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Ford Taurus/Mercury Sable Sedans Pre-2008



  • sola2000sola2000 Posts: 6
    I recently purchased a new family sedan. Before purchasing the car, I did a lot of research and extensivley test drove many cars, both domestics and imports. I drove the Chevrolet Impala, Dodge Stratus and Intrepid, Ford Taurus, Honda Accord, Mitsubishi Galant, Nissan Altima and Maxima, Pontiac Bonneville and Grand Prix, Saturn LS, Toyota Camry and the Volkswagen Passat.

    After driving all those cars I would say, without question, the imports are far superior to the domestics. I remember driving the taurus and then going to the Toyota dealer, driving the '02 Camry and being shocked at how much smoother, more refined and better designed and engineered it is than the Ford or any of the domestics.

    My favorite out of all cars I drove? It was the Passat. I thought it provided the best driving experience. There really is something to that German heritage. The car I actually bought? My second favorite. A 2002 V6 Honda Accord. Why? I keep my cars a long time and I just didn't trust VW's long term reliability. I know with a Honda or Toyota product one is virtually assured bullet proof quality and reliability for years and years, and hundreds of thousands of miles. In the final analysis that can't be said for American or German cars.
  • snowmansnowman Posts: 540
    People who bought Taurus, Intrepid or any other car, had made their mind and decisions. They believed they did the best thing for their taste, life style and budged. I drive Taurus, love the design and comfort. I drove 91 and 99 Accord, got bored and decided not to buy anymore. I also love to drive Intrepid, it is my dream car.
    So coming over here and possibly many other subscriptions and expressing your taste is pointless.

    To me, having a car with big radio knob or a little loud engine is better than paying $600-$800 for timing belt and water pump or dumping bagfull money to expensive service calls and maintenance items or most important paying inflated sticker price.

    We don't care your taste. However you are most welcome to discuss technicall issues and differences between cars. I believe this is more realistic. If I have enough time, I can generate a big Accord problems or Camry problems lists too.

    Good luck your purchase, and if you decide to discuss technical and performance related issues, you are welcome.
  • atcersatcers Posts: 26

    I have a 2001 Sable LS without the Mach audio too. I found the system to be a little "weak" so I made several modifications to the audio system one of which was component speakers(pillar speakers) I used Infinity 605cs two way components. These retail for about $180 a pair but you can find them much cheaper on the internet. These speakers will require you to remove the sail panel (black triangular plastic) and cut a round hole that allows for the installation of the component tweeter. The mid-woofer will fit in the existing factory speaker door opening but will require two new holes to be drilled. You are correct in assuming that the wiring already exists. It is inside the door panel. The problem is there is no signal to the wiring without the Mach system. The Infinity speakers include a crossover unit that bypasses the factory setup. The difference in sound quality is very, very noticeable with the component speakers BUT keep in mind that you will still be using the non MACH amplifier which only puts out 6 watts per channel, so the whole musical experience won't be that dramatic. The installation is pretty straight forward and can be done using the existing wiring. If you would like any information on this please let me know as I have replaced all four speakers, installed front components, and added an external amp to the factory system.

    Good luck,
  • giantrobgiantrob Posts: 2
    I am looking to buy a 98 Taurus, 3.0 V6, but the miles are high "85K" It is a good buy, or should I just say Goodbye?
  • venus537venus537 Posts: 1,443
    "To me, having a car with big radio knob or a little loud engine is better than paying $600-$800 for timing belt and water pump or dumping bagfull money to expensive service calls and maintenance items or most important paying inflated sticker price"

    inflated sticker price - that's funny. that's something you'll NEVER have to worry about with a taurus. or anything remotely resembling decent resale value. the most amazing thing is that this car won't be redesigned for years. YIKES!
  • riswamiriswami Posts: 192
    anyone tell you if the 98 Taurus is a good buy. You don't state a price, is the car in good condition? Was it maintained? There are two 3 liter engines, which one does this one have?

    One other comment - Does anyone else on this board ever wonder the purpose of certain post? Earlier this week a post was made that a 2k Taurus has gone thru 3 transmissions. Is this possible, yes. But when you ask for specifics you get silence. I sometimes wonder if some of the postings are from people who don't even own the car and are looking to slam, why I can't tell you.

