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  1. Today
  2. The first generation models were popular considering what most of America was driving at the time, which were cars that were generally of the three box style. The Taurus and Sable dropped in as a sleek, modern looking car compared to similar midsize cars, like the Chevrolet Celebrity. 1986 Celebrity 1986 Taurus The second generation was an update on the first generation. Still had modern styling at the time, but all the other manufacturers couldn't be outdone. Pontiac tried copying the Sable's distinct light bar on the Grand Prix. Ford did have a rather good run with the car between 1986-1995, and a lot of their lines started sharing similar "Aero" body lines moving into the 90s. For 1992, the Crown Victoria imitated a "larger Taurus" after being restyled in the only year it didn't have a conventional grille. Just like today where most manufacturers share similar design cues in all models, it happened in a number of Ford products from the late 80s through the 90s. From there, the popularity waned as the third gen was a love it or hate it affair design wise and other competition, especially from foreign markets really took hold in the midsize market. The addition of the Duratec V6 was nice for the extra power over the traditional Vulcan V6, particularly after the head gasket hungry Essex V6 was dropped. However, the less than exciting styling relegated a number of these cars to fleets and rentals. As far as popularity goes, this was a midsize, generally no thrills sedan that offered 5 or 6 passenger seating with a number of modernity amenities as they were built. They may have not been a stellar as some of the other cars in their class, but they did what was expected of them, however forgettable they may seem. For a number of buyers, they made a good family car that would either be passed down or eventually traded in a few years later. I wouldn't say they were made to last a lifetime without a bit of work. The transaxle has always been a weak point in these cars, or at least prior to the shift to the full size chassis after 2007. An external cooler and more frequent fluid changes considerably will extend their lifespans. The 3.8 V6 (Essex) engines were available in the late 80s right up to 1995, but had a nasty habit of eating head gaskets, but the Essex wasn't unique to Taurus and Sable, and also gave troubles to Thunderbird, Mustang, and other cars that used it, however a good number of Taurus/Sable models got them, so a notorious engine with a notorious transaxle gives the cars a bad rap, especially since that stuff causes nameplates to pale in comparison to other competitors. Barring all that, the Taurus did accomplish something fairly large in its own right, and it saved Ford. Ford wasn't well off in the '80s, and the Taurus/Sable project was a make or break deal. If that car flopped, they would have gone under. They were so unsure if the Taurus would make it, they kept making the car it was supposed to replace, the mid-size Fox chassis LTD. right beside it for the 1986 model year. When sales took off, they finally ended the LTD production. /tangent Regarding MPG, are we comparing them to modern minivans or minivans that were new when they were new? The four speed transaxle would probably be the biggest point of less than stellar mileage. A more modern transaxle would have been nice in the mid 2000s, but alas that didn't happen. The Duratec engines in my opinion seem to be thirsty. My mother has an MKZ with the 3.5 and a 6 speed automatic, and in mixed driving gets similar mileage to my Grand Marquis with a 4.6 with a 4 speed automatic. Typically I average 20 MPG, which is nice for a large car that's 21 years old. Her car might do 21 MPG average, and is only 9 years old. Even highway mileage is similar between 26-28 MPG. I assume a Taurus could manage similar numbers.
  3. ReluctantFordOwner

    New Used Taurus NeedsTLC - Where to begin?

    Yeah, I don't work on cars....and getting a wrench under the windshield for the bolts on the dash looks like a nearly impossible nightmare. The more I'm reading about these cars I'm really not understand why they were/are so popular. The gas mileage in particular has me stumped. Why would anyone want a mid sized sedan with gas mileage worse than or comparable to most minivans? What am I missing?
  4. Yesterday
  5. You can change the heater core yourself to save $$$. If yours is plugged as bad as the one in the video then you would need acid to flush it clean. I don't know if you have to drain the cooling system for this or not. I forgot that the struts can pop like that when they wear out (although 71k miles sounds premature.) The bearings might have gone bad which I believe is known to cause a popping sound or feel. And a manual from an '02 will be fine for your car. The 2002 and 2003 cars are both Gen 4 and there weren't any significant changes.
  6. Last week
  7. ReluctantFordOwner

    New Used Taurus NeedsTLC - Where to begin?

    Also just noticed the knock seems to pop in and back out....it pops once when turning the wheel in to the turn, and then again when I'm straightening it back out. Hopefully that will be helpful in diagnosing this sound.
  8. ReluctantFordOwner

    New Used Taurus NeedsTLC - Where to begin?

