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Taurus/Sable Maintenance & Repair



  • jebinc1jebinc1 Posts: 198
    I pulled off the passenger cowl and sure enough, there was a filter. I replaced it with a charcoal activated one from Schucks ($11). Thanks for the tip. The original was pretty dirty!
  • snowmansnowman Posts: 540
    Only filter you could ever replace in passanger cowl was cabin air filter. But what's got to do with the sound from trunk?
    Also,I am not familiar with charcoal activated filters in G4 Taurus? Would you tell us what it was?
  • jebinc1jebinc1 Posts: 198
    It's a FRAM - P/N CF8109. Charcoal Activated for freshness

    I'm not sure I understand your reference to the noise in the truck. I never indicated that I had a problem with my truck. I think that was tjdepere2004.
  • snowmansnowman Posts: 540
    Oh! well..:-))
    You are right,I am sorry. This tells me why I had problem to correlate the noise in trunk to cabin filter, LOL.
  • In response to #1310
     I wanted to agree with your suggestion The Ford dealer and Midas see it as a twisted pipe between the comvertor and muffler,starting at the [non-permissible content removed] on the convertor. Neither can provide an explanation for the twist. They both have been able to provide replacement cost of approximately $225. Anyone with suggestion as to the cause? Anyone experience such situation themselves? How did you solve it?
  • jebinc1jebinc1 Posts: 198
    Has anyone ever noticed an occasional dampened scraping noise when putting a Taurus in park? If you move it out of park to Neutral, or some other gear, the sound goes away. Sometimes it stays away when you put it back in Park. Sometimes, it is never there in the first place. Has anyone ever heard of this?
  • hokieboyhokieboy Posts: 1
    On Friday I purchased a 2000 Taurus SE at my dealer's used inventory reduction sale. $7K for a 71.5K mi., Duratec, Leather, Mach Sound. A very safe comfortable car for my wife's long interstate commute with much vexing truck traffic. On the way home from the dealer with the car I heard news about a recall on this model on the radio! Is this correct or was I having a paranoid hallucination? I was unble to catch the specifics of the recall but only heard the models affected. Does anyone know what this recall concerns? Is this a bad omen? I am very pleased with the deal and car and what I have read about the Taurus on this forum. I do the maintenance drill on my vehicles to minimize problems and maximize the reliability and longevity of my wife's commuter vehicles. Any suggestions or tips for my Ford product?
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    It's no big deal. They are recalling 1999-2001's in 22 northern states to put a shield around the front springs so if it breaks it can't puncture the tire. If your car is in a southern state, yours is not involved. If in doubt, check with Ford with your VIN and they can probably tell you if yours is included.

    I would only worry if your car was located in a northern state where they use a lot of salt in the winter.

    Sounds to me like this is likely a very isolated issue involving very few cars, or they would be replacing springs instead of just adding a shield.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    Well, last night for the first time my Taurus didn't start. It was simply a dead battery. Died almost like switching off a light. So dead it wouldn't even actuate the power locks, radio, or dome light, say nothing about engaging the starter. I got a jump start in the Home Depot parking lot from a young guy who said he was a mechanic at a local Ford dealer. I drove right to a Checker Auto parts store as I figured it would not restart if I went home. My wife was out of town, so I had no way to get anywhere with only my car available if I had gone home first. I shut it off right in front of the store, where it again would not restart. Went in, borrowed their "store tools" that did not have a socket extension, so I ended up buying an extension from them. Took the battery in for core exchange, bought a new 84 month battery for $58 and put it in in the parking lot. The manager was not busy, so he came out and checked my charging system which was all OK.

    Now if this one fails between 3-4 years, I will get the prorated discount for the next one, and it will likely cost me only about $30.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    Please excuse the caps, but I cut and pasted this info off the NHTSA web site concerning the recall:


    I am glad to see they are extending the warranty for the springs as well as adding the shields.
  • kathy1970kathy1970 Posts: 3
    I have a 97 taurus that slams into 1st and 2nd gear. It doesn't do it all the time. It was mentioned to me that it might be just a censor? since I can turn off my car and restart it and it quits (for awhile) Anybody have any comments on this particular problem. I love my car and had it for 2 years now without any problems till this one :( thanks; Kathy
  • kathy1970kathy1970 Posts: 3
    Have you had any problems since you posted your problem?
  • snowmansnowman Posts: 540
    For Taurus, shifting problems are generally associated with tranmission fluid. Have you checked yours, it's level, color, and smell...Make sure you check it on flat surface and after 20 minutes vigorous drive. It should not smell, if it smells like gasoline, it is considered as contaminated. Get it changed immediately.

