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Bought the '03 Sable on Dec. 17th. On Dec. 22nd, two things began happening: the dreaded chirp and the random draggy start. The latter turned out to be the starter, which cost me $450 on my credit card to replace. As for the former, I was low on money, really low, so I kept reading threads and following links and calling around asking prices for parts and labor, trying to prepare for replacing the synchro.

Found a mechanic who was recommended by several guys, who said he'd done lots of these, and would do the job for fifty bucks. I was kind of taken aback at that, but didn't argue since I was (am) so cash strapped and worried. Made an appointment for Thursday, Jan 14 to have him replace it. Spoke to the guys at AutoZone about the part. One of them used to work at Ford, and swore that the OEM brand part they had was a reman Ford part. Total job $125. I scraped it together, especially since the morning of January 14 the chirp ceased and I had read so many warnings on what that meant. I wished I had the money to have the dealer do it but I didn't. And with the chirp stopping, after everything I'd read, I didn't think I had the luxury of any more time to wait and save, since that would likely take at least a couple of months or more.

So I got the job done on Thursday, then went to work (delivering pizza). About 3/4ths through the night I was pulling into a driveway that for about one car length is an incline before going level. I couldn't get to the level space, their own car was there, so I had to park it on that incline. As I was getting out, I smelled something. :eek: I looked up, and in the headlights I could see smoke. I freaked. Popped the hood, saw there was no fire, couldn't tell exactly where the smoke was coming from, but it smelled like burning oil. You know, like when you add oil to the car and spill some? Pretty much like that. After a couple of minutes, the smoke stopped.

The car was still running fine, and I HAD to work, so I went on with my night but in a state of nerves and worry, listening, feeling for any sign of trouble. There were none, but I remained worried sick.

Friday morning (yesterday) I checked the oil, thinking... do I have an oil leak? Nope, oil on the dipstick was in the exact same spot as before. I started the car to check the tranny fluid while I was at it, and to listen to it run. It sounded fine, there was no CEL, all *seemed* well. I shrugged and thought... well, okay, I have no idea what to think about the smoke. I spent the rest of the day doing searches both in-site and on the www but found nothing to answer my questions.

Headed out for work. Six blocks from the house, the CEL came on and the car started running rough. I was in a bad place to just leave the car so I couldn't just pull over and shut it down. I turned around and very slowly drove home and parked it, jumped in Scooby and went to work. I haven't tried to start the Sable since. I'm afraid to. I'm trying to get someone who knows what the hell they're doing to come look at it where it sits, if I can, which isn't easy. I think Rod may come look at it today. I wish I had had him do the job, but he had told me not to worry about the synchro which was in contradiction to everything I'd read, not just here but all over the www.

So, I ask you guys... what are the chances the mechanic who did the synchro left something loose that let some oil leak, and it's a minor thing to fix? What are the chances he completely screwed up and I no longer have a viable motor? What is the most likely scenario, what are any possible scenarios on this? I am completely sick at heart and at my stomach over this, and I cannot find answers on my own. I guess I just don't know enough to know what keywords to use in a search to find what I'm looking for, but the most I've found is "you could do permanent damage to your engine," which doesn't tell me a lot of detail I can understand.

Is there any hope? Am I utterly screwed without a doubt? Please, talk to me.
 

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You got screwed on the starter.

Should have paid an hour's labor plus the starter.

Mike
B)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
QUOTE (mwt @ Jan 17 2010, 11:40 AM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=779838
You got screwed on the starter.

Should have paid an hour's labor plus the starter.

Mike
B)[/b]
Yep. I know. But it was the end of December, I had less than $100 to my name, and only have a credit card for one shop in town. They charged me $250 for the part, $60 for diagnostics and the rest was labor. That's why I was shopping around for another shop, someone who knows what they're doing but won't plow my checkbook every time. Sigh.
 

