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Taurus/Sable Maintenance & Repair

sangosango Posts: 1
Hi! my name is tatchy. I have question about
Taurus. What should I know about Taurus' repair and
maintenance when I purchase or lease it? Would you
please answer me!


  • gchernya1gchernya1 Posts: 43
    For a new one you have to know nothing, for a used one my opinion - better not to do it at all.
  • Do not purchase a used or new Taurus. Ever. Do not get in a Taurus. Cross the street if you see one. Especially mine.
  • tonewheeltonewheel Posts: 47
    Wife drives a '94 Taurus LX. Currently 69K. This has to be the worst car we've ever owned. Nickel and diming us already. Hard to keep front end aligned. Noisy. Lousy AC. Check out the Consumer Reports web site ratings for the year you are considering. Most years rate at the bottom for reliability.
  • olegphilolegphil Posts: 30
    Several of my friends and I have had Tauruses. None have gone beyond 110K. Mostly front end troubles, transmission and A/C (for the total price of all repairs A/C could be golden plated!)
  • gchernya1gchernya1 Posts: 43
    AC in the Fords designed the way that it would
    never hold it contents long enough. How Ford escaped environmental class action suite - that what makes me wonder.( I forgot, 20 bil in cash reserves probably outweigh big hole in ozone layer).
  • mpaulmpaul Posts: 9
    Worst vehicle I have ever owned!!!
    Three transmissions,2nd engine,Every time I
    have the a/c repaired it lasts one season then
    springs a new leak.
    Numerous other problems. I don,t drive my vehicles
    hard and they are well maintained.
    Run as fast as you can from a Taurus
  • dmiller2dmiller2 Posts: 1
    I had a 1991 Taurus wagon that went through three transmissions in 75,000 miles and an air conditioner. You won't see me in a Ford dealership anymore.
  • mdlofdbsmdlofdbs Posts: 1
    Not really a Taurus fan. My 89 3.0 just went over 150K, however. Tranny beginning to slip again just like it did at 75K. Was fixed under 3rd party warranty for over $1300. Overall, approx $4300 worth of warranty work done between 75 and 100K. This has sold me on extended warranties from the right party. I am religious about regular maintenance but I do drive somewhat harder than the next guy. Would NOT recommend the car overall although I'd probably rate it over most Chrysler products, given that I own/have owned my share of them.
  • kandacekkandacek Posts: 5
    I hate to say this, but I'd have to agree with most of what's been said on this forum so far. I like my Taurus, but without the extended warranty we had on it, it would have been long gone. I have a '94 wagon GL with leather interior. I actually love to drive the car. It handles well and is almost fun to drive. We're a Ford family (or my folks are), but my husband and I wouldn't own one without an extended warranty. We've seen the extended warranties pay for themselves too many times. Right now I'm trying to sell my wagon, mainly because it is out of warranty.
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,521
    Have to agree. I have an 88 LX with 3.8L. 146,000
    miles. It was used when I got it with about a year and 10,000 miles on the original 5yr/60000 warranty. It was fine until 65,000.......then all trouble. If I wasn't an old mechanic it would have been in the junkyard long ago. Just a brief list:
    All catalytic converters replaced at 70,000 (there is 3 on this model).
    AC work at about 80,000
    Trans rebuild at 125,000 (from what I hear this was really good mileage for the original trans)
    All catalytic converters replaced again at 135,000 (this time I found the reason-front converters are to close to the exhaust ports-the input side of the converter gets to hot and breaks down. They did this to get the converters hot enough to operate without having air injection)
    At about the same time, did major tune up work- cap, wires, plugs, injectors, fuel pump, some faulty sensors.
    This is only the major stuff. I estimate the cost of maintenance would have been 8-10K if I had to pay regular price.
    I like driving the car and its good for long trips (if your not to nervous about breakdowns).
    Uh-oh!! Something in the front end is making noise! Here I go again!!
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,521
    I forgot something! Had to pull the heads around 125,000 because of coolant leakage into a cylinder. Surprise! The right bank (or rear since its tranverse) had a bad gasket - but upon further inspection it was noted that the gasket was damaged when the engine was assembled. It was easy to tell by the imprint on the head. The machine shop that rebuilt the heads agreed and said they had seen it before on 3.8L heads. I really believe that Ford was throwing these cars together real fast - they were selling a bunch of them. Also, there are other signs, wire loom retainers that the loom has no chance of ever reaching, parts that need to shoehorned in, etc.
    Has anyone ever changed the power steering hoses on one of these monsters? It's a nightmare with the hoses snaking all over the place.
  • gchernya1gchernya1 Posts: 43
    Power steering hoses on all Ford/L/M cars designed essentially to make them leak right after warranty expires. This is first thing to check when buying used Ford. They have been replaced or need replacement soon.
  • tstone1tstone1 Posts: 2
