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Ford Taurus/Mercury Sable Wagons



  • Bought this Taurus from an original owner for 4K as a second car and now the wagon is at 133,000. The problem sounds like the typical transmission problem.

    No problem on the freeway but when I get off the freeway and going down the ramp...the car just shuts doesn't happen often...maybe every other day. Before it shuts down, it sounds like my gears are shifting and then it shuts down. I would like to give the car to a friend of mine who badly needs a car but I would like to fix it first. Does this sound like a transmission problem? Does anybody out there have a good experience after installing a rebuilt trans?

    I've good luck so far...but I would hate to give the car to a friend even with a rebuilt transmission and the car still sucks. What is the cost of a rebuilt trans?
  • bronco2ubronco2u Posts: 1
    I have a 1998 Mercury Sable (3.0 V-6) that apparently over heated last week. I was driving when it suddenly shut off. The temperature gauge was in the normal range, but I found a small leak in the radiator overflow tank. I was almost out of antifreeze. I finally got the car cooled down and filled up so I could drive home. I managed to patch the hole temporarily so I could get to AutoZone in order to have them check the computer (service engine soon light was on). The computer said one of the cylinders was missing. I gave it a tune up. Now the car won't start unless I hold the gas pedal down. When it does start it idles rough and white smoke billows out of the exhaust pipe. As soon as I put it in reverse it dies. Is this a head gasket problem and if so how much can I expect to spend to have it repaired? I seem to remember a recall on these a few years ago. Does that apply to this situation?
  • nick_mnick_m Posts: 1
    Replaced motor 1 year ago, now driver side window switch won't work. any suggestions? window is down... can't get it up! help, it is raining!
  • harvey26harvey26 Posts: 1
    I was just reading your old e mail. It's interesting to me. Can you believe how bad Ford is doing? You were ahead of your time...almost 2 years to the date. I should have read it sooner. I own a Mercury Sable, and have lost a fortune on it. It's in the shop right now $1,400.00 tune up...for a piece of crap
  • djohnson1djohnson1 Posts: 54
    I need to replace my rear brake light on my 98 Taurus wagon. After I remove the two screws that show under the rear gate when up, it still won't come out. Do I wiggle it out, or is there a hidden fastener somewhere?
    Don't want to break the lens and have to buy a new one!

  • djohnson1djohnson1 Posts: 54
    Consumer Reports is great for reliability stats on cars. I have had four Ford Taurus/Mer Sables, and all have been great! Best buy is used. Very reliable, drive great, good on gas -- what's not to like?
    But reading these forums is a little bit like what I heard from a cancer doctor -- all they see is cancer problems all day, so it seems more prevalent than it really is. Same for these forums where people post their gripes!
    Best regards,
  • tkfitztkfitz Posts: 95
    Antifreeze out the tail pipe is never good. You have a dead cylinder. Head gasket or cracked head. I have not heard of recalls relating to coolant problems in 3.0 engines. The older 3.8 engines had a problem with head gaskets.
    Check and identify which cylinder it is and try for a cheap fix...then trade ASAP.
    Or...fix it right with a longblock....not too much middle ground here.
  • jims30jims30 Posts: 1
    Same exact problem for years now but with a 2000 Sable. Had motor replaced as well but this didn't solve the problem. Resorted to toe-kicking (i.e. with my shoe) the fuse panel in frustration and this worked for a while. I now have a stuck window too. Hopefully we'll find a resolution.
  • watson5watson5 Posts: 2
    I have a 89 mercury cougar that was similar. Its not quite the same engine, but similar to the 90 sable I have in that it is a 3.8L V6. In my cougar, it was no turn signals or wipers, no heat/ac or stereo, but the higher block on the console with the power antenna and defroster worked. Normal lights worked too. I found out why, ignition switch, and apparently its the same switch for nearly every Ford/Mercury out there. Can be a pain in the butt to change though, since one of the two bolts holding it to the steering column is inside the dash, and both of the bolts on mine were the tamper-proof ones (little pin in the middle so you can't use a normal hex set).
  • brick1brick1 Posts: 1
    Imlimo or iannn did you ever fined the problem? i have the identical problem to a tee, 96 taurus GL. I changed ignition switch and accessary delay relay still is the same. Help please anyone.
  • chris78chris78 Posts: 1
    I have a 1995 Ford Taurus Wagon with a 3.0L engine and my problem is that after doing some stuff around town. I park in the parking lot and when I come back the car won’t start. I turn the key and nothing happens no clicking no nothing all the light and stuff all work. I have tried boosting it and that don’t work. I leave the car in the parking lot over night and go try it in the morning and it starts fine. This has happened twice in the last 3 weeks what could be the problem?
  • barkwritebarkwrite Posts: 1

    I have the same problem with my 96 Mercury Sable wagon. One day, the driver's side window works great (no slowing or signs of aging), the next my window is rolled down and won't come up. I took pliers and tried to "assist" the window up thinking the motor gave out. Nada save chipping some glass off the top.