    As for the post that tells us how inferior a Taurus is to a bunch of other cars, what was the point of posting it here. I agree with some of what was said in that post. But most of us have our reasons for the purchase we made.
  • danielj6danielj6 Posts: 285
    If for whatever reason I needed or desired to get rid of my Merc. Sable and buy another brand I would refrain from announcing it in this thread.
    I find it distasteful that this guy posted here that he purchased a car other than Taurus or Sable.

    The comparison he makes is interesting although he doesn't elaborate much but boasts that he bought a Honda Accord? Please post it in the Honda thread.

    I'm not denying that Camrys and Accords are good cars but wouldn't attempt to insult my fellow Sable/Taurus owners by informing them that I purchased a different make.

    I really don't have brand loyalty. However, I not only like my Sable but also I can think of several advantages of owning a Taurus/Sable over the Japanese competition. This thread, however, is not for comparisons. Correct me if I'm wrong.

    I love my Mercury Sable and would rush out to purchase another one bypassing others. It offers advantages that others don't even come close to offering. Sometimes I think that Ford doesn't capitalize on
  • atcersatcers Posts: 26
    I couldn't agree more with Danielj6 and riswami! The reason for some of the anti-Ford posts make me wonder about their validity. Especially when details are asked of the poster. I don't think most people ask questions of negative posts to "grill" the poster but to see if they "can do" or "should look for" similar problems with their vehicle. Most of the time as was stated there is no response. Therefore the original negative poster was inflating the truth or is not willing to share their knowledge with others. Neither of these senerios helps people on this board. No doubt there are better cars than the Sable/Taurus, I for one would love to own a 540 BMW but there is no way I could live with the initial cost and BMW maintenance. When it comes down to the bottom line domestics are more reasonable to repair than imports. I purchased my Sable not for resale but because of 0% financing and invoice pricing. It was a great deal compared to Toyota and Honda. My biggest gripe on the Camry and Accord is the small/narrow driver leg area. I'm only 6 foot and wonder how taller drivers deal with the lack of leg room? Thank you Ford for having the option of a front bench seat!!!!!!!!
  • venus537venus537 Posts: 1,443
    actually i saw the very same post (accord purchase over others) on the malibu page. i wonder how many other places it has been posted? i have not seen it on the accord page however.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Yeah, the person went on a spam attack. But the rules of netiquette have been emphatically explained by other TH members to said person. ;)
  • mablemable Posts: 2

    Thanks for the excellent info on the pillar speakers. Where did you put the external amp and did you amp all four speakers or just the rears? Are your connections to the back of the factory radio or by the speakers? Sorry for all the questions but you really have me interested to start this project.

    Thanks, Al
  • edmund2460edmund2460 Posts: 293
    My AAMCO rebuilt 93 Sable 3.8 trans (less than 8K after rebuild) is giving trouble again. AFTER the car gets warmed up, when I come to a stop or slow down almost to a stop and start off again it jerks changing up. I can avoid this jerk by accelerating very very slowly. Any ideas ? Thanks.
  • edmund2460edmund2460 Posts: 293
    I check back here once in a while to see how the Fords are doing. While one car does not a trend make it seems there is ome evidence that the same problems abound. My 89 Taurus and 93 Sable had repair histories longer than both your arms with the same kinds of problems that you have detailed. Especially distressful to me just as your experience shows is that I got nothing but scorn from their customer service after I was loyal enough to buy 4 cars from them.
  • danielj6danielj6 Posts: 285
    Today I spent the day at a friend's house in Connecticut, (I live in NY) and he has 3 cars. A 93 Taurus, 99 Mustang and a '00 Accura TL which he leases. Beautiful car indeed. However, transmission was replaced last year. Car now has 28,000 miles. The Ford has 180,000 miles and tranny as well as motor are intact. The Mustang convertible is fine thank you with 35000 miles.

