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Taurus/Sable Maintenance & Repair



  • 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 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 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.
  • 2000 Ford Taurus 2000 SEL 35k miles - I have a steering wheel vibration at moderate to high speeds, and when I brake (semi to heavy). I am wondering if it is tires, or brake rotors or??
    Before I take it into a service center, I wanted to get some opinions on what it may be. I am going to get new tires on it soon anyways (Yokohama Avids) but am wondering if I should have them look at the brakes or rotors too. If it is a brakes issue, should I just have them resurfaced, or what are the opinions

    I have the tires rotated and balanced about every 7500 miles, and did the main 30000 mile service from Ford (alignment, etc...)

    Any suggestions?
    Thanks in Advance
  • I had the same problem on my 2000 SES with 24V. I had the tires replaced and the vibration went away. Mine occured mainly at highway speeds. I had the Continental original equipment tires. I had 60K on them. I bought 4 new tires at Discount Tires. Some type of Cooper tire. They worked great and are much quieter. I think I still might have a brake problem. When I brake, I get a small vibration. However, the vibration I got when driving (not braking) is gone.

    Get new tires!
  • Most all city water is chlorinated and chlorine is highly corrosive. Using it probably kills a large portion of the anti-corrosives in the new coolant. To those who think it doesn't matter, I'll gladly pee into your radiator for you. Could be better than the water you're using.
  • The dipstick on my 97 AXODE says Mercon. Not Mercon V. I've lost the owners manual, but I can find nothing where it requires the Mercon V.
  • I'm certain that there is something wrong in the shifting of this 97 Sable Wagon w/ AXODE. The last specs I have are for the same setup in a 92. Does anyone have the proper specs for this 97?
    Torque convertor lock acts like slipping when engaging. The one-two and two-three shifts seem solid. Most noticeable under light to moderate acceleration. Also torque convertor seems to stay engaged at too low speeds. I've found that after deceling such as for a corner and mildly accelerating car will be in 3rd, torque locked with only 1000 RPM. Slowing forcing increased accelerator, it will eventually unlock and simultaneously down shift to 2nd. Flooring it will give a nice solid 1-2, 2-3. There are no stored codes, but milage also seems to suffer by about 2 MPG, local and highway. Post suggestions please.
  • wijocowijoco Posts: 462
    The two transmissions in the late model Taurus are the AX4N and AX4S. I'm not real sure what specs you're looking for, but I know the on/off O/D full lockup speed is 45 MPH. Anything below that speed and you're talking about degrees of engagement in the TCC. It's really hard to tell when an odd shift feel is the fault of the converter clutch or a shift band or clutch, since so many things happen simultaneously. Plus transmission programming varies from year to year. Check out this fact sheet for a little bit on the AX4N basic operation:
    Also try posting your symptoms on Flateratetech
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    The AX4 is an updated AXOD. I don't really know the significant changes. TCC? That speed sounds about right from the 86 and 92 for OD. Thanks for the link.
  • e_net_rider, I believe Mercon V started in the Taurus in 1998, so you'd use Mercon, as the dipstick indicates.

    Shudder from the torque converter lockup can often be cured with a fluid change. On the '98s and up, this is required at 30,000 mile intervals. When was yours changed last? It might be due and could be the cause of the shudder.

    Also, check your brake lights. The converter clutch uses the brake light switch (on the pedal) to know when to unlock (like when you start braking to slow, it needs to unlock). That can screw up the lockup or keep it locked when it should not be.
  • snowmansnowman Posts: 540
    My Taurus (2000 SES Vulcan w/ 39K) gave me check engine light. I took it to Autozone to get the code (dealer asked me $90). It was P0156. Donwstream heated O2 sensor on bank 2. AutoZone erased the code. I have been driving since then and didn't come back but pinging was back.

    My car has pinging issue. It was intense during summer time. It's got worse and I emptied 20 oz Chevron techron into half way full tank, sprayed 1 can CB cleaner and 1 can TB cleaner into TB towards upper intake, cleaned up the plugs with wire brush. BTW, plugs were nice and deposit free. The car picked up some power and pinging was gone.

    200 miles later I heard light pinging. But today, after AZ erased the code, it pinged and I felt performance was down. I realized that now it is using more fuel. 3 quarters of thank I've got 160 miles. I used to get 21 miles per gallon in city. How the heck donwstream heated O2 sensor on bank 2 causes more fuel consumption?

    I bought Autolight 764 copper plugs but haven't installed them. Also I am planing remove the upper intake, TB and all other thing along the way and clean them.

    I am not sure whay O2 sensor is givin this much early problem.

    I wonder whether CB or TB cleaner has any effect on O2 sensor problem. What you guys think?

    Another thing that when I pull upper intake out and discover that lower one is dirty how I should clena that up?
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,564
    Why don't you first fix the problem that the check engine light indicated rather than go on a time consuming fishing expedition by looking for problems that may not be there, while ignoring the problem the computer indicated?

    With all the sophisticated controls and sensors in current engines to reduce emissions and maintain optimum mileage, I wouldn't be surprised that a bad oxygen sensor could causing pinging and poor mileage.

    You might want to check with a dealer on warranty coverage for this part. Some emission controls I believe are by law warranted beyond the standard 3year 36K warranty.
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