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You are in the Ford Taurus/Mercury Sable
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Ford Taurus, Mercury Sable, Sedan, Wagon
#378 of 3012 My 97 Taurus Experience (so far...)
Jul 23, 2001 (11:53 am)
I've been reading this board on and off for a while, but finally decided to share my thoughts.
On Dec.31 1997 I bought a 97 Taurus GL with 5K miles.
The dealer drove it for a couple of months and they just moved it into the showroom.
It has all the options that I ever needed (and didn't need) - Leather, moonroof, 6-disc CD changer, power seat and etc. The only thing it doesn't have is a power antenna (hek, who needs it anyway).
Total cost out of my pocket $17,500 + tax.
The day before, I checked out all Toyota lots in town, and the cheapest Camry I could get was for
22,000 with no options. So, it was no brainer I went with Taurus since I wanted to buy it in a first place anyway.
I've seen somebody saying about "rental car look"
and etc about Taurus. Come on, you are not buying a school bus, it's a good looking car!
Next month I bought an extended warranty up to 100K (not from a dealership, but thru my bank - they were offering this deal from some insurance company for $700 bumber-to-bumper).
So, I paid $18,200 + tax for a new car with 100K warranty.
I got 51K miles as of last month.
For 3.5 years I had no problems at all!
I used synt. oil since 35K, changed tansmission fluid, gas filter and tires at 40K.
So far I'd been very happy with my car.
A lot was said here about reliability and durability, but there is no car out there that never breaks down! It happens sooner or later, you just have to expect it and live with it.
I was wondering when this is going to happen with my car, and it did happen this month at 52K.
1. Rear window motor broke (I was lucky - the wondow was closed). I decided it wasn't a big deal. A week later -
2. AC selector switch worked only in AC position
(vent, max AC, defrost seemed to disappear).
I knew it was a $10 part, since AC was still freezing me to death. I put it off for a while.
Here is where the next problem showed up the same week -
3. When slowing down quickly, or making tight turns at speeds just above "slow" I heard that cracking noise right beneath me. It seems like something was cracking, but just couldn't break yet. After driving for a week, trying to persuade myself that it is either debris on the road or sound of my neck cracing on turns I finally took it to the dealership where I bought it.
Here comes the familiar part. It took them 7 days to identify the problem. The service adviser was telling me everyday that the best mechanics are working on it (they had a sign in the customer area - "Factory trained mechanics" ). At least I was happy that they hear the same noise as I did, they could just say they didn't hear anything, or blame it on breaks or come up with some lame excuses. On the seventh day, finaly he told me that
the rear subframe bushings
got worn out. Not that I'm a slow driver, but I never abused my car or anything, so it was kind odd to hear that. I looked on the net, and found that this part might need replacement after 100k.
So, my extended warranty came in handy and absorbed 400$ total cost (I paid $25 deductable).
Conclusion: I'm still happy with my Taurus.
I'm planning on driving it up to 150k.
I think I can make it. I just expect more things to break from now on as I would expect in any other car. I still think that Taurus is a better value if you buy it new compared to Camry.
I'm glad I didn't pay $5000-$7000 extra for Camry. The next car I want to buy will probably be some kind of hybrid or electrical sometime in
2007 - I'm sure I can squize 10 yrs. out of my Taurus! (BTW I get city/hwy 20/28 mpg)
Taurus lovers, don't beleive this "Japanise is better" talk. I work for GE, and even though we don't make cars, I can assure you that the emphasise on quality has been tramendous over the last years in our company. I know the same is true with Ford (they make Rangers and Explorers in my town). I feel confident in american products. Japanise cars are probably better, but not for the same money! And that's the key to the market!
#379 of 3012 Been there, done that
Jul 23, 2001 (6:52 pm)
Don't get too overconfident. My '90 Sable, purchased new for $15,700, was reasonably reliable up to about 65K miles, although the intermittent wipers failed before then.
