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Taurus/Sable Maintenance & Repair



  • ezaircon4jcezaircon4jc Posts: 793
    I have had 4 Sables and the only tranny problem was at 85k on the '91. It was repaired under a recall. My current '96 has over 100k and the tranny is just fine.
  • davids10davids10 Posts: 11
    There is a TSB on '99 3.0s to reprogram the computer to alleviate the pinging. May or may not cure your problem. Helped mine, but I still get a slight ping when it is hot outside and the air is on, and/or under a heavy load. Go to your Ford or Mercury dealer and have them check you VIN# to see if yours has been reprogrammed.
  • daichdaich Posts: 4
    Well, I checked the oil level today morning before staring the car. Even at close to 4.0 qts, the level is in line with the max mark on the dipstick. I thought since it is within the limits, I don't have to add oil. But I will do so, can't afford to harm the engine. Now the smell is completely gone.

    In the mean time I got the injectors cleaned and the computer reporgrammed. The whistling is much lower but not gone completely.

    Surprisingly, the car seems too responsive now. It accelerates way much faster than it used to be. Do I take it as a good sign because of the cleaning or something else is going bad?

  • jd123jd123 Posts: 7
    I'd swear I've seen this this problem posted elsewhere but can't find it. My Taurus wagon (2000 I/25k miles) develops a strong steering wheel vibration above 55 mph. Only happens when the car is going straight, disappears/is less apparent around any curve, no matter how slight. More obvious on concrete but occurs even on newly paved asphalt. Also, it's not constant. Have taken it to the dealer several times and always bring this up only to be told it's normal (seems to exceed 8.0 on the Righter scale at times in my opinion). Had the tires rotated with no impact.
    Any suggestions? (And I also have that low ram pining.)
  • jd123jd123 Posts: 7
    Sorry for the spelling in the above message. hadn't posted for awhile and thought I had told the computer not to correct my spelling (hence pinging became pining)
  • rover3500rover3500 Posts: 11

    I am now on my second Taurus. My first was a 1990 wagon that I bought used as my very first auto. I finaly had to trade it in in 1999 when the A/C pooped out. The car was great. Cosmetically great in and out, and ran even better. I tradded her in for a 98 taurus thinking that I would get the same rugged vehicle that would just keep going. MAN WAS I WRONG!!! The car has been back to the dealer some 6 times for the same bloody problem. Before coming to a complete stop the car will downshift VERY harshly. At one point it was doing this so badly that it actually caused a thermal mug to pop out of the flip fold console!! Thankfully it was empty. I finally got so disgusted with the dealership where I had bought the car I decided it was time for a second opinion at another for dealership. This Ford dealership was far more friendly, but the problem for the most part is still there. They went ahead and reprogrammed the computer, and replaced the throttle position sensor. The other dealership wrang up almost $5,000 in poorly done "patch job" repairs. The replaced the 2 fwd clutch cylinders (3 times), the clutch bands (Twice), torque stator, and neumerous other things, and the car still bucks and has an overall sloppy gearchange. I am a stickler when it comes to autos, and Itake great care of my cars. I am also not one to beat on my cars, though I am known to go a little faster than the local police would like 8^). Over all I am profoundly disappointed with Ford Motor Co. as a whole. I am an auto design student myself and have tried to rationalize all of the problems, but enough is enough. I am trading the taurus in next month for a Pontiac.


  • davids10davids10 Posts: 11
    Re: 4.0qts at max line. Don't know why 4.0qts brings the dipstick to max unless the oil was just changed and the engine had not been started to get the filter filled. Or, Perhaps your dipstick is calibrated differently from the ones I have seen. In any case, put in 4.5qts, see where the level is on the dipstick for future reference, and if there is no smell; all is well. I assume we are referring to the 3.0 Vulcan engine and not the Duratec. Re: too good performance. Leave it alone, as they say "don't look a gift-horse in the mouth". Re: whistling. I still think there is a vacuum leak somewhere, but if it is not severe, let it be. Your dealer can mess too many other things up trying to find it. Just occurred to me; did you just have your oil changed somewhere? If so, maybe they put in more than 4.0qts and led you to believe they put in only 4.0.
  • lolly3lolly3 Posts: 1
    Exiting freeway the car suddenly died.
    Oil & coolant had mixed. Head gaskets gone...needs $6K worth of repairs(more than worth of car). It had less than 80K miles. I keep hearing about "secret" and "goodwill" warranties and technical service bulletins (TSBs) regarding this same problem...but Ford Customer Service Phone Line was of no help. Does anyone have a similar situation or advice for what I should do next????
  • riswamiriswami Posts: 192
    out on my 97 GL. Both of them. Is it a switch? Haven't checked the owners manual - but I doubt if a fuse is the problem.

