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Ford Taurus/Mercury Sable Sedans Pre-2008



  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    I think they dropped the dual exhausts in the middle of the last generation, and lowered the Duratec output some when they did that. Then for the 2000 model year, they redesigned the single exhaust and got the horsepower back again to its previous level.

    You might have a point that the SEL versions should be loaded up with all the bells and whistles available, and maybe a few that are not such as rear discs and dual exhaust. This would raise their price some, but could still be less than the equivalent Accords and Camries, which fully loaded are pushing into the upper 20's.

    My choice was lower on the options ladder. While I might appreciate rear discs and side air bags,the other options like dual exhausts, heated leather seats, upgraded audio is not worth the cost to me, thus I have a 2000 SES, which stayed well under $20K (acually $18k+TTL) but still had the Duratec.
  • ndfarndfar Posts: 19
    What is the proper torque value for the Taurus wheels?
    Also the dealer is going to do a chemical flush on my 1999 tomorrow to remove the brown engine coolant. Warranty is up but will split the cost.
  • regfootballregfootball Posts: 2,166
    my 99 SHO has 4 wheel discs.....rented a 2000 Taurus one time with drum rears and the difference was huge. Four wheels discs should be standard. The Drum rears suck.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    Is everybody happily and quietly driving their Taurus?

    This board has been really slow lately. I even was forced to post in the Camry board, as there were a few people slamming Taurus in there that I thought were being too unfair.
  • Well scince I've last been here I have made a few mods. I replaced air filter with a K&N filter and removed the intake silencer, sounds no different but does get off the line quicker and seems to breath easier.

    Next is the exhaust, not sure what to do yet.

    2001 SEL Silver, tinted windows 35%, K&N air filter, Silencer removed, relocated TAURUS(had to order from the dealer $15 each) badging to both sides on sail panels(just behind rear doors) and added V6 badging to trunk lid opposite of the key lock.
  • Today I had my Merc. Sable simonized and waxed. Looks showroom new.

    Happy trails!
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    Are K&N filters available through retail stores? Do they really have enough effect on performance that you can really feel it? Are they expensive?

    I have not considered doing any performance enhancements, but swapping an air filter is easy enough.

    My 2000 SES is now officially 2 years off the dealer's lot and at 18K miles, hasn't been back to the dealer but once for a minor windshield wiper recall.

    Other than oil changes I do myself and one tire rotation (I am due for another), I have had zero maintenance costs. Still solid and rattle and squeek free.
  • K&N filters usually need to be ordered at a auto parts store, cost about $45.00. They never have to be replaced, only cleaned at 50,000 miles or 100,000 miles according to the instructions. 50,000 if you drive in dusty conditions and 100,000 if not. I have a few friends that have them and they tend to clean them at the 25,000 miles mark, it is up to you.

    I do notice that upon hard acceleration that the engine does not shake as much, like it breaths easier? Before the K&N it seems my engine was trying to hard to rev now it seems to do effortlessly. They do claim to give you 4-6 hp I believe, and removing the silencer will give you even a little more like 3-4 hp. So that is almost 10 hp for under fifty bucks, not bad.

    This is a link to the silencer removal:
  • mralanmralan Posts: 174
    When you think of a good exhaust mod let us know. I'm going to look into a few mods when my 01 SES goes out of warranty in about 3k miles.
  • Last labor day I bought new 2002 Mercury Sable LS Premium. It has all options - leather, sunroof and etc., except so called secure package (side airbags and traction conrol). Actually I was looking for one year old one with low miles, but it was impossible to find decent one. So when I saw the ad in newspaper offering $5,000 off MSRP, 13 in stock, I thought hell its just the right time to buy a new car. Next day with ad in my hand I visited local Lincoln-Mercury dealer. There was no haggle and hassle, when I showed the ad to sales consultant his manager got mad and started to call dealers to learn the real price :-). After an hour or so he agreed to sell me car just for $18,700 (MSRP 23,700), with all taxes and fees it was about $20,700. It was the only car with medium parchment interior on the lot with floor shifter and it was Arizona Beige. Well it was among colors I was looking for, though in that moment I was more inclined to buy dark red. But my color preferences change with time so it is not a problem at all, car looks terrific. Week later I bought 5/100,000 Basic care ESP for $975, just for peace of mind, mainly because of transmission and air conditioning concerns. I'm driving more than 20,000 a year so basic warranty would last just year and half.

