Ford Taurus/Mercury Sable Wagons



  • revkarevka Member Posts: 1,750
    We enjoy hearing about your purchase experience; however to avoid any conflicts with our policy on soliciting, we're asking our Town Hall participants to please not post email/phone numbers of car dealers, or individual sales people, in their messages.

    If you mention the dealership and town, people should be able find it. Also, if you want, you can ask people to email you for further details.... Okay? Thanks for abiding by our rules. Also, feel free to email me if you have any questions/comments regarding this matter.

    And now, back to the subject of the Ford Taurus & Mercury Sable Wagons!

    Hatchbacks & Wagons Host
  • phatbunsphatbuns Member Posts: 20
    Are the wagons he's advertising 2002's? With the current rebate, that price is not too unusual. Our local Merc dealer in Methuen, Mass is offering loaded sedans (moonroof, leather,etc.) for $16999, and had 9 left last time I checked. The wagon's about $1100 more. I was sorely tempted, but caved and got a used '96 Taurus GL wagon instead.
  • rogertc1rogertc1 Member Posts: 66
    I am posting this here for my 99 Taurus Wagon because the wagons have 4 wheel disc brakes and ABS.
    I notice when i tried it on a snow covered parking lot there was a noisy grinding sound along with quick brake applications when I held down hard on the brakes. It did stop OK and straight in a short distance but it was NOISY. I just had brakes done on this car at a Ford dealer but wanted to know how it reacts as this is my first Ford with ABS.
    Thanks in advance.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Member Posts: 1,565
    There is a lot of noise when the ABS is activated on any car, You will hear noise, and feel fairly significant vibration in the brake pedal as well. I think you are just experiencing the normal sounds of ABS operating.
  • jdiaz2jdiaz2 Member Posts: 16
    Has anyone had a brake light switch failure? There was a recall for Taurii with power adjustable pedals last summer (which we did), and now that switch has just failed again on my car. Just curious if anyone else has seen it.

    The failure modes are:
    - Car will not shift out of park without following the elaborate procedure in the manual

    - Cruise control will not shut off or shuts off randomly while cruising down the road

    - Other cars seem to get very large in your mirrors while braking for stoplights....probably because your brake lights don't work. :)

    I just ordered this part today from my dealer....looks simple to change.

  • rogertc1rogertc1 Member Posts: 66
    Sounds like your car is stillin warrentee. Why not take it in? The adjustable petals are just for very short people to keep them from sitting on top of the air bag.
    Did you get a fix?
  • nelsoncmnelsoncm Member Posts: 103
    I had the brake light switch go out 3 times on my 2000 LS wagon before they finally fixed it right. It went 6 months without another problem (with the brake light anyway) then I traded in the car on another make altogether.
  • tomcat630tomcat630 Member Posts: 854
    "DO NOT BUY any Ford or Mercury!! They (deleted) in quality!!i bought a 1993 sable wagon with a 3.8L engine from a 'sweet' old lady!!"

    OK, first, it's a 10 year old car, 2nd it's used, 3rd the "old lady driven" is a myth.

    The biggest myth in used cars is that low mileage is "all that". A car that sits and sits will have dried out seals and parts. No way is a car "preserved" if it is driven 10 miles a week.

    I remember someone writing to the Chicago Tribune complaining of 120,000 mile Cadillac that died, saying "I'll never get one again!" The editor basically told him he was lucky it lasted that long!!!

    Any used car is "buyer beware".
  • rogertc1rogertc1 Member Posts: 66
    I don't agree with tomcat. Why buy such an old one?? You maybe paid $1200. for it? I got a perfect 1999-24V with 67K or only $6500. Dealers give them away. I have had no problems with it.
    For quality is really great.
  • phatbunsphatbuns Member Posts: 20
    wow, rogertc, you make me feel used. I paid $4500 for my '96 wagon with 80K!
    I love it, though, seems like a cream puff so far...
  • rogertc1rogertc1 Member Posts: 66
    Yes sir there are bargins to be had out there. Mine has a power adjustable seat too which is nice because if I raise it all the way up I don't have to plop my old fat butt down into it. Almost like getiing into a SUV....just almost however. I am thinking of finding another one because they are so inexpensive and great wagons.