Starting at 65K, things went downhill in a hurry, front rotors, a/c (repeatedly and expensively), water pump, alternator, starter, one rear window motor (not fixed), front struts, c-v joint boots, rear brake rotors, both rear door lock actuators, intermittent wipers(again), engine mounts, and the kicker - a failed tranny at 93K miles.
I held on to 135K miles, way longer than I should have, in hindsight. Sold for $1800 last summer.
Are they better today? Don't think so -- look at all the horror stories in this thread alone.
#380 of 3012 Update to #368 (97 Taurus)
Jul 27, 2001 (8:07 pm)
Washer fluid switch (or motor) just failed completely.
After enduring an annoying popping sound when turning slowly, I examined driver's front wheel well and discovered ALL of the front retaining screws on the stupid driver's side "rocker panel" have disappeared, and the panel is flopping around loose, scraping the lower body. Ridiculous.
I shouldn't have to spend my Saturdays working on a 4-year old car with only 56,000 miles. My 79 F 100 is less trouble than this thing!!!
#381 of 3012 93 Taurus Coolant Leak, Temperature Gauge Question
Aug 07, 2001 (8:46 pm)
Hello. I've read the horror stories of the 3.8L Taurus engine.
Mine is a 93 3.8L with 81K miles. I am the second owner (bought it with 23K on it). So far no major engine/tranny problems; oil/filter change every 3K, tranny fluid/filter every 30K. By the posts I've been reading it seems like I might be on borrowed time.
1. I now have a small coolant leak at the timing chain case. Right now (according to the tech), it appears to be an external leak only. Very small leak (add a bit of coolant every couple months). My question...should I be concerned, given the nature of this engine?
2. Temp Gauge Question. When driving in stop/go traffic, the engine heats up enough for the fan to run. It comes on when the temp gauge is at about the "A" in "NORMAL" and the fan runs until the gauge is down to between the R and the M. On the highway it typically runs between the O and the R. Is this amount of fluctuation common? The car has never overheated, but wanted to know if other 3.8L owners experience a similar range. Given the problems with this engine, would a thermostat opening at lower temperature make sense?
#382 of 3012 stop & go
Aug 08, 2001 (11:07 am)
It is normal for the temperature to run hotter in stop and go traffic and the fan turning on under the hotter conditions is also normal. The fan is just responding to the heat in the coolant.
Don't change the thermostat. It will only trick the computer into thinking the engine hasn't warmed up.
Aug 08, 2001 (7:57 pm)
I had a 91 Sable with the same engine. I also had that leak at around 125k. I don't remember what had to be replaced. I think it was some kind of seal. IIRC, it cost around $300. At around 160k the water pump siezed, but I didn't experience any overheating. We traded the car in for a Lincoln LS with 175k on it. It still ran very well but I was concerned about the impending smog check and our tighter restrictions. My mechanic told me that as long as the engine didn't overheat, the 3.8 was a good motor. Conversly, if it does/did overheat (well into the red and the light coming on), dump it as soon as you can! IIRC the head gasket is around a $1200 repair. They might as well do some preventative things while the motor is opened up anyway. Change the coolant every couple of years and do the maintenance and you should get good service from that motor.
Aug 09, 2001 (8:01 am)
Does anybody know how much torgue I should apply to lug nuts on my 16" stock alloys.(2000 SE)
Aug 16, 2001 (1:17 pm)
While not dening legitimate problems, why are the Taurs vehicles consistently in the top 5 sellers? (barring of course the round rear window fiasco) In July of this year they were #3, behind the Toyota Camary, and Honda Civic. I find the new ones to be practical, comfortable, and stylish.
My Dad has had 2 and absolutely loves them.
Aug 18, 2001 (8:10 am)
They sell because they are a good value, especially used. The 3.8 engine hurt the quality reputation a lot.
I have a 97 with 62k and love it. No problems.
You get a lot of bitching on these boards - some of it is legit - some of it is BS.
#387 of 3012 Good news?
Aug 19, 2001 (9:46 pm)
It would be nice to hear some success stories once in a while. Has anyone got well over 100k miles without significant problems?