    Do these symptoms occur on flat road or hilly - up and down country roads?
    And tell us what transmission maintenance you have done on your car so far.
  • 307web307web Posts: 1,033
    I felt it only once since the dealer looked at it. It was happening every day prior.
  • davscooldavscool Posts: 2
    Hello. I am currently looking at buying a used 97 Taurus. I noticed some rust on each of the four wheels behind the rims on the interior mechanism. Is this a common problem on Tauruses that are kept outside? Is rust a problem in general for Ford Tauruses. Thanks.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    Are you talking about rust on the front brake rotors and rear drums(maybe rear rotors on that year, I don't remember)? The rotors and drums are cast iron and will all show rust. If the car hasn't been driven for a while, rust will also form on the rotor surfaces that the brake pads contact. There is nothing to worry about from this surface rust as it will wear off when driven and stopped a few times.

    In extreme cases, rotors and drums can become to rusty and get large pits or lose their structural integrity. Then they would need to be replaced, but are not all that expensive.
  • kathy1970kathy1970 Posts: 3
    Hi. I checked my transmission fluid and it didnt look dirty at all or smell bad either. It is filled to the correct level. It tends to do it more after it has been running awhile on hills and on
    flat surfaces, doesnt matter. But thanks for the reply :)
  • horndoghorndog Posts: 1
    Replaced two inner tie rod ends under manuf. warr. @3.2 hours flat rate each. One before I bought it at 20k miles, one after. Replaced three stabilizer links under manuf. warr. after I bought it. Definitely a poorly designed part.
    Driver's side pwr lock solenoid replaced under manuf. warr. Remote keyless would unlock other three doors, but not driver's.
    Cruise wouldn't "set" intermittently until brake switch recall, but has worked every time since.
    No support behind corners of rear bumper left huge indent in plastic after very minor parking lot mishap. Crawled under car on a warm day and "popped out" bumper cover with mallet and hair dryer with fairly good results.
    Original equipment Cooper Continental tires have very poor traction/braking on wet or snow covered roads.
    Vulcan engine has more than adequate power. Don't know what complaints are about with this unit.
    Firm seats, firm ride, tight handling on dry roads.
    Excellent A/C. Rear seat vents work well.
    Lots of room in trunk and interior.
    Good value when bought as a used car.
    45k miles now, and no problems since manuf. warr. has lapsed
  • Bought 2002 SES new in Apr 2002. After 603 miles, transaxle warning light came on, dealer and engineering @ Ford decided to replace whole transmission. Now at 53K miles, 2 yrs old, full transmission failure. No indications or problems prior to this failure. No warning light either. Dealership found a lot of metal in the trans. pan. Ford dragging feet in backing their product to replace the transmission, even though it has a prior problematic history. Anyone else reporting such issues with the transmissions in the 02 Taurus?
  • dilbertzzzdilbertzzz Posts: 190
    We are buying a had-been-a-California-rental (apparently) 2003 SES with a bit less than 19,000 miles on it, Vulcan in front, Ford-certified and all. It's clean and Carfax checked out (no charge for that from the dealer in Grapevine, TX). Paying $11,180 ($12,019 out the door -- hard bargaining between wife and Used Car Sales Manager). Seems a reasonable, if not totally stellar deal for here in North Texas.

    We had test driven one listing for about $400 less, but it seemed to have a changed-out odometer (shame! shame!) and sounded like an old clunker. Wouldn't buy from that dealer ever.

