Rating:
AVERAGE (1998-99); NOT RECOMMENDED (1986-97)
See also: Detailed specs and ratings

Any model of the Sable or Taurus has a prolonged powertrain warranty as a prerequisite. The model with the less powertrain warranty is the Super High Output (SHO) one. But, it still has all the other faults and issues found in both the Sable and Taurus.

Some of the major reasons for the decreasing rating of these vehicles are engine head gasket failure, transmission glitches (commonly in the first two) and the paint/rust ones. That is why an extended warranty is required for 1986 to 1998 models of the Sable and Taurus. To be honest, I am pissed off at the level of quality control provided by Ford for the last ten years. Recent car guides state that their quality has improved over the last half-decade, but that contradicts the text in Ford’s service memos.

In the past, I only recommended Ford vehicles because Chrysler and GM cars had more widespread and serious defects. Another thing is that Ford also had goodwill programs that helped owners get compensation for powertrain failures outside of the vehicle’s warranty. Well, for the last few years, they have stopped providing such warranties. I even had a meeting with the executives at Ford in March of 1999 to restart their goodwill program.

Maintenance And Repair Costs: The Costs Are Higher Than Usual

Parts: Average cost within the expectance range (they can be bought cheaper from third party sources). They are also relatively easy to find, with an exception for SHO’s Yamaha engine. Well, that is faultless, so I don’t see how that is a problem.

Strengths And Weaknesses:

These four-cylinder family vehicles don’t have that engine power and pickup. Still, they are excellent family vehicles that have an open interior, are easy to handle and are as safe as family cars can get.

To get the ultimate performing engine with transmission for all conditions, the best option to go for is the 3.8L V6 with a 4-speed on the sedan. Along with that goes the Yamaha manual gearbox, which has an excellent performing SHO.

But there are two drawbacks to this arrangement: automatic transmission fails rather quickly in the 1992 to 1999 models, and the shifting is also slow. So, if you need to take the vehicle out of a snowbank or enter a busy highway, it gets a bit dangerous. The overall slow to respond transmission when shifting from overdrive while driving up hills.

Another problem related to the 3.0L engine has a slow acceleration and also suffers from head gasket failure from time to time. If that does happen, you can submit a claim as if it is the 3.8L. Ford will settle on that claim.

In later years, the 3.8L V6 dominated most of the vehicles. It offers better fuel efficiency and also has decent performance when driving on the highway. But what it lacks is the reliability that was present in its 3.0L cousin. There were several cases in which the engine’s head gasket failed on its users after around three years of usage. Thanks to Ford’s goodwill warranty, which lasts for seven years or 160000 km, this repair can be done without additional costs.

SHO

The Taurus SHO sedan was introduced in1989. Under the hood, it had a 24-valve 3.0L V6 engine which was capable of producing 220 horsepower. Yamaha manufactured it. It had a hard and performance-focused suspension combined with a 5-speed manual transmission. In 1993, the brand also introduced a 4-speed automatic transmission variant.

Around the mid of 1996, the SHO underwent a redesign with a 32-valve v8 engine. It dropped the manual transmission, which got many performances focused enthusiasts upset. The SHO delivers excellent performance and has a better build quality than the Sable and Taurus’s basic variants. The early models of the SHO did not have powertrain problems because the engine used was Yamaha’s, and the gearbox was also manual.

Is The SHO A Good Buy?

Well, if you are willing to spend a whole lot to gain performance, then the answer is yes, the SHO is a great buy to settle down your performance needs. It does not only have impressive performance but also holds up its value well. One thing is that these cars are very hard to find. Ford sells only 10000 units every year. And only 3% of Taurus buyers opt for the SHO variant.

The vehicle is expensive, and if any problems do arise, then getting it repaired will be a hassle if Ford decides to stop producing it. However, this car’s price will most probably stay stable, but there is a chance that it will drop. The reason for that is the vehicle is quite expensive, and Ford has been losing popularity due to them not having proper quality control.

Reliability In Steep Decline

Since the start of 1986, Sables and Tauruses have been subject to multiple problems. The Lincoln Continental joined them in 1991. Some of the problems were so severe that there were recalls to fix these issues. There were also exposures of their secret warranties. They have been called unsafe, unreliable and costly to maintain and repair. The main problems were in these categories: powertrain (engine and transmission), brakes, fuel, air conditioning system, suspension and steering parts, and finally, the body.

