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Ford Taurus/Mercury Sable Sedans Pre-2008



  • fdthirdfdthird Posts: 352
    Sad part is that the private repair shop is becoming an endangered species. In our area (Long Island) there are less and less gas stations (property worth too much and the oil companies think they are in the real estate business) and at a lot of the gas stations left the service bays are being turned into convenience stores. Much more money in Coke and Beer I guess!

    Having a relationship with a local mechanic may one day real soon become a distant memory of the past replaced by trips to Pep Boys or Firestone Stores or the like. The corner Gas Station will have gone the way of neighborhood hardware stores!
  • regfootballregfootball Posts: 2,166
    my 99 SHO has 62k and i just put new tires on it (originals went to 60k). My brakes are due (I waited way too long). I had the ICP replaced under warranty. Aisde from normal maintenance let me tell you what I have spent for repairs......
  • regfootballregfootball Posts: 2,166
    ummmm, NOTHING. So so far its good. I am going to get my v8 engine fix done soon to prevent that debacle. Gotta get an alignment and possible some front end work.

    My BIL has close to or over 159k on his 97 SHO. No issues aside from wear/tear high miles stuff.

    My friend had a 96 and 97 Taurus with a combined 170k miles. Only a tranny failure ont he 96 fixed under warranty. Otherwise, nada. Now he has a 2003 and I haven't heard of any issues.

    The Taurus is a good car. When I mean nickel and diming, I mean small stuff.......not anything catastrophic but still stuff that can cost 2-300 at a time. Hoses, belts, etc. The occasional starter or pump.
  • jtrikjtrik Posts: 11
    I've been reading this board for a while now but this is the first time i have responded. My experience in regards to repairs has been that it depends on the individual and their driving habits. In my time i have owned a '79 Ford LTD 110,000 miles(my first car), an 82 Plymouth Turismo 2.2 98,000 miles, 88 Chrysler Lebaron Convertible 200,000+ miles(still have it), 90 Ford Escort GT (wife still own it) 150,000...94 BMW 325i 40,000 miles, BMW 528i 33,000 (just sold this one), Now have a 04 Taurus SE last 2 months.

    Alot of these cars were supposedly very bad reliability cars as stated by Consumer Reports. I have never had any major problems with any of them. Except for normal wear and tear. I am fanatical about doing the preventative maintainence on my vehicles. I have lately been using a log book to record all maintainence performed by me. Started with the 90 Escort GT. The Lebaron and the Escort are riding on the original clutch so when people tell me that the foreign cars are more reliable than the domestics I just don't think thats the case. I really believe each individual drives and takes care of certain cars in their way and the car will act accordingly. Oops, i forgot to mention my 90 Isuzu Amigo which i still use for work...90,000 miles on that guy. :-) Now the Amigo i needed to replace the clutch because i use it to tow stuff for my work...but now drives very nicely...
  • But given the average Joe's way of treating cars, some of the "foreign" makes hold up considerably better -- causing reviewers to talk about Toyotas and Hondas as "refrigerator cars" (you hardly ever do anything to them and they seem to last forever). Of course, I think that the "domestics" are getting better generally. But I am certainly glad that the reputation for poor reliability will work to my advantage as I shop for a much-depreciated, used Taurus! ;-)
  • I've been curious about the Duratech. I only test-drove one once, and for a very short, very supervised test-drive. I know it has quite a bit more horsepower, but not much more torque. So, which has the most noticeable differences? Acceleration, highway driving, noise level, etc.? And, do you notice a big gas mileage difference? I think the ratings are just 1 mpg difference.
  • That's cool that you have the SEL. I've seen the wood trim, which you mentioned you didn't have....and I don't think you're missing much. It's nice and all, but in IMHO the SEL looks sportier without it. The SEL is certainly one of my many dream cars, though I also think my SES is fairly luxurious. With Fords, at least Taurii specifically, it seems that you get more options--even on say the base-level LX-- for less total price than you do on Chevys.
  • I was wondering how the SHO is manufactured differently than the Ford SVT vehicles. I know that SVT is a division of Ford, but was the SHO made by SVT? And if not, why not? Is it technically the SHO/SVT?

