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Taurus/Sable Maintenance & Repair

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  • I saw a recent post about not driving in overdrive, using parking brake, etc. I'm really confused by this stuff. Yes, the "guy" in me realizes that I should set the parking brake when I park...but I never do. And you know what? I've parked six different vehicles on an inclined driveway for the last eight years and never seem to have had a problem with any of them. I've also put on about 40,000 miles a year driving in overdrive (highway and city) and never had any issues. My puts on about 20,000 miles of pure city driving - in overdrive - and never has a problem...with a variety of vehicles, our current one having >100k miles.

    I'm no engineer but I too am inclined to believe that the vehicle engineers are now designing cars for the "average" Joe to drive. I don't even think we HAVE to change our oil every 3 months anymore...do we?

    - Rob
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    good one on the parking brake. Probably on a steep incline as well so that when the engine is cut and the tranny pump is no longer force lubricating the bearings on the main shaft, the forces against the differential and main shaft squeeze every last drop of lubricant from a bearing contact point due to forces against the parking pawl.
    Maybe he'll post his address so when someone pulls it into low on ice and ends up in an accident because of it they'll know where to send the subpoena.
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    I agree with overdrive and that the computer is smarter than some at this site. However, you are toying with luck on the parking brake. Every make seems to have occaisonal problems with the parking pawl letting loose at some point. And any accident can be a pain in the posterior. If someone gets injured, you might be held partially responsible because you didn't set the brake and find yourself in civil court. I personally would rather avoid that. Some say setting the brake helps the shoe and drum last longer.
    You can read my earlier post on tranny and parking brake, which kind of fits with changing oil or not to change. Alot of it depends upon how long you want to keep the car and the roll of the dice. That is no two vehicles are exactly alike to start with so what you get away with on one may not work for the next. I worked for someone who had the rule gas and add oil only. Two years, 50K, they would only give him so much and he had a new one. I sure wouldn't want that car. Another man I worked with had a full size late 70's LTD. His rule was drive it till the oil light blinked, then add. He was bragging he had 70K and was doing it since it was new. The following week it died in heavy traffic at a stop light. Repairs started with timing chain and gears, then entire rocker arm assemblies, and finally all the lower bearings because they were so worn there wasn't enough pressure to push any to the new rocker arms. $3000 seems to me would be a lot more than the cost of the oil changes for that milage. Also $2000 bucks for a tranny rebuild hurts. Hint: the factory fill and recommended oil for a new corvette is Mobil 1, especially if you have the Mercury Marine built high output engine. Choose your own poison, these are only my thoughts.
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Not sure if this is the post you're referring to, but #962 is still there. If you click my profile, one of my email addresses is there. Might take a day or two to answer, I'm up to my *** in alligators right now prepping for the fall semester.
  • I have a 1999 Mercury station wagon with automatic climate control. Every now and then it locks up completely - starts blowing hot air, will lock up radio so nothing will work. Must shut car off then start up again to reset it and then it works fine for a couple weeks. Can not isolate what triggers this. Wondering if this happens to anyone else? I brought it in to dealership while under warranty - but they could never re-produce the problem, thus it was never fixed. It went out of warranty - then compressor went bad (40,000 miles - bummer - 1,000 dollars) - but the climate control is still malfunctioning. any ideas? I mention to my wife to bring it in to dealership when it does this - but never has been in position to do this yet. Almost afraid to bring it in - who knows what it would cost to fix this - I hope this problem did not cause the compressor to die pre-maturely (the new one is getting ready to fall out of the 6 month warranty). Will think long & hard about buying another Ford. Thanks!
  • riswamiriswami Posts: 192
    Post 952, Liangtao. I had my cam sensor and another part replaced in early July. I can't describe the other part. I do know that I had to take the car back a few days later so the other part could be delivered. All I know is when the check engine light came on I thought I was getting a tranny code. It cost me $250 for parts and labor. I didn't use a dealer. I'm willing to bet this job would be at least 400 at a dealer. What did your repair cost?

    I never noticed any driveability problems. Mine is a 97 with the Vulcan. Had about 90k on it at the time of repair.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    All the Taurus boards are really quiet. Hope this means reliability is very good these days.