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QUOTE (cherandy @ Jan 17 2010, 08:47 AM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=779836
Bought the '03 Sable on Dec. 17th. On Dec. 22nd, two things began happening: the dreaded chirp and the random draggy start. The latter turned out to be the starter, which cost me $450 on my credit card to replace. As for the former, I was low on money, really low, so I kept reading threads and following links and calling around asking prices for parts and labor, trying to prepare for replacing the synchro.

Found a mechanic who was recommended by several guys, who said he'd done lots of these, and would do the job for fifty bucks. I was kind of taken aback at that, but didn't argue since I was (am) so cash strapped and worried. Made an appointment for Thursday, Jan 14 to have him replace it. Spoke to the guys at AutoZone about the part. One of them used to work at Ford, and swore that the OEM brand part they had was a reman Ford part. Total job $125. I scraped it together, especially since the morning of January 14 the chirp ceased and I had read so many warnings on what that meant. I wished I had the money to have the dealer do it but I didn't. And with the chirp stopping, after everything I'd read, I didn't think I had the luxury of any more time to wait and save, since that would likely take at least a couple of months or more.

So I got the job done on Thursday, then went to work (delivering pizza). About 3/4ths through the night I was pulling into a driveway that for about one car length is an incline before going level. I couldn't get to the level space, their own car was there, so I had to park it on that incline. As I was getting out, I smelled something. :eek: I looked up, and in the headlights I could see smoke. I freaked. Popped the hood, saw there was no fire, couldn't tell exactly where the smoke was coming from, but it smelled like burning oil. You know, like when you add oil to the car and spill some? Pretty much like that. After a couple of minutes, the smoke stopped.

The car was still running fine, and I HAD to work, so I went on with my night but in a state of nerves and worry, listening, feeling for any sign of trouble. There were none, but I remained worried sick.

Friday morning (yesterday) I checked the oil, thinking... do I have an oil leak? Nope, oil on the dipstick was in the exact same spot as before. I started the car to check the tranny fluid while I was at it, and to listen to it run. It sounded fine, there was no CEL, all *seemed* well. I shrugged and thought... well, okay, I have no idea what to think about the smoke. I spent the rest of the day doing searches both in-site and on the www but found nothing to answer my questions.

Headed out for work. Six blocks from the house, the CEL came on and the car started running rough. I was in a bad place to just leave the car so I couldn't just pull over and shut it down. I turned around and very slowly drove home and parked it, jumped in Scooby and went to work. I haven't tried to start the Sable since. I'm afraid to. I'm trying to get someone who knows what the hell they're doing to come look at it where it sits, if I can, which isn't easy. I think Rod may come look at it today. I wish I had had him do the job, but he had told me not to worry about the synchro which was in contradiction to everything I'd read, not just here but all over the www.

So, I ask you guys... what are the chances the mechanic who did the synchro left something loose that let some oil leak, and it's a minor thing to fix? What are the chances he completely screwed up and I no longer have a viable motor? What is the most likely scenario, what are any possible scenarios on this? I am completely sick at heart and at my stomach over this, and I cannot find answers on my own. I guess I just don't know enough to know what keywords to use in a search to find what I'm looking for, but the most I've found is "you could do permanent damage to your engine," which doesn't tell me a lot of detail I can understand.

Is there any hope? Am I utterly screwed without a doubt? Please, talk to me.[/b]
The oil leak could be a failed synchronizer. Dorman synchros are that bad.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
QUOTE
The oil leak could be a failed synchronizer. Dorman synchros are that bad.[/b]
I accept this possibility, although I was assured at least five times that it is not a Dorman part. My question is... if the part failed, is it a matter of once again replacing the part and all is well, or is the fact that the CEL came on and I had to drive it another six-ten blocks before shutting it down a guarantee that that alone will no longer solve the problem?

Same question regarding a good part that was incorrectly installed. I cannot find much in the way of detail on the possibilities. I don't know what to ask Rod to check. I don't know what to hope for, or if I should hope at all.
 

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AutoZone sells two by from a company by the name of Cardone.

#1 Is the a remanufactured Genuine Ford Part. this is the one that is recommended if you don't buy new Ford Parts.

