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Taurus/Sable Maintenance & Repair

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  • mrdetailermrdetailer Posts: 1,118
    at least once a month. You can turn the heat up full and then run the AC as well. It needs to circulate regularly all of the oils at least monthly for at least 30 minutes in order to keep it in top operating condition
  • runmanrunman Posts: 3
    I have a 2000 model with the same blower motor noise problem. I am assuming it is a bearing as it whines a good bit especially at higher fan speeds. Same problem with earlier Mustang and T-Bird. More serious concern is the smell of what I think is coolant within the car after warming up. If I recall right - it is the same as experienced when heater core went on another vehicle. Smell is very noticeable. Any others with same issue? More pungent when on defrost setting - warm temp - intermediate fan speed - but noticed at others as well. Hose leak? Heater Block? Any ideas?

    Thanks
  • vince4vince4 Posts: 1,272
    I had the dealer replace the blower motor under warranty and the chirping noise is gone.

    I also had a smell issue but not from a coolant leak. If you have a leaky heater core it should become obvious when the floor gets wet. My smell was due to pulling in engine compartment air along with fresh air. It only smelled when the car wasn't moving. If this is like your problem then look back 10 or 20 posts for my solution. It was to put foam weather strip tape across the front plastic area under the hood seal.
  • Pulled the radiator cap on a '96 3.0 vulcan 12-V engine with 80K on it. It runs like new, but there's a coating of thick brown sludge on the bottom of the coolant tank cap and around the edges where the cap screws in. Bad sign?
  • jaybo4jaybo4 Posts: 8
    I have a 1996 Taurus with the same
    gunk in the coolent.

    It is rotting out the system and has
    not clogged the heater core.

    The service station said he can not get the
    heater core un-plugged. He wants $550 to replace it. He has to remove the steering collum and the whole dash !!! The part is $50 !!!

    Does anyone know any way to clean out the core??
  • jaybo4jaybo4 Posts: 8
    It has clogged the heater core !!! oooppppss.

    One more thing.
    There is a recall on the brown gunk.
    Several years ago, the dealer replaced the
    coolent expansion tank and flushed the system.
    It did nothing to help.

    I was thinking of going into the heater core
    with long Q-Tips or vaccuum to clean it out.
    Has anyone had any luck cleaning one out??
    The gas station used compressed air with
    no luck.

    Thanks !!!
  • ndfarndfar Posts: 19
    I was on a road trip and was having my oil changed on my 1999 Taurus and they found the brown sludge. I returned home and went to the dealer about it and there is a service bulletin out but its not a recall. The car just went out of warranty but he said he would take care of it for a $100 deductible and Ford would cover the rest of the cost. What they had to do was a chemical flush to clean the system and then replenish with new coolant. He said there is some rusting happening in the engine water jacket that cause this problem. So far so good and the coolant is staying green.
  • How much sludge did you people with the problem notice? I bought this car used, the coolant looks nice and green, there's just a trace of sludge around the coolant tank reservoir neck and on the bottom of the cap, and the car blows plenty of heat. When you noticed the problem, what color was the coolant? Maybe my car was already fixed?

    Also, on the heater core, in my old mustang days knew a guy who recommended every year pulling the lines to and from the core under the hood and blowing through with compressed air, this may help keep 'em clear. 'Course, the heater hoses in '67 mustangs were easy to get to... could this work on our beasts?