    Now the most interesting is that my friend called me the same day for advice. He was in the same town in Toyota dealership haggling for 2002 Camry XLE with 6 cylynders. It was exactly the same car like my Sable, except rear disk brakes and traction control plus side airbags. So he was ready to pay $26,000 (without taxes) and manager asking $29,000 told him that he is insulting him. I just couldn't believe him, he was ready to pay 8 grands more for almost the same car. I told him are you crazy man, leave dealership immediately, save your money. Later I let him to drive my car and he told me that it feels almost like Camry, though Camry has smoother acceleration and better stop distance, but not so much better to pay extra 8 grands I guess. So I told him wait man until 2003 Camrys arrive and then you will take it for free.
  • Which car do you think is best, better, good?
    I want to know are current Taurus owners happy with their car? And would you buy a Japanese car instead of American?
  • I am on my 4th Sable. We've had an 86 (50K miles), an 88 (125K miles), a 91 (172K miles) and our current one, a 96 with 112K miles. I would never consider another Japanese car. We've had 3 Mitsubishis and a Civic. I was not at all impressed with the much overated quality. They are also not (IMNSHO) worth the price premium. A fully loaded Camry costs close to $30K. I got my Lincoln LS for just over $31K. My Lincoln has things not even offered on the Camry. You say, what about resale? I couldn't care less. A car is a lousy investment. As you can see above, we keep our cars for over 100K miles. When we traded our 91 Sable in on the LS, we got $1500. That's with the mileage and on a trade-in. Not bad in my book!

    To answer your second question, I am VERY happy with our Sable. We have spent <$1K on repairs over the last 7 years. The only "major" repair was a water pump at about 100K. The clutch for the A/C compressor died around 95K. I don't think that was early as the compressor runs every day. I would recommend a Sable/Taurus to anyone.
  • In the "good old days" 100K miles was considered "junk". Now, it's no big thing to pass.
  • srocsroc Posts: 15
    Hi guys, I posted this on another board but that one seems to be inactive - I have a problem with a loud squeaking/clicking noise that is coming from the spark plugs/engine area. It is probably not a belt cos there is no belt in that area (the center/right of the vehicle when you pop the hood and look down).

    Any ideas? I have a 2000 Vulcan V6.
  • "Best" car is a tricky thing. I would argue that Taurus/Sable are best in terms of initial value and feature content. As I and others have pointed out in other posts, the potential price difference on a loaded sable vs a similarly loaded camry is about 7K. Add in potential interest savings of 2K since Ford is offering 0% financing for 60 months, and the real savings is pushing 10K.

    In terms of build quality, the camry and accord win hands down. I drove a Civic EX for a year and everything was so well thought out, all the switches and gear just had a certain "feel" to them that spoke of quality. Long term reliability comes in here as well, as clearly the foreign cars have better records. However, american cars have come a long way and as many posters have noted, they have had high mileage Taurus and Sables with no problems.

    Safety is a nebulous thing and all mid size sedans these days are pretty safe. Ford seems to be trying hard here with the first dual mode airbags, seatbelt pre-tensioners, adjustable pedals, available side airbags, safety release in trunk, solid 5 star crash numbers, etc. Also, the size of the car is a little bigger and at least against the accord the weight is higher. More size and mass generally mean a safer car.

    Styling wise, I love the look of the Sable and feel the accord and camry are just wind tunnel designs that are pretty bland. Also, at least in the northeast, every third car seems to be a camry. Sables are a little more rare and look more distinctive.

    Resale value -- Ford products depreciate really badly compared to the foreigns. Sold the civic I mentioned earlier after 1 year and broke even on the loan -- typically you'd be "upside down" in this situation. Would certainly have lost money on my current sable had I sold it after one year. But, everyone should really hold on to a car for 8 yrs or so this is sort of a moot point.