Automatic Transmission Failure

Since 1991, one of the most common problems with Ford vehicles is their automatic transmission failure. They are plagued with various problems, such as slow shifting. It makes it difficult to take the car out of a snowbank or enter a busy road. The reason for this issue is the cracked aluminum forward clutch piston. But, that is one of the many reasons. They are all hardware and software related. Owners start to see issues after three years of usage, around the 100000 km mark. The repair can cost an upward of $2000 if done from a dealer, and half of that if done from a third-party garage.

In 1991, when Ford decided to alter their automatic transmission system to make it easier to shift, it tanked its reliability. The same issue was found in the A604 by Chrysler. The yearly member survey by Consumer Reports estimates that roughly 20% of Tauruses, Sables and Continentals had a transmission failure four times more than the average of all other vehicles of the same year range.

That is why Ford decided to prolong the warranty on these systems by six years using their Owner Notification Program. It has been too much time for a full refund for these cars’ 1991 and 1992 models, but the later versions should still be eligible for half or full compensations.

Why do we don’t let Ford go? They knew about these issues since 1986, according to their service memos, and they still opted to use cheaper aluminum forward clutch pistons for their vehicles which were responsible for these failing transmissions for over ten years.

Let’s take a deeper dive into these memos, and you may also use them as arguing points if you choose to file a court case. (These bulletins are present in Lemon-Aid)

DETROIT, WE HAVE A PROBLEM (1986-95)

3.8L Engine Failures

Another reason for the powertrain failure on the 3.8L engine is the failure of its head gasket.

Common symptoms of this problem are engine overheating, reduced performance and a thin layer on the windshield, which reduces visibility. The repair can cost an upward of $700 and can touch as high as $1000, all depending on the subsequent damage due to overheating. If it is not repaired in time, then the engine may get fried and then getting it fixed may cost around $3000-$4000.

There have been hundreds of reports of these failures after around three years of usage or 60000 km of use. Ford’s goodwill warranty does cover such repairs for up to seven years after purchase for the Taurus, Sable and Windstar, but most owners don’t even know that this warranty exists.

Paint Delamination / Rusting

For the last ten years, there have been many issues and complaints of the manufacturer’s vehicles’ paint peeling and rusting very quickly. One owner of a Sable had this issue in the first year of his ownership. But Ford did repaint it at their own expense. Unluckily, the problem returned. The vehicle owner had to say:

“…I have recently noticed continued paint defects causing the car to rust prematurely, specifically under the front edge of the hood…I maintain that the sealer and paint were improperly applied when the car was manufactured and that this is a defect that the Ford Motor Company should correct…”

This Lemon-Ad reader is correct. This is why Ford has had to face many lawsuits and court cases, including class action ones. It is settling the cases in claim courts, but the class actions suits are still to be faced.

The paint problems go way back to 1983, according to Ford’s DSB 93-8-4.

Ford’s Warranty Performance

In the December of 1998, I gave Bobbie Gaunt; the president of Ford Canada, an advice that the company was handling their buyer’s complaints and suggestions in a manner that they thought was unsatisfactory. I also asked him to schedule a meeting to discuss the extension of the powertrain warranty with the officials and improve how they handled customer claims.

After this discussion in January 1999, Ford settled over 100 claims by paying owners with engine and transmission issues. These were the people that read the Lemon-Aid and had complained about this issue, going back to 1993 models.

Over a couple of months, the brand, unfortunately, started losing the claims staffs, which led to me receiving more complaints which said that the company’s case by case approach was a way for them to go back on their deal to fix the engines of the appellants.

So, I had to write a follow-up letter to Bobbie Gaunt on the 9th of February 2000, asking that a proper and formal program be established to reimburse claimants full refunds if their vehicle was under the seven-year/160000 km warranty.

I presented the argument that the program would not have to go through the pain of talking and negotiating with inexperienced claim personnel, which had triggered many Ford owners in history (they used an independent call centre). Two weeks later, to my surprise, Ford announced their extended warranty programs, which was better than even my demands to reimburse Taurus, Sable, Windstar, and Continental owners with engine issues.

So, now the question arises, what about the 1993 vehicles with the head gasket failures? Or the 1993-97 ones too? And what about the transmission issues affecting many of the front-drive vehicles introduced by Ford? This was brought to their attention by yet another meeting with their officials on the 27th of March 2000.

At the end of the meeting, the decision was that Ford did agree to compensate the owners, but on a claim by claim basis. That would be the case until they set up another program for these people later that same year. I did not hide my disappointment that this approach had poor reception in the past. But Ford promised that this time they would do better. The reason for that assurance is that they now owned half of the call centre.

