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Ford Taurus/Mercury Sable Wagons



  • dmcgowandmcgowan 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 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 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 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 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 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.
  • 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 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 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 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.
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    Changed oil and flushed. My was it dirty. Not as black as diesel oil but far dirtier. Refilled with 1/2 synthetic and regular oil and engine seems to run quiter. Also discovered that the cooling system had been ignored. Couldn't find the drain plug so decided to pull the line to the reservoir bottle at the T in the lower radiator hose. The metal nipple disintegrated from the rust. So that orange colored coolant wasn't antifreeze, but rust in the system. Now Ford should have its [non-permissible content removed] kicked for engineering simple things like hoses in such a way that it requires dealer purchase. But I beat them this time. I carefully filed a narrow slit in the aluminum ferrule, factory crimped, to hold one end of the nipple in. I carefully removed it and discovered that each end of this nipple is a different size and set about finding nipples with ips threads to connect to heavy brass male and female garden hose fittings. Using a red washer for high temp, I could then put a pair of wrenches to the connection without worry of dammage to the hoses. It cost $7.89 in parts, but I missed sizing one of the brass nipples and in exchanging it, I discovered a cheaper alternative. The local hardware store carried the plated steel barbs used in the old black PVC tubing (comes in 100' coils). Since the condition of the hoses was still good, but obviously had some life used, I decided to try the $1.69 barb. Despite the slight mismatch because both ends are the same size, it works beautifully. On the crimped end, I put the ferrule back in place and used a little aluminum duct tape to replace the filed groove and then clamped with a stainless steel screw clamp. I carefully worked until I was sure the ferrule was as tight as previously. The other end, I just used the original spring clamp to hold the nipple at the T. (BTW, $24.62 for the replacement and it was NIS) I flushed with heavy duty flush for two days and had no trouble draining it from the new connection and no leaks after 1000 miles. Wow was that flush black. I put the new GO5 antifreeze for Fords in and was surprised that it is almost clear. The temperature guage runs steady at about 1/3 of the range. Because of the previous neglect, I also added FPPF 4000 which has protection additives and anti-cavitation ingredients. Cavitation isn't a major problem with gas engines but in diesels the coolant actually comes away from the metal and then slams back against it. That jack-hammering will eventually eat a hole through newer and thinner engine walls. Also it decreases cooling efficientcy. It seems to be working as I noted that the coolant temp needle pointed to a precise point on the MPH and it never moved, once warmed, in hot stop and go city or highway. BTW, spark knock will certainly cause cavitation.
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    My wife just bought this for $2800 including 1 year finance. It has more miles, 108,000, and I'm learning it was neglected. Check the coolant to make sure it is fresh and of the proper strength, and not loosing any. Preferably not the green stuff or Sierra since you are supposed to change them annually. Have used the orange for years without trouble, and recently tried the new Ford Zerox, but too new to tell. Look inside the oil fill cap and cap hole, on the dipstick for unusal residue. Check transmission fluid for color and smell and put a few drops on white paper to compare. If you don't know what it should look like, buy a quart, approximately 1/1000 the cost of a rebuild. And a very good indicator of true mileage, the windshield. Check to see if it is the origianl. Most replacements will not be Ford. Next, thoroughly clean and check for sand pitting and haze. This shows up mostly driving into a low sun and can make it very hard to see. The amount of damage will very by location and type of driving. High speed causes more damage. Snowy climates will probably have less and arrid sandy climates like Arizona more. Here in Savannah, GA most cars, and it varies by model as well, will need a new one around a 100,000 miles. Comparing to your experience and other known vehicles is a very good indicator of a roll back. Yes it's illegal, but still quite easy to do. Have it put up on a rack and checked for bad suspension parts, leaks, busted CV boots, cracking and torn boots on suspension parts and any other signs of damage. This one has a exhaust leak when cold, so not noticed when purchased. It has a TSP about such a problem near the converter, but Meineke says it wouldn't go away when warm if that was it. They think it is the rear manifold ($900), but I think they are wrong. Will need to examine when cold. Also had door alignment problems (from factory) causing air leaks and noise. Carefully realigning has fixed that problem, but still seems to have excessive air noise comparing to 92 Taurus and 95 Buick Regal. Also the manual is wrong on the location of the cabin air filter, on passenger not driver side and thus doesn't require removing wiper arms. This one was never serviced. It was packed full of dust, dirt, and pollen to the point it was laying a 1/2 thick on top. And the most important thing on any vehicle, the tires. I noted that mine were mostly worn, 4/32 of usuable left, and didn't have the most desirable tread pattern for wet roads and standing water. Unfortunately I didn't look close at the speed rating. The originals are T rated and from other posts are supposed to be softer riding than say an S or H. I couldn't even find a rating on these and probably why I missed it. Also they seem to have excessive road noise, besides a slow leak from a nail. A number of small paint chips and scratches in the bumpers which I can probably handle with touchup paint. Also the floor mats were missing and it seems the original color are not available, damn. And the cooling seems inadequate on a hot day. And has an intermittent door switch problem on the rear and at least one other door.
       All these problems are probably running some of you to buy new, but remember, big payments, high insurance, and a car in the shop for covered repairs is no treat either. You will have to make your best quess, I think I will be able to fix most of my problems without major cost. God willing and a little help from you kind people here.
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    Sounds like you have a definite problem. From your description, it sounds like a missing or stuck open thermostat. Which engine? Also I think the 95 uses the same computer system as the 92. If so, putting a jumper across two pins on the under hood connector will force it to flash out the codes on the service engine light. Engine to be at temp when this is done, and then you start it and it will run a series of tests to look for other problems. About midway you step on the brake, accelerator, and turn the wheel momentarily for inputs from these circuits. Upon completing the tests it will flash out more codes, either indicating all is good or pinpointing a problem area. At this point, you can choose to momentarily push the accelerator to the floor (a quick tap) and it will run a cylinder balance test. The output will indicate which cylinders are out of balance if any. I'm very impressed with its accuracy and it has saved me a small fortune on the 92 Taurus. Running this test should indicate if the engine is outside the normal operating temperature. If it is not, then you might start looking at the temp gauge sensor or the instrument cluster if the gauge appears to be wrong. Also you might try running the diagnostic cold, just to make sure the temp sensor for the computer isn't stuck. Some manuals will give a hot and cold resistance, checked with an ohm meter, for final check before running and buying nonreturnable parts.
  • I want to trade in my 2001 Taurus wagon. Dealers don't even want to quote me a price they'll pay. They don't want the car. This is more than one dealer. They're telling me that the market is flooded with Taurus' and they don't want to get stuck with it. I'm never buying another Ford again....if I am ever able to buy another car.
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    Try taking your vehicle to a different area where the used vehicle market is not as satiated. On my last purchase/trade-in, I was able to get a much better offer on my trade-in by driving to a dealership in another city... 40 miles away.