    I changed my cabin air filter on my 2000 SES myself last night. This is the first time I did it, well overdue at 28K miles, but having a filter loaded up with crud does no harm except to restrict ventilation airflow some, so it doesn't really hurt much to stretch the service. It is a reasonably easy job to do yourself. Good instructions are in the operator manual however one tip I would add is to turn your ignition key to "on" and the wipers to "on", then when they are at the peak of travel, switch off the ignition to temporarily park the wipers at their maximum stroke. This gets the passenger side wiper arm completely out of the way. I used an aftermarket Purolator filter-cost $16.85 at an Autozone. Kind of pricey, and maybe I should have checked the dealer price for the OEM filter, but I didn't bother.

    Also, my low coolant light had been coming on occasionally even though the overflow tank was not low. It happened again to me last Friday on the way home from work, so I drove right to my dealer while the light was on. They fixed the problem on the spot by replacing the entire overflow tank assembly. I was on my way home in only 1/2 hour. Car is still under warranty, but I am down to only 3 more weeks of warranty coverage.

    My dealer service department on these issues has been superb. No appointment seems to be necessary, they have extended evening (until 11 PM) and Saturday service hours, and they have been extremely prompt and did the job correctly.

    I really like this car, however three minor warranty repairs in the last 2 months have me a bit uneasy. Hopefully I got all the pending failures in under warranty and it will be smooth sailing for a while.

    I am soon due for a transmission oil/filter change(I'll let someone else do it-maybe the dealer based on my good experience, even though their price is higher than the independents) and will tackle the fuel filter myself soon.
  • wijocowijoco Posts: 462
    $16.85 for the cabin filter? "You done good." They're still $30 from Ford and $20 at NAPA.
    You must have the world's greatest dealership to take customers with no appointment and fix things so quickly. What were your other two warranty repairs?
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    Other warranty repairs were for dead wiper motor about three weeks ago and prior to that the front sway bar links were replaced about two months ago. The symptom for the front sway bar links is a rattly noise in the front suspension.

    It did take two trips for the wiper motor as they were out of stock of wiper motors, but they got a new one in the next morning and I got it fixed again after work that night

    I guess Edmunds allows mentioning dealerships, so I will as these guys deserve praise in my opinion: Best Ford in Wauwatosa, WI (near suburb of Milwaukee) This is my second Taurus from them, the first was a '90 base Taurus L with Vulcan V-6, which was a very reliable car. Only major repair was The AC and radiator at about 7 years and 70K miles.

    They also have had the lowest prices on new Taurus. I checked 3-4 other local dealers for both Tauri and couldn't find one to match their price, and if you come in armed and educated with what you think is a reasonable deal, they don't mess around too much.
  • frb263frb263 Posts: 3
    My 2002 Sable came with only one keyless remote; I want a second one cheap--(like maybe eBay?). I have the Ford part numbers and the FCC ID code from the back of the existing remote, but will still need programming instructions. I think it requires the ignition be turned on/off in a certain way in conjunction with the new remote.
       Can anyone help here? Is this info available anywhere on the web?
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    The Ford Taurus automatic transmission has done more harm to the Blue Oval Image than anything since the Pinto.
         Three sisters in a family I know had each purchased a Ford Taurus. The 1990 Taurus transmission failed at about 100,000 miles so she just junked it and got a 1997 Ford Escort with manual transmission.
         The 1993 Ford Taurus was the best of the 3 and went 115,000 miles before the transmission failed. She had it fixed, gave it to her daughter and got a Toyota Camry LE which she loves.
         The 1994 Ford Taurus transmission failed at only 58,600 miles of conservative driving with tender loving care. She junked it and got a new 2003 Toyota Camry LE.
         Hardly any surprise that Ford Taurus has not been the # 1 selling sedan after people found out that Ford Taurus is not a good car to buy.
  • just purchased 2001 taurus ses. would you recommend replacing transmission fluid with synthetic fluid?
  • I've had two Taurus' and have had absolutely no trouble with either of them. First was a '96 that I ran up to about 75k miles before selling (it was a company car, had to ditch it at that mileage per co. rules). My current vehicle is a 2000 Taurus and it has 105k miles. This one recently started to take just a split second longer to shift into second. However this started about a year ago and it's not gotten any worse, or any better. In fact I'm sure the average person wouldn't even notice the hesitation. But at 105k miles I don't mind at all - it still runs and handles like it was new. Up and down our street I'm surrounded by Taurus' (I live near Ford's headquarters in Dearborn - but NO I'm not a Ford employee nor do I work in the auto industry) and I hear nothing but good things about their workhorse-like abilities.