    Thanks for such a detailed response! Some good news: Took the cars for a once over today by a mechanic and they were able to get the hood open by disconnecting the cable from the latch, and then pulling the cable while having a second person lift up on the hood. Tried it at home and my son and I can open it this way. I wonder if a new cable would fix this issue or if it's something else? The noise when I turn the steering wheel very far is just a one time pop. The mechanic thinks it's the front struts, which I was surprised to hear since I thought it would be a tie rod and had no idea struts could cause a sound when steering. I do have the fold down seats so I'll go have a look for those bolts. I understand a heater core replacement is a very costly job, so I'm hoping a flush will do. Now that I can open the hood I'm ready to tackle that. Where do I begin? Also the car is an 03 but it came with an 02 manual. Is it OK to go by what's in this book? Any differences between the 02 and the 03 I need to be aware of?
  9. Hi there! 1. Is it a continuous popping or a single pop when the wheel is turned? My first guess by your initial description is tie rods, then ball joints. 2. Clogged heater core. This is a common issue on these cars. I would suggest flushing it but if it's clogged as bad as it sounds then it would be easier to just replace it. But that won't be possible just yet because of #3. 3. Not sure how to help with this one. The latch is definitely frozen but I have no idea how to get it loose. Maybe spraying penetrating oil on it through the grille if you can get a good angle? 4. Warped rotors. 5. Might be a bad strut or the strut mount broke. To change either you will have to remove the carpet from the parcel shelf which I will explain with #7. 6. Most likely a dead window regulator. I have no idea how to change these. 7. If the seat is not the split folding rear seat then you will have to remove the seat bottom to expose the bolts holding the seat back on. Push in and up on the corners of the seat bottom to detach the latches, then pull the bottom out. The bolts for the seat back are now accessible. Remove them, then lift up and pull forward to remove the seat back. If the seat is the split fold type it is easier to remove. Just fold the rear seat down and the four bolts holding it in will be exposed. Remove them, then lift up and pull forward to remove the seat back. The carpet is held on with two plastic push pins. I put the nail puller of a hammer under the carpet and pry them out. You will probably have to disconnect the CHMSL (Center High Mount Stop Light, the brake light in the window) to remove the carpet. This should give you access to the seat belt and will also give access to the top of the strut towers.
  10. I just bought a 2003 Ford Taurus SE with 71,000 miles. I've really never been a Ford fan (mom's Escort rusted through so bad you could put your feet on the road when the car was only 12 years old). I bought this car because I was really in a pinch after my Camry blew a head gasket. The car runs and drives very smoothly however it is definitely making some noises and having some issues that need addressed. I'm looking for advice about what could be causing the following things and/or how to repair them in a cheap and efficient way: A kind of popping/clunking sound when the steering wheel is turned too far in either direction (no hissing). Sounds like it's coming from the front of the car. Read it could be the steering rack or tie rods. Which is most likely or how do I diagnose? The heater blows air only slightly warmer than the outdoor temp (it was around 72 today and the heater felt like it was blowing around 76-80 or possibly less. The car remained VERY cold after a downpour had me soaking wet). The hood release latch does not release the hood. I even pulled on the cable with pliers as hard as I could and it did nothing. I've also stuck a screwdriver in through the grill to try and unlatch it manually but even moving the latch up doesn't do anything. Can someone link me to a video of how to do this on a Taurus? I can't find one for the life of me. The brakes pulse when the pedal is depressed. The previous owner thought the rear passenger strut needed replacing. The car definitely takes even minor bumps very hard and it's noisiest on the rear driver's side. (pretty sure this is just s strut but thought I would list it anyway). The rear driver's window does not go down with either the driver's door controls or the rear driver's passenger seat controls. The seat belt of the rear driver's seat is stuck. Will not extend or retract. I've removed the two pieces of plastic trim on the door and back wall of the car to gain better access but I still can't figure out how to even get a wrench back there to remove it. How do I remove the vertical part of the back seat or that upper shelf part above the trunk to get a better look at it and/or remove it and install a new one? That's all for now, hopefully too many more issues won't crop up! Thanks!