#2 Is is also sold under the Cardone name, BUT IT'S PART OF THEIR CARDONE SELECT LINE OF NEW PARTS. This part is unfortunately the INFAMOUS DORMAN CHINESE MADE TIMEBOMB.

Check your receipt. If you bought the timebomb, I suggest that you have it removed immediately.

Unfortunately, I suspect that your problem was improperly installation. There aren't any oil lines up where the Synchroshaft and CPS are located, but the mechanic could have broken another hose (coolant or vacuum or EGR), or when short cutting the installation, have damaged the wiring harness, and something is shorted and burning.

Installing a Synchroshaft and CPS takes less than an hour, even if you don't take shortcuts, if you know what your doing. But there are lots of HACKS around, including ones hanging around here, an d damage is easily caused to the engine wiring harness when taking shortcuts.

I would not worry about permanent damage at this point. what I would be worried about is finding and repairing whatever is broken, or mis-installed.

The guys that installed the started motor, may have cause a/some problems as well. Paying a large sum of money for a service is guarentee that you will get quality work.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
QUOTE (rudedog @ Jan 17 2010, 12:38 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=779848
There should be a fairly thick paper or fiberous washer under the main body of the synchro. If not there is a chance it is seeping from there.[/b]
Okay. Forgive the many questions, this is new to me.
  • Is this something that should have been replaced when the synchro was done, and should have been in the box? Or is it a "reuse the original" kind of thing, and maybe he lost it, maybe didn't know it existed, even... is that easy to do/possible for a mechanic?
  • If it is not there and in fact oil is leaking from there because of it, this alone would cause the CEL to come on and the car to run very rough? Is it likely to have caused damage?
  • If it is not there, is it something I can buy all by itself from a parts store? If not, how do I find it... is it called a synchronizer washer?
  • If it is not there and I can buy it from the parts store, it's a matter of removing the synchro, adding the washer, and (assuming it isn't broken) re-replace the synchro correctly? Could it be that "simple"? {fingers crossed}
Rod said to call him around 3 today and he'd come over to look at it. It gets dark a little after five. He seems to think this is going to be simple and fast. I'm hoping he's already sure of that and heads straight for the problem. I've just had such a run of bad luck in the past few weeks that I'm also afraid to hope, and I'm really looking for a valid reason to.
 

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QUOTE (gohim @ Jan 17 2010, 01:37 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=779856
AutoZone sells two by from a company by the name of Cardone.

#1 Is the a remanufactured Genuine Ford Part. this is the one that is recommended if you don't buy new Ford Parts.

#2 Is is also sold under the Cardone name, BUT IT'S PART OF THEIR CARDONE SELECT LINE OF NEW PARTS. This part is unfortunately the INFAMOUS DORMAN CHINESE MADE TIMEBOMB.

Check your receipt. If you bought the timebomb, I suggest that you have it removed immediately.

Unfortunately, I suspect that your problem was improperly installation. There aren't any oil lines up where the Synchroshaft and CPS are located, but the mechanic could have broken another hose (coolant or vacuum or EGR), or when short cutting the installation, have damaged the wiring harness, and something is shorted and burning.

Installing a Synchroshaft and CPS takes less than an hour, even if you don't take shortcuts, if you know what your doing. But there are lots of HACKS around, including ones hanging around here, an d damage is easily caused to the engine wiring harness when taking shortcuts.

I would not worry about permanent damage at this point. what I would be worried about is finding and repairing whatever is broken, or mis-installed.

The guys that installed the started motor, may have cause a/some problems as well. Paying a large sum of money for a service is guarentee that you will get quality work.[/b]
The name on the box (white with red lettering, if I remember correctly) was OEM. That is all. No Cardone, Dorman, nothing but OEM. In fact, both parts folks and mechanic were annoyed with me that I kept asking who made the part, and insisted they hand the part to me to look for "Made in China" on it. Parts guy (who used to work at Ford for ten years) says it's a reman ford part, store brand.
 

