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Taurus/Sable Maintenance & Repair

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  • Just got a call from the dealer. My 96 (3L V6) with 37K has a bad #1 cyclinder - needs a new engine. No warranty assistance past 36K. Run away from Ford - fast. Spread the word.
  • My 97 Sable "service engine soon" light has come on and won't go off. Does anyone know what this means? How much service will cost? How to reset the light?

    Thanks
  • jake696jake696 Posts: 111
    Just saw something in the latest Consumer Report about engine and tranny problems with the Tortoise and Sable. Didn't pay much attention though, I admit. A great relief is off my back since I SOLD mine and I didn't pay that much attention to the article.

    You may want to check it out!
  • gv4gv4 Posts: 1
    I have a 93 Taurus that intermittently shifts out of overdrive. Sometimes it is abrupt and jerks me forward. I found that if I pull off the road, put it in park, turn off the engine, then start it back up and go the problem disappears. It is very intermittent. I took it back to where I bought it at the time it was acting up and of course it would not do it again.

    Is this a transmission problem or electrical or ??
  • andys22andys22 Posts: 13
    newer taurus's are great cars,,, duratec 3.0L is one of the best v6's one could buy these days. the 3.0L v6 12v is also a good, tried and true engine. newer 3.8's are also better, due the fact that ford retorqued the head on tighter and put on a better gasket. we know lots of people with windstars, no problems... funny how all people with problems here, but people who have good luck with their fords don't say anything... oh well just my .02 cents!!
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    Wouldn't be surprised if it were electical - my 92 once had similar symptoms. Dealer exercised the electronics with their analyzer, and eventually fixed it.
  • Hi everyone,

    I just had an awful experience today. When I was rounding a corner after a stop light, my engine started to race. I took my foot off the gas, and the engine continued to race for about 2-3 additional seconds. Then, the car finally shifted. At the next corner (stop sign), this problem was not repeated. I drove it for 5 more minutes to see if the problem would repeat, but it never did. It shifted perfectly. This has only happened once, but I'm still somewhat worried. Is this the start of transmission problems? Is there something I can do if it is?

    Thx.
  • Sorry, I forgot to mention it is a 1993 Mercury Sable with the 3.8L engine (~76xxx miles.)

    Overall I love the car, but I am definitely worried now.
  • Well, I just talked to a friend who is a mechanic. He told me that chances are it is nothing. He said I might need to have my transmission serviced. Now I can sleep tonight.
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    My Taurus does this sometimes. Especially when the trans is warmed up and I have just turned a corner after normal driving. I have a rebuilt with a shift kit, which didn't change this quirk at all (made all other things much better, though). I've just learned to live with it, and not to push it under those conditions. It happens maybe once a week. It could be the control module causing it and not trans related at all.
  • The speedometer on my 1995 Taurus became erratic after 21,745 miiles. It was replaced under warranty and now is erratic again with 23,343 miles. These failures are sickenly common. 98 safety complaints pertaining to 95 Tauruses are contained in the NHTSA database as of 10/1/99. Since multiple failures on the same vehicle occurred frequently, these complaints cover 138 separate speedometer failures. In many cases 3 and even 4 separate speedometers failed in the same vehicles. Ford does not replace this junk after the 36000 miles warranty period.
  • No, but most dealerships offer a 12 month warranty on the parts and the work, so if it does fail, you can get it fixed for free (as you did.) I'm not saying it is right to have the same thing break several times, but at least it will be fixed for free.
  • Ford won't pay for my second failure because it has been over 12 months. In fact most of the failures listed in the NHTSA data base were not covered by the 12 month relacement warranty. This appears to only a 1995 year problem. Ford should recall all of these speedometer heads and replace them with a speedometer which can last more than 20,000 miles before someone gets killed.
  • I have a 98 Taurus with a DOHC Duratec. It
    started having a valve rattle noise after the first couple of thousand miles. It only has this noise right at 3900-4000 rpm under full throttle. The dealer refuses to release any TSBs and I don't
    trust them due to some history with them. I don't
    want my immaculate, low mileage car operated on
    needlessly (as they love to do to collect money
    from Ford) to address a common NON-problem. Any
    similar experiences? Something common? Serious?
  • I have a 1998 Taurus wagon with about 24000 miles on it. Recently, I notice that whenever the car is moving at around 1500 rpm (at about 15 -20 mph, there is a rattling sound from under the body, it is quite annoying, could it be from the exhaust pipes? Anyone has this experience and know how to fix it? But the sound will go away when the engine rpm goes beyond 2000.
  • 3900-4000 rpms??? I can never get my '93 Sable to go that far. It always shifts between 2000-3500.
  • pbb98pbb98 Posts: 19
    zacharylaurie, try moving your seat far enough up so that you can reach the accelerator. When I floored my '92 Sable(3.0) it didn't shift out of first gear till 6000.
  • Well, I don't know what to say. My 3.8L engine never revs that high before the transmission kicks in. In fact, I've never been in a car that revs that high before shifting. Maybe my engine doesn't need to rev as high to get power as the 3.0L engine, but that is a very big difference.
  • Also, I don't floor my car. I want it to last, and trying to redline the engine and get the engine to work that hard can not be good for the car (regardless of brand).
  • My '96 Taurus has 38,000 miles on it and no extended warranty. Recently when making a sharp turn at low speeds while under gentle acceleration a groaning noise is heard and there is a bit of vibration in the steering wheel. This occurs only as the steering wheel is being returned to neutral. It is slowly growing worse. The Ford dealership's diagnosis is a steering rack problem. The car has been fine with no other problems up to this point. I see that others have mentioned rack problems in older Taurus. Does anyone know if there a service bulletin on this? A "hidden warranty?" I would like to have any leverage I can find as I deal with this expensive repair.
  • gusgus Posts: 254
    Steering racks are pretty much wear-and-tear items. If they're going bad on the older models, then it seems like maybe the steering racks themselves are old. If you car was one or two years off the showroom floor, then you might have a better case.
  • I have a 97 Taurus GL Sedan with 34k on it and not a a single problem. But then, I drive like an old lady on her way to church. The way I see most people treat there vehicles, gunning the engines, whomping up to stop signs and then slamming on the brakes, Its a wonder more people don't have complaints. My last car was an 85 Honda Civic that had 320k when I finally gave it to Goodwill. (not because it was running bad, It was just that the floorboards rusted out from all the salt.)
    Accelerate slowly, brake slowly, follow your service manual and change your oil every 3k and you car will give you a long and serviceable life, regardless of the make.