  • phatbunsphatbuns Member Posts: 20
    Absolutely! I adjust the seat up all the way, not exactly like having an SUV, but it helps visibility. I shopped hard for an SUV (Rav4, Forrester, etc), but they are all either too tiny, or too expensive. They are also NOISY!
    I find the Taurus to be much more pleasant to drive/ ride in than any of the SUV's I tried, and it also carries more stuff.
  • hbrandnerhbrandner Member Posts: 2
    I have a 2001 Sable GL Wagon. Are the passenger switches for the power locks and windows supposed to be illumated at night? I'm not sure whether mine are burned out or what. All the switches on the driver door work, but the other three door switches are dark.
  • ehennessehenness Member Posts: 92
    Are you locking out the power windows? If you lock them out (so passengers can't play with the window switches), the illumination for the passenger switches goes out. Unlock the power window switches, the lights should go back on; that's normal. If not, there's a problem. This only applies to window switches. There's a power lock switch only on each front door, and the passenger lock switch doesn't go out, to my knowledge, unless there's no power to the switch (in other words, only if you have a problem).

    I believe the lighting is by LED, which last a long time and do not easily burn out.
  • hbrandnerhbrandner Member Posts: 2
    Thank you Ed for that explanation. That sure explains it. Yes, the passenger windows were locked out. I spent a long time going through the owners manual trying to read about that feature, but found no mention of it. Thanks again for your post - really appreciate it.
  • bg729bg729 Member Posts: 6
    Subject: new sable wagon-6 seater- how is heat??
    Date: 1/31/2003 8:24 PM Eastern Standard Time
    From: Heidi 929
    Message-id: <[email protected]>

    I am trying to decide whether to buy an LS mercury sable wagon. How long does it take the car to warm up inside? There is 79 cubic feet to heat. Does the back seat get warm enough. The six seater does not have an A/C vent in the rear for the summer, either.
    If you own the car. please share your experience. I don't want to buy a car that is an icebox- I have some medical issues. I rather cough up more $$ and get a Saab. Thanks in advance.
  • rogertc1rogertc1 Member Posts: 66
    BG729, My Taurus wagon warms up just fine. I suggest you stop at a dealer and try one. How cold is cold?? Only got to -7 this year and wagon warmed up just fine. It is just a mid-sized car. With the Ford there us more dealer support in the USA. Saab dealers are hundreds of miles from where I live.
  • danielj6danielj6 Member Posts: 285
    My Merc. station wagon warms and cools quickly. No complaints. I'd stay away from Europeans if I were you.
  • bg729bg729 Member Posts: 6
    Thanks to those who responded to my question about the heat in the LS wagon. I got a very nice deal on one yesterday and hope to take possession on Tues. morning.
    Has anyone tried installing removable head rests and cores in the bench seats for extra safety? Has anyone found an aftermarket site that sells mercury sable head rests and cores?? I know you can buy head rests and cores for some European cars.
     Thanks in advance.
  • ehennessehenness Member Posts: 92
    It's not in the '98 manual that I could find either (nor in the service manual). My wife actually noticed it when we were taking a friend and her daughter somewhere. We normally don't lock the windows. My wife noticed the lights were out after I locked out the switches, and asked if I knew they were out. After I locked and unlocked the switches a couple of times, and saw the lights go on and off, we figured it out.
  • rogertc1rogertc1 Member Posts: 66
    Why not just put helmets and pads on the passangers? It will impead putting the back seat down too. Why not just by a big Mercedes they have head rests on the back seat?
  • rogertc1rogertc1 Member Posts: 66
    IMO as far as newer wagons go the Taurus is the biggest and best 2wd other than maybe a Mercedes. They are composed of mainly parts from Americas and are union made. They have the shift lever on the column. I enjoy the room when my dog Peanut and I go places. Most new wagons coming out or available are much smaller and have AWD which is just added maintenance. Example is an Outback..non union and mostly imported.
  • jdiaz2jdiaz2 Member Posts: 16
    I wrote about a failing brake light switch in post #215.