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hi,

parts and mechanic guys should not get mad at you for
asking questions, you are the customer and it is your car.
that is what they are getting paid to do.

regards
 

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Discussion Starter #11
UPDATE:
Rod came by today with his lil scanner. I tried hard to not forget the code it threw, but scan indicated that it was a transmission sensor. Rod said "I bet he knocked a plug loose" and shoved and wiggled things around under the hood for a minute. Then we took it for a test drive. The CEL did not return.

As for the oil/smoke situation, it looks like the guy who replaced the synchro managed to get some oil in the... was it the power steering fluid cap? I think so. By "some" I mean "a puddle of." Anyway, Rod thinks it sat there until I had to climb some sharp incline driveways while working, then some of it spilled out and was burning on the manifold. A harmless coinkydink. One that's had my nerves raw with worry for days. However, and I almost fear to say it and jinx things, it seems like everything is okay now.

Whew!


I'm still bugged by the difference in the way the car is running, though. I don't know why it's louder now than a month ago. It was quiet then, like silk. Now the motor sounds like I'm ready to hit the speedway. Not really, but in comparison, kinda, just a little. I just don't know how else to explain it.

I wish I could just throw a full tuneup, belt, tranny service, the whole bit at it right now. I'm betting my gas mileage would improve quite noticeably, and I know for a fact I'd be resting a bit easier.

Either way, I'm relieved to be driving it again, and I'm once again pondering whether to trust that guy at that shop to work on her anymore. I mean, Rod said he likely knocked it loose while working on it. My question is... how likely is it he did it on purpose to "force" repeat business? I tend to consider the job he did to be a bit sloppy, but I don't really know if I'm being unfair or the proper amount of cautious. Any two cents anyone wants to toss in on this is welcome and appreciated.
 

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I'd give him another chance....things do happen..I've been working on my car, and forgotten to reconnect something...it's happened more than once.

I've spilled things, too, from oil to coolant.

Glad to hear it was nothing serious.

Have the guy do something minor next, like replace the serpentine belt, or an oil change. See how that works out.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Next up is the serpentine belt. I could go with the cheapest or try to find out the best quality. Well, since the only two folk that have chimed in on this have said Gates makes the best and they just happened to be selling Gates belts, I decided other opinions might be best. You guys aren't trying to sell me anything, so here I am! :)

Belt Drive: Serpentine Belt
Ford.com (Motorcraft) Part #AF1Z8620AB $21.84 + All orders under $100.00 will have a flat shipping rate of $9.95
(RockAuto.com is #JK6856AA) $26.79 + 5.79 s/h = $32.58
AutoZone ValueCraft $19.99 Duralast $24.99
O'Reilly MasterPro $19.99 Gates $41.99 (1 yr warranty)
Napa Gates $41.99


Now then, obviously the cheapest way to go is the cheap belt from AZ or O'Reilly. However, I WILL pay more and not be bitter about it if there is a significant difference in quality and how long it will last. I would love to not worry about this again for a good long while. That's why I've been known to buy more expensive parts in the past and call it the "Worry Less Fee." ;)

Also, I have read around here about Gatorback being so fabulous and all, but where on earth do I find them?

Anyone care to chime in with their opinion (pretty please)? Thanks!
 

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Gates, Dayco or Motorcraft are all good choices, as is the Goodyear Gatorback.

As to finding the Gatorback, AutoZone, Advance Auto, and a lot of independent parts stores carry it.
The national ones seem to vary as to whether they carry Goodyear...try this link to find a place near you

http://www.goodyearep.com/locatorrp.aspx

Anything that has the word "value" in it is usually crap.

If there is a choice between standard or heavy duty, get the heavy duty...lasts longer.

The quality ones last a long time...it will vary if you live in the desert, or a tropical rain forest.

I changed the original one on my 2003 Caravan at 95,000 miles, mainly because I was replacing the p/s pump, and as long as I was taking the belt off....

The one on my Taurus is original Motorcraft, as are all the hoses. It has 152,000 miles. No cracks in the belt, no soft spots on the hoses. Except for the filters and battery, everything on the engine is original.
 

