 25K on my 2000 Taurus with Continental brand OEMs and they have a lot of tread left.

    They seem to be adequate on dry pavement and good on snow, but it is quite easy to spin the wheels on acceleration on wet pavement. The Duratec and my foot, however, is partly responsible for this.
  • upsetter1upsetter1 Posts: 205
    Marsha before buying car I would recommend to make research so you know all pros and cons and make right choice. I knew about lights and breaks before buying the car and it wasn't ussiue for me. Good place to go is Also is good to read comparos. E.g. pros and cons of Sable: - vip

    1. Successful styling
    2. Improving overall quality
    3. Roomier cabin and trunk
    4. Adjustable pedals (SE, SEL)
    5. Increased storage space
    6. Attractive presentation (SE)
    1. High price, numerous options
    2. Mediocre suspension and tires
    3. Hindered rear-seat access
    4. Mediocre braking without rear discs and ABS
    5. Limited 3/4 rear visibility
    6. Inefficient headlights
    7. Lack of rear-seat headrests
    8. Numerous equipment details omitted

    I agree about all cons except "high price", "Mediocre suspension" and "Numerous equipment details omitted". Yeah this guy buys car for MSRP I guess.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,564
    I disagree with 1,2,3,5,6 and 8. Brakes number 4 I also partially disagree with, ABS is standard on the SES and SEL, and while braking may not be quite up to some of the competition, would only be an issue if pushed to the extreme limits. Rear disc brakes are an overrated feature as well, as the vast majority of braking force comes from the front wheels.

    I strongly disagree with Con 1, unless he is just looking at MSRP, not the great value you get with the dealer discounts and factory rebates. Just try to find 200 Hp minimum V-6 sedan for about $18K-$19K from Toyota, Honda, Nissan, or VW. Even Impala with the 200HP 3.8 pushrod V-6 won't match that price point.

    Suspension I find to be just right for a family sedan, taught and well controlled but not punishing on rough roads. Maybe the OEM tires could be better, but this is the case with almost all OEM tires, not just Taurus/Sable.
  • upsetter1upsetter1 Posts: 205
    Some comments on those cons:

    1. High price, numerous options

    Ridicilous about price, it has nothing to do with reality. There is no numerous options. Japanese have numerous options.

    2. Mediocre suspension and tires

    Suspension is tight and comfortable enough. Probably he means that it is more simple design than competition, but simple doesn't necessarily mean bad. Actually for simple design it has it is very good.

    3. Hindered rear-seat access
    Don't know what does it mean. I have no problems.

    4. Mediocre braking without rear discs and ABS
    That is true if you are making panic stop, but otherwise in every day life it is adequate. About ABS I don't know - never came to point ABS be involved - California is rather dry place.

    5. Limited 3/4 rear visibility
    That is true - because of thick C-pillars it's a challenge to back the car.

    6. Inefficient headlights
    Thats true.

    7. Lack of rear-seat headrests
    Have no problem with it, but that is true too.

    8. Numerous equipment details omitted

    Don't know what does it mean. Actually there more than enough of equipment and features for that price. It is not luxury car after all and doesn't cost 30 grands like Camry.

    One more thing to add - it is hard to find good driving position. Seats are not as comfortable as in Volvo. They have to learn from Volvo instead from Camry. Camry has a similar problem. Nissan is very good in this aspect. There is virtually no lateral support, and lumber support is not designed good.
  • ssartorissartori Posts: 15
    Well folks the day after I posted my issues (never a problem, always issues) I had to stop by the dealer to pick up my poncho and umbrella out of the trunk of my Sable. Yes, it was still sitting on the lift, but, the front end was back in it, and the dealership just took possession on a long block (everything but the intake manifold) for my car! ESP finally came through, and the dealership said I should be getting my car back next week sometime.

    As for the price the service rep told me that cost of the engine is indeed about $2,500 and change… So jtk13 was right if you add in the labor. I guess I was going by the Auto Zone Ads at $849 for an engine. I always have a hard time reading the fine print.

    About loyalty, I have to say I will try to buy from this dealer again though our next vehicle will be a mini van and probably will be a Windstar or a GMC Safari. Need it to tow our pop up camper. Just can’t do a Villager. I did hear that Mercury is going to have a Windstar clone this fall but heard it will really be upscale and up priced. Probably like the Windstar SEL. $30,000 – $35,000, would love it if I could afford it. Man a 35,000 mini van… Who would of thunk it… I really am pleased with the dealership. They went to bat for me and even gave me loaners though out this ordeal. It’s a small dealership with 4 mechanics but it was like working with a friend / family. Maybe that’s why Ford ESP was playing hardball with them. If it were a mega dealership, Ford would have had a lot more to lose. It was great when you can walk into the owner's office ask if he has heard from the regional office yet. But they need to have the product the customer wants and can afford.

    So it looks like Ford came through, but very unfortunate that I had to witness the stupidity of an American Company and it’s attitude toward their customer, & their dealer. Something that started almost a year ago and being with out a car for 6 weeks while the dealership and Ford haggled about a repair reimbursement is just POOR business. This has left a bad taste in my mouth even to the point that I asked the owner to dump the Lincoln Mercury franchise and pick up a GM.

    I just hope it all goes back together and it works! Oh ya and no oil leaks..
  • jtkz13jtkz13 Posts: 51
    Glad to hear it has worked out. I bet that remanfactured Duratec outlasts the car.

    When will Ford realize people get more pissed when the car is broken and won't be covered, as opposed to being broken in the 1st place.

    I've had multiple small problems with mine, but to be honest I don't remember half of them. Ya know why? Because the dealership took care of them the 1st time and without making a big deal of it. The crazy thing is that the dealership I went to for warranty work isn't even the place I bought the car new. :D
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