    Anyone have any ideas or run into this problem. Thanks in advance for any feedback.
  • cnybrocnybro Posts: 29
    Mine just did yesterday. Local shop pulled the code and #2 cylinder was misfiring due to bad coil pack. The intake plenum has to be pulled to access the part. The coil is about $125. While the plenum is off, it makes sense to change the plugs and wires. Really irritating that the plenum has to be pulled just to access these parts - really drives up the labor cost! Anyway, this will be a $450 trip! Can't complain since this is the first time is 5 years and 60K miles the car has given my any trouble. Standard wear and tear.

    So, if your's is misfiring and there are no other obvious signs, this could be the culprit.
  • maurermaurer Posts: 3
    I have a 1999 Ford Taurus SE with a intermittent problem. The radio/ac display doesn't always display. I still have functionality just no display. Before I take it to the Ford garage, I was wondering if anyone else has had this problem?
  • carlilecarlile Posts: 2
    I have a 2000 Ford Taurus SE. It fairly shoots out of the drive every morning and doesn't seem to calm down even after getting going. It's hard to stop (at least harder than my previous car). I just bought it last month (22,000 mi). I took it in today for service on this problem and the serviceman told me this is normal on 2000 Taurus/Sables, although my brother has a 2001 Taurus that has the same problem on starting but after driving his, it's normal from there on and no problem with stopping. Mine requires a harder foot on the brake. I think this is a safety hazard. Does anyone have this similar problem or have heard of this? Thanks, I'm stumped since the Ford dealership says all's ok. Joyce
  • jd123jd123 Posts: 7
    Took the car to the dealer. They agreed there was a vibration with two sources. One was the brakes so they machined the front and rear rotors.
    I was then told by the service guy in a snide manner that I have to take care of my tires better. They said because they weren't rotated, they would need to be replaced. I replied that they had been rotated on a regular basis. They said not by them. I mentioned it was down by my local place just down the block. Plus, I had mentioned the vibration my previous four visits and every time was told the vibration was "normal". Would really tick me off to replace 4 tires (Firestone ffinity) w/just over 25k on them.
    Any suggestions?
  • herbeezherbeez Posts: 3
    I bought my 96 Taurus with 63k miles and the prior owner had the trans replaced at 48k. I thought if there is a tranny problem it was taken care of! Not so fast! This trans only lasted 25k and started slipping out of second gear. So I now have $2600 invested in the third trans! After owning 2 Taurus's, my next car may be something else. Of course, I haven't even discussed the need for a $500 catalytic converter and a new rack & pinion!
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    After reading all of these horror stories even on later model Tauruses, I'm glad I sold my '90 Sable last summer at 135K miles. It had the famous transmission, a/c, and warped rotor problems, and much, much more.

    I'm also glad I DIDN'T buy a lightly used '95 or '96 Taurus in 1997 as I was seriously considering. (I thought that Ford had cleaned up its act.) I ended up buying a new 1997 Camry instead.
  • taurus69taurus69 Posts: 5
    I owned an 87' Taurus from DEC 97 until DEC 2000 and I have to tell someone about what a terrific car it was. I bought it for a lousy 1200 dollars Canadian when I was sixteen at 270 000 km. I treated the car like a typical teenager, constantly peeling out and playing bumper tag with friends. Other then needing to replace the heater core, this high mileage car never needed repair, and survived the torture I put it through. I was forced to give it up when the tranny went but now I am in the market for a new Taurus. What kind of moron would opt for an Accord or Camary over a Taurus, especially when a Taurus is available with such beefy motors such as the 3.8. I would like to recommend a Taurus to anyone in the market for a mid sized sedan.
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    This "moron" is quite happy with the Camry compared to the Sable! I have the 4-cylinder, but the V6 has 194 hp and 209 lb-ft of torque, compared to 200 hp and 200 lb-ft for the Taurus Duratec V6.