    Just my 2 cents
  • I see I've rendered everyone speechless. While you're all pondering my earth-shattering revelations. I have a question. I have the original General Ameri tires on my Taurus. They have a good deal of tread left on them but my question concerns proper tire inflation. The sidewall has a max psi of 44. My dad always said keep 35 psi in your tires. What should it be. Any suggestions?
  • If you still have a Taurus:

    My '93 Taurus GL wagon has 94,000 miles on it and aside from a problem with the fuel pump, radiator, starter, windshield wiper switch and some other minor things I haven't had many problems with the car. According to some of the posts I've read, I may be one of the lucky ones. I am however concerned about the car as I approach the century mark. What should I look out for?

    Also, has anyone had a problem with the fuel pump on this car that turned out to be something other than the fuel pump. I did. I have to look in my records again to recall what it was that was causing the pump to not operate when called on. (the diagnostic code for fuel pump failure kept showing up but it was not the pump itself)

    I'll post this info later if anyone is interested and everyone hasn't sold all the Taurus' in the country.
  • gusgus Posts: 254
    117> Go with 35 psi. 32 is probably even adequate.
  • That does sound about right. I remember my dealership told me to keep my '93 Sable around 30-32 even though what is written on the tire is higher (35 I think.) It takes some of the harshness out of the ride too.
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    Keep an eye on the tire wear pattern. If the center of the tread is wearing more, reduce pressure a little. If the edges are wearing more, increase pressure a little. Remember that the makers tire pressures listed in the manual are based on the type and size of tire the car originally was equipped with. If you have changed the tires, these may no longer apply. Bear in mind that front wheel drive cars are a little harder on front tires, and you may notice a little feathering at the edges of the tread. Don't mistake this for under-inflation.
  • gkarggkarg Posts: 230
    All Ford products I've owned have a label attached to the body of the car inside the passenger side, rear door. This should tell you Ford's recommended tire pressure.
  • b3u12b3u12 Posts: 7
    Now that I have read all the horror experiences
    about the Taurus ,whats the opinion on the 1996 Ford contour?
    Thanks
  • pat455pat455 Posts: 603
    May I suggest that you go to a topic that's already been established to ask you question about the Contour?

    Let's save this one for discussion of Taurus maintenance.

    Click here to go there.

    Pat
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