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Taurus/Sable Maintenance & Repair



  • craneti1craneti1 Posts: 2
    I have a '93 Taurus (3.8L). Smoke is coming from the tail pipe. The smoke appears to be mostly steam. I can smell the antifreeze cooking. The car is not burning oil. The problem was a result of overheating. The head gaskets were blown and the heads were warped. I had the heads shaved and replaced the head gaskets. I also replaced the head bolts to proper torque specs. The Taurus still blows large amounts of steam from the tail pipe and the temp gauge goes toward hot relatively quick. What is my next step (besides selling it).
  • avfanavfan Posts: 17
    I have a 92 taurus sedan with the 3.8 engine. I
    have always had a gas smell in the passenger
    compartment in the summer time. I brought to the
    dealer before the warranty was up and he said he
    could not duplicate the smell. It happens after I
    have been driving the car for 1/2 hour (highway),
    less time in stop and go traffic. If the windows
    are closed and the AC is on, it comes in through
    the vents. When I get out of the car to check any
    loose connections I can't smell it anywhere. Every
    year it gets worse. Has anyone else experienced
    this? Please help!
  • tl565tl565 Posts: 78
    I've been looking at the Accord but am concerned
    that a lot of owners of the 2000 Accord are having a lot of mechanical problems. They are complaining on the Accord Problems board here on Edmunds. There seems to be common problems with the transmission, some fuel 'boiling' problems, engine hesitation, rattles, and other problems like oil leaks etc. These problems are all on nearly-new 2000 Accords.

    For those of you who have purchased a 2000 Taurus,
    have you had any mechanical problems? I'm not concerned with older Taurus', just trying to get a feel of how the new 2000 Taurus's holding up.

    Thanks in advance for the info!
  • pat455pat455 Posts: 603
    Have you checked in our Sedans conference for a Taurus topic? That would be the best place to find owners of the 2000 Taurus. You can key Taurus in to the Topic Search feature on the left side of the page to get a list of topics that may help.

    Community Leader/Maintenance & Repair Conference
  • wrench2wrench2 Posts: 1
    I own a 1995 Taurus SE. Have had problems with the speedo, it pegs at 85 mph, a slight tap can return it for a short period of time, however problem continues. Have replaced both cables from the tranny up. Did not fix problem. Checked both worm gears (plastic) seem fine. Any ideas? Have been told by local dealerships they are replacing quite a few of these. Part cost is $500.00 does not include labor.
  • lbuchslbuchs Posts: 1
    I have a '96 Taurus with 28K miles - transmission just broke, dealer says it needs to be replaced. Repair will cost me $495, Ford to absorb remainder of cost. Does '96 Taurus have transmission problem? Should I pay anything? Will the fix work? Please advise! Thanks
  • jstampjstamp Posts: 3
    I have a '94 Taurus GL with the AXOD transaxle. When I come to a stop and then press the accelerator to go again, the car acts as if its in neutral for up to five seconds, then it kicks into gear and jumps forward. The transmission performs perfectly except for this. Also, this doesn't happen when driving with the gearshift in drive instead of overdrive. The fluid color, smell, and level is good.

    I have a friend who used to work at Ford as a mechanic. He said that the transaxle control module needs to be reprogramed at a Ford dealership. When I took it to the dealership, they told me the transaxle has internal damage and that the motor mounts are shot. My friend says they're full of it.

    Has anyone heard of this?
  • slaraslara Posts: 1
    If I drive my Taurus 95 Stationwagon for about 2 hrs or if I drive w/ the a/c on, it shuts off like if it ran out of gas. I have to wait 1 hr so it could cool down and then it runs fine. I've changed the fuel filter, thermostat, oil change, transmission serviced...I heard it could be the starter getting hot and shutting off the car??? Any comments/suggestions as to what this could be?
  • jimgreenjimgreen Posts: 2
    98 T, Duratec, ABS, 28,000 miles, driven like a baby 27,000 discovered brake situation: three of the front pads had little to no wear, the fourth was about worn out (inside right), although the car seems to handle fine (given what it is. any ideas? anyone seen this?

    opinions on the car: too much wind noise; the upgrade sound system isn't worth the money; looks better without the spoiler.
  • gtaurusgtaurus Posts: 2
    i have a new 2000 taurus sel and when i shut it off there is a high pitched, rapid pinging noise that slows and stops coming from under the hood. i thought it was the automatic climate control winding down but was told it may be the exhaust system cooling and stressing in the wrong places. anyone else hearing this?
  • bowmanjh1bowmanjh1 Posts: 10
    In regard to wrench2 speedometer problem. Why not slow down. 85 is to fast. The life you save might be mine.
  • mokusmokus Posts: 1
    Has anyone has success suing Ford for head gasket repairs? I found that for the 94 & 95 taurus with the 3.8L motor, Ford had extended the waranty to 60,000 miles & then again to 100,000 miles. I have a 93 with the 3.8L motor and had the head gasket fail at 63,000. I am planning on going to small claims court and would like any advise that you may have.
  • shilly77shilly77 Posts: 4
    OK, folks, here's the deal.. I've got a 1988 Wagon with 203,000 miles on the clock, and a leaky heater core. I've bypassed the core for the time being, but now my dilemma; do I put forth the effort to R & R the core, (18 steps just to get at it in the Hayes manual) or do I just get a plug-in electric heater from Whitneys? FWIW, I live in SC and the car is the everyday beater-mobile (just bought the wife a 2K Taurus Sedan). Is it worth the effort? Has anyone done one and has secrets to pass on? Thanks in advance, if you want to contact me directly, my email is . Thanks, Dave
  • bobs5bobs5 Posts: 557
    I don't have a taurus, but have a "beater-mobile" too with 144k on the odometer.
    203k on your car - wow - I never had a car last that long myself. Is your transmission an automatic and is it original to the car?