  11. So I've been using the full size spare on the '97, and it decided to do this. One of regular tires got a leak, can't find where it is, plus the tread was low enough it wasn't worth getting it checked out. This particular tire was from an earlier set I had put on, so probably 2012 or 2013. Had no problems over the last week or so until today when I got a really harsh vibration coming home. Glad it didn't decide to let go. Inspecting the circumference, it looks like a belt shifted and the tread separated from the carcass. I was never a fan of how that particular set of tires wore either (Firestone Affinity Touring), and they wore out the center faster than the edges, even when being inflated to factory PSI. I personally prefer running these cars at 40 PSI all around, but I digress. The Kuhmo KR21s that preceded those and the Firestone Precision Tourings that succeeded them wore evenly across the entire tread area versus exaggerated wear down the center. Anyway I've been looking at tires since they're all due for replacement anyway. I'll be doing that sooner than later. In the meantime, I'm going to run out to the tire shop early in the morning before work and have a cheapo tire mounted up to make it to next week since I've got to call to order the set I've been looking at. Hopefully next week I'll have four fresh tires on. White wall will be going by the wayside this go around, unfortunately. I've opted to go with the Kuhmo TA11 225/70R15. Good reviews, good specs, meets my criteria, and Discount Tire has them at a reasonable price.
  12. OBD-II Monitor Exercised Drive Cycle Procedure Drive Cycle Preparation. overnight cold. 1. Idle vehicle for 15 seconds. 2 Drive at (40 MPH) until ECT is at least (170 F). . 3. Is Inlet Air Temp within (40 to 100 F)? If not stop here. HEGO 4. Cruise at (40 MPH) for Up To 4 minutes. Executes the HEGO monitor. EVAP 5 Cruise at (45 to 65 MPH) for 10 minutes (avoid sharp turns and hills) Gas tank ¼ to ¾ full. Catalyst 6. Drive in stop and go traffic conditions. Include five different constant cruise speeds, ranging from (25 to 45 MPH) over a 10 minute period. Executes the Catalyst Monitor. EGR 7. From a stop, accelerate to (45 MPH) at ½ to ¾ throttle. Repeat 3 times. Executes the EGR Monitor. SEC AIR/CCM (Engine) 8. Bring the vehicle to a stop. Idle with transmission in drive for 2 minutes. Executes the ISC portion of the CCM. CCM (Trans Auto) 9. From a stop and in overdrive, moderately accelerate to (50 MPH) and cruise for at least 15 seconds. Stop vehicle and repeat without overdrive to (40 MPH) cruising for at least 30 seconds. While at (40 MPH), activate overdrive and accelerate to (50 MPH) and cruise for at least 15 seconds. Stop for at least 20 seconds and repeat step 9 five times. Executes the transmission portion of the CCM. Misfire&Fuel Monitors 10. From a stop, accelerate to (65 MPH). Decelerate at closed throttle until (40 MPH) (no brakes). Repeat this 3 times. Allows learning for the misfire monitor. Follow directions for quick make ready for inspection. Most will do fine with normal driving, except EVAP. This one must be done by the book. Trick is the outside air temp in cold weather. You can clear the light with a code reader or pull the negative battery cable for a few minutes. Bat cable will also reset your tranny shifts to default. Code reader reset will only put out the light. -chart-
  13. I was told if I filled gast to 2/3 - 3/4, disconnect battery, turn oh headlights till they die then reconnect battery, crank her up and drive 40 miles in different conditions i.e. hwy, stop go , etc., etc.. This would more than likely clear engine light. Anyone ever done this successfully???
  14. Earlier
  15. Second level parking.
  16. So, I just tripped across an image from 2012. MUST be a repost but I can't find it anywhere. I give you a visual WTF?
  17. This past Sunday we had some strong storms sweep through the area. I decided I wanted to go for groceries before the weather hit. I didn't quite make it and the weather swept through while I was at my last stop. I got the flash flood warning on my phone but didn't think much of it. I got a few miles down the road and all of a sudden there was a river in front of me where the road used to be. I didn't see any floating debris so I drove through slowly. I figured that would be the worst of it. Was I ever wrong. I got half a mile down the road and there was an even bigger river in the road. Beyond that I had to drive through another one. By the time I got home I had driven through at least 6 flooded roads. Thankfully the Fiesty never lost it's footing or I might have ended up in the dead bug position. I wish I had pictures but I was too busy white-knuckling the steering wheel and playing footsies with the clutch, brake and gas to even think about it.
  18. Well, it came apart easy enough. Becky and I had the front end off in 1.5 hours, pulled as much as was needed to see the damage. This is the worst of it. The frame isn't bent, but the core support, radiator & supports, and pretty much entire a/c system are trashed. I guess its a good thing it has a giant hole in the roof for warm days.
  19. Kodachrome Wolf

