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Taurus/Sable Maintenance & Repair



  • I have coolant boiling in reservoir and overflowing. I have replaced the thermostat water pump and flushed the radiator. After searching, all things are pointing to a head gasket issue. My question is, with 212,000 miles, should I try a head gasket sealer( and which one) or should I shell out the $ to get it repaired correctly. My plan is to keep the car at least 3 more years.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,479
    You can test for a head gasket, you don't have to guess. Have someone (or you) pressurize the cooling system, then pull the spark plugs one by one and look for coolant on them. If nothing there, then you can test the coolant in the radiator chemically, for the presence of combustion gases, because your exhaust gases are boiling water for you.

    A sealer is just an exercise in denial. It won't last and probably not even work at all, if the head gasket is actually damaged.

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  • I have a 95 Sho, when the weather is warm it runs great no idle problem, but when it gets cold or rainy it stalls when I come to a stop. Now the guy that had it before me said he did a 3.2 Liter swap from an Automatic. Mine is a 5 Speed Manual Trans I took it to the shop and the guy said all the sensors that were unpluged were for the Auto Trans and wanted to charge me my first born to diagnose. I have replaced almost every sensor I can think of. Mass Airflow, Idle Air Control, TPS, Coil Pack and I did plugs and wires....I don't know what this can be. But whatever it is, it seems to be getting worse as the weather changes here in Ohio! Any Ideas?
  • Can anyone tell me where the fuel pump relay is located on a 1996 mercury sable?
  • You referring to the relay above the radiator? It's sort of a master relay.
  • that does sound very much like an alternator problem, you're not charging your battery, which should be happening when you drive. most auto shops and stores will do a test on alternator, and the cost varies, re-manufactured is good, or even just used from a wrecking yard.
  • very backyard mechanic here, have a 96 sable, am about to change the heater core as the heater only "steams" the windows, and not with warm air.

    however, the engine does not overheat, nor lose oil or water, there is a "gas" odor on the dipstick, and a creamy looking "sludge" on oil cap.

    any advice would greatly be appreciated.
  • I have a 2011 Ford Taurus SEL. When driving forward (and downward) out of my driveway onto the two-way street in front of my house, which the slope of the street becomes a slight incline, I notice a vibration either from the driver's side or the passenger side of the car, depending on whether I am turning right or left.

    The vibration occurs at slow speeds (15 - 20 MPH) AFTER completing the turn. This does not happen on level surfaces.

    I went by my Ford Dealership to take a tech for a "test drive." Failing to reproduce the vibration, while we talked, he said that both front drive axles have two halves that slide back and forth on the "spline" as the front suspension moves up and down. This section of the drive axles have a rubber boot that is sealed from the factory with grease. However, sometimes there may not be enough grease inside the grease boots.

    You may want to check to see if there is enough grease inside the boots by merely squeeziing the boots. If the boots easily compress with little or no resistance there may be little of no grease inside the boots to lubricate the sliding halves of the axles.

    Should the drive axle boots (transmission end of each axle) need grease, there is an adapter you can connect to a grease gun that is flat on one end. Loosen the clips on the rubber boots. Gently slide the flat end of the adaptor between the rubber boot and the axle.

    Next, apply enough grease from a "hand operated" grease gun to fill the rubber grease boot. Best to do this at BOTH ends of the rubber grease boots....

    Next, after completing filling the boots with grease, gently remove the adaptor and retighten the boot clips.

    NOTE: Use a hand-held, manually pumped grease gun. Using a grease gun under air pressure could put TOO MUCH grease in the boot; thereby, causing a tear or puncture in a boot!

    I recommend using "Black Moly Grease" which also contains graphite. This is a grease that can be used for ball joints as well.