    A friend of mine recently picked up an '88 taurus wagon.
    How has this car been for you? (repair history?)

    Have done a heater core replacement on my car about 9 months ago. What a pain in the you know what! I had to literally rip the whole dashboard out of the way..... took about 6 hours total time for the entire job. I don't have a/c in this car.

    It would be quicker to get a plug in heater, however, I would doubt that it would be helpful to defrost the windshield in winter. I live in NJ so a properly working defroster was necessary for me.

    If your car is equipped with air conditioning, this will have to be ripped into as well because the evaporator is close to the heater core. Both come out together. It will require a mechanic to deal with the freon, etc.

    If it were me, and the car does not have a/c, then I would replace the heater core.

    If your winters are not too bad, then a plug in heater would probably get you by for awhile.

    With 203k miles, how much life is really left with this car?
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    The receiver/dryer will have to be disconnected and replaced since it hangs on the firewall and connects directly to the evaporator. Reuse is not recommended. It's a big job, and with AC it's worse. When mine went out on my 88 I didn't fix it, and I found the electric heaters all but useless. I thought about putting an aftermarket heater core under the seat and routing the hoses to it, but then the AC gave up again and I sold the car.
    BTW, an underseat heater like the one in my 55 Buick would be perfect. It's very flat with a circular core and a short squirrel cage fan, and the hose connectors go through the floorboard and connect to the hoses under the car. If you could locate one in a classic car junkyard it could be a solution.
  • cheetaracheetara Posts: 1
    Hello, everyone,
    I have a '95 Taurus GL that has 94,700 miles on it. I have maintenance performed regularly on it and so far so good. car has developed a front-end vibration that appears on acceleration around 40mph and disappears at approximately 45mph. The tires are in good shape and I have had my brakes worked on. (The problem appeared before the brake work.) Any ideas as to what this could be? Thanx, Anne
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    Sounds like one or more tires are out of balance, if it happens at only certain speeds, and not while braking. The balance can change on tires as they wear, or maybe a wheel weight fell off. So I'd recommend getting the tire balance checked first.
  • My 94 Taurus Station Wagon was in a minor front impact collision (hit straight-on, going 20 mph). Immediately after the accident, it wouldn't start. A visual check revealed only a cracked radiator neck. The intertia switch appeared ok. A diagnostic scanner gave Code 556 ("Fuel Pump Primary Circuit Failure"). I replaced the fuel pump. The diagnostic scanner now gives Code 556 AND Code 624 ("Electronic Pressure Control Failure"). The Chilton manual has no detail on Code 624 -- can anyone out there explain what it means? More important, using these two codes as clues, can anyone surmise what's preventing my car from starting? Thanks!
  • mfemfe2mfemfe2 Posts: 2
  • We have a 95 SHO whose paint is peeling. I have seen where other Taurus owners had similar peeling issues but can't remember where. Can anyone here help me?
  • We have a 95 SHO 3.2L v6 which has been in the shop most of the time since mid-March. It turns off at any speed, highway or side street or just idling. They have replaced 3 ignition control modules, the water pump, the fuel pump and fuel injector system, including all other related parts, the crank and cam sensors, and the EGR valve system. No luck yet. The dealer working on it can't figure it out, nor can the engineers. The car isn't even at 100,000mi yet. Suggestions???
  • 20432043 Posts: 2
    My Mercury Sable had similar problem. First dealership insisted problem could not be fixed. Second dealership (Aero Ford, Cobleskill, NY) had bright young man Heath Link who fixed the problem in 10 seconds by performing WDS Diagnostic and reprogramming the neutral spin cycle.
  • Hello all,

    Need help in diagnosing a bad vibration in the frontend. It seems to happen when you apply the brakes while slowing down from a long distance. I've only had the car for a year (92 Taurus LX w/89k and yes the infamous 3.8L engine that hasn't blown the head gaskets yet) Anyhow, I've recently bought two new tires for the front had them balanced twice and installed new rotors and pads. I looked at the suspension and it looked okay, no broken or loose parts? Also, lately the brake pedal seems to stick, any news on this problem as well as the vibration would help.

