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Taurus/Sable Maintenance & Repair



  • I need to replace the seatbelt/shoulder harness on my son's 2000 Taurus and I've located one from a junkyard. What's involved in removing the old one and replacing it with the one I'm buying? What tools are required? I'm looking for instructions or if it's too big a job for me, I'll take it to a service station. Thanks in advance for your ideas. Either post here or email:

    I have a 99 Merc. sable. The OD light flashes on all the time. (There is no button on the gear shift)
    I took it to the mechanic. He said bad solenoid and pressure sensor...would that make it shift hard? A second mechanic told me to change the tranny fluid...make sure it has Mercon 5, I did that but still shifts hard/jerks. I am SO tired of the hardshift, and don't want to spend the $400 to fix the solanoid if it won't solve the problem. I changed the motor mounts and tranny mounts, and I put in lucas tranny lube, unhooked the battery (to reset any bad codes)...and YES... still jerking.


  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    Well, unless you knew for sure they were bad, you probably changed the motor/transmission mounts without needing to, unless I am interpreting your post wrong. Bad mounts wouldn't seem to me to cause hard shifts.

    A sticking transmission solenoid or bad sensor, like your first mechanic diagnosed would make sense to me.

    If you are sick of the jerking but don't want to spend any money to repair it, you seem to be stuck with no solution. No one is likely to be able to wave their hands and make it go away!

    I suppose you could go get a third opinion for little cost, maybe from a Ford dealer shop who should know a bit about the cars and then make a decision.
  • My wife was recently involved in an accident with our '91 Ford Taurus. She was rear-ended, but, apart from fascia damage, there doesn't seem to be any significant damage. The weird part is that now, when we turn on the headlights, the dash gauge lights don't work. I've checked what I think is the appropriate fuse, and it looks fine. The display for the radio shows the station location when the headlights are not on, but goes completely dark when I turn the headlights on; usually the display just dims. I checked the Chilton guide and couldn't find anything that seemed helpful.

    Any suggestions?

  • I have a low mileage (30000 km) 2002 Taurus with 24 valve engine. The car was purchased in Feb 2003 so its about 2 1/2 years old and therefore very "low mileage". About a year ago when the car was 18 months old I started to notice a rattling or banging noise under a cold start while in reverse. Once out of my 100 foot driveway & put into drive it goes away. I've asked about it at the dealership every oil change since then & today they've decided that due to the low mileage it must be carbon buildup. Does this seem reasonable? Car runs fine otherwise.
    Mileage not great 18-20 mpg in the city, 20--23 on the highway. Should this be a warranty repair? The dealership says it isn't because I "don't put on enough miles". Since when do warranties have mileage requirements?

  • vlm2vlm2 Posts: 1
    My 99 Taurus has started to blow air conditioned air when the heater or defrost is on. It is definitaly AC air, colder by far than vented air. This happens about 95% of the time, or 100% of the time when its cold outside. Any help or suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks :cry:
  • Need some guidance on replacing broken rear sway bar end link on a 2001 mercury sable.

    1. How do I move the sway bar enough to insert the new link?

    2. How tight should I turn the top and bottom bolts?.

    3. Should the rubber grommets be lubricated?

    4. Only one link is broken. Is it necessary to replace both links?

    Thank you
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Pretty straightforward job. Soak the studs and nuts with a good penetrating oil for a while before attempting removal. Replace the second link if either of it's boot seals shows any damage. Do not use any lubricant unless the replacement links are aftermarket and have grease fittings, in which case they'll require greasing after installation. Here's how:

    Stabilizer (Sway) Bar Links
    Ford Taurus/Sable Repair Guide

    1. Raise and safely support the vehicle.
    2. Remove the sway bar (stabilizer bar) link-to-sway bar nuts at each strut assembly by holding the link stud with an 8 mm box wrench while removing the retaining nut with an 18mm open end wrench. Discard the sway bar link nuts.
    3. Remove the sway bar link-to-strut nuts and the links