    Also, have you considered selling privately? Here are some articles from Edmunds' Selling Tips Section that you may find helpful. Lastly, please be aware that car ads are not allowed in these discussions. Here's a page from Edmunds that can direct you to some online selling sources. Good luck. ;-)

    Hatchbacks & Wagons Boards
  • Its something to consider. I'm just frustrated about how much the car has depreciated. I should have read the Editor's Review from Edmunds before buying...only 5.5. I could have done better than that.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    There are very few if any cars that you will not take a bath on in depreciation in the first two years, especially in a buyer's market-a slow economy and a flood of rebates on new cars coupled with a flood of recent model used cars due to high sales volumes of new cars in the last 3-4 years.

    It might make sense for anyone who wants to drive late model cars all the time to get into leasing rather than purchasing. Even then, however, you will never beat the person who buys new and drives the car a long time, or who buys slightly used cars where a lot of the initial depreciation has been paid for by someone else.
  • fdthirdfdthird Posts: 352
    Over the years I have taken a bath on a Toyota (traded in two years)a Volvo (5 years) and a Ford Van (traded in 4 years). I think most folks will be disappointed at what their used car is worth unless they own a very hot car. Yea, if you want to trade often, this is one thing that makes leasing look good. The best way is to keep the car for its life!
  • Yes, car do depreciate. But some cars depreciate a lot more than others. I should have done a little bit more homework. Its very bad when a dealer doesn't want the car at all....refuses to buy it or take it as a trade on a new car, even though its in great shape. I have a 2001...far from ancient. I think Ford is thinking short term. They are all about volume right now, which will hurt them in the long term. In a few years, they are going to have a hard time finding people to buy their new cars. You can get used Fords for a song.
  • I may have missed something but WHY do you want to trade in a 2001? I've got 104k on my 2000 and it's still running strong. It will be paid off in about nine months and I hope to drive it until either a) my wife refuses to see it in the driveway (and it still looks darn good though the sun has taken a bit of shine out of the old girl's paint; I park it outside) or b) it drops dead of some major ailment.

    And more importantly, when you went to buy this car, did you not see that there were 5000 Tauruses on the lot!?!? Where did you think those cars were going to end up? In the Hudson River? It's a well known fact that the used market for Tauruses is horrible. But guess what? That's why they're so d**n cheap in the FIRST place! I hate to say that $15k-$20k buys you a throwaway car, but in the case of the Taurus, $15k-$20k buys you a throwaway car. Don't get me wrong, my Taurus is a fine car but it's not going to win many prestigious awards. It's a point-A to point-B type car that looks "ok" in your driveway or at the golf course.