    What Rear rotors do I need for 1999 Wagon?

    Looking at the parts catalog at work, it’s showing a singular rear brake rotor covering 1993-2007 Tauruses. It doesn’t have a wagon/sedan or a ABS/Non-ABS selection. To the OP, do your rotors have any numbers on them besides discard thickness?
  20. zenriddles

    What Rear rotors do I need for 1999 Wagon?

    Here's the master list of rotors from Rockauto.com. I randomly picked the DOHC engine, not sure what you have or if it mattered. https://www.rockauto.com/en/catalog/ford,1999,taurus,3.0l+v6+dohc,1354812,brake+&+wheel+hub,rotor,1896 Start one at a time and open the info page to check specs. Maybe you'll get lucky. Otherwise, I hate to say it, but it might be a Ford dealer that could help you.
  21. I need replacement rotors for my 1999 Wagon with ABS Brakes. I tried replacing them last year but the new rotors had a deeper offset and hit the calipers when wheel lug nuts were tightened. Tried ordering twice from two different auto stores and they all sent the same too deep rotors, so I had to just put them on again. Part number indicated it was for ABS equiped car. Looked at the rotors on my non ABS parts wagon and they had the same offset. The car was Chicago built and sold in Canadian Maritime Provinces when new. Has anybody else had this problem or found a solution? I decided adding washers as spacers would be a bad idea as it required too many to get the clearance in the caliper for the pads. WFrisk
  22. Finally got the dual exhaust system completed on the wagon. Took it down to a local exhaust shop that did the '97's muffler some time ago. Welded in a coupler for the passenger side tailpipe, custom bent a driver side tailpipe, and installed three hangers. In and out in less than 30 minutes for $85. They did great work. I may clean up how far it exits from the body. It's probably out about an inch. Worst case scenario I clip it back a touch with a saw, but I may just leave it alone. After the exhaust shop, I cruised it on the interstate so I could head over to the DIY carwash. The A/C did great with the heat and at freeway speed (80 MPH), you can't feel the dead miss. It cleaned up pretty nice considering it hasn't been washed down in several months and was covered in dust, bird droppings, grass, and other yard debris that settled on it. Hopefully it won't be long and I'll have the parts in hand to fix the issue. Once that project gets underway, it'll have a bit more grunt. Nothing show stopping, but it'll be above 160 HP.
  23. Not to often that I have put the 1500lbs of payload capacity to real work, but these old railroad ties were really heavy. I bet that was a solid 900-1000lbs of old wood. Truck rode like an absolute dream with that weight.
  24. tgm

    Sable won't start

    I replaced the fuse last weekend and started it several times over the weekend. My son drove it back to his house the next morning, about an hours drive. The next morning, it wouldn't crank and the the fuse was blown again. It blew a few more times after that also, but after driving short distances. Maybe, this will make it a little easier to pinpoint the problem. He left it with the mechanic that replaced the starter in April.
  25. TaurusKev

    Sable won't start

    Based on power distribution, I only see that fuse feeding the Transmission Range sensor/Starter circuit. That's why if the fuse is blowing, I'd be wondering if there is an internal short or high resistance through the trans/neutral switch sensor.
  26. Welp, its that time again everyone. This one was parked when someone decided to park their lifted truck on the hood. Needs core support, impact material, fenders, hood, and radiator mounts. Runs like a DREAM and its a low mileage (64k) example. Interior is 7/10, so I'll probably replace the interior with tan at the wife's request (this is gonna be HER car). At first I was thinking parts car, but with a clean title, airbags didn't go off, and little real damage I think its a keeper. Towed back from Toccoa, GA where it was a one owner little old lady car, so I'm totally expecting the worst.
  27. -chart-

    Sable won't start

    That fuse must feed something else beside what is on that diag. No need for 15A and it only feeds a relay coil. Likely something on the same fuse. -chart-
  28. tgm

    Sable won't start

    After thinking about this, in your opinion, what would be the most likely cause for the fuse blowing? I'll keep some in the car now in case it happens again. When I had the starter replaced in April, the mechanic said that the old one was shorted. The car acted the same. It was driven during the day and parked until 10pm. When attempting to crank it, the lights came on and the starter wouldn't engage. It makes me wonder if the mechanic may have replaced the starter, then the fuse afterwards. I guess I'll know if the fuse blows again. Again, thanks for your input.
  29. TaurusKev

    Sable won't start

    Great! Glad to hear it
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