    Good luck with your 2002 Honda Accord, you'll need it ;)
  • venus537venus537 Posts: 1,443
    all ford owners have a friend who drives a honda and sure enough that honda has had mechanical difficulties. same is true for gm and dc owners too.
  • atcersatcers Posts: 26

    I installed the external amp in the trunk on the driver side. The Taurus/Sable use the RCU (rear control unit) for the radio operation. If you lift the trunk material away from the body on the drivers side you will find the RCU mounted on the wheel well. The driver side worked out well as the amp is near the RCU. I used a 4 channel amp and "repowered" all four speakers. If you only want to repower 2 channels I would suggest the fronts. By powering the rear speakers more than the the fronts you will loose the "soundstage". Kind of being at a concert and standing with your back to the stage. For me it isn't natural to have the music coming at me from the rear. The connections are another story! I have auto climate control so there is no way to add an aftermarket stereo to the dash. To keep the dash in tact I used line output converters (LOC) at the RCU. This requires CUTTING the speaker output wiring from the RCU and wiring in the LOC. This effectivly reduces the speaker level outputs to preamp levels. These preamp level outputs in turn drive the new amplifier which in turn powers the speakers. The cutting and hookup of a new amp is not as scary or difficult as it sounds BUT there are some phases of this operation that will make you swear and swear and swear some more! Namely running the new power wire for the amplifier. You will have to run a 4-10 gauge wire(depending on the power of the new amp) to the battery to power a new high power amp as the existing wiring is too small to supply the required power. Without new wiring you will induce noise into the system and overload the factory wiring. To get the new wire into the engine compartment requires going through the firewall. I did not want to drill through the firewall so I had to find existing holes from the factory. To do this you have to remove the parking brake assembly and the fusebox to get at the fasteners that hold the carpet down. While this isn't difficult wait till you try to put the fusebox back in!!!!!!!! It took me an hour of playing around with different angles to get it back in. After the carpet is out of the way you will find several rubber grommets that can be pierecd to feed the new wire through. Use a small gauge wire to fish it through and then wrap the small gauge wire to the larger wire to aid in the process. This was the first real pain in the butt! The second was if you elect to run new wire to the speakers. I did because the factory wiring appeared far too small to handle the new current. Let me say at this point that I do not do this for a living and this was only a DIY project. I did get help from people on the newsgroup. There were several posters there who said that using the factory wiring was sufficient. Anyway, if you elect to run new wire the rears are easy the fronts are a nightmare! If you open the front driver side door you will see that Ford uses a hardwired pin connector to attach the wiring from the door to the body. To run new door wiring requires the removal of this unit and either adding new pins to accomodate your wiring OR drilling out two blank expansion slots and fishing the new wire through the holes. Either way it is a pain and will give you a new appreciation for audio installers. No wonder they are all in their early twenties! If this hasn't scared you off yet please let me know and I will post the rest of the install for you. Please note a couple of things. 1) The system that I installed sounds better than the MACH factory system! Beautiful highs and plenty of power for an aging rock and roller. 2) It sounds very clean except for an annoying pop when you turn the system OFF. This is caused by a delay in power turn off built into the FORD circuitry. I'm sure there is a solution I just have'nt found it yet. The pop isn't loud and from waht I have read and been told is not harmful. I'm a perfectionist and I want it gone! 3)The cost was about $500 all totaled including wiring and connectors. Much of the system was purchased on e-bay at lower than retail prices.

  • regfootballregfootball Posts: 2,166
    have a Mach system and Auto Climate Control, so i can't put in an aftermarket unit.

    I just bought a 40gb mp3 Nomad music jukebox with 10000 songs at the drop of a hat. No place to plug it into my system! I am using a wireless FM transmitter for now but does anyone have any input on how I could splice in an input jack to plug in my mini portable and have excellent sound quality?
  • wijocowijoco Posts: 462
    Is the A/C on when the car bucks? Can you describe the problem a little better? I'm wondering if it's the standard Ford electronic transaxle pause-for-a-second-then-slam-into-gear-when-pressing-the-gas-at-a-stoplight syndrome.
  • sable1990sable1990 Posts: 2
    I own a 1990 Mercury Sable Wagon. Just recently my air bag light started blinking. It will blink 8 times, stop for a second, then blink 8 times again. This continues doing this the whole time I am driving. Does anyone know what this means and how to fix it or disable it. I would appreciate any help.
  • rhenereyrhenerey Posts: 1
    I'd like to get 4 window wind/rain deflectors for my 95 Taurus wagon, but I'm not clear that these will actually prevent simple vertical rain from entering even with the windows way up. This is due to the body's curvature, bowing out from top to bottom. Clearly if I close the windows up to the point where the deflectors overlap them, there shouldn't be any entry. But I wonder how low I can set the windows before simple vertical rain or snow would enter. I want to be able to leave the car with my dog inside with the windows cracked as much as is practical. Anyone with experience?

