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Ford Taurus/Mercury Sable Sedans Pre-2008



  • A pint of oil every 1500 miles is nothing to worry about (take a look at the Jetta board). I would also use 87 octane gas. Using higher octane gas gives you no benefit except a lighter wallet.
  • I have Taurus with 130K miles with Vulcan that comsumes exactly 1q per 1500. I don't know about 19K miles for Vulcan, my new car has Duratec. When I bought it new it didn't consume oil at all, I am changing oil every 5K miles because driving mostly freeway in CA. But now at close to 19K it comsumes may be 1/4 q per 3K miles.
  • Thanks upsetter1 and roadrascal for the excellent advice on oil consumption and octane rating.

    It's been my habit, for too many years, to add oil between changes(topping up)as needed by keeping an opened quart in my car's trunk. This habit came about from owning a Jaguar XJ6 which would not tolerate being even a trifle low on any fluids.

    Being a mature citizen, the days when cars used a quart or more of oil between 500 and 1000 miles are well remembered. Plumes of blue smoke from the tailpipes of certain makes were common. You were careful to avoid being behind Nash, Studebaker, Willys and Hudson Terraplanes in traffic on hot days.

    Again, thanks for the good advice.
  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    Just seen at the dealer about 10-15 pieces sitting on the lot.

    The new front- and rear-end, lights, not a big deal. The major upgrade is the new steering wheel and gauges (very similar to the new Ford Freestar) with a digital odometer - finally! It also has 3 button controls for the message board, also the same as Windstar/ Freestar. Then there supposed to be some changes under the hood (more hp, better mileage) which I can not verify by just looking.

    Other than that, nothing special.
  • Ok, so this is a bit dated, but I thought still relavent to coversations on safety if you own or are looking for a '99 Tauras.

    About one week ago I was involved in a T-bone accident (ironically enough hit by another Ford - an older '88 or so F-150). The impact in my driver's door was horrendous. Glass exploded everywhere. I was to say the least, very impressed with the ability of my Taurus to withstand the heat. Despite being broadsided directly in the driver's door at between 20-30 mph, I sustained only a few minor cuts from glass and no significant injuries. The car, however, was not so lucky and was a total loss.

    Thank you Ford, for making such a crashworthy vehicle!!!! I'll definitely be looking at you for my next vehicle.
  • The later '00 and up Taurus/Sables are supposed to be just as good on side impact (or better with the side airbags). The doors/sides of the car were the only part from the '96-'99 style that was not modified for the 2000 redesign, so this makes sense.

    Glad to hear you came out of it with minor injuries. Too bad your Taurus didn't fare as well, but then again, it did the job it was designed for, especially given you got hit by a pickup.

    I think a lot of people overlook this aspect of cars when buying, but it's kind of important!
  • vacman1vacman1 Posts: 28
    I couldn't agree more. In fact, the primary reason I bought my Taurus originally was due to the five star crash rating it received.

    My next delimma is whether to purchase another Taurus or a 300 M. I liked many features about the Taurus except the resale value was terrible and the driver's seat for me, at least, I found very uncomfortable after lengthy driving.

    I would like to have the features of the 300 M but the Ford name. I was hoping to wait until the 500 came out to buy anything, but Mr. F-150 had other ideas ...

    I guess now I'm more seriously considering the 300 M with side airbags. It'd be a serious step up pricewise for me, but I don't think my back can take 4 more years of stock Taurus seats.

    All kidding aside, anyone that says Ford makes crap doesn't know what they're talking about. I only ever had two problems on that car (24V DOHC - sigh ... what a nice little engine that was :)).

    One was a lose cigarette lighter fixed under warranty, the second more annoying problem was the faulty wiper/turn switch that caused the wipers to cycle turning either left or right and the eventual loss of the wiper washer fluid.

    But still $120 worth of repairs, one set of $225 tires, and a $100 brake job on a car with $95K miles and 4 years? The foreign quality crowd can stick it. As far as I'm concerned, I'll be buying more American cars in the future.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    You might want to try current generation Taurus- seats may be different from your 99 as they redesigned all but the doors in 2000. Kept the optional Duratec however-has slightly more HP than your 99 also. Yes it is a very good engine.

    Note the 300M is a nice car, but is becoming an orphan- I believe Chrysler is replacing it with a 300C rear wheel drive-the Mercedes influence. 300M may depreciate fast as well.