    Well, I managed to make the old switch go about three more weeks before it completely gave up. It looks like the rod which travels to the master cylinder presses against some very tiny standing plastic walls on the brake light switch, and when those little plastic walls wear down beyond a certain point (from the brake rod pushing on them), the switch stops functioning. We are talking thousandths of an inch here, as far as the "wear limit" goes.

    My car is out of warranty. I found that my dealer would warranty the switch they installed under recall for 12 months/12K miles, but it turned out this switch had been in there longer than that. I think the replacement switch cost $16.

  • revkarevka Member Posts: 1,750
    and thanks for updating us on your situation. ;-)

    Hatchbacks & Wagons Boards
  • nelsoncmnelsoncm Member Posts: 103
    In response to rogertc1's rather sarcastic comments about not needing rear bench seat headrests (please, "get a Mercedes"?) , I too found this to be a problem in my Sable wagon. The back seat is fine for kiddie passengers or babies in carseats, but are NOT comfortable or supportive for adult passengers. No back support, no neck support, which ain't too comfy on a long drive. The seat back is fairly high, but Ford could at least add some curvature to the seat or seatback or maybe build the head rests in like say, Saturn does, where they don't obstruct rear view. It was an issue I had with my old Sable. Sometimes people with wagons do haul more than just the kids!
  • rogertc1rogertc1 Member Posts: 66
    It would seem you have found the(snicker)Saturn to fit your needs for rear headrests. If you trade your OLD Sable in on one your issue is repaired. This has never been an issue to myself or passangers. I don't need AWD on a Taurus either.
    Saturn L Series :
    sysop "Saturn L-Series Wagons" Feb 28, 2003 12:33am
  • nelsoncmnelsoncm Member Posts: 103
    First of all, there were a lot of things I really liked about my Sable, the backseat just wasn't one of them. Secondly, can you drop the snot nose tone in your posts? Or do you work for Ford?
    And p.s., I didn't trade the Sable in for a Saturn, it was just an example of a backseat headrest that wouldn't obstruct visibility, since some folks have expressed that concern. Although if Ford put in removeable headrests, as some wagon makers have, drivers could have the choice. But then that would drive up the cost, yeah, I know, can't have that, blah, blah, blah......
  • rogertc1rogertc1 Member Posts: 66
    Why slam it then?? Not that mny wagons out there in that price range and size. Did you get a SUV?
    (P.S. I am not anti- SUV's as I have one.)
  • rogertc1rogertc1 Member Posts: 66
    Your dream car is a Mercedes E-Class wagon.
  • nelsoncmnelsoncm Member Posts: 103
    Nobody is "slamming" anything. Suggestion for improvement. It's slightly different. My dream car isn't a Mercedes, simply one that doesn't have to be in the shop every other month. Have a nice day.
  • rogertc1rogertc1 Member Posts: 66
    My dream car isn't a Mercedes
    Sorry but you said it in your stats. I have found older cars do take more maintenance than brand new ones too.
  • wildweswildwes Member Posts: 5
    The horizontal bump outs (whatever they are called) on the door panels sure do attract dings. Does anyone know of a trim kit to install some sort of protective strips?
  • revkarevka Member Posts: 1,750
    To all owners - Anyone interested in sharing some details about your Ford Taurus or Mercury Sable experience? It would be nice to see some vehicle updates in here. If you'd like, you can list your:

    1. Model Year & Total miles to date.

    2. MPG & Driving habits. Any differences in mpg since you first purchase?

    3. Any additional accessories & mods?

    4. Maintenance issues to date.

    5. Any interesting trips or cargo experiences?

    6. Overall impressions pro/cons of your vehicle since you first purchased....

    Share as much (or as little) information as you'd like. I'm sure other owners/shoppers passing through here, would find the information quite interesting, if not helpful.

    Also, you can report back every 3-5k to update again. Who's game? ;-)

    Thanks for your participation!

    Hatchbacks & Wagons Boards
  • danielj6danielj6 Member Posts: 285
    My 2000 gold Sable LX Premium station wagon this month turns 3
    years old.  I bought it new at a Brooklyn Lincoln-Mercury dealer. 
    I traded a Mazda MPV for it which I had purchased new in 1998. 
    Paid for the S.W. $22.000 minus the trade.  Purchase experience
    left much to be desired.  I complained with Ford headquarters directly which interceded somewhat with the dealer.

