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Taurus/Sable Maintenance & Repair



  • Did somebody replace OEM halogen lights for
    aftermarket white(Xenox type)?
    What are kind and where did you buy it?
  • Have a '97 Taurus Wagon w/ 3.0 engine - knocking/pinging sound during hwy. or upgrade acceleration noticed after approx. 30,000 mi. Now have 58,000...Wondering if anyone had similar experience, possible dealer honored "secret warranty" involving rear lower sub-frame isolators, that supposely allow movement between engine mounts and sub-frame?

    Also last wk. in opening tailgate - oh my gosh...noticed high-mount third brake light lens and housing missing. First thought someone came in our driveway and removed, but then noticed a '97 wagon in dealer lot w/ same missing part. Possible adhesive worn and just 'blew' off ? Just paid $145 to local body shop to replace entire unit ($85) plus paint housing and assemble.
  • My 96 Taurus with a Vulcan engine has had a recurring issue with high idling. This problem usually shows up in the summer when using the A/C all of the time. It has been noticed even when the A/C is not on as it has gotten cooler. What happens is the car will idle as high as 1500 - 2000 rpm and surge forward if sitting at a stop with the car in gear. I have attempted to have it fixed before but it showed up again this summer. I paid $192 last summer and it really never stopped doing it, I just could not be without my car for a day to take it back. They replaced the throttle position sensor. It seems that I wasted $192. Also, the service engine soon light will come on and stay on but turn off. A day or two go by and it is back on again. Anyone else had this problem?
  • mrl11777mrl11777 Posts: 154
    I have a 98 Duratec Taurus, purchased used, and shortly after I took delivery it too seemed to be unable to kick down to a slower idle after the engine warmed. The dealer replaced the idle speed potentiometer and the problem was solved. Hope this helps.
  • I have never had a Ford before and pretty sure I never will again. I take very good care of my car but have already had to fix the ac and now the whole transmission needs to be replaced on my 95 Taurus wagon at 130,000 km. I can't decide whether to fix it or just dump it and get something else - given how expensive the transmission is to replace ( just about the cost of resale). Are there more big problems down the road endemic to this car? We cart kids around all the time and I like the car's size and handling - but it may be time to cut our losses.

    Thanks, hockeymom3

    Does anybody have any good advice
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    The a/c is not likely to STAY fixed, plus if you haven't had electrical problems (starter, alternator, wiper switch), you soon will, based on my experience.
  • I have a 2000 Taurus Sedan with 3.0 engine which has an engine pinging problem during acceleration. Pinging is most noticeable during light acceleration at speeds up to around 45 mph. Engine pings severely on 87 octane, less on 89, cold or hot weather does not seem to make a difference. Problem began about 13K miles, currently have 26K. The dealer says it shows no codes, but has made several attempts to fix by reprogramming with the latest software, checking fuel pressure, and changing the fuel filter. At this point the dealer is telling me there's nothing they can do and I'll have to live with it. I've considered taking it to another dealer since the local dealer's trouble shooting abilities don't go beyond what the computer tells them. Any advice you can offer mechanical or legal will be appreciated.
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    I found with my '90 Sable, after about the first 10K miles, I had to go to 89 octane to keep the pinging under control, even though the 3.0-liter Vulcan engine is supposed to run on 87.

    I just lived with it.
  • Hi Felixc,Very interesting to buy extended 100K warranty bumer-to -bumper.
    Could you give me more info???
  • I bought the Taurus in '86, first year of production. I still drive the vehicle today. Over the years I've made many repairs, most of them myself to save money. Would I buy another Ford? No way.
  • wdustwdust Posts: 1
    My '99 Taurus SE has a very noisy engine and it is so bad that a 'buzz' is felt through the floor pan and steering column. I have heard similar complaints from others who did not buy because of this. This model has a single exhaust, while the '98 dual exhausts were quieter. The dealers say this is normal however I am looking for a fix. Suggestions?
  • vince4vince4 Posts: 1,272
    My 2000 SE doesn't have a hint of that type of noise. Something must be loose and rattling. Check for loose sheet metal covers, etc. Also shine a flashlight carefully on each motor mount to make sure there isn't a defective one (broken/missing rubber, cracked metal...). Get someone to rev it up while you check for noise location. Most of all, take it to a better dealer.
  • gkarggkarg Posts: 230
    Just found the problem with my 92 Continental with the 3.8 (same as many of you taurus/sable owners... so i thought i'd share...)

