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Taurus/Sable Maintenance & Repair



  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    You had a warped rotor. Somebody probably tightened the wheel nuts with an impact gun. Happens every day to just about every brand of car. What specifically are you asking when you say "what is considered normal for resurfacing rotors" and "what are normal wear parameters"? Do you want original thickness specs, machining limits, minimum wear thickness, allowable lateral runout, parallelism specs?
  • vince4vince4 Posts: 1,272
    I got my 2000 with 8800 miles on it (company car) and it had warped rotors. Dealer said it's "within spec" and balanced the tires. Helped a little but the problem isn't gone. I think it's a common Taurus complaint and I don't believe it has anything to do with lug nuts.
  • alcan, thank you for your input. I want to understand when (under normal circumstances) one would expect to need to turn rotors (miles, brake pad change, etc.). And, how to limit problems in the future. The Dealer found nothing wrong with the braking system but they are sure it is fixed. ???? Are they saying they just have no way to know what happened but since the car is under warranty they will fix it?

    So in some cases warped rotors can be corrected by cutting them, yes? Does cutting the rotors reduce the heat dissipation ability of the rotor and increase the potential of warping again?

    I have watched when the tires were rotated and balanced and they did use a torque limiting device. Are you thinking the Discount Tire store is contributing to or causing the warping? Even though they are using this limiter? Are you saying that I should not allow someone to use an impact gun on the car? I expect that even the Ford dealer uses impact guns when they change or rotate tires.

    How did you learn all about rotors and stuff?
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    Unfortunately, there are no fixed guidelines for how often rotors should be turned. It's like asking how often should brake pads be replaced. There's too much variability in driving styles, terrain, original thickness of the rotors, etc.

    I had my front rotors start to warp around 17K miles in my '90 Sable, so it looks like Ford hasn't solved the problem in later models.

    But the front rotors on my '80 Volvo (with 235K miles) have never been turned (or replaced), and the rears have been turned only once (to remove scoring).

    BTW, the answers to the questions in your 2nd paragraph are yes and yes, IMHO.
  • I've had VERY good wear from NAPA premium rotors. I replaced the factory rotors with these and my warping issues went away. IMO, the FORD factory rotors are on the "cheap" side. I also upgraded to carbon-metallic pads. My '96 Sable stops on a dime and tries to give change :)
  • Like I said in an earlier posting, I have found that by putting only high quality parts in your car, you will save a lot of grief in the long term.

    When replacing rotors and brakes, buy the quality, name brand only parts. I like Bendix brand. They have saved me from having the kind of trouble that trebor10 has been having. I used to have the same problems when I put the cheaper parts in my cars. NEVER Again will I use cheap parts.

    Unless the brake parts are covered under a recall, warranty, or other, take the car to a shop that will install your pre-purchased quality parts, or one that purchases quality parts and installs them automatically.
  • Can't argue with any of the above. In my experience, using an impact gun can overtighten lug nuts, causing warping. I always use a torque wrench, and try to re-torque them myself after a shop has had them off, unless I know they tighten them by hand using a torque wrench. Better quality shops will, but I don't know about Ford dealers (not that they're not 'quality shops' but they deal with a lot of volume, so may use a gun to speed things up). Impact guns take a lot of abuse, and their torque settings are often inaccurate. I think a rule of thumb that some people subscribe to is that you turn the rotors every second pad change, but I don't turn them unless there's a reason. If the pedal doesn't pulse, there's no pitting, scoring, etc., why turn them? It does shorten their life and reduce heat dissapation ability.

    On another note, I finally got my new SEL wagon. Love it so far. One thing did happen though that I'd like to ask you all about. AFter an hour on the hi-way, I stopped for a bit. Then started up again, and the ABS light stayed on. Went to a Ford dealer, but they were getting ready to close up, so left there, and the light went out. Hasn't happened since. Car only had a couple hundred miles on it when this happened. Any ideas? If it doesn't happen again, I won't bother taking it in, but I am curious about it. Wonky sensor? Something sticking?

    Happy holidays everybody!
  • tomo66tomo66 Posts: 4
    Does anybody have any ideas, how to improve
    10-12 miles/gal(city) and 18-20 miles/gal(hwy) fuel consumption?
    Recently, I put new tune-up parts and check all sensors on a shop computer. Still no improvements. I also did state emission test and car passed it with NO PROBLEMS.
    What else?
    I didn't touch OXygene Sensor. Should I try a new one($60 + my labor)?
  • mrdetailermrdetailer Posts: 1,118
    It improved mileage on my vehicle when I replaced it at 170,000 miles by 3-5%. I'm going to make OXY sensors a regular maintenence item.