    I had a rental low mileage 300M this summer for a weeks vacation and it was a nice car, but I don't think it is all that much better than my Taurus SES with the 24 valve DOHC Duratec, especially when I doubt if you would touch a new 300M for under say $25-$27K?????? That's just a guess on my part as I have never seriously priced one out.

    If you really want to save some bucks, find a leftover new 2003 Taurus. With the rebates you can get them well loaded for several thousand south of $20K. Depreciation doesn't mean much to me, especially when I can bank the $5K-$6K I have saved over by not buying a V-6 Camcord. Use that money toward the next one. Money not spent up front does not depreciate!
    On the other hand, I don't rack up the miles you do, so depreciation may be more important to you.

    Want to move up and stay in the Ford Family? How about a Lincoln LS? Due to the "Domestic is Junk" fervor in the press, a leftover 2003 can be had pretty inexpensively with big rebates as well, especially if you stay with the base V-6 model, which also has an upscale version of that trusty 3 litre Duratec.
  • vacman1vacman1 Posts: 28
    I have actually test driven the Lincoln. There are three reasons I would not buy it: 1) Appearance - I sell municipal equipment. Pull up in a Lincoln and a lot of mayors/cities will be asking themselves whether or not they are paying too much for your stuff. :) 2) I'd get a ticket in that Lincoln faster than you can say boo! 3) For the money, I can't see that it's better than a 300M. The 300M seems to have decent performance and let's face it, all leather seats and sunroof look about the same. I can get a 300M with satellite radio and in dash DVD/Nav system for $30,700 (not counting rebate original MSRP is almost $35K). I'm at least $10K higher with a Lincoln - and I don't think any of those features are built in for that price.

    When you put 25-30K miles a year on a car you don't really give a crud about depreciation. The Taurus will go down much much quicker since a lot of these are available as rentals and corp. cars. I watched my old '99 Taurus go from an original purchase price of $18.3 K (7/01/2000) to $7.4K (9/18/2003) when I was hit four years and 95K miles later. Still not too bad though, came out $3.2K ahead.

    I believe the secret to avoiding depreciation is negotiating a good car deal in the first place ...
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    That's an excellent point, badger. Everybody jumps on the bandwagon about depreciation - money not spent up front does not depreciate. I may do a regression analysis on that someday to see what the true impact is between a Taurus and an Accord.
  • s852s852 Posts: 1,051
    You can buy a new Taurus and get a big discount and big rebate and still lose a huge amount on depreciation compared to an Accord. You can also get a discounted Accord, just no rebates.

    The only way to really minimize the worst of the Taurus depreciation is to buy a 1 or 2 year old model. You may be able to pick up a used 2002 Taurus SES for about $11K now. If the dealers are selling them for $11k, you would be lucky to get 9K trade-in value. The value is still spiralling down even after two years, but at a slower pace per year. (If it continued at that depreciation pace much longer, it would have a negative value!)
    Even if you buy a brand new 2004 SES with the base Vulcan engine for invoice of $20412 minus the $1000 rebate, that's still $19412 plus the taxes. Expect to lose at least $6K in one year even if you got it for a "invoice minus rebate" deal.
    Can you imagine if someone actually paid near the MSRP of $22040 for a bases SES with no options?!
  • As S852 stated, you can most definitely get a 2002 SES for $11K or so now. Two months ago, on 1 August, I bought a 2002 SES with 21K miles for $11,500 before my trade-in, with standard SES equipment, along with two new tires, new windshield wipers, oil change, etc. They listed in the $13Ks. This is not to say that I necessarily got the world's best price-- I'm new to the car-buying game and though I did my research, I doubt I got the best deal out there. I'm sure you can get a better price now. If geographical area can influence price, as I imagine it can, my area is the Southeast U.S., despite my username.