    I was experiencing no power going up hills or moderate throttle.

    I finally replaced my motor mounts after letting the front one be broken for a long time (DON'T do this... replace immediately!)

    Turned out that the Flex pipe immediatley behind the catalytic converters had a lining of the same wire mesh material that is on the outside of the flex. it had bunch up (because of the motor mount) and only about 3/4" opening was left for exhaust.

    The replacement is well over $100 and it doesn't have the mesh lining inside.

    My 3.8 - is like brand new! (Just wait till the head gaskets go...)
  • Maintained the car to spec. First trans failed at 37,000 miles. Second trans failed at 86,000 miles. Third trans failed at 102,000 miles. Decided to trade in car in lieu of paying for a fourth trans. Same problem occurred 2nd, 3rd & 4th times - slip when shifting into 2nd gear. Dealer diagnosis was internal leak. Ford solution was for me to pay $2500 per remanufactured trans. Bought a Honda.
  • vince4vince4 Posts: 1,272
    Sad story. I hope some day we don't read so many stories like yours about American cars. Lest we all forget, there are good American car stories too! Just this weekend a lady called Car Talk, she had over 200k miles on a Chevy Lumina van and it still ran fine.
  • HELP HELP HELP!!! I have a nice 1990 Taurus LX, with the optional instaclear heated windshield, however there is one problem, my windshield has a crack in it now, and Ford says been out of production for 7 years, replace it with a regular taurus windshield. I have also been to many many many junkyards in the area, to no avail, only have seen one of these windshields, and it was smashed to bits. I was also told this incorrect information by someone at a salvage yard, that this windshield was recalled due to fire hazard. However I checked with the Ford customer care center at 1800241ford and they say exactly what 2 dealers told me, to have the windshield wires for the instaclear unhooked, and get a regular windshiled installed. My delemma is this, when this thing was working it was great!! I dont want to loose an option I paid good money for. My taurus has been very good, and have only had to replace tranny one time. Just turned over 100k. DOES ANYONE OUT THERE KNOW WHERE I CAN FIND A USED INSTACLEAR WINDSHIELD FOR A TAURUS SEDAN??? HELP HELP HELP!!
  • Looking for advice/opinions/reviews of the Vulcan engine vs. the Duratec. Want to buy an '02 wagon and not sure if I should spend the extra money on the Duratec. Particularly interested in repair/maintenance issues. Thanks.
  • I junked it last year with 130k on the dial--it needed about $200 worht of work--distributor pickup) so I felt it was time to dump it as it also had a rough idle and would tend to run very hot due to replacing radiator with a korean job--I had to run it with a low temp thermostat for it not to overheat---It still had original engine and tranny and didnt burn any oil--I would usually change oil every 3K and tranny fluid every 20K---I did a head gasket at 90k (cost just $400 as I knew the mechanic very well)---rotors were just about shot--I didnt turn them last time I changed the pads as they were getting too thin---I had replace 2 water pumps, 2 alternator, 4 batteries and brakes every 20K--also replaced the radiator, flywheel, and two ignition switches--and also the right ball joint and all 4 struts--the rear window stopped working at about 70K but I never fixed them--