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QUOTE (cherandy @ Jan 19 2010, 11:18 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=780457
UPDATE:

As for the oil/smoke situation, it looks like the guy who replaced the synchro managed to get some oil in the... was it the power steering fluid cap? I think so. By "some" I mean "a puddle of." Anyway, Rod thinks it sat there until I had to climb some sharp incline driveways while working, then some of it spilled out and was burning on the manifold. A harmless coinkydink. One that's had my nerves raw with worry for days. However, and I almost fear to say it and jinx things, it seems like everything is okay now.

Whew!


I'm still bugged by the difference in the way the car is running, though. I don't know why it's louder now than a month ago. It was quiet then, like silk. Now the motor sounds like I'm ready to hit the speedway. Not really, but in comparison, kinda, just a little. I just don't know how else to explain it.[/b]
Like a whining noise? What colour is your power steering fluid? I would have thought dirty P/S fluid first, since it tends to puke out of the little hole in the P/S cap. Causes a horrible burning smell too. Might also explain the loud noise?
 

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Is the noise like an exhaust leak? A whooshing sound?

I don't think it would be the p/s...and, I've never in all my life have seen any p/s fluid come out any little hole in the cap. That's there in modern cars to let any air escape.
 

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QUOTE (jay144 @ Jan 20 2010, 05:30 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=780623
Is the noise like an exhaust leak? A whooshing sound?

I don't think it would be the p/s...and, I've never in all my life have seen any p/s fluid come out any little hole in the cap. That's there in modern cars to let any air escape.[/b]

It pukes out of the hole, I've seen it happen with my own eyes. In my case, the system was full of air from putting a new pump on. Check out the google results when you search about it.

Maybe it is the issue, maybe it isn't, but those two things caught my eye.
 

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Maybe you over filled the reservoir.

As I said, it has never happened to me, and I've replaced several p/s pumps on several different makes and models over the years.

Your results may vary.
 

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Gatorback for the belt.

Mike
B)
 

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Discussion Starter #20
QUOTE (jay144 @ Jan 20 2010, 12:12 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=780545
Gates, Dayco or Motorcraft are all good choices, as is the Goodyear Gatorback.

As to finding the Gatorback, AutoZone, Advance Auto, and a lot of independent parts stores carry it.
The national ones seem to vary as to whether they carry Goodyear...try this link to find a place near you

http://www.goodyearep.com/locatorrp.aspx

Anything that has the word "value" in it is usually crap.

If there is a choice between standard or heavy duty, get the heavy duty...lasts longer.

The quality ones last a long time...it will vary if you live in the desert, or a tropical rain forest.

I changed the original one on my 2003 Caravan at 95,000 miles, mainly because I was replacing the p/s pump, and as long as I was taking the belt off....

The one on my Taurus is original Motorcraft, as are all the hoses. It has 152,000 miles. No cracks in the belt, no soft spots on the hoses. Except for the filters and battery, everything on the engine is original.[/b]
Thank you! I'm investigating that link. I had the same thought about the word "value" to tell the truth, but I figured I was just being me on that. *smile*


QUOTE (trojan1223 @ Jan 20 2010, 04:19 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=780603
Like a whining noise? What colour is your power steering fluid? I would have thought dirty P/S fluid first, since it tends to puke out of the little hole in the P/S cap. Causes a horrible burning smell too. Might also explain the loud noise?[/b]
No, it's not a power steering whine. The fluid is red, although it's dark out there right now, so I may not be spot on with that. It looks to be the same level as when Rod checked it and he said it the level was fine, but I would have thought it was low. I'll re-check in the daylight tomorrow, when it's also (hopefully) not raining. I DID note that there was no fluid in the top of the cap, it was nice and clean/dry, as it should be.


QUOTE (jay144 @ Jan 20 2010, 06:30 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=780623
Is the noise like an exhaust leak? A whooshing sound?[/b]
Sort of a whooshing sound. My first thought was a vacuum leak, actually, because that's what it *sounds* like to me - but 3 different people, including Rod, have told me it's running too well to be a vacuum leak. Then a guy today told me he thought it was my exhaust vibrating under the car, and had I checked the muffler. Uhmm... no. I had no reason to. But he (actually the guy who delivered supplies at work today) said he thought the fact that it was louder when I first start the car, and that's it's a noise that I've noted for a couple of weeks that is slowly getting louder, tells him it's the exhaust. I'm smelling no exhaust leak in the car. Wth?

