Last post on Nov 22, 2013 at 9:45 PM
You are in the Ford Taurus/Mercury Sable
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Ford Taurus, Mercury Sable, Sedan, Wagon
#1475 of 3012 Question regarding service and repair ...
Mar 17, 2005 (9:32 pm)
I have a 2001 Ford Taurus SES with 63,200 miles on with the Vulcan engine. According to a repair shop, I need a new lower driver ball joint. I have been quoted $35 for the part, $35 for the labor, and $40 to do a 4-wheel alignment = $110 OTD. Is this a good deal? I was originally quoted $129 + tax, but they will do it for the mentioned number above.
Also, what causes a lower ball joint to go bad, and what are some conditions the driver will notice if the joint is going bad? (Such as what behaviors do the car have).
Also, I am wanting to get a transmission drain and fill w/filter done for preventative maintenance. The MERCON V fluid is EXPENSIVE ($3-$4 a QUART), and I have been quoted anywhere from $80-$120 - what have y'all paid for this service? The transmission works wonderfully, however.
Are there any other preventative measures I can take at this mileage? I do plan on replacing the PCV valve at 100K, based on the manual, and replacing spark plugs and wires.
I truly am enjoying my car and love cruising in this thing. I do pizza delivery and I do encounter rough, curvy roads quite frequently - I am sure these roads can tear up a suspension - but honestly, this car has many stronger points than my 1998 Camry I had previously (which was totaled) - for example, the suspension doesn't scrape or bottom out, it rides smoother, it is more solid, more comfortable, and handles WAY better. Not to mention, the 3.0 V6 is known for going a long way! (My '92 Aerostar w/the 3.0 had 250K on it before I quit using it)
Thanks for any information!
P.S. I drove the new Ford 500 - WOW !!!
#1476 of 3012 Another question ...
Mar 17, 2005 (9:42 pm)
In relation to my 2001 SES above, what tires do y'all recommend for superb ride and handling? I have thought of the following:
1. B/F Goodrich Traction T/A - $430 OTD
2. Bridgestone Insignia SE 200 - $360 OTD
3. Bridgestone Potenza G009 - $410 OTD
4. Bridgestone Turanza LS-H - $480 OTD
5. Firestone FR440 - $330 OTD
6. Goodyear Assurance TripleTred - $510 OTD
7. Kelly Charger TR (Performance) - $410 OTD
8. Kumho Power Star 732 Touring - $260 OTD
9. Michelin HydroEdge - $560 OTD
10. Toyo Spectrum - $380 OTD
These tires above range from 50,000-90,000 miles, and are quotes from various places. The Michelin HydroEdge is supposed to the "best". I am looking for tires that handle well, and perform well in rain and snow (although I don't drive really fast in these conditions). However, I don't want to feel like I spent too much. I have considered the Kumho, because of low price and the fact that Tire Discounters (where they are sold) provides FREE 4-wheel alignment. The Kelly Charger TR and Michelin HydroEdge also come from Tire Discounters w/free 4-wheel alignment.
I have considered Bridgestone for the fact that I loved the Insignia SL tires on my 2nd former car, a 2000 Toyota Corolla, also the dealer usually haggles on price. The Toyo and the Goodyear come from a place where I have had lots of car repair done and have consistenly performed wonderfully on my cars.
Or, are there any other tires y'all recommend? I can also go to Tirerack.com and order, but I want some personal opinion.
#1477 of 3012 Another question ...
Mar 18, 2005 (12:20 am)
Also, I was wondering why when parked or sitting on a hill in park, does the car sort of "bang" into gear? It is the same whether on an incline or decline, but more apparent on incline. My Camry and Corolla both did the same thing, but not as "loudly".
Is this just a normal thing? Or is something wrong? The tranny operates perfectly, although I do intend on getting a tranny service done since the car has 63,200 miles on it.
Mar 18, 2005 (5:51 am)
Your price quotes for transmission fluid change sound about right. I don't have information on lower ball joint costs, but these days when you can stay within shouting distance of $100 for replacing anything without doing it yourself, it sounds like a pretty good price.