    I'm so tired of people complaining about their cars w/no logic behind their thoughts. Do a little RESEARCH upfront my friend. Best of luck in your next search. I'm sure Ford will miss you.

    - Rob
  • As you can see, I did admit to not doing research up front. This is obviously what Ford counts on. I've learned my lesson and am telling other about my experience so they don't make the same mistake I did. I want to get rid of my car because I moved into Washington, DC 6 months ago from the suburbs and park on the street. I'd like to now have a smaller car.

    Thank you for repointing out what I've already admitted to...and in a very rude manner. I'm sure Ford won't miss me...and that will be their ultimate downfall.
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    I was also going to point out that sosborne301 had admitted to his mistake, so let's take it easy on the criticism. Okay? Also, just a reminder to everyone that the subject of this discussion is about the Ford Taurus/Mercury Sable, and that should be the main focus here. Let's avoid making each other the topic of discussion.

    To sosborne301- Other than the depreciation factor, just curious to know how the vehicle has been for you overall...?

    If anyone else here would like to share some details about their Taurus or Sable wagon, I posted a template in Post 243 that you might want to use for detailed vehicle report. Thanks for your participation! ;-)

    Hatchbacks & Wagons Boards
  • Thanks Revka,

    I haven't really had any problems with the car. It has been a reliable workhorse. I don't love the way it drives in city traffic. The steering is a little soft and I end up having to brake a lot compared to other cars I've driven. When I lived in the suburbs, it was fine, but now that I'm in the city I want something a little more nimble and easy to park. I'll keep it for a while though as I can't seem to get rid of it. Needless to say, my parrallel parking skills have improved.
  • fdthirdfdthird Posts: 352
    You might not have as much of a loss but you'd still find that any 2 year old car is worth a lot less than you'd like.

    Sorry you feel that way, but I feel the same way with Toyota...who's wrong???
  • I guess it all comes down to degrees. I'd rather lose less money than more.
  • nelsoncmnelsoncm Posts: 103
    I traded in my 2000 Sable wagon (the same thing) in October 2002 and got all of $10K for it from my Saab dealer-- I think it cost me $24 out the door with financing when I bought it. Pretty sad for a 2 1/2 year old car.
    I got a Saab 9-5 wagon, which is in fact smaller and more nimble -- you'd probably love it for where you live now. I live in the burbs or Orange County Calif. and I actually miss my boaty Sable with the soft steering and brakes.
    Anyway, private sale may be the way to go, and I'll tell you a good resource --- find a local Mom's Club or something similar in your area. Maybe post ads at some of the local daycares or preschools. The Taurus/Sable wagon is a great family car, especially with 2 or 3 small kids. And I hear they're actually quite popular back east.
    Good luck.
  • I'll take your advice and give it a try. I hear Saabs can take quite a beating as well with reguard to resale...but maybe they are better now. I think I'm going to go with a Japanese car this time. They're not sexy or prestigious, but they last and have pretty good resale value. I'm think I'm going to look at the Outback.
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    For those interested in comparing the Ford Taurus with other wagons, come join us in this new discussion: Malibu Maxx vs. Jetta vs. Forester vs. Mazda6 vs. Taurus. Thanks for your participation.

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

    Host of Hatchbacks & Wagons
  • My leased Merc wagon has been a such a joy, I'm going to lease a 2004! Do your research, brothers & sisters. You'll find that few wagons (or crossover vehicles)yield value for price that compares. Especially with all the optional goodies. Specifically look at the cargo-room statistics. Conservative - even clunky-looking car, but can't be topped for commuting cross the country 1700 miles each way twice a year stuffed full of household goods,and hauling around two adults and five kids between times.
    Of course, God bless those of you prefer vans. Long may you live in Stepford.
  • Mileage 60K
    MPG: 22/25 (city/hwy)
    The mpg has stayed pretty steady over the years.
    $400: To fix the mount holding pressurised device holding up wagon rear hatch when it broke.
    $3000 for transmission job this summer.
    Thankfully, both covered by Extended Warranty (National Warranty Direct).

    We have taken this car out on long drives from Minneapolis to Mt Rushmore and Chicago. This has been a great car overall.
    THis is our second Ford Wagon. Earlier, we had a Taurus wagon that was sadly totalled in a crash.

    We have had this car since Aug 1997, bought it new and paid about $20K. I just checked and found that this car is worth $4000! Bit of a shock to see it this low but I guess that's the way things are!

    We really like this wagon. We believe it is still the only one with a rear folding seat to add 2 extra passengers in a pinch. Very useful to transport kids to games!

    The ride is really smooth..this is important because my wife is very sensitive to vibration...she got carsick during the ride when we tested the Chrysler minivan!

    I am glad I took out a 0 deductable extended warranty. I would recommend this to all Ford owners. I would replace this car once this gets to the end of the warranty period..and possibly buy another Ford Wagon with rear fold-down seat!
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