    Synthetic transmission and engine oils can also help reduce mileage a little.

    My Dad's 3.0 Taurus gets great mileage on the road, but not good at all around town.
  • I just bought a 2000 Taurus SE wagnon. Running great so far. Has about 40,000 km or 24,000 mi. I can get a 150,000 km full (like new) warranty for $2200 Cdn. ($1500 US). This would give me 4 1/4 more years of new car warranty. How is this Ford for major problems--tranny, head gaskets, etc.? Any thoughts?
  • Personally, I haven't seen anything to make me worry about the 2000 and newer Taurus (which is one reason I just bought a 2002). Never been a big fan of extended warranty's. For what you pay, I imagine you rarely get your money's worth, unless you buy a lemon. But if you've done your homework and bought a good car, perform proper maintenance, and don't drive the crap out of it, I'd say save your money. $2200 buys a lot of repairs. I think the head gaskets were only problems on the old 3.8 litre engines, and tranny's have been better since 2000. From what I've read, a lot of the tranny problems could be solved by good maintenance habits, and making sure they get all the fluid out (including the converter) when they do a change. My brother has a '99 with 90K on it, and parents have a '00 with 10K (hey, they're old) and neither have had any problems to date. Good luck!
  • mralanmralan Posts: 174
    Have the newer Taurus models improved?

    I've read post on this message board suggesting that models later than 2000 are much improved from a reliablity stand point.
  • My mother has a 99 Taurus with about 30k
    miles on it. The engine will turn over but
    won't start, then all of a sudden for no apparent
    reason it will start up. She had one mechanic look at
    it, scratched his head for a couple of hours
    then it just started up all of a sudden. The next
    time it happened she brought it to the dealer
    and it started up for them and they couldn't
    find anything wrong.

    I haven't been able to determine under what
    conditions it happens, but I think each time
    the engine was cold (Minnesota cold not just
    room temp).

    Any ideas would be appreciated
  • As I've said, I think the 2000 and up are improved. Frankly, I've yet to read anything negative about them. The Financial Post here in Toronto recently had a glowing review of the SEL. They no longer offer the problem-prone 3.8 litre engine in the Taurus, and I think they've improved the tranny, which has been a source of problems in the past. Maybe you could get a list of improvements by emailing Ford from their website. The only negative thing I can say about mine is that the shift into 4th gear is a bit rough, but I'm guessing that's related to converter lock-up at too low a speed to increase fuel mileage. Anyone else notice this? If anything goes wrong with my '02, or my parents '00, I'll be sure to let you all know!
  • Could it be that the fuel pump cutoff switch is getting flaky? There's a switch on the right side of the trunk that works on inertia. When the car gets a fairly hard jolt or rolls over, the switch kills the fuel pump so that gas doesn't continue to flow to the engine when there's been (or it thinks there's been) an accident. The switch can also be tripped by a hard bump against the bumper, etc. You have to push the button on the top of the switch to reset it. If it's been tripped, the engine will crank, but no fuel will be delivered, so the car won't start.

    I wonder if the switch in your mom's car is working intermittently in the cold and causing the problem? The dealer ought to have been able to find some of the other stuff under the hood (though intermittent problems can be tough to find conclusively).

    The switch is explained in the owner's manual, and it also has a sticker near it on the right side wall of the trunk. The next time the car does this, have your mom press the switch in and try starting the car again. If it starts, the switch is the problem. If not, then something else would obviously be wrong. But it's easy enough to try it.
  • willis3willis3 Posts: 76
    I had my oil changed this past weekend, and noticed that my coolant was nearly
    depleted. So I refilled the coolant, ran the engine and checked again. I found the coolant
    had turned to a brownish color.

    After doing a bit of research, I found that there was a general recall issued to install a
    cooling system by-pass installation kit (TSB 98B23). Being the second owner of this car, I was never notified. I'm going to flush the radiator, but I'm starting to worry that there might be a head
    gasket problem.

    Have any other of you Taurus/Sable owners experienced this problem? Did you get the
    recall work performed?

    I learned that this is a problem only on 96 & 97 Taurus/Sables. They probably changed
    the design beginning in 98.

    Any help/experiences would be appreciated.
  • vince4vince4 Posts: 1,272
    Coolant will get that way if it hasn't been changed in a long time and if the ratio of water was too high. Flush the system out good and put in a 50-60% antifreeze mix. Then wait and see what happens, probably there is nothing wrong and it will stay green.

