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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hello. i just bought a 2001 ford taurus se with 78k miles from a private seller. he says no maintenance has been done to the car other than a power steering fluid flush and regular oil changes. car drives straight, shifts smooth, clean motor, no head gasket leaks, no coolant leaks and no transmission leaks (except for a minor intake manifold leak), and no rattling or abnormal sounds of any kind. motor idles perfect and runs through rpm guage without any hiccups.

the only problem im having with the car is the shift lever. it's quite finicky and very difficult to shift out of "park", unless i MASH on the brake pedal with a tremendous amount of force.

i dont think it can be a problem with the tranny, since it shifts very smoothly while driving. i could be wrong.

could it be a problem with the brake sensors? should the brake fluids be bled and pads replaced? i have no clue as this is my first ford. anyone else encounter this type of problem? if so, what is the fix for it?

thanks for helping out a ford taurus noob :)
 

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Pay attention to the brake lights as you mash on the pedal - if the brake lights aren't going on when you hit the pedal then it's time to replace the brake light switch (aka the boo switch). If the lights don't go on then the gear lever won't unlock.
 

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You are supposed to check your break lights functionality periodically, not only once a year, at technical inspection. Or when the shifter doesn't work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Pay attention to the brake lights as you mash on the pedal - if the brake lights aren't going on when you hit the pedal then it's time to replace the brake light switch (aka the boo switch). If the lights don't go on then the gear lever won't unlock.
thanks for the advice. bought a brake light switch sensor from autozone for $14. replaced it and gearshift lever is as smooth as butter :) quick and cheap fix.

like i said, i just purchased this taurus (used) with 78k miles last week. did some more research about the brake light switch, and it turns out it was a recalled part by ford for the 2001 taurus models. im very happy with this taurus (my first) so far. bought it for $2,800 with no leaks and drives very smoothly. plugs are still look good and motor still runs smooth.

the previous owner recently flushed the power steering fluid and did an oil change, which is about due.

im thinking of full synthetic 5w-30 and motorcraft filter for next oil change (100 degree texas temps and city driving). good idea or no?

i'd also like to flush tranny fluid, since the previous owner couldnt recall when it was last done. what tranny fluid is recommended for extreme hot conditions here in texas?

Also, another thing. i race dirtbikes and sportbikes, and ive always used redline waterwetter + distilled water. is a car motor any different? My taurus is a daily city driver, can i use just redline WW + distilled water for the Vulcan motor to lower temps? or should i use 30% coolant + 70% water + redline ww for cooler temps?
 

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just change the trans filter and fluid. flushing can cause ill side effects. only use the fluid specified for the trans regardless of where you are. adding a trans cooler will help prolong the life of the trans.
ford oil is good. so is the oil filter. use what is printed on the oil cap. ford designed the engine with that oil in mind. ( others will tell you it doesnt matter )
do not add additives to the cooling system. premix or distilled water when mixing is all you should use. if you change out the thermostat use a motorcraft part. bulls are picky when it comes to this
 

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Full Syntethic oil is the best for your car in stop and go traffic combined with hot weather. Motorcraft makes one semi and one full synth (as premium oil) with the same parameters so even them recognize the synthetic benefits.
 
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