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2005 Mercury Sable LS Platinum Edition
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone! I am new here. I love my 2006 Taurus SE, but there is one absolutely annoying issue that I can't seem to resolve. The brakes pulsate! It is definitely the front, because I can always tell that when I change the front rotors, it goes away. However, it was probably a little over a month I last changed the brakes and they continue to pulsate. They get worse and worse until I change the rotors again, but then I eventually get the same pulsating again! It keeps happening, no matter how many times I change the rotors. The car has 104K on it. I can't figure this out! Anyone have any similar problems? The 99 Taurus SE (RIP, died at 112k) before this had its share of problems, but the brakes were always so smooth. Now my 2006 is in awesome shape, except for this brake issue. Thanks in advance for any advice.
 

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First, give this a read: StopTech: The Warped Brake Disk Myth This is a great article IMHO. You might have pad build-up if you do a lot of stop and go driving and don't do a lot of high speed stops. A good bedding procedure is a easy first step for pulsating brakes.

That being said, there are a few other things that can cause pulsations:

-Cheap rotors (made in China). They make them too thin and they can't take the heat and warp.

-Unevenly torqued/overtightened lug nuts. This can cause the rotor to warp under the pressure and will only get worse. Use a torque wrench on the lug nuts.

-Dirty mounting surfaces. Make sure the hub and backside of the wheel are clean and relatively smooth.

-Loose suspension parts or bearings. Jack the wheels up and make sure they don't rock side to side or up and down.

You should know for the best performance you should replace your pads and rotors at the same time. New pads on a warped rotor won't fix anything and new rotors on unevenly worn pads (due to a previously warped rotor) can put uneven pressure on the new one and increase the likelihood of warping. Another option you might consider is having the rotors turned on the car. This eliminates any variance between your hub and a traditional brake lathe.

Try to buy hardware that's made in the USA or just stick with the Motorcraft stuff.
 

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^ +1
To change both rotors and brake pads, higher in price, is what I would do first. Ceramic pads generate less heat than metallic pads. I used to work in a factory that made rotors. If they didn't get properly heat treated, they would warp as described ^. Heat treatment = cost. I am not saying all cheap rotors are bad. Just more likely to be bad.
 

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pulsating brakes

I to own a 2006 SE and i am having a similar problem with the pulsating brakes. Hopefully when i change out my rotors that will solve my problem. I don't know if you've contacted ford to see if they put out TSB for the braking system for our year car, but i know that you'll get alot of help from other taurus's owners
 

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If you keep changing your rotors it may not be a problem with the brakes at all.

I'm hoping it's not a wheel bearing issue.
 

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2005 Mercury Sable LS Platinum Edition
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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Alright, Thanks a lot for the info! In response:

When I change brake rotors, I also do change the pads. We don't buy super cheap parts either. They are Mid to High range parts.

It is not the wheel bearings because they have been done before... probably when the car had about 85K miles on it. (It just hit 105K today.)

I can tell it is definitely related to the brakes because when we change out the pads and rotors, it is smooth for the first month or so. Then the pulsating returns. It is worse when braking down from higher speeds. I do a variety of driving from driving 30mph in my town to 70 on the highway.

I don't know if anyone else has a 4th gen that does it but when the car is being driven at a constant speed between 45 and 60 mph, the car shakes, but it isn't too intense. Nothing like when braking. When driving at any other constant speed (not talking about braking) the car rides smoothly.

Let me know what you guys think! Thanks
 

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Alright, Thanks a lot for the info! In response:

When I change brake rotors, I also do change the pads. We don't buy super cheap parts either. They are Mid to High range parts.

It is not the wheel bearings because they have been done before... probably when the car had about 85K miles on it. (It just hit 105K today.)

I can tell it is definitely related to the brakes because when we change out the pads and rotors, it is smooth for the first month or so. Then the pulsating returns. It is worse when braking down from higher speeds. I do a variety of driving from driving 30mph in my town to 70 on the highway.

I don't know if anyone else has a 4th gen that does it but when the car is being driven at a constant speed between 45 and 60 mph, the car shakes, but it isn't too intense. Nothing like when braking. When driving at any other constant speed (not talking about braking) the car rides smoothly.

Let me know what you guys think! Thanks
I would definitely suspect dragging front brakes.

-chart-
 

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I have a Gen 4, but it only kinda shimmy's and vibrates when I hit around 80, anything above or less it's smooth.

