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Taurus/Sable Maintenance & Repair



  • hohohoho Posts: 64
    I found the trouble to my 88 Taurus S/W problem...

    It was a bad pickup in the distributor. Under $60

    150,000 miles and still going...

  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    Realpayne, are you sure it's a bearing? You said it "sounds like a rod bearing is fried", but are you sure it's not something else? My experience is that the lower end on these engines are strong.
    If the head gasket was leaking badly for a long time it could cause bearing failure.
  • gkarggkarg Posts: 230
    My parents have a 1993 Taurus GL with 3.8. At 107,000 it has just had its second head gasket job. (That is besides the point.) The newest thing is a very prominent/loud thud from the front end. I have narrowed it down to one thing....the rubber bushing/washer ring that attaches to the rod that goes from the right front wheel through the side of the subframe and attaches to the front of the subframe. The ring seats into the inside of the subframe and must have worked loose or something. I've replaced the entire bushing assembly, but the noise (with the old ring still there) remains, although not as bad.

    The noise most often happens when you brake and then as soon as you release the brake....that ring goes back into the frame and makes a very loud thud. It won't make the noise until you release the brake. I am thinking about welding the ring to the subframe to keep it from happening. Has anyone else experienced this noise? There are also other loud thunking noises that seem to come from the struts.
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    Do you mean the front anti-sway bar couplings, or the lower supports for the struts? The sway bar goes from the struts back, the lower strut support is a straight rod from the bottom of the strut to the front of the frame (I'm assuming this is what you mean).
    I have had many front suspension noises. Most were easy to fix. Also, check parking brake cable coupling on left rear almost under back left door. If its loose or the cushion pad on the frame is worn through, it can bump against the body/frame and cause a noise when going over bumps, etc. Of course the brake has to be off.
    In addition, worn inner tie rod ends on the steering rack can cause front end noises.
    Let me know if you find a solution. I have a noise that sounds similiar to what you describe, but it seems to be more bump related than brake related. I haven't found the source yet, but it's getting worse.
  • hohohoho Posts: 64
    How are your engine mounts and top front strut bushings?
  • gkarggkarg Posts: 230
    I'm not sure how the engine mounts are...although I know at least one of them was replaced not too long ago. Also, Ford recently did some recall with the strut assembley. I don't know if that has anything to do with the top front strut bushings, but I'll check on those!

    It is the lower strut support bar that I'm referring to. You can see the bushings standing, if you look (flashlight helpful) in front of the right front wheel, just beyond the corner of the subframe. A ford mechanic told me that those will go because of the oil changes and getting oil on the bushings breaks them down....but this noise is definitely metal on metal, ie the ring going in and out of the frame.
  • kings4kings4 Posts: 6
    We bought this car after years of owning Hondas. Had heard a lot about the reliability gap getting narrower. You know, Quality #1. Consumer reports had given the Taurus a pretty good review. It looked like the transmission troubles from earlier years had been resolved. The Taurus is actually a lot of car for the money. (We paid $15,000 - Power drivers seat, windows, locks, cruise, ABS, dual airbags, light package, etc.) Large car, good acceleration, handles well, comfortable. Not a European sedan, but seemingly competent. The troubles started right away. All along we kept thinking that the car will be OK now, now that we have this latest problem fixed. The problems have included but are not limited to:
    Two transmissions
    Both steering racks and steering pump
    Electrical problems that affected the horn and cruise control
    Early replacements of radiator hoses and drive belts
    Head gasket
    And now there is no compression in cylinder number four. We are shopping for a new car and you get bet your entire net worth that we are not even considering an American manufacturer. Don't but a Taurus!
  • jake696jake696 Posts: 111
    My Tort-[non-permissible content removed] is junk.

    3 trannys, 2 sets of tie-rod ends, struts, motor mounts, recalls, rust, leaky oil seals, air bag problems, electrical malfunctions, poor mileage, slowness (w/a V-6?!)

    The dealers say I should be glad I don't have the 3.8L V-6, it blows head gaskets! FoMoCo has given me the runaround, if they respond at all. The dealer network sucks...etc...

    The car has been babied, garage kept, in the south for 3 years (no snow, no salt) washed, waxed, oil changed every 3-4K, etc...

    WILL NEVER BUY another UAW made/American car. Had enough of their BS, poor quality and workmanship.

    Don't know why I waited so long! I was stubborn, thinking I was doing the "right thing" by supporting an industry that my whole family has or still works in. My grandfather was hired by Henry Ford Sr. to work in the River Rouge steel plant in Detroit. Big Deal. Ford could give a crap about that when I try to tell them I shouldn't have to pay for a 3rd tranny because the dealer didn't install tranny #2 properly...



    Did I say JUNK!

    I give up, throwing in the towel. My new Toyota Camry REALLY makes my Ford seem like junk!

    My Toyota was built in KY, USA (non-UAW) my Dodge truck was built in Mexico!