    Maybe you lucked out, but just read the last 20 or so posts for a sampling of typical woes.

    Then again, you only had it for 3 years, and the transmission did go out, didn't it?
  • han10han10 Posts: 1
    I have a '94 Taurus wagon with 3-liter V6 Vulcan engine. Around 58,000 miles the car stalled intermittently - even after a complete tune-up with new spark plugs, ignition wires, distributor cap, fuel filter, etc. I was told by a Ford Dealer and also by an outstanding mechanic, who owns his repair garage, that it is very difficult to locate the stalling problem because it could be caused by many factors. Both of them told me that the best way to locate the real cause of stalling is when a particular hardware causing stalling broke down and I have the car towed in. One day my engine starter broke down and I had my car towed to this mechanic's garage, he replaced the starter and also found out that a solenoid-operated AIR PUMP was bad and that should be the cause of stalling. This Air Pump is about 5-inch long and 1.5 inch in diameter. It has Ford part # F3DE-GB WH. I have driven this car for 4000 miles without any stalling. This Air Pump controls/affects air flow to the engine. To fix your stalling problem, I recommend to get your car a new Air Pump.
  • riswamiriswami Posts: 192
    Got to wonder why I read these post. When you ask a specific question you get squat.

    What I see is a lot of complaining or opinions. Doubt that? Go read the Sythetic Oil topic. They are up to 1592 post. Most of them are totally useless and based upon zippo! Don't believe me, read em. One guy claims his engine starts faster with synthetic.

    As far as the moron remark, big deal! You like your Camry, great. What you haven't figured out is the premium you paid for that car. They break down like everything else. It is all about dollars and cents! If it wasn't you wouldn't be driving a Camry. Gee, he told you he abused the crap out of the car. Guess if it was a Toyota that wouldn't have happened? Why are you even reading a Ford post? You've already made your mind up that their garbarge.

    I'm out of here for now. There just is too little value and not enought substance with 95% of the post.
  • moron3moron3 Posts: 10
    I had a '93 tours AL sedan with less 10,000 silage. Recently, the charging light keeps on after the engine starts. This happened twice and lasted about 10 minutes while I was driving at the speed of 25 mph. However, after a rest of two hours, when the car is started again, no such problem at all. The third evening, the same problem repeated. This time I let it working at 45 mph and the light went out after 10 minutes or so ( I was still on the road at that time). It seems to me that this happens when the vehicle is not working for a relative "long" time, say a whole day.

    I am wondering if this is related to the new battery. One week before, the vehicle refused to start. which is believed due to the old battery. Then I changed battery. Maybe the battery is not very well connected...

    Could b. who has better knowledge on vehicles help me to figure out what's going on there?
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    It seems the most likely suspect is the alternator; it may no longer be charging the battery properly. Have you had it checked?

    Riswami: I guess you don't know what you're talking about. My '97 Camry LE cost $18,700 new. The '90 Sable GS I bought in 1990 cost $15,700.

    Big premium for the Camry considering 7 years had gone by!

    Actually, neither car ever broke down on the road, leaving me stranded. But the Sable did fail to start at home a few times(when the battery died suddenly and when the alternator failed and allowed the battery to discharge).

    And I continue to frequent this forum because I had a Taurus twin (the Sable) and thought maybe I could provide assistance to people.
  • moron3moron3 Posts: 10
    Sorry that it should be taurus GL... I shouldn't have trusted the "spelling checkor" so much.
  • sable93sable93 Posts: 107
    Just thought I'd add some info toward the "premium" for good cars. In 1991, my dad got a Honda Accord EX wagon for $16000. In 1997, my Taurus was bought by the original owner for probably $18000 or so. Even if the original owner got a great deal, the total coast of owning my Taurus just exploded with the $4000 worth of repairs this year. My dad's Accord needed less repairs in the 9 years he owned it then my car has needed in the last 13 months I've owned it.

    Let's remember, often, you get what you pay for!
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    After reading these post, I still haven't seen too much on the 2001 Taurus. It appears they have gotten much better over the previous design. How are they holding? Does anyone have any experience with the 2001 Taurus?
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    Only time will tell if it's really improved.