    Another comment is this: when shopping, I narrowed it down to two cars, much like it seems vacman1 is doing. I was deciding between a Saturn L200 and a Taurus SES, of the same year and of comparable mileage. When it came down to it, I got the car of lesser quality/options (the Saturn L200) dealer to get down to their "lowest" price, and decided the evening that my boyfriend and I went to the Ford dealer, if we could get them to commit to that "low" price, then I would buy the car, as it's nicer. And that's what happened. Maybe not the most logical/informed approach, but I like having some range of vehicles to choose from, and I was very happy with the end result. Buying a car is really such a game anyway, though unfortunately it's really no fun for the buyer until they have the prize, and it's fun for the dealers, who are secretly laughing in everybody's face anyway, the entire time.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    I get the same feeling, Chicago, that I never really win, I just get a car...... ;)
  • Hi Everone, I am new to this forum but have enjoyed reading it for the last few days. I have not seen any messages refering to a factory installed handsfree phone system.I bought my 2001 SES Taurus with one last August.My hubby and I were shopping for a Taurus (my choice,first time I got to pick the car in 30 years)and we came across the one we finally agreed upon. The only thing that was wrong was the ugly phone holder in the fold down cup holder. But the price was right and the color was right and it drove fantastic, so we bought it.I told hubby he better figure out how to get rid of the phone holder and he agreed,(small dealership, not Ford and nobody knew anything about the phone).Black antenna attached to the rear window. Well anyways, turns out it holds a standard Nokia phone, and when you recieve a call,you talk in the air and you here your caller thru the speakers!It is crystal clear and your radio or cd shut off when a call comes in and starts back up when call is finished. I just love it! It is one of my favorite things about the car now. I am just wondering if anyone else has one and do they love it as much as me. Thank gosh hubby didnt remove it. We didnt have a phone at the time and asked my Daughter to see if hers fit and low and behold it did. Next day ran out and bought a phone, even the phone dealer was clueless, but very much impressed when he heard it in motion.
  • Briefly, I doubt that there ever will be a Honda/Toyota/Nissan collectors club. However there are still Model A's and T's and later vintage Fords/Mercurys/Lincolns still out there and being enjoyed by their owners.

    The Asian makes are designed to last X miles with little or no trouble. Yes, they may make it to XXX,XXX miles if they don't rust to pieces in the meantime. If they are so utterly reliable and trouble-free, why do the dealers bother to employ mechanics and require service appointments far in advance?

    American cars are designed for our driving styles and conditions. If one thinks that they are superior, simply check some of the other bulletin boards to verify their reputations.
  • vacman1vacman1 Posts: 28
    As has been stated several times already there is really only one way to avoid excessive depreciation and that's to let someone else take the 25-30% hit the first year on the car price while you buy used.

    I do think however, you can minimize this hit on a new car if you are smart when you do your shopping. For instance, I recently test drove a 300 M and liked it. Immediately, of course, the salesman wants to make a deal to get me in it because the "rebates might be going down since it was the month's end." I waited, in fact, still haven't bought and now that same dealer is having a huge sale with bigger rebates a few days later.

    Now do you think the salesman told me this sale would be coming up? No way! Do you think he knew? You bet your sweet patootie he did. That's one dealer I won't be purchasing from.

    I have found that the best way to take the dealers on is to play their own game with them. Patience is the key. Go to 4 or 5 (or more) local dealers and give them the intention you will buy soon (2 wks / 1 month or so). Walk around with them and check out some of the cars you're interested in. Comment very slyly that you think the MSRPs seem high, or that so and so dealer (you don't even need to mention a name) says he can provide model X for a price you set. This does two things: 1) it establishes that you aren't a sucker; 2) it tells you whether the dealer is the kind that will lower the MSRP.

    If the dealer wont budge on MSRP - walk right off the lot. This isn't the kind of dealer you want to be doing business with anyway. On the other hand, you may get the result I got recently which was to be offered a very loaded car for an employee price, when I am not an employee of D/C. You'd be surprised what a salesman will do to get you in a car if they are desperate enough.

    Once you've agreed on a sale price - or at least you have the price in your mind leave the dealership! Take the salesmans card and negotiate the financing at home over the telephone or by fax! You'll feel less pressure to sign anything in a controlled environment. Remember that as far as you are concerned the sales price and the financing are two seperate issues.

    Use Edmunds price calculator to evaluate the financing terms of a deal before signing anything. For example, a $30,700 car ($35K MSRP) with a $2000 rebate sounds like a great deal until you find out they want 4.9% interest for the financing. It's better to take the same car at 0% for 60 months. Know your credit rating before negotiating a finance deal. Some dealers will say you can't get the 0% financing because of a "bad credit" score - which is illegal by the way. And hold out for 0% / 60 months because a lot of dealers will give you that if your credit is 650 or over, and it means a substantially smaller car payment most of the time vs. rebates.