    My Sable is currently giving me 20 mpg in overall city/highway driving, but only if I control my urge to step on the gas with a heavy foot.  Very powerful motor, adequate passing power, good emergency handling, good brakes, roomy interior for passengers
    and cargo.  The well under the cargo area is a convenient way to store small valuables.  I placed a large rubber mat to cover the
    lid so hinges are not seen by prying eyes.  The lid easily folds
    to become two seats. 

    My car is fully equipped except for a moon roof and CD changer. 
    It now has 21,000 miles, and it has been serviced mainly by
    dealer's service department for scheduled maintenance, 2 or 3 recalls, to realign the lift gate and to fix the hood latch.
    Both jobs were done under warranty.  I began using dealer
    service when I realized that the private shop I used to take all
    my cars to was actually charging me more than this Lincoln-Mercury dealer, quite a bit more.  Go figure.  By the way, dealer service
    has been quite good indeed.  Courteous, efficient and on time. 
    And although, my purchase experience was lousy service made up
    for it.

    Accessories are very good.  A/C cools quickly and heating warms
    the whole car fast.  Leather seats are cold in winter and hot in summer, but relatively easy to clean.  Passenger in the middle
    front seat is not comfortable during long trips.  Second seat
    without head rests represents a glaring mistake on the part of
    Ford. I'd be concerned with putting 2 kids in the rear most seat, even for short trips.  Not safe at all.  Adjustable pedals are a
    good feature.  Ergonomics are good.  Front seating positions for driver and passenger are fine.  Access to the rear is awkward; I'
    ve hit my head on several occasions while entering.  However, the seat is comfortable with adequate support and leg room is ample. 
    As said previously, the engine is powerful but I do not find it
    all that smooth. Ride feels firm and solid. Transmission shifts
    smoothly, but not silky smooth. At times is difficult to move
    the lever from from "Park".

    Initially when I bought this station wagon was for transporting
    my kids and their friends on short and long trips.  However, my
    boys decided they'd never be seen in such a vehicle. One of the
    told me that the Honda Accord is more comfortable that my "ugly looking station wagon". The other one said that it looks like a "little yellow taxi".  None of this is true, in my opinion. 
    Not a head turner by any means but it's good looking and is also adequate transportation at a reasonable price.

    My Sable feels solid, safe, is very roomy, not tiring on log
    trips, relatively low insurance, (not attractive for joy riders
    or professional thieves). I find it difficult to parallel park
    here in New York where parking is at a premium. Or perhaps I
    should practice parking it using cones.

    My bumper to bumper warranty expires this month, and I'm very
    sorry I didn't buy an extended warranty 3 years ago.  Now if
    anything goes wrong ( and things will go wrong)is on me. 
    Otherwise, I could trade and absorb depreciation on a car that
    has received good care and has low miles.  Selling it privately
    would give me $1000 more than what I would get on trade.
  • revkarevka Member Posts: 1,750
    Hi danielj6- Thanks for your 3 year/21k vehicle report! I'm sure others passing through here will appreciate your detailed notes. Also, glad to hear your Sable LX has been serving you well. ;-)

    So who's next? Anyone else have a vehicle update to share? Thanks for your participation!

    Hatchbacks & Wagons Boards
  • jdiaz2jdiaz2 Member Posts: 16
    My wife, MIL, and two-week old daughter were rear-ended in our wagon on Saturday. They were stopped at a light when a lane-changing minivan failed to notice the 15 cars stopped ahead of him. The police estimate was that he was doing around 20mph at impact, and the bruise across my MIL's chest from her seat belt indicates that they took a pretty good hit. My wife and daughter appear to be fine.

    The Taurus took a hard shot to the left rear bumper, breaking the muffler mount to the unibody, and collapsing the bumper and the metal support underneath. The unibody channels don't look like they were touched at all, which is amazing considering that they are protected by what amounts to a couple of flat pieces of plastic and metal.