    overall, I felt I got good service for the 13k I bought if for when new--
  • My '96 Sable has 105k with NO issues. The Duratec is a great motor, IMHO. It still feel as quick as the day we brought it home, and it is quick! I've used synthetic oil since about 5k miles. I think you'll be VERY satisfied with the Duratec!
  • I own a 1999 Ford Taurus Wagon, with the Duratec engine. I love this car !!! No mechanical problems to date, only small items like a sticking seatbelt, etc. I'm a firm believer in buying the best components when I buy a car, and insist on it because I have found that if you buy the cheaper ones, they almost always end up costing you more ultimately. For instance, I have the Duratec engine in my car because it will take a beating and still not break down as fast as the Vulcan.
    Don't listen to those people who change their oil any less than every 5,000 miles, they probably also don't take care of other problems that occur, when they happen. Also, use a good quality and well respected name when buying motor oil, and use synthetic oil all the time. My wife left the engine running on a previous car I owned (trying to cool it off in the summer heat), when the radiator hose ruptured and sent the temperature gauge needle soaring. If I had regular oil in the cars engine, the engine would have been destroyed. Luckily, I had Synthetic oil in it. The oil kept the engine from overheating and seizing.
    This is the first Ford I have ever owned, and most likely I will buy another Taurus as my next car. Most importantly, the Ford Taurus is a very safe car to be in if one is in an accident. I feel comfortable knowing that I have a much better chance of surviving a serious car accident while in my Taurus, than the vast majority of people who are driving other cars !!!!
  • For the info. Now I'm torn! I was going to go with the Vulcan to save the $1,500 it costs up here (in CDN dollars), but now you're making me wonder. I had been thinking that the more complex motor (Duratec) might be more expensive to repair down the road (like when the warranty expires). I drove a Vulcan on the weekend, and the performance was adequate, but far from exciting, but it's a wagon, right? Not a Mustang. Guess I'll ponder it some more, but I want to make the deal this week, so I better decide in a hurry! One other thing. I know we have to break in the engine with mineral oil, but what's the scoop on when one can switch over to synthetic? I usually change my oil every 3 mos/3,500 mi. using regular oil (whatever the dealer puts in). It's a good excuse to get the car looked at every 3 mos. too. But with synth. I expect the change intervals could be extended quite a bit? A spring/fall change schedule? Otherwise it would be pretty expensive. On the safety front, that's one of the foremost reasons I'm buying one too. Safety, room, versatility, value. Hard to argue with that! Thanks again.
  • Its about time to send the old lady to pasture. I have about 175,000 miles on this card and hard miles at that. The suspension is about gone and the breaks are starting to grind up front. I just dont want to put any more money into this car for suspension repair and brakes. I had to put another trans on at 100,000 miles, a custom none OEM trans that is still going strong as well as a heater core or two over the life of this car, other that that, I have had no problems. Engine is still strong and willing. Since the suspension is bad I dont drive it on the highway anymore. The next car I will purchase is a Hyndai Sonata LX, with ABS, Traction control and Moonroof. Just test drove one and this car rocks and is rock solid. Well everyone have great luck with your Taurus. Mine has done its job and done it well, I will hopefully get another 1000 miles out of her before I send her off.
  • I put synthetic in my '96 Sable at 1000 miles, again at 3k, then every 5k or so after that. On my Lincoln LS I put syn in at 500 and 1200. As I got free oil changes up to 24k, I had the dealer put in dino every 3k. At 20ish I put syn back in. Changed it at 25k and plan to go 10k between changes with a filter every 5k. I use Mobil1 oil and filters.

    It IS your decision, but I can't recommend the Duratec enough (my LS also has the Duratec, although "opened" up a bit :)). We had an '86 Sable with the Vulcan. It was adequate, but no more. The first time you have a load in the back and you're trying to climb that hill/mountain, you'll appreciate the extra 50 horses and 50ish lbft of torque!

