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Taurus/Sable Maintenance & Repair



  • Hi, I have a minor oil leak on my 96 DOHC Taurus. It looks to be coming from the oil pan gasket and extender gasket right above it. Does any one know how difficult it would be for a DIY to replace these gaskets? Does the engine have to be moved off it's mounts? It looks like the exhaust needs to be moved. Any thoughts from someone who's done the job would be appreciated. Thanks, Tim
  • Have 99 Sable LS. The car rides like a tank in the front end. Feels like it has real stiff springs in the front. Also when I hit bumps in the road the steering wheel jerks to that side. I took the car to a local Midas and they told me the only thing wrong with it was the sway bar links. Replaced those and new tires on the front. It's not as bad but still rides really stiff and still jerks the wheel but not as bad. It seems to be worse in the rain. Seems to hydroplane pretty bad. Is this how these cars ride?
    I like the car but something just doesn't seem right to me.

  • Okay, so I've changed my front pads on most of my cars... but this is my first time changing the rear brake pads on my 1998 Sable.

    After much trial and error I discovered that caliper is one of the ones that you have to twist back into place, so I ran up and got myself a caliper reset tool from Auto Zone (because that stupid cube doesn't work).

    Anyway, the tool fits perfect. The problem is, I can't get it to turn back into place. So either, I'm a lot weaker than I think, or I'm doing something wrong.

    Also, I'll note that the inside brake pad was worn completely down to the metal (yes I'm replacing the rotors as well), BUT the outside pad was almost brand new....

    Thoughts, I could use some help before I lose my mind :)

    Thanks! :sick:
  • Hi,

    I live in michigan and a couple of weeks ago it was snowy and slick and a car in front of me got into an accident and I had to go over a curb to avoid involving myself in the accident. This blew out my right front tire but other than that seems to have done no obvious damage.

    The only oddities are that ever since then the car has reported the outside temperature as WAY off. It almost always says it is between 100 and 105 degrees outside (and i assure you it is not!). I am not sure where the sensor is for this but I thought the first thing might be to just see if something is lodged around it or ... something. Can anyone tell me where this is? If the sensor is bad is it a user replaceable item or would it have to go to the dealership or elsewhere.

    Also, I dont know if this is related but the interior thermostat seems to be screwy. When I get in the car if i have the desired temperature set to 85, once the car warms up the heat will come on full blast and once the temperature is comfortable I will turn it down to around 72 and the fan speed will go down as you would expect it to to maintain that temp. However after a few minutes (10-15) it will start to get cold and I will bump it up to 80 and the fan will kick up a bit and warm it up and keep it comfortable for another few minutes. Again a few minutes later it will start to get cool and I will bump it up to 85 and it will make it comfortable again for a while. Then it will get slightly cool again and the only other option is 90 at which the heat basically stays on full bore until you turn it back down.

    On long trips I have to bump it between 85 and 90 to warm it up when it gets cool. Could this at all be related to the outside temperature sensor and the car is just completely confused about whats going on!?

  • Make sure the brake reservoir cap is removed because you are forcing brake fluid into the reservoir. Or crack the bleeder to relieve caliper pressure. The inside wear would suggest a parking brake adjustment issue.
  • I have been studying what to do about my '96 Taurus 3.0 OHV concerning it not starting. I have taken it to a 'not so hot' mechanic here and they were total idiots about what is wrong. The engine was replaced with a brand new one in 2001. Not the wireing. It now has approx. 35,000 miles on it. It quit running, at 65mph, like it was running out of gas (full tank). I have checked for gasoline pressure at the injector bank, LOTS of pressure. Didn't check injectors themselves but when I pulled every sp. plug to check for spark (all had spark), they were wet and smelled of gasoline. So I assume (?) they were getting gas. The plugs (Rapid Fire) all looked very normal with no extraordinary buildup with only normal wear etc. 8000 miles on this set.
    The mechanic did a compression check without and then with oil in the cyls. Same readings 2@30, 2@45, 1@60 and 1@75. He did nothing else except put new spark plugs in. He said the engine was shot!! Frankly, I just don't believe this as there could be too many other things that could give low compressions.
    This engine has run and started perfectly (excepting a bad VSS which I replaced) since I got it in 2002.
    I would like to do more tests on it when I get it home,
    One being a Leakdown test. Only problem is I have never done one. Can anyone explain how this is done and can I do it or do I have to take it to another shop?
    Should I rule out a bad or jumped timing chain?
    What other tests should I do concerning this low compression?
    Since it won't start, all the tests so far have had to be done only while cranking the engine with the starter.
    If you can, please HELP!
  • As if my last post wasn't long enough, sorry.
    I need to add one small piece of info. The OBDII data link has never worked so I can't get any info this way. Have to do it all the old fashioned way.
    Wish there were a way to get this working. Could save a lot of work???
  • I have a 99 ford taurus 3.0L V6. The idler pulley is bad. The parts stores i have been to gave me the wrong pulley. I took it back and they told me that it's the pulley that goes on my car. The one that came off my car is plastic and the ones I get from the parts stores is medal and too big, not by much. When I try to put it on it rubs against the tensioner pulley housing. Do I have to move the tensioner pulley back/foword to get the idler pulley to fit? I sure hope someone can tell something.
  • I am getting ready to change one in my wife's car, which is also a 1999.
    We checked several parts places in advance, and they seem to have the same setup as on her car.