    Bottomline is that as many others have said, cars aren't good investments, and we should buy what makes the most sense from an economic standpoint, as well as to some degree aesthetics. I drive well under 10,000 miles a year currently and figure the Sable will be more than reliable for the 10-12 years or so that I plan/hope on keeping it. If I drove 25,000 a year, I'd probably consider the camry or accord, even at an inflated price, since they could conceivably get to 250K miles with fewer problems. (Although at that point, buying a 12K econobox that gets 35+ mpg would probably be a better choice if you're doing that kind of road warrior mileage.) If I drove the average of 12K a year, I'd really consider the Sable. That $10K difference in actual cash should easily pay for the additional few repairs I might face on the sable, plus during the loan years, my costs would be easier to fit into my budget. If I was trading cars in every couple of years, well, I'd have more money than brains and it wouldn't really matter....
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    I agree mostly with sculldog33.

    Taurus currently is a very good vehicle, with perhaps a little less "refinement" (which is very subjective anyways) than Camry and Accord, but for a lot less cost when comparably equipped. I believe the quality gap has narrowed as well.

    With all the money you save over Camcords, you can certainly afford an extended warranty on your Taurus/Sable if you have doubts about long term reliability.

    For those in the used car market,a one or two year old Taurus/Sables are quite a bargain, and I have seen one local dealer throw in a 10 year 100,000 mile warranty with these cars.
  • The squealing noise you hear under the hood, MAY be coming from the belt tensioner pulley. I'm deloyed with the military at this time, so can't look at my 2001 taurus. However, I had that problem on a chrysler product that was driving me nuts. Come to find out the pulley was worn due to all the stress it takes to keep the belt tensioned properly. Changed the pulley, and cured the problem. Another thing to check is your power steering fluid level. It that's low, the power steering pump can cause an intermittant squeal. Again, don't know if ford has this pulley, but it's worth a look.
  • venus537venus537 Posts: 1,443
    say what! do you have to flunk a math test and lack common sense to get a taurus/sable?

    there's an organization called intellichoice that determines the overall cost of ownership over a 5 year period. the accord/camry finish near the top and the taurus/sable (not). as far as initial $10k savings, absurd.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    Well, $10k is likely stretching the price difference between comparably equipped Taurus and Camry. However, there definitely appears to be at least a $5-$7K difference in out the door costs when you are comparing the higher end models of each vehicle. On a base "stripper" model of each vehicle, it is more in the $2K-$4K range.

    Low financing incentives may result in higher purchase prices for Taurus. For example, on 2002's, the current choice is either $2500 rebates or 0% financing, not both. I believe Camry's have no rebate in place, just a low, but not zero financing incentive right now.

    In any event, there are significant initial price differences between the two. Depending on how often you trade cars and what your annual mileage is, the total cost to own could vary widely. Anyone who only keeps their vehicle 2-5 years is going to take a bath on depreciation, it's just a question of how deep the water in the bathtub will be.

    For myself, depreciation means little, as I plan on keeping my Taurus 10 years (I did my last one), and neither a 10 year old Taurus or a 10 year old Camry is going to be worth much. I sold my '90 to a private party for $2k when it was 10 years old. So initial cost is more of an issue with me. With the much better reliability of nearly all new cars, I contend reliability issues are becoming less important to the decision making process.
  • venus537venus537 Posts: 1,443
    i'm going to do some backtracking. lets exclude the camry for they can get pricey and i'm not as familiar with them as i'm with the accord. and i only know the accord finishes near the top with intellichoice.

    the 03 accords tops out at $26k (i refuse to count the nav system models, buy a map) and are available with no or little discount. but this is only temporary and will soon be available with $2k discounts. that leaves $24k. factor in the higher interest rate and you're still a long way from $10k or $7k.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    All I will respond right now is that you can get a very well equipped 2002 SES Deluxe version with the 200HP DOHC V-6 and a lot of bells and whistles which will have a list price of about $23000, and buy it for about $18,000 without tax title and license. While I am not about to go through the item by item comparison of what is included, this results in a difference of $6K from your Accord example.

