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Ford Taurus/Mercury Sable Sedans Pre-2008



  • edmund2460edmund2460 Posts: 293
    do you have - V6 or 4? I have the new VVT-I 210hp V6 with 5 spd Auto. Do you know if this has a belt or a chain?
  • wijocowijoco Posts: 462
    First, try posting under the "Taurus problems" list. You'll get more response. Your ABS light sounds like the module is getting incoherent signals from the wheel speed sensors. When the ABS light comes on, the module has shut itself off. This resets when you turn the car off. The only way to knoe for certain what is wrong is to take it to a dealer and pay them around $60-75 to read the ABS module codes while parked and while driving. If you're unlucky like I have been with my 97 LX, the tech will come back and tell you that the module is giving him too many conflicting codes and thus is pronounced DOA. Hope not, because that module is $600 and nobody else makes it yet. You may be lucky and a good cleaning of the wheel speed sensors may do the trick. As far as thumping noise, check the Problems list as there have been a lot of posts on this topic. Could be a lot of things, but one cheap and easy suspect to eliminate first is the parking brake adjuster bushing: it's a round foam donut on the parking brake adjuster located on the chassis directly underneath the driver's seat. It's a real turd of a design because it tends to rot, expand, and blow off after a few years. Then the parking brake adjuster swings freely under the car, smacking every piece of metal it can reach when you stop and turn. It's a cheap and easy fix, though.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    You really ought to drive the used 02 Taurus before you decide not to buy it. You might be very surprised. I think Taurus is a very underappreciated car. You can get a solid, tight, quiet Taurus and $5K less than the Maxima, with 7k less miles. $5k is a lot of money for someone just getting out of college. I am sure you could put that $5k to good use.

    My 2000 Taurus has been perfect so far at 25K miles. (And besides, the Maxima is kinda ugly)
  • upsetter1upsetter1 Posts: 205
    You probably drived base Taurus. Try with Duratec. But it will not be so cheap though like Taurus with Vulcan, it is not rental car eigther so is difficult to find.

    Malibu is pretty fast and agile, but not refined, especially engine is old tech 3.4L. Taurus is more refined and modern vehicle for that matter. You can try also Old Alero. It looks more sporty and cool. Basically they are the same vehicles with Malibu, but Malibu is more like family sedan and Alero is more personal car, esp coupe and interior is more driver oriented. I even wanted to buy Alero one time, but didn't like how it was executed and outdated platform that feel unrefined.

    I didn't drive Maxima, I know that it has excelent engine. But rear suspension is not independent. It has Stewart-Russel multi-link beam rear suspension what is a torsion beam-axle or something like that. So handling may be not so good. But it should be real fast, thats why people like it. I don't know really how it feels though.

    edmund2460 - All XLEs have V6, it is most luxurous Camry, and more luxurous than any Taurus and Sable. Even interior is desined differently. Package that we choose has everything including traction control and side airbags. Actually I don't own Camry. I bought it for my close friend. He is shy and don't understand much in cars so I had to do research, find deal, negotiate, shoose warranty and all that stuff. He even asking me when and where to go for oil change and so on. Chain wasn't a priority, but you can look into maint guide. Typically you have to change time belt around 60,000 miles with water pump. We bought vehicles the same week, both new and 2002. So yes I will keep you guys informed. But I drive more miles. He commutes in his older '97 Camry that was laden with problems.
  • s852s852 Posts: 1,051
    There are some, but not many. If you spend the time to look for one, you can find one if you want it badly enough.
    Some Camry XLEs are 4 cylinders.
  • upsetter1upsetter1 Posts: 205
    "Production of the Ford Taurus will end at a yet-to-be-determined point after the Futura arrives, Ford Division President Steve Lyons says. As the Taurus winds down, sales will shift from retail to fleets. "

  • I'm a reporter with a major business daily seeking mercury sable drivers to comment on their experiences with the car for a weekly auto feature.

    If you're interested in talking for 5 minutes about the car, please email me at
  • danielj6danielj6 Posts: 285
    Ford is replacing the Taurus around 2005, I've been wandering whether the manufacturer will also retire de Sable.

