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Ford Taurus/Mercury Sable Sedans Pre-2008



  • setzersetzer Posts: 127
    I recently purchased a new Chevy Impala. I have a 97 Jeep Grand Cherokee that is having more problems every other day. I always like having two cars, and I was wondering if I should get a Taurus after my Jeep turns into scrap metal. They are very solid and well built. I love their design and they are comfortable. Should I buy a Taurus SEL? The Ford Futura is supposed to be coming out next year or something, so I don't know if I want a Taurus. I love the newTauruses, but I don't like having cars that are going to be removed from the market the next year. What should I do?
  • snowmansnowman Posts: 540
    Taurus is a good buy, I recommend Duratec engine. I have Vulcan, I feel it lacks power time to time. But Vulcan is more reliable than Duratec. And buy used...
  • wep68wep68 Posts: 18
    I bought a 2002 SES New in March03. Here are my comments after about 9 months

    -Good value: paid $15,370 for new 2002 with leather, 24V, ABS, Side Air Bag, power pedals- everything but 6 disc CD, moonroof, and auto climate control. A comparable camry would likely have run me 23K or so.
    - Duratec - plenty o' power , especially on the hwy where 60 to 80 happens real fast
    - Bucket Drivers seat with manual lumbar is comfortable for me, and its a big seat
    - Tons of headroom
    - adjustable pedals lets U change the angle of your leg on a long drive, lets wife sit farther from airbag
    - firm ride. While bumps can register, the car always feels in control. Such a contrast to a Buick I rented recently

    Dislikes -
    -dashboard reflects glare
    -low end interior materials and switchgear but what do ya want for 15.4K
    -no headrestraints on back seat
    depreciation -- amazing how little a one can get for a 3yr old taurus. If I have to sell before 5 years, a lot of my cost advantage will be lost. I plan to hold the car into its dotage tho. Still I lose some flexibility here
    - large turning circle. A minor item
    - the heavily sloped windshield tends to make one feel like the car has less headroom than it actually does
    - the front passenger seat could go back farther, it tend to feel a bit more cramped than it should (I am 6'4") There must be a reason for this, as there is plenty of space behind the seat
    - short range. I am getting 19-22mpg and with the 18 gallon tank, my fillups come too often. My 5sp '94 camrywith a 18.5 gallon tank spoiled me. I got 28-29mpg and would usually go 430miles between fill ups.

    Agree/disagee? Please add your comments.
  • snowmansnowman Posts: 540
    If you buy one, you'll be impressed by how that car put together.I mean no ding, ping, squeaks, no wind noise, very solid.
  • The low resale is more to do with the "law of supply/demand", rather than the car itself.

    Just drive it, and wait 5 years before worrying about trade in.
  • s852s852 Posts: 1,051
    Rear headrests would be good, it wouldn't hurt if the seats went back a couple more inches for tall drivers, the resale value is horrific.
    The rest is what you can expect for the price. I don't see better interior materials in similarly-priced competing vehicles, so it's fine in that area.

    Haven't noticed glare from the dash or a problem with the windshield.
    Mileage and turning circle could be better, but are not out of line with competing cars.
    Side curtain airbags would be a nice feature, but it is more likely to into the Taurus replacement in a few years.
  • setze, Taurus will be in market a few more years, mostly for fleet sales. While Futura is the new design - Taurus is proven and reliable, all bugs worked out.

    24 valve Duratec engine is coupled with better and more reliable transmission.

    Interior materials, at least in my Premium Sable, are pretty good. Workmanship is not up to Japanese, right, but feels and looks good nevertheless. But there ARE squeaks on rough road.

    Didn't notice glare or other problems with dashboard. At night integrated control panel with climate control looks beautiful. I like sloped windshield as more dramatic. And there are things like compass and auto dimming mirror that have proven to be very useful.

    You may consider Sable too. It has the highest initial quality among midsize sedans from JDPower and is recomended as the best buy. And I can confirm that, I have about 25K mile without any problems or complaints except of before mentioned squeak somewhere in dash.

    I can advice you to look for good deals on new 2003 Taurus/Sable. Dealers are desperate with previous year models, so you can buy a new car for the price or used one. One year old used ones with warranty are very cheap if you can live with previously owned car. But most likely it will be from rent or fleet.
  • danielj6danielj6 Posts: 285
    Edmunds' comparison of 10 family sedans didn't include Sable or Taurus. How come guys? It would've been interesting to see Taurus or Sable competing head to head with those 10 hitters.

    I enjoyed reading it though. One caveat; How come you don't mention bumper strength when you talk about NHTSA and IIHS evaluations of these cars?
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    danielj6 - if you want the editors to see your comments, go to the Help link at the bottom of the page to provide your feedback. :)
  • Lo all,

    The rear brake pads on my 97 Sable are shot at 65k miles. Oddly, my fronts are fine and have rust on the rotors like they're not even being used. I know this is not correct but how do I fix it (after I replace the rear pads and rotors)?