    Also, there are a few brands: Weatherflecters, VentVisors, maybe others. Anything to recommend on that score?

    TIA, rob
  • upsetter1upsetter1 Posts: 205
    No I didn't experience anything like that. Best thing to do is to check error codes. For your Taurus you don't need any equipment. How to do it and meaning of error codes you can find in repair manual that is sold in Kragen. But probably transmission needs rebuilt.

    Three rebuilds in few ten thousand miles means that rebuilt were made unprofessionally. Important thing is to find the professional transmission shop (looks at ).

  • upsetter1upsetter1 Posts: 205
    There are things that I don't like in Accord and Camry. Right they are better engineered cars and both of them get a fresh update recently. But, I don't like Camry's interior. Complaints are - steering wheel is too far away, so I feel uncomfortable. Then I noticed that front seat cushions are too short. Then right armrest is way too short, there is simply no place to put your right hand when driving. Then instrument cluster looks too busy and not easy to read. All the dashboard design doesn't fit my taste and would rather described as tastless (in my terms).

    What about Accord - I never considered it seriously. It just looks wrong, and the new Accord is the same - plain vanilla. Is just not good looking car - too much boring even by Japanese standarts.

    Passat actually qualitywise is no better than Accord or Toyota but costs a way too much higher and is less reliable. Quality of interior is not higher, it just looks as a high quality. And after all it is not a big car.

    So good luck with your choice but it doesn't mean that we all have to drive Accords or Camries.
  • atcersatcers Posts: 26
    I hear your pain! The "funky" Ford radio doesn't leave a lot of options. I do not know what type of unit the Nomad jukebox is but try this link Look for the ABSWC1 unit as it may work for your application. I have used Soundgate equipment before and I think they are the best auto electronic solution providers out there. Their stuff is a little more expensive than other companies but they do have a 1 year warranty on all their products plus they actually have real live people that you can talk to if you have questions or problems!

    Good Luck

  • regfootballregfootball Posts: 2,166
    thanks I will have to look into this.
  • ehennessehenness Posts: 92
    Hmm. I wonder if you can use the cable that connects the Ford CD changer to the RCU as a way to get sound to the head unit. Most of the connections are simple (power, L/R + and - outputs) but the bugger would be the logic that connects the changer and the head unit. It tells the head unit the changer is connected, sends commands to the changer, and the changer sends back info on track, timing, disk number, etc.

    I'm just thinking out loud here, but if you could get that to work somehow, you'd have a direct connection to the head unit and use the controls on it. Hmmm. Might not be worth it, but the capability is there in your car already if you can use it. The Taurus wiring diagrams volume of the service manual has the info you'd need (though maybe not the logic specifics--I forget).

    Wonder if the guys at Radios and More ( can help. They are who I bought my changer from. They are up on the technical stuff.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    I was on vacation last week so haven't posted since July 19th. Thanks for the warning about the alarm system firing when someone leaves from inside a locked vehicle. I'll have to remember that so I don't get an upset wife!

    As far as posts about Taurus transmission or other problems, new or old: With any high volume car like Taurus or Camry or Accord you are always going to get some who have had problems.
    Unfortunately, the only data accessible by the average consumer is the Consumer Report data, which also has it's own problems, as the data can only be obtained from it's readership database, which can also be highly biased. Also, CR's survey questions regarding reliability are too open ended, in my opinion. But CR is another subject. Taurus, in recent years has been rated by CR as having average reliability, so it is not "bad" compared to others. Also, since all vehicles reliability has improved over the years, "average" reliability is also much better reliability than "average" was a few years ago.

