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Old 10-14-2003, 20:44   #1 (permalink)
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98 Taurus LX- buying tomorrow- NEED INFO

Hello. I am new here and need info on a 98' Taurus. Tomorrow I am buying a 1998 Ford Taurus LX sedan from a local dealer. I have bought several cars there before and my uncle has bought a few work trucks from them. I wanted to post here to get more info, before I bought it, but I went ahead and told him I would buy it when I had the chance to stop by. The bad news about the car is that it has a LOT of miles. It has 245,000, but
seems like it is still a good car. It has all power options, heated
mirrors, cold A/C. The problems I noticed are as follows- which seems to be common on these cars:
1. Power steering pump makes a light growl when turning at low speeds & power steering fluid is full. (I think this is common on later FWD Fords?)
2. Service engine soon light is illuminated
3. Turn signals sometimes do not work (bad switch or flasher?)
4. Brake rotors need turned/replaced, as there is a vibration in
steering wheel upon braking
5. I noticed the speedometer "jump" a couple of times during test
drive (speed sensor?), which may also be why service engine soon
light is on? When the speed sensor went out on my old 91 Accord- the service engine light illuminated and the speedometer "jumped" like this car does.

The interior is very good. Body is dent free, but it has a few
scratches and looks like it has seen a repaint. Engine is smooth
and transmission shifts good, but it has a slight clunk when
shifting from drive to reverse. Perhaps normal with these cars. I am not familiar with these cars. I ran a Carfax and car checks out fine and I also found out that it is a 1-owner, corporate owned car, so I guess it was well maintained and probably mostly highway miles. The car is priced @ $1350.
So- can anyone say that I am getting a great deal on this car? According to
KBB value - it is a very good price. Can anyone tell me if the
above problems are costly repairs? I will probably get the brakes repaired first. I guess it needs rotors/rotors turned. Any advice appreciated. Thanks.

TS
92 Buick Park Avenue
89 Pontiac Safari wagon
98 Ford Taurus
93 Toyota Camry (Just sold)
95 Chrysler Concorde (Just sold)

Last edited by TaurusLX; 10-17-2003 at 17:57.
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Old 10-17-2003, 17:55   #2 (permalink)
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Re: 98 Taurus LX- buying tomorrow- NEED INFO

Did everyone sell their Taurus? Not much action here.

I bought the car Wednesday evening. I noticed the battery was weak the last time I drove it. This evening when I went out to start to see if the battery was still charged- it barely cranked. It looks like the original battery- the car is 5 years old, so I guess the battery is bad. I guess I will recharge the battery and start driving it- to see if the battery stays charged. The car has sat for a few weeks, so maybe the battery was just weak. I do have a question about ABS brakes on these cars, but will post on a seperate topic.
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1998 Ford Taurus LX 4dr - FOR SALE
1990 Lexus LS400 4dr
1992 Buick Park Avenue 4dr
1989 Pontiac Safari wagon
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Old 10-17-2003, 22:31   #3 (permalink)
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Re: 98 Taurus LX- buying tomorrow- NEED INFO

well there are a few things to look at here. Before you bought the car if the CEL was on you should have asked to take it on a spin and drive by an autozone. They could have scanned your car for free and told you the codes and what would have been needed to repplace or repair.

Power steering pump sounds like it is going out.
turnsignals could be a fuse issue, switch, or even wiring. Helps to know if there are other things not working like windows or hazards or lights or interior lights as well to possibly diagnose it a tad bit further.

Brakes need turning. Check everything while in there. From suspension pieces and play in there to bushings.

The tranny is a common problem. I have writen about that before on here. Have to find the post.

Prices. Depending if you do them yourself or rely on others will vary in the costs.
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Old 10-18-2003, 19:24   #4 (permalink)
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Re: 98 Taurus LX- buying tomorrow- NEED INFO

Thanks for the reply. Great news about the power steering pump. That is what had me worried most. At least it looks like it is easy to change- since it is on the top of the engine. The fluid in the pump smells burned. Would a change of fluid help at all? About the turn signals- everything else is working fine, so I am hoping it is just the switch- at least that is what I was told by someone else with a similar problem. Today- they worked fine. I am going to have the brake rotors turned or replaced this week. About the "service engine soon" light- I am going to take it this week to AutoZone, or my repair shop and have it checked. Hopefully it will be a low cost repair. For $1350- I did not want to seem too nit-picky. The transmission- I have heard bad things about- but the transmission in my car still seems fine. I did noticed tonight that a guage cluster (temperature guage/left side of speedometer) illumination light is out. It is still legible at night, but just dimmer than the rest of the cluster. From what I have been able to tell- this is a common problem with the Taurus. My aunt had a 95 Mercury Villager and it also had a light burned out in the cluster and at the time- it was 6 years old and had 54K. I guess it is common on many later Ford Motor Comapny cars. Thanks again for the information.


