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Ford Taurus/Mercury Sable Sedans Pre-2008



  • I have a 96 Sable. There was an option for a console mounted CD changer. Foolishly, I didn't get one as the dealer wanted $600. I added an aftermarket, FM modulated CD changer in the trunk. It is adequate, but that's all. As it is now the wifes car (and she doesn't care), it is fine. Try or for add-on CD changers. They should be able to set you up.


    The Sable and Taurus are virtually the same car. The Sable is decked out a little better, but mechanically they are the same. It basically comes down to styling. Which do you like better?
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    Well, we have had two Caravans (1985 and current 1996) and Two Tauri(1990 and current 2000) and have had no transmission problems on any of them and did not baby them with frequent fluid & filter changes. We sold the 85 Caravan with 78,000 miles and only changed fluid and filter once at 60,000. Same with the 90 Taurus, which we sold at 98,000 miles and it had one fluid and filter change at 60,000 miles. The current 96 Caravan is at 60,000 miles now and running fine-it is due for it's first transmission change soon (manual says you could go to 100,000 but I don't wait quite that long). The 2000 Taurus has nearly 20,000 miles on it and running fine and I do not plan on any transmission fluid changes for quite a while. So am I just lucky or what? I certainly have not found that either Ford or Chrysler transmissions need babying.
  • I just bought a 1999 Taurus SE with the Mach stereo system. The front speakers seem to only have mid-range and bass (no treble). The rear deck speakers sound good. I'm assuming the little black speakers mounted on the doors next to the side mirrors are tweeters only. And yes, I have messed with the bass/ treble controls along the fader. Anyone else come across this problem? It's still under warranty but I'm hoping it's just a quick fix. Thanks.
  • mralanmralan Posts: 174
    Well I've been having my 01 SES for 8 months now. It has 34k miles and I have no complaints at all. I'm really a Toyota person, but I'm not getting rid of my bull until it gives me a good reason too. I have to say I'm pleasantly surprised!
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    You put on a lot of miles. At that rate over 50K a year. My 00 SES is now just over 2 years with 19K. No problems at all so far.

    Glad to see yours is doing fine. Is it a Duratec or Vulcan engine?

    Keep us posted as the miles add up.
  • regfootballregfootball Posts: 2,166
    no problems aside from the fact that the sound basically sucks. I would love to replace my Mach system and speakers but there is no way to replace a MAch system. I haven't looked into just replacing the speakers.
  • Purchased new in '99... 60K miles problems until 6/02.
    When cold, especially parked a day or two on uphill driveway....very difficult starting...all codes read OK at dealer...Can anyone offer some help in diagnosis????
  • What's the condition of the battery? On a '99, it's possible it could be on the way out. Maybe stop by a parts store like Auto Zone or Pep Boys, who will usually be able to do a check while you wait.

    One other thought--fuel quality problems and things like that don't come up with codes, but yet can still mean trouble. Did you just have a cold snap after filling up in the hot weather? I'm in New England, and late last spring we had a week of 70+ degree weather and then it dropped into the 40s for a week. I filled up on the last day of the hot spell, and then my '98 Taurus was harder to start. They blend gasoline based somewhat on the outside temps. Warmer weather gas is less volatile, because it burns easier at higher temps. The cold weather made my car with that gas grumpy--longer cranking times, a bit of a stumble when it first fired, and really bad gas mileage. Next tank the weather had stabilized, and all was well. No codes came up because there wasn't anything the computer thought was wrong.

    Could this be the problem?
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    On my old 90 Taurus, when you turned the key to start but before you actually turned it all the way to engage the starter, the electric fuel pump mounted at the gas tank would start to run (you could hear a low level whine). I noticed that if I paused briefly to let the fuel pump get up to speed, the starter did not have to crank as long, as the pressure was full up.

    It might be possible your battery is not getting the pump pressure up quickly, thus causing the delay in firing up. Maybe this phenomena is more pronounced if you park going uphill?

    You might also want to post in the Edmunds Taurus/Sable maintenance board also.

