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Taurus/Sable Maintenance & Repair



  • beancounterbeancounter Posts: 31
    As a former student, I can relate to not having a lot of money for car repairs, or much of anything else for that matter!

    It sounds like you have been to more than one mechanic with the problems you have mentioned. An honest mechanic that you can put complete faith in is worth his weight in gold! I have someone like that, and he now does everything for me. I am finished with car dealerships and big chain repair shops that advertise "low price specials" on mufflers to brakes, to anything else, and then hit you with all the extras you need that weren't included in that low price! When my mechanic says I need something, I know it needs it.

    Back to your problems. You will have to hook up again to the car's computer to find out what code has been tripped with this latest "check engine lite". (I'm not a mechanic, but I thought clearing the codes took more than just disconnecting the battery. I may be wrong there.)

    You mentioned the passenger side strut had been repaired along with a turn plate. Were these replaced or just repaired in some way? Struts and springs don't last forever. If yours are original at 150K miles, they could be making some noise when turning, maybe even during braking. Hard to say from where I sit. When it's time to replace them though, I would replace them in pairs; front or back, not one side without the other. I did springs and struts at 140K, along with lower ball joints. Total cost was around $900 if I remember right. A lot of money, but I'm planning on keeping the car for several more yrs. Don't bother putting that kind of money into it unless they're broken or absolutely need replacing.

    I would search out that "honest" mechanic if you don't have one. Ask around and see if you can get a good referal from someone; maybe a teacher. They are permanent residents in the community.

    Sorry I could not be of more help.
  • vppcvppc Posts: 58
    Hi, everyone!

    I have a 2001 SES w/almost 113K on it, and my serpentine belt is starting to crack a little. I usually go to Auto Zone and have (3) choices on a belt:

    1. Valucraft - $19.99
    2. Duralast - $26.99
    3. Goodyear Gatorback (special rib design) - $33.99

    Which one should I get? This car runs FABULOUS and plan on keeping it for at least another 80,000 miles (when the tires wear out), and have taken care of this car meticulously. Any feedback would be appreciated.

    - Alex

    P.S. A relative or friend will install the belt for me.
  • azuazu Posts: 84
    I recently bought a 2006 Taurus and dealer has no code. They said they can retrieve it but I have to bring the car in. The keyless entry code can be found marked on the computer module. I have yet to look for mine as I really have no use for it yet.
  • azuazu Posts: 84
    I never would trust a name like "Valucraft". The Goodyear one is good but why spend the extra cash. I would go with Duralast!
  • bill87bill87 Posts: 4
    My daughter ran into a car with my 95 sable. I have fixed the body but the car will not start unless we hit the unlock button on the keyless remote after we are in and seated. It starts every time if you hit unlock. It never starts if you do not. Has anyone else experienced this or have any idea what I can do to fix it. Thanks
  • Where is the starter located on a 1995 Ford Taurus? Has anyone changed one? Is it a difficult job? I've changed them before on Chevy's, not on Fords. Any help would be appreciated, thank you!
  • ohiogopherohiogopher Posts: 3
    Interesting read! I have a 2000 Sable with similar symptoms: an exhaust/oil smell through the vents whenever the car stops at a light or stop sign. A muffler shop found no exhaust leaks. The Ford dealer replaced the oil pan gasket (said dripping on exhaust), but that didn't help. I'll take a look at the cowl/passenger air filter box as you mentioned and see if that's it.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    Starter on the 3.0 Vulcan is low on the block, just below the oil filter, just above the oil pan, behind the radiator. If I recall correctly there is also a subframe cross member partially below the starter as well. I haven't had the need to change a starter on this engine (I had a 1990 Taurus Vulcan and my son has a 1992 Sable Vulcan), so I cannot comment directly on how hard/easy it is.
  • I have a 1998 Taurus with front disc brakes and rear drum brakes. I was wondering if there is any way I can put disc brakes on my rear?
    Thanks, Dave
  • jasmith52jasmith52 Posts: 457
    There are disk brake conversion kits. You just need to find a conversion kit in the price range that you are willing to pay.

    Here's a company that does disk brake conversions...

    Call em' up they probably have something that would work with your car.