    BTW, so far (2 1/2 weeks) I LOVE this car, vulcan engine and all.
  • I've had my 97 Taurus for 5+ years now. Changed coolant and transmission fluid every 2 years. When should I change brake&steering fluids? I've got 65k mi and the manual says nothing about changing them. What are your reccomendations?
  • jd123jd123 Posts: 7
    Have a T2K Taurusw/56k on it. Just developed a problem of having the door open light stay on even though all the doors and liftgate are firmly shut. Problem has occurred intermittantly, both from cold and warm starts. Any ideas? Not sure if road salt has interfered w/a sensor or ? Other than that car is great.
  • I haven't seen periodic maintenance recommendations list brake fluid or power steering changes, generally. I do my own brakes and I like to flush fresh fluid through the bleeders when I change the pads, and I have occasionally sucked out as much steering fluid as I can get out and replaced it. 65K and 5 years is not a lot on those fluids, but if you plan on keeping it I'd change 'em out around 100K. 'Course, it wouldn't hurt if you did them tomorrow, but I think you'll find that most people never change them.
  • danielj6danielj6 Posts: 285
    I had the same thing happened to my Merc. Sable.
    All doors appeared shut but the alarm would not engage and the instrument panel showed door opened.

    I looked really carefully and noticed that the lift gate did not close properly even though I tried on numerous occasions. It looked a little bit out of alignment. I went to dealer's service dept. and they re aligned and greased the lift gate. It took me several minutes to notice the problem. I don't know why this happened. Perhaps I hit a pothole or something and the knock misaligned the door.
  • I haven't seen periodic maintenance recommendations list brake fluid or power steering changes, generally. I do my own brakes and I like to flush fresh fluid through the bleeders when I change the pads, and I have occasionally sucked out as much steering fluid as I can get out and replaced it. 65K and 5 years is not a lot on those fluids, but if you plan on keeping it I'd change 'em out around 100K. 'Course, it wouldn't hurt if you did them tomorrow, but I think you'll find that most people never change them.
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    It's about 2 1/2 years overdue for a brake fluid change:

    http://www.batauto.com/articles/brkfld.shtml
  • Alcan:
    I completely agree with you, great link.

    But for danielj6 I stand by my point that except for DIY'ers most people never change 'em, and getting them out at 65K - 100K is a marked improvement over that. The few times I've been in brake shops I haven't heard them advise, "gee, you have high mileage, you should get the fluid flushed".
  • This is apparently a common problem in the '96-up Taurus/Sable. I have had mine stick in my '98. You can blast the door latch with WD40, brake cleaner or similar stuff to clean it out. Then keep it lubricated, and you should be OK. The switch is inside the latch, at the bottom, so spray at the bottom of the latch. Or just saturate it...

    You can replace the switch if need be. The switches are supposed to be pretty cheap, but the door panel has to come off to get at the inside of the door in order to remove the switch. I haven't needed to do mine, but I understand that if spray and lubrication don't do it, the switch is bad.
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Yep, you're right about that. There's no question that it's a valid service which can ultimately save the customer money, but as you point out almost nobody pushes it. I've been told that some European manufacturers do call for fluid replacement intervals, but it's not universal yet.

    P.S. Glad you liked the site.
  • danielj6danielj6 Posts: 285
    But for danielj6 I stand by my point that except for DIY'ers most people never change 'em, and getting them out at 65K - 100K is a marked improvement over that. The few times I've been in brake shops I haven't heard them advise, "gee, you have high mileage, you should get the fluid flushed".

    I'm not participating in the discussion regarding brake fluid changes. You're obviously using my name by error.
  • Hi all, I have a 2000 Taurus SE with 98,000 miles. It's been relatively good to me and I'd like to hang on to it for another 3 years (another ~100,000 miles) if possible. Currently the only problem I have is that there's a "slight" noise when I turn the steering wheel hard either left or right. The sound is like a cross between a pig's grunt and a true groan/rubbing sound. In my 15 years of driving I've never had to fill up the power steering fuild reservoir...could the fix be as simple as that? Anyone have any experience with this issue?

    Thanks,
    Rob
  • Yes I meant #706 Felixc.