The personnel handling the claims would be people Ford’s staff itself as they would be receiving additional benefits and increased salaries. Feedback shows that Ford is currently handing over 50% refunds on the 1993 models with the head gasket issues, given that they had travelled less than 160000 km. A similar offer was also given to the later models with transmission issues.

I have my suspicions that the refunds to the owners with transmission issues are a provisional arrangement, just like in the head gasket case. A proper program will be introduced within the guidelines of the Owner Notification Program. I expect Ford to provide up to 100% refunds or provide the owners with purchase certificates as they did with the engine claimants. Ford also reminded me that these engine gasket problems would be refunded for 1996-97 vehicles under another seven-year/160000km extended warranty, announced in January 2000.

I am satisfied with the way Ford handled all these issues and will be waiting for the announcement of the extended warranty program. There has also been a great improvement in how the brand handles customer complaints and the fact that more claimants are getting cheques than ever before. Would this upward trend continue? It can now that Ford has established a new call centre and also properly introduced their after-warranty support program. But, if the company does go back into their old habits, I would recommend Ford owners to go directly to court, with the assistance of Lemon-Aid’s guidelines.

In the meantime, I will be keeping a special eye on Ford’s customer interaction and update accordingly in the next edition of Lemon-Aid. Canadians who want help and assistance should contact Ford’s toll-free number, 1-800-565-3673 (FORD). People residing in the USA can contact the number provided in the user’s manual. I have been reassured that the claims will be reviewed thoroughly and fairly. I hope this will be the case; however, keep in mind what one Ford customer assistance whistleblower informed me recently:

“… THE ONLY THING THAT GETS OUR ATTENTION IS IF A SMALL CLAIMS LAWSUIT IS THREATENED OR HAS BEEN FILED. These are kicked upstairs to Legal Affairs and are settled right away…”

Other Problems

The 4-cylinder engine is one of those engines which cannot be fixed no matter how many repairs it undergoes. It is slow and noisy but has a history of stalling, and it also consumes more fuel than the V6 variant. The most notable problem of the 2.0L 6-cylinder engine is the engine head bolt’s failure and the piston scuffing too. It can be identified with the vehicle hard starting; stalling, unusual engine sounds and reduced fuel efficiency. The cooler lines for the transmission start leaking, leading to repairs or even full replacement of the transmission. Let’s see the advice given to this owner of a 1993 Taurus:

Some other things a person can look out for: blown heater hoses, faulty fuel gauge sending error codes, brakes that become faulty again and again; they produce a lot of sounds, wear out rather quickly and require much more effort to be applied. The master cylinders need to be replaced after 100000kms of driving.

Although a redesign was introduced in 1992, the quality was pretty much the same. Noticeable differences were seen in the 1996 redesigns. Those models were focused on fixing some of the major issues of the previous ones. Although there are fewer complaints about the newer models, people suspect that is due to low mileage. The 1988-95 models continue to have faulty ignition modules, oxygen sensors and even fuel pumps. These problems cause uneven drives, stalling, hard starting and short circuits in the electrical system.

Some of the other problem areas are biodegradable tie-rods, ball joints, coil springs and motor mounts. The list does not end there. A slow to downshift automatic transmission system, jerky performance and air conditioners that fail rather quickly, whose repair can cost an upward of $1000.

The heaters also become defective; they warm up very slowly. A heater core is also very expensive to replace.

The rack and pinion steering assemblies also wear out very quickly. They also produce a lot of sounds. Components that run on electricity, such as wipers, fuel pumps, defroster on the backside, create interference for the radio to work properly. The automatic antenna starts to stick, the windows stop working due to a short circuit, and the doors fail. Even the electronic readings on the dashboard start giving inaccurate readings.

Buyers have also informed that short circuits which light up the check engine light are misdiagnosed very frequently. Due to this improper diagnosis, people have to pay for unnecessary repairs for parts such as the alternator, the battery or the voltage regulator, combined with not required tunings.

In low-temperature conditions, the speedometer is unstable and often unreliable. Body/trim pieces on all vehicles are brittle (did anyone mention door handles?). Also, with the mudguard, paint adherence is especially low on plastic parts, weld joints, and the underside. Owners also complain that water leaks through the trunk via the taillight assembly. The 1986-95 models make an obnoxious sloshing sound of the fuel while braking and accelerating.

