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Taurus/Sable Maintenance & Repair



  • I'm in the process of changing out the lower control arm/balljoint assembly for my '93 taurus. The part costs $63 + tax at the parts store (in Central NJ), and my mechanic wants 2 hours of labor (at $60/hr.) to install. Plus, there is a 30% chance that I'd need to perform an alignment for $60.

    I actually tried to install the control arm myself, and easily removed all three bolts holding the old part in after hitting them with penetrating oil, but couldn't get the control arm off of the the rod that attaches to the subframe. Even beating it with a 4lb. sledge wouldn't budge it, so I re-assembled everything and made the appt. with the mechanic.

    If you are being quoted more than $300 for everything incl. an alignment, you might want to check another mechanic.
  • vppcvppc Posts: 58

    I have a 2001 SES with 84,700 miles on it now. It is wonderful. Just wanted to give everyone a heads up that my original Ford Motocraft battery croaked today. So I replaced with an Everlast 2-year from Wal-Mart for $39.77 + tax. Just thought I'd let anyone know who has a Taurus near my mileage.

    Secondly, I borrowed a friend's 2002 Dodge Intrepid to go get the battery. The car has 51,200 miles. To compare the two cars for anyone shopping vehicles, the Intrepid had more power, but was harsher and noisier. Also the interior rattled and panels on the doors seemed loose. And, when heavily accelerating, the transmission didn't feel normal. Once I was back in my car, mine felt so much smoother and quieter, and nearly as powerful. ** Just thought I'd share this.

    Thirdly, I have a question that I asked before but don't think I got any answers. Whenever I round a curve or go up and around a hill, if my foot is ON THE GAS, a vibration emits from the car under me - NOT a steering vibration. My car is perfectly aligned and balanced with no wheel shakes or wheel play. If my foot is OFF the gas, this vibration is not present. My suspension all checks good. This problem is not really annoying, but I have driven a 2000 Taurus SE w/(4) different tires (NO KIDDING!) and did not emit this vibration. Any heads up would be great!

    THANKS! And happy driving!
    - Alex
  • wgreenwgreen Posts: 17
    Alex- Just bought an 01 SES with 70000 miles on it.Had a vibration when using the brakes but new pads and rotors took care of that.
    However I've noticed it has a strange slight vibration in the steering wheel from time to time when you are just driving along.It's hard to describe,but it feels like the steering wheel moving slightly from left to right in slow motion,usually only lasts for a second or two.Might have something to do with the power steering.This sounds different from the problem you have though.
  • my heater gets stuck in a position ( hot usually). I found the mechanism behind the radio mount and watched the guide move, then stick at a point. I 've oiled it , which worked for 6 months, but is now recurring, so was looking to see if this was a common problem. So really it is nothing to do with the heating, just the direction it circulates.
  • votbsvotbs Posts: 4
    I never could get the drums off. I took it to a repair shop and even they had a terrible time getting the drums off. My suggestion is if you wait too long to change, you may as well let a repair shop handle it.
  • votbsvotbs Posts: 4
    I want to do the job myself. Is there a drain plug similar to the old Pet Cock that will let the fluid drain from the motor?
  • HI, i am new here and though i see something similiar to my questions i guess i have an additional problem to add, I recently purchased a 1998 Mercury Sable, it seemed to be in great condition, however now that it is getting colder i have tried using the heater and all i am getting is cold air, which poses more of a problem for defrosting than being warm!! There are times when i stop the car that i can smell antifreeze, okay i am a "girl" i dont know alot about cars and dont have alot of extra money.. is this something that is an easy fix? also, since i was going to check it as well as my fluids today i went to open my hood, pulled the hood latch on the inside and well... nothing, its evidently popping the hood underneath somewhat as when i push down on the hood it clicks again, is there another way to get the hood open other than the latch? I guess i have gotten taken for the proverbial ride. but maybe someone can give me an easy fix?
    Thanks a bunch
  • wgreenwgreen Posts: 17
    There is another latch outside the car that you have to push down on,pull up,slide over or whatever.It will be located in the gap between the car and the hood.
    You might have to stoop down and look underneath the end of the hood on the surface it closes onto,there is a little latch there that releases the hood and lets it go all the way up,might help if you shine a flashlight in there.
    If you can't find it the next time you get gas ask the attendant to check your oil and ask him to show where the latch is.
  • votbsvotbs Posts: 4
    The fuel gauge dash light is burned out. Is it controlled by a fuse or what? How can I change or get it to work?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,579
    DEFINITELY check the fluids...if you've lost a lot of coolant, you won't have heat in the car.

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

  • Last week one of the duct dampers (down low behind the dash) in my 97 Taurus started to cycle open and shut about once per second when heat or defroster was selected (but only when the temp knob was set past half way (going into the red). I still got some heat through the ducts. THIS week, the cycling of the damper occurs only on the blue (cold) half of the temp knob and no heat comes out of the system in any position (vent, defrost, heater). I imagine that whatever controls the damper movement is fouled up, but can anyone tell me if this is a computer controlled damper or air-pressure controlled, etc, and what to do to fix it?