    I think a manual transmission Taurus must be pretty darn cool to drive-- a lot of get-up and go. What's your horsepower/torque? And is '99 the last year SHO was made?
  • I hope this isn't too off-topic, but I'm curious if anybody on our board has ever driven the SVT Contour, and could compare its driveability/rideability to the Taurus. The Contour board isn't quite as active as our board, though I've also posted an inquiry there.
  • jtrikjtrik Posts: 11
    I too believe Toyotas and Hondas are darn fine cars. But i have friends who have bought them and have had similar problems. But i still believe that the secret to a cars life is in his glove box. The manual lets us know then when and what to do's. Simple stuff really... I guess with my new Taurus i will find out about it in the coming years but i suspect i will get the same numbers out of it as i have the other cars i have owned. My favourite were still the bimmers, damn fine cars. Wish i didn't have to give it up..oh well..
  • regfootballregfootball Posts: 2,166
    96-99 SHO was NOT a part of the SVT program.

    99 last year for SHO. the v8 in the SHO is an 8 cylinder version of the Ford Contour Duratec v6. (3.4 litres on 8 cylinders vs. 2.5 on 6). Yamaha designed the heads and intake system I believe, similar to their workings in the 89-95 SHO.

    I like the car, but it is very relaxed compared to the 89 SHO I had with stick. The 89 was a brute, but also purred on the highway. The 99 is saddled with a slow auto tranny and needs more torque yet it has the same mid and high rpm rush, and is silken smooth in operation. The car literally never feels like it will run out of breath, even at 90 plus mph it still feels like its not breaking a sweat.

    Car doens't have much sound damping though so it can sound loud at times. It never sounds or feels strained, it only sounds like music.

    There is a design defect Ford is not addressing, and the best place to read up on that is

    I did test a Contour SVT once and it was SWEET. It was a lively car with a phenomenal engine sound and it was fast and shifted nice. Handle well too. I wish I had one to bop around in.

    The regular Contour SE v6 with manual is a pretty entertaining drive also.

    I have often thought recently what it would take to buy a low mile 03 or 04 Taurus, And find a way to easily extract about 30-40 more hp, dress it up a bit and put some nice wheels on it, and some mild suspension tuning. End product would not be too spendy, it would be unique and reasonably quick.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    I cannot comment directly about Duratech vs Vulcan in the same Taurus body, as my Vulcan Taurus was a 1990 and the Duratech is a 2000. So any comments about noise wouldn't be a fair comparison. With the 2000 Taurus and newer, Ford put a lot of effort into making the cars quieter than in the past, so I would bet it would be fairly quiet with either engine.

    I will tell you however, that the Duratech has much better acceleration capabilities from dead stop or at highway passing speeds.

    Mileage is just as good with my new Taurus as my old. In fact, I believe it is a bit better with my Duratech, especially on the highway. Again, I am comparing cars ten years apart so all my comments are subject to that limitation.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
         Here is just a partial listing of Ford and Chevrolet duds:
         Ford's contribution: Falcon, Pinto, Maverick, Galaxie 500, Fairmont, Fairlane, LTD, Aerostar, Windstar and soon Taurus.
         Chevy's contribution: Corvair, Monza, Vega, Citation, Celebrity, Nova, Lumina and Lumina APV, Caprice, and now Cavalier.
         How many models have Honda or Toyota dropped?
         Interesting that most former Taurus, Sable, and Lumina owners that I know are now driving a Toyota Camry. Latest casualty in favor of Camry was a Buick Century. One exception is a former Sable owner got a Chevy Malibu in 2000 and is still driving it with 72,000 miles on it now.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    The people you know are not and never will be a valid statistical sample of all the automobile owners in the US.
  • fdthirdfdthird Posts: 352
    "Here is just a partial listing of Ford and Chevrolet duds:
         Ford's contribution: Falcon, Pinto, Maverick, Galaxie 500, Fairmont, Fairlane, LTD, Aerostar, Windstar and soon Taurus."

    Are you kidding?? What you posted there is a list of Ford All Stars. Do you know how many Falcons they sold??? Do you have any idea the impact the Maverick and Fairmont had on the company???