    I test drove a Duratec (also very clean) just to see if there was any noticeable difference. The Duratec with just my wife and I inside didn't accelerate all that much better than the Vulcan with my wife, myself, the sales lady, my 5 and 3 year olds inside. Neither would win a drag race with my 2003 Yukon XL even as we had it loaded for this summer's vacation (4 adults, 14 year old BIG boy, 10 year old girl, and the aforementioned 5 and 3 year olds together with luggage enough for all to cover a 2 week vacation).

    That's OK though. I didn't buy it for drag racing anyway. I got it to get a reasonably-priced, highly-crash-test-rated, hopefully-reliable vehicle for my only-twice-a-week-but-30-miles-each-way commute through the dangers of Dallas-area rush hour traffic. (In the two years I've been doing this commute -- only twice a week, remember -- I've seen 4 or 5 cars upside down, perhaps a dozen other major multi-car accidents, as well as the usual stand-your-hair-on-end close calls; a couple of the latter almost-involving me. It's worse than a jungle out there!)

    Interestingly, on the way down to look at the Taurus, we passed an accident in a construction zone. A big box truck had a Taurus wedged up at about a 45 degree angle on the concrete barrier (those double-angle types designed to deflect vehicles up rather than smashed), facing backward,and apparently still pretty much intact.

    I'm guessing that the Taurus attempted an ill-advised sudden lane change trying to reach the left turn lane a hundred or so yards further along. The truck must have clipped him and spun him around. Then the Taurus hit the barrier hard enough going backward to force the passenger side wheels up the side of the barrier. Meanwhile the truck, doubtless sliding on locked-up wheels, pinned the car up and probably forced it to the eventual angle before both slid to a stop.

    I suppose the driver got out of the Taurus with some difficulty as the driver's side was wedged in by the truck and the pavement (that is I think maybe his driver's side tires were on the ground, but they might not have been!). The high side of the car had to be a good 8 feet up in the air and hanging over the dirt where Highway 121 will eventually have 6 main lanes.
  • Can anyone explain why a car may be steaming up even though the temperature gauge stays at the normal level?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,591
    Yep. The temperature sending unit can only read hot water, not steam. If the coolant level is low in the system, the sending unit can be fooled.

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

  • jokev2jokev2 Posts: 2
    I don't know too much about cars, but I've had a Chevy Impala, VW Bug, Mercury Cougar, and now my 94 Taurus LX. I bought my Taurus used in 1997 with 26,000 miles on it. I test drove it twice and really liked it and then decided to buy it. That was on a Saturday. By Monday, it was back at the dealer's for a new ignition, a new radio/cassette player, and jerks in my transmission. Even though I had a warranty, the dealership's service dept. wouldn't touch the transmission until they knew exactly what was wrong with it. Of course, they wouldn't take my word for it and when the serviceman drove it with me as a passenger), it didn't jerk. I had that car in for trans service 15 times in 4 years. Right before my warranty ran out at 72,000 miles, I took it in for the last time and told them that if it wasn't fixed and I had an accident, my family would own the dealership's two businesses and sue Ford, too, since I had already alerted my lawyer about my problem with them. To top it off, the original dealer had sold his business to another Ford dealer and all the computer records were conveniently "lost". They were shocked when I told them I had every invoice from day one and only then did they call in a Ford transmission specialist. It was so bad that Ford put in a brand new one and I didn't even pay labor costs (I refused to!). I was a fool for not threatening them earlier! I keep it serviced regularly, I love driving it and now have 134,000 miles on it, with hardly any problems until last year when I had problems with steering. To make a long story short, with many trips for service (and many big bucks), the entire steering system had to be replaced. Then, early this year, I was driving on the PA turnpike in a snow storm and my electrical system went out, would go on when I pulled over and idled, but went out again when I started driving. What a nightmare with kids in the car!! I was told that there was a short in the circuits and a wire was burnt! Fixed that to the tune of $348.00. After that happened, I have had trouble with starting the car and stalling. The entire electrical system was tested and everything that could possibly cause this was checked out, so I was told and they could find nothing wrong. I did buy a new battery (the 2nd in 8 yrs), though. The problem still persisted until one day the car wouldn't start at a gas pump after I filled it with gas. I had it towed to the dealer and they found a problem in the "starter box" and replaced it (for another 300 odd dollars). I asked why they had told me previously that they could find nothing wrong and they said that this problem can't be diagnosed until the car actually dies. Well, dumb me, I thought that the problem was fixed, but today, my car hesitated when I started it, and driving through a traffic light 5 miles later, my car stalled. Luckily, I had enough power to pull over. I turned off the A/C and radio, turned the car off, and then restarted it with no problem and it's been fine all day. And, just yesterday, my trans started jerking again. What a headache! So, this afternoon, I took it to the dealer again to have both the stalling and jerking checked out and lo and behold, it jerked when he drove it, too. Their service schedule is so full that they can't work on it until next Friday. They have constantly told me there have been no recalls on this car. Is this true? Also,could someone tell me what the letters SE and SES stand for and are those models in a lower category than the LX? I feel stupid asking, but such is life! I am learning a lot about cars and dealers since I've had this Taurus since my other cars simply had no major problems at all. And neither has my husband had problems with his Silverado, nor my daughter with her Toyota. I am Corolla and Saturn. Since there are many used car sales going on right now, I feel I need to get away from Ford and buy something different.
  • snowmansnowman Posts: 540
    I think SE and SES is for Generation 4 Tauruses.
    SES has 150 hp Vulcan engine, SE - I think - may have 150 hp or 200Hp Duractec engine.
    For the recall issue, just call Ford and give your VIN, they will tell you whether your car is due for a recall.

