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Taurus/Sable Maintenance & Repair



  • dan4365, I have a '96 Sable with the Duratech. Last July we took the car on a 4500 mile vacation (San Diego to Minneapolis). We had about 85k when we left (just under 100k now). Didn't use a drop of oil. It has been changed regularly with syn, every 3-5k. "They" say a quart every 3k is normal, however, none of my Ford engines ever used any (3.0 Vulcan, 3.8. 289, 3.0 Duratech).

    johnk324, I had a '91 Sable with the 3.8L. I had to do the mounts a couple of times. To check the mount, open the hood. Start it up and with your foot on the brake, shift into gear. If you see the engine move (look through the crack between the back of the hood and the cowl), then it is the mounts, probably the front. It isn't too hard to change, although you have to jack up the motor a little. Ford is supposed to have a new, redesigned mount that lasts longer. They are of a fluid filled design.

    Hope this helps you guys, Mike
  • I had another thought. You could be leaking oil from the filter or the drain plug and the oil is being "sprayed" under the car. It will not collect under the car as the air moving under the car will cause the oil to dissipate. I had this problem once. At my previous oil change, I didn't get the filter screwed on tight enough.
  • sable93sable93 Posts: 107

    Thanks. Luckily, it hasn't done it in the last few days. I'm hoping it will stop acting oddly... my tuition payment just went through, and even though $160 usually isn't too much for a car repair, I don't currently have much money. Thanks again!
  • I consistently get ~ 20 MPG on my 94 Taurus 3.8L.
    Friends with a similar car get 25 or so. This rebuild has only 20K on it and tranny 2K. Normal maintenance done, plugs, filters etc. After reading info on the newer models, it seems a programming upgrade helps those models. What options do I have to increase mileage?
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    20 mpg? I'd say just live with it, especially if it's an average or represents stop-and-go commuting.

    My '90 Sable with the 3.0 liter got only in the high teens in city driving and no better than about 29 mpg on long trips. I felt lucky averaging about 22 mpg. (And I drive with a light foot.)
  • If you live in CA you can thank reformulated gas. The fuel has ~10% less energy than "regular" gas.
  • I want to know if anyone has experienced this problem. I have a 99 Taurus w/43,000 miles. We bought it used (25K miles). Just about the whole time we have had it, we have had engine knock. It has gotten better by using mid-grade (89 0ctane) fuel but not gone away entirely. Using a bottle of expensive fuel system cleaner seemed to help for a little while, but the knock is still there. I would like to be able to use regular 87 octane gas in this car if possible.
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    We had a 1990 Sable with the 3.0 liter, purchased new. For the first 10K miles or so, we were able to use regular with no problems. Then we found we had to go with 89 octane to keep it quiet. For most of the rest of time we had the car, we were not able to go back to 87 (sold last summer with 135K miles).
  • cenzo1cenzo1 Posts: 2
    Has anyone experienced occassional - about 9 times in the last 3 months- dash items losing power ? After driving about an hour at highway speeds the car was turned off,all was normal, and 5 min. later the car was started and I drove off and found no power to wipers,clock, turn signals,fan,radio,also the ABS light was on.

    The problem would persist until I pulled over and turned the motor off and re-started the engine. Then all appeared normal.

