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Taurus/Sable Maintenance & Repair



  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Check the fuel filter for leakage. If it hasn't been changed for a while it can rust through.
  • nuwishanuwisha Posts: 1
    These problems may have been covered in previous post, but my eyes are bugging me something fierce from reading about all these taurus problems, so heres mine:

    I'll be driving along and the spedometer drops to zero. If i'm driving at speed I don't notice anything else. If i'm accelerating, you can feel a pause and then the spedo drops and acceleration resumes again. If this happens at low speeds the power steering seems to have cut out. Sometimes when it happens, it doesn't want to shift out of gear (whatever gear it happened in, usually 1st or 3rd)

    Half the time my car seems to think that there is a door open....sensor problem, if so where are they?

    My headlights have died...daytime runners and highbeams work fine but no headlights.. bulbs and fuses are fine.

    Well thats it for now.

    Previous problems include 1 very dead tranny(couldn't be fixed, had to be replaced), and the upper breaklight(wagon) flew off one day. other than that i've had no problems(unless you count the rear defrost button on the aftermarket dash kit....)
  • 98ford98ford Posts: 1
    I have a 98 Ford Taurus that has started to make the steering wheel vibrate when driving at highway speed. It does not seem to happen when driving in town. Any ideas what the problem may be?
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    Most likely a wheel balance problem.

    It could also possibly be related to cupped tires caused by an alignment issue, or something loose/worn in the front suspension, but I would try a wheel balance first, and while they are at it, have them inspect the suspension/steering components for any looseness, and the tires for any unusual wear patterns.
  • bigdan1bigdan1 Posts: 23
    Problems starting my 2002 Taurus. Acts like old cars from the 1950's and 1960's, namely when I turn key I get a whirring sound, or I get a few clicks, or I get a delayed start, but car eventually starts. This happened Sunday and Monday. Since then, starts OK. In old days this was signal starter was going or solenoid was sticking. Took car to a mechanic I trust. He could not find anything wrong. Gas tank was low last Sunday. I filed tank. I am guessing maybe some water in tank? Also, on my 1993 and 1995 Taurus, starter failure was immediate. Went to store, car starts fine. Come out of store, car is dead. It was starter all 3 times. No advance warning of failure. That is why I am surprised about all the noises on the 2002 Taurus. Anybody else have experiences like this with 2002 Taurus? Mechanic is pretty good guy. He said: "call me if it happens again and I will drive to where you are and do a diagnosis." Also, he did not charge me today for his efforts to find out what was wrong. I like and trust the guy.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    Well if you get clicks but the engine does not turn over, water in the gas would not cause that! Sounds more like a starter problem. If you get a nice healthy cranking out of the engine and no start, then I would start to look elsewhere.

    Starters can fail in different ways. They can become intermittent and give you some warning that they are going or they fail with no warning also.

    I would still bet it is your starter, or could be a battery on its last legs. I have found that batteries at least for me do not go much beyond 4 years these days. batteries also can fail with or without any advance warning.
  • wijocowijoco Posts: 462
    If you heard the whirring noise, then it's most likely the starter armature going bad. But I agree get the battery checked for full charge. That stinks you've had starters go bad on all three Taurus models. Really unusual.
  • bigdan1bigdan1 Posts: 23
    Only way I can describe it is this: Imagine you put about 6 pebbles in a cigar box and shook it up and down a couple times. That's the sound my front end makes when I go over a slightly bumpy road a slow speed. Can't figure where it's coming from. Car handles fine. Brakes work fine. I think struts are OK. I am looking for some kind of a loose cable or bolt or something that is vibrating at low speeds, but I can't find it. There are some plastic parts that make up the wheel well and some plastic parts that cover bottom of radiator and A/C condenser, and I am wondering if maybe I literally do have some pebbles or something rattling against these plastic components. Anybody have a problem like this? Any suggestions for a solution? Oh yeah, I did the old "take everything out of the trunk, including the spare tire", and I also emptied the glove box, but I still get the noise. Been going on for a few months now. Doesn't seem to be getting worse. I think it's just me getting more annoyed. I drive 100 miles every day on tollways, and car handles fine on the tollway. Also, car has 130,000 miles. Thanks.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 57,319
    Could be the spring retainers for your front brake pads

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  • myxomyxo Posts: 5
    I replaced my rotor and brake pads. First time for me. I had been getting a pulsation when applying brakes at high speed, so I decided to replace the rotor, which was indeed ridged.