    Thanks, it's getting cold up here in the NE and a heater would be nice :(

  • I have a failed subframe mount on the driver side, front mount of my 1995 Sable. THe subframe is hanging an inch or so low to that side and a massive clunk is apparent when I accelerate from a stop. I was removing the bolt that goes thru the mount, subframe and into the body rail above. I got a few turns successfully, then the captive nut in the hollow body rail started to spin, now I can't remove the bolt! What is the method to access the nut so as to put a wrench on it? This is the area below the battery, which I will be exploring soon!!! Any tips?
  • hank7hank7 Posts: 1
    My 2002 Taurus SEL Premium suffers the same problem. Lights go out at any time, headlights only though the dash and parking lamps stay lit. Would also like direction on troublshooting. :confuse:
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    got rotten results on O2 sensor crossing patterns on the wife's 97 taurus 3.0L-vulcan and a P054. previous owner rode it into a ditch once. all logic points to oxygen sensors but I have yet to figure out whether bank 1 is facing front or facing rear on that sidemount engine. I suspect the engine-side 1/0 sensor is probably the bad one, but haven't found a manual in stock yet for that car, and the manual for my exploder is quite non-useful in answering the simple question. my software for the BR code interface terms the exhaust sensor sides as Bank 0 and Bank 1.

    at $60 per, even though I found a good liquidation new sensor on eBay, I don't plan on shotgunning the sensors just to cover my confusions....
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Bank 1 is the one with #1 cylinder. From passenger side to driver side, rear bank is 1-2-3, front bank is 4-5-6.
  • chhemochhemo Posts: 1
    I had my dealer put in a thermostat in my 1997 Taurus 10,000 miles ago. I drove it through the summer fine. I am having problems with the vehicle overheating now. I took it to a local shop and they said the thermostat was installed backwards. My dealer said that there is no way I could run the car for 10,000 miles through the summer months with the thermostat in backwards.
    Can a vehicle run O.K. with a thermostat in backwards? Who is telling me the truth? Thanks.
  • mbb2mbb2 Posts: 1
    Big possibility is that the idle servo motor is defective. I replaced mine in my taurus and tempo. The servo motor is usually stuck closed and not let any air pass thru when the engine is idling. It is a simple fix, with the unit on top of the engine (refer to a shop manual to identify it).
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    thanks, al, appreciate it. figured it would be in the least accessable place :-D also a good chance to look for the exhaust rattle, probably cat shields from the sound of it.
  • i have a 96 taurus 3.0 that overheats while idling. when you rev the engine the slightest bit, the heat comes blasting out, and the engine cools down. while idling, the heat blows cold, and temp rises. no leaks, full of antifreeze, thermo is good. water pump maybe?!?
  • I had a similar problem on my 98 Taurus. I found out that the VSS (Vehicle Speed Sensor) affects the tranny AND speedometer through the computer. I changed the VSS (not expensive - gear on one side that does into the tranny and wire connector on the other) and all is well. Just a bit tough to get to - mine was near the firewall and I had to take off the air cleaner hoses, etc. to get to it.

  • devwdevw Posts: 4
    my friends taurus had the same problem and the water pumps blades were rusted right off so they were flat and didnt circulate unless reving the engine up. replaced and it went away. also caused the antifreeze to be continuously rusty colored which went away too.
  • wgreenwgreen Posts: 17
    Had it checked at Ford dealer,they replaced the sway bar links,all is quiet now.
    These were the parts that the previous owner had replaced also,don't know why they wear out so quick.
  • Just replaced both forward sensors this past weekend. There are two more after the cats!!
    Had to remove plastic 'cowl' behind motor to get access and a few other hoses, etc. The next day, the alternator died!
    Your rattle may be a dead cat. Sometimes the honeycomb material inside will break up and rattle - at least on older cats. The shield appears to be welded to the cat.
  • My 'new' 92 Taurus wagon (3.8L, 75k miles) suddenly loses power while driving. 'Check Engine' light comes on, it drops to idle (rough) while in gear but won't respond to the accelerator unless it's in Park or Neutral. The first 2 times, I stopped & put in gas treatment (thinking it was water in tank), and it ran fine immediately. The third time (10 miles after the 2nd), I turned the engine off & on and it ran fine. Any suggestions? thanks
  • moabmoab Posts: 2
    I have a 1996 Taurus that requires a new Vehicle Speed Sensor. When I call up part stores, they barage me with up to seven different part numbers for the VSS with prices ranging from $30 to $180. The car specs are as follows:

    1996 Taurus
    3.0 Liter Overhead Valve (OHV) Engine
    Automatic Transmission
    Cruise Control

    Two parts that seems promising were
    - VSS for AX4N Transmission with Electric Cluster
    - VSS - with cruise control and dealer installed

    Does anyone know which part I should be using as the vehicle speed sensor for this car or how I can better find out?
  • 1997 Taurus 90,000 miles. I get a rythmic ongoing noise about once per second somewhere in the dashboard when heat or defroster is selected (but only when the temp knob is set past half way (going into the red) or when set at the coldest setting in the blue (cold).. Maybe it's a duct damper cycling open and shut, I don't know. I get very little heat through the ducts. Please give me your ideas on this problem. Thank you. Richard
  • grungrun Posts: 2
    99 Taurus 3.0, need to replace pulley on steering pump, do I need to remove the pump, or can I pull the pulley with the pump still mounted ??
    If I do need to take the pump out to change the pulley how do I remove the pump??
    What kind of puller do I use to remove the pulley???

  • moabmoab Posts: 2
    Where did you find the exact part number for your car for the VSS? I am presented with 7 options and can not seem to find information on which is for my 1996 Taurus GL.
  • I have a 2001 Merc Sable LS Premium. The automatic headlights are a great feature. Lately, they do not turn off in the light. In the day time, it is like we have running lights. The lights work correctly in manual mode. Is there a light sensor bad? Can anyone guess what my problem is and how to fix it. Thanks
  • doberdober Posts: 1
    I have a 96 taurus. I need a new shift solenoid. I was told it was under the pan in the transmission. I can't find it. Can any one help???
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