Quote:
Originally Posted by LunaticSVT
well there are a few things to look at here. Before you bought the car if the CEL was on you should have asked to take it on a spin and drive by an autozone. They could have scanned your car for free and told you the codes and what would have been needed to repplace or repair.

Power steering pump sounds like it is going out.
turnsignals could be a fuse issue, switch, or even wiring. Helps to know if there are other things not working like windows or hazards or lights or interior lights as well to possibly diagnose it a tad bit further.

Brakes need turning. Check everything while in there. From suspension pieces and play in there to bushings.

The tranny is a common problem. I have writen about that before on here. Have to find the post.

Prices. Depending if you do them yourself or rely on others will vary in the costs.
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1998 Ford Taurus LX 4dr - FOR SALE
1990 Lexus LS400 4dr
1992 Buick Park Avenue 4dr
1989 Pontiac Safari wagon
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Old 10-23-2003, 20:28   #5 (permalink)
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Re: 98 Taurus LX- buying tomorrow- NEED INFO

I wish I had of had your reply about having the "service engine" light checked at AutoZone before I bought it. I never even thought of doing that. I would have found out that it indicated a problem with the transmission and the longer drive would have heated the car more and I would have noticed the problem. Oh well. Perhaps I can at least get my money back out of it. It should still be worth $1500.
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Old 10-23-2003, 21:43   #6 (permalink)
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Re: 98 Taurus LX- buying tomorrow- NEED INFO

Quote:
Originally Posted by TaurusLX
Thanks for the reply. Great news about the power steering pump. That is what had me worried most. At least it looks like it is easy to change- since it is on the top of the engine. The fluid in the pump smells burned. Would a change of fluid help at all? About the turn signals- everything else is working fine, so I am hoping it is just the switch- at least that is what I was told by someone else with a similar problem. Today- they worked fine. I am going to have the brake rotors turned or replaced this week. About the "service engine soon" light- I am going to take it this week to AutoZone, or my repair shop and have it checked. Hopefully it will be a low cost repair. For $1350- I did not want to seem too nit-picky. The transmission- I have heard bad things about- but the transmission in my car still seems fine. I did noticed tonight that a guage cluster (temperature guage/left side of speedometer) illumination light is out. It is still legible at night, but just dimmer than the rest of the cluster. From what I have been able to tell- this is a common problem with the Taurus. My aunt had a 95 Mercury Villager and it also had a light burned out in the cluster and at the time- it was 6 years old and had 54K. I guess it is common on many later Ford Motor Comapny cars. Thanks again for the information.
I would change the PS fluid definately. If you are having further difficulty then check the rear lower sub frame mount plate. The nuts on there can experience stress corrosion cracking, resulting in fracture and loss of structural integrity of sub frame mount attachment. If both corners of sub frame drop, steering will become a bit difficult.

Turn signals.....so the hazards are fine? If not look at the hazzard button. Make sure that it is not stuck or is sticking. If it is then put some lubricant on it. If that does not resolve then look at the flasher unit itself.

if flashers are working then I would look at the stalk itself.

The dash lights can be replaced. Not an easy job, but you can do it yourself.
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Old 12-12-2003, 21:04   #7 (permalink)
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Re: 98 Taurus LX- buying tomorrow- NEED INFO

To update- the transmission is about out on this car. After it warms up- it begins to shift abrupty. Shop said it could be a cheap repair, but they need to pull the pan to be sure. I have had it advertised for sale, but with no luck. I had priced locally at $1350. which is much less than I have in it, but only a few folks interested in it.
Also- it developed another problem. I while back it was low on anti-freeze, so I added some in the pan. The next day- the battery was dead, so I boosted it and let it run for a while to recharge the battery. I noticed after a while- anti-freeze leaking out of the pan. I do not think it is coming out of the cap, but rather the top flat part of the cover. I guess I will have to fix this, then finally get rid of it once and for all.
I was at least offered $2500. trade-in value for it on a 1998 Toyota Camry, but I decided to pass. Thanks again for all of the help.

**Also, the turn signals NEVER gave another problem. Just that first day they acted strange. After that- they have been fine. However, while on "delay" the wipers want to go on steady low speed at times and sometimes the "heat" blows cold air, then warm air. Perhaps that was the fault of the low anti-freeze. I have not driven it since I have added anti-freeze, since the pan cover was leaking.
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1998 Ford Taurus LX 4dr - FOR SALE
1990 Lexus LS400 4dr
1992 Buick Park Avenue 4dr
1989 Pontiac Safari wagon

Last edited by TaurusLX; 12-12-2003 at 21:07.
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