30th Jan 2007, 19:59

Sounds to me like there is something going on other than a loose gas cap. Not having it on snug enough will make the light come on, but it's usually out again by the next time you start the car having tightened it.

Put some PS fluid in and see if it's okay a few weeks down the road. You may want to call the dealership and see if they topped off all your fluids (transmission, washer, etc.), as a lot of dealerships do that before they sell a car. If they didn't, it could just mean you're low.

My mother's 2002 Taurus has also given her a lot of problems; she's had it since new and it's now at around 115k...her rear suspension is sagging quite a bit, the transmission is skippy, it won't crank sometimes, but starts up fine later, and recently when she puts the cruise control on the check engine light flashes a certain number of times indicating that there is a risk of a fire under the hood.

I want her to get rid of the car, it's been good while it's lasted, but these cars are not built to withstand high miles. She would have been much better off in an import car. My last Nissan Maxima was at 154k when I sold it and had been running strong with only minor / scheduled maintenance since 70k. Domestics cannot compare. I've owned six imports and have no real complaints as to the workmanship or reliability of those cars as compared to domestics like Ford.

2nd Feb 2007, 06:08

Last night here in Florida it was raining cats and dogs. I just bought this Taurus last week with 60,000 miles and it's a 02. I had the heat on and it keep going from warm to cold. I posted a previous message a few days ago and the check engine light has been on. I thought I might be cause of the gas cap. This is the first time it has rained since purchasing the car. Could this be caused by the rain hat problem everyone has been talking about? Also, what exactly does cam sensor synchronizer do? Maybe this is the reason for the check engine light coming on? I did get a 60 day warranty with the car so believe me it's going back to the dealer, but I would like to be a little more knowledgeable before they start giving me the run around. Any further ideas would be appreciated!

2nd Feb 2007, 14:53

We had a similar problem check with Ford and see if water has got into your fan system, because it broke mine and apparently there is a Ford Advisory out about this and there is a 300 kit to fix this issue.

9th Feb 2007, 08:48

Bought 2002 Taurus this year @50,000 miles. When on highway going 55 and want to pass - the car "kicks" or "shudders" when trying to get to 65 or 70mph. Especially if I have it in 1st (I live in very hilly area). Also had check engine light come on after driving through heavy rain, went off shortly after. Had to fill up the power steering reservoir, as it made a lot of noise especially when turning. Fine for awhile, but now 6 months later (already) it is starting to make noise again. Currently my heat went out today (-10°F this morning), coupled with a squeal on one of the belts, plus the smell of coolant coming in slightly, not to mention the temp gauge (which had never gone above the 40% mark, maxed out in the red, but came down slightly, just as I was pulling into work). Needless to say not too happy right now.

9th Feb 2007, 10:08

Ask your Ford dealer to provide a copy of the maintenance schedule. The kick or shudder sounds like you need to change your transmission fluid and have the filter replaced. My parents' '97 Mercury did something similar, with jerky shifting, and it cleared up when the fluid and filter were changed. Also, I hope you don't mean that you are driving at 65 mph in 1st gear at any time? That will ruin any car's transmission and engine.

Be careful with adding power steering fluid. I believe that Ford uses Dexron Automatic Transmission Fluid in their power steering pumps, rather than traditional power steering fluid. Again, referring to my parents' Mercury, Dad first added water thinking it was the radiator cap and drove it, and then added standard power steering fluid. It moans, but continues to work. If you can live with the sound, it will probably keep working. Otherwise, you can use a turkey baster (giant plastic syringe) to suck out most of the fluid, and then replace it with Dexron ATF. Check the manual for specific requirements. The difficulty turning is probably related to the low fluid, but it sounds like you have a loose or worn belt, so when it got wet with the rain, the belt slipped on the pulley. I'd advise that you check your belts for frayed surfaces and edges, and check the tension. Checking belts is considered routine maintenance. Also, checking the power steering reservoir is considered routine maintenance, and is something you should do every month or so. Gotta take care of the car.

The high temp reading and smell of coolant sounds like you need the cooling system flushed out. Also routine maintenance. The previous owner probably never did it, and as a result either your thermostat is corroded shut or some gunk is built up in your heater core. This also causes the heater to not work.

You should be okay, you just need to catch up on some standard maintenance that was neglected on this used car. Also be a little more gentle with it, and don't go flooring it in 1st gear up and down hills.

14th Feb 2007, 08:03

I have to same probem with my 2002 ford transmission. what did you find out with yours?

22nd Apr 2007, 18:26

Another disgusted Ford owner. Had my Taurus LX for just over two years, and it now has 80000 km. In the last six months I have spent 2400 dollars on things that should not have worn out. At 75000 km, front ball joints were replaced, then the rear struts went. Then I had a flood in the passenger side floor. This is a well maintained 2002 Taurus and is not abused. By the way, today was the first hot weather we have had this year, and guess what? The air conditioner just quit. Ford says quality is job one. Give me a break.

23rd Apr 2007, 19:38

I too have an 02 Taurus & have had problems. Bought it in 2003 & it has 93k miles. the blower motor has been replaced 4 times within 1 year & just 3 weeks ago I had the oil pan gasket & valve cover gasket replaced. After the gasket repair the car started making a sound that seemed if birds were chirping. Now the camshaft position sensor & the synchronizer need replace. What next FORD?

24th May 2007, 16:47

My wife's 2002 Taurus SE, (a very well maintained car) is approaching 80,000 miles. Overall it runs well, but I have a few concerns. It idles rough in park, and the RPMs surge from about 500-1000 if the air conditioner is on. The transmission also has a shudder around 40 mph. Has anyone else experienced any of these problems?