    Has anyone read or heard something on this topic, and if yes where?
  • dmcgowandmcgowan Posts: 4
    I am currently test driving a '97 Sable GS wagon (third row seat, ABS, 3.0 SEFI V6). I have it until Monday night (today is Saturday). I intend to have a used car check performed at a local dealer/mechanic. Can anybody offer any thoughts on what to look out for on this car? I've seen complaints about transmission problems. Does anyone have any info to suggest how widespread the problems are? Consumer Reports gives the tranny an "Average" rating. Any other potential trouble spots? BTW, the car has 63,000 miles on it, and has an extremely well-maintained interior and exterior. The current offer on the table at the dealer is $6600 out the door. Any thoughts will be appreciated. Thanks!
  • blueguy1blueguy1 Posts: 4
    I am currently considering buying a new 2002 Ford Taurus. The dealership currently has 5 2002 models that were never sold. All but one of the cars has a MSRP of $23,625. I haven't contacted the dealership yet. I'm going on a very limited budget. Any ideas on what would be a fair price? thanks...
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    Given that you could likely get an '03 Taurus with an MSRP of about this for likely under $19K and maybe even close to $18K with the $3K rebates in effect, I would expect you could maybe get down to $16K or so, assuming you do not use Ford Credit, as then the rebates do not apply.

    I would start out low, maybe $14K-$15K or so, and see how they respond. If you hold tight and don't budge too quickly, you may be surprised what a good deal you can get. After all you are really have the advantage here, especially when the dealer has 5 still on the lot, and is likely very anxious to unload them.

    Good luck!
  • blueguy1blueguy1 Posts: 4
    Thanks for your reply badger. I sm not sure if Ford is offering 0% for 60 mos. on Taurus in my area and if they are they may not offer on on 02 models? If they are i would rather go that route. I'm a recent college grad. so should be eligible for the $400 discount. Any specific problems with 02's? This model has the 24V Duratec, with moonroof and adjustable pedals.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    You probably won't get the price down as low if you take the 0% financing as the $3K rebates/0% are an either or choice, not both. I believe the 0% financing is available across the country if your credit is good. I would be really surprised if the rebates or financing do not apply to leftover 2002 models.

    I have a 2000 SES Duratec and it has been excellent. No defects, only one minor recall for a windshield wiper potential problem. I do not think there are any glaring reliability problems in the current generation of Taurus. Very little complaint activity on this and on the Maintenance and Repair Taurus boards is a good sign.
  • blueguy1blueguy1 Posts: 4
    What kind of mileage do you get with the Duratec? I currently own a 95 Lumina with 116,000. I will probably be trading it in for the Taurus.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    On my daily commute to work which is 22 miles roundtrip, about 14 of which is mostly on urban freeway (Milwaukee) which become occasionally congested and the other 8 miles on city streets, I get 21-24, depending on how easy I take it on the pedal. The Duratec does tempt you with the urge to exercise it on the on ramps!

    Highway mileage I would guess would top out at about 28-29 max. The only full highway test I did was last winter and got 27 with fairly cold temperatures and fairly strong headwind on the first part of the drive, running 65-75 most of the time.
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,703
    noticeable deficit in the Sable headlamps???...I have noticed for over a year that when I turn on the headlights in my 2000 Sable, the actual amount of light emitting is quite mediocre... driving down a dark country road at night and even the high beams, while aimed correctly, hardly illuminate the roadway at 2000 Intrepid, OTOH, illuminates well on low beam, and lights up like daylight on high beam...I have changed the battery, and I also put in PIAA bulbs, but the actual amount of light just seems quite poor, and the roadway is illuminated, but not that well...I find it hard to believe that Ford would not know how to design a simple headlamp on a vehicle as new as 2000, whereas Chrysler makes me feel like I have airplane landing lights on the Intrepid...has anyone else noticed this problem, and is there a solution for it, since it appears that bulbs and new battery are not the answer...
  • caesarslegioncaesarslegion Posts: 109
    My girl friends taurus does the same thing. When driving at night we try to use the high beams when we can. My old car has better head lights than her new one lol. Im not sure how bad our taurus is to yours though. You cant even see good with the high beams on?
  • jtkz13jtkz13 Posts: 51
    I also noticed the headlights are not extremely bright, but mine is lowered so I'm sure that affects the beam effectiveness. I've heard good things about the Silvania Silverstar upgrade bulbs. Just don't go higher than the stock wattage, it will in the long run (or possibly short) burn out the plug socket and you'll have to get a $30 part from your dealership. Trust me, I had to replace both sides, and then I put the stock bulbs back in and it's been fine since.
  • danielj6danielj6 Posts: 285
    Hi all!
    I too noticed for a quite a long time that the headlights on my 2000 Sable aren't all that bright. I guess neither was I when I decided to buy Ford. I have some gripes regarding my last visit to the service department. But that is besides the point.

    To supplement illumination I turn on the fog lights. Pretty mediocre alternative.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    I think the headlights are fine. No complaints at all. They are much better than our '96 Caravan, which was criticized in CR when they reviewed it as having less than adequate headlights.

    I believe I read somewhere when I was researching before buying my 2000 Taurus that they had improved the headlights quite a bit from the last generation.
  • upsetter1upsetter1 Posts: 205
    Along with weak brakes it is another well known weakness of 2000 Taurus/Sable (may be of '96 Taurus also). I read about it in some reviews. I have no problems because am driving in town or freeway so don't really using headlights.