    Another optional method I've used with great success is to talk to 4-5 dealers, get the salesmans card and then fax a bid form to all of them highlighting the car model, features you want and financing terms. You dictate all of these and put the names of the other salesman on the fax and then see who bites. Give them one shot to submit their "best price" to you via fax. This is how public works projects are bid and it is a highly successful method that often results in substantial savings to you. Plus, when you enter the dealer to sign papers you already have a form of a written contract, so it's very difficult for them to retract the promises later.

    A second major advantage of this method is that if you are a shy person (no worries for me though) you'll have more bargaining power and feel less obligated to give in to the pressure in the sales office. The worst thing one can do is go into a car salesman's office to sign anything!!!!! Make them do it in the open air tables on the show floor because if they think someone else might be watching, it plays on their conscience if the papers are being signed outside the security of their cubes. I know a lot of you think salesman have no conscience, but believe me most all of them do! The ones that don't can usually be ferreted out by trying to negotiate on MSRP.
  • You might want to look for a Taurus/Sable with the floor shifter and bucket seats. I'd heard that the standard seat (with the column shifter) was uncomfortable when I was looking for my '98 Taurus in 2000. It has buckets, and I've been in several rentals newer than mine with the regular seat. The comments are true--my car is much more comfortable than cars with the standard seat--even new ones.

    If you buy new, I think it's a $90 option to get the floor shifter and buckets (unless they moved packages around and you can't get it alone), or the SES comes with it. Used cars may be a bit tougher to find with buckets.

    Just keep it a while to avoid the depreciation if you don't intend to keep it until the wheels fall off!
  • vacman1vacman1 Posts: 28
    My Taurus SE came with a floor shifter and seats (obviously :)) but I'm not sure what kind of seats were stock on the '99 SE. Either those particular seats were mighty uncomfortable, or my [non-permissible content removed] is a lot bigger than I thought!

    All kidding aside, I put 95K miles on that car in just a few years. I don't know if the seats are only good for wearing those many miles or the comfort had to do with time in the car, etc. I do remember very distinctly getting a very nasty backache after spending 10 hours in the car in one go. Perhaps I would get that with any seat?

    At any rate, I don't think another Taurus is in my future at this point. I liked the cost to operate and maintain it, but it depreciated like nuts and overall even the "nice" ones with leather are still a bit plain for me. I'm just approaching that receding hairline / growing gut stage that screams the onset of middle age. It's time to move up to a pricier, more sporty sedan I think!
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    The seats in the 86-87 Taurus were the best, IMO, course, I was a lot younger then too. But either the age factor has made an impact, or the seats have gotten cheaper since inception, because the Tauri I have rented lately have been disappointingly weak in the seat department, formerly a strong point of the Ford line I thought.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    Good luck if you go with the 300M. It's a nice car, but a bit pricey for what is basically an Intrepid with a lot of bells and whistles. I still would rather go with the Lincoln LS if I was going to move upscale. A base V-6 new LS 2003 leftover will run you less than $30K and I bet you will end up at that price level with the 300M. The 300M is likely a more spacious car than the LS, however.

    Still, a loaded Taurus would cost you a lot less, and remember, money you do not spend but keep in your bank account does not depreciate! The extra money you spend on any new entry luxury car, domestic or import, will indeed depreciate quickly.
  • venus537venus537 Posts: 1,443
    i would say american cars that need to sell at $5-7k less than comparable japanese/european cars in order to move them off the lot are not exactly designed for our driving styles and conditions.

    or when over half the sales of some american cars are to the fleet variety.
  • venus537venus537 Posts: 1,443
    the newer arch rival cadillacs don't seem to be suffering from the so called "Domestic is Junk" fervor in the press. heck, i'm even impressed with their new designs.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    Yes, Cadillac is getting favorable press these days, if only because they finally found a new niche with edgy styling, better performing cars, and a fairly massive ad campaign. Most of these models are beyond the means of the average buyer, however, and you won't find too many luxury cars, foreign or domestic populating much of the fleet market. Car rental companies and other fleet buyers are not going to spend top dollar for what they view as primarily a depreciating asset and a means of transportation.