    Some rear-wheel drive SUV's have drive-shafts which also have a section that slides on a spline as the rear wheels move up and down. Sometimes there is a "grease ZERK" fitting. I also recommend periodically using 'black moly grease' on this fitting as well.
  • Mines doing the same thing now my radio went out and the air conditioning did yours do that and did u fix ur problem?
  • Go ahead and buy a Taurus. Don't let all the negative press deter you. I bought my wife a 1998 Taurus with 35,000 miles on it in 1999 and it was a dependable car. We changed the regular stuff like tires and wiper blades and regular oil changes and never had any problems. With 135,000 miles on it we traded it in to buy a 2003 Taurus with 30,000 miles on it. This Taurus is a good car too. Look at your Car Fax when buying a used car. Make sure the previous owner has been doing all the service the car has needed on time. Also if the car has showed signs of being a piece of junk needing lots of work, walk away and dont buy it. I think that buying a used car with 30,000 miles on it gave me a chance to see what kind of car I would be buying.
  • izaclown1izaclown1 Posts: 118
    The nice things about buying used cars are:
    1) like stated above, the lemon factor is obvisous.
    2) hopefully, you can pay cash for it and not finance the steep depreciation on a new one.
    3) Lower taxes
    4) usually lower insurance.
    5) at 35-50k miles most of the maintenance has already been done, check the records to be sure.
    6) after a few years the relability has been established and the usual prbolmes are identified and you can determine if you want those headaches or not.

    I have moved to the school of thought of older cars than newer cars because of these factors. There are just some cars out there is worth replacing a tranny/motor for another 100+k miles that is cheaper than getting a newer car with payments. Just my warped 2 cents.
  • dear mlmyers not sure when you posted this message and if its still an issue for you but i can tell you a improperly functioning coolant temp sensor can cause emission problems even codes as when i car starts it relies on certain things to tell it how much fuel air mix if the temp sensor is telling the car its cold when its not it will dump excessive fuel to even itself out
  • Hope you Taurus folks can help. I looked at a '99 Taurus last night. It was traded in at a dealership and wholesaled not long after, probably due to it's mileage which is 151K. It is very clean inside and the body is good, a few dings and scratches here and there but nothing major. I wished I had more time to go over it, it was dusk by the time I took it for a ride. I noticed that the airbag light was lit. Any ideas why this is or what could be making the airbag light come on? The asking price for the car is reasonable, but I can't afford a lot of surprises if I buy it. Could it just be a faulty sensor? The test drive went well, the car is straight as an arrow, and the 3.0 V-6 seemed very strong for the mileage on it. The engine oil was clean and the trans fluid was clean as well and didn't smell burned to me. However, when I got on the ground to look at the underside of the car, there is a leak of what I believe to be engine oil, and there was a small puddle of it on the ground and on a crossmember to the right of the starter. I told this man about it, that I could see oil all over the bottom(probably being blown back while driving) I'm wondering if the oil pan gasket is leaking. I would HOPE it's not the rear main bearing seal. Is the Taurus noted for leaking oil at the RMB seal? I noticed a slight pulsing when I came to a stop and wondered if the front brakes were worn and the rotors may be warped. Due to the style of the wheels, I couldn't get a good look at the rotors to see if they were worn. His mechanic was going to go over the car and get back to me with the results.

    Like I said earlier, I can't afford to put a lot of money into anything I buy, and of course I know that buying a used car with this mileage is a crap shoot. Any information you can give me about this model Taurus SE from 1999 would be greatly appreciated. Another thing: The guy unlocked the car for me by using the key. I asked him if there was a remote keyfob and he said no, like the car didn't come with one. Could this be true? Thanks, folks!
  • Just wanted to say that I passed on the purchase of this '99 Taurus. After careful thought, I just couldn't take the risk of making a bad situation any worse. We only had so much money to work with here. The guy selling the car wanted $1800 and wouldn't take a penny less even though there were issues I had addressed. Like I posted above, there was oil leaking somewhere and coating the underside of the engine compartment, the airbag light was on, and the high-beam switch(in the turn signal stalk)wouldn't stay on when you needed the high beams on like it's supposed to. If I was in better physical shape and had the money to fix these things myself, who knows, this may have been a good deal. But I would have needed to take the car to my mechanic and deal with the cost of the repairs, however much they would have been. I offered the guy $1500 and he said no, there were others who wanted it. I said fine, sell it to them. I know it's hard to be picky when trying to buy a used car, especially one thats 12 years old, but I need to protect myself as much as I can.
  • Haynes repair manual #36075 96-05 Taurus/Sable states 98 Taurus SE is a 4 wire design with BLK/WHT, TAN/LT BLU, LT BLU/RED and RED. What I find in my car (98 Tarus SE) is 3 wires in a 6 wire MAF sensor. My MAF is labeled positions E, A, B, C, D and F. Position "A" is RED, "B" is BLK/WHT and "C" is TAN. All others are empty.