    I did just the right wheel and drove about 2 miles to test it. The newly replaced rotor was almost impossible to touch (too hot). What could I have done wrong. I followed steps from autozone online diy help.
    Also, the brake pad had no clips . that threw me for a whole hour just trying to figure how to seat the pads in the caliper. Finally, I just seated them in the retainer and put the caliper on.
    My mistakes (which I will fix tomorrow if its not too late,) is to put some grease on the caliper pins, adn clean the caliper with brake cleaner.
    2. I have ABS and did not bleed the brake fluid. Is it too late to do it now after 2 miles drive?

    Could this be the problem for the excessive heat or is the brake touching the caliper? Any suggestions. Before I replace the left.

  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    Could be sway bar links need replacing. Common but fairly inexpensive repair on Taurus.
  • jasmith52jasmith52 Posts: 457
    Firstly - Rotors get hot - really hot - as you brake your car. I'll bet the other side which you didn't change is also hot.

    As long as you can spin the wheel with your hand when the car is jacked up and out of gear, the brakes should be fine. If you can't spin the wheel by hand then the brake may be dragging and you should look for a problem. Check that everything including the little brake springs are in place correctly.

    Bleeding the brakes is a great idea but it is not critical for the brakes to operate. So long as you did not disconnect the caliper from the brake line than their shouldn't be any air in your brake line.
  • myxomyxo Posts: 5
    Thanks Jasmith52, for taking the time to answer my questions. For a first timer, that puts my mind at ease.
    Yes , I can rotate the wheel freely by hand.And yes, I did not disconnect the brake line from the caliper.
    And my problem of the car pulsating when braking at moderate speeds is highly diminished . I hope it goes away totally when I finish up the job and change the left rotor later today.

    Thanks again
  • I love my 1994 Mercury Sable but it looks like I need a rebuilt transmission due to the fact that it is slipping badly. I would love to hear any suggestions on going about getting a rebuilt transmission for this Sable. I have had problems with AAMCO when I was younger so I don't want to go to them. Any idea how much a rebuilt transmission will cost and the best place to go to get one done. The motor is still running very well and the car is in very good shape externally. I don't want to buy new and I'm leery of getting a used car since I know everything that has been put into this car. Any suggestions/.recommendations?
  • jasmith52jasmith52 Posts: 457
    I am not an expert on transmission rebuilds but my impression is that AAMCO is very expensive. After all, someone has to pay for all of that advertising.

    A transmission rebuild will cost you anywhere from $1000 - $2500 at an independent shop depending on what they do. As for quality, well the rebuild is as good as the person who rebuilds it. No matter what shop you go to if the rebuilder (person) is good he'll do a great job. If he is sloppy or lazy then you'll get a problem transmission. No shop has only good rebuilders and no problems but some are definitely better than others. Ask around for references from your friends and family for a good independent shop.

    Are you certain that your transmission can't be fixed. The cheap fix is to buy a bottle of Trans-X (or equivalent) to see if some of the stuck valves can be cleaned up. Also a trans-fluid replacement may do the trick. These fixes are usually temporary though and in the long run you'll need a rebuild.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    I would go to a local independant transmission repair place that has been in business a long time. Check your local yellow pages and Better Business Bureau. I would trust more an independant shop than one of the chains like AAMCO.

    The locally owned shop, especially one who has been in the business a long time, is likely to be an expert, and cannot afford to develop a bad reputation.

    I would think having a mainstream Taurus/Sable from that era, that sold in volume, there are a lot of rebuilt transmissions available at reasonable prices.
  • vppcvppc Posts: 58

    Make sure your RADIO ANTENNA is tightened; if not, then it will make a noise on bumpy surfaces. If not, try the lower ball joint (driver or passenger). Mine was replaced at 64,000 miles - only cost me $110 for part, labor, and 4-wheel alignment.