    I am just concerned that I am going to change the right part. Something gave out on her car, and it certainly seems to be one of the devices on the serpentine belt. How do I tell for sure that it is the idler pulley?

    Once I do, are there directions on the web for changing it out?

  • Ok, I am reading it now. Looks like some good info.
  • tpipertpiper Posts: 1
    Daughter has had intermittant problems with driver door latching, but after sometimes a 1/2 hour of slamming it would latch.As of last night it still has not latched, even sprayed with wd-40.Any suggestions ?
  • Does anyone have knowledge on the electrical connections on a 98 Taurus auto transmission. The car is a 3.0 DOHC column shift AX4N trans. The trans died, and another trans has been located. The salvage yard says the "electrical connector" on their trans is broken. Is there more then one connector on the trans, if not, can the connector be easily swapped from the dead trans to the replacement trans without opening them up? Does anyone also know of any on-line exploded diagrams or other views of this connector. Both the dead car and replacement trans are not local for me to visually inspect myself, so I'm trying to get an answer here.

    Thanks for any information you can provide.

  • Common problem. You need to really soak it with WD40.
  • I have had my drivers door latch freeze up for a couple of years now on my 98 Ford Taurus but this year my front pass. side door latch is freezing also. The door opens fine but when I shut the door it doesn't latch. If I hold a hair dryer to the latch it unfreezes in a min. or so then the door shuts fine. Any ideas on what to do? I have tryed spraying the latch, handle and lock but nothing seems to work. Thanks.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,815
    You might need to check the weatherstripping on the door. Sounds like water is getting in there and freezing up the lock.

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  • I have a 1999 Ford Taurus Wagon. To avoid a wreck I put the car into reverse from drive and accelerated hard. The tires squeaked and all of the sudden the car made a grinding noise. When I put it up it into any other gear it made the same noise. I can only put it in park or neutral. When I jacked it up onto stands and put it in drive it makes the grinding noise only when my foot is on the brake. When I release the brake the wheels spin. I was thinking the problem could be a broken halfshaft either on the left or right side, but I am not sure. If you are experienced and have any knowledge on this please post back.
  • 29792979 Posts: 3
    Here is the problem, any help is appreciated. This is a 3.0 U-code with 182K miles on it.
    Car stalled and would crank but not start. Sat for an hour and started. Replaced plugs and it started and ran fine for a day. Next day same problem. Checked Ignition wires, they were bad so replaced them along with PCV and hose, cleaned MAF and AIC and checked vacuum lines and intake for leaks and found none. Same problem and it became more frequent to the point where it would only crank, sputter and not start. Checked fuel pressure and had none, replaced filter still no pressure replaced fuel pump. Now have pressure and car starts and idles a little rough and when I put it in gear it stalls but will start up again no problem until I put it in gear then stalls again. While idling I get a lot of black carbon on the garage floor and when I apply any electrical strain like rear defrost, turn signals etc the rpms reduce from about 700 to 400. Turn off the strain and the idle returns to 700 but fluctuates up and down. Only code that comes up, and that was just today after two weeks of above tinkering was P0172 Lean bank 1. This could be due to all the carbon building. Any help is appreciated.
  • 29792979 Posts: 3
    As a follow up to my original note 2903, I rechecked fuel pressure at the fuel rail, before the filter and after the filter and it only registers 17 lbs so it looks like I got a bad replacement pump. The pump is being replaced under the guarantee and I am waiting for it to arrive. I'll update once I replace the faulty pump but that is most likely my problem.
  • I have a 2001 Sable doing the same thing what is causing this? The power steering pump is blowing fluid out the vent hole when you shut the engine off? I have replaced the pump and steering rack and blew out the lines! It still blows out fluid.
  • The lighter in my Sable came apart. Iam looking for away to take the ashtray apart,so that I can either reconnect the lighter or install a new one. I would like to have use of this, not as a smoker, but to be able to charge my phone. Any suggestions on how to take the ashtray out? Thanks
  • 2001 sable with e85 3.0 8th Vin is 2. Took to a shop and diagnosed needing tune up, did a tune up. plugs,wires,and coil. still missed. took back did throttle body clean. still miss i have done a sea foam injector cleaning,directly myself. shop used cheap plugs, so i replaced with iridiums. runs better but still misses, makes a loud Bogging type noise when you first give it gas,especially if you get on it hard. put a new air filter on. also makes a loud pinging noise when i run 87octane. new fuel filter was done. its throwing no codes and the shop wants to charge me diagnostics fee, and ive already had to pay 3.... Please help
  • Just wanted to hear if you got an answer to this post of yours. I have the same problem with a 96 Sable 3.0 DOHC. I would appreciate any word on doing this replacement as I'm another DIY guy. I just done replacing the water pump at 180k miles and that was real treat. So was wondering how much this really of a treat this will be. thanks..
  • Havn't heard a peep yet, but there is still hope...
  • cldickjrcldickjr Posts: 2
    2000 Taurus SE, 3.0; 1) Is tank removal required for fuel pump replacement?

