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Taurus/Sable Maintenance & Repair



  • monireemoniree Posts: 6
    My 99 sable has a hard shift (but also has OD light on.) I changed the mototr mounts and tranny mounts, but it kept jerking, and I replaced the trans. fluid to make sure Mercon 5, still jerked. Mechanic says its the sylanoid, but I just can't wait to get to the car to unhook the battery like you said. How long should I leave it unhooked?
  • monireemoniree Posts: 6
    I can't tell you why it happned, but I can tell you what I think you should do about it... go to the junk yard, get a good used motor, and pay someone to put it in. It should save you @ $3500.
  • My '92 Ford Taurus has been overheating slightly. I replaced the thermostat with a cooler running thermostat and flushed and filled the radiator. It's still running a little too hot. Does anybody have any suggestions?
  • Did unhooking the battery work? I have had the jerking problem for a few months now, and yesterday the o/d light came on for the first time. Thanks.
  • Hi, I think I know something about Taurus overheating so I'll tell you what I think.
    I had my Taurus 96 overheating. It was quite weird: it was overheating in traffic jams and never on a highway or while idling.

    Here are the solutions for you:
    0) you got leaks and coolant leaks out - fix it for ~200$ or do-it-yourself for free. Or just add coolant each week.
    1) termostat may not work properly (if you see that after going up the temperature goes down - you termo is Ok - this is the way it regulates system)
    2) you don't have enough air (if you overheat in traffic jams) this is not necesseraly the reason - it may be that you cooler is not working and fan isn't strong enough to cool everything.
    ANyway - if you think it is fan - UNPLUG the temperature sensor for the fan. That is - there are two sensors attached to the cooling system - one measuring the temperature and the other one is sending a signal to the fan to turn on or off. (check the owner's manual). Now - if you unplug the one that sends signal to fan - the fan will be ON all the time. It will not damage you car, nothing bad - just the fan will be running all the time.
    3a) the last and the worst case scenario - you got something else.
    Try to listen to your engine with open hood. If you hear weird noises from the side of the serpentile belt - you may have problems with one of the pulleys. For example the bearring in the idle pulley is bad and it prevents the proper rotation of the belt --> thus it is not rotating the water pump properly and there is not enough circulation. Solution is to change the pulley (20$ for the part), installation ~1 hr (also change the belt as you have to take it off anyway ~15$ for the part)
    3b) water pump - same thing - change the pump (part 20$ on ebay). installation ~2hr (you can also change the belt)
    3c) WORST case scenario - you got cooling system clogged - go to mechanic and ask him to check pressure and try to flush it.

    I did ALL of these myself and it is damn easy - write me for descriptions. You don't have to spend 500-600 to fix it - it is all within 1-2 hr of work of any person capable of drilling a hole :-)
  • kevo1kevo1 Posts: 1
    I have a 96 Ford taurus, with about 140,000 miles. My transmission went out in January, and after a long decision on wether to scrap it and get another car i decided to put another trans in. the car is now running great. However, when I drive for several miles, the seat belt light comes on, and then the power steering locks up. Sometimes it will switch back and forth between the light and the power steering, but some times the power steering just goes out. Could this be an electrical problem, or is it something to do with the powering steering pump? I checked the fuse bock in the engine and in the car and they seem okay. That is, if I checked the correct fuses. Also, I noticed the engine shudders when i come to a complete stop when i stop in traffic. it never used to do this before I had this new trans put in. I asked the mechanic and he said it's nothing to worry about. Is that so, or could it be something more serious like the engine mounts? I would appreciate some feedback on this because, I've already put about 1200 into getting the car back on the road, and I would hate to put several hundred more dollars into the car? I would rather trade it in and cut my losses Thanks!
  • lowelowe Posts: 2
    I have a 1997 Ford Taurus GL. It has some serious cooling issues.

    One mechanic said it was a blown gasket. I hope not. We are serioulsy flushing the radiator, which is still showing a lot of rust. Just wondering what others have experienced with a bubbling Taurus. Tips sugguested?

    The car bubbles easily and it appears the engine is hot. Yet the temp. guage does not read hot. We have put in three thermostats this week, so don' tthink that's the problem.

    I'm in the the flushing stage for a few more days. Next step would be new radiator, and then blown gasket.

    I've heard of freeze plugs, a bypass kit, heater core hoses, etc.

