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Ford Taurus/Mercury Sable Sedans Pre-2008



  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,703
    BP, Shell, Amoco are about $1.43 a gallon, self serve regular...I commented to my wife that it seemed only a few weeks ago that Racetrac had it for $1.19, but they, too, are about $1.43 a gallon
  • stnelstnel Posts: 338
    I filled my car up with gas yesterday and the woman working in the station said her son lived in California and he was paying over $2 a gallon. She didn't say if he was getting regular or premium - probably premium.

    I went back to Starvin' Marvin and it looks like Marvin left. They've been bought out.
  • britt52britt52 Posts: 1
    I loved my wife's 99 taurus so much i went out and got me a 2001 but it is different than hers so i took it back to my dealer and it was not long that they had me in a 99...we just love the 99 ford taurus se. good hand and they just seem to drive better i don't know what ford did to the 2001 but we are very happy with the 99,s
  • Hi everyone,
    I often drive my dad's 1998 Taurus SE with 24 valves etc... I am wondering if anyone can help me with a question. The whole overdrive issue is very confusing. What is it exactly?
    When the car is started, by default, overdrive is on. Should it be used for highway or city driving? Should it be used for 60km/h and more? Also, I read somewhere that o/d consumes more gas. Since the Taurus is a gas guzzler, will this help save gas?
    I am wondering when overdrive should be used, if it should be left on all the time. I have reviewed the owner's manual but it doesnt shed much light. Frankly, this is very confusing. I really appreciate any time taken to help me out!
  • riswamiriswami Posts: 192
    Just leave it in overdrive all the time. If I remember correctly it is a D with a circle around it on my 97.

    What do you mean by gas guzzler?

    I have a 97 with a Vulcan. Get between 22 to 23 daily use and 28 to 31 fully loaded with 4 passengers and A/C on for trips over 175 miles.

    What are other Taurus owners getting for mileage. Probably be more interest in this topic because gas is only going to increase in price for the next couple of months!
  • L8_ApexL8_Apex Posts: 187
    Technically, "overdrive" is any final drive ratio that is taller than 1.00:1.

    Practically, "overdrive" allows the engine to spin at a lower speed at highway speeds; it's a 4th gear. This translates into better mileage.

    Opinions differ on when you should "lock out" overdrive. I think that most would agree that unless you notice the transmission "hunting", or frequently shifting back and forth between 3rd and 4th, you can just leave it on all the time. Most of the time, this frequent shifting is caused by a full load of passengers and luggage or mountainous terrain.


    Sedans Message Board
  • harmarharmar Posts: 94
    My mileage ('99 Sable w/Duratec) closely approximates riswami's. And I agree that leaving the transmission in OD meets most conditions. If you're descending some mountain, though, shifting into 3rd could provide some extra braking. Best wishes.
  • larryn2larryn2 Posts: 18

  • woodgewoodge Posts: 11
    I came upon this chat group yesterday and thought I should share our last 14 months of owning a "Lemon". I wish I could share all of the stories I have about this car, but here are some highlights:

    For those of you who have a 3.0FFV engine that pings. The problem will not go away by chaning octane levels or running cleaners through the injectors. Our car has been into the service department no less that 11 times for this problem. The dealership and Ford have exhausted all means to come up with a fix. THERE IS NO FIX! (The Ford factory engineering group know about the problem but can not come up with a fix!)

    Just last week for example they finally installed a new processor (computer). My wife picked up the car at dealership last Friday and drove home, no ping (yet). Saturday she did shopping and normal errands, no ping (yet). Sunday car was in garage all day. Monday off to work, no ping (yet). On way home (18 miles), she stopped she for groceries, then continued home whereby the check engine light was on and the car was pinging more than ever!

    After she arrived home and was now in "orbit", I immediately called the customer service representitive at the dealer (caught him just before he left for home), whom took our case from the their service writter several months ago. To say the least he was shocked and very disappointed that the processor had not corrected the problem. He arranged for another loaner car to be ready upon my arrival that evening (our eighth or ninth), my wife and I have been there so often we can find it in our sleep!

