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Ford Taurus/Mercury Sable Sedans Pre-2008



  • stnelstnel Posts: 338
    if the Taurus has an aluminum or steel head gasket. I've been trying to find out and can't find the info in any specs.
  • bronsonbbronsonb Posts: 170
    Thanks shank6 and larryn2 for your advice. I confess, I have not read the owner's manual cover to cover, but I have read sections (actually brought it to work with me today to review it). Thanks for your advice. I've picked up an over-the-counter fuel injector cleaner. If that doesn't work, I'll give the professionals a try.

    Now for my question. I talked to Ford yesterday about recommended service upcoming for my Taurus. At 30K miles they recommend a $475 service appointment where they do everything from an alignment to a transmission fluid and filter change to a tune up. I thought the Taurus was on a 100,000 mile tune up interval and asked the service guy about that. He replied that the 100,000 tune up interval only applied to the spark plug wires. That yanking feeling must be someone pulling my leg. I checked the scheduled maintenance guide, and it mentions nothing about a tune up OR a transmission fluid and filter change at 30K miles. What are your thoughts? I've heard from other Taurus owners that having the transmission fluid and filter changed every year is a good idea, but why tune up the car if it doesn't need it. Additionally, I take my car to NTB for all alignments and tire service, so Ford can stop pushing that as well. It sounds like this dealer is trying to get as much $$$ out of me as possible. Just want to hear what other Taurus owners have experienced. Thanks!
  • fdthirdfdthird Posts: 352
    First, you didn't take the car to Ford you took it to a Ford Dealer. I think that makes a big difference.

    I have never gone to a dealer's service department for any of the many brands of car I have owned over the years and not had them pushing services on you far and above what the manufacturer recommends. Sometimes the bill for a simple 15 or 20,000 mile servicing is so much you start thinking about a home equity loan!

    While leaving the plugs in the block for 100,000 miles may be a bit crazy (my mechanic tells me tails of the fun they have trying to break these plugs loose)and you may have your own preferences on the changing of oil and filters and the like, following the schedule that the car maker has outlined in the owner's and or service manual I think is the way to go. If you read the long term tests most car mags do, you'll see that they follow the manifacturer's recommendations for service during the test periods.

    I love my present Ford dealer and have bought 3 cars for our family in the past year but I also have a relationship with a great indipendant mechanic who I trust. Taking my 2000 Mustang convertible to the dealer for the 6,000 mile oil change cost me $75. Taking it to my mechanic for the 9,000 mile change cost me $30.

    The last thing I'll say is that I really doubt that they do all the items on even the Ford checklist. I know my Mom just took her Toyota Camry in for its 5,000 mile service and got it back needing 15 lbs of air in 2 tires.... checking the air pressure is one of the things they say they do!

    Look, I know they are trying to make a buck and they do have a lot of overhead but I think spending money for things you don't need or that aren't done is not my idea of how to spend my maintenance budget!

    Just my opinion.
  • larryn2larryn2 Posts: 18
    well about dealers, over priced and dont do enough for the buck. I just bought a 1997 taurus 43000 i just did a major service,coolant flush,trans flush/check, wheel rotate/balance, plugs, wires, injector cleaner, fuel filter.start fresh, stay well thats my opinion stay with the manual keep a good record of all you do to the car local shops are cheeper than dealer. you dont need proof of maintenance for warranty work . i never take my ford to the dealer for service just warranty work (mabey thats why it lasted so long ha ha ) larry
  • shank6shank6 Posts: 64
    that yanking feeling sounds more like the opening scene from the movie Jaws!!. I'm not planning any transmission fluid changes or tune ups to my 99 DE in the near future. ( 34,982 and counting)The service departments are what keep the dealerships alive. They may tell you it's car sales, but I equate that to the bar syndrome. The foods' cheap cause the alcohol funds the profits. I do my own oil and filter changes on my Taurus every 6000, and I have a mechanic near me whose opinion I trust. I'm still on the same page as larryn2. When in doubt, consult..... the owners manual!!!.
    Good luck buddy!!
  • danielj6danielj6 Posts: 285
    I always took my cars to a shop that I trust. I
    have the deepest mistrust about dealer svce depts
    as I don't believe they do anything to deserve
    to charge me high rates other than to meet their overhead. My mechanic, on the other hand, owns his shop and he used to work for Mercedes Benz in Germany. I've been going to him for the last 9 years. He doesn't work for free but doesn't overcharge me either. He just follows the manufacturer's service
    schedule, calls me by my first name and really listens to me. Never had a problem with the three new vehicles I brought to him.
  • riswamiriswami Posts: 192
    The owners manual of my 97 GL, Vulcan states change trans fluid every 30k. I had it done at the dealership last time. They used the machine that gets all of it out.