    P.S. My car has 66,200 and is doing wonderful! How is your car doing with 130,000? Do you have the Vulcan or Duratec engine? How is your transmission performing?

    - Alex
  • :lemon:
    Has anyone out there experienced a nauseating problem with a stench that seems to be similar to mold? I think it's fair to compare it to that Seinfeld episode where Jerry's car got a B.O. smell in it that "attached" itself to everyone and everything. This smell is absolutely horrible, and gets on everything within a short 15 minute car ride-including hair, clothing and even books. Riding in the car is not possible after 30 minutes due to dizziness and headaches. We've taken the car back to the dealership dozens of times, and (after replacing all the carpets, front seats, cleaning the air flow ducts, re-applying stripping and chemical ionizing) the company will do nothing further to find this mystery smell's cause, other than agreeing to ionize it as needed as a temporary fix.
    Does anyone see a problem with this? I'm wondering if there are more people out there who have dealt with this problem before (or presently) or perhaps just have suggestions for us to try. The dealership and FORD MOTOR in Detroit (after admitting there is indeed a problem that they can't fix) refuse to let us out of the lease, and refuse to acknowledge the problem is still there when we try and seek further action.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 57,319
    Did they check the drain holes for the AC condenser?

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  • votbsvotbs Posts: 4
    The rear drums are not coming off. I think I need to release the self-adjusters. How can I get to them?
  • jasmith52jasmith52 Posts: 457
    Firstly, Is the Emergency brake released. Cause if it isn't those drums aren't coming off.

    Second if the emergency brake is released, then you might need to use a hammer to tap off the drum. A few taps from the back might help. Maybe a rubber mallet might be best here.

    I haven't looked at Taurus drum breaks specifically, however usually there is a thumbwheel/springlock that you can unscrew to release the pressure on drum brakes. There will be a hole to access the thumbscrew from the back of the drum assembly. Use a flat screwdriver to release the pressure through the hole.

    Also, if the drum has never been removed, there is a lock-washer on on of the lugs that will have to be removed first. The washer resides on the lug between the drum and where the lug-nut went.
  • I just contacted the repairmen, and yes, they did everything they could do with the AC unit short of replacing all the components.
  • jasmith52jasmith52 Posts: 457
    Usually bad AC smell (mold) comes from AC water condensation that doesn't drain away. The fix is to insure that there is proper drainage and then to spay dis-infectant all around to get rid of the mold that has grown.

    The drain hole can get blocked when leaves and debris fall into the air-intake vents. Small pieces of leaves and debris then blow around and block the AC drainage.

    This problem occurs in many cars and is not partial to the Taurus.
  • nuylonnuylon Posts: 1
    i cant help you but i have the eaxct same problem feels like something is in the engine i cant find anywrong only when i go over rough road the ar sounds like and old car . hopefully we can get an answer. i have a 2001
  • gardgard Posts: 1
    #817 of 1549 Power steering problem by denon12345 Mar 30, 2003 (8:00 pm)

    Have a 1999 Ford Tauras, has about 62000km. The problem is when the car is shut off the power sterring fluid backup in to the container. But when the car starts up it sucks it all back through. If anyone know any idea what it could be, it would be very helpful.


    denon: Two years late but I also have the same problem on the exact same car.
    I had this problem with the old pump and changed the pump yesterday and the SAME thing is happening.
    The car has 139k miles and the fluid smelled burnt and was low.
    Still have the same whining noise also WITH THE NEW PUMP!