    From a consumer standpoint, I frankly don't have a gripe with domestic (or foreign manufacturers for that matter) selling to the fleet market. It keeps the factories running and thus allows sale of the same vehicle to the general public at low prices as well. Not everyone has an extra $5K-7K to spend on a new car. I am sure Henry Ford didn't have the best car on the market when he introduced the Model T, but due to revolutionary mass production techniques introduced, it put a car within the price range of most Americans at the time. I applaud Ford for being able to do some of the same today, despite being hobbled by many costs that the foreign nameplates do not have, such as a large pool of retiree pensions to fund and higher than average UAW wages.

    And, despite what many may think, Taurus is a very good all around car, especially for the price.
  • regfootballregfootball Posts: 2,166
    all the GM fans are ballyhooing the new Mallybou, but man, it seems if you are buying on value, which the GM intenders are all saying that car is about, I think the Taurus still has it beat as far as what you get for the money, and its an 8 year old design.

    It might be fair to say that by now the Malibu may have better road manners, but then again by how much.

    I mean, when you can buy new base taurus for under 14, and a reasonably loaded Taurus with Duratec and stuff for under 18 grand, why would you pop for a Malibu that stickers at over 25k? Sure the Mali is a better car (it should be its like a decade newer), but is it 5-8 grand better? I doubt there's that level of difference.

    Ford ought to go on a market assault and also do some suspension and handling work on the Taurus Sable. Put another 20hp under the hood too and keep the price good. Maybe tweak the interior a bit. With some dedicated cost effective improvements, they could make a case to many buyers for going with the larger, known quanity.

    So granted maybe the Malibu is on a new chassis but if they sicked the SVT engineers on the Taurus chassis and spent a few more bucks on shocks and tires and suspension bits they could keep the sales going strong and customers happy until the Futura and other sedans come along.

    As for Cadillac, their new products appear to be the deal. Except that they still can't make an interior with good plastic.

    Even new value leaders like the Suzuki Verona still sell for more than a Taurus.
  • venus537venus537 Posts: 1,443
    it looks like some of ford's future cars in tne midsize segment will be assembled in mexico.
  • I have a 03 Taurus SE w/3.0 vulcan engine, bought for my wife's use. When I later drove it on a long trip I discovered what I thought were two significant problems:
    1. From a standing start,hands off (for test purpose only), straight and level or, slightly crowned road, moderate acceleration, the steering wheel immediately moves 1" to left, the car moves slightly but continous to the left, and will soon cross the road center line.
    The Ford dealer says this is "normal torque steer".
    2. On a level smooth road, steady speed, the engine has a constant, non-pattern hesitation, more obvious at lower speeds (30-50), air cond. off.
    First time back, the Ford dealer said it was "normal alternator and compressor surge". With air off ??.
    I demonstrated this condition to Ford's Field Engineer and the Ford dealer's mechanic. They both agreed that the " surge", was there, but it was a "normal" characteristic of this engine and no repair or adjustment was available.
    I am 70 years old, and when I did my own maintenance, if my car ran this bad, I would immediately do the points ,plugs, condenser, rotor, etc routine. This is normal??? Please comment.

  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Bull****, it's normal!!!!! I don't know what to tell you about how to get the dealer to work with it, but I've had several Vulcan V-6s in Tauri, and that's NOT normal. Good luck.
  • Hi All,

    I'm wondering if anybody has had some paint peelage problems on their '02. My front bumper and rear passenger door (right by the window) seem to be having some issues. I also have a weird three-finger imprint on my driver side rear door that won't come out with handwashings (the only way I wash the car).

    I've been approved by my dealership for a painting, but won't be able to get a loaner vehicle unless I rent one, which, considering it's an '02 with just over 23K, leaves something left to be desired. Any ideas on either the paint or how to get a loaner approved? I already called the 1-800 Ford number, only to be denied and requested a callback from a supervisor-- do these people really call back?
  • s852s852 Posts: 1,051
    They don't have to give you a rental. You can ask, but they are free to deny it. It doesn't matter if it has 23K miles or 23 miles. If it isn't listed in writing as a benefit in the warranty, they have no obligation to give you a free rental.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Yeah, I think you're hanging out there on the rental, but getting the paint job is not a bad solution, or adjustment. I have only heard of one other occasion where someone has a paint problem on a Ford recently, and it was also an 02. So, I don't know if this is a paint problem they had, or isolated situations, or a damage/repaint at the dealer before the car was sold. Sometimes, that happens, and that could explain the finger marks. Anyway, take the paint job and enjoy it.
    That's not bad.
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