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Taurus/Sable Maintenance & Repair



  • sable93sable93 Posts: 107

    I hear you.. For some reason, Ford doesn't know how to build transmissions (or engines, or ac, or etc.)

    They did change the transmission in '96 though, so the older Tauruses have different transmission problems than the new ones, although both sets of problems are unacceptable. I think there is (or was) a lawsuit going with the older transmissions, but I'm trying to get one started with the newer ones, because they are just as unreliable (and expensive) as the old ones.
  • merckxmerckx Posts: 565
    I just sold a 93 Taurus I'd had since new.In 93,000 miles it needed absolutely nothing!-I was amazed.The orgional brakes even passed inspection every year.I thought it the best car I'd ever owned.The transmission started slipping,though,and I sold it while I thought it still had some at least minimal value.I still reccommend the Taurus to friends,now though with a caveat about the transmission.I have always been amazed at how much value the car offers-perhaps though the trans is just built too much to a price.
  • 99tse199tse1 Posts: 1
    I Just got a '99 Taurus SE. Great car but it seems to be a bit of a gas HOG!!!! The Taurus has a Duratec V6 24 valve DOHC engine. Does anyone have any recommendations as to what grade of gas I should use & what brand? Had a '93 SHO that recently got totalled, I miss that car. The SHO got great mileage. PLEASE don't tell me 92 octane, I live in CALI and my pocketbook just can't take that this summer..... smile
  • ezaircon4jcezaircon4jc Posts: 793
    My So. Cal. '96 runs just fine on regular. You can thank the environMENTALists and their MTBE in the fuel for our poor economy. I read that MTBE fuel has 10% less energy that regular fuel. I figure that equals a 10% reduction in MPG.
  • I'm considering buying a 94/95/96 Taurus wagon as a second car in the family; not intended as a daily driver. From what I've read so far, tranny seems to the major problem area. Would the choice of the old 3.0 (Vulcan SOHC?) over the 3.8 (OHV?) with less torque reduce the failure rate of the tranny? Any other problem areas that I should be looking out for? BTW, Edmund is saying 140-150 hp for the engines, is there some kind of mistake? the numbers are very low for the big displacements; the torque number on the 3.0 is also very low (160lb-ft?). I'm considering Taurus wagon primarily for safety and versatility.

  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    Well, from my experience I'd say find another car.

    I had the 3.0 V6 in my '90 Sable, and the transmission still failed (at 93K miles).

    Yes, those horsepower and torque figures are correct. Still the car has adequate power.

    Other problems: repeated a/c failures (expensive!), engine mounts, brake pulsation (warped rotors), water pump, alternator, front struts, starter, power door lock actuators (both rear doors), and turn signal/wiper switch (twice).

    I had no serious engine problems and never touched the exhaust system.

    Car was bought new and sold last summer at 135K miles.
  • davids10davids10 Posts: 11
    Don't do 4.0qts. Remember, oil does 2 things. First it is a lubricant, second it is a coolant. At highway speeds most of the oil is up in the engine and not in the pan. 4.0qts is not much oil to begin with. Suggest that you pay for 5.0qts and have 4.5qts put in the engine and .5qt put in a container to take home so you can top off between changes as needed.
  • tomo66tomo66 Posts: 4
    Does anybody have any ideas, how to improve 12gal(city) and 18gal(hwy) fuel consumption?
    Recently, I put new tune-up parts and check all sensors on a shop computer. Still no improvements.
    What else?
  • matto2001matto2001 Posts: 6
    I am looking for a consensus here among fellow Taurus owners. I have a 99 Taurus that I bought used a year ago. It has about 48,000 miles now. When I try to run 87 octane fuel, it seems to knock lightly at low rpm (1500-2000) on the highway. This is more noticeable with the A/C on. When I accelerate, the knock does not seem to get any worse, if anything it becomes less noticeable. I have run expensive "total fuel system cleaner" through the tank twice in six months with no effect. I am trying to avoid using mid-grade (89 octane) fuel because it costs so much right now, $1.86 a gallon. I have been running the mid-grade for most of the time, but I'm trying to save money and don't know if the light knocking could damage the engine or just be a nuisance. Any input I get from this forum would be greatly appreciated.
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    with the Vulcan engine, I had to use 89 octane most of the time to keep the engine from knocking. I had the car since new and sold it last summer at 135K miles.
  • ezaircon4jcezaircon4jc Posts: 793
    I have had 4 Sables and the only tranny problem was at 85k on the '91. It was repaired under a recall. My current '96 has over 100k and the tranny is just fine.
  • davids10davids10 Posts: 11
    There is a TSB on '99 3.0s to reprogram the computer to alleviate the pinging. May or may not cure your problem. Helped mine, but I still get a slight ping when it is hot outside and the air is on, and/or under a heavy load. Go to your Ford or Mercury dealer and have them check you VIN# to see if yours has been reprogrammed.
  • daichdaich Posts: 4
    Well, I checked the oil level today morning before staring the car. Even at close to 4.0 qts, the level is in line with the max mark on the dipstick. I thought since it is within the limits, I don't have to add oil. But I will do so, can't afford to harm the engine. Now the smell is completely gone.

