31st Mar 2008, 16:40

I recently purchased a 1999 Taurus and have had nothing but problems with it. First it was not starting, just clicking when I turned the key. Cleaning the connections helped that. Now it won't start again and there was a smell of burning rubber. The mechanic says I need a new water pump, but I suspect there is more to the problem. I also have trouble with the wipers going off at will, noise from the doors not sealing properly and the check engine light is on. I understand that used cars aren't going to be perfect but it has left me stranded twice now. I regret buying this car already and I have only had it for two months!

7th May 2008, 22:04

I got 1999 Sable LS with the 24 valve DOHC. Nice car, but much of the same issues as others have mentioned.

The wipers have a mind of their own occasionally. I haven't gotten to the bottom of that and doubt I ever will. From the number of people bringing it up, there is obviously a design flaw.

The speedometer occasionally would bounce around, cruise control sporadically wouldn't work and I had hard sifting. All of these symptoms were related. I brought it to Ford twice under warranty. They told me I imagined it; it turned out to be a bad speed sensor. I put it in myself when the car was off warranty. It's on the transmission and wrapped with a makeshift heat shield by Ford. Another brilliant design! Pretty tough job; thanks Ford!

ABS brake module went under warranty; a big job. Ford got this repair right.

I had the eternal dome light issue too. Brought that in under warranty, and they did the spray method. That worked until the warranty was over. Then I got a little longer out of it by doing it myself once or twice. If anyone is going to try the "spray the locks method" I would go with "control/contact cleaner lubricant" as opposed to WD40. Home Depot has it. My problem was with the rear doors; ultimately I opened the door panels and disconnected the sensor when the warranty was up. There are two wires going to the power lock; one is the sensor and one is the power lock. I think the sensor was the harder one to reach. Now the light doesn't come on when I open the rear doors and it's not alarmed, but I spared myself the reoccurance. From listening to everyone, it sounds like a design problem to me.

Went through two alternators under warranty. The design is flawed; the alternator is low and near the passenger wheel well. There is probably 14 feet of cable running off it to the power distribution box by the battery. Seems Ford installed the last one fine but this isn't rocket science. Must cars I have junked with original alternators. Counting the original, I'm on number 3 in less than 10 years.

Concerning A/C, the blend door motor (sometimes called actuator) just went for a second time. Now the blower blows hot air only. If you feel the A/C lines under the hood, they get cold but all you get is hot air from the vents in the car. Originally brought this into Ford while the warranty was in effect. Then I found out it wasn't covered under warranty; that cost me about $500. Now about 1.5 years later, I have the same problem. I'm going to try this myself this weekend. Lots of dash board work. 1.5 years? Yet another winning design.

Ford blower motors of old relied on a couple of resistors and a relay; $20 worth of dependable parts. This car is all electronic. The unit that replaced the resistors and relay went; $50 and 2.5 hours of my time. If your blower motor stops working, you most likely have the same problem.

Well I only have about 45,000 miles on it; a snazzy, comfortable car. Relatively good as I have never gotten stuck in it, but Ford's dependency on, and/or use of sub-par and poorly placed electronics is terrible. Electronics don't do well with heat. I'm an Electrical Engineer and the ones at Ford are asleep at the wheel. Ford should be ashamed of that. I told them that. I buy American but this is not my car of choice. I own a '66 T-bird and my last car, I had over 17 years and I donated it because the tranny went. It still blew cold air from the A/C. That was an '84 Cutlass Supreme. If I had to do over again, I wouldn't look at Ford nor would I consider another Sable. I take car of cars, and this one is not so great. They did well to kill it off.

11th May 2008, 12:08

Replaced the dreaded Blend door actuator. Called Motor by Ford. It was a little tricky but not too bad. The part cost $50 from Ford. You'll need a 7 and 8mm sockets with several long extensions.

1) Disconnect battery.

2) Remove ashtray. I bent away the two tabs that stop it from coming all the way out.

3) Remove Glove Box by squeezing the sides where the stops are in toward the center of the glove box. You will then see the three screws that hold the hinge in place.

4) Under the glove box area there is a plastic cover that is held in place by two plastic plugs. This part covers the heating duct work and blower motor. If you ruin the plastic plugs, they are available at most Auto Parts places.

5) Remove the radio, HVAC control unit. You do this by first creating two "U" shaped pieces out of hanger wire. You then insert one in each side of the unit. You will see two holes in the unit on each side. On each side you insert the "u" shaped wires to release the spring clips and then pull the unit straight out. The hanger wire will release the spring clips on each side that hold the unit it. I put a little right/left curve in the hanger wires to help. It's a little tricky but it will come out. Don't force it or you will bend the spring clips that hold it in place. When you reinstall it, you will see a track on the top that it slides into.

6) Now if you look into the ashtray, HVAC spaces you will actually see the Blend door actuator (motor). Unfortunately, you will only see 3 of the four screws that hold it in. There is a square box right next to it that covers the forth screw. It has multi-colored vacuum lines going into it.

7) Unscrew the box with the multi-colored vacuum lines and reposition it a little out of you way. There is a screw on your top left and right bottom. The top screw was a little tough but very doable. Now you can see all 4 of the actuator (motor) screws.

8) Replace the actuator/motor by first unscrewing it and then removing the connector. When I was underneath, I inspected the vent door and it seems to work fine. There was a little lever on it and it opened and closed it fine. It is spring loaded.

9) Start reinstalling. Hint: I put a little piece of paper on the inside of one of the socket sides to help keep screws from falling out of the socket when reinstalling.

10) Reconnect the battery and test everything before you close up. I found that while I solved my A/C issue, my A/C vent registers weren't working. Only the floor and defroster was working.

11) If this happens to you, don't panic. There was a yellow vacuum tube under there that had come disconnected.

If you get underneath the dashboard you will see a vacum motor/actuator that is all the way straight up. It is silvery/gold in color. That is where the yellow line belongs.

12) Check everything one last time. If all works, pull the battery again and button everything pack up. You can just bend the tabs back in place after you slide the ashtray back in. When you reinstall the HVAC/Radio unit, you will see a track on the top that it slides into.

Hint: I put a little piece of paper on the inside of one of the socket sides to help keep screws from falling out of the socket when reinstalling.

When I was underneath, I inspected the vent door and it seems to work fine. There was a little lever on it and it opened and closed it fine.

I paid Ford almost $500 once for this job. It is a weak spot in the design. This time it took me from 2.5 to 3 hours with few breaks.

Good luck.