    It looks like most of the repair will be replacement of parts, with little, if any straightening of anything required. The rear doors and hatch work just fine, and the car drove just the same on the way home from the hospital. By comparison, the offending minivan had a crumpled hood, fender, and bumper.

    Now the insurance fun begins.....

  • nelsoncmnelsoncm Member Posts: 103
    Firstly, I HAD a Sable wagon, traded it in about 6 months ago for an import ( a Saab). What ultimately got me to trade it in was parts that broke, having to take it in about twice as often as I should have (the car was only 2 1/2 years old) and a bad dealer service experience.
    BUT, I like to think I just got a Sable that wasn't put together that well. My husband called it a "Friday car", meaning the plant had to make quota and slapped my little red wagon together on a friday afternoon. Who knows?
    I had the rear license plate mechanism (not the holder, the entire mechanism) fall off after only a couple of months, the roof rail cross bar broke after about 6 useages (and I had to fight with Ford to get them to fix under warranty), and my drivers side seatbelt twisted up on me out of nowhere and I was told that it was never installed properly to begin with! Plus, the brake lamp switch went out on me 3x. (It was one of at least 5 service recalls I received and they couldn't fix it right.)
    On the plus side, I loved the room, cubbies for everything, the storage bin under the cargo floor, the smooth ride and transmission and overall handling. I miss those things now that I don't have them.
    Oh, my Saab wagon is nice, has every gizmo under the sun, but it's small and harder to drive. And has lousy cupholders! But it's better put together. And that won out.
    However, for the money, you can't beat the Sable and I'd try one again, because I've seen new ones on the dealer lot and I can tell they're just put together better than the one I had. There was just something wrong with mine from the beginning, but I like to think it was a anomoly.
  • zazuflyzazufly Member Posts: 1
    I am considering purchasing either a 2003 Taurus or Sable wagon and would appreciate any feedback on how these two wagons handle in heavy rain and snow. Thanks in advance.
  • danielj6danielj6 Member Posts: 285
    My Merc. Sable handles superbly in rain and snow. I've engaged the traction control on several occasions, which I found to be very good.
  • pjreporterpjreporter Member Posts: 32
    I'm a reporter with a major business daily seeking mercury sable drivers to comment on their experiences with the car for a weekly auto feature.

    If you're interested in talking for 5 minutes about the car, please email me at [email protected]
  • dmcgowandmcgowan Member Posts: 4
    I am currently test driving a '97 Sable GS wagon. I have it until Monday night (today is Saturday). I'll probably have a used car check performed at a local dealer/mechanic. Can anybody offer any thoughts on what to look for on this car? I've seen complaints about transmission problems. Does anyone have any info top suggest how widespread the problems are? Consumer Reports gives the tranny an "Average" rating. BTW, the car has 63,000 miles on it, and has an extremely well-maintained interior and exterior. The current offer on the table at the dealer is $6600 out the door. Any thoughts will be appreciated. Thanks!
  • revkarevka Member Posts: 1,750
    You can check in Edmunds' Maintenance Guide for recalls and TSBs (technical service bulletins) on your 97 Sable.

    Does the dealer have a copy of previous service records? Also, with the vin, you may be able to find out Ford 800 Customer Service what kind of warranty work has been done on the vehicle. Others here may have more to add.... Good luck, and please keep us posted on your purchase.