    In the mean time I got the injectors cleaned and the computer reporgrammed. The whistling is much lower but not gone completely.

    Surprisingly, the car seems too responsive now. It accelerates way much faster than it used to be. Do I take it as a good sign because of the cleaning or something else is going bad?

  • jd123jd123 Posts: 7
    I'd swear I've seen this this problem posted elsewhere but can't find it. My Taurus wagon (2000 I/25k miles) develops a strong steering wheel vibration above 55 mph. Only happens when the car is going straight, disappears/is less apparent around any curve, no matter how slight. More obvious on concrete but occurs even on newly paved asphalt. Also, it's not constant. Have taken it to the dealer several times and always bring this up only to be told it's normal (seems to exceed 8.0 on the Righter scale at times in my opinion). Had the tires rotated with no impact.
    Any suggestions? (And I also have that low ram pining.)
  • jd123jd123 Posts: 7
    Sorry for the spelling in the above message. hadn't posted for awhile and thought I had told the computer not to correct my spelling (hence pinging became pining)
  • rover3500rover3500 Posts: 11

    I am now on my second Taurus. My first was a 1990 wagon that I bought used as my very first auto. I finaly had to trade it in in 1999 when the A/C pooped out. The car was great. Cosmetically great in and out, and ran even better. I tradded her in for a 98 taurus thinking that I would get the same rugged vehicle that would just keep going. MAN WAS I WRONG!!! The car has been back to the dealer some 6 times for the same bloody problem. Before coming to a complete stop the car will downshift VERY harshly. At one point it was doing this so badly that it actually caused a thermal mug to pop out of the flip fold console!! Thankfully it was empty. I finally got so disgusted with the dealership where I had bought the car I decided it was time for a second opinion at another for dealership. This Ford dealership was far more friendly, but the problem for the most part is still there. They went ahead and reprogrammed the computer, and replaced the throttle position sensor. The other dealership wrang up almost $5,000 in poorly done "patch job" repairs. The replaced the 2 fwd clutch cylinders (3 times), the clutch bands (Twice), torque stator, and neumerous other things, and the car still bucks and has an overall sloppy gearchange. I am a stickler when it comes to autos, and Itake great care of my cars. I am also not one to beat on my cars, though I am known to go a little faster than the local police would like 8^). Over all I am profoundly disappointed with Ford Motor Co. as a whole. I am an auto design student myself and have tried to rationalize all of the problems, but enough is enough. I am trading the taurus in next month for a Pontiac.


  • davids10davids10 Posts: 11
    Re: 4.0qts at max line. Don't know why 4.0qts brings the dipstick to max unless the oil was just changed and the engine had not been started to get the filter filled. Or, Perhaps your dipstick is calibrated differently from the ones I have seen. In any case, put in 4.5qts, see where the level is on the dipstick for future reference, and if there is no smell; all is well. I assume we are referring to the 3.0 Vulcan engine and not the Duratec. Re: too good performance. Leave it alone, as they say "don't look a gift-horse in the mouth". Re: whistling. I still think there is a vacuum leak somewhere, but if it is not severe, let it be. Your dealer can mess too many other things up trying to find it. Just occurred to me; did you just have your oil changed somewhere? If so, maybe they put in more than 4.0qts and led you to believe they put in only 4.0.
  • lolly3lolly3 Posts: 1
    Exiting freeway the car suddenly died.
    Oil & coolant had mixed. Head gaskets gone...needs $6K worth of repairs(more than worth of car). It had less than 80K miles. I keep hearing about "secret" and "goodwill" warranties and technical service bulletins (TSBs) regarding this same problem...but Ford Customer Service Phone Line was of no help. Does anyone have a similar situation or advice for what I should do next????
  • riswamiriswami Posts: 192
    out on my 97 GL. Both of them. Is it a switch? Haven't checked the owners manual - but I doubt if a fuse is the problem.

    Anyone have any ideas or run into this problem. Thanks in advance for any feedback.
  • cnybrocnybro Posts: 29
    Mine just did yesterday. Local shop pulled the code and #2 cylinder was misfiring due to bad coil pack. The intake plenum has to be pulled to access the part. The coil is about $125. While the plenum is off, it makes sense to change the plugs and wires. Really irritating that the plenum has to be pulled just to access these parts - really drives up the labor cost! Anyway, this will be a $450 trip! Can't complain since this is the first time is 5 years and 60K miles the car has given my any trouble. Standard wear and tear.

    So, if your's is misfiring and there are no other obvious signs, this could be the culprit.
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