    It seems odd that people change their oil religiously but expect the rest of the fluids to last indefinitely.
  • vince4vince4 Posts: 1,272
    I had a 89 F250 truck (I bought it used) and had total brake loss due to old fluid. I carried a big camper and after heavy brake use going down hill the brakes went out 100%. This was due to boiling in the calipers because the water content of the fluid was too high. Changing the fluid every 2-5 years not only helps to prevent rust in the system but is a safety issue too.
  • Late-model Ford Tauruses and and Mercury Sables contain defectively designed and/or manufactured front strut assemblies that make them impossible to align properly and cause premature tire wear. This is a dangerous defect, but Ford refuses to acknowledge the problem and make it right for the millions of Taurus and Sable owners who may be affected. Anyone suffering this problem should file a complaint with the NHTSA and FTC, and pursue the matter through the Ford Warranty Adjustment Board procedures specified in your warranty. I am considering filling a class action under the Magnuson-Moss Act.

    Recently, I found it necessary to replace the tires on our 2000 Taurus Wagon at 29,000 miles due to excessive wear on the inside of the front tires.

    After performing a four-wheel alignment, the Goodyear technician informed me that he could not bring the camber on the left front wheel to within the specified range, and that the right front wheel was barely within the specified range.

    He explained he often encounters this problem with Tauruses, Sables and Windstars, due to a defect in the design of their front strut assemblies. Particularly, they are welded into place. If they have not been welded precisely during manufacture, they cause the vehicle to be permanently misaligned. The only remedy is to drill out the welds and reposition the strut assembly. This is expensive, and requires realignment.

    Upon learning this, I drove to the Ford dealer where I bought the car and where I have had my three Ford vehicles serviced over the last nine years, and requested that they repair the problem under warranty. They feigned astonishment that I was experincing this problem, and suggested that the front suspension had somehow become bent. I dismissed this obvious dodge immediately, related what the Goodyear technician had told me about this defect in Tauruses, and insisted they repair it under the warranty.

    After the service writer conferred with their alignment specialist, he returned and explained that the problem could indeed be corrected by drilling out the welds and repositioning the strut assemblies, but that this would not be covered by the warranty. I would have to pay 150 per wheel, and $79 for yet another realignment.

    Dissatisfied with this response, I filed a complaint with the NHTSA, as this is obviously a safety defect, as well as with the Marketing Practices division of the Federal Trade Commission. I then contacted Ford "Customer" Service. To my surprise, the calltaker was very sympathetic, explained that this was a common problm with late-model Tauruses and Sables, and told me that Ford's engineering department is examining the problem and will soon be coming out with a program to fix the problem once they have identified the best means of doing so. He told me that he could not yet have it covered under warranty, but that, were I to have the work completed before the warranty expires, he is sure they would reimburse me once the recall program is approved. He indicated he would do more checking, and call me back.

    When he called me back, he very apologetically explained that he had been misinformed, and that Ford has already decided they will take no action to correct this problem. He explained he was informed he should tell me this is really just routine maintenance!

    If anyone else has suffered this problem, complain to the NHSTA and FTC, and pursue the matter through your state consumer protection or "lemon" law statutes. If your car is still in warranty, file an Adjustment Board complaint, which is a prerequisite to a complaint under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. If there are enough of us with rights under Magnuson-Moss, we can file a class action against Ford.

    Also, please let me know if you have also suffered this problem. The more people complain about this, the more likely the government will confront Ford about it and, in turn, the more likely Ford will finally do the right thing.
  • My husband has had a problem lately with being able to shift the car out of park when he starts the car. He can move it into neutral before he starts the car, then shift just fine. For awhile there, he was able to do it again, but it would make a spark under the driver side dash. Now it's stuck again, AND our rear lights don't work at all anymore. It's a 94' Taurus, automatic, 3.0L, V6. That's basicly all the info I know. Now, can anyone tell me if this is something that is easy to fix? If we take it in, how much is it going to cost, any ideas? Any input is greatly appreciated.
  • Interesting info to say the least! My .02 worth is that I've not had any major problems w/alignment or tires on my 2000 Taurus. I put my second set of tires on at about 60,000 miles. Currently I have 98,000 miles on the car. They still look brand new after having rotated them every other oil change.

