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Old 12-09-2012, 12:24 AM   #1 (permalink)
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so i am still car hunting the taurus is perfect for me but i am really worried about the transmission. are they really that bad? are there years to prefer over others ill be spending about 3500-4000. what do you guys think? thanks.
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Old 12-09-2012, 12:43 AM   #2 (permalink)
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so i am still car hunting the taurus is perfect for me but i am really worried about the transmission. are they really that bad? are there years to prefer over others ill be spending about 3500-4000. what do you guys think? thanks.
Yes the Taurus seems to have a higher than normal trans failure rate, but I think if you keep up on such things as maintenance (I just change fluid and filter when ever the fluid starts to either darken or smell bad, usually every 20-30K mi), add an inline magnetic filter, and upgrade the cooler then you should be good to go. I've done all of these things and I'm still running on an original '86 AXOD at over 160,000 mi. But if you're prepared to spend that kind of money on a used Taurus then I would obviously go for the lowest mileage one I could find, then do all the things I mentioned.
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Old 12-09-2012, 12:48 AM   #3 (permalink)
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No, they're not. People just expect a machine to be self-repairing and drive them until they break, then bitch and moan about how crappy the car is.

My 99 just rolled over 120,000 miles and it shifts so smooth you can't even feel it.

As mentioned before, add an inline cooler, keep up with the fluid changes and don't romp on it like it's a dragster.
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Old 12-09-2012, 01:05 AM   #4 (permalink)
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My 99 car is showing early signs of transmission problems. At 70,000 miles a slight whine coming from the front end is audible at very low speed on parking lots (it goes away with car in neutral). At about 75,000 miles I changed ATF with a third party Mercon V (I mixed NAPA M-V and Castrol instead usual of Motorcraft) and saw frequent 1-2 gear change slips. This went away after I added a bottle of Lubegard Platinum ATF additive. There is some kind of shudder/jerk in the drivetrain if the car has been cruising at +72mph longer than 1hour (this is with a cooler installed). The way I see it, either the transmission is so weak that it's extremely sensitive to changing to a fluid it wasn't used to, or perhaps the fluid is fine and the transmission is deteriorating. Either way no good. I am going back to Motorcraft Mercon V on my next ATF change to see if that helps.
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Old 12-09-2012, 05:12 AM   #5 (permalink)
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fct,,, agreed. these trans. seem to be extremely sensitive to the fluid. however, i feel IF the fluids are maintained, AND no one is trying to burn the tires off it. they will last. my sister had a wagon that went over 320,000 miles (with NO trans problem) until we lost track of it. BUT, MY 1995 needed to be replaced at 86K, when i bought it (maintenance unknown) so i swapped it out with a used one (maintenance unknown) and didn't change the fluid (i was about to) til 40,000 miles later, i am now having (bigger) problems.
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Old 12-09-2012, 06:23 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Prismatic View Post
No, they're not. People just expect a machine to be self-repairing and drive them until they break, then bitch and moan about how crappy the car is.

My 99 just rolled over 120,000 miles and it shifts so smooth you can't even feel it.

As mentioned before, add an inline cooler, keep up with the fluid changes and don't romp on it like it's a dragster.
"Shifts so smooth you can't even feel it" Uh oh.... Get ready....LOL Just joking. My 99 went out at about 140K. The problem with Taurus cars is they are the most affordable used car on the market. You can get a lot of value for the money if you chose wisely and get one that has been taken care of. Consumer reports said the 99 was one of the worst years for Taurus. I have had a lot of problems with mine but I don't know why I still like it.
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Old 12-09-2012, 08:42 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Not to hijack the thread and change it into a debate on what tranny fluid to use, but last year a friend and I performed a Tranny flush and fluid/ filter change by following the threads in the topic finder. We used Valvoline MaxLife as the fluid and I 100% swear by it. Shifting is way smoother and overall, I am very happy.

The car had over 190,000Kms on it and the fluid was very dark and had a burnt smell. I honestly believe that If i were to wait another few months, I would had some severe transmission issues.
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Old 12-09-2012, 08:44 AM   #8 (permalink)
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IMO, the Taurus trans isnt any worse (or any better) than many electronically controlled trannies in FWD cars from other manufacturers, both foreign and domestic. In general, people on internet forums complain when something has broken, but say nothing when everything works as designed for many years and many miles.
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Old 12-09-2012, 08:46 AM   #9 (permalink)
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As long as the fluid is rated/spec'd for Mercon V, changing fluid/filter helps out a lot. Depends on your driving style, mileage, etc on when to change, but every 20-30k like radioflyer said is wise.

And it's a FWD disposable car. If you drop 3K and get 5 years out of it with general maintenance, you are way ahead of the game. Impalas, Honda Accords/Civics, etc they all have trans issues. The dealers gota get you back in the showroom somehow...
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Old 12-09-2012, 09:50 AM   #10 (permalink)
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In the 6 Taurus i have had, i never had a trannie completely die. But, i baby the cars
and don't mash the gas to get up to speed. My 93 would hunt between gears under
certain conditions, but i don't think that was a trannie issue and some sort of
PCM/Sensor issue. It got junked for crashes, not the trannie. 210K.

My 97 AX4N sometimes has delayed reverse engagement, but its more a annoyance
than any kind of real issue.

I think if you drive aggressively, your trannie life is shortening accordingly. If you ever
lose TC lock-up and you keep driving it, it will be like a roast in a slow cooker and
eventually it will be done...
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