    Stainless Steel Brakes, Dept. MF
    (716) 759-8666
    (800) 448-7722
    (716) 759-8688 Fax
  • kevin111kevin111 Posts: 991
    Hi. My girlfriend has a '03 SES, 80K miles and she can not turn it over. I assumed it was the battery (here in SoCal Car batteries barely last 3 years). When she had it towed, the tow-truck mechanic tried jumping her car, and stated he thought it was the starter. How much is it to replace one?
    Is the starter going in this model common? Could it be something else. The car dash lights turn on, but the car does not turn over. Comments or suggestions are appreciated.

  • beancounterbeancounter Posts: 31
    I replaced the starter on my '00 Sable at 117K in Sep 2004 at a cost of $270 with my local mechanic. No problems since then. Currently have 168K on the car.

    Regarding batteries, my dad and I have both owned Ford products for yrs, and the original batteries consistently last only 2 to 3 yrs. I live in the mid-west; he lives down south. If yours is still the original battery, have it checked along with your entire charging system so you get the right parts replaced.
  • kevin111kevin111 Posts: 991
    I appreciate the input. I will go give her a call right now. The towtruck guy thought it was going to be $450, but she just found the starter for almost half the price ($250 vs. $140) at Autozone. Why mechanics can not go to the local autoparts store to price parts is beyond me.

    Again, thanks.

  • rilesriles Posts: 1
    Car has been idling rough for a couple months now, had significantly more trouble going up slight hills than level ground. The engine sounded like maybe all cylinders weren't firing, I dunno, but it got to sounding like a lawn mower. The rough idling kinda feels like a big [non-permissible content removed] giant is kicking my car from behind while I'm driving. It's real jerky when I'm driving. I changed the fuel filter a month ago but that didn't help. I did consistantly run the car on E which I believe is bad for the fuel injectors, don't know if that relates to my problem or not. Yesterday I was driving and the engine just stopped running, then I tried restarting and the battery sounds fine, but the engine isn't turning over itself. Any help appreciated, thanks.
  • bill87bill87 Posts: 4
    my 95 Sable with 127000 miles runs great but recently overheated and shut down on my wife. since then i fushed engine coolant, installed new thermostat, replaced radiator cap and refilled with coolant. The car seems to run good but the radiator hoses get very hard once the car reaches operating temperature. Thermostat was installed correctly. anyone have any ideas. Car is not overheating at this time.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    Your engine cooling system is designed to run under pressure when up at full operating temperature, which is why the hoses get hard. Shouldn't be a problem. The radiator cap is designed as a pressure relief valve to maintain a set operating pressure. Once the pressure is exceeded, it bleeds some coolant into the plastic overflow tank. When the engine cools down, that overflow is sucked back in to keep the radiator full.

    As long as you do not go over temperature any more, everything sounds like it is behaving as designed.
  • tc1458tc1458 Posts: 2
    Hello all. The turn signals aren't working on my Dad's 1996 Mercury Sable! Where is the module/relay located so it may be checked out? Thanks for your help.
  • mpwbwmpwbw Posts: 7
    Hi. I have an 03' Taurus and the horn stopped working. Everthing else is great. With my experiences with the Ranger for instance, I thought the fuse would be bad (to prevent tampering it is connected with the radio, which is odd) Anyone have any suggestions. Thank you in advance.
  • ohio7ohio7 Posts: 67
    My 2000 SEL bought in June 2000 STILL has the original battery in!! :D I've driven nothing but Fords all of my life starting in 1968 and my experience has been that the original battery has always lasted longer than any other brand that I have gotten since the original, which is six years. I grew up in Cincinnati and am now living in Northern Virginia.
  • jojodwolfjojodwolf Posts: 1
    have a 97 Taurus wagon.... drives great... just had some of the exhaust replaced.. muffler and a couple of pipes.... It failed inspection because the check engine light is on, and the inspector say's it the catalytic converter... outside of the light, it seems fine... The mechanic said, maybe he can figure something out to get it to pass... I really don't want to replace it $$$$$. He reset the light and in 2 days it came back on.. So any ideas how to pass the inspection. thanks J
  • dww3000dww3000 Posts: 2
    The battery clamps on my Taurus have corroded and need to be replaced. I recently replaced the battery and AutoZone sold me the "old fashioned" battery clamps, the type with the single cable that is inserted into it with a screw down clamp. Ford has their own clamp with 2 wires going into the positive and negative cable. Can I just cut the battery cable at the very end and insert the 2 cables into the new clamp or 1. Go to Ford parts, buy their cable and replace the whole cable? 2. Go to a mechanic and let them do it? The cable itself seems fine, it's just the clamps that need to be replaced.
  • eliziaelizia Posts: 3
    i ran out gas in 2000 mercury sable when i but some gas in car it started drove down road but it cut off now it want start do any one have any advise.
  • mikezakmikezak Posts: 95
    My 18 year old daughter wants to purchase her 'first' car -- a 97 Ford Taurus with 61K miles. It is from a private party from a Grandmother that passed away. She told me that it has new tires and a new battery. The asking price is $3000.