    Emailed Haynes and their response seems to be: basically said hire a pro. I thought I had enough smarts to follow along in a book but I seem to be at a cross roads. Would anyone have any ideas for me?
  • I think that was a wise move. IMO, Oil leaks are are red flags, the fix(es) may not be worth the price of the car. The one sounds like a nickle and dimer for sure. The cost of the repairs are probably why he is selling it. :)
  • tywitywi Posts: 10
    I checked the fuse and it is okay. What are items could be causing the problem?
  • Our mechanic sold us this car, said they had checked it out. Ball bearing and brakes the first two days and it has lurched since we got it. They have replaced the fuel filter, thinking this caused it, didn't help. We checked transmission fluid, it was empty, replaced, this didn't help. Mechanic replaced 2 different sensors he says have to do with the transmission and still doing it. You'll be driving along and it will lurch on you, not like it's going to quit, no sputtering, but like you are in neutral giving it gas. Any ideas?
  • bighank1bighank1 Posts: 27
    edited May 2013
    2002 Duratec. Replaced UIM and LIM gaskets and some deteriorated hoses. In doing so had to remove fuel rail and injectors. Pulled spark plugs with only about 15K and regapped them to .054. Used dielectric grease on plug wires at plugs and coil. Snapped all wires back onto connections.
    Cleaned throttle body with choke/carb cleaner. Replaced EGR valve gaskets.
    Put everything back and checked plug wiring order.
    Started car. Stumbled due to no fuel at first and stopped. Recranked and started with foot on the accelerator. Now it ran but sounded very rough. Had to keep throttle way down to keep it running. It got up to 2500 RPM but sounded like it wasn't firing on all cylinders. ran like this for about 20 to 30 seconds and when I took my foot off of the accelerator it quit running.
    Has a new fuel filter (6 months ago) and the PCV valve was replaced about a year ago.
    Seems like it isn't firing on 2 or more plugs. Know that I snapped all electrical connectors onto the fuel injectors till the clicked and bottomed.
    I thought it might just be fuel wasn't getting to the injectors but after 30 seconds the fuel should be pumping to all injectors.

    What now.

    Plugs not firing?
    Injectors not firing?
    What else?

    What would you check next?
  • gcsod45gcsod45 Posts: 4
    My A/C compressor is rattling bad and I am not getting cold. I am wondering if it can just be low on freon. also can the clutch on those be replaced or do you have to replace the whole unit? any help is welcomed. thank you
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,479
    Let's talk about that "rattle" first. See if you can disconnect the electrical plug that goes into your AC compressor. This will disengage the AC clutch. If the rattle does away, then you probably have a bad clutch. If the rattle remains, check to see if the compressor is loose on its mounts. If it is tight, you MUST get this fixed before the compressor seizes. Once it seizes, it will send debris throughout your entire AC system, resulting in a very large expensive to either clean, and often replace various parts of the AC system which have become contaminated with metallic debris.

    If your AC system needed charging and was depleted of refrigerant, your clutch would not engage.

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  • gcsod45gcsod45 Posts: 4
    thank you for the advise. i will try that. if it is the clutch is that something that can be replaced with out replacing the whole compressor?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,479
    I'm not sure on that car. Best way to know is see if the part is available from

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  • gcsod45gcsod45 Posts: 4
    I unplugged the wire (i believe its the right one) I still have the rattle. I was able to reach down to the front of the compressor and the plate on the front of the clutch assembly is loose. any ideals?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,479
    If you unplugged the wire then the clutch is stationary and inoperative. You might have to buy or borrow one of those mechanic's stethoscopes (just a metal rod attached to some ear phones) and see if the rattle is indeed coming from the compressor. Rattles are tough to locate--could be anything near the compressor.

    You might see if you can grab the compressor (engine OFF of course :P ) and move it on its mounts--to see if it is loose, or perhaps the adjustment has come loose and the compressor is knocking against something

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  • lorchanianlorchanian Posts: 12
    edited June 2013
    Can anyone tell me where the cabin filter is on a 2010 Taurus SHO?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,479
    Detach the glove compartment damper and lower the glove compartment.
    Remove the cabin air filter access door.
    Remove the cabin air filter.
    To install, reverse the removal procedure.

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  • lorchanianlorchanian Posts: 12
    Thank you so much.
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