Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Taurus/Sable Maintenance & Repair

sangosango Posts: 1
Hi! my name is tatchy. I have question about
Taurus. What should I know about Taurus' repair and
maintenance when I purchase or lease it? Would you
please answer me!


  • gchernya1gchernya1 Posts: 43
    For a new one you have to know nothing, for a used one my opinion - better not to do it at all.
  • Do not purchase a used or new Taurus. Ever. Do not get in a Taurus. Cross the street if you see one. Especially mine.
  • tonewheeltonewheel Posts: 47
    Wife drives a '94 Taurus LX. Currently 69K. This has to be the worst car we've ever owned. Nickel and diming us already. Hard to keep front end aligned. Noisy. Lousy AC. Check out the Consumer Reports web site ratings for the year you are considering. Most years rate at the bottom for reliability.
  • olegphilolegphil Posts: 30
    Several of my friends and I have had Tauruses. None have gone beyond 110K. Mostly front end troubles, transmission and A/C (for the total price of all repairs A/C could be golden plated!)
  • gchernya1gchernya1 Posts: 43
    AC in the Fords designed the way that it would
    never hold it contents long enough. How Ford escaped environmental class action suite - that what makes me wonder.( I forgot, 20 bil in cash reserves probably outweigh big hole in ozone layer).
  • mpaulmpaul Posts: 9
    Worst vehicle I have ever owned!!!
    Three transmissions,2nd engine,Every time I
    have the a/c repaired it lasts one season then
    springs a new leak.
    Numerous other problems. I don,t drive my vehicles
    hard and they are well maintained.
    Run as fast as you can from a Taurus
  • dmiller2dmiller2 Posts: 1
    I had a 1991 Taurus wagon that went through three transmissions in 75,000 miles and an air conditioner. You won't see me in a Ford dealership anymore.
  • mdlofdbsmdlofdbs Posts: 1
    Not really a Taurus fan. My 89 3.0 just went over 150K, however. Tranny beginning to slip again just like it did at 75K. Was fixed under 3rd party warranty for over $1300. Overall, approx $4300 worth of warranty work done between 75 and 100K. This has sold me on extended warranties from the right party. I am religious about regular maintenance but I do drive somewhat harder than the next guy. Would NOT recommend the car overall although I'd probably rate it over most Chrysler products, given that I own/have owned my share of them.
  • kandacekkandacek Posts: 5
    I hate to say this, but I'd have to agree with most of what's been said on this forum so far. I like my Taurus, but without the extended warranty we had on it, it would have been long gone. I have a '94 wagon GL with leather interior. I actually love to drive the car. It handles well and is almost fun to drive. We're a Ford family (or my folks are), but my husband and I wouldn't own one without an extended warranty. We've seen the extended warranties pay for themselves too many times. Right now I'm trying to sell my wagon, mainly because it is out of warranty.
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    Have to agree. I have an 88 LX with 3.8L. 146,000
    miles. It was used when I got it with about a year and 10,000 miles on the original 5yr/60000 warranty. It was fine until 65,000.......then all trouble. If I wasn't an old mechanic it would have been in the junkyard long ago. Just a brief list:
    All catalytic converters replaced at 70,000 (there is 3 on this model).
    AC work at about 80,000
    Trans rebuild at 125,000 (from what I hear this was really good mileage for the original trans)
    All catalytic converters replaced again at 135,000 (this time I found the reason-front converters are to close to the exhaust ports-the input side of the converter gets to hot and breaks down. They did this to get the converters hot enough to operate without having air injection)
    At about the same time, did major tune up work- cap, wires, plugs, injectors, fuel pump, some faulty sensors.
    This is only the major stuff. I estimate the cost of maintenance would have been 8-10K if I had to pay regular price.
    I like driving the car and its good for long trips (if your not to nervous about breakdowns).
    Uh-oh!! Something in the front end is making noise! Here I go again!!
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    I forgot something! Had to pull the heads around 125,000 because of coolant leakage into a cylinder. Surprise! The right bank (or rear since its tranverse) had a bad gasket - but upon further inspection it was noted that the gasket was damaged when the engine was assembled. It was easy to tell by the imprint on the head. The machine shop that rebuilt the heads agreed and said they had seen it before on 3.8L heads. I really believe that Ford was throwing these cars together real fast - they were selling a bunch of them. Also, there are other signs, wire loom retainers that the loom has no chance of ever reaching, parts that need to shoehorned in, etc.
    Has anyone ever changed the power steering hoses on one of these monsters? It's a nightmare with the hoses snaking all over the place.
  • gchernya1gchernya1 Posts: 43