The models introduced in 1996-1998 had a full makeover, with a more rounded styling as many people supported the design as the ones who disliked it. The engine was also upgraded, with new electronic controls for the LX variant and a brand-new dash panel. The handling was better, the overall ride quality was improved, and the soundproofing was also applied in a much better way.

There were refinements in the transmission sector from the 1997 models, but the reliability is still the same.

Even with all the changes and improvements, owners still informed about safety (see “Safety summary/Recalls”) and other performance-related problems. The main concerns were that the old engines were still noisy, slow and had the hard-starting issue; the automatic transmission had erratic shifting sometimes, and sometimes not at all. The engine gaskets still became faulty, the front end failed with the outer tie-rods, the ball joints and the stabilizer bar links were still failing. All in all, the problems caused rattling, buzzing, and there were a lot of moans and creaks. The plastic of the centre console and the dashboard snapped a lot, especially after being in the sun for some time.

The 1988-95 models had a new redesign with a more rounded theme that was as much hated as it was loved. The 96 model has a new Duratec 3.0L V6 engine and new electronic controls for the LX variant, accompanied by an oval dash panel. The ride quality and handling were also improved, along with better soundproofing. Starting with the 1997 models, some transmission improvements were also made. Owners still complained that the variant without the Duratec engine was noisy, slow and erratic transmission shifting, along with a stiff ride due to the suspension.

Dealer Service Bulletins:

1993-

  • Poor-performing air conditioning due to a slipping clutch at high temperatures
  • Roaring AC FX-15 compressor
  • Fuel smell in the passenger compartment
  • Sounds from the power steering
  • Frozen door locks
  • Squeaks, creaks from the door, including air noise from the front door windows
  • No start or unusually long cranking
  • Engine light that turns on and off without any reason

1994-

  • A malfunctioning assembly of the engine arm may cause all the excessive sounds
  • High fuel consumption along with rough at idle
  • Faulty fuel pumps may cause interference in the radio
  • Malfunctioning rear windows defrosters
  • Cold engine lockout switch and hose assembly causing inadequate air conditioning. 1995- hesitation, no start, reduced power, stalling and no crank due to corrosion
  • Slow transmission response, hard shifting, no shifting for 3rd and 4th gears, erratic shifting, forward/reverse gear faulty and clicking of the transaxle while reversing
  • Improper ac cooling or too much end gap in the clutch; the ac compressor produces too much sounds, such as moans, creaks and chirps, when the blower motor is working at low speeds
  • The buzz from the fuel pump heard through the speaker for the radio
  • Wrong temperature gauge
  • No crank due to solenoid corrosion (present in many models)
  • Brake very rough when applied, along with thumping noises when used
  • The inner edge of the rear tires wear very quickly
  • Sounds of the fuel in the tank, 1996- does not start or stalls
  • Vehicle stalls or starts very hard after 1 to 4 hours of soaking
  • Engine hesitates
  • Erratic shifting with the automatic transmission
  • Transmission has clicking noise while reversing
  • Noises from the transaxle driveline
  • Case breaks at the rear planet support
  • Insufficient assist from the power steering
  • Correction of the door hinge
  • Film or fog on the windshield
  • Emanating odors
  • Dead battery examination
  • Noise from the blower motor
  • Clunk noise while braking and accelerating
  • A-pillar having sounds due to wind at high speeds
  • Creaking from the a-pillar
  • Creaking of the front suspension
  • Long crank, hard starting
  • The sag of the rear headliner
  • Faulty door handles
  • High rpm at the idle, erratic engagement of the transmission
  • Loose muffler heat shields
  • Clicking noise while reversing
  • Static in the am
  • Stalling in warm weather
  • Front end producing sounds such as thumping
  • Fixing driveline sounds
  • Leakage of water in the passenger compartment floor
  • Loud noise due to wind. 1997- the erratic shifting of the automatic transmission
  • Dead battery
  • Clunk while accelerating and breaking
  • Clunk noise from the front suspension
  • Creaking from the a-pillar
  • The fead belt may slip when exposing to moisture or water. This reduced steering power assist
  • Hunk noise from the steering wheel
  • Loose heat shields
  • Static from the arm band
  • Stalling while using the automatic transmission
  • Water leaks on to the floor area on the passenger side

Safety Summary / Recalls

NHTSA Probes:

1993-

  • Front coil springs will fail and cause the suspension to stop working. 1995-windows shattering suddenly without any reasons
  • Air conditioningmal functioning
  • Malfunctioning headlights. Fuel pumps failures in 1995-96
  • ABS system failures
  • The airbag does not deploy or is deployed without any reason
  • The transmission shifts from park automatically
  • Rapid acceleration
  • Stalling
  • The engine compartment catches fire
  • Door locks that become defective. 1996-Cruise control would not work when getting off a hill
  • Faulty power steering
  • The transmission becomes erratic
  • The left front wheel of the vehicle can come loose

h-3: Transport Canada Probes:

  • Investigators check out the reasons for unexpected steering failures and why the assembly corrodes prematurely on the 1986 to 1992 models. They will also investigate the steering lock up issue due to a faulty turn signal lever on the 88 and 89 models.
  • Users have reported failing airbag sensors around 80000 miles. The repair costs around $200. The DLR module also fails after two years of usage, but it is replaced with no additional cost.
  • Rear visibility becomes restricted.
  • People who sit on the rear-facing third seat can get out easily; the door has to be opened from the outside first.
  • The torque-arm bushing eyelet hole is subject to major corrosion.
  • There were three reports of the front coil assembly breaking suddenly. Some reports also stated the failure of the motor mounts and tie rods.

Recalls:

1986-

  • The ignition key could be removed even when the switch wasn’t locked
  • The cooling fan motor resistor may cause the air conditioner to stop working
  • A wrongly routed battery wire may lead to leakage from the radiator ahead of time in the 1986 models
  • Improperly tempered tight quarter tinted window

1986-1987 Wagons

  • Rear windows may shatter easily

1986-1987

  • Malfunctioning spring-lock fuel line coupling may cause a fire hazard

1986-1991

  • Due to corrosion, the front brake rotors may break

1986-1992 Wagons

  • The rear storage area is dangerous for children because it is openable only from the outside. The slam down latch mechanism should be disabled using a screwdriver until a dealer gets and installs a replacement mechanism. The 1986-93 vehicles may have the body mounts detached at the rear edges of the subframe.
    This problem may complicate the steering process. The mounts will be examined, and if needed, then a reinforcement plate will be installed alongside new bolts. For the 1987 variant, the lower steering shaft may be different. A faulty rear spindle assembly could break off, which may cause the vehicle to lose control.

1988:

  • The air conditioner compressor shaft seal is problematic

1988 3.8L:

  • The pulley for the power steering pump may fail, which may cause loss of vehicular control and other accessories

1988-1989:

  • A power seat switch could which has been misrouted could cause an electrical fire. For the 1988 to 1990 models, the engine mount’s failure could lead to unexpected surges, a jammed throttle or malfunctioning of the power steering hose.

1989-90:

  • The seatbelt buckles may not hook properly

1991-95:

  • The cable for the cruise control and throttle control is defective

1992:

  • The inner tie-rod may fall suddenly. This incident happened with the son of a Vancouver owner with a 92 Taurus. He states that:
    “…The right inner tie-rod, a piece of the suspension critical to the steering and the safety of my 1992 Taurus, broke while my father was attempting to make a right turn from a stop sign. The car lost all steering control, and the front wheels were seized.
    Fortunately, the car was barely moving, and no collision occurred…I can tolerate a radio or AC failure on a “medium-aged” car, but critical safety components should have a longer service life designed into them. I hope you can inform all Taurus/Sable owners of the inherent dangers lurking in their steering system. And for those cars still under warranty, specify that the part is thoroughly inspected by first removing the rubber protecting boot.”

1992 Wagon:

  • Children may get themselves locked in the storage area or the good foot region.
  • While the car is moving, the liftgate can open. The 1992-95 models of the vehicle may have the cooling fans freeze, which may overheat the motor. This may cause an electrical fire due to wire damage. This problem exists on the 3.0L and the 3.8L variants of the engine.
  • The throttle may get jammed and may not return to the idle position. This can happen if water enters and freezes in the cable area (3.8L engines only). For the 1993 version, the ABS rear-drive cylinder may be faulty. For 1996 one, the brake fluid indicator may malfunction.
    For the 1996 Taurus, the fuel may leak due to a malfunctioning regulator. 1996-97 Taurus and Sable-the transmission may not engage at all, and the PRNDL may give the wrong reading.
  • A faulty fuel rail may deliver fuel at a higher than recommended psi which may cause stalling while accelerating or decelerating.
  • The leakage of the transmission fluid may cause a fire.