  • here is the answer: message 1862
    My car is nor reading 'hot' either, but when you shut it down and turn on again - the reading goes up rapidly to the top. The reason is that your engine is not cooled properly or you temperature sensor is broken. You can find this sensor and replace it easily, it is on the right side of the engine, ~2 inch higher than transmission upper surface. It is plugged into the cooling hose.
    If it works properly than your problem is that the fluid is not cooling it enough. I am not sure if this is the case, but it may be so that you have some stuff blocking access to part of the engine and while the other part is not that hot and you reading is good, the overall temperature is high. That is just a guess hovewer.
    Good luck
  • My Brakes are making a little bit of a grinding noise. I am sure it is not the brakes but think it might be the brake booster. Does this sound right or could it be something else? And is this something I need to act on right away?
  • lowelowe Posts: 2
    Thanks for the response.

    I think the sensor is working, because I did overheat last week, and the thermostat does open.

    I think you are right about the blockage. Question is is where is it?

    I'm also having to add too much water. Don't know if it's circulating or where it is going. Some seeps out of the reservoir, but not as much as I've added.
  • Well, hard to tell...I haven't seen your car.
    I had loss of water and mechanic said it's ~350-400 to fix the leaks.
    What I did was to look carefully and track the leakeges down.
    I had two leakages on the upper part of the engine (under the manifold) and one-two
    on the lower surface. I opened the manifold and there is a metal tube there that had a hole in it.
    Thus the fluid leaked and pressure dropped and coolant could not circulate.
    I did not have time to go to Ford Dealer to replace it and just hooked the hoose from AutoZone (3$)
    over the manifold and it works so far :-)
    Other source - look at water pump region - you may have weak gasket there and it coolant can leak. Water pump is relatively easy to replace (20$).
    If it's a blockage I would suggest going to self car wash , unplugging your coolant hoose from the reservoir and inserting it into the car washer. It has pretty good pressure and will flush your system from whatever you have ;-) After that add new coolant.
  • :( Here's the story: First off, not my car. My friend backed up with her driver-side door open and didn't see the pole that bent her door ALL the way open. Her friend who works at a body shop replaced the door as a side job. He did an excellent job getting it aligned. When she picked up her car the window was up. As soon as she opened it, it went all the way down and stayed down. The guy can't fix it. She took it to a Ford dealer for a problem with the starter (frayed wire was replaced) and mentioned the window. But she didn't tell them she had just replaced the door because of something about the warranty. They spent an hour on it, then she ran out of money. On her invoice it says the fuse that keeps blowing is the one that supplies power to circuit 523 (going from memory, but I think thats it), the interior light and the battery saver. They replaced the fuse with a circuit breaker and that keeps popping. That's as far as they got. They don't know the door's been replaced so it seems to me the logical place to start is there. There must be a wire or something shorted straight to ground for the CB to pop like that. Should I remove the door panel and inspect all the wiring? What is that black cylinder shaped device located by the door hinges that you see when you open the driver door? There isn't one on the passenger door. When you replace a door does that device go with the door or stay attached to the car?
    Sorry about the lengthy message. This is only my 2nd post so I'm not sure how much to explain. If it's too much info I apologize.
  • vicalavicala Posts: 12
    Could someone tell me how difficult it is to
    replace the signal light switch on a 1993 Sable?

  • mhughesmhughes Posts: 1
    Drove the car over 200 miles yesterday. Went to move it within 5 minutes after having parked it at home and car wouldn't shift. Steering wheel mounted shifter is as smooth as butter when going from P to R, N. D and the rest, and doesn't get into gear. Had rebuilt transmission put in close to 2 years ago and never even had a hint of any gear problems since then. Did have a brake light switch problem a few months back where shifter would stay locked in Park but no problems with that since it was fixed. Since I haven't had any trasnmission related issues since I had it replaced, I don't suspect that it could be the trasmission again, but again, what do I know? Turning to the experts and other Taurus owners that might've encountered this problem for advise. Car is solid with 170k miles on it and drives even better than some of the new cars I rent when traveling. Thanks in advance.
  • 96 Taurus. Only drivers side window will operate. Other 3 will not operate individually or from drivers control panel. Windows are NOT set to lock. Would this be a fuse? Relay? Motor? Or possibly something in the drivers side multi-window control panel? Car had not operated for about a year. Not sure if it was an existing problem. Car was inherited with this. Any thoughts would be helpful. Especially if I can avoid putting it in the shop by fixing it myself.
  • 3.0 L. I'm getting a code 452 - VSS signal too low. Symptoms: occasionally the car suddenly downshifts as if I'm trying to pass at full throttle. I did a sweep test on the Throttle Postion Sensor and that seems OK. The speedometer seems stable. I've read that the VSS can be a nightmare to find, let alone replace? I'm also getting a 172: O2 sensor Lean. Would this be the cause of sluggish acceleration? The 02's seem easy to get to but I'm worried about the VSS. It's only $18.00, so Murphy says it's a 3 hour job!
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    It's at the business end of the speedometer cable:

    Murphy might say it's a 3 hour job, but the Mitchell Labor Estimator says 1.4 hours.
  • shane2shane2 Posts: 8
    I have a 2002 Taurus and the trunk was left open in the garage for several days. The 1 year old battery is now completely drained from the trunk light. When I turn the key, there are no warning lights or clicks of any kind.
    Should a jump start from AAA and driving the car around for an hour bring it back or should I have the car towed to the dealer? I've heard that the alternator cannot recharge a fully drained battery and that the engine computers lose settings that the dealer needs to reprogram if the battery is drained for an extended period of time.
  • mdhugmdhug Posts: 9
    The problem with this car is that you have a semi-blocked radiator. That explains why it will only get hot under a load and not normal highway travel. Had the same problem in 99 sable changed radiator and fluid. Good as new!
  • We just purchased a 1999 Mercury Sable LS Sedan with only 68,000. Since we have been BIG GM fans all our life we have a few concerns with this car that maybe die hard ford people can answer. When we test drove it appeared to have excessive road noise which wasn't in the engine or transmission and since the tires were worn and everything else checked out; we bought it and replaced with four new tires....still have the sound in the front end. We have pulled the wheels and checked wheel bearings/exhaust/ everything we can think of. The way this car was cared for I can't think it is anything too much; however it is rather annoying. I have read/heard that "road noise" is a disadvantage in tauraus and sables. It has the Duratec OH 24 V engine which in all the reviews I have read on the internet says "quiet"---my old chevy seems quieter than this. I have also read where lots of people are either real happy or real disappointed with their sables....and have spent lots of $ on repairs only to have the same problem....I don't want to do that....would like to be one of the "happy owners" of a sable. Any suggestions or recommendations for devoted ford owners out there would sure be appreciated!!!! The closest I can come to a description of the noise is similar to the message in #1811and I couldn't read where anyone had a answer for that one. Thanks
  • vicalavicala Posts: 12
    I am trying to find the "Self-Test" 6 -pin connector to check the codes on a 1993 Sable.
    The Haynes Repair Manual says it is located in front of the left strut tower, but I can't find it.
    Would I have to get under the vehicle to see it?

  • yaz1yaz1 Posts: 1
    what is a coolant bypass kit ? do I need it - mechanics recommended adding it with water pump replacement to my 98 sable
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Should be 2 protective covers attached to the plastic cowl cover, right side of the firewall, embossed EEC IV and ABS. The test connectors are just pushed up into them. Toughest part is to get the connector out of the cover if it hasn't been out in a while.
  • I've had nothing but trouble with my 99 Taurus front end.... well the whole car, :mad: since I bought it brand new. Everything from struts, ball joints, bearings, control arms to rack & pinion have been replaced. Thankfully I had the extended warranty, which just ran out. It never has sounded "tight" up there. I recently had the problem you described but mine turned out to be a bubble in a tire, which resolved after replacing tire, rotating rest, balanced and an alignment. Front end still sounds like it's going to rattle apart on any bumpy road. Guess that's just something we have to live with... until my next car which will not be a Ford. :lemon:
  • vicalavicala Posts: 12
    Thanks Alcan. I have the infamous "check engine" light that comes on and off
    at various times.
    I thought with an analog voltmeter I might be able to make some sense of it.
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    No problem. Here's a list of Ford codes and how to retrieve them:
  • vicalavicala Posts: 12
    Thanks again. I don't see the 1993 Sable listed on

  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
  • mfs37mfs37 Posts: 2
    I have a '97 Taurus w/ about 93K miles. The service engine light came on. The mechanic scanned for codes and found a code for a bad solenoid. The car has started shifting into overdrive. The mechanic--a trusted local mechanic in a relatively small town--says that the Taurus is notorious for weak transmissions. He says he can replace the solenoid for around $400--apparently lots of labor. But he has no confidence that this repair will work because of what he perceives as the bad Taurus transmission. He recommends a remanufactured transmission at $2400 (including labor), as he says the remanufactured transmission has the weaknesses fixed and comes with warranty.

    Does this all sound correct? Are Tauruses from the '90s notorious for bad transmissions? (I notice others on the forum have had the solenoid code come back). Is a remanufactured transmission necessary (as opposed to solenoid replacement)? Is the price in line?

    this is where I finally found out a little something about my 99 sable.

    I have replaced two freeze plugs, water pump, thermostat and have been flushed. I have orange sludge in my radiator still. My heater rarely works. Yesterday the car overheated and I pulled into Autozone and fluid was spilling out...they said head gasket but I'm thinking it is another freeze plug. I'll find out this afternoon. From what I can tell, the sable/taurus has had major cooling system problems for years.... I'm thinking.... get out while (and if) you can. Wish I could - but I owe more than the car is worth...much more.

    Good luck and God Bless!
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