    Enjoy, whatever you decide!
  • It was a tough decision, but I think it will be adequate, and reliable, so what the heck. The SEL wagon is a nice vehicle overall, now the dealer just has to locate one for me with the safety package! They had located one before I signed the deal, then it suddenly became unavailable, now they can't find one. What a surprise. So, no 200 hp. Ah, well, didn't someone say something about power being a corrupting influence? Thanks to all who provided comments/advice. I'll stay in touch!
  • Take it easy on the Vulcan engine, it should be ok if you don't push it too hard. Let the car break in until about 500 miles, then change it to a quality synthetic. Then, don't ever use anything else. The synthetic keeps the engine well lubricated and very clean. Warning: In the US, Ford allows you to change the oil every 5,000 miles without voiding the warranty, and that is the extent of it. Check and see what the required oil change intervals are and don't go past them.
    I have found that even at 5,000 miles, the oil still looks clean. Keep the engine clean and you will probably be driving it for a long time. Also, let the engine run for at least 15-20 seconds before putting it in gear, it gives the engine a good lubrication before starting out on the road
  • joecugjoecug Posts: 15
    I have a 93 taurus with the 3.8 V6.
    I beleive the head gasket is going.
    Oil shows up in the coolant, oil is
    discolored grey, harder starting etc.
    I'm not going to do a gasket job since the car has 135K. Has anyone had
    experience with head seal treatments,
    additives etc. Would rather put $250
    into the car and stagger along for a
    year. I had 95 with the 3.8 which
    blew and was repaired under the 100000
    recall. Car never ran well after that
    repair. If anyone knows how well these
    gasket treatments work info would be
    BTW own a Crown Vic with the 4.6 V8
    NO problems. Ford can make a good engine
    if they have to. Since CV is sold to
    police depts they have to.
  • I bought a "preowned" 98 Taurus in 1999 with 23000 miles on it. IN the beginning, it was a mechanical nightmare. The shop had the car more than I did for the first year. After I made sure everything was fixed while under warranty, I was satisfied except for the transmission. The Ford dealership said there was no problem, but I knew better. However, you can't argue with factory reps. I also tried contacting ford through e-mail and they were of no assistance. I became totally frustrated with ford. I like my car. I have all the toys including the big V-6. Howwever, I know my transmission is slipping slightly as I can feel it and my gas mileage has diminished a bit. I WILL NEVER buy another Ford product. I will wither go GM or foreign from now on. I had a Buick Regal prior to this car and I positively LOVED it! However, it had alot of mileage on it and I often go out of state by myself and was concerned about breaking down. I gave it to my son and then my daughter. She sold it only after she could afford a newer vehicle. I am presently selling my son's t-bird and I bought him a Chevey Blazer ( which I love ). My husband also has a Blazer. So, I word to the wise - if you are thinking about buying a ford - DON'T! The product stinks and so do the dealerships.
  • That's how I feel about GM, after 5 years of Grand Am ownership. I've owned 15 cars, English, French, American, Japanese, you name it, and the Grand Am has been the worst. Nothing but problems since day one, and I haven't had good experience dealing with GM on these issues, either. Even though I have $2,500 in GM points on my VISA card, I bought a Taurus this time, because I had a good experience with an '89 I bought new and drove for 5 years, and because I'm hearing good things from people who own new ones. My Grand AM has been in the shop every 3 months since I bought it new. Some of the problems include: pwr steering pump, suspension bushings, struts, strut bearings, steering column bushings, alternator, carpet disintergrating in non-wear areas, locks not working, doors rattling in frames, rust bubbling along lower window gaskets, intake manifold gasket replacement, supposedly clogged injectors (I was told by the service dept. that the 3.1 litre engine "doesn't like Canadian gas") many things that i'm starting to forget them all. GM makes a few good cars, like the Buicks with the 3800 motor, and some trucks, but that's about it as far as I can tell. I think they make more bad cars than good. Too bad you had all that trouble with your Ford. From what I've read on the net, your case would be more the exception than the rule. But it just goes to show that it only takes one bad experience to put someone off a brand for life (like both of us). Too bad car makers don't worry about that a little more. Ford certainly isn't innocent, with their 3.8 litre head gaskets and plastic intake manifolds on the 4.6 that crack.
  • We have a 99 24v with 16K miles. There is vibration in the steering when the brakes are pressed and a slight pulsing in the steering when turning.
    Took the car back to the Texas AutoNation Ford dealer where we bought the car. They quickly turned the rotors and said nothing else was needed. I do not understand why there was a problem to begin with. I asked them check out the car carefully expecting them to find a cause for the symptom.

    Am I missing something here? We have a second 99 that I have put 46K on (daily 52 mile commute to downtown) that does not have the brake problem. What is considered normal for re surfacing rotors? What are normal wear parameters? Are Ford rotors inferior to others? I have heard they are thinner. Where might I find unbiased written documentation of that to share with the service manager who will acknowledge no shortcomings whatsoever and acts as though I just fell of a turnip truck. I have a history with car dealers and do not trust them and their shops. The service manager acts as though Taurus' have never had rotor problems. He also stated that turning them would not have any negative affect on the problem re-occurring even though they would be thinner and therefore not dissipate heat as well.

    My 89 Taurus went through 3 sets of rotors before Ford replaced them a forth time which corrected the problem for good.
    That car was traded in at 118K after complete AC replacement @ 90K and transmission rebuild at 68K, paint went bad as well.
    Transmission was at least partially my fault. Only had the fluid replaced once during the 68K and that was not a flush, just a drop pan and clean filter. I have since learned better.
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