    I have my SES for 3 years, not a single issue with transmission or engine.
  • I have just purchased a 1997 Sable GS during the initial test drive all seemed good. The interior and exterior of car is immaculate. But on the 2nd day I noticed the car jumps and the speedometer was not moving, then it just started working again. I think it may be the transmission. Today is actually my 3rd day driving and it has not done it. I have to go to PA tomorrow should I take the chance. Car has 98,000 miles??? Help!!
  • snowmansnowman Posts: 540
    Looks like tranny is slipping. Check the oil, if you see bubles, that means to much oil in it. Suck some of it out thru dipstcik by vinly tube. Seller might put extra oil to cover up some leakage or some other issue. Check th ebottom of the car to see it si leaking tranny oil or not.
  • jokev2jokev2 Posts: 2
    Thanks, Snowman, for the info. I am currently looking for another car. No more Taurus for me!
  • fdthirdfdthird Posts: 352
    Tell me you are kidding. You have a 10 year old Taurus with 134,000 miles on it and you are acting like its a brand new car and you've had all these problems in the first 3 months! Lets be reasonable...the car has been in your family for 7 years and you've put almost 110,000 miles on it.

    When cars get old they start to drive you nuts...those of us who have had "old" cars have all experienced it. At some point, it becomes clear that in the long run its easier on your mind (and sometimes even your wallet) to move on. I think that's the point you're at...and think you'd be in the same position whatever kind of car you were driving.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    When current generation Taurus came out in 2000, base model was LX, next was SE, then SES, then SEL. The base engine was Vulcan, but I believe the Duratec DOHC was standard on SEL and optional on SES, which is the car I own. It may have been optional on the LX and SE also. It is easy to tell current generation Taurus as the base Vulcan has no insignia behind the front wheel well. The Flex fuel Vulcan has a little leafy insignia and the Duratec has the 24 Valve DOHC insignia.

    Higher trim levels usually just had more optional equipment as standard and it varies from one year to the next.

    Jokev2, while I sympathize with your problems, it sounds as if a poor dealer and your inability to properly describe or demonstrate the problems and to get action, especially on the transmission was your biggest issue.

    The other problems some of which were intermittent are sometimes very hard to diagnose.

    That said, you did buy a used vehicle with unknown prior use/abuse, and you really now are getting up in years and mileage, so repair rates will increase on all older cars.
  • I have a Sable 01. The air was working fine but after the engine was shut down later in the day the blower only blows hot air. I have auto control and no setting changes the condition. I checked fuses and relays and find that when the ac clutch relay coil should be energized it isn't. Seems like a damper is stuck on heat ( the air is very hot) and maybe an end switch isn't allowing the ac clutch relay to close. Any thoughts? Thanks. Bill
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