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Taurus/Sable Maintenance & Repair



  • Yes, my problem is NOT coolant in my oil.

    I was told that my head gasket was the likely culprit. Yes at 120K miles it wasn't a bad idea, execpt there is no place where high pressure oil can leak into the coolant at the head or lower intake manifold gaskets. I know because I took them off.

    The head gasket is an excellent place for coolant to leak into the cylinders or the lifter area. This would put coolant in the oil, but this is not my problem.

    Since the engine is all but dismantled with the removed heads, I see that the oil pump is in the the same engine cover where the waterpump is mounted.

    Does anybody have experience with removing the front engine cover on the 3.8L engine? How likely is there a high pressure oil leak within the cover unit OR at its gasket on the engine block? I can see that the waterpump has 2 ports into the engine block. Also the cover contains the oil pump so it should have high pressure oil there.

    Is there any special warnings one needs to know about taking off the cover?
  • what I read on another site is that there is a master control switch in your steering column, and it has a bunch of contacts in it, and they can get dirt on them, via the emergency flasher. You can squirt a little
    WD 40 down into the emergency flasher (on top of the steering column) and press in and out the button about 50 times. That may clear out any dust or other grime that fell in between the button and its housing, and clear up your problem.
  • You're talking about removing the timing chain cover. It's not an easy job due to the very limited space you have to work in. The biggest thing you have to remember is that the oil pump must be removed from the cover in order to gain access to a bolt holding the cover to the block. The pump can be removed from under the car but it is somewhat difficult. It's bolted on with 6 bolts, 4 small and 2 large.
    The bolts closest to the block are the hardest to reach. I used 2 long extensions with 2 swivels to get to them. I don't know if this could be the source of your leak or not but the Ford 3.8 has known problems with the timing cover gaskets leaking. When mine went it literally gushed oil all over the drive, however no leak into the cooling system.

    I had a shop do the repair and the cover turned out to be warped which caused the leak. (they had to pull the engine to get it out) A new cover will run you over $200. Total cost of the repair was over $1000. Hope you can do it yourself and save some bucks.

    Good luck!
  • It looks like the only place (2001 taurus) is the tube the dipstick is in. Is that right? I have a minor leak I have to get taken care of, but I need to add in the meantime.

  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,564
    Correct. It is a fairly large tube. Stick a funnel in it and you can't miss, unless you're clumsy!
  • ignorant, but not clumsy...thanks for the verification.
  • I was wondering if any one had any information on the 2000 Ford Taurus LX series. I am fixing to own one and wanted to know how good of a vehicle it is and how the maintenance is on one of these beauties. I am not much of a car owner I buy vans mostly but thought I'd try a car this time. If any one can give me any information on these vehicles I would be very greatful. I would like to know what kind of problems people might have had with them or any good things as well. Thank you. :) :(
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,564
    I have a 2000 Taurus SES, but they are basically the same car. Only major difference may be in the engines. The LX is the bottom of the line model, so may not include ABS brakes, and likely you will have the 3.0 Liter Vulcan Pushrod engine, an old reliable but not particularly powerful engine. Otherwise it is sound. The 3.0 Vulcan came in both flex fuel and regular fuel only versions. The flex fuel versions can be identified by a little leafy symbol behind the front wheel well. The 3.0 Duratech 24 valve DOHC engine is much more powerful and gives about the same fuel economy, so if you have a choice I would find one with that option, but you won't find that on a stripped down LX model.

    Basically these Tauri are rugged, no nonsense vehicles that should give you good service, just change the oil regularly and transmission fluid change every 30K miles.

    Much underappreciated by the automotive press and the public in general, and because of that used ones can be picked up for a bargain price, and there should be plentiful amounts to choose from.
  • Thank you for your input. It does have a 3.0 in it and it does have anti-lock breaks. It only has 105,000 miles on her and looks to be in great shape. I do hope she is a reliable machine. I have three kids and need something dependable. She seemed quite powerful when I test drove her. One other question for I am a woman and need to know these things (don't get me wrong I know quite a bit about vehicles in general) how many miles should one put on a set of tires and when the alternator starts humming it does usually mean that something is wrong with it am I correct. I have asked a few people and keep getting different answers. I think it means its going bad. If thats the case then I don't want it because I know they are not cheap to fix. Thanks again for the info. ;)
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,564
    All engines available in the Taurus are 3.0 V-6 engines, but the difference is the two lower power engines are standard and flex fuel versions of the Vulcan pushrod engine and the other engine is the Duratech 24 valve DOHC engine, which has more power.