    To warnerdave1: in my current Taurus I've used nothing but regular trans. fluid from the oil change shop. FYI

    - Rob
  • ehennessehenness Posts: 92
    All Taurus and Sable cars from 1998-up require Mercon V fluid (plain Mercon is NOT compatible, according to the service manual).

    From what I understand, Mercon V is a full synthetic fluid, or nearly so. It's good stuff by itself.

    In any case, whatever you pick, stick to ONLY those fluids that are Mercon V, not Mercon, not Dexron, not anything else. If it doesn't say that it meets Mercon V specs, I would strongly suggest you not use it. I'd be wary of the ones that say 'Mercon V compatible'--does that mean it's the SAME as Mercon V or just that it mixes okay with Mercon V?

    Ford specs that stuff for a reason, and you probably don't want to find out why you should not use other types. This is becoming common--several carmakers spec a certain kind of fluid other than Dexron III (Ford, Honda, Chrysler, among others).

    I believe the change interval for normal service is 30,000 miles, so the car may be due for a change by now anyway.
  • ohio7ohio7 Posts: 67
    Every now and then I'll glance through my manual. Cars are soooo complex these days that I feel like a real novice to car care. I used to do a lot on my previous cars and now I can't even find the engine and other parts since it's covered by a big black piece of plastic.

    To get to my point, I'm not up to doing the radiator change anymore so I was reading the manual and notice that it states it should never be filled with tap water - only distilled water. When I go to my regular mechanic for this service, does anyone think that they are going to use distilled when asked to? Unless you're standing right there, I just can't see those guys doing this.

    Next, what damage is done to my 2000 Taurus if they do use tap water instead of distilled. Also, why isn't tap water good anymore? It never hurt any of my former Mustangs and Cougars that I've owned.

    All thoughts welcome.
  • ohio7ohio7 Posts: 67
    Just wanted to say that I bought a Puralator cabin air filter at Advance Auto Parts for $16.59. This is the company that bought out Track Auto in the Washington, DC area. Haven't put it in yet.
  • Forget about your car for a minute would 'ya?!?!? Just think about all the tap water WE'VE had for the last umpteen years!!! The insides of our guts must look like swiss cheese!

    - Rob
  • ohio7ohio7 Posts: 67
    Point taken, so you're saying that I should just ignor the manual cause the grease monkey surely will.

    By the way, I use a Brita water filter especially since Washington, DC water is not fit to drink. Lots of bottled water sold in this area.
  • riswamiriswami Posts: 192
    Did the front brakes at 95k on a 97 GL. They didn't have much pad left. Also replaced the rotors. Had to heat up one of the lug nuts. Apparently someone at Sams Club stripped it and overtightened it.

    My cabin filter had about 25k on it. I've had it for a few months and hadn't gotten around to replacing it. When they get dirty the a/c doesn't work well on the normal setting. My a/c was fine this time; last time I had to run on max a/c to get lots of cool air.
  • fdthirdfdthird Posts: 352
    If you are still looking at this board, do not buy this from Ford. Go to ebay and put Taurus remote in the search. You will be able to buy one for a very good price and it will come with programing instructions.
  • My specialty for the Air Force was Corrosion Control so I can tell you why Ford (and other manufacturers) tell you to use distilled water in the radiator instead of tap water. In some parts of the country the tap water is well water (right out of the ground and good enough to drink) and well water can have a low pH (potential of hydrogen) it's complicated, but lets just say that a low pH means the water tends to be acidic (corrosive)like it is here in central Oklhaoma. Todays engines may have an iron block with aluminum heads, bronze water pump, brass bushings--lots of different metals in the cooling system. The Acidic water attacks the most suseptable metal---aluminum and causes corrosion which then flakes off and travels through the water system until it comes to the small openings of your radiator or heater core and plugs it up. Also some water, like in New Mexico has a high mineral content (is alkaline and also corrosive) and this material coats the inside of the water passages making for less effective heat transfer. So use the distilled water the pH is 7 (or should be--that is neutral). You can buy a couple of gallons for about $3 and it is cheap insurance. It is a good bet the average garage mechanic uses tap water--not a good idea. Never run an engine without water and anti-freeze it will cause severe corrosion (good anti-freeze contains rust inhibitors). Besides the proper mixture of the proper anti-freeze and distilled water actually is able to do a more effective job of cooling the engine than plain water. I think they should explain that in the owners manual so people won't have problems using distilled water.
    Ok, sorry this was so long but as a final word on anything automotive. Always follow the manufacturers instructions, they make the car and know more about it than the average mechanic in a local garage. Dealerships should know better.
  • ohio7ohio7 Posts: 67
    Thanks for an answer. I couldn't wait any longer for someone to answer me and called my regular mechanic. He sent me to the Jiffy Lube next door and said that they have a very efficient machine that could do a better job than he could. Apparently it sucks all of the fluids out of everywhere, including the heater core. I had never been to any of these quick lube places and was not aware of all the services that they perform. I've heard of a number horror stories involving oil changes so that kept me away.