    Things are getting confusing folks...Better check where YOUR car was built!
  • elcarelcar Posts: 1
    Anything new in getting Ford to cover the cost of new head gaskets?
  • I currently drive a '95 Taurus 3.0, with 86,000 miles on it. It was a program car when I purchased it with 19,000 miles on it. After having owned two Chevrolet Cavaliers, I thought I'd try a Ford. Go figure. Anyway, I am now considering buying a new car. I had the transmission serviced on my Taurus at about 65,000 - it kept slipping out of gear when I would stop at traffic lights. The mechanic said he would rather service it than replace it to see what happens to save me that enormous expense. So far so good. Its been running fine ever since. That's been about a year ago. The air conditioning is not cooling properly... I seem to be having to replace the coolant every week or so. Last summer I had no air at all... the problem there was a hose had to be replaced. This summer I have air, only its not as cool as I think it should be. There's an intermittent knocking sound from the rear of the car that I thought had something to do with the brakes, but I'm not exactly sure. I can't tell what's causing it -- and it happens so infrequently it would be hard for a mechanic to pick it up. I am hesitant in buying a new one because I refinanced it a couple of years ago and now my balance is higher than what the car is worth, and by next year this time I'll probably have 100,000 miles on it -- any suggestions?? Should I keep it and deal with minor repairs and risk a major repair, or trade it and just deal with the 'upside down issue' for a better and more reliable car? Help!
  • Get out of the Taurus as quickly as possible! Are transmission failed while on the freeway! It scares me to see so many Fords on the road. Of course, Ford was of no assistance in fixing the transmission. By the way, the tranny went out at 39,000 miles.
  • jake696jake696 Posts: 111
    You can't possibly get that thing to the dealer and go out and buy a new Toyota Camry or Honda Accord fast enough!

    Just be aware that the dealer won't want your car either. They know the troubles with them, so start writing your own blues songs now!

    The good news...Wait till you drive your first Camry or Accord V-6........................WOW!
  • gusgus Posts: 254
    I'd say stay away from a V-6. Your maintenance costs will be greater over time with a V-6 (if you plan on keeping the car for 60K miles), and the power you get from a V-6 really doesn't matter all that much unless you're trying to get in and out of traffic. Go with a 4-cylinder Accord or Camry, if you go with either of those models.
  • faronfaron Posts: 3
    In may of '98, I became the proud owner of a '97 Taurus GL. I was very pleased with the car. Plenty of comfort, power, economy and driveability. In June of this year, at 34,750 miles, my wife experienced an intermittent neutral condition in drive and reverse, followed by a sudden engagement which launched the car into traffic. The dealer said they could fix the trans and proceeded to rebuild it. About 1000 miles later, I noticed that it wasn't shifting properly. Another trip to the dealer and they replaced a sensor on top of the trans. Another 1000 miles later and the original problem is returning. We called the dealer and was told if the problem related to the original work, it would be covered. If it would involve different parts than those already replaced, we were on our own. NO WARRANTY. We called Ford Customer Relations and were given the same story.
    After reading here on the net of trans problems with the Taurus, we have decided to trade it in. We put a sizeable down payment, so we are ahead of depreciation. We looked at a '99 ZX2 and are happy with the value. Call me a glutten for punishment if you will, but the plan is to trade it also around the end of its warranty.

    Will post later to let you all know what happened.

  • jake696jake696 Posts: 111
    This all sounds too painfully familiar!

    My Tortoise problems were/are very similar. Bad news is that they may not give you much on trade. And my experience witrh the dealers and FoMoCo is horrible, they have a &*%$ you attitude!

    Good news is: Wait till you see how nice a Camry V-6 drives!
    And ignore GUS, he's obviously never driven a V-6 Accord or Camry, they are a blast and will indeed be reliable. If the costs of maintenance and gas are that much of a concern, go for the Civic or Corolla. But whatever the costs are with these cars, they'll be LESS than the Tortoise!

    Once you drive the V-6 Accord or Camry you'll never look back...
  • faronfaron Posts: 3
    Thanks for the advice, but we have a credit problem and Ford Credit were the only ones who would touch us. And at 8.5%. The dealer says they will do it again since we have kept the payment on time. They are offering $8500. and the payoff is $7300. If I wait and sink $2000. into the trans, I will really be in the hole.
    I like the Camry but can't get into one for under 22% interest.
  • faronfaron Posts: 3
    Thank each and every one of you for your posts.
    This really helped my decision.

    Dumped the Tortoise today for an Escort ZX2 HOT.
    Nice car. Rides a rougher than the Tortoise
    but has a brand new warranty.

    Thanks again.
  • jake696jake696 Posts: 111
    Your story about Ford credit makes me wonder just how desparate they are to move cars?
  • Why does everyone call the Taurus a Tortoise. My Sable with it's 3.8L V6 knocks the wheels off of my dad's '91 Honda Accord with the 4 cylinder engine.
  • jake696jake696 Posts: 111
    Compare apples to apples please...

    My 3.0L Toyota leaves my 3.0L TORTOISE in the last county...

    Our Tortoise can't even get out of it's own way!
    I'll take on any 3.8L Tortoise with my Camry as well, it blows their doors off. My Bro-in-law is unlucky enough to have a Sable 3.8L which he just got new head gaskets on ($$$). Even with the new gaskets it's wheezing to keep up with my USA built Toyota.

    Compare the Honda 4cyl to the Taurus 4cyl...if you can still find one that runs!

    Furthermore, you'd be surprized at the new Accord 4cyl. it just may keep up with your 3.8!

    But...lets keep this a fair fight, ay?

    apples to apples!
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