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Taurus/Sable Maintenance & Repair



  • wijocowijoco Posts: 462
    "It has nothing to do with the serpentine belt system either since it still does it with the belt off the car"
  • deniserdeniser Posts: 1

    I have a 96 Taurus GL, a couple of days ago the "check engine" light came on and they hooked up the computer thingy (can you tell I am not a techie when it comes to cars) and found out that the code was for the Cam Shaft Sensor.

    Can anyone tell me what this thing does, will it affect my car if I drive it and any idea as to what it is going to cost to get this thing fixed???

    I haven't driven it since and wanted to find out some information online first before I go ahead with any sort of a fix.

    Any HELP would be fantastic!!!!


  • jasmith52jasmith52 Posts: 457
    OK - I stand corrected.

    One of these days I'll learn to read
  • I have had my wagon for 5 years, it has never let me down till now. My front end is making all kinds of noise. It clunks when driving on flat surface at low rates of speed, it makes a horrible squeeking noise when you turn the steering wheel, I dont know what to do or where to begin. This car still has all of its factory parts from when it rolled off the line in 1997. It has 158K miles on it. The engine is strong. Do I invest in a new front end or let it go and replace the car. What components make up the front end, other than tye rods and the Ball joint, I have no idea as to where to start.
    Tara in FL
  • jasmith52jasmith52 Posts: 457
    A couple of comments:

    You need to have a pro look at your car and make an evaluation. Yes it could be struts or ball joints tie-rods etc. After they take a look then you can decide whether or not to invest much in your car since the car is not worth much (other than to you).

    The squeeling that you hear when you turn may be due to a lack of power steering fluid. Check the power steering fluid reservoir to make sure that it is full. If it is not full then you may have a leak in the power steering system (hoses, pump, rack and pinion ?) that may need to be fixed. The cheap fix is just to keep adding fluid.
  • wijocowijoco Posts: 462
    Yes, it's a critical part. Cam and crank sensors are used by all distributorless vehicles. They tell the engine computer where the engine is in its rotation. The 96-99 Taurus Vulcan engines had some trouble with this part. Eventually it will cause problems as it disintegrates, so it's best to go ahead and fix it now. Sorry.
  • wijocowijoco Posts: 462
    Most likely you have some ball joints that are worn out. It could be tie rods or some other joints, but if that's the only problem you're having I wouldn't give up on it. Most of the parts aren't terribly expensive. I can't guarantee a price, but if it's normal Taurus front end work it shouldn't cost much more than $500 or so.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    Worn sway bar links are also a potential source of front suspension problems and are fairly inexpensively replaced, even if done by a dealer.
  • after doing some research about the chirp sound in my car i came to the conclusion that its the cam synchronizer. Check engine light is not on. Chirp sound is dying off but spark knock (engine ping whatever) is starting. Just about everyone ive talked to says its most likely the synchronizer. I am planning on driving about 500 or so miles to NY. Will this thing make it till i get there and get it fixed there?
  • jug78jug78 Posts: 3
    i have a 98 taurus and my bright light indicator light located in the instrument cluster does not work. driving at night i always forget and blind oncoming traffic. bulb is good but no power getting to the bulb.
  • The Doors on the 98 have micro mini door switches that close when a door is open and open when a door is coseds, thus turning the dome lights and door open light on and off. They tend to get dirty and not function. A dealer or car repair shop will have you bring you car in so that they can put it on a diag computer to see which switch on what door needs to be replaced.

    I had the EXACT problem and my battery would always go dead if i did not remove the dome and floor lights.

    Go out and buy a can of WD40. Open each door, one at a time and spray the *@%$ out of the latch that catches when you close the door. Now shut and reopen the door a few times to loosed up and clean everything on the llatch and respray. Do each door one at a time until the dash light goes out.

  • sam28sam28 Posts: 1
    I have a Merc Sable' 02 that has a weird smell coming from the vents when swiched to outside air. It has sometimes come to the point of suffocation in the cabin.It's definitely not oily smell. At times,it smells like a fishmarket. Any ideas why. Could it be the ar filter or somethin' else. I'm not a person with a lot of knowledge about the workings of a car. Just the basics. Somebody, help me out in layman's terms.
  • wijocowijoco Posts: 462
    Yes, change the cabin filter. With the A/C on and all vents open and heat set to full hot, spray your favorite disinfectant (ammonia, Lysol, etc) into the open cabin filter box before replacing. This will help circulate through the ducts and kill some of the mold. If the smell returns check the drain line for the A/C condensor. If it's plugged water will back up and make a petri dish.
  • mn04machmn04mach Posts: 2
    Got a strange one here. 2000 Sable GS 3.0L (71,000 miles)

    Started middle of winter, cold engine.
    Start car, run for about 30 seconds... 2 large chirps and engine dies. Any running accessories continued to run just fine.
    Needed to CRANK and CRANK and CRANK, but it would finally refire then run just fine the rest of the day.
    Car would continue to chirp for about 10-15 minutes (lightly, kinda like the sound a bad throwout bearing makes), then the noise would go away.
    This happened about 10 times total through the winter.

    Things ran great for last 2 weeks.

    Today (48deg this morning) car started and ran great.