    When you throw in the Taurus low purchase price, it appears to me to have a good combination of price/performance/reliability. Yes, we likely all will agree Taurus depreciation is high, but that subject is related more to how long you keep your vehicles, and comparing the total depreciation loss can vary greatly depending on the time period you keep your cars.

    PS Yes Badgerfan is a University of Wisconsin fan.
  • ehennessehenness Posts: 92
    Hmm. I wonder if you can use the cable that connects the Ford CD changer to the RCU as a way to get sound to the head unit. Most of the connections are simple (power, L/R + and - outputs) but the bugger would be the logic that connects the changer and the head unit. It tells the head unit the changer is connected, sends commands to the changer, and the changer sends back info on track, timing, disk number, etc.

    I'm just thinking out loud here, but if you could get that to work somehow, you'd have a direct connection to the head unit and use the controls on it. Hmmm. Might not be worth it, but the capability is there in your car already if you can use it. The Taurus wiring diagrams volume of the service manual has the info you'd need (though maybe not the logic specifics--I forget).

    Wonder if the guys at Radios and More ( can help. They are who I bought my changer from. They are up on the technical stuff.
  • sculldog33sculldog33 Posts: 19
    I agree that much of the Sable / Taurus bashing of late on this site is unfounded. Price/value/feature content continue to be significant selling points for these cars. Ads in the Boston area currently list the new Sable LS Premium Touring Edition for 18,999 with 0% financing for 60 months. The Touring edition is offered in New England and includes "free" leather, moonroof and ABS, with the LS designation adding just about everything else. (auto A/C, power everything, etc.) This is $500 LESS than I paid in 2000 and I was only able to get 7% back then on the loan.

    A loaded V6 Camry with similar options is pushing 30K on MSRP and could probably be had for about 26-27K. Toyota is only offering 4.9% financing for 60 months in the Boston area.

    Figure that the out the door cost difference between the two is conservatively about $7K, plus add in the extra $2200 in interest you'd pay on the Camry over 60 months and the savings is close to $10,000. Unlike depreciation, this is real money in your pocket that you don't have to pay out either in a down payment or in monthly installments on the loan. I'd be the first to admit that the Camry will likely be more reliable say 5-10yrs out, but is that reliability so much better to warrant a 10K premium up front? Am I likely to incur 10K in repair costs over the life of this car? The answer is a pretty resounding no! Throw in what I would argue is a better looking car, and the Sable wins hands down.

    Final note is that when I bought my Sable, I didn't see many of them on the road. Now, two years later, I see them all the time. Looks like the word is out!!
  • edmund2460edmund2460 Posts: 293
    First of all I have had only one rebuild and it was done by AAMCO about 10K ago. This problem actually started before teh AAMCO warranty expired, I was lax in taking it in. He did say however that he will check the error codes as one of you suggested for me. I know that with this type of car to get a smooth shift you have to accelerate gently, and I always do. This problem happens only after the car has been driven awhile, since it is summer and hot here, the A/C is generally on, I have not checked it without the A/C on. It happens on the first shift up (or maybe it is down)after I have come almost to a stop and then start to accelerate again. I try to accelerate as gently as possible and it will still jerk. Could there be something other than the trans that can cause this? We had the fuel pump recently changed along with a litany of other things.
    By the way, I see some rage in this board against posters bad-mouthing the car, and I want to say that while I am embittered about my experience, I have no agenda in mind. Put yourself in my position. The first FORD I bought - a 74 new Mustang besides being in the shop for 11 weeks the day after I got it for a power steering hose that they didn't have a part for, had a leaky A/C compressor the very first year. And now some 20 plus years later I have A/C problems again. My 82 Jetta still has a working compressor after 240K miles (the Freon has leaked out but the compressor works) I was proud to buy American and would have still bought another Ford if they had Dearborn had given me some recognition for all my problems. My statement still stands-this company does not monitor defects as well as it should and try to fix them. It is there in the stats. Phil Ford has recognized the quality problems and hopefully will give them high priority. Nasser and his ilk simply concentrated on making money for himself and the company by cutting costs.
  • regfootballregfootball Posts: 2,166
    thx for the info.

    an auto shop told me today there is a kit for the Taurus with auto climate but I think they were confused.....the only kit I have been able to find for the 96-99 Oval is the ones with the 3 dials.
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