    Did you ever find out what the problem was?
    Thanks :confuse:
  • jryskijryski Posts: 1
    I was wondering if you've found anything out, I've been having similar problems with my 1996 , I've noticed that it is linked to the car running hot, while the car is cool it runs great once it's hot...The speedomoter stops working and the engine doesn't want to respond to the accelerator. It feels like it gets stuck in gear sometimes and the power steering cuts in and out. But Like I Said only when it gets hot, when It starts acting up I turn the heat on high and it stops after a few minutes. No problems with the lights yet.. Feel free to respod to my email directly or post here, my email is thanks.
  • Hello all,
    I have a 2001 Ford Taurus with 75,000 miles. The other day while accelerating to 50 MPH a strange noise sounded like it was coming from under the hood near the drivers left side. Now when I drive between 50-60 MPH the sound is there, like a whirring or loud humming sound. It's there faintly at lower speeds as well, but very noticable between 50-60 MPH. Does anyone have ideas what this sound could be? I would greatly appreciate any thoughts or comments on this problem as I don't have a clue what the problem could be.

  • joeg3joeg3 Posts: 3
    Help, I need to put a clutch in my daughters car, an 89 Taurus SHO. I have had experience replacing clutches in Honda, Mazda and Geo, but this is quite different. I have the tools and a shop. Just need advise on how to pull the trans. Has anyone been in my shoes?

    Thanks, Joe
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    They're a treat. The subframe has to come out first. Here's the routine, had to break it into 2 posts:

    1989-95 Vehicles

    Disconnect the negative battery cable.
    Wedge a 7 in. (178mm) block of wood under the clutch pedal to hold the pedal up beyond it's normal position.
    Remove the air cleaner hose.
    Grasp the clutch cable and pull it forward, disconnecting it from the clutch release shaft assembly.
    Disconnect the clutch cable casing from the rib on top of the transaxle case.
    Install engine lifting eyes.
    Tie up the wiring harness and power steering cooler hoses.
    Disconnect the speedometer cable and speed sensor wire.
    Support the engine using a suitable engine support fixture.
    Raise the vehicle and support it safely. Remove the front wheel and tire assemblies.
    Remove the nut and bolt retaining the lower control arm ball joint to the steering knuckle assembly. Discard the removed nut and bolt. Repeat the procedure on the opposite side.
    Using a suitable halfshaft remover, pry the lower control arm away from the knuckle.
    Be careful not to damage or cut the ball joint boot.
    Remove the upper nut from the stabilizer bar and separate the stabilizer bar from the knuckle.
    Remove the tie rod nut and separate the tie rod end from the knuckle.
    Disconnect the heated oxygen sensor.
    Remove the catalytic converter assembly.
    Disconnect the power steering cooler from the subframe and place it aside.
    Disconnect the battery cable bracket from the subframe.
    Using a suitable prybar, pry the left inboard CV-joint assembly from the transaxle. Install a plug into the seal to prevent fluid leakage. Remove the CV-joint from the transaxle by grasping the left steering knuckle and swinging the knuckle and halfshaft outward from the transaxle. Repeat the procedure on the right side.
    If the CV-joint assembly cannot be pried from the transaxle, insert a suitable tool through the left side and tap the joint out. The tool can be used from either side of the transaxle.
    Support the halfshaft assembly with wire in a near level position to prevent damage to the assembly during the remaining operations. Repeat the procedure on the opposite side.
    Remove the retaining bolts from the center support bearing and remove the right halfshaft from the transaxle.
    Remove the 2 steering gear retaining nuts from the subframe. Support the steering gear by wiring up the tie rod ends to the coil springs.
    Remove the transaxle-to-engine retaining bolts.
    Unfasten the shift mechanism stabilizer bar-to-transaxle retaining bolt. Remove the shift rod-to-shift shaft retaining nut and bolt, then remove the rods from the transaxle.
    Remove the engine mount bolts.
    Position jacks under the body mount positions and remove the 4 bolts, lower the subframe and position it aside.
    Remove the starter mounting bolts, then remove the starter motor assembly.
    Remove the left engine vibration dampener lower bracket.
    Using a small screwdriver, remove the backup light switch connector from the transaxle backup light switch, located on top of the transaxle.
    Position a suitable support jack and adapter under the transaxle.
    Lower the transaxle, remove it from the engine and lower it from the vehicle.
    Loosen the six clutch pressure plate cover retaining bolts evenly to release the spring tension gradually, and to avoid distorting the cover. If the same clutch pressure plate and cover are to be installed, mark the cover and the flywheel so the pressure plate can be installed in its original position.
    Remove the pressure plate and clutch disc from the flywheel.
    Inspect the flywheel, clutch disc, pressure plate, throwout bearing and the clutch fork for wear. Replace parts as required. If the flywheel shows any signs of overheating (blue discoloration) or if it is badly grooved or scored, it should be refaced or replaced
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    To install:

    Avoid touching the clutch disc face, dropping parts or contaminating parts with oil or grease.
    The clutch disc must be assembled so that the stamped notation is facing toward the engine. The three flywheel-to-clutch pressure plate dowels must be properly aligned with the clutch pressure plate. (Bent, damaged or missing dowels must be replaced.)
    Clean the pressure plate and flywheel surfaces thoroughly.
    Position the disc and pressure plate on the flywheel, then insert the cover retaining bolts, but do not tighten them at this time.
    Align the clutch disc using Clutch Arbor/Aligner Tool T81P-7550-A or equivalent, inserted in the crankshaft. To avoid clutch pressure plate cover distortion, alternately tighten the cover bolts until the cover is fully seated, then tighten to 24 ft. lbs. (33 Nm) for 1993-95 vehicles. For 1986-92 vehicles, alternately tighten the cover bolts to 12-24 ft. lbs. (16-33 Nm). Remove the alignment tool.
    Raise the transaxle into position. Engage the input shaft spline into the clutch disc and work the transaxle onto the dowel sleeves. Make sure the transaxle assembly is flush with the rear face of the engine before installation of the retaining bolts.
    Install the engine to transaxle retaining bolts. Tighten to 28-31 ft. lbs. (38-42 Nm).
    Engage the backup light switch electrical connector.
    Install the starter motor. Tighten the retaining bolts to 30-40 ft. lbs. (41-54 Nm).
    Using jacks, position the subframe and raise it into position. Install the 4 bolts and tighten to 65-85 ft. lbs. (88-115 Nm).
    Install the left vibration dampener lower bracket.
    Install the engine mount bolts and tighten to 40-55 ft. lbs. (54-75 Nm).
    Connect the shift cables to the transaxle.
    Install the engine to transaxle bolts and tighten to 28-31 ft. lbs. (38-42 Nm).
    Install the steering gear retaining nuts and tighten to 85-100 ft. lbs. (115-135 Nm).
    Install the center support bearing retaining bolts and tighten to 85-100 ft. lbs. (115-135 Nm).
    Install the right halfshaft into the transaxle.
    Install the left inboard CV-joint assembly into the transaxle.
    Connect the battery cable bracket to the subframe.
    Connect the power steering cooler to the subframe.
    Position the catalytic converter, then install retaining bolts and tighten to 25-34 ft. lbs. (34-47 Nm).
    Connect the heated oxygen sensor.
    Install the tie rod end in the knuckle and the tie rod retaining nut. Tighten to 35-47 ft. lbs. (47-64 Nm).
    Position the stabilizer bar to the knuckle, then install the nut.
    Install the lower control arm ball joint to steering knuckle assembly. Install a new retaining nut and bolt, then tighten to 37-44 ft. lbs. (50-60 Nm).
    Install the wheel and tire assemblies.
    Apply Pipe Sealant with Teflon® D8AZ-19554-A or equivalent, to the transaxle fill plug threads, in a clockwise direction, then check the transaxle fluid level. Add the correct type of fluid (Motorcraft MERCON® Multi-Purpose Automatic Transmission Fluid or equivalent) to the bottom of the fill plug hole, then install the fill plug.
    Carefully lower the vehicle.
    Remove the engine support tool.
    Using a crows foot wrench, install the speedometer cable. Connect the speedometer cable and speed sensor wire.
    Remove the engine lifting eyes.
    Connect the clutch cable to the clutch release lever.
    Install the air cleaner hose, then remove the wood block from the clutch pedal.
    Connect the negative battery cable, then check the transaxle for fluid leaks.
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