8th Jan 2011, 11:42

There could be another way of thinking about safety and brake wear: I like to get an advance warning for worn brakes. Some brakes have little reeds added to the pads that will screech when the pad is worn down.

Adjusting the headlight aim is a DIY job. Adjust the height using the built in level. Adjust for the left/right aim in a parking lot during night. It helps if you can aim it at a building's wall.

Good review! Thanks.

9th Jan 2011, 13:23

Actually, I strongly suspect your mechanic took you for a ride. In the first place, unless you constantly ride your brakes, no domestic car should ever require even brake pads at only 65,000 miles. Mine virtually always go 100,000 miles or more.

Secondly, there is simply no way you would not hear a horrendous scraping noise if your pads were worn down to the metal. But even if your pads WERE worn completely down, the car would still stop just fine. Ford (and GM and Chrysler) build incredible margins of safety into all their vehicles. Brake shops love to scare people into paying for repairs they don't need, by telling you all sorts of horror stories. I am a mechanic, and I once had a Mustang that a brake pad had somehow detached and fallen out of the retainer. The car still stopped just great, but boy, you could hear the loud scraping sound a block away. In that case, only the rotor was scored, but the caliper was not damaged in any way. As I say, I think you got taken. Only a Japanese import should have that sort of brake wear that early.

10th Jan 2011, 11:21

I'm a bit skeptical of the "broken calipers" as well. Calipers are cast metal and don't just break in half. Even if the pads were worn down to rivets, there would have been the sound of bone-jarring grinding and squealing every time you stepped on the brakes, and the vibration would have come right through the brake pedal into your foot. I could possibly see needing new brake pads, but if they charged you for new calipers as well, then I would have asked to see the old parts.

11th Jan 2011, 20:37

Definitely. As a mechanic, I BEG car owners to at least learn how to do a few basic checks and inspections for themselves. I also encourage them to buy a good and inexpensive repair manual. It is a 5-minute job to pull a wheel and personally check brake pads. A little knowledge can save a LOT of money.

4th Apr 2011, 17:50


Monday, April 4, 2011.

On Friday, April 1, 2011, the Taurus went in for its 70,000 mile oil change.

The Taurus continues to impress me. It started up on the first try while sitting in a foot of snow in below-zero weather (Fahrenheit). The steering wheel cover was frozen, but the Taurus fired right up like a champ.

The Taurus's gas mileage this winter was stellar; I saw 30 MPG highway maximum and 25 highway minimum, with 20 or 21 in the city. Not bad.

The engine in the Taurus is excellent. I have gotten it past 100 MPH with no coughs, high revs or anything, and it still had power left. I won't do this again since it is immature, wasteful, and senseless, but I wanted to see if it could make it. Believe me, it made it, and if I had kept going, it would have come back for more.

Starting in the winter, the gas pedal has a "kink" in it. When the car and pedal are cold, it must be slammed to get the car to go. Once everything is warm, the kink goes away. I did notice that the gas pedal has a lot of play in it, but it doesn't affect anything right now so I'm not worried. The brake pedal has been fine through and through.

All controls are still intact and work properly. No new noises or squeaks have developed. I look forward to keeping this car a very long time.

30th May 2011, 00:16


I'm back, and this time it's NOT good news.

On April 30, I was playing a CD in the Taurus through the CD Changer. All of a sudden, the clock and radio died, saying "NO DJ." After a few restarts a few hours later, the clock showed saying 12:01, but it would not advance. I didn't take it to the dealer as everything else worked (power windows, defrost, air conditioning, heat, lights, wipers, etc).

A few days later, the Taurus stalled at some stops signs and on the highway. The Taurus never "died" per se; it would always restart itself. The gauges would all go dead (either to 0 miles per hour, 0 revolutions per minute, empty tank, cold engine) and then almost instantaneously resume their positions. So I took it to the dealer who had it for a day. They replaced the Power Control Module (PCM).

On Friday, May 13, the Taurus stalled again, less than 100 miles on the new PCM. I take it back to the dealer on May 14 and they can't find the problem (it's been at the dealer for two weeks).

The mechanics have replaced another PCM, the alternator, and numerous relays and sensors. The Taurus still stalls with no pattern; the mechanic will let it run for five minutes or three hours and it will stall. The mechanic even "rewrote" the keys for the new PCM, but had no success.

One of my neighborhood friends is a lot attendant at the dealership. He asked me how my Taurus was doing, and I told him this story. He said that it was really throwing everyone through a loophole and that there were stories about it going around the dealership. He said that a mechanic drove it 120 miles to get it to stall, and it did at the top of a hill on the interstate.

The problem is not fuel-related; there was no chugging.

Meanwhile, a mechanic from Corporate is coming to examine my car sometime later this week. I will keep you posted. The Taurus was pretty reliable before this incident. I can live without the radio and/or the clock, but having a car that stalls unpredictably is unacceptable.

One side note: the Taurus still got stellar gas mileage; estimated 27/32. I also backed it into a pole at maybe 4 miles per hour, and unless you are me, you would never know I hit it, because the low-speed bumpers did the job.

If anyone has any leads, please let me know!

28th Jun 2011, 23:41

Original reviewer again.

June 29, 2011.

The problem was the power control module. The car ate three of them before the problem was solved. The dealer put one of the faulty parts on another Taurus and that Taurus stalled out.

No further issue to report. 75,000 mile oil change went without hiccups. I plan to drive this car until at least 200,000 miles. Hopefully, this is the first car that I have that will be worth it to keep that long. As of right now, I have no worries.

29th Jun 2011, 13:26

So what was it that killed the PCM's?

3rd Jul 2011, 16:16


The dealer did not tell me what killed the PCMs. Three failed, and the fourth one worked. It had something to do with the radio, because when the first three failed, the radio didn't work. When the fourth one was good, the radio was fine.

The CD Player turned out to be a bad unit, so we disconnected it and are looking for a replacement.