    I am just speculating on these ideas, anybody else have any experience?
  • ndfarndfar Posts: 19
    What is the best recommended way to chang oil?? Most shops offer a fluid exchange for $60-$80 but it doesn't change the filter. Then for about $60 I found one that chaged the filter but then the oil in the torque converter doesn't get changed. I also heard some that the fluid exchange puts pressure on all the seals and can cause them to leak. So what do I do?
  • hutch7hutch7 Posts: 88
    I have a '98 Sable with the 12V Vulcan. I was going to change the coolant this weekend but I can't find the drain. Anyone done this job?
  • I have a 2000 sable with the duratec engine. On acceleration under load, hills, high gear without downshift etc. I get a vibration that shakes the whole car. It is not wheels rather engine/transmission induced. Has been there awhile and getting worse. 46,000 on odometer. Anyone else experience this?
  • whamersk,

    Let me guess. The car is pointed with the nose up on the driveway? You also show more/less (depending on which end is up) gas than you thought you had? How much gas is in the tank?

    Editorial: If you want your fuel pump (which is in the tank) to last a long time, don't go below 1/4 tank unless you have to. The fuel in the tank cools the pump. End of editorial.

    I'm not totally sure, but I believe the pump is in the front of the tank. If you're "low" on fuel and the car is at such an angle that the fuel runs away from the pump, you could have a hard starting problem. I have never had a starting problem with my '96 Duratec Sable with 112K miles. Except for when the battery died.
  • upsetter1upsetter1 Posts: 205
    I just bought new 2002 Camry XLE with tons of options for my friend who panics over haggling with dealers and can tell you than we got it $4000 below MSRP. I wrote previously that I bought new 2002 Sable Premium for $5,000 below MSRP for myself. I just like Sable style inside out more than any other car, esp Camry and quality-wise it is still high quality car.

    Now I bought Sable for 18,700 (20,700 with taxes and fees) and we bought Camry XLE for ~$25,500 (28,000+). Camry has more options like power passenger seat, traction control, side airbags, more leather accents, better audio system with more features and even embedded garage opener. All these ontions probably worth about $2,000, so we get about 5,000 difference here. Does it worth it? Probably yes considering quality of interior more in Lincoln territory, higher quality engine, better transmission and brakes. That issues should be met by Ford in next Taurus and 500 or it will loose.

    What I want to say that not only Ford sells cars in discount price. All new Camry is still was sold below invoice.
  • ehenness, badgerfan,ezaircon4jc..thanks for the ideas...Battery is 12.6V, fuel is usually 1/2 tank or more....I've used several different brands..quality seems OK....I'm still crankin' and hoping for a warm winter.
  • mralanmralan Posts: 174
    I'm sorry my post #1714 was misleading. I have 34k miles on my 01 SES, but I purchased it 8 months ago with 26k miles, so I only average 1k miles/month or 12k miles/year. Pretty average.
  • I've been looking at many cars lately,to replace my '99 Toyota.I like the looks of the Taurus/Sable.When,at two different dealers,recently,I tried opening the driver side doors.Both cars(Sables)had doors that stuck,seemingly,at the catches.Anyone have this problem?Also,my father-in-law,who happens to own a transmission shop,said,that the Mercury makes a better engine/transmission than in the Ford.I gave him a very strange look.So,is this a fact,or a falsehood?
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    I doubt very much any difference between Taurus and Sable transmissions. The cars are basically twins, except for sheet metal and trim.

    There are however two different engine options on both Taurus and Sable, and thus also two different transmissions that accompany these engines. I do not know if one or the other transmission is "better". Anyone else have any knowledge? Is the transmission on the Vulcan pushrod engine vs the Duratec DOHC engine any less or more reliable?