  • Lo all,

    The factory CD Changer (97 Sable) in the trunk started an intermittent then not, work then not. Now, finally, the head unit shows "NO CD" (or something else indicating it's not working) when I try and select a CD and this has been showing consistently now so it's no longer intermittent. Is is shot or are there some troubleshooting things to check before I get a new one? If I need a new one, any recommendations?

    Thanks all!
  • I bought the '03 SEL Deluxe last March and have racked up about 28K so far in the first 9 months. Although I have had no mechanical malfunctions, I am a bit annoyed with the shuddering brakes, rattling sunroof, door panel and dash and weird shifting transmission. Anyone else experiencing these annoyances? I know the tranny's and brake rotors were bad in the past, but are they still bad? Other than that, it runs good and is comfortable.
  • zslickzslick Posts: 11
    I bought an 03 SEL Premium in October with the Duratec engine. I have about 4K miles and so far no problems. When you say weird shifting transmission, are you referring to the way it forces the 1-2 upshift early unless you nail it? I get that. I also experienced it on several other cars I test drove before choosing this one. I did experience one peculiarity for which I took it back to the dealer: a prominent tapping noise from the engine when it's warmed up. The service writer told me that there is a technical service bulletin on that for 03s with the Duratec and mine was the third he had seen like that. According to the bulletin, the cause is camshaft bolts that were not torqued properly. They re torqued the bolts on mine and it's been fine since. If you notice tapping, get it back to the dealer while it's still under warranty, ASAP!
  • Hi to All and Happy New Year:

    My '02 SES is still very much impressing me after purchasing it last summer. However, recurring paint quality and window issues leave me wondering if any of you are experiencing the same. The dealership has been great and has stood behind the car so far. Tomorrow I'm returning to the dealership for the window issue, and Tuesday, I'm returning to the dealership for more repaint.

    My front two windows, when rolled up, make noises when they're done rolling-- like they're not aligned properly. However, no leakage occurs. It just seems that the windows don't know how to stop rolling. The driver's window had this problem before, and the dealership promptly fixed it. But it bothers me that it is recurring, and I know it's not "normal" persay, because my back windows don't do it.

    The paint quality issue is mostly with peeling sealant, and also with the side molding on the two driver's side doors-- the paint is coming off of it. I only handwash my car, and I handdry it with a chamois every time too, so I don't think this could be the cause.

    Is anybody else experiencing these problems or does anybody have any ideas/thoughts about these problems?

  • my mom has a '95 Sable, and every year the same problem happens. The blower motor, for the heating system stops working, and usually when it gets really cold. Everytime they replace the part called a heater control, part # F4DZ-19980A. I've test all the fuses, and links, and found to have voltage on all of them. Even the switch that controls defrost, vent, A/C etc has voltage on, however there is no voltage present at the fan speed switch. So in what location is this EATC heater control module?
  • Check the cable at the CD changer end. I have the factory unit and cable, but I bought and installed them myself. I think I had stretched the cable too much or something, and after a year or so it would cut out the player (the same way yours does) and report NO CD. For a while, it would come back if I unplugged the CD player end (radio off, ignition off or on) and tried again. I finally replaced the cable and all's fine now.

    If you need one, you can get a cable for around $40 at, who sell OEM radio equipment. That's quite a bit cheaper than the dealer. I have no connection other than being a satisfied customer.

    (If you check the cable, the other end goes to the Rear Control Unit of the radio, which is bolted to the fenderwell on the left. Pull back the trunk carpet at the fender, and you will see it.)
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    I've been away from my internet access for nearly three weeks, so I thought I would report in on my recent highway mileage. After Christmas, we took a 1200+ mile round trip-three adults and a fairly full but not stuffed trunk. Almost 100% freeway at speeds nearly continously at 70-73 mph. 2000 Taurus SES Duratec cruised effortlessly and returned mileage of just a hair under 29 mpg on one tankful, and on another tank just a hair under 30 mpg. I have not yet checked the overall trip mileage, but have the data to do so, just haven't done it yet. This trip was under nearly ideal winter weather driving conditions with little wind, no snow or rain, fairly level terrain, light traffic, and temps in the 40s-50s. Very pleased with the mileage and smooth but taught ride and quiet highway performance.
  • fdthirdfdthird Posts: 352

    My wife's 2001 SEL has the same front window problem as you describe. My 89 Taurus wagon did the exact same thing!

    My dealer is great and when I reported the problem to him he said that they'd probably just have to adjust the window stops. stops. So he went to order a repair set from Ford. Problem?...Ford doesn't make them for the Taurus. They had a zone guy in to look at it and he had no solution either. Windows don't rattle or make any other kind of noise but just keep on going after they are closed! When I told my service manager that my 89 did the same thing he said that Ford was probably using the same window guts on her 2001 that they used on my 89!