    Power steering hoses on all Ford/L/M cars designed essentially to make them leak right after warranty expires. This is first thing to check when buying used Ford. They have been replaced or need replacement soon.
  • tstone1tstone1 Posts: 2
    I have a '95 3.8L. Just past 100,000. Fuel pump Impeller disintergated, left plastic through out the system. Around $700 to fix which included a tune-up and injectors cleaned. Now my air conditioning went away. Apparently The front motor mount broke and pulled an air conditioning line loose. I also seem to be loosing a small amount of coolant. I hope it isn't a head gasket.
    I'm debating to go ahead and trade or fix the problems and keep awhile. I think I owe more than its worth. Opinions?
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    nclovestone, find out where the coolant is going.
    Does the engine sometimes start hard or turn over slow due to water in a cylinder? How much coolant are you using? Do you need to put it in daily? Do a cooling system pressure check to see if any leaks are apparent. Don't forget to check heater core area. Also, look at seals between plastic side tanks on radiator and radiator core itself-if its moist or there are coolant tracks it could be time for a radiator.
    Also, on 3.8 check the upper radiator hose where it turns to go into gooseneck on intake-sometimes the hose develops a hairline crack here, but only leaks when the engine torques.
    Your AC problem sounds like it isn't too bad. Has motor mount been replaced?
    100K on a 95 is a good bit of mileage, about 25K a year. What kind of driving do you do? City or country? It makes a big difference.
  • tstone1tstone1 Posts: 2
    Burdawg, I don't get the puff of smoke out the exhaust you would expect to see after long idle periods. It takes about 1/2 gallon to fill radiator and reservoir every 2 weeks. I don't see dripping from the water pump or any evidence on the ground. No heater core fogging either or foaming in the oil. I am wondering if this thing starts out as a seep like from a cracked head typically or an all out blow out. Yea, I got the motor mount + air fixed for about $620. I do hwy driving, but it doesn't seem to make a difference on Depreciation! You think these cars are only worth 100k and end of life?
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    Sounds like it could be a head gasket. That is typically the way it starts, a little seep into a cylinder that just gets worse. That's the way it started on my car, then just got worse and worse until sometimes it would barely turn over when starting due to water in the cylinder. You MAY be able to slow it down or stop it with some stop leak, but you never know.
    I did the repair myself, but had a shop rebuild the heads. It was about $300 for the head work, all the exhaust valves were replaced, and heads were surfaced. You have to replace the head bolts, they aren't re-usable. This is not an easy job on a Taurus. It's difficult to get to the rear head and exhaust manifold.
    One thing though, double check that upper hose where it goes into the manifold. I've had two cars that leaked there, but only when the engine torqued. It wouldn't leak just idling or off, even when the cooling system was pressurized! On one car, the coolant would stream out when you pulled away from a stop and squirt right on the ignition coil, causing the engine to stall! This was on an 88, I don't know if a 95 has an exposed coil or if it is in the same position.
    I think most of these cars, along with the Mercury Sable, end up in the junk yard before their time, not just for mechanics, but because of the lousy paint, especially the metallics. My 88 LX has 147,000 now, but I can do most of the work myself and know the car real well. I don't work as a mechanic anymore, but did for years, so most repairs I can do myself. I wouldn't tackle the transaxle, had that rebuilt at a shop ($1800!). Since we're a "throw away society" now anyway, most people don't do major repairs, just buy something new.
    Is it worth repairing and keeping a high mileage Taurus/Sable? Depends on the person. I like to get at least 150K on a car. I once figured that the cost of the repairs I did were considerably less than buying new. My 88 looks real good (has been painted), runs strong, uses only normal amount of oil between changes (1 quart, with changes every 3,000), and the velour interior has worn like iron. I've never had any trouble with electronics or vacuum controls, which I consider
    one of the most frustating things to repair. I did disconnect the heater because the core started leaking. I just can't bring myself to taking the dash out to get to the core. In So. Cal. we really don't need heaters anyway! Good luck!
  • realpaynerealpayne Posts: 1
    Our 89 3.8L with 84K miles has had the following problems- head gasket leak, water pump failure, engine mount replacement, Cv joint boot replacement, two air-conditioner refills, front engine cover leak, power steering hose replacement, and now the engine sounds like a rod bearing is fried. The car body and interior are like new(it has been kept in a garage). The expected repairs will send it to the junk yard.
  • guitarzanguitarzan OhioPosts: 764
    Realpayne, that's kind of sad, I'm sorry to hear about those troubles. :(
  • hohohoho Posts: 64
    Do you like this car?