    If you are saying that American companies change names a lot, I'd say that's more of a marketing tool. How about Honda...not one Acura model is called what it originally was. Are they all duds???

    Had Ford not made any of those models you mentioned (and some were in production for a decade or more) there would not be a Ford Motor Company today!

    Go back to the Camry board and discuss your engine sludge and leave us Ford Dopes alone!
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    I am glad Honda and Toyota use reliability and value as marketing tools instead of name changes and rebates.
        Yup. The Acura division of Honda is guilty as charged.
  • jtrikjtrik Posts: 11
    One of the reasons Acura's exist is because no body wanted to spend money on an expensive Honda. Same goes for Lexus, and Infiniti''s marketing and your comment shows how young you really are...

    Now where's my Honda CVCC? Or Toyota Corona...Datsun anyone?
  • snowmansnowman Posts: 540
    Oh man, you forgot to tell that import lover about CRV engine fire issue. It is freshly going on in CRV forum...
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Um, folks we're going off in too many different directions - let's stick to the topic.

    If anyone is seriously interested in comparing the Taurus/Sable to any of these vehicles, feel free to hop over to the Sedans Comparisons board and fire one up.

    But meanwhile, let's let this conversation get back on track. Thanks.
  • fdthirdfdthird Posts: 352
    Seems to me that the track here too many times is bashing.

    Agree, lets exchange Taurus/Sable info and take the "my car is better than your car" talk elsewhere!
  • danielj6danielj6 Posts: 285
    Well, today early in the morning my station wagon arrived early at the shop to finally repair the singing power steering pump.

    Mechanic calls me in the afternoon to tell me that they were partially rebuilding the pump and not replacing it as some components were still in good condition. Seals, pressure valve and high pressure valve were replaced. System was bled and will be tested tomorrow morning. If the humming sound is gone after the test, great. If not, they'll have to replace the rack and pinion at a cost of at least $500. I wont agree to do it. Later in the afternoon I stopped by the shop and everything was shown to me in a diagram.
  • snowmansnowman Posts: 540
    The price you mentioned before, is it for rebuilding? not for replacement? What is the warranty they provide for this job?
  • danielj6danielj6 Posts: 285
    My understanding is that the price quoted to me was for replacing. Now I'm not sure as parts of the pump were found to be in good condition.
  • jrc346jrc346 Posts: 337
    Well, that is interesting that they are even bothering to do a rebuild. I don't buy that thing with them replacing the rack. I thought the noise was coming from the pump? I looked at a couple of places to see if steering pump failures were common for Tauruses, but they don't seem to be. I also looked for a TSB on the issue, but found none. Hopefully this is just a fluke.
  • danielj6danielj6 Posts: 285
    Today after a day and a half I got my car back.
    Noise is gone, for now anyway. $200 was the cost.
  • $200 ? It was cheap man. In California I believe it wouldn't cost so low.

    BTW when I was shopping for a used Sable I tested one among many others. I didn't like it because steering fluid level was higher than recommended and sales person asked me after the test drive (I did it alone) was steering okay or not. So I assumed that power steering was rebuilt or replaced.

    Did anybody notice that new Buick LaCrosse resembles Ford Taurus not only in exterior but also in dashboard design ?
  • "Here is just a partial listing of Ford and Chevrolet duds:
         Ford's contribution: Falcon, Pinto, Maverick, Galaxie 500, Fairmont, Fairlane, LTD, Aerostar, Windstar and soon Taurus."

    Falcon, Maverick, LTD, Galaxie 500, Fairmont, Taurus, and Fairlane were not dropped because they were "duds". It was that the names were outdated after a long successful run.

    Example: The last Galaxie was in 1974 (after selling well for 15 years) and it was the exact same car as the 1975-78 LTD, how is that a 'dud'?

    Also: Falcon and Maverick were dropped when the next genration cars were very different. But if one is smart enough to know car history better, they would see that the Falcon's basic platform lasted through many name changes, from 1960-80! Yes, the Maverick and Granada were the same underneath as the Falcon.

    I would say that the Pinto was a dud.
  • regfootballregfootball Posts: 2,166
    the LaCrosse does emulate the Taurus more than a little.
This discussion has been closed.