    I have 59k and the gas mileage is good. Not planing on changing the plugs yet. Basically I've changed brake fluid, oil and antifreeze since I bought the car. It's keep insurance.

    I'd carefully weight not changing the trans fluid verse trans failure due to lack of maintenance!
  • larryn2larryn2 Posts: 18
    the trans guy that rebuilds the trans in the cop cars i work on, says the filters get pluged up from normal use and i should change them more offten so we change them at 20,000 miles thats 4 times per the cars life time. cheep ins. its going good so far. larry
  • ehaaseehaase Posts: 328
    According to this week's Automotive News (, in the 2004, Ford will introduce a tall roof wagon with attributes of minivans and SUV's. It will be built in Ford's Chicago Taurus plant. At that time, Ford will build the Taurus (which is supposed to be redesigned for 2004) only in the Atlanta plant and will cut production of the Taurus/Sable in half. I believe that Ford sales are already too concentrated on trucks, and I am not sure if this is a good strategy.
  • stnelstnel Posts: 338
    it shows the Vulcan having cast iron block and heads. That has pretty much been the deciding factor between a Taurus or Impala. The 3.4 L Impala has iron block with aluminum heads. Thanks again for info!
  • iusecadiusecad Posts: 287
    wow. Good! I'm glad I could help. :)

    I wish I could make up my mind. :(

    The only thing stopping me is if I can give up having a truck. I know others who have gone from a truck to a car and are happy, but I have this nagging voice in the back of my head...

    on Tuesday my truck gets $400 more in repairs. I spent $700 just before X-Mas soooo, maybe that'll shut that voice up!
  • stnelstnel Posts: 338
    I don't know anything about trucks as I've always owned cars but I imagine it would be a difficult transition. I was in a traffic jam on the interstate a few days ago and it took me over an hour to go a mile (to the next exit where I got off). All these trucks and SUV's were driving across the grass median to go in opposite direction. At that time, I wish I had a truck! I'd be afraid to try that in a car.

    Anyway, good luck with your car woes.
  • fdthirdfdthird Posts: 352
    After driving trucks for the better part of 17 years (an 84 Toyota van, '87 Ford E-150, and a '97 E-150 Hi Top) my wife decided she'd had it with trucks. In Dec we ordered a 2001 Taurus SEL. We've had it for about 2 months now and we are very happy. We too agonized about making the transition and when we really analyzed it we figured there be about 6 or 7 days a year we'd miss the van. We decided we could live with that and went the car route.

    The Taurus SEL is a great car and its a real pleasure to be driving a car that can go anywhere (even elevated parking structures) in style!

    Good luck with your decision... look at it really hard and see if the truck need is really there... then make your decision.
  • stnelstnel Posts: 338
    fdthird - I imagine the engine on your SEL is a Duratec. I'm looking at the Vulcan engine. I believe it will have cast iron block and cylinder heads which is what I want. My dad says he'll try to get to a Ford place sometimes next week to look at the engine just to make sure.

    My big decision has been base Impala vs Taurus. In the past, I just bought a car I liked and didn't put all this research into it. Car shopping is supposed to be fun but I find the more research I do the more confusing it gets! I'm buying in May so in another month I'll be out of my misery and will just live with whatever I buy.
  • iusecadiusecad Posts: 287
    well no. I don't need a truck. But 4wd has really been handy this winter. And the road I drive on everyday is as smooth as driving on rail road ties. I haven't really wanted to subject a new car to that.

    But the 27 or so I could get with a Taurus sounds much better than the 14 I'm getting now... On the other hand, my loan will be paid off in December...