    While the car was in last week for the "ping" they also made their eighth or ninth try at resolving an on-going problem with wet moisture forming on the passenger side windshield. This has only occurred when the car is parked outside, at night, after being driven for more than 20 minutes.
    Once we came out to the car in our daughter's driveway to find every window covered in wet dew. We had to dry the windows with towels because there was no way the defroster could could handle it! The car has been soaked in water looking for leaks, interior torn apart several times, the carpet is dry, the truck is dry, doors are dry.

    Through a close friend in California whom works for Ford he found TSB from 1999 that address the smell/order coming from the heater in vehicles in California and Arizona. The problem stated in TSB was that condensation was forming in the heater box and forming mildew. Solution found was Ford installed small electric fans in the heater box that seem to disipate the condensation.
    On the cars they installed the fan on they have had no further complaints about odor. Thus this is what the dealership installed on the car last week. However we don't know if fixed our problem with moisture on the windows as the car is still at the dealership.

    In closing the dealership and Ford have some to us with an offer to purchase back the vehicle and place us into a new 2001 SES. We are still working out the trade off and details today, but it looks like they are standing behind their product and are willing to find a equitable solution.

    I will stop back and give you an up-date.....
  • 99taurus99taurus Posts: 20
    I'll agree first about the 99's. I love my 99 SE with the Duratech. I have found in the last couple of years that the overdrive seems to drift a bit. When in Overdrive my car will coast a lot longer than I would like it to. Doing mainly city and driving, I find that I leave my car in drive witch keeps it from shifting into 4th gear and coasting away. On the highway I leave it in overdrive. My wife always leaves it in OD and just uses the breaks a bit more. Leaving the car in Drive vrs OD will probrably cut down on the mileage a little, but saves the brakes and rotors! If you don't mind the coasting just leave it in OD. My whole way to work is a slight down hill, My car will not slow down when I let off the gas at all. Other that that and not being able to choose when the AC is on or off, I love my Taurus. I average 18-20 mixed driving, and 25-26 on freeway. Regular fuel.
  • fdthirdfdthird Posts: 352
    Sorry that you've had so many problems but at least it seems like Ford and the dealer are behind you!

    I know having a lemon is a pain (I've had 2 - a '79 Capri and an '84 Toyota Van)but the treatment you are getting sounds great! We were out on our own with our two and spent lots of money and time in the process.

    We have a 2001 Taurus SEL and love the car. Hope you have better luck with your new 2001!
  • 99taurus99taurus Posts: 20
    We also had this problem last year. We took it to Ford and they deoderized it with some stuff they spayed in the ventilation system that killed the mildew. I don't live in either Cal or ARZ but is nice to know about the fix if it happens again. Thanks for the SB post, sorry about your unfortunate trouble, hope your 2001 is better.
  • stnelstnel Posts: 338
    What is the FFV engine? I was looking at my Taurus brochure and it has the automatic overdrive transmission (which I assume is the Vulcan), Duratec, and a 3.0 V6 flexible fuel. Is the FFV the flexible fuel? I'm curious as I'm looking into buying a Taurus. Will Ford buy back your car due to lemon laws in your state or is it a Ford policy.

    I don't know about the lemon laws in Louisiana, where I live, but I imagine Louisiana would protect the dealerships over the consumer.
  • 99taurus99taurus Posts: 20
    We also had this problem last year. We took it to Ford and they deoderized it with some stuff they spayed in the ventilation system that killed the mildew. I don't live in either Cal or ARZ but is nice to know about the fix if it happens again. Thanks for the SB post, sorry about your unfortunate trouble, hope your 2001 is better.
  • 99taurus99taurus Posts: 20
    Sorry for the Double Post.

    Yes the FFV is the Flexible Fuel. Unless you can use this feature a lot, I would recomend to not get it. I have not heard very good things.
  • woodgewoodge Posts: 11
    Yes, the FFV stands for Flexible Fuel Vehicle (3.0 Vulcan). This same application was offered on the Ford Ranger (3.0L) and it to had "pinging" problems. However I understand from my two thousand conversations with the service writers, mechanics, and tech reps that Ford did solve the ping on the Ranger.