    If so, what will you spend for an engine overhaul or (even better) a new engine vice a new car? The other items you mentioned are pretty much normal maintenance items. You got 90,000 miles on it. Not great, but in all, not bad either!

    If not, give to an approved charity and take the tax write off. Then spend the money as an upgrade to an option on your new car.

  • hohohoho Posts: 64
    I found the trouble to my 88 Taurus S/W problem...

    It was a bad pickup in the distributor. Under $60

    150,000 miles and still going...

  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    Realpayne, are you sure it's a bearing? You said it "sounds like a rod bearing is fried", but are you sure it's not something else? My experience is that the lower end on these engines are strong.
    If the head gasket was leaking badly for a long time it could cause bearing failure.
  • gkarggkarg Posts: 230
    My parents have a 1993 Taurus GL with 3.8. At 107,000 it has just had its second head gasket job. (That is besides the point.) The newest thing is a very prominent/loud thud from the front end. I have narrowed it down to one thing....the rubber bushing/washer ring that attaches to the rod that goes from the right front wheel through the side of the subframe and attaches to the front of the subframe. The ring seats into the inside of the subframe and must have worked loose or something. I've replaced the entire bushing assembly, but the noise (with the old ring still there) remains, although not as bad.

    The noise most often happens when you brake and then as soon as you release the brake....that ring goes back into the frame and makes a very loud thud. It won't make the noise until you release the brake. I am thinking about welding the ring to the subframe to keep it from happening. Has anyone else experienced this noise? There are also other loud thunking noises that seem to come from the struts.
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    Do you mean the front anti-sway bar couplings, or the lower supports for the struts? The sway bar goes from the struts back, the lower strut support is a straight rod from the bottom of the strut to the front of the frame (I'm assuming this is what you mean).
    I have had many front suspension noises. Most were easy to fix. Also, check parking brake cable coupling on left rear almost under back left door. If its loose or the cushion pad on the frame is worn through, it can bump against the body/frame and cause a noise when going over bumps, etc. Of course the brake has to be off.
    In addition, worn inner tie rod ends on the steering rack can cause front end noises.
    Let me know if you find a solution. I have a noise that sounds similiar to what you describe, but it seems to be more bump related than brake related. I haven't found the source yet, but it's getting worse.
  • hohohoho Posts: 64
    How are your engine mounts and top front strut bushings?
  • gkarggkarg Posts: 230
    I'm not sure how the engine mounts are...although I know at least one of them was replaced not too long ago. Also, Ford recently did some recall with the strut assembley. I don't know if that has anything to do with the top front strut bushings, but I'll check on those!

