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Ford Taurus/Mercury Sable Sedans Pre-2008



  • brucelincbrucelinc Posts: 815
    The only part of your post #869 I can comment on is about the Duratec. You will need to drive it of course but there is no comparison with the old 3 litre pushrod Vulcan engine. The duratec does not run out of breath like the Vulcan. After getting out of a Taurus with the Duratec and in to one with the Vulcan, you will swear that the emergency brake is on. Besides the extra power, it is smoother, sounds better, gets better mileage, and is just a more modern engine. You will not be sorry if you get the Duratec!!
  • I traded in a 1995 Taurus Wagon for a 2000 Taurus Wagon with the 3.0 L Vulcan FFV engine. The car was a "program" car with 10,000 miles on it. I've had the car about two months. What's been bugging me is the amount of road noise I get. It seems the car is as noisey at 75 as it is at 35. I have the Firestone tires. Any comments.
  • I have a 2000 Taurus Wagon with the Vulcan FFV engine. When I start this car it rev's to 2,000 RPM and then drops to around 800 RPM in about 40 seconds. I haven't had a car "rev up" on startup since my 75 Thunderbird. The dealer claims this is normal. Anyone out there have a similar experience.
  • stnelstnel Posts: 338
    woodge had a FFV Vulcan engine that had problems with it but can't remember exactly what they were - it seems like it was pings in the engine. If you backtrack and look for his original post, it would say. I believe his original post was a couple of weeks ago.
  • ezaircon4jcezaircon4jc Posts: 793
    That idle is normal for Ford's. It is Ford's way of heating the cat to keep emissions down.
  • woodgewoodge Posts: 11
    I'm the one whom had the 2000 SE with the FFV 3.0 (Vulcan Flex Fuel variant) that Ford made settlement on due to 14 months of consistent engine ping problems. Two weekends ago we picked up our 2001 SES (3.0 Vulcan, no FFV). Everything was just fine except the car did not have the standard 60/40 fold down rear seat. I complained to the dealer and they agreed to replace the rear seat. This past Saturday we dropped the car off at the dealer at 9:00 a.m. and it was ready by 2:00 p.m. with the new fold down seat. The car runs great and we sure hope it stays that way. I have a 1996 Ranger XLT/4.0 that has given me no complaints what so ever.
    Woodge in Oregon
  • riswamiriswami Posts: 192
    I'll agree that the Duratec engine is a more moderndesign and has more power. The horsepower and torque ratings tell you that. However to say they get better gas mileage is misleading. They have lower EPA mileage ratings on the window sticker. People I've talked to who have owned both Duratec and Vulcans say the Duratec uses a little more fuel or is about the same as a Vulcan.
    My 97 Vulcan is pretty fuel efficient. It does run out of power but that doesn't bother me. I new what I was buying before I made the purchase.

    If it was me I base my decision on dollars to spend and what deal was available. I'd definitely purchase a Duratec if I buy a Taurus or a Sable. If power isn't a big concern buy the Vulcan. I've heard that the Duratecs have been extremely reliable.
  • brucelincbrucelinc Posts: 815
    It is not my intent to mislead anyone. Let me add a disclaimer: My comments on mileage are based on my own experience and your mileage may vary. :-)

    I could be wrong but when we bought our 2001 Taurus, I believe the EPA rating was 20 in city for the Duratec and 18 for the Vulcan. I was thinking that the highway number was the same. I wouldn't swear to that and earlier models may have been different. If EPA ratings are important, it easy to check at the EPA website or a local dealer.

    In any case, I rent Taurus and Sables frequently for business and have had both Duratecs and Vulcans. I consistently get a little better mileage with the Duratec. Our company has a number of fleet cars and overall, we have found the Duratec a little better on gas in real-world driving. Again, your mileage may vary depending on driving habits, terrain, etc.

  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,703
    costs...I was given a 99 Taurus loaner with Vulcan while they repaired my 2000 Sable (Duratec)...the Vulcan engine was so underpowered I wanted to get out and push...there is no comparison...with my wife in the car and the Air cond on, I could have walked acceleration at not even consider the Vulcan, get the 200 hp Duratec and you will be quite happy...most people when they test drive a low performance, low HP engine, they forget to drive it with 2 or 3 people and the A/C on, and they are sorry when summer comes...avoid the Vulcan like the plague

  • snowmansnowman Posts: 540
    That is right, majority of 4cyl. cars are coming 150HP+ . For the size and weight of Taurus, the model is really underpowered. Funny thing is that Ford is badging them as 6 cyl.
  • riswamiriswami Posts: 192
    The Vulcan is fine for what it is. It is a good daily performer that offers reasonable fuel economy. Don't think there are many fours out there with the torque of the Vulcan.