    These vehicles are designed to operate very lean on fuel, by adding the special FFV fuel system Ford created a whole new problem to deal with. You will note that the FFV system is no longer available, I wonder why?

    Still waiting for the dealer to call with final details/delivery of the 2001 SES. Sale price seems fair at $19,300 for 3.0 Vulcan, side airbags, ABS, Traction, CD, 60/40 rear seat, floor mats,
    adjustable pedals. Ford is buying/taking back the old car, plus giving me $$$ for my hazzles towards the new car. I am dealing with the "Internet Sales Person" (via Edmunds) whom I bought the 2000 SE from. He is great, and I found that I got a better deal than walking through the doors and spending 5 hours haggling a deal out. Do your home work first.

    My wife loves driving the Taurus. She likes the way it handles, comfort level, and safety. We looked very closely at the 2000 Honda Accord, however when she test drove the car she didin't like the ride/feel.

    Woodge in Oregon
  • stnelstnel Posts: 338
    I've been looking at the LX's which would have the 3.0 Vulcan. (I was curious if the FFV was on the standard engine - evidently not.)

    woodge - I've seen ads in paper for $3000 off sticker price. A salesman at one of the dealerships told me I should get more than $3000 off the sticker price. (He could afford to give me the advice since they didn't have any LX's.) I don't know if I would be pushing it to try for $4000 off. It sounds like you got more than $3000 off the sticker price. Once you start adding all the goodies on to the car, the price goes up in a hurry!
  • Thanks for everyone's advise!
    I am a fairly new, young driver and I really enjoy this message board, it's very helpful. By the way, by gas guzzler, I meant that it consumes alot of gas. I dont know the precise miles/kilometers it gets on a full tank but I will be sure to monitor it and post it. With gas prices so high, (here in Montreal it's reached $0.879 per liter, almost $2/gallon!) it is difficult to keep up.
    Actually, I have another concern if anyone has any info. When my dad bought this car from a Ford dealer in 99, it was used. It is the SE trim and in the manual, it says that it should have a cd changer or somekind of cd player. On the radio console itself there is a "CD" key. I am just wondering if this model is supposed to come with the cd player because we did not get one.
    Thanks again for your time and patience!
  • mrl11777mrl11777 Posts: 154
    If the radio has the CD button, it controls a CD changer. You can very easily install one in the trunk of the car. The radio head unit is in the trunk (same side as the antenna) and you will have to buy a control cable that goes between the CD changer and the radio unit. Contact Crutchfiled and you can get set up for under $300.

    And, no, you did not get ripped off. The CD changer was an option. Be happy that you can just plug a unit in, rather than have to use an FM modulated one.
  • You can get the factory CD changer (made by Aiwa) for $265 (no sales tax, no shipping - at least in U.S. - not sure about Canada) from It comes complete with the factory wiring - just mount it in the trunk, plug it in and it works with the controls on your radio! 3 hour install max!
  • Wow!
    You Ford owners are very helpful! I am looking into the cd changer. Right now, I have a Discman plugged into the tape deck. Quality is poor and it always skips so the cd changer is intriguing. I'm glad I didnt get ripped off:) The site was very informative, although I don't think they deliver to Canada. I sent them an email...still waiting.
  • fowler3fowler3 Posts: 1,919
    you can find other web sites for car information at:

    and for Canada

  • harmarharmar Posts: 94
    Motorweek's Pat Goss (PBS stations) once noted that spraying a can of Lysol Disinfectant ($3 - 4 cost) through the cowl intake will often kill the offensive microbes, thereby saving an expensive disassembly of the system. Start engine, turn AC on high, open windows, spray entire Lysol contents gradually through the intake. Good luck!
  • teoteo Posts: 2,508
    Is to turn up the heater all the way up and leave it running for about 15 to 20 minutes until all the mildew sitting in the air ducts is killed. If the bad smell is severe, repeat the process about once or twice more.