    It is the lower strut support bar that I'm referring to. You can see the bushings standing, if you look (flashlight helpful) in front of the right front wheel, just beyond the corner of the subframe. A ford mechanic told me that those will go because of the oil changes and getting oil on the bushings breaks them down....but this noise is definitely metal on metal, ie the ring going in and out of the frame.
  • kings4kings4 Posts: 6
    We bought this car after years of owning Hondas. Had heard a lot about the reliability gap getting narrower. You know, Quality #1. Consumer reports had given the Taurus a pretty good review. It looked like the transmission troubles from earlier years had been resolved. The Taurus is actually a lot of car for the money. (We paid $15,000 - Power drivers seat, windows, locks, cruise, ABS, dual airbags, light package, etc.) Large car, good acceleration, handles well, comfortable. Not a European sedan, but seemingly competent. The troubles started right away. All along we kept thinking that the car will be OK now, now that we have this latest problem fixed. The problems have included but are not limited to:
    Two transmissions
    Both steering racks and steering pump
    Electrical problems that affected the horn and cruise control
    Early replacements of radiator hoses and drive belts
    Head gasket
    And now there is no compression in cylinder number four. We are shopping for a new car and you get bet your entire net worth that we are not even considering an American manufacturer. Don't but a Taurus!
  • jake696jake696 Posts: 111
    My Tort-[non-permissible content removed] is junk.

    3 trannys, 2 sets of tie-rod ends, struts, motor mounts, recalls, rust, leaky oil seals, air bag problems, electrical malfunctions, poor mileage, slowness (w/a V-6?!)

    The dealers say I should be glad I don't have the 3.8L V-6, it blows head gaskets! FoMoCo has given me the runaround, if they respond at all. The dealer network sucks...etc...

    The car has been babied, garage kept, in the south for 3 years (no snow, no salt) washed, waxed, oil changed every 3-4K, etc...

    WILL NEVER BUY another UAW made/American car. Had enough of their BS, poor quality and workmanship.

    Don't know why I waited so long! I was stubborn, thinking I was doing the "right thing" by supporting an industry that my whole family has or still works in. My grandfather was hired by Henry Ford Sr. to work in the River Rouge steel plant in Detroit. Big Deal. Ford could give a crap about that when I try to tell them I shouldn't have to pay for a 3rd tranny because the dealer didn't install tranny #2 properly...



    Did I say JUNK!

    I give up, throwing in the towel. My new Toyota Camry REALLY makes my Ford seem like junk!

    My Toyota was built in KY, USA (non-UAW) my Dodge truck was built in Mexico!

    Things are getting confusing folks...Better check where YOUR car was built!
  • elcarelcar Posts: 1
    Anything new in getting Ford to cover the cost of new head gaskets?
  • I currently drive a '95 Taurus 3.0, with 86,000 miles on it. It was a program car when I purchased it with 19,000 miles on it. After having owned two Chevrolet Cavaliers, I thought I'd try a Ford. Go figure. Anyway, I am now considering buying a new car. I had the transmission serviced on my Taurus at about 65,000 - it kept slipping out of gear when I would stop at traffic lights. The mechanic said he would rather service it than replace it to see what happens to save me that enormous expense. So far so good. Its been running fine ever since. That's been about a year ago. The air conditioning is not cooling properly... I seem to be having to replace the coolant every week or so. Last summer I had no air at all... the problem there was a hose had to be replaced. This summer I have air, only its not as cool as I think it should be. There's an intermittent knocking sound from the rear of the car that I thought had something to do with the brakes, but I'm not exactly sure. I can't tell what's causing it -- and it happens so infrequently it would be hard for a mechanic to pick it up. I am hesitant in buying a new one because I refinanced it a couple of years ago and now my balance is higher than what the car is worth, and by next year this time I'll probably have 100,000 miles on it -- any suggestions?? Should I keep it and deal with minor repairs and risk a major repair, or trade it and just deal with the 'upside down issue' for a better and more reliable car? Help!
Sign In or Register to comment.