    I found resolution when I took as much of the door panel off as I could, and - after getting frustrated at not being able to get to the actual motor - hit the motor area with a rubber mallet. Bam, the window rolled up again flawlessly. Now, this happens to me occassionally. Usually, I open my door and "bang" the bottom third of the inside door panel a couple times with my palm and it does the trick. This may be a little quirky (though it's only happened about three more times over the past couple years), but it's better than getting a new motor! Hope this helps.

  • I had the same problem, here is what we found:

    There is a large wire connector block that sits on top of the transmission, you can see it when the hood is up. This block transfers all the data from the firewall forward to the instrument cluster and everything inside the car. When my car did what you are describing, I put it in neutral and everything worked fine, back into drive and everything drops out. Anyway, that block has a bolt in the center that holds it together. Get some electrolytic grease and a can of spray contact cleaner. Take that wire block apart. blow out all the sockets w/ compressed air and use some contact cleaner on both sides. Once the pins and sockets are dry, put some electrolytic grease on the socket side and reseat/unplug the block a few times. put it back together and tighten the bolt back down and you should be good to go.

    When that block looses contact with one certain pin (no idea which one) everything but the engine shuts off. Wipers, radio, Power Steering...but when I put my car in neutral and coasted, the transmission linkage bumped the block enough and made contact, put it back in gear and the contact was lost. It took us a while to find it, but that is what the problem was on my 96 Sable GS wagon.

    Good luck!

  • My wife's 96 Mercury Sable - 3.0L (U) engine - started blowing warm air two weeks ago when she turned on the air-conditioning. We had had 100+ degree heat here in Reno, Nevada for the last two weeks, up from an average of 55 degrees for the last four months.

    The AC compressor would cycle on and off, on and off, about every 5-6 seconds, dropping down to around 22-25 lb. of pressure, then going back up to a steady 45 lb. of pressure, until it "clicked off" again. The air didn't ever get cool, but the compressor kept right on "clicking on and off", as long as the climate control switch was on the AC position.

    We took the car in about three days ago to a local shop. They "leak" tested the car, put in about 6 oz. of R34a, and supplied an estimate of $700+ to replace three "leaky" hoses, with a $114. of that $700 to "recharge" the system. Nothing was ever mentioned about the compressor, or the constant "on-off cycles" by either by the mechanic or the shop foreman on the written estimate.

    My wife picked the car up, and it was only after the $49.99 "leak check" was paid for and I got home that night that I discovered that the problem with the compressor had never been addressed at all.

    I bought a "recharge kit with leak detector and leak sealant- $28.95", with a pressure gauge at a parts store and got those weird pressure readings. I haven't yet "touched" the system because when the compressor was "on" for that 5-6 seconds, the low side pressure reading is exactly what it should be. NO leaks to be seen , and no cold air.

    Does anyone have a clue as to why the compressor keeps kicking on and off, on and off?? I'm afraid to go some place else after the first shop was trying to charge me $700+ to replace about $150 in AC hoses and couldn't or didn't hear the compressor kicking on and off. I already know that Ford YF10 compressor, by itself, for just the part, costs between $290 to $550.
  • Since you have front disc brakes, the same as my wife's 96 Mercury Sable wagon, I'd have to say that you have bad or heat warped rotors (the disk part of the brake). The "pulse" happens as the brake pads skip over a "low" spot on the rotors and then hit a "high" spot.