    I will leave it up to others to respond with more detail if they want, but I do not think the above cost comparisons are too far off base.
  • venus537venus537 Posts: 1,443
    lets count the destination charge. i did with my accord example. but $18k for a loaded taurus, how does ford make any money? good news for the consumer though.
  • This is a Taurus board. We talk about our experiences good or bad(mostly good).

    Take your pricing war to another board.

    Next time you get in your foreign car thank God and the men and women(United States Armed Forces) who died for your right to drive it. Stay out of the way of our(what you call bad cars)we might not be able to stop from hitting you. Leave us patriotic US auto buying people alone.

    God bless AMERICA! and my Taurus(Silver bullet)
  • I agree eng6ine. I thank my lucky stars to be am American. And I will always support my country and buy American!
  • snowmansnowman Posts: 540
    for this guy -whatever the venus-. If I were you, I would worry on long term reliability of my - Made in Mexico - overpriced VW rather that lurking here and making comments about Taurus. This would be a optimization of Internet Usage for you. You know, use your time wisely.
  • riswamiriswami Posts: 192
    Honda boy have his say. I own two Ford products, a 97 Taurus and a 98 Villager. I know the Villager has a Nissan drive train. So I should have bought a Windstar and waited for the transmission or head gaskets to fail?

    You better look under the hood of that Taurus. I'm pretty sure I saw the words Bosch on some parts under my Taurus's hood. We now live in a world economy. Honda assembles a lot of their vehicles here. Ford has shipped jobs to Mexico; did I say Contour.

    I don't give a damn what Intellichoice says about ownership. A lot of that cost is slanted towards depreciation. That's why I bought my Taurus used. I was shopping a Honda Accord at the same time. Found out the Accord cost 300 more a year to insure. Wonder if Intellichoice figured that in?

    Even if you buy a Taurus/Sable new you'll get a great deal. Are they perfect, don't think so; but they are a pretty good value.

    Why would I care if Ford makes money. Are some of my mutual funds tied into Ford Stock? They have made the Vulcan engine for at least 17 years. They interchange parts among different models.This helps keep the cost low. They make a ton of profit on Explorers and Expeditions. Do you really think it cost 60% more to make a Expedition? It's a profit center; same thing for their trucks.

    I have no problem with Honda Boy coming onto this board. The Honda board has some pretty ridiculous postings.They also like to slam American Iron without fact. There also a few idiots who think Japanese paint and labor are superior. Don't think so.

    But don't say he can't express his opinion. I find it healthy. This board is all too quite at times. A little difference of opinion can only get things moving and people discussing and sharing information.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    These kinds of comparisons really need to take place under an appropriate discussion name over on the Comparisons - Sedans vs. Sedans board.

    That will allow folks who are not interested in that sort of debate to continue here in this dedicated discussion, and folks who do want to debate to carry on in an environment created for the specific purpose of debate.


    (Wonder how you spell that...)


    Sedans Host
  • I'm about to buy my brother-in-laws '98 Sable GL
    which has 120K on it. I'll use it as my "airport"
    car since I'm tired of driving my beloved Tundra (I had a bad experience with an F-150) to Atlanta airport and parking it there for a week. What kind of stuff should I be looking for when I start driving this car? Engine and tranny seem fine and the price is right!
  • Have 1997 Sable wagon / Duratec. Have replaced the sway bar links with Moog parts. Now the noise has started again and it is not fom the links. Could the rack steering assembly be sliping? It happens when turning or braking.
  • venus537venus537 Posts: 1,443
    "Found out the Accord cost 300 more a year to insure. Wonder if Intellichoice figured that in?"

    Yes, that's figured in.

    thanks for your comments about allowing dissenting opinions. i hope your viewpoint is more representative on this board than the previous posters. very unamerican in spirit.

    not quite sure how i'm slamming the taurus by saying it doesn't cost $10k more for a comparable accord.
This discussion has been closed.