    I test drove a 96 Duratec about the same time as I bought my 97 Taurus with the Vulcan. Since the Vulcan was the first 6 cylinder I've owned I fine the power to be k. I understand those who have a Duratec stating there is no comparison. I'd tend to agree.

    Believe that both engines are very durable when properly cared for.
  • mrl11777mrl11777 Posts: 154
    I have a 98 SE sedan with the Duratec and a 2000 SE wagon with the Vulcan. I buy my cars used (one year old) and recently purchased the wagon. I could not find any wagons with the Duratec, so I had to settle. While the Duratec does have plenty of thrust off the line, and is a blast to lead-foot all over the place, the Vulcan is perfectly adequate. The Taurus is not a particularly heavy car, and while the Vulcan won't make it as a drag racer, it does haul the car around with a full load (2 adults, 3 kids and gear) just fine. This car replaced a 92 wagon with the same engine (tho it had 140 hp vs 155 for the 2000), and that car never felt out of breath, even while climbing through the hilly interstates of New Hampshire packed full (with a canoe on the roof!). So, I think that this one will provide a bit better performance.

    As far as gas mileage goes, on the highway my cars have been pretty comparable (around 27-30 mpg). Around town the Vulcan does better, but I think that is due to the fact that since the Duratec is so lively I hit the gas a bit heavier than in the Vulcan wagon.

    I have noticed that the transmissions are different. The 98 does not shift as smoothly as the 2000, and the 2000 downshifts more gently than the 98.

    For the money, you can't beat the Taurus (used, especially). And, the ones that the fleets are getting are pretty loaded (my wagon came with everything but the Duratec, including leather).
  • snowmansnowman Posts: 540
    Have you looked at Buick Century and Chevy Malibu?
    They provide more HP, the same torque and they are cheaper than Taurus, plus the have better transmission.
    I rented 99 Taures once, my experience comes from that. The car was not moving, there was no pick up at all, it was acting like a heavy truck and odometer was showing only 16K.
    Everything equals, 3368 lbs needs more HP. All of it's competitors are coming min 170HP+ with the same torque and the body weight.
  • mrl11777mrl11777 Posts: 154
    Every time I have rented a GM product (the last being an Olds Aero) I have been amazed at how poorly they had been put together. Maybe the mechanicals are good, but, for me, to drive around in something that constantly squeaked, growned and rattled would be torture.

    My experience with the Taurus has been good, so I have stuck with them. Also, who else sells a wagon that has the same capacity, and is less than $35K? For the most part, the Big 3 have abandoned those of us who don't want to drive a ridiculous SUV or a minivan.
  • stnelstnel Posts: 338
    is that it has a cast iron engine. I would think that would make it a longer lasting engine.

    Most of the GM's I looked into buying have the aluminum cylinder heads (the cars under $20,000). The GM does have a cast iron engine on its 3.8L though but you're paying a lot more for it.
  • snowmansnowman Posts: 540
    Very interesting point. Infact I am in the market and looking for 1 year old car. I don't have good experience with Ford since they messed up my Mazda 626. The transmission never run properly. How about new 2K Taurus transmissions, how many miles I should expect to get. ANy idea.
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,703
    speakers in my 2000 Sable (aka Taurus) has a whopping 4 of them for "enhanced" stereo sound, almost on a par with Mark Levinsons or Nakamichis used in various Lexus models { :^) }...I have virtually NO treble at all, and playing with the tone adjustment does nothing...I just assume that tweeters have been omitted from this model...for the fronts, do I have to remove the entire door panel, or just a few screws to expose the speakers...for the rear, do I remove the rear deck from the top, or do I remove the shielding from underneath (inside the trunk), or do I just cut holes in the shielding from inside the trunk???also, are there any speakers anyone would recommend, as I like a lot of bass and a lot of treble in my music...thanks

  • stnelstnel Posts: 338
    Actually, I haven't bought a Taurus yet but plan to in another week or so. I can't really say about the transmissions on the Taurus. Consumer Reports has 2 different places where it rates the transmission. One place give the Taurus a 5 out of 5 rating. In the other place it give a 4 out of 5 rating.

    Here are a couple of web pages that may help you:

    The web page for Ford is for 1999 engines.
  • sable93sable93 Posts: 107
    Unless Ford has redesigned the transmission for the 2000 models, it has the same transmission as the '96-'99 models, which is not a good thing.