I haven't gotten an alignment or new tires since I bought it so I'm just blaming that until I do lol.
 

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Could be that the rubber brake lines are corroded internally or "collapsed".

When you press the brake pedal everything is "fine" (100psi+), but when you release the pedal, the corrosion inhibits the brake fluid from flowing back( 1 psi or less) into the system and your brakes drag.

Happened to both my 95LX and my 02 Buick (75k) - I changed them out at 100k on the front of my 03 SES as a preventative measure and I'll be doing the rears in the near future.
 

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Could be that the rubber brake lines are corroded internally or "collapsed".

When you press the brake pedal everything is "fine" (100psi+), but when you release the pedal, the corrosion inhibits the brake fluid from flowing back( 1 psi or less) into the system and your brakes drag.

Happened to both my 95LX and my 02 Buick (75k) - I changed them out at 100k on the front of my 03 SES as a preventative measure and I'll be doing the rears in the near future.
Thanks for the info. How did you keep the master cylinder from going dry while you replaced the rubber/metal hose?
 

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Thanks for the info. How did you keep the master cylinder from going dry while you replaced the rubber/metal hose?

The brake fluid doesn't drain out like you would think. Brake fluid is denser than water, and since the m/c end is closed and there are fittings and bends in the brake lines, the fluid won't simply flush out. (think of it as sticking a straw in a glass of water and holding your finger over the end and pulling the straw out - except in this case the fluid is denser than water) - the fluid won't drain easily because the air can't get in to displace the fluid.

Just make sure you bleed the system after you're all done.
 

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2005 Mercury Sable LS Platinum Edition
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks everyone for all the different possibilities of the issue. I am bringing the car to my girlfriend's dad's shop soon because he is a mechanic and he is going to do a couple tests on it. I'll post if I end up finding anything. I hope so! I hate the shaking!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Alright so now after working on the ol' Taurus, we still have pulsation. We replaced the back drums, replaced the front disks with the Motorcraft ones, like the ones that came on the car ($$$$$ expensive) and then cleaned everything up. We even found a caliper pin that was stuck, so that was fixed and cleaned. It shakes when driving at 45 mph and then when braking, it shakes as well. Could it be an axle? Wheel bearings were already replaced prior also.
 

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That sounds frustrating. I kept having what I thought was warped rotors on my '00 SE. After reading up on the possibility of residue build-up from bad pads I did several 55 to 5mph hard brakes and that cleared it up for a couple weeks until the symptoms returned. I switched to Hawk performance pads and haven't had the problem again. It seems you've replaced the pads/rotors enough to suspect there is something else going on. Can you feel the pulsing in the brake pedal when you press on it or is it something you feel in the steering? Might be worth checking tie rod ends and ball joints. Maybe rotate the tires in case it's an alignment or tire problem.

Good luck and keep us posted!
 

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Have you check to make sure your rims are straight?
How about your tires? are they cheep or past the tread life?
 

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It shakes when driving at 45 mph and then when braking, it shakes as well.
Obviously that is NOT from brakes. The front end (parts that support the front wheels in place) is probably busted and front wheels are "shaking" while driving. Braking puts more stress on them so the shaking increases.
It might be even from unballanced tires (if happens only at certain speed).
Lift the tire and check to see if you have play in it. If not, it might be even the shock mount (shock is part of front end).
 

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I'm no mechanic, but feeling a vibration at 45 after verifying you're pretty sure it's not brakes -- bad CV axle.
Check for tears in the boots first. Hard to see in my experience as they are often along one of the ridges.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Alright, my girlfriend's dad who is a mechanic took it for the day. (I miss my car!) Basically there are two main issues and the shaking and pulsation look to be a combination of both issues. We replaced the rear drums a little over a week ago to find that there was still pulsation. After he looked at these again, he concluded they were not stored right at NAPA where I got them and they are slightly "off" as he says. Bad luck with brakes from NAPA. Anyways, we are installing AC Delco Drums to see if this helps. The issue with the shaking while coasting and the large amount of noise are the tires. (Mastercraft Brand Tires) They were new in 04/2010 and have cupped after 25k miles. They have worn down pretty badly and are causing the noise and shake. (Rotated every 5k) So I am going to get some new tires... maybe going back to the standard Continental to see if this helps, but how can I be sure the "cupping" of the tire won't happen again?
 
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