Only front end issue I have had on my 2000 Taurus was the sway bar links went out just before the end of the warranty, however I only have about 46K on mine.
As far as replacement tires, I've had my eye on Goodrich Traction TA's also. Seems they have had good reviews at TireRack and are somewhat reasonably priced. I will run the OEM Continentals until next fall so I start nest winter with fresh rubber. The Conti's still have a fair amount of tread left, but their snow performance is starting to deteriorate, and they never have had good wet road traction. Michelin generally builds good tires, but you pay a lot as well.
I haven't noticed and significant banging into gear, then I rarely parallel park on a hill.
#1479 of 3012 Re: Another question ... [vppc]
Mar 18, 2005 (10:03 am)
I have a set of BS SE200's on my Town Car and they ride and handle like a champ (15+K miles and tread still looks new). I had a set of the FR440's on a 2K Villager, but they did not last close to the expected 50K miles more like 30K, but did fine otherwise. I had a set of Firestone LH30's on a 94 Contintal and they were smooth as silk, but do not ride near as well on the Villager.
Of course, I am more of a Firestone/Bridgestone person. I would not give you a plugged nickle for Goodyears, due to multiple bad experiences with the Eagle LS tires (2 full sets in 35K, both sets seperated the belts).
#1480 of 3012 Re: Rotors on 98 taurus [pgb]
Mar 18, 2005 (5:47 pm)
Only thing I would add is that if the car has ABS, invest in a hose pinch tool (around $5-10) and open the bleeder screw when you compress the piston. You do NOT want to get caliper sludge up in the ABS valving.
#1481 of 3012 Re: Question regarding service and repair ... [vppc]
Mar 18, 2005 (5:51 pm)
If you trust your mechanic, then by all means get the front end work done. It's not unsusual for a FWD Ford to need joints replaced before 100,000K miles. You won't find a cheaper price.
as far as the trans service, there is a pan drop and filter&fluid change for around $50-$75. there is also a full flush service for around $100-$150. The second service is wiser if you haven't had the fluid changed at all, as it removes all the old fluid. Not all shops have the flush machine, so you may end up going to a dealer or a lubie.
#1482 of 3012 Re: Another question ... [vppc]
Mar 18, 2005 (5:54 pm)
With any Ford Taurus/Windstar transmission always apply the parking brake before releasing the footbrake when on an incline. The park pawl on these transmissions tends to jam more than other designs, so let the car rest on the parking brake instead.
#1483 of 3012 Re: Another question ... [wijoco]
Mar 18, 2005 (10:20 pm)
So, do you mean leave the car in drive and let it be still via the parking brake? Will that hold? Because there are houses I deliver to, in which these are pretty angular hills, and I am usually out of my car at least 1 minute.
Also, I should've gone into detail in what I am looking for in a tire: excellent handling AND ride; mileage not a huge factor, but having those lovely Michelins with 90,000 mile treadlife is really interesting. Also, I misquoted the TripleTred, they are actually going to cost $580.
If I stay local, there is a place in town where I work that always picks up your car for you (free) and performs the service, then drops it off. This is very handy for me on mornings at work when I DON'T deliver. However, they sell Cooper tires. Are Cooper tires good? I can get a 70,000 mile tire for $73 a piece (about $310 OTD). They can order the Michelin Hydroedge and it would cost me $560 OTD, however, they cannot offer roadside assistance or free repair, because it is a special-ordered item, whereas on their in-stock tires, they will repair any problem free. So, have any of you had positive experience with Cooper?
I greatly appreciate everyone's help!
#1484 of 3012 Re: Rotors on 98 taurus [wijoco]
Mar 19, 2005 (2:14 am)
"Only thing I would add is that if the car has ABS, invest in a hose pinch tool (around $5-10) and open the bleeder screw when you compress the piston.
Fords use barrier hoses to reduce moisture contamination of the brake fluid. Clamping a hose will probably damage it internally.