    As far as stuck doors, I have no experience-it has not happened to me. Perhaps it was the rubber seals sticking slightly if the cars had sat on the lot a long time without being opened.
  • iusecadiusecad Posts: 287
    when my dad had his '96 LX, the driver's door would stick when it was damp out. You'd pull on the handle a few (4-5) times and then it would unlatch. Never did get that fixed, 'cause it didn't happen very often.
  • These cars are an excellent value for what they cost new or used. Seen a couple '99's In dealer advertisements for as low as $7,000 (30-50K miles). My wife's car is a '99 Taurus. Excellent car, Rides very smoothly and feels well connected to the road. I think will be dumping my '94 STS (109K miles) for a used 98-99 Taurus. The Cadillac Is basically worthless used, It seems nobody Is interested In these wobbling extra long Sedans, The jittery electronic road sensing suspension causes the car to constantly vibrate. If I'm lucky to get at least $4,500 for It, I'll dump It for a Taurus or Sable.
  • Hi Guys, I just bought a 1999 Taurus SE with 39000 miles on it. I like the car very much except one thing: I found that the MPG is only a little less than 20 Miles per Gallon, while I noticed that the specs says it can go to 20/28 MPG. I used it for commuting to work and the traffic is local/highway mixed.
    So is the 20- mpg abnormal? Anything I should do to check it out?
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    Your mileage sounds a little low, but it really depends on how much of your mix of city and highway is city. Sitting idling at stop lights can really kill mileage. I have occasionally gotten as low as 19 driving to work and back, which is also a mix of city and highway, but normally I get about 21. Mileage pops up to 27-29 strictly highway. I don't think there is much difference between the Vulcan and Duratec mileage, however with the Duratec, my tendency becomes to punch it more, as the acceleration is available. This of course, is not best for mileage!
  • ohio7ohio7 Posts: 67
    I have a 2000 SEL which of course has the Duratec engine. On straight highway driving I've gotten 31 mpg. In the city with the AC on, I get 17/18. Without it on I get 19/20.

    Have just barely 14,000 miles on it now and still am very happy with the car. My only complaint was that after I took it in for a recall concerning the grease from the asjustable brakes slipping into the brake light mechanism, about 8 months later I couldn't start the car. I called the Road Assistance number and a female (good for her!) told me how to start it and not be stranded anymore. Of course I had to take it in to have another light mechanism installed - their cost, but my loss of time.

    I also called an 800 Customer Service number that the dealer provided, and complained about the incident. They seemed very concerned about the failure of the first recall fix. Hoping this is the last episode.
  • I am looking to purchase a wagon to replace a Toyota Camry wagon for carpool up to 7 passenger(mostly preteen children). Am considering the sable wagon, but it appears that the rear door only opens from the outside. Is this what is meant by child safety lock door? Any thoughts on other wagons, short of the Mercedes?
  • I have a 95 Taurus LX Wagon with 3.8 engine. When I drive 45mph or higher, a buzzing noise is coming from the dashboard, and the odometer is pointing to a higher speed than I am actually driving. When I slow down to under 45mph, the noise is gone. The noise stays on most of the time that I am driving above 45-50mph, it is very annoying. Anyone experiencing with such a problem or with a possible solution to this problem is very much appreciated. Thanks.
  • Mouse... I have a 98 Taurus SE with Duratec (80K miles with NO problems and NO unscheduled dealer visits except for a broken trunk mounted CD Changer).
    In our case the mileage depends on who is driving... In our mix (80% highway, 20% city) I will get 22-23 and wifey gets 25-26. Attributed to me just driving it harder than she does. Worst case is 15mpg in heavy Vegas traffic in summer. Best case is 28 during a holiday week commute when there was no traffic to speak of...

    So, you are actually right about where I am...
    best, MDJ
  • Sounds like your speedometer cable is in need of lubrication or replacement. If you are handy, you may be able to get the end of the cable out of the speedometer, bring it down under the dash, and lube it with a very light mineral oil or graphite. If you're not handy or comfortable doing this, I'd suggest a speedometer shop, dealer, or other shop you trust to lube and/or replace it. If the shop says they can't get at it well, you may want to have it replaced. Lubing it may or may not completely cure the problem, but replacement should. There's a chance the speedometer is going bad, but that's less likely.
  • fdthirdfdthird Posts: 352
    Both rear doors have a child safety setting that can be turned either on or off via a lever on the door jam. Obviously, the one you tried was on!
  • 427435427435 Posts: 86
    First: 1996 Sable, 43,000 miles (Grandmother's car). Bought when Mom stopped driving and my wife has been driving it. When she locks it, the alarm will frequently go off sometime after she has left the car. I tried setting the alarm and shaking the car and all the doors, hood, and trunk lid and alarm wouldn't go off. Ford service didn't have any other suggestions.

    Anyone else ever experience this? Manual doesn't have any directions to disable. Any suggestions?

    Second: 2002 Sable, 23,000 miles (my commuting car). Since new, the shift into 4th shudders. I know this used to be a problem until Ford developed a better transmission fluid. The 1996 shifts fine (both have the 24 valve engine). Finally taking it back to the dealer this week---waiting to see if any other problems developed so I wouldn't have to go in multiple times.

    Anyone else have this problem on an '02 or '03?
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