    2) Repl. heater core, however heater only works when driving at hwy speeds;

    was told to have radiator check!? Also have noticed MANY posted issues with taurus heaters. NEED FEEDBACK on what to do next.
  • Tank removal is required to replace the fuel pump. As for the heater, it may just be that your themastat is sticking open, not allowing the engine to reach it's operating temp unless you aredriving at highway speeds.
  • cldickjrcldickjr Posts: 2
    I replaced the T-stat at the same time I replaced the heater core.
  • I thought you might have. You could have a bad t-stat. Perhaps old coolant, or even incorrect coolant for you vehicle.
  • kazajomakazajoma Posts: 1
    I took my car into my mechanic to find out what was wrong. They checked over many possible causes but didn't find anything. While there, the car didn't "act up" and therefore, they could not track the problem electronically while it was happening. I was told that many electronic problems can only be diagnosed when they are occuring in cars that are a bit older. Mine is an '01 Sable LS and apparently that was before the electronic system included some type of memory chip that can record problems that happened, even if they are not evident at the moment.
    Over the past 2 weeks this problem has happened 3 times, but not under consistent circumstances. Twice when it occurred it was after driving about 20 minutes, either in town or on highway. I had the temp set at 65 and the fan on 3. Suddenly the fan sound was very loud, but no air was coming out of any of the vents, and the heat in the car was immediate. This even happened once after starting a cold car in 20 degree weather after it had been sitting for 8+ hours. Normally it would take about 5 minutes to heat up the engine enough to start producing heat...this time in took about 40 seconds to have the loud fan sound, but no air movement, and intense heat.
    Whenever this happens, I can't change the fan or heat settings. It continues as described even after I turn the heating system off. At the same time, when this occurred and I had the radio on, I couldn't adjust the volume, change stations, or turn the radio off.
    Has anyone else heard of something like this? I'd like to avoid an expensive and exhaustive mystery hunt by a mechanic. If there's some helpful, plausible ideas on what the problem might be, and even what might have caused it, I could ask the mechanic to focus their search, on whatever may be identified via this forum, and then he could get on with repairs.
    Thanks for whatever ideas and experiences you can share!
  • timothyftimothyf Posts: 40
    Unless you have a lift, do yourself a favor and have it done at a shop. The exhaust bolts will be rusted and are impossible to get at. If the bolts break, then it's even worse. Also there's a high likelihood that one of the four O2 sensors will break when you're removing the exhaust. The cat converter should also be checked and cleaned out while you have it removed. A shop did mine, busted a bolt, and then had to run around to a dealer to find a replacement. An all day affair. If you need parts, Rock Auto has cheap cat converter parts. Best, Tim
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