    Ironically I know of two people that had alignment/premature tire wear problems with another four door sedan...but it was the Toyota Avalon! Yes, the Avalon, that bastion of Asian quality. A good friend of mine owned a '98 and his tires wore out at about 20,000 miles on his first two sets of tires. My father recently purchased a 2001 Avalon and he could actually see the metal radial belts on his tires at 16,000 miles (he'd rotated them once in those 16,000 miles). He was shocked and expressed his displeasure w/the appropriate Toyota people but they wouldn't do a thing for him. Told him that he must have "hit" something with the car and also reminded him that he hadn't rotated his tires at the appropriate intervals (apparently that justifies the appearance of metal).

    I live in the Ann Arbor/Detroit area and have a number of friends that work at Ford and some tier one auto suppliers. They all assure me that for the last several years Ford has been doing everything they can to reduce costs (not a surprise), and sometimes that comes at the expense of quality. Another point they make is that Ford will be doing away with the Taurus in a year or so (apparently the majority of their sales are to "fleets" so the Taurus doesn't command as much attention as it should in the typical consumer segment), so it's kind of like the ugly stepchild right now. Yes quality is still very good - and much better than it was 5-10 years ago - but I don't think it's as good as it "could" be. However I'm relatively happy with my Taurus and am pleased as punch that it's holding up so well at approx. 100,000 miles...knock on wood.

    - R
  • Dear R:

    Thanks for your thoughtful response. Ironically, I almost bought an Avalon instead of the Taurus wagon, after many years of resisting buying Japanese in favor of Fords (1990 SHO, 1986 F-150)! In the end, I calculated that the Taurus would be a good enough value for the money to warrant taking a chance on its presumably inferior quality, that it would be a better family car, and that I owed it to my Midwestern, UAW country roots to buy a Midwestern, UAW-produced vehicle.

    Thanks for the reassurance that, despite this alignment hassle, I won't likely regret my choice in the long run!

    M
  • wijocowijoco Posts: 462
    Mebcaux, you might want to consider going ahead and having the work performed out of your own pocket, at least initially. Class action suits can take years, not just months, sometimes. And seeing that a set of quality new tires isn't far below $400, it would be a shame for your Taurus to shred another set while waiting for the verdict. Just save the receipts, and Ford will most likely reimburse you. Most things like these are retroactive, as long as your product falls within the defective time-of-manufacture range. Good luck!
  • Dear "Wijoco":

    Thanks for your response, with which I couldn't agree more. I'm certainly not going to risk another set of tires while I await outcome of legal proceedings. That would indeed be foolish.

    Neither am I going to write this off to experience. Ford is in the wrong, and, like almost any large, publicly-held, MBA-ridden, cynically-managed American company, will only do the right thing for those in my predicament once they sense the cost of inaction will far exceed the cost of correcting the problem, e.g., Pinto fuel tank, truck primer coat "hidden recall", transmissions slipping out of Park, TFI failures, and so on, and on, and on.

    Again, thanks!
    Mebcaux
  • behhppbehhpp Posts: 51
    I know this is a simple question, but I cannot locate the radiator drain plug on my 1997 Mercury sable. Can anyone let me know where to look for this? I can't believe I can't find this. Thanks.
  • jaybo4jaybo4 Posts: 8
    Boy it's cold here in Salem, Mass.
    The heat is not work on my daughters
    '96 Taurus. Station Wants $550 to fix.
    Took it to the local service station..left it for the day. He told me the heater core was blocked heblew air through the core and it was totally cloggng. He would have to remove the whole dash to get at the heater core. nearby Volvo tech who does repairs for me from time to time told me they do not blow air...but run hot water from a hose through the two ends of the core sticking out of the fire wall. He showed them to me. I did it in my drive way yesterday. It is 10 degrees out
    ,,I got soaked...I was frozen...But I FIXED IT !!! The car heats up !!!!! The garden hose blew brown yeech out...flushed it out both ways on the core in and out. Feels Good....
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Lets you know what the rest of your cooling system's like, too. Time for a flush.
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