    In general clear-lense headlights are less effective than old fashioned headlamps. It was a matter of fashion when they changed more effective old Taurus headlamps to the clear-lense ones in '96 Taurus. There was so heated debate inside DN101 team about new lamps that leading headlight engineer resigned after all, but because at the time Honda Accord had already clear-lense headlamps it was decided to go in the same direction to beat 'em (and Toyota for that matter that continued to use old approach even in '97 Camry, what is a proof that it is not fashionable headlights or flamboyant style that sell midsize family car).

    But anyway, even clear-lense headlamps can be excelent, no question about it. It is more about engineering - how good are software and engineers, how much resources and time you have, what are specs and etc.
  • danielj6danielj6 Posts: 285
    Let me say it one more time, the headlights (low beams) on my 2000 Sable aren't strong enough. I often need to turn on the fog lights to supplement illumination of the road. I have 20/20 vision and don't have problems driving at night.

    Regarding brakes, I don't notice any difficulties with mine. I read in reviews that they feel "spongy", I believe is the description I saw.
  • landru2landru2 Posts: 638
    Are you sure your lights are aimed properly? If your fog lights are illuminating the same section of road as your low beams it sounds like something isn't aimed right.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    Fog lights will only illuminate at most the first 5-10 feet of road low and immediately in front of the car. This area is an area that headlights do not normally illuminate much as any object you get this close to at night you should have seen coming from further away.

    I have never read any reports anywhere about poor headlights in Taurus/Sable before these recent posts and have not noticed any problems with my Taurus-and it does not have fog lights available anyways.

    Ford claimed that headlights in the current generation Taurus are 20% brighter than the past generation-this was in the Edmunds writeup for 2000 Taurus.

    Are Sable headlights are poorer than Taurus? I don't know. I suppose it is a possibility as the exterior shape of the headlights are different, but being engineered by basically the same group in Ford, I doubt there is any appreciable difference.
  • s852s852 Posts: 1,051
    I have a laptop that I plan to use as a navigation system in a 2002 Taurus that has a single disk CD player and no cassette.
    If it had a cassette, I would just get a cassette adapter to run the audio from the laptop, but that is not an option. I also heard that there are FM transmitters than could be used, but they work poorly.
    Someone said there is someway to tap into the unused factory CD changer input so I could connect the laptop or even a MP3 player and get full fidelity.
    Anyone have an idea how this could be done?
    It would be really cool to use the laptop to play MP3s and also simultaneously hear the navigation commands if that software was running at the same time.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    Just as a sidenote, today's results were released by JDPowers, which surveys customers on Initial Quality on the first 90 days. I don't take this survey seriously in any way, but nice inidication....

    Sable placed 1st place for Premium Midsize Car.

    Here's the link if anyone wishes to view it.
  • ssartorissartori Posts: 15
    About 11 months ago while my 1999 Mercury Sable was still under new car warranty, which at that time had about 23,000 mile and 3 months left, I developed a small oil leak. I would see a few drops of oil every morning on my garage floor. I brought it in to the dealer, for an oil change and had it checked out. They thought it was a loose plug. I still had the small leak. Then one morning, after pulling out of the garage, I noted a pretty good size oil puddle under the car. Took it to the dealer immediately, and they discovered that the oil filter at the bottom where the gasket and threaded flange is, was bower out making it convex instead of concaved. Interesting, thought it was a faulty filter and placed a new one on the car and off I went.

    For the next few months, I had the consistent oil leak maybe a few drops every few day. Took it back again and couldn't’t find the leak. Well last December, with maybe 25,000 mile and about 4 months out of new car warranty, while driving home from work in the shadier side of town, my check engine light came on and the engine shut down. I smelled oil burning. I opened the hood and check the dipstick and it still showed no oil and there was a huge puddle under the car, about 5 quarts worth.

    At that Point I thought to myself thank God, I had ESP extended warranty. Well I called the 1-800 for roadside assistance. The rep on the line told me I had no roadside assistance coverage, had no record of me ever buying this car, even though I’m still paying for it through Ford Motor credit, His data base only showed me as owning a 1986 T-Bird (that car has been gone for about 6-7 years), and living at a address that I moved from about 8 years ago. He gave me the name of 2 guys who they use to tow. Now mind you this all was happening in the shadier side of town it’s dark and about 6pm. I called the first guy and he said it would be about 3 hours before he would come, called the second guy, and he just laughed about the location the car was at and hung up. At that point I called the dealer and by luck they were still there. The owner of the dealership called Ford and bamm, in 10 minutes I got a call from roadside assistance asking where I was and there will be a tow truck there in 15 minutes.