    The last time I experienced the problem - when the car was re-started after an hour drive I noticed a "clunk" in shifting from park to drive and back and forth.It went away when power was restored to dash items.
  • sable93sable93 Posts: 107
    Well, after two weeks of no problems, my door sensor finally puked. I couldn't get it to work either like in the past. I had to unplug my battery to keep it from dying. Tomorrow I get to take another trip to the Mercury dealership :o(
  • sable93sable93 Posts: 107
    Well, I got my door fixed, I think. Of course, the problem disappeared when I plugged my battery back in, but they made a guess, and decided to replace the driver door sensor. Hopefully this will fix the problem. I'm just about out of money.....
  • I have a 97 taurus with 48K miles.. Bought it used at about 36K miles. No major problems yet. Recently I observed that the engine was running cold and the coolant had changed color, so took it to the Ford dealer. they recommended changing the water pump, thermostat and a coolant flush and back flush. My concern is that if there is any corrosion in the cooling lines it doesn't go away with this treatment. any ideas / previous experience on this?
  • spokanespokane Posts: 514
    The loss of power to accessories and instruments is very likely due to a poor connection in the ignition switch. This could also explain the rough shift which you experienced. Everything performs OK after re-starting because you have moved the switch during the re-start. The next time this happens, try jiggling the key/switch while continuing to drive. (You don't need to twist the key too much; just move it a bit.) If this restores power to the accessories, you can be rather sure that's the problem. A replacement switch will solve the problem. I don't know about the Ford switch, but it's possible that lubrication of the switch assembly will allow it to self-position properly on the proper internal contacts - a fix that would cost very little. Good luck.
  • anutanut Posts: 1
    I am the owner of my 2nd Ford Taurus, I previously had a 93 and now own a 96. Just yesterday I replaced the oil pan gasket @ the cost of 266.00. I had done it previously with the 93, (twice)...once in 95 and again in 2000.
    Does anyone else have similar problem, is there a way I can maintain this without having the large charge of replacement??Any opionions would be greatly appreciated.....Thanks
  • I just put $500 deposit for this 2001 Taurus (3.0V6 24V DHOC) a week ago. And I have to buy off in 5days. At first day (14mile), I found its power steering fluid was lower than Min half inch. The dealer chicked it and no leak was found. Then they topped the fluid higher than Max half inch. But 3days later (80mile) I foud the fluid droped down to Midle. The dealer checked again and again no leak was found. They told me there may be air inside, its will be OK. Now the fluid dose not drop down. But I feel steering wheel needs more force to turn. It even needs force to center it after turning.

    Please give me indication about that. Is there any problem with my new car? How to check power steering system is working or not? Thanks!
  • sable93sable93 Posts: 107
    Well, my door is working again, but now I'm losing (very quickly) transmission fluid. My transmission was replaced (at my cost) in November. When will the hurting stop? I'm trying to figure out why my '97 Taurus hates me.... and seems to love the dealership so much. These 2 visits per month have GOT to stop.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 57,375
    A power steering leak should be easy for you to check...after you park your car, when it's still warm, slip some newspaper under the steering rack and see if there's any drips on it after a few hours.....most steering fluids are red, but not always. A leak that causes that much drop in your level should be easy to spot. You can also check this next time you get an oil change.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • dardidardi Posts: 2
    Does anyone on Edmonds have information on the class action suit filed a year ago on behalf of Ford owners of vehicles with 3.8L engines. I have a 94 that is now requiring a "THIRD" engine because of blown heads (only 105k miles). Ford will do NOTHING -- which is about what I have been reading on the web about this engine and "FIX OR REPAIR DAILY." I would like any info on the law suit, or I'll have to file myself. Only the latest of too numerous repairs on this car. Anyone who buys a Ford product after all I've read on the web and the tire disaster is making a very unwise decision. This is a company that makes lousy cars and has even worse repair facilities. Please let me know. Thanks.
  • scrapscrap Posts: 8
    My parents along with a friend own Ford Taurus' a 99 GL and a 97 SHO. Both complain of a suspension problem or noise driving over simplest terrain (interstate highways), a loud popping noise. Has anyone experienced this problem? And if so, is a cure to be found?
  • My oil pan rusted through on 89 Taurus. Replacement estimate was $700+. I patched the holes with cloth and epoxy, painted it with epoxy paint and drove it for another year: total cost, about $15. Now my 94 needs the pan gasket replaced, have to get estimate. I probably won't buy another Taurus.
  • Got local (upstate NY) estimate for oil pan gasket replacement of $250 (4 hour job). Does this sound like a reasonable price? (Only if I don't want the oil to leak, right?)
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Posting an engine size would be appreciated. In any event:

    Mitchell Mechanical Labor Estimating Guide:
    3.0L Eng
    V.I.N. U......... 2.4
    V.I.N. Y (SHO)... 2.8
    3.2L Eng......... 2.8
    3.8L Eng......... 2.6