    The Lysol technique is a fiasco since it cures the problem temporarily and the bad smell and mildew often returns in a short period of time. The heater solution is more effective and long lasting. Take it from me...I live in hot and muggy South Florida.

    In order to prevent the mildew buildup, during the hot summer months run the A/C on the 'recirc' position for about 5 to 10 minutes until the car's interior cools down to a comfortable temp. Then after that, select the 'Fresh' position to open the exterior air inlet doors while still running the A/C...this will flush any unwanted mildew and will prevent more buildups and bad smells. Little unkwon fact that can make a big difference in the way your climate control system works.

    PBS' 'Autoweek' is an interesting show but some of their views and opinions sound too Mickey Mouse to me...Pat Goss is all right, but he can also give the wrong info once in a good while ;-)
  • I think the problem is more prevalent in cars with the auto temperature control, like my SEL. The owner's manual says to always leave the system on to reduce the chance of the smell. This can be a problem because there are times when you just want some fresh air and the system is kicking in either the heater of the A/C to try and compensate! I wish there was a plain old "vent" setting on that automatic system.
  • stnelstnel Posts: 338
    I've had that mildew smell in the a/c for some time now in my '91 Grand Am. I've never noticed a "recirc" and "fresh" position in my car. It must be for newer cars.

    I got my prices mixed up in an earlier post. I was confusing the prices for the SEL and SES. Believe the SEL is a bit more expensive.
  • iusecadiusecad Posts: 287
    I think I read in my '90 Vic owners manual that when you have the a/c set to MAX that is the recirc setting. NORM is the one that pulls in fresh air. Do most other cars have two settings?

    In the Vic, I've noticed before that if I use the A/C for awhile, then switch to the VENT, there is a mildewy smell. But, I have no choice. That a/c is just too cold... ;)
  • woodgewoodge Posts: 11
    Update on the return of our 2000 SE to Ford (Flex Fuel Vulcan engine ping, and wet moisture on inside passenger side windshield). See posting: 790 & 797.

    The Internet Sales Manager at the dealership called yesterday afternoon and said that the 2001 SES we decided upon had just arrived the dealership (dealer trade). We have a 11:30 a.m. appointment.

    What I found interesting is the loaner vehicle we have driving since Monday (2000 SE Wagon, 3.0 Vulcan, NO Flex)has quite as engine ping problem when under load/start off. I will advise the dealer when I turn it in today. (Hummmm!!)

    Oregon has a problem in there is no state wide regular gas testing program. There are spot checks when someone complains about a specific supplier or station. Several local (Portland) news
    channels have done reports about this, and said that Oregon has some of the worst contaminated gas in the U.S.A.

    Getting back to the mildew/condensation concerns in the heater/air conditioning. The dealer even went as far as to have our 2000 SE put through a special system which took any/all moisture out of the vehicle (two days). Didn't work!!!

    I spoke last night with my close friend in California whom is a service tech for Ford. He said yes the dealerships have sprayed the systems with a deodorant, however the smell will come back in time. Again the best fix that has been found is the addition of the fan inside the heater box which will eleminate the condinsation/mildew build up.

    I will stop back and leave a post about the new 2001 SES.....Wish us luck...
  • stnelstnel Posts: 338
    My a/c has two settings - normal and max. I also have something that's bi-level (B/L). I've never really known what that is since I've never used it. I think it may pertain to the heater.
  • ezaircon4jcezaircon4jc Posts: 793
    Bi-level is cool air out of the vents and warmer air out of the heater vents under the dash simultaneously. The vent setting on my '96 Sable is the picture of the arrow pointing toward the upper body. Max is the same as "recirc" and Norm is the same as "fresh". Ours has 100k on the Duratec and just needed a water pump and a/c clutch. I've used the auto setting here in So. Cal. exclusively and have never had a mildew smell. I keep it on 71. The car has been GREAT! The above repairs are consistant with the mileage.
This discussion has been closed.