    To install:

    4. Install the sway bar links to the sway bar and struts. Note the letters TOP LH and TOP RH on each link for correct positioning. Install new nuts. Hold each link stud with an 8 mm box wrench while installing the new retaining nut with an 18mm open end wrench. Tighten the nuts at the strut to 57-75 ft. lbs. (77-103 Nm) and the nuts at the sway bar to 35-46 (47-63 Nm).
    Use care not to damage the boot seals on the sway bar links. Do not use power tools for removal or installation.
    5. Lower the vehicle.
  • Looks like there is not enough room to insert the new link between the sway bar and the top seat. Does the sway bar need to be twisted or loosened?
  • No power steering, fluid leaks into rack and pinion. My landlord said there was a recall can't find it anywhere.only has 35,000 miles.
  • I have a problem with my 97 mercury sable, it is an automatic, and it does funny things.The power steering, the windows, the winshield wipers, cut in and out. The blower motor sometimes works, and my car wont shift out of first gear. I have read about the transmission range sensor, and I know that this affects the power steering, the windows, and windshield wipers, but does it affect the blower motor and the gear shifting. Because if not could someone give me some advice on what could be the problem.
  • Have 99 Sable with same problem. In fact, just for yuks, while cruising on level road (at various speeds), threw car into neutral. Tach went sky-high...revving to almost red-line.

    I've gotten wierd looks from many mechanics when I mention this. Worn out brakes very rapidly.

    Had 90 & 94 Taurus, each with over 150k miles...never a problem like this.

    Did you ever find a solution?
  • Hello, Have a 99 taurus that pings like crazy with any ocatane gas other than 92 or 93. With 92 or 93 it even will ping ever so slightly which if I understand it should not do at all. Its the basic vulcan 3.0 engine. My question is has anyone had this problem with a taurus and does anyone know what could be causing it. Is it a typical problem with these vehicles. I do know I have a transmission that needs to be rebuilt or replaced sometime in the near future. Would, for some odd reason, a bad transmission cause an engine to ping somehow? The 2 codes that came up in the transmission are torque converter and a sensor. Mechanic says though it should be rebuilt at this point. car has 105,000 miles. Spark plugs are new, wires are old but i was told they were still good. thanks
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    If the trans problem is causing it to pull away in 2nd gear it will put additional load on the engine and could cause the pinging. Easy to check, start to accelerate from a stop and pull the shifter down to Low position. If yo feel the trans downshift, there's your problem. If ok, have the operation of the knock sensor verified.
  • Ha! That response brought tears to my eyes...I'm not sure if I'm laughing or crying. ..Hey, I have a starting problem with my 1996 Mercury Sable; can I discuss it with y'all or should I just shoot it? Problem description is every now and then (like today because I was in a hurry to get someone), I get in the COLD engine car and turn the key and she cranks real good but the motor simply does not start. Where do I begin looking for the bugaboo ??
    :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon:

    James H
  • I just joined the forum and posted in the wrong place, as a response to a 1999 message. Now I see where to put a new message, so here it is:

    My 1996 Mercury Sable "intermittedly" will not start, for no reason that is obvious to me anyway. I get in the COLD engine car and turn the key and it cranks real good but the motor simply does not start. Where do I begin looking for the bugaboo ?? I know I have some looseness in the ignition switch; could it be that? If I turn the key on but don't crank, I think I can hear the fuel pump coming on; all indications are that the battery is just fine...I have the service manual for the vehicle, but there are so many possibilities listed in the troubleshooting section that I really don't know where to start. If anyone has had a similar experience with the same model, I would appreciate hearing your stories so I can see if there is a solution in there somewhere. Oh yeah, I also checked the emergency fuel pump cutoff switch in the trunk, and the button was already depressed. :cry:
  • Alan,
    You probably have a loose ignition lock cylinder. Did you replace it yourself? I have the same exact problem. When I bought the car, used, 8 months ago, I asked the dealer "why does the alarm ring every time I open the driver's side door, even when the key is not in the ignition?" He said that was just the way the alarm system works and I believed him because I had never owned a vehicle with an alarm system (my previous vehicle was an old van). Anyway, after putsing around for a while I discovered that if I jiggled the ignition lock cylinder while the door was open, the alarm bell would stop. Told the dealer about it and he said "ah gee, you've got a loose ignition lock cylinder; too bad the car is now out of warranty (30 days only)" Sometimes my car (1996 mercury sable) will crank but not start and I wonder if it is because of a loose wire in that cylinder. You may just need to dismantle the lock cylinder and put it back in again. I have the Haynes service manual and the instructions for doing that seem simple but I usually end up breaking more than I fix so I've been reluctant to try it so far...I don't think the computer learned anything; you probably just jiggled the cylinder the right way and it stopped alarming, but the problem will start again if you jiggle the cylinder the wrong way on another day (while pulling your keys out).
  • I hate to say it, but like the other guy who replied to your post, the hard-shifting transmission problem you describe may be something you just have to live with, and hope it does'nt break a "hard" part that requires someone to overhaul it. I have a 1996 Mercury Sable, and as well as a few other surprise problems that I am posting herewith separately, it also SHIFTS HARD. It would not surprise me if your 99 sable has the same basic tranny. I paid a highly recommended transmission shop $250 to fix the problem and it shifts just as badly now as before. They ran it thru diagnostics and found no bad codes, changed the fluid which was a bit dirty, gasket etc (typical transmission "service" package) but did not repair anything; they said they saw no broken teeth or anything in the fluid which was good news; they put in some kind of special fluid which may have simply been that lucas stuff you mention ($32 just for that one bottle!) and nothing improved. I think spending big bucks on the solanoid may be useless, because I have seen many, many postings about Mercury Sable transmissions having hard shifts problems. Even my next door neighbor traded in her brand new Sable on a Taurus because it kept shifting hard. One think I personally found, is that most of the hard shifts occur when I come to certain road changes like an incline or a corner; I've started giving the car a little bit of gas at certain spots and it seems to get thru them without hard shifting. My logic tells me that must be pressure related (pressure sensor?) but overall I think it must be a engineering design problem, not something that can now be fixed...if someone can prove me wrong, I'll love you forever, because I also am fed up with the hard shifts on top of the other problems I've got with this car.
  • Wow! Have you considered an exorcism? My 1996 sable, among other things, also has gone through periods of visibly psychotic sensors. But none of the things you mentioned happen; its a bunch of other symptoms. Perhpas they fixed the 1996 model problems by transferring them elsewhere in the 1997 model... :sick:
  • Re: 98 Taurus SE with 3.0 Vulcan V6

    HA HA !! This one I think I may have actually found the SOLUTION to!!