I should note that no one notices this noise but me unless I point it out, make them sit still and listen. To me it's *very* loud and noticeable, and it baffles me how no one hears it unless I make them. It's kind of like having the heat on the lowest blower setting. It's a quiet noise, but the fact that it isn't supposed to be there makes it quite loud to me.


QUOTE (trojan1223 @ Jan 20 2010, 07:31 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=780639
QUOTE (jay144 @ Jan 20 2010, 05:30 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=780623
I don't think it would be the p/s...and, I've never in all my life have seen any p/s fluid come out any little hole in the cap. That's there in modern cars to let any air escape.[/b]

It pukes out of the hole, I've seen it happen with my own eyes. In my case, the system was full of air from putting a new pump on. Check out the google results when you search about it.

Maybe it is the issue, maybe it isn't, but those two things caught my eye.
[/b][/quote]

I don't think this is my problem, but I have to tell you, I'm fascinated. I'd never heard of this tiny hole and p/s fluid backing up like that. I will be filing this away in the "information I might need one day" file in the back of my mind. Thank you.



Like I said, Rod and a couple of others have said the car is running fine, too well to have a vacuum leak. But I'm telling you, I'm seeing a dip in performance. It is NOT running as it did. To them, it's fine - to me, the zip has become sluggish. OH, and I had it on the Bypass today briefly, and set the cruise at 65 (shortcut back to the store after a delivery). Once, for one tiny second, there was a hitch. Like... crap, I'm having trouble coming up with an accurate way to describe it. Like there was a tenth of a second of a pause in power?

It does not idle as smoothly. The motor itself is not as quiet. I'm starting to feel a tiny vibration in the gas pedal.

Am I paranoid, over-exaggerating? There are some who believe so, yes. Then again, my cousin Rick, whom I used to drive a cab for, believed that about me when I worked for him. I kept telling him something was wrong with my cab, something awfully wrong. I was constantly hearing a metal on metal grinding noise and it was getting worse. He couldn't hear it. It finally got so bad I was scared to drive it, especially with passengers who might get hurt if something broke and caused me to wreck. He finally got mad, and I mean MAD, and asked me (yelled at me) "If I take it to the shop and have it checked out, will you shut up about it?" Of course. I wish I could remember what the guy at the shop - someone Rick trusted - told him was wrong, but I do remember this: it was going to cost more than $100 to fix, and the man said he could not let Rick put that car back on the road until it was done. It was dangerous to drive it in that condition, someone could be hurt or killed. The mechanic's words, not mine.

I'd been hearing that noise get progressively louder for weeks. Rick didn't hear, nor did the other drivers. They all scoffed and rolled their eyes and spouted crap about me being a woman who don't know crap. Well, they're right. I'm a woman, and when it comes to working on cars, what parts look like, what they do, how they do it, all sorts of things, I DON'T know crap. But I can feel vibrations. I can hear noises. I can tell when a car is "off."

I hear things. They aren't always dangerous and often no one else can hear them. But the noises are always there, they always get worse if no one else hears it or believes me, and they always mean something is wrong, somewhere.

Something is wrong with this car. Perhaps whatever it is will be solved with a new belt, I don't know... I can hope, but I don't, really. I'm not having that kind of luck. I will feel unsettled and worried until I know what it is, what level of problem it is (can it cause me to wreck at some point? Can it destroy my engine?). I will be troubled until it is diagnosed and fixed.


Whoa, hold on a second. Guys, you're probably going to roll your eyes at this question, but I have to ask now that it's popped into my head. With those scanners... is it possible to not just clear a code, but force the CEL to shut off and not come back for that code even though it *should* be on because the problem still exists?

Gah... I really *have* developed trust issues, haven't I?
 
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