    I wouldn't think an alternator is all that expensive to fix, compared to other items that could go. Whether the hum is alternator related, I couldn't tell you.

    Most tires on Taurus should last 50,000 miles or more, but this could vary widely depending on how you drive, rotate tires, and the type of tire. Don't go so much by how many miles the tires have on them, but by how much tread is left.

    If you live where there is snow in winter, you may not want to run your tires down to the wear bars, as your winter traction will go before the tires are worn out. I got over 51,000 on the original equipment tires and probably could have gone at least another 10,000 but I wanted better winter traction.
  • I have a 99 taurus, and driving home on the highway one night I was following a semi and a large piece of the sheet metal on the side of the trailer came off, and flew right at me, again, like the deer thing, i had no time to react, i hit it straight on, and amazingly, it laid down and i drove right over it. the next few months i heard the same thing you're describing, and my boyfriend is my mechanic, honest to god real mechanic, and he put it up on his lift, and he found a tiny hole in the exhaust pipe, just on the back end of the muffler - now, weather it had anything to do with the sheet metal, who knows,, but that was what was causing mine. Hope that helps!! good luck!!
  • WOW... your car sounds like mine.... i have a 99 taurus too, been a pretty good car, and it 'jingled' and the brakes squeek too. my boyfriend is my mechanic, honest to god mechanic, not just some back yard jockey. when i took it in to get the 'jingling' looked at, he said my heat sheild (the black plastic thing under the radiator) and the plastic grapics on the driver's side below the door were a little loose, and he titghtened the bolts. He also told me that it's very common for taurus brakes to squeak when it's humid or wet out, best thing i've found is to buy a can of brake cleaner and spray it on the wheels under the caps about once a month or so, i guess it kind of keeps the rubber part of the brake pads moist so they don't dry out, without letting them slip. hope that helps!!! have a good day!
  • jaxs1jaxs1 Posts: 2,697
    What is the typical expected life of the engine and transmission?
    What price range should you expect to get the transmission replaced with a remanufactured one once it fails?
    How about the cost of engine overhaul or replacement with remanufactured?
  • dant01dant01 Posts: 2
    He's may be right many of these cars have poor fiting hood from the factory. Was it a Ford hood or aftermarket. If aftermarket many have fir issues. I would do what your doing and look at few other cars to see if they have the same problem. there is an anjustable bumper on each side that may take care of your problem.
  • dant01dant01 Posts: 2
    I have a 2000 sable that blows out heat all the time regarless of heat setting. Whats wrong.
  • nadornnadorn Posts: 6
    Hello, I'm having the same exact problem as you .. it started all of a sudden. Has anyone come forward with the FIX ? I sure would appreciate any information on this sad subject.
  • hey, im having alot of trouble changing out my alternator on my 96 taurus 3.0L DOHC. you said you have done in and any words of wisdom would be great as you are the only one ive found to be able to claim that. (sorry for dragging this thread from the grave)
  • 95 Mercury Sable, 232KM, 3.0 litre, V6
    Problem: After 3 hours of driving, I could place & leave my hand on engine. During the trip the heat gauge was on cold.

    I took the car in, "they" said that "because my rad leaked [which was very little & I topped it up regularily to avoid overheating] it could not build up enough pressure to work properly". I authorized the work but the the problem continues. And I have since found out that the rad did not need to be replaced. They did not do a pressure test nor any tests to my knowledge. And when I picked up my car they said "we hope this fixes the problem, if not maybe its your heater core".

    Since when is mechanics a guessing game? or a process of elimination?

    The problem continues, & now, 4 days after the initial problem, the battery light came on, I lost all power to my brakes & steering. The engine [or something else under the hood] squealed, 5-10 seconds everything returned to normal.

    Recent repairs due to overheating:
    July 27- new thermostat, with "fail safe" type
    Aug 1-Cooling fan motor replaced

    Anybody have any ideas what could be the problem, I want to know before I take it back.
  • azuazu Posts: 84
    This is a strange one.

    1) Do you have the correct temp thermostat installed?

    2) Is the cooling fan on all the time?

    3) What climate (hot/cold) are you in?

    4) You said you had an overheating problem first?

    5) Is a thermostat installed? (Maybe mechanic was tired)

    6) Defective thermostat?(Stuck open)

    7) Check serpentine belt!

    8) Is temp gauge accurate? (Check upper radiator hose, it should feel hot after running more than a half hour)

    Let us know.
  • I've read a lot on this board regarding replacing the blower motor and resistors, but how do I know which is the problem? I have a 2003 Taurus with 86K and am not getting any air at all blowing out. Thanks for the anticipated advice.
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