    That wears out the pads faster, and you can sometimes fix the problem by having the rotors "turned". But with 60,000 miles on the car you'd be better off buying new rotors.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    A rapidly cycling AC compressor typically occurs when you are low on refrigerant charge. Meaning you probably have a leak somewhere. The shop may have diagnosed the problem properly as leaky hoses leading to the loss of refrigerant and then the rapidly cycling compressor. They probably did not recharge your AC, so the car is still low on refrigerant. There is not necessarily anything wrong with the compressor.
  • madamijmadamij Posts: 1
    Did you get problem resolved? if so what was the problem?
    I have a similar problem with a 1996 taurus wagon, except that the radio clock goes black also. Started in february this year, looked almost like a bad battery, when I called for help, car started before help came. Had the charging/starter system checked out at garage everything good, no battery and charge system good, started ho hi-amp drain. Mechanic suggested it may be the aftermarket alarm the dealer put in. He told me next time it happend to disconnect the battery. Happened again in May and June. In My I just let it sit and it started. In June I disconnected the battery and it worked. Day before yesterday, I had to disconnect the battery for more than 10 minutes before I got it to work. Yesterday I had to disconnect more thqn 20minutes, and when I kept the key in the 'start' position, it finally kicked over. Looks like it is getting more frequent. Will have aftermarket alarm disconnect today or saturday, and if still don't help, will go to dealer to get computer diagnosed. Hope their computers are better than these $1000 acme jobs the garages have,
  • i have a '93 mercury sable wagon(3.8L).i bought it with 35,000miles on it.i have replaced the water pump,serpentine belt,2 hoses,4x's brakes,cooling fan motor,and head job at 230,000miles(tried to push it with no water circulation and kablam!!!)however,thats every single thing thats been done to her and guess how many miles she has?!@#$%&;? 731,000 miles ">.i swear to christ almighty! i remember seeing commercials with people for honda, or toyota with cars that had 200 maybe 300,000 miles and thought that was good.731,000miles is betterheeheehee.ive never heard anything like that out of any car.heehee. i don't know, but i believe she may have 1,000,000 miles in her if not more.god bless Ford/Mercury.thanks bye :)
  • chrisptownchrisptown Posts: 11
    i recently traded my '01 sable ls prem. for a new '05 taurus sel wagon. my sable had the MACH audio system under rear deck yoou could see the large amp. running across the rear deck under. My question is my new wagon also has the MACH system, but where is the 80 watt amp. powering the system?? Not even the salesperson could tell me. I like the wagon so far, does seem to be a little more wind/engine noise in cabin. Does the sable ls prem. have any more insulation than the taurus sel wagon???
  • pfsnowpfsnow Posts: 1
    I am looking to find out where the low pressure line is on a 1992 Sable? I think it is back close to the firwall. I just want to make sure before filling the system.

    thank you for your time
  • Thank Jon

    I did the same procedure except unbolt the transmission range sensor. You save me at least a couple of hundred dollars on troubleshooting.

    Art B.
  • geo63geo63 Posts: 1
    I just bought a 2001 taurus wagon and i love the power of the duratec motor. when i brake, there is a growling sound coming from the pedal, not a pulsation, which would indicate a warped rotor. and it also feels very spongy, i know the sponginess is air in the lines, but would it cause the scrunching sound also? how is the reputation of the ohv duratec, i have 90,000 miles on it, but i got a very good deal on it so i couldnt pass it up. any comments would be appreciated. thanks
  • Hi All....On a recently purchased 1996 Taurus, this past weekend I had the exact same electrical sound inop in R or D,...[OK in P or N], belt light came on, went out at times,...and power steering acted up...........
    A new transmission range sensor [neutral safety switch] cured all the problems.............$25.00 from Advance Auto Parts............

  • took delivery of 2005 SEL wagon. dealer had obtained same from dealer in Ma. vehicle driven 375 miles to my dealership. Vehicle seemed perfect @ delivery. drove it 4 dys. , backed out of drive way and noticed a lrg. puddle of liquid. T was transmission fluid! vehicle flatbedded to dealership 120 miles away. Dealer told me the problem was the auto trans. fluid was overfilled @ the factory and when it got hot came out the "overflow" drain. Does this seem possible. what about quality control @ the Atlanta factory?? I do like the vehicle overall. Hope this is the only issue I need to deal with. thoughts
  • paisanopaisano Posts: 1
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 7,769
    paisano... just a word about using ALL CAPS. It's generally harder to read and long stretches of it are the equivalent of yelling. Much better to save it for EMPHASIS.

    You'll also tend to get more responses as some folks will simply ignore any posting that's all upper case.

    Just a bit of 'net etiquette!

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  • I have the same problem with my 97 taurus. Just loosen the motor bolts and push in on the motor it will work again normally then tighten them up again.. I have to do this once every couple of months. Takes less than five minutes.
  • Nick - you are a god - ;) :shades:

    I just traded for a 97 Taurus - got through the many times mentioned coolant issue - wow, severely brown sludge ( flushed and backflushed once, ran distilled water through it four times before color was close to clear - on these engines you MUST use distilled water mixed with coolant in these engines - you MUST flush at least annually ( it always surprises me that most don't ) or clean it out again and again ... ) - now have the lack of heat issue { we must just love to wrench ... } after I had a stereo put in

    Anyways to all out there, Nick's procedure Nick's procedure solved my power window - power steering ( ??? )- radio - clicking relay, intermittent seatbelt light / only in Park, not in Drive issue.

    In my case, the previous owner was a little lax in maintenance and had spilled some baking soda solution over the connector - a little parts cleaner, a little finger grease with a toothbrush and a little electrolytic grease and the windows roll up without having to switch to neutral going 75 mph.

    Thanks to all who contribute to the forum - I'll be back with any solutions I find


    Remember - use your search terms in your posts - you will be surprised how many people think like you do
  • I have a 1998 3.0 V6 that is showing similar behavior more and more frequently.
    Please let me know what you find out.
  • I just bought a 1997 Taurus GL Wagon with a broken antenna. Does anyone know if it had a power or regular one? I found an unused wire near the spare tire area.

    Can anyone help? Were can I buy cheap "new parts"? Used ones, besides ebay?

This discussion has been closed.