    I have a 96 Sable with 3.0 Vulcan V6...but I think that is irrelevant...the problem, which occurred exactly as you describe, turned out for me to be real simple: I changed the air filter and after a while the computer adjusted air flow mix thru the throttle body. Sounds complicated but this is essentially the modern electronic "carburator". A mechanic told me that the "engine surge" symptom was most likely dirt in the Idle Air Control Valve which controls idle speed. He did'nt have time to work on it that day & told me to come back in 3 days. I then rationalized that maybe the dirt got in that there Idle Air Control from the air intake, which starts at the air filter. I opened the air filter box and found an old dead leaf from last autumn underneath it. I bought a new air filter at walmart and put it in. Then I went on a 3 day trip and still had the excessive rpms when slowing down or even while stopped at red lights (gets really dangerous when it surges forward at a red light) felt kind of like in the old days when carburators had butterfly valves that would stick in the closed position thereby causing an over-rich gas to air ratio. But a week later, I suddenly noticed the problem was gone, and I can only assume the new air filter did the trick and my computer had to "learn" for a while, because there is a sensor right in there with the Idle Air control assembly, where the air , clean or dirty flows to from the air filter box. Try a $5 possibility, unless you know for sure the air filter was recently changed.
  • I read about this exact same problem somewhere else a few months ago but dont remember what forum it was in (I surf thru a lot of forums looking for answers to my own car problems). I remember the guy described it smelled like his socks after marching 20 miles when he was in the marine corps, or something like that. Anyway, the punchline I believe was that you have mold growing inside your vents. The AC caused it. Dont remember why. Probably some humidity condition interacting with freon filled air flow. You might have to do some serious dismantling to find it. Or move to a land of perpetual dry summers...
  • The button in the trunk is the "inertia switch" that he says he checked already and found nothing wrong with. Actually, his problem may be have the same root cause as in my 96 Sable which intermittedly seems gas-starved; the worst possibility is a malfunctioning computer module...
  • Was it parked unattended for a whole winter? Water may have seeped in from melting snow. Most likely in the multiple panel; one shorted wire could disconnect power to 3 motors; it happened to me in an older Lebaron. You may have to take apart some door frames to trace all the wires and find the one that got rusted out.
  • I have to disagree with badgerfan who suggests you get rid of the old car and buy a newer one. I owned a 1989 Sable which I drove up and down the northern rockies in and out of Idaho and Montana for 250,000 miles and finally had to give it up when the floor rusted out; but the mechanics, especially motor and tranny, just kept on going, like the pink rabbit on TV !! Now I own a 1996 Sable full of electronics and barely anything works right, at 76,000 miles. I would do exactly what you said you plan to do, start with the "minor tuneup" items and see what happens...just dont drive to Bakersfield with it (your old radiator might blow up from heat pressure).
  • You are right about it pulling away in second, sort of. This is the problem in my transmission that i need to get fixed. It doesnt do it all the time and when it does it at all, it only does it after driving the car for about 10 miles allowing everything to be at full temperature. Most of the time it jerks right from first to second right off a stop with out going through first gear. Now the pinging mainly happens on the highway, keeping in mind with 92 or 93 octane gas. Driving in town it doesnt really ping so much, but all i can describe how the engine sounds is slightly diesel like. Not like a truck or anything but its as if the hint of that sound is in there. I've asked others about the possibility of a head gasket leaking and they say that it could be possible but not sure. What do you think of this? thanks
  • My thoughts exactly. I had the timing chain replaced, and the car runs as good as ever. I also replaced the plug wires (1986 originals), spark plugs, air filter, and cleaned the IAC unit. It is on its second transmission, but original engine. I've always thought the 1G Taurus was the best one. I had a 93 SHO as I mentioned, and it was horrible. This old car isn't "worth" getting rid of, if that makes sense. It costs $3.00 a year in property tax, gets 20-some miles to the gallon, and I only paid 3000 for it in 1992. It has been worth the money I have put into it, and remains so.

  • It never mattered whether there was a new/old/missing air filter.

    First 55k miles were all turnpike hi-speed cruising. Last 10k, just crawling. Problem was there from day one!

    Once rented an 03 Tortoise for the day...same problem but small engine in that car.

    Scratches in my head are getting deeper!!!
  • Any one have any ideas why my 97 Taurus heater blows only hot air? Seems like the control won't dial back from hot to cool---it's just all hot. The a/c seems to kick on but blows only---you guessed it: hot air. Any clues would be great.

    Two months ago I had the entire cooling system replaced, radiator, hoses and such.
  • I'm replacing heads on a 1993 Merc Sable 3.8L. For installation of the reman heads, the manual I have says to apply light oil or "sealant, as specified" to the bolts. The problem is the manual does not specify which bolts to use pipe sealant on. Can anyone tell me which bolts (if any) I need sealant on? :confuse:
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