    Went out to go to lunch (67 deg), car turned over, started, ran for 2 seconds and died. Crank crank crank, no start... uh oh... crank crank crank run for 2 seconds died again. This went on for another 8 tries. Finally when I heard it just start to run, I FLOORED the accelerator, and by keeping the RPMs up I was able to get it to keep running. (VERY RICH gas smell) Something in the engine continued chirping like mad. After running for about 15 minutes, the chirp subsided (still there, but very quiet).

    Any ideas?

    My thoughts are fuel pump, or some sort of temperature sensor.

    When the car was in for service before winter, the mechanic wanted to replace the MAF, I told him I'd clean it instead (and I did, and things were fine, yes I know the proper method from years and years of mustang work).

    Am open to ideas... fire away!
  • wijocowijoco Posts: 462
    No check engine light? Sometimes a misfire code will set. It's possible the noise and no-start are unrelated. First guess on the no-start is a bad Idle Air Controller, which could explain why it started when you floored the throttle. Other possibility based on the noise you describe is a cam sensor failing and you're losing the pickup signal causing the nostart. It will have to be diagnosed, though.
  • mbrittbmbrittb Posts: 1
    I have a 1999 Ford Taurus Wagon that we have been having major heater core problems with as well. We had actually bought the car used from a Toyata dealer in New Orleans back in 2002. Since then we have had to replace the heater core 6/30/03, 5/26/04, and 9/1/04. Yes the coolant is turning brown, so I'm guess that the some sort of corrosion is getting into the coolant causing this problem. I can't say for certain that the heater core is going out again, but I am starting to smell that sickly sweet, anti-freeze smell coming through the vents. So I'm pretty sure that another core is in our near future.

    My father-in-law works at a Ford dealership (unfortunately he is over 3 hours away), and told us before our last problem that there was a T-strap that had to be installed in order to prevent the heater core from going out. The dealership here said that did that on the last two cores. Looking back through our paperwork it doesn't mention anything about it. I wonder if they are actually doing it. They also tested the system for electrolysis and only read .080 volts.

    I have noticed from reading this board that several people have commented about heater core problems on the 1996 and 1997 models, but is their also known issues with the 1999 model as well?

    I'm seriously considering taking it to another dealer, but would prefer for this dealer to actually fix this problem if I can get them to do it for free, since they haven't actually fixed the problem I paid them to fix back in 2003.

    Please help.
  • srosro Posts: 3
    I've got a 2002 Mercury sable that an alarm bell rings for a couple of minutes after you start the car. I checked the seat belts and doors when this happens and it doesn't make a difference. It also does it when I drive down the road sometimes. It rings 5 times in succession . This goes on for about a minute or two then stops. any suggestions ???
  • wijocowijoco Posts: 462
    You need to really pick your dealer's brain and find out why they haven't done the coolant hose re-route kit (it was a popular TSB and should be well-known for the brown coolant problem) and the ground strap. I never fully understood the principle of the kit and I don't know the TSB number, but I hear it worked. Common problem on 96-99 Vulcan taurus engines. If they just look dumb, YES go to a dealer who is qualified. Hopefully they are flushing the coolant each time? That certainly will help. Do a google search for "brown coolant" vulcan to learn more or better yet pay $25 for an Alldata subscription and you can read all the TSBs for your vehicle.
  • wijocowijoco Posts: 462
    Do the interior lights come on with the chime?
  • srosro Posts: 3
    No, there is no other indicators at all. It's a softer sound than the one that rings for the seat belt.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    This is just a guess, but if I remember correctly, there is a chime that also goes off when you leave your headlights on and shut the engine off and then open your driver side door. Could it be some sort of malfunction in this chime circuit that is going off on you?

    Otherwise, I suppose it just could be a short on some component on wherever one of the chime circuit boards is and you are getting occasional intermittent unintended 12V power applied to the chime.
  • srosro Posts: 3
    Thanks, I'll give it a look. At least I have someplace to start.
  • cruzer1cruzer1 Posts: 1
    "Other possibility based on the noise you describe is a cam sensor failing"
    Why would a failed sensor cause noise. Does the cam sensor have moving parts.
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Could have 2 separate problems. For the noise concern, try removing the serpentine belt then starting it. If the noise is gone, take a hard look at all belt driven accessories, especially the idler pulley. Rotate slowly by hand, feeling for any bind or rough spots.
  • tmp888tmp888 Posts: 20
    Sound like a seatbelt minder for me. If you're not wearing seatbelt, the belt minder will come on every 5 or ten minutes. This feature drive the driver nut if he/she (only the driver) does not wear seatbelt.
  • I can't seem to locate where one would add transmission fluid to a Sable. Would anyone know? I can locate the dipstick, but after this I'm lost in space.
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Driver's side, rear, low.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    The filler tube is also the dipstick tube. Use a funnel. Be careful not to overfill, and check level on dipstick by the procedure in your manual. I believe you have to have the engine running in park, fully warmed up, if I recall properly.
  • stantontstantont Posts: 148
    My son's '90 SHO with 145,000 miles ocasionally makes a terrible gasoline smell. Seems to occur at random, perhaps correlated with about when the "low fuel" light comes on, but not always. The smell is so bad you can't tell where it is coming from, front or rear of car. Whenever it does it, the engine starts to run like h**l; when it clears up, the engine settles down and runs fine. He has seen no other symptoms or correlations with anything else. Any ideas from anyone? Maybe related to charcoal canister system?

    We will also post this on SHOtimes to see if we can hit find suggestions over there.


  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 57,360
    I think the cannister system would be a great place to start, definitely, especially on a car this old.

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