    That's what people thought when the '96 and '97s came out.
  • moron3moron3 Posts: 10
    Thanks to you for the reply. Is it expensive to fix the problem of an alternator?
  • riswamiriswami Posts: 192
    Here is some data from Edmunds used car:

    97 Camry Le 97 Taurus Gl

    Safety 7.4 7.8
    Reliability 8.2 7.7
    Performance 8.6 8.0
    Comfort 8.1 8.0
    Value 5.0 9.1
    Overall 7.5 8.1

    Wow, the Taurus is a much better value! The reliability isn't that different. That has been my personal experience.

    210 Delray - You paid 18,700 for a 4 cylinder Camry. In Rhode Island during the same time you could get a great deal on 97 Sables, with Duratec 6, Leather,ABS, Alloys, Sunroof etc were being sold for $17,900. That is brandy new!

    My Dad bought a 2000 Sable with the above options for under 19k. He traded a 92 Sable with a 3.8 with 93k that need a starter and a battery in 8 years.

    Late January 1998 I bought a program Taurus for 12.9K. It had 23k. My choice was the loaded Taurus with Alloys, ABS, power everything or a stripped Honda Accord with a 5 speed (which I like) for just over 16k. That 3 thou difference invested at a reasonable 7% is now worth 4k. It's in my pocket and still making money. At the same time I called my insurance agent. The Accord was $300 more a year to insure.Still think I don't know what I'm talking about 210delray?

    Now it gets better - the Accord will need a timing belt at 90k. Most mechanics recommend the water pump being done at the same time. That is a 500 dollar job. The Taurus has a timing chain. It is rare to have to repair them.

    So I'm ahead right now about 5 thousand. You paid 6k more than I did and I'm not sure you can justify that. Or maybe you can, I can't.

    Maybe Edmunds can provide info on reliability info. In their opinion the Camry is better, how you translate that into dollars becomes personal.

    I know plenty of people who have owned Taurus and Sables and for the most part their ownership experiences have been positive.

    I read one of your older post. Your Sable needed a starter, struts and water pump. Those are wear items. They don't go on every car, but they are pretty common for needing replacement.Or do you have data that shows that Camrys never need these replaced? Last time I checked auto parts stores carried parts for Toyotas! Seems to me they need maitenance also. I know someone who bought a 97 Camry and had to replace the tires at 20k. My Taurus has two original tires with 60k on them; their in good shape.

    My point - you got on another post for using the term "moron". Yet you lash out with "You don't know what your talking about to my post". What is up with that?

    You're entitled to your opinion. Your example of a 90 Sable to a 97 Camry doesn't hold water. Cars in the 90s got a lot more content for not much more money. Toyota is famous for charging thru the nose for options. Doubt me on that. Read the Edmunds comments, pros and cons.

    Oh what a feeling! Taurus!!!!!

    Why don't you try and become one of the few who can add something that is usefull?
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    The part itself is the most costly item. The Ford replacement part can cost up to about $300 new. The labor is low, because the part is easily accessed and removed.

    But make sure you get your current alternator checked out first. It's hard to make an accurate diagnosis over the web!

    Riswami: I thought you were leaving. Looks like the Camry beats the Taurus in most of Edmunds rankings except the highly subjective "value" category. Plus have you read just the last 30 posts or so about others' tales of woe?

    I'll give you more concrete examples of the repair costs on my Sable compared to those of my Camry, when I have more time.
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    I haven't checked, but if "value" in Edmunds used car ratings refers to purchase price (as a used car), then yeah, Taurus has Camry beat:

    '97 Taurus GL: $7625 (NADA retail price, 6/01)
    '97 Camry LE 4-cyl: $12,025

    No surprise here; after all it's common knowledge that Taurus and Sable depreciate like the proverbial rock.
  • sable93sable93 Posts: 107

    Be glad you didn't get my Taurus, or else the thousands you saved would be almost depleated.


    Since the weather has changed, I've noticed that dashboard (all the way at the top need the defroster vents) creaks, and actually appears to be seperating from the dashboard in many places. Has anyone else experienced this? I guess I'll find out what the problem is when I take it in on Friday for other problems.
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