    As for avoiding GM for squeaks and rattles, your Taurus must be very different than mine (a '97 with more and more rattles and squeaks and popping sounds every day.) I'd expect this from a $9K new low-end Hyundai, but not a car that is 4 years old and originally cost $20K.
  • After reviewing several earlier posts, I am planning to acquire the Ford ST-6 disk changer from and do the installation myself. A question: will the wiring harness ($41) also be required on my 2000 Taurus? I read where the wiring was under carpet on wheel. Can I assume that the harness would run from the changer to the wheel well area?
  • stnelstnel Posts: 338
    Does the 6-way power driver seat have a manual override? I'm mostly looking at LX's but if I wind up buying an SE with power seats, once the power seat breaks (when out of warranty), that's not something I'd want to spend money on to fix. It's just my luck that I can't find an LX in my two color preferences.

    I'll have to weigh out color preference over money. Since I hope to get 10 years out of the car, I'd like to get a color that I like.
  • fdthirdfdthird Posts: 352

    RE Power Seats... No, no manual over ride on our 2001 Taurus. If it makes you feel any better, 2 months ago we sold out 89 Taurus wagon to a young guy here at work. Lots of stuff was going on the car but after 12 years the driver's power seat still worked like a charm! I wouldn't lose any sleep over it.


    Regarding the speakers.... get a Crutchfield catalog (they do have a web site you can look at) and check out the speakers. If you order from them they do a very good job and send you great instructions for any instalation...speakers, radios, amps, etc and they know what adaptors you need to make the job easy and also will tell you what will fit. The catalog is a great resource even if you don't order from them.

  • snowmansnowman Posts: 540
    Thanks for all the info Stnel, I think I'll take Ford out from my list, particularly after I read, gmpowertrain is very good too.
  • stnelstnel Posts: 338
    fdthird - If I wind up with power seats, I won't worry about it then. My third color choice is Royal Blue. All the car lots seem to have that color in the LX. I like the color but living in such a hot climate, I may regret going with a dark color around the middle of summer. I've driven white cars for 20 years and need a change though.

    snowman - Good luck on finding a car. The only info I have on engines is for GM and Ford. Don't know about Chrysler and the foreign cars.
  • 99taurus99taurus Posts: 20
    Yes that is correct. The harness is a wiring converter basically. It will plug into the cd changer and then you will need to unplug the radio control harness from the receiver (rear drivers side in trunk) plug in the purchased harness to the receiver and then plug the radio control harness into the cd changer harness. Basically the cd changer harness will go between the receiver and radio control wires coming from the dash. I hope this made since. I am not sure if the 2000 model has the same radio but this works for 96-99 models. It is a lot easier than it sounds.

    I still love my Duratec. I have driven a 96 vulcan, I can not beleive the difference. Very much worth the extra money.
  • mrl11777mrl11777 Posts: 154
    I replaced all 4 speakers in both of my Tauruses (98 sedan and 00 wagon) with JBL Decade DS755 speakers from Crutchfield. Cost is $60 per pair and they sound very nice. There is definitely more bass in the sedan (I believe that the rear speakers benefit from being mounted over the trunk -- the rear wagon speakers are mounted in the rear liftgate). The rears are very easy to install (they go in via the trunk) but the fronts are a bit more tricky because you must remove the front door panel. Crutchfield provides wiring harnesses so you do not have to cut any wires.
    This is a one afternoon job.
  • timeteotimeteo Posts: 1
    a friend of mine aunt just bought a 2001 taurus and she is selling her 1994 taurus sedan with 19,000 miles on it. it's been garage for a long time after her husband died. what I want to know is how reliable is the car. I am looking for a car for my daughter. and what would the asking price would be. edmunds shows 2,800 dollars from private seller but I assume that is with 12,000 to 15,000 miles a year on it. if anyone can give me some input I would appreciate it.
  • tomcat630tomcat630 Posts: 854
    One of the biggest myths is that a car that sits for a long time not driven a "cream puff".

    Reality is that a car is best if driven normally. The oil is not circulating to lubricate and the rubber seals could be dried out.

    If you buy it, have it looked over by a reliable mechanic and replace all fluids, filters, and re lube all moving parts.
  • frank58frank58 Posts: 54
    I have a 96 Sable AS wagon with the 3.0 engine.
    The engine has been great, it has 32000 miles on it without any issues. I see a lot of post regarding lack of power. The engine seems to pull the car along fine, in fact some friends seemed suprised by the pick up.
    My friend is a service manager for Ford, he loves the engine due to the lack of failures with them.
  • truckdude1truckdude1 Posts: 88
    At our rental company, we have had numerous complaints on fords. all the Taurus is is adequate transportation, we hear so much good news on Toyota and Honda, Ford needs to refine all of their cars and make the reliable, we tend to have the Taurus Break down at least 3-5 times until we sell them which is at 30 thousand miles,i recommend to any one who wants this car too look for something the companys
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