    Hatchbacks & Wagons Boards
  • mywreckmywreck Member Posts: 5
    #251 alluded to transmission complaints, but I think that may be for older model years (pre-96). I have the 24valve V-6 engine (which I highly recommend), which may have a different transmission than the regular V-6. I recently did a stupid thing which probably would have toasted most transmissions, but mine seems to be fine. Towed a boat on the highway, and allowed the trans to be in overdrive. But when towing, the trans goes in and out of overdrive due to load, and this creates a lot of heat. Bottom line is I "blew out" almost all the fluid. Actually didn't realize it until I stopped for gas. Filled fluid back in, babied the car some (and stopped using overdrive until I dropped the boat off). No further problems, and this car has 120K miles!
  • rogertc1rogertc1 Member Posts: 66
    Try to get 1999 or newer. 6600 for a 97 is kind of high. You should be able to get it for 5500. It is a used car buyers market out there and wagons just are not the hottest in demand vehical.
  • joelogjoelog Member Posts: 11
    I have a 2001 Taurus SES Wagon w/TC and ABS
    This is the first time I've had these options on a car. I previously owned a 1989 and 1995 Taurus Wagon. Kept them for 6 years and 120k miles. Anyway the ABS and TC got a good workout this winter and made driving in the snow much easier. However, I notice that at times on dry pavement if I am making a turn from a stop and the road is bumpy I've had the TC engage which in turns reduces power and can make for some tense few seconds when you are trying to accelerate out of the way of an oncomiing vehicle. Has anyone else experienced this? Would it be safer to have the TC off when not needed? It currently is on automatically and you have to turn it off manually.
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Member Posts: 1,380
    Have had 84 Topaz Diesel, 86 Sable LS, 92 Taurus GL and recently picked up 97 Sable GL wagon. I need to do some maintenance such as oil, transmission, and coolant flush and fills, otherwise seems ok on powertrain. Although has clunk when shifting out of gear. Saw that a TSB exists on it but wonder what the fix might be. Also weather has gotten warmer and AC doesn't seem to really cool the inside. It does seem to blow cold though. Also the car is far noisier than expected compared to the sedans I've previously had. Unfortunately the owners manual is missing. I've seen posts on a filter, how do I no if I have one. Already ran across the intermittent door ajar. Unfortunately it ocurred right after tracking and repairing a cut wire (obvious sabattage) to a rear speaker and repairing the front R/S speaker by aligning the voice coil, so I thought it was something I did and spent many hours chasing a problem that went away on it own. Also noted and wondering if anyone knows why the wagon uses 2 PSI less in its tires than the sedan. I would have thought it to require more because of load. Also wondering if it is possible to get the computer to puke out its codes and self diagnostics like my 92 Taurus. That one will run a complete check including cylinder balance. BTW, the Taurus has 230,000 and is running strong, despite it has been driven by two daughters. The 86 Sable broke the first gear band at 130,000 and I rebuilt it myself. She itched for something newer at 160,000 and I saw the boy who bought it driving it 2 years later. Unfortunately, newer seems to mean worse, in particular with the amount of cheap plastic that doesn't last. The 92, other than routine maintenance and driver inflicted problems (the two daughters)has had a water pump and oil pan gasket. That's why I took a chance on this 97, but maybe should have looked closer. Also thoughts on adding window tinting or insulation appreciated and if anyone knows where I could find something like a retractable cover for the cargo, third seat area.
  • strokeoluckstrokeoluck Member Posts: 99
    I haven't had any issues w/my 2000 Taurus w/TC, and I have about 103,000 miles on it. I always leave it on.
  • joelogjoelog Member Posts: 11
    Thanks for your reply strokeoluck. Basically, I'm pleased with the car and it's been pretty trouble free. Just those few occasions when there's like a ripple in the road I guess the tire loses some traction and the TC engages momentarily and as I said it does reduce the power while doing so which I guess is normal but can be a bit hairy for a first time user of this option.
  • bjzyhbjzyh Member Posts: 1
    Hi, all,

    I have a 95 Taurus wagon, and I found the coolant temperature gauge always in the area around the "C". Although the "Normal" take a long range, but I still think there must be something wrong with the temperature sensor. The reason is even after driving more than 200 miles, I still feel the coolant is cool if I open the cap of the coolant reservior and put my finger.

    So I wonder how about your temperature gauge performan if you have the same model car? does it always stay in the middle of the gauge after the car warm up and drive a while? or it stay around "C"? and if I want to check and repair myself, how to begin? I worry about the engine will overheat if I want take a long trip.

    Thanks for any response and have a good day.

    Best regards
  • joelogjoelog Member Posts: 11
    #259 bjzyh
    I had a '95 Taurus Wagon. As I remember the coolant guage was closer to the C than the H in the normal range. My 2001 Taurus stays in the middle. If you're getting hot air from the heating system then the coolant should be circulating. Are the upper and lower hoses hot? I don't think you should be able to open the radiator cap after driving 200 miles. It should be too hot to touch and if you opened it you would probaby have hot coolant spraying out under pressure in your face.
    Good luck.
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