  • bobs5bobs5 Posts: 557
    I am not a mechanic but here is my guess.
    If the vibration occurs only when braking then it could it be a sticking caliper piston or the caliper assembly does not slide smoothly on the guide pins. The sticking brake pedal may be a symptom of the caliper malfunction or it needs lubrication or maybe master cylinder acting up.
    Is the floor mat restriction the brake pedal movement? Did you flush and bleed the brake system with new fluid?
  • bobs5bobs5 Posts: 557
    Worn wheel bearings and bad ball joints can make vibrations also.
  • Well Bobs5,

    I really appreciate the info, the problems with the vibration are tolerable. I didn't mention the fact that I just had the tranny rebuilt less than a year ago. Therefore, money is tight tight and more tight. I should take it to a professional shop but can't afford it right now. The Taurus was supposed to be my wife's car, but it had so many intermittent problems that she hated driving it to work. So it became my car. I've always been a ford truck man. A few Rangers and an Aerostar. They've always been good vehicles for me. The Taurus was the first and last front wheel drive Ford I will ever own. I'd sell it, but have too much money tied up in the Trans to just give it away. Besides the word is out about these early models Taurus' and the trouble they bring, i.e. bad trannys, head gaskets and A/C systems. So, who want's one?

    Anyhow, I'll stop whining. Thanks for the advice and I'll check a few things on your list that I haven't already checked. I'm hoping that someone else out there has the same symptoms with their Taurus and can save me a lot of grief trying to trouble shoot this thing without spending a lot of money.

  • bobs5bobs5 Posts: 557
    I know how you feel, cars can be a big money pit.
    I have owned a few fords before too. all used vehicles.

    1963 falcon - In my opinion the best ford I owned.
    My first car, and had a 73 maverick 6 cly engine in it. routine maintenance.
    No problems at all. Until the accident...darn it.

    1983 ranger - 2.0l 4 cyl engine, 4 speed manual. I think a dozen hampsters would have been a stronger power plant.
    Repairs.. Radiator, Rear wheel bearing , vacuum brake booster, timing belt broke in the winter of course -5 degrees(huh- whats a timing belt?) at least i was still in driveway, a year after timing belt the belt tensioner blew apart. left me stranded. And a bunch of other annoying things going bad. Nickle and dime me to death.
    Gave up when it failed inspection for smoke.
    Fix Or Repair Daily!!!!!!!
    overall...not very impressed at all.

    1983 ltd station wagon - annoying serpentine belt that always squeals, tranny that seemed to constantly search for gears, v6 engine seemed to run rough even with full tune-up. a/c needed recharge. Accident totalled it.
    overall... not toooo bad, could be better.

    I currently have a 1986 plymouth reliant, 2.2l 4cly, 5 speed manual tranny. Bought it in 1990 with 55k on the odometer for $1000. It has 145k now.
    No "major" problems, never left me stranded (unlike the ranger).
    Minimal maintenance performed. I thought this was going to be a "temporary" car when i got it. It replaced the LTD which was totalled in accident.
    Repairs...Leaky radiator, heater core(this was worst problem),rear coil springs(sagging), windshield (big limb came down while driving...ouch!) Takes a lickin and keeps on tickin. The rust monster has a hold of it now, will replace during this coming year.
    Overall..EASY to work on, great gas mileage, small repairs.

    All cars had routine items like exhaust system, tires, brakes, battery, etc.

    Go for another ford??? I don't know, very leery to try.

    Enough whining for now.
    Good luck with your taurus
  • Dirty connectors on the MAF sensor can cause stalling. To check, disconnect (and clean if necessary) the MAF sensor connection when the car stalls. If the car starts back up, that's probably the problem. Extreme cases may require replacement of the connectors.
    Aftermarket chip connection Another cause of stalling if the car is equipped with an aftermarket chip, is faulty or deteriorated connections between the chip and the card in the computer. This can be fixed by removing the chip, cleaning the contacts, and reinstalling the chip.
    MAF Connector and/or Speed Sensor Lee Hassig was experiencing this kind of stalling:
  • I have been looking for a new car for the past month and have narrowed it down to the Taurus or Century. The Century has almost 4,000 miles on it and was a Driver Ed car so I'm a little hesitant. For the same price I can get a Taurus SES with 27 miles. I like them both but now am hesitant from the negative remarks on the Taurus in particular. Are there any positive remarks out there or do we only respond when its something negative?
  • pat455pat455 Posts: 603
    Hello Linda,

    Well, this is the Maintenance and Repair conference, so it is natural that a Taurus topic here would be focused on Taurus problems.

    If you use the Topic Search feature on the left side of this page for Taurus and again for Century you should be able to find topics in our Sedans (or other) conferences that will probably give you a more balanced perspective.

    Also, I was wondering if you had discovered the Our Turn conference? It is devoted exclusively to women's automotive issues of all kinds. Town Hall is fortunate to have an automotive technician co-hosting it. She might have an opinion on one or both of these vehicles that I'm sure would be happy to share with you. If you'd like to check it out, you can click on that highlighted link to go there.

    Welcome to Town Hall! Good luck in your search and your purchase.

    Community Leader/Maintenance & Repair Conference
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