    X your shop's hourly rate, plus the cost of the pan, gaskets, oil, etc. Suggest you find a shop which quotes estimates using Mitchell, Chilton, Alldata, etc, for labor times. And ask to see it.
  • Our worst nightmare was the service dept in the same town we bought this 97 taurus, our problems began in 98 when you could hear the sound of a ball dropping coming out of the right front of the car.
    I was taking this car to the dealer that I bought it from in 1998 and 1999 complaining of the sound>
    But each time the car went in, it came out with more problems, When I would take it back into them, they just started to tell me they could not hear the sounds that was coming from the front end.
    To make this one short; In 1999 I started a dispute settlement with FORD, but in the mean time of waiting for that to take progress, I drove the taurus to another dealer.
    This Dealer not only heard what I was hearing, but had the car for about 2 weeks repairing the damage caused by the neglect of the other dealers mechanic's.
    Some parts in the front end was loose, I had loose bolts, There is one part, I cant remember the name of it, but it was about to fall off my car.
    this is a list of things done at this time of 2 wk repair. (from what I remember) rack n pinion, oil pan gasket seal, (something I remember last part of the word being a chain), motor mounts seperated, struts, and the freaken door sensors.

    Most of the front end was in bad bad shape, so bad that my front tires tread was completely worn off (even wear).

    My and the dealer conclusion to this, was that either the mechanics was not experienced or it was completely intentional. But I was given the free prem care extended warranty from the dispute settlement, But know its 2001 and that dam car still knows the ford shop better then my own drive way.
  • Not only my bad experience with the SHOP, but them freaking DOOR SENSORS are a pain.
    I am constantly having them replaced, not only that but I also had my starter/sealinoid go bad on me. But my front end problems we had still make me mad that FORD would allow a DEALER to do that, and let them go un punished for it.
    This happened in Oklahoma, there is no lemmon law there. My advice buy some where else.
  • Does anyone have any problems with their alignments on their 96 through 99 model taurus's?
  • One thing I have learned through my mess with my taurus, that if you are respectful when telling them your problem, they really help. In my case Ford Motor Co helped me. Most of my bad luck was the Dealer that had been repairing my car. It was not Ford's fault, but Ford did work out the problem with us, and paid for the car to be taken to another dealer, where Ford Motor Co, and that dealer treated me like a QUEEN.
    Sometimes you have to take it out of the hands of the dealer, and go directly to FORD themselfs. Unforunately there aren't to many good dealers out there, but I know I found a bad one in Oklahoma.
    My situation I took it directly out of the hands of the Bad Dealer and when to FORD on my problem. As it turned out, either this bad dealers mechanics was un experienced or it was simply intentional. My case in OKlahoma left me where there was no Lemmon law to protect us consumers from dealers like the one I encountered.
  • lmist2lmist2 Posts: 2
    I've bought my 97 taurus in 98 and ever since its been down hill.. I had the engine knock for some time its been back to the dealer at least 7 times for that problem. your not to use anything higher than 87 octane in that car... so I've been told other wise you'll load the engine up with carbon and make it worst. This is my 4th ford I've owned and my last. tranny has been replaced only 30k miles, and the new one already slips. wheel bearings, door sensors, on and on. ford kiss my [non-permissible content removed]. job quality one...
  • sable93sable93 Posts: 107
    Just out of curiosity, did your Taurus slip between 1st and 2nd gear, and only when the engine was cold. That is what my '97 GL did, but it was getting worse, so I'm sure eventually it would have slipped all the time between 1st and 2nd. I'm hoping that this proves to be a defect with the car that will be covered under a warranty someday like the head gaskets. I'd love to get some of my money back. For some reason, Ford doesn't like to take responsibility until several years and several lawsuits after the problem.
  • goatmangoatman Posts: 3
    I suspect I need to replace the fuel filter on my 99 Taurus. Where is it exactly on the car? Also might this be the reason for my Service Engine Soon indicator light to light up on the dash?
  • herbeezherbeez Posts: 3
    I can relate to "Scrap" regarding the popping noise in the suspension. Mine sounds like it is on the drivers side. I have taken the wheel off and checked the brakes, steering and stablizer bars and everything feels tight. Popping noise seems more noticeable when the engine/suspension is warm. My steering growls at the same time. I have replaced the steering pump to no avail. I am very suspicious of the rack & pinion for both noises! Anybody have input on this one???
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