    Symptoms of a blown head gasket
    -white smoke from the tail pipe
    -acrid burnt smell to the radiator and fluid
    -foam on the engine oil dipstick

    Someone at work had that radiator recall done on his. He said it always ran hotter after that. Unfortunately his engine "blew" like 10 or 20k miles later. I don't know what blew but he replaced the whole engine. Probably just a head gasket. I don't know if the recall had anything to do with it but I'd find out what they are doing and keep an eye on the temperature. Maybe a cooler thermostat would be in order.
  • willis3willis3 Posts: 76
    Thanks for the information. I will keep you updated on what happens after the flush.
  • teoteo Posts: 2,508
    Issues related to the Ford Taurus:

  • mralanmralan Posts: 174
    That article refers to post 98 Tauruses. The new Taurus is much improved in engines, transmissions, and safety.
  • I have a 1999 Taurus. The car started making a grinding noise immediately after the engine was started and the key released. 'Took it to dealer under warranty, starter was replaced, and problem ended. 12,000 miles later problem has started again. It only happens when the car is cold (hasn't been run for several hours).

    Anyone heard of this before?
  • q45manq45man Posts: 416

    use the search function to zero in on the model and its alleged problems. This site has been sued by Ford more than any other! Some how they get hold of internal docs and reports. FYI:

    "Well past the average of 4.51, the #8 position went to the Atlanta Assembly Plant, which makes the Taurus, Sable and all SHO models. It's interesting that the two Taurus/Sable assembly plants have such a high difference in paint quality - especially considering the assembly processes are the same. The Atlanta assembled Taurus/Sables experience 3.2 times the paint quality problems than do Chicago assembled models"

    "On 30 August 1999, Ford issued a statement saying that it planned to ask U.S. District Judge Nancy G. Edmunds to ban the site ( permanently at hearing in Detroit's Federal Court. BlueOvalNews attorney Mark Pickrell successfully argues that Ford's proposal would be Unconstitutional. On 07 September 1999, Judge Edmunds ruled against Ford. "
  • mralanmralan Posts: 174
    Anyone using synthetic transmission fluid in their Taurus? I'm looking for recommendations. I'm considering Royal Purple or Amsoil.
  • brucer2brucer2 Posts: 157
    It depends on the year of your Taurus. For the last couple of years, Ford has been using Mercon V ATF in most of their transmissions. It is an "upgraded" Mercon IV/Dexron fluid. If your transmission calls for Mercon V, make sure the fluid is indicated as meeting Mercon V specifications.
  • Just had the brake light switch replaced on my 2000 Taurus for the second time (thankfully still under warranty). They wiped away the excess grease from the adjustablel pedals but it keeps leaking into the switch. Kind of freaky when you have to drive around with your brake lights always on until you get to the Ford dealer. Other than this, it's a pretty good car with no problems so far.
  • mralanmralan Posts: 174
    I've been experiencing weird brake noise (chatter) while braking in a turn. I don't think it's warped rotors. It only does this when I'm turning. Any ideas?

    Oh, I have an 01 SES with ABS.
  • I have a 99 Taurus SE with about 45K miles. I've been noticing a strange whirring noise lately. The noise is speed sensitive, and unrelated to RPM or gear. The noise occurs between 33 and 38 MPH, 43 and 48 MPH, and up around 65 MPH. I've tested it in different gears, and the noise always occurs within the given speed ranges, regardless of how high/low the engine is revving. There's also a slight vibration along with the noise, but it's really slight. All fluids check out OK.

    What could it be?
  • vince4vince4 Posts: 1,272

    The car is under warranty, let the dealer look at it. Of course odds are they will say they can't hear it. Mine would anyway.


    First thing that comes to mind is something tire or wheel related. Maybe a bad tire, less likely a wheel bearing etc. How about some loose trim flapping in the wind? If your tires are worn out anyway then maybe give that a shot. I'd put it on a jack and rotate each wheel by hand. You can't get the same speed but maybe it's there quietly at slower speeds. Other than that think about what turns at vehicle speed, not engine speed. Really the only thing left is the transaxle after the transmission. Check the CV joint boots on the both front axles, make sure they aren't cracked or leaking grease.
  • mralanmralan Posts: 174
    Hi, vince4

    I wasn't sure if the brake problem would be covered under warranty. They may claim it's a wearable part. I guess your right though, I can have them look at it.
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