    Back at the dealership, they checked out the car and it seemed that the oil filter exploded this time draining the oil out in seconds. Oil was all over the engine compartment along with the road. So the dealership diagnosed the problem as a faulty oil pump. They gave me a loaner car and in about a week, had the new oil pump in. Brought the car home and for the next 3 weeks still saw the few drops of oil on the garage floor. Brought it back to the dealer once again and they took it apart again making sure they did not do a faulty job replacing it the first time. Did a dye check etc. About a week or two later got a call from them and they said it was ready to go. Brought back my loaner, picked up my car and sure enough for the next month I had the constant 3-5 inch diameter leak on my garage floor. I called the dealership and ask if they would like me to take it somewhere else. They said no, they would give it one more shot. This time after talking to Ford, they took the engine out of the car and found a small leak between the upper and lower block. Yes, the 3.0 Duratec has an upper and lower block and there is a seal between the two blocks. Well that was almost 6 weeks ago and my car is still with out an engine, sitting on a lift at the dealer.

    Come to find out Ford ESP is demanding from the dealership refund for the second visit where the dealership double check the work done to replace the oil pump. I think the around is $900. The dealership said they did the right thing, fix the first problem, the oil pump that was probably turning out 300psi enough to blow apart a metal oil filter and possibly blow a gasket between the upper and lower block. Also they found scoring on the camshaft and cam bearings. The dealership wants Ford to send a new engine. I also want a new engine. The car has 26,000 mile and the mileage is not increasing anytime soon. Ford said they should have found the problem the first time. I called the Ford customer no-service number, they were very sympathetic but said they can’t do anything about the problem they are strickly new car only and said that ESP and the dealership will work it out.

    I’m very thankful that the dealership is giving me a loaner, as I really need a vehicle. Ford ESP is a different division of Ford and I guess they don’t play well with the new car warranty division. Because the oil filter didn’t blow out till after the new car warranty expired ESP is covering it, which I’m guessing is basically Ford internal warranty division, which may be set up like an insurance company.

    The owner of the dealership has called Ford Regional office. That’s where we stand now. I’m driving a 97 Mountaineer, as the loaner for the pass three weeks and before that I had a couple Sable demos and a Grand Marquee. I just wish they would let me drive a couple Lincolns. Oh well maybe a month from now.

    Now think about it, the dealership tore the engine (oil pump is not in the oil pan but running off the front somewhere and a bear to get to) 2 times at about 16-20 hours per visit @ $50-60 per hour. That’s about $2000. If they were to drop an engine in on the first trip they would have been about $900-1000 ahead. What $800 for a new engine and 8 hours labor. Instead I get to see how ugly, and how non-consumer oriented Ford Motor Company is. Let alone how they treat their dealers and most of all, the substandard quality of their product.

    Who would of thought that an oil pump would be blowing oil filters off a car at 24,000 miles.

    I’ll let you know what happens.
  • edmund2460edmund2460 Posts: 293
    Sorry to hear about your problems. (1) I think you may have a case for warranty compensation since the problem started within the warranty period - perhaps someone else can confirm this. (2) I would investigate small claims court if you can't get your way. When I had my head gasket fail, I got the same unsympathetic run around from customer service, I told them that I had been a loyal customer that had bought 4 of their cars in 5 years and they didn't care. I would have even taken a discount coupon on a new car. I know they made concessions to some others who had the same problem, extended the warranty on some cars (not my model year) and paid when some sued. It's their service strategy, do nothing till they absolutely have to, look at past history and you will see they have not changed. Note: before you loyalists beat up on me, I am making a point not about the car but what I perceive to be Ford's approach to getting back their market share...
  • danielj6danielj6 Posts: 285
    Although I don't have advice to give you, I do empathize with you as you suffer through this ordeal. I'd like to say or actually repeat what has been my personal belief and attitude for some time. My deepest dislike for car manufacturers and dealers. I only buy from whom I get the best deal. I have no loyalties and will not purchase more than 2 vehicles from the same maker.

    If tomorrow I see even the smallest oil leak under my car I will cut my losses and get rid of it. Oil leaks point to engine trouble and this means lots of bucks. I realize that for some people is not simple to go and trade their car for another and get into car payments. But the aggravation of having these "technicians" get their paws in my engine and suckered me out of $$$$$$$$$$$$ is just unecceptable.

    I got carried away. Don't want to start a controversy here. This is just mi opinion.
    ssartori I wish you very good luck!
  • caesarslegioncaesarslegion Posts: 109
    It would be lawyer time if it was my car. I had to lemon law a dodge shadow once so I know the head ache and problems you're going through. I wish you the best of luck and let us know how things work out.
This discussion has been closed.