    What ever you do, DO NOT LET THEM LUBE THE WINDOW MECHANISM. My guys tried this and the result is that after I put a clean window up and down 3 or 4 times I end up with roller streaks on the glass!
  • ndrosendrose Posts: 1
    We purchased replacement bulbs for our 2002 Sable but we can't figure out how to replace them. There is no obvious approach. Any help would be appreciated.
  • Since my oil pump was replaced all seems to be fine. Next week I'll put on approx. 1500 miles and that should be a good test but so far so good.
  • Well Folks, it's been over a year since Mercury / Ford ESP replaced my engine in my 99 Sable and all is well. Car is running like a champ (knock on wood). No Oil leaks. Surprised that I still have to run 93 octane in the durotech engine. I live and drive on some steep hills and I always got an engine ping from day one even with the original engine. Thought with the new engine it would of corrected that issue. I tried running 87 & 89 octane in the first few fill ups of the new engine and it wasn't long (with in the fist couple weeks I had the knocks... Oh well. It runs great on 93... Just wanted to let people know.. So many times you read these posts and wonder if all these cars are lemons, instead you only hear from people when they have bad news never good..

    Take care

  • snowmansnowman Posts: 540
    You need to implement two things. Use colder copper spark plugs (autolite 764 - If I am correct about model number...) and get your thermostat changed to 180 degree one. Stock is 195 degree and pinging is caused by high combustion chamber temperature. It is very rare that Duratec pings. THis is something that Vulcan engine does but anyway...

    One thing that I wonder I thought Duratec engine came with knock sensor. If it is your car should not ping. I know that vulcans don't come with knock sensor.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    I don't quite understand what you guys mean by the window still making a rolling noise after it is all the way up. What kind of noise do you hear, is it the normal noise the power window motors make when they are opening or closing the windows, or some other noise? If it is the motors continuing to try to drive the windows further closed after they already are closed, woundn't the motors overheat or pop a fuse or circuit breaker if they are still trying to drive the window further closed? There has to be some switch or some sensor not working properly for that malfunction to happen, I would think.
  • I've had a 97 contour (24 valve 5-speed) since 97' and put 165,000 trouble free miles (Amen to maintenance!). I recently looked at the Verona EX and was very impressed(acceleration issue way overblown - with traffic you CAN'T get 0-60 under 10 sec. anyway!).
                 Almost bought one, until on a whim I stopped at the local Ford dealer. He had in an Former Exec Taurus (2003 SES Deluxe) 17K miles with duratec, leather, moon roof, spoiler, mach stereo for 13,750. Car drove perfect, great ride, attractive exterior, nice pick-up and snarl, buttery tranny and comfy seating. Not sure how anyone could bash this car, it is great! I test drove a lot of mid-size cars and was impressed with most of them (exception - Impala) and the import buying crowd is missing the boat. For the price you cant come close to getting a comparably equipped import. This is a mature design and had all the kinks worked out. Because it is not the newest design, doesn't make it bad, only a very smart buy!
  • fdthirdfdthird Posts: 352
    The noise is the actual window pushing into the top of the rail. I guess all Tauri do not do this, but know for a fact that my 89 wagon, my father in laws 94 and my wife's 2001 all do the same thing.
  • I would describe the noise just as fdthird does. It doesn't seem right-- it seems like there should be some kind of built-in stop mechanism. Plus, my back windows don't do it. I've taken it in before for the driver's window, and they fixed it but the remedy was only temporary, as that's what it's currently in for.

    Badgerfan, could you possibly check your front windows next time you're in your car and let us know if they do the same? It's an odd problem. Rather small in the grand scheme of things, but something I'd like permanently fixed in my remaining 9K of warranty. If your windows do it, they will make all kinds of creaking noises even once they're all the way up.
  • upsetter1upsetter1 Posts: 205
    "a prominent tapping noise from the engine when it's warmed up. The service writer told me that there is a technical service bulletin on that for 03s with the Duratec and mine was the third he had seen like that. According to the bulletin, the cause is camshaft bolts that were not torqued properly."

    zslick, did you mean you had heard this noise while driving in cabin, or you hear it outside of car when it is idling ?

    Regarding pinging, there is no pinging on Duratec on regular.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    I have not noticed any unusual noises in my power windows. Once the window is closed, the motor stops and there is no noise, even if I hold the power window switch down. Also, I have no creaking noises from the windows. In fact the car is completely creak, squeak and rattle free, now at about 34K miles and over three years of ownership.

    Sounds like there is something misadjusted or broken in your power window mechanism. I would think if it shows up consistently every time you close your window, one would hope your dealer service and Ford should be able to diagnose the problem.
  • eng6ineeng6ine Posts: 29
    I get the same sound from my windows too. It is louder in the winter. It never really bothered me, only my wife. I believe the noise is the window seating itself into the felt/rubber gasket. And the secondary sound after you let go of the window switch is the window backing off slightly. I do not think it is anything to worry about.
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