    I have a '95 3.8L. Just past 100,000. Fuel pump Impeller disintergated, left plastic through out the system. Around $700 to fix which included a tune-up and injectors cleaned. Now my air conditioning went away. Apparently The front motor mount broke and pulled an air conditioning line loose. I also seem to be loosing a small amount of coolant. I hope it isn't a head gasket.
    I'm debating to go ahead and trade or fix the problems and keep awhile. I think I owe more than its worth. Opinions?
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,521
    nclovestone, find out where the coolant is going.
    Does the engine sometimes start hard or turn over slow due to water in a cylinder? How much coolant are you using? Do you need to put it in daily? Do a cooling system pressure check to see if any leaks are apparent. Don't forget to check heater core area. Also, look at seals between plastic side tanks on radiator and radiator core itself-if its moist or there are coolant tracks it could be time for a radiator.
    Also, on 3.8 check the upper radiator hose where it turns to go into gooseneck on intake-sometimes the hose develops a hairline crack here, but only leaks when the engine torques.
    Your AC problem sounds like it isn't too bad. Has motor mount been replaced?
    100K on a 95 is a good bit of mileage, about 25K a year. What kind of driving do you do? City or country? It makes a big difference.
  • tstone1tstone1 Posts: 2
    Burdawg, I don't get the puff of smoke out the exhaust you would expect to see after long idle periods. It takes about 1/2 gallon to fill radiator and reservoir every 2 weeks. I don't see dripping from the water pump or any evidence on the ground. No heater core fogging either or foaming in the oil. I am wondering if this thing starts out as a seep like from a cracked head typically or an all out blow out. Yea, I got the motor mount + air fixed for about $620. I do hwy driving, but it doesn't seem to make a difference on Depreciation! You think these cars are only worth 100k and end of life?
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,521
    Sounds like it could be a head gasket. That is typically the way it starts, a little seep into a cylinder that just gets worse. That's the way it started on my car, then just got worse and worse until sometimes it would barely turn over when starting due to water in the cylinder. You MAY be able to slow it down or stop it with some stop leak, but you never know.
    I did the repair myself, but had a shop rebuild the heads. It was about $300 for the head work, all the exhaust valves were replaced, and heads were surfaced. You have to replace the head bolts, they aren't re-usable. This is not an easy job on a Taurus. It's difficult to get to the rear head and exhaust manifold.
    One thing though, double check that upper hose where it goes into the manifold. I've had two cars that leaked there, but only when the engine torqued. It wouldn't leak just idling or off, even when the cooling system was pressurized! On one car, the coolant would stream out when you pulled away from a stop and squirt right on the ignition coil, causing the engine to stall! This was on an 88, I don't know if a 95 has an exposed coil or if it is in the same position.
    I think most of these cars, along with the Mercury Sable, end up in the junk yard before their time, not just for mechanics, but because of the lousy paint, especially the metallics. My 88 LX has 147,000 now, but I can do most of the work myself and know the car real well. I don't work as a mechanic anymore, but did for years, so most repairs I can do myself. I wouldn't tackle the transaxle, had that rebuilt at a shop ($1800!). Since we're a "throw away society" now anyway, most people don't do major repairs, just buy something new.
    Is it worth repairing and keeping a high mileage Taurus/Sable? Depends on the person. I like to get at least 150K on a car. I once figured that the cost of the repairs I did were considerably less than buying new. My 88 looks real good (has been painted), runs strong, uses only normal amount of oil between changes (1 quart, with changes every 3,000), and the velour interior has worn like iron. I've never had any trouble with electronics or vacuum controls, which I consider
    one of the most frustating things to repair. I did disconnect the heater because the core started leaking. I just can't bring myself to taking the dash out to get to the core. In So. Cal. we really don't need heaters anyway! Good luck!
  • realpaynerealpayne Posts: 1
    Our 89 3.8L with 84K miles has had the following problems- head gasket leak, water pump failure, engine mount replacement, Cv joint boot replacement, two air-conditioner refills, front engine cover leak, power steering hose replacement, and now the engine sounds like a rod bearing is fried. The car body and interior are like new(it has been kept in a garage). The expected repairs will send it to the junk yard.
  • guitarzanguitarzan Posts: 632
    Realpayne, that's kind of sad, I'm sorry to hear about those troubles. :(
  • hohohoho Posts: 64
    Do you like this car?

    If so, what will you spend for an engine overhaul or (even better) a new engine vice a new car? The other items you mentioned are pretty much normal maintenance items. You got 90,000 miles on it. Not great, but in all, not bad either!

    If not, give to an approved charity and take the tax write off. Then spend the money as an upgrade to an option on your new car.

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