1996 SHO

  • A malfunctioning fuel regulator can cause a fire

Secret Warranties / Service Tips

1986-89

  • After the third year, there is a lot of rust on the door handles and tailgate along the bottom horizontal windowsill. Ford will consider them, but on a case by case basis. They will also pay some of the amounts to get it fixed.
  • A rattle in the glove compartment can require rerouting the AC vacuum hoses. Attach a new ignition switch wire harness if the accessories constantly cut off.

1986-90

  • A loose heat shield catalyst may be causing a buzz or rattle in the exhaust system. 1986-1994– Installing an upgraded blower motor with increased brush-to-commutator friction will stop the squeaks and chirps from the blower motor.
  • A loose rear tension strut can trigger a clunk or rattle in the rear suspension when a wagon goes over a bump.
  • Installing an electronic noise RFI filter will eliminate the speaker’s whining or buzz generated by the fuel pump. 1986-98– Forward/Reverse issues may be caused due to a cracked forward clutch piston. Install the improved clutch piston as directed in Ford’s bulletin and request that the automaker pay the expense because their bulletin agrees that the aluminum piston is vulnerable to breaking (Ford revised the design on its 1996 models, but subsequent bulletins show 1996-98 models might have the same issue. It is a design defect).
  • Quicker than usual wear on the rear tires’ inner edges requires Ford’s adjustable camber package for the rear suspension.

1988-92

  • Hesitation while accelerating, rough idle, unusually long crank times and stalling may be caused by a blocked excessive intake valve, which has to be cleaned.

1989-93

  • The smell of fuel in the interior, when the AC is being used, indicates that a new auxiliary vapor tube service kit may be required, alongside relocation of the vapor tube, which is near the rear bumper.

1990-93

  • Air in the system may cause noise output from the power steering pump. The system has to be purged to fix the issue.

1991-93

  • The roaring sound of the FX-15 compressor can be fixed by replacing the rubber damped disc and the hub assembly.

1991-95

  • The sound of fuel sloshing in the fuel tank can be heard while braking or accelerating. It can be fixed with a new and upgraded fuel tank. The emissions warranty may pay for this change.

1992

  • A new EEC IV processor is required for a 3.0L engine that stalls or has a rough idle after a cold start

1992-95

  • Starting failure may be caused due to corrosion of the solenoid

1993

  • Front coil springs that crack or fracture due to extreme corrosion can be replaced free of charge before the end of 2001 (see “Safety Summary/Recalls”). 1993-1994—A non-working AC blower is most likely due to a defective cold engine lockout switch and hose assembly.
  • Stalling or hard starts in high ambient temperatures or heights caused by fuel tank contamination, which causes fuel pump damage. Under their Service Program 94B48, Ford paid for a fuel tank flush, a new fuel pump/sender, and an in-line fuel filter until May 31, 1997.

1993-97

  • if the FEAD belt slips when wet, then it may cause the steering assist on the power steering to be reduced. The brand suggests that the belt be replaced.

1994-95

  • A thumping or clanking noise from the front brakes means that the front disc brake rotors need to be serviced. 1994-1998- No fourth gear may indicate the need for a new forward clutch control valve retaining clip.
  • In malfunctioning automatic transmissions, the culprit is the forward clutch piston (see above). 1994-1999–Service hints for minimizing wind noise on the doors. A faulty fuel pump may trigger 1995-98No; replace it before removing the other components. 1995-1999– Driving Tips to reduce windshield water leaks and reduce noise, vibration, and harshness. 1996-97—clunking while speeding or breaking may be due to the lower subframe isolators allowing movement.
  • Clunking sound from the front suspension may be an indication that the sway bar is wearing prematurely.
  • Erratic Shifting of the first two gears may be due to a faulty electronic pressure control unit or the main control valves sticking in the valve’s body. 1196-98—some tips to troubleshoot the torque converter clutch, which won’t engage. Hard starts and long cranks may be due to the wrong calibration in the PCM, faulty IAC or fuel pump.
  • To eliminate moan from the steering, install a service kit
  • The exhaust pipe flex coupling can be replaced to fix the rattle while accelerating
  • Lubrication of the weatherstrip with a new motor will fix the stuck power windows
  • Due to insufficient sealing of the air filter, water may be leaking in the passenger floor area. 196-99—if the vehicle does not start, has a long crank time or has a dead battery, this may be due to water entering the ABS module connector.

1997

  • Stalling of the 3.0L engine while trying to shift indicates that the programming of the PCM needs to be renewed.

1997-98

  • The air door actuator replacement may fix the lack of temperature control of the AC.