    Before I look at it -- I wanted to get opinions on the vehicle from people who have owned the car. How is the reliability? Have there been common problems or complaints? What should I look out for?

    On the surface I know it would be a safe car, and it is in her price range. But she is heading off to college and I dont want her to have a vehicle that is going to be a maintenance beast! At least I would like her to have a car that would last 3-4 years until a 100,000 miles or so.

    I am open to other suggestions for other vehicles as well -- I'd like her to get a Honda or Toyota -- but for $3000 or so, all I see are cars with 150K miles.

    My thanks in advance for all your help and opinions?
  • jasmith52jasmith52 Posts: 457
    $3000 for a 97 Taurus strikes me as a little high. I see 00-01 Tauri (the plural of Taurus) with a few more miles going for just a little over that amount.

    The major problems with the Taurus of that vintage is transmission trouble and engine head gasket failure. Ask the Grandma that you are buying the car from if either the head gaskets have been replaced or if transmission work has been done.

    Nobody on this forum can advise you as to whether or not that particular car is a good one or not. Used cars are a bit of a gamble. Maybe you'll get a good one. Or maybe you'll have repair after repair. If you or your daughter are not willing to do some of the work yourself then that $3k car may cost you quite a bit more.

    On the other hand, young drivers tend to have little fender benders. Maybe a cheap car won't hurt so much when it gets its' inevitable dents.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    Jasmith52 is in error concerning head gasket issues. Those were almost exclusively a problem with the 3.8 engine, which is not found on 1997 Tauri. Either the Vulcan 3.0 pushrod V-6 or the 3.0 Duratech DOHC have proven to be pretty much bullet proof engines.

    Transmissions? Maybe somewhat of a weak point, but I know of a lot of people with well over 100K miles with no problems. Get the fluid changed and you will probably be OK for at least another 30K miles.

    You can't buy much for $3K these days. If it is in good shape and driven by a Grandma, go for it. It likely was not abused and may even have been overmaintained, depending on Grandma's personality!
  • tkfitztkfitz Posts: 95
    Any 10 year old used car is a bit of a gamble. But for 3000 (asking!!!) any car with only 60000 miles is worth a look. The best advice would be to drive the car and have it checked out on a lift. Rust issues would be terminal. I would check the suspension,fuel and brake lines,look for any leaks etc...
    That said,96-99 Taurus are a bargain. Both available engines will give almost 30mpg on the highway. Drivelines are stout and parts are readily available. There are many of these cars out there with well over 100000 mi.
    My 93 has over three times as many miles-still drives me to work everyday. Everything works too. One of the most economical cars I have ever owned.
  • alnagelalnagel Posts: 1
    Did you ever get a reply on this? I have a 98 Taurus SE have the same code which should indicate a problem with the Oxygen sensor Heater Circuit on the left side (front of car, left of engine). When we tested the sensor it tests good, no problem.

    I am now looking for other possible causes.
  • No, I never got a reply. However I cleared the code and it has been more then 3 months and the error code has not come back.
  • dtiltondtilton Posts: 2
    My wife called me panicking from the train station yesterday- car (98 Taurus GL) will start, but will not shift out of park and the brake lights don't work, the sunroof, radio, and power windoes don't work either. I checked most of the fuses and they all looked fine. I shifted to N to start car, then R and D and I followed her pretty close b/c of the no brake lights. I'll dig in this weekend to take a better look, but what would cause all that to go at once, when all worked fine 8 hours prior? Thanks! -Dan
  • dww3000dww3000 Posts: 2
    I took the car to my mechanic and he cut the 2 battery cables and then inserted them into their respective clamps. Problem solved.
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