    I'm just one of those indecisive types!
  • stnelstnel Posts: 338
    That's pretty bad gas mileage. I can see why you think about buying a car. The main reason I've always had a car is because I have a hard time driving a bigger vehicle. We get a lot of street flooding where I live and trucks work out better from that standpoint (depending on how high the water is). Guess there are advantages/disadvantages either way.
  • iusecadiusecad Posts: 287
    our streets flood too; but we call it snow! ;>
  • ger2138ger2138 Posts: 3
    I'am looking at a 99 Taurus or a 99 4 cylinder 626. Both have about 30k miles and are going for $11,000. Any advice?
  • stnelstnel Posts: 338
    got erased. I bookmarked the forum you told me about in Smart Shopper but it got erased in my bookmarks as well before I could read it. Will try to find it since I'd like to read it.

    Don't know if you saw the post I sent last night, but it said that the problem I had with that dealer was just that particular town I was in. I had the same problem at the Chevy place. The Ford place where I live had 8 LX's on the lot and that's where I think I'll get the best deal. Although I have a two more places I want to go
  • stnelstnel Posts: 338
    I just read the info for the X-plan you mentioned. I calculated a price of $16,090 for the LX (invoice minus $300 holdback minus $1500 rebate). How did you come up with the $300 holdback? Will the dealer give you that info?
  • harmarharmar Posts: 94
    I've owned Mazda (Protege) and Nissan. I keep my cars 8 - 10 years. Major problems seldom arose, but when they did... parts cost an arm and a leg! And in some cases, those parts had to be ordered out of the regional warehouse (Chicago for me). Fortunately, I was generally able to drive the cars till the parts arrived, but I did have to rent a car one time when the part wasn't in stock and the car couldn't be driven. If your dealership is large, perhaps it stocks more parts than mine did. Best wishes.
  • iusecadiusecad Posts: 287
    no, I didn't get to read your post from last night...

    the holdback is 3% of the MSRP listed on the sticker. So, if the MSRP is $19k, then the holdback is $570.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Folks, Town Hall had a severe problem last night, and posts made after sometime yesterday morning disappeared in the process of getting TH up and running again. The technical folks have been working all night - and are still working - trying to get them back.

    I understand some have already been restored, and more may be coming, but there are no promises at this point.

    Please accept our sincerest apologies for this situation and trust that every effort is being made to rectify the problem. Thank you for your patience.

    Sedans and Women's Auto Center Message Boards
  • stnelstnel Posts: 338
    $500 with the X-plan compared to Edmund's TMV price. Is the X-plan strictly for financing a car? It's certainly worth looking into. Thanks for passing this on.
  • iusecadiusecad Posts: 287
    no; it's good for cash or financing.
  • shank6shank6 Posts: 64
    Just wanted to see if anyone's in the same boat as me. Bought my 99 Taurus SE new off the showroom floor. At 13,000 miles I noticed the steering wheel vibrating. Dealer said rotors were warped and had to be machined. The problem re-occured at 23,000 miles to the degree where I had to have the rotors replaced under warranty,(different dealer). Now at 34,000 problem is back again. I drive mostly on highway (65 to 70% of the time). Does this seem normal to you folks ?
  • harmarharmar Posts: 94
    Scan back through the Taurus and Sable posts and you will see your problem is not unique. One post cited a method of solving it that had worked for him. Best wishes.
  • stnelstnel Posts: 338
    My dad got to the Ford place today to look at the Vulcan engine. The web page you gave me seemed to be on the mark. Thanks for that info!

    There's an ad in the paper listing the Taurus's for $300 or so under invoice. I may be buying a car before May. I'm certainly getting the car fever!

    Hope you have a nice Easter weekend!
  • Do you rotate your tires a lot or put on different tires for winter? A common cause of rotors warping is when the lug nuts are tightened with an air wrench instead of by hand. So, whenever the lug nuts are taken off, INSIST that they be re installed using hand tools only (preferably a torque wrench). If you have aluminum wheels, they may actually be setting the air wrench to a higher (tighter) setting since the lug nuts on aluminum wheels require a higher torque amount than on steel wheels. Get some new rotors under warranty again and then never let an air wrench be used again. Hope this helps.
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