    They had two tall clear tubes of plastic next to each either; one filled with green (or orange) fluid and one empty. My old fluid went into the the empty container and then the green fluid went into the radiator. It stops automatically. No, it wasn't distilled water. It amazes me why auto makers make engines that require something that they KNOW is not going to be adhered to by garages or quick change places - or by most owners for that matter. I've never used anything but tap water and never had any problems.
  • riswamiriswami Posts: 192
    Does Ford or any other car company put distilled water in when assembling the car? I doubt it.
  • The older green anti-freeze should be changed at least every two years. That type of anti-freeze has a corrosion inhibitor but after two years it is depleted and should be changed. When you hear of folks having to change out the heater core or have the radiator rodded out the chances are they have not changed the antifreeze in years and it no longer provides rust protection. The corroding metal (usually aluminum) flakes off inside the water jacket and ends up clogging the radiator or heater core. The newer orange (and other colors) are warranted for up to 100,000 miles because they are totally different materials and have a much longer metal protecting capability. By the way if you are flushing the cooling system always be sure to turn the heater lever to full hot so the heater core will get flushed also.
  • fdthirdfdthird Posts: 352
    Personally, I have trouble with the 100,000 mile service limits that a lot of new cars come with. I could not see leaving your anti-freeze alone for 100,000 and understand that while plugs may still work at 100,000, you'll have a heck of a time getting the plug out of the engine after that long.
  • What do I have to take off to replace the back three spark plugs on my 2000 SES 24V. Is it difficult? What might get screwed up?
  • My 2000 24V with 61K has been slipping the last 10K. It is getting worse. I had the transmission fluid and filter changed at a Ford dealer about 5K ago. The slipping seems to be when it shifts into 4th gear (OD) when going about 40mph. Typically when I am going up hill. I either have to let off gas (slipping stops) or give alot of gas (shifts back down to third). I plan on holding onto the car. Can this be fixed? Any additives that will last? Will a rebuild fix it permanently?
  • I recently got a 95 taurus as a gift to hold me over until I can buy a new car, and at first everything was fine, but now...

    there is this odd buzzing noise that occurs upon accelerating... what can this be, it is constant.

    also my car has no power in the morning until I warm it up some, and if I attempt to drive it "cold", it will shake and make unstable noises while at stoplights, is there something seriously wrong here?

    any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.
  • Fuel Pump?

    I had a 92 Taurus and their was a loud hum that came from the back. Start your car and crawl under the back and listen by the gas tank. I think this is a common problem.
  • Here's a problem for you that the service center at the dealership doesn't want to fix..I am sure someone here may be able to enlighten me a bit. This is actually my father's car; he bought an 02 SES w/ the Vulcan engine and 26k on it 4 months ago. Initially, the engine was loud on idle in park..almost sounded like a loose flywheel bearing, and there was some vibration. Initial RO was done, said it was "fixed", it wasn't. After 3 more times, still no repair done.
    Finally isolated it to the tranny...vehicle doesn't seem to downshift when you apply the brake...it seems like you are fighting against the engine; when you shift from park to drive/reverse you really feel the gear kick in like it isn't fully disengaging. Lastly, I isolated the noise in the engine to being tranny related...in drive, no noise; if put in park once the transmission sets the car to a stop, it returns; if you stop the car, put it in neutral and apply the e-brake first, then shift to park, the engine is quiet. I don't quite know what to push them to look at....the service manager seems to think it's a pain in his posterior, and is trying to have us wait for the Ford Engineer since he doesn't want to do anything with it in the shop.ANyone have any similar problems and have a suggestion as to what it needs to be narrowed down to?? Thanks.
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