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2006 Ford Taurus SE, 3.0L Vulcan, AX4N/4F50N transmission
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Discussion Starter #1
I have a "new to me" 2006 Taurus SE, with 146k on the clock. This is my first Ford vehicle, and I'm learning more about the Taurus by reading around on this forum. I've had the car less than 2 months, the oil was fresh when I bought it with a 5k OCI sticker in the window. (No idea of brand, viscosity, etc) At a 5k interval I'm not due until nearly 150k. At that time I'll be doing my first oil change on the car. I'm not aware of any leaks, and with me putting less than 2k on the car since purchase, the car doesn't need any oil added at this point.

I've been researching on different change intervals, and oil types. With a Vulcan at 146k, I'd like some input on weight, type, change intervals etc. The car didn't come with a manual, however the cap states 5w20, which seems pretty thin to me. One concern is synthetic oils leaking due to higher mileage and older gaskets/seals. About 60% of my trips are shorter than 10 miles. I'm in east Tennessee (Smoky Mountains) with winters that can get pretty cold, summers typically hit mid to high 90s in the dead of summer.

Thanks in advance for any input, and advice. Be Blessed!
 

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2005 Taurus SE
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Have an 05 SE Vulcan and use supertech (walmart) 5w30 full synthetic and have noticed no issues or decrese in mpg. The manual suggests changing every 5000 miles or 6 months whatever comes first. Just make sure you double check the filter you choose is for the vulcan and Not the duratec as they are different, got screwed on that one the 1st time i changed the oil o_O.
Here is the owners manual for a 2005, imagine it would be identical to your 06.
 

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2006 Ford Taurus SE, 3.0L Vulcan, AX4N/4F50N transmission
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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks a million for the manual! I have read that in the 90s, perhaps into the early 2000s Ford recommended 5w30 in the Vulcan, and changed to recommending 5w20 after EPA regulation changes. I have used Supertech 5w30 conventional in my '97 Honda Civic, every 3k, for about 5 years with good results (Approx 275k on the clock). I see that there's a high mileage version of Supertech 5w30 Full Synthetic, which I have my eye on. My only concern with going full synthetic is leaks starting due to aging seals/gaskets.

For those interested, My local WalMart has Motorcraft 5w20 synthetic blend on sale at the moment, $18.76 for a 5 qt. jug, and the Motorcraft filter for $3.97 each.

Any additional input from anyone would be greatly appreciated.
 

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The Supertech 5/30 conv. (dino) would be fine to run in your '06. 5qts. and a filter and you're set ea. 5k mi.
 

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I ran across a bargain at O'Reilly's a couple of years ago, Havoline 5W30 full synthetic 5 quart containers for about $6.00-7.00. At 120,000 switched from conventional to the Havoline synthetic. Now at 163,000 miles I never experienced any oil leaks from the synthetic. I don't think this Vulcan engine needs synthetic but am enjoying the longer drain interval. If you go with a longer drain interval make sure the oil filter is quality. Since you are new to Ford and the Taurus, I would warn you about some weak points. The Vulcan engine is an iron block so it is vitally important to keep your cooling system flushed and clean, otherwise the heater core has a tendency to clog. There is a problem with the timing chain cover gasket, tends to develop leaks at the rear, passenger side. Mine has the AX4N transmission and it is a good idea to change the fluid at least every 30,000 miles. Also this car is sensitive to weak battery and grounds that are not clean and tight. Spend some time and disconnect and clean all grounds. At some point you will experience problems with the cam synchronizer, it will chirp. Most recommend Motorcraft parts for the synchronizer, coil pack, and PCV valve. Change the pcv if in doubt, may save the oil pain leak. If you have a laptop or phone would recommend the Forscan software with an ELM327 connector. Plenty of help here, just ask as needed.

Scott
 

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I don't change the filter on my Vulcan with every oil change, only every second or third. On a new engine that might still have some swarf or other particles, yes, but not otherwise.
 

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2006 Ford Taurus SE, 3.0L Vulcan, AX4N/4F50N transmission
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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks so much for the detailed information about the Taurus and the vulcan engine.

Praying to God that I don't have to deal with the timing cover gasket... I would imagine that would be quite costly to get repaired... Let's just say disability payments don't allow for such things to happen around here without inducing nausea & panic.
 

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2006 Ford Taurus SE, 3.0L Vulcan, AX4N/4F50N transmission
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Discussion Starter #8
So... after doing a bit more reading, I'm thinking, I'll probably just stick to the best deal I can get on a conventional 5w20 or 5w30 oil. Other than Motorcraft filters, are there any filters that would be suggested OR avoided for use in a Vulcan at a 5k interval?
 

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I use full synthetic 5W30 at 5K intervals and Motorcraft filter at every change. See my post on this page for my reasons. My 2004 Vulcan has over 210K and engine still running well. I used Mobil 1 for most of those miles.
Oil and filter is cheap compared with repairs!
Regarding the timing cover gasket, I put up with the occasional drop of oil on the exhaust, I replaced the water pump several years ago but have never had the timing cover off.
My 2006 (history unknown) was a different story and I had to repalce entire timing cover at about 150K. There was some white crystaline stuff in there and I suspect someone had used the wrong coolant or put some harsh flush chemical in there.
The AX4N in the later models seems to last well if reasonably driven. I think the 30K service is a good idea and always use Motorcarft Mercon V. My transmission lasted about 190K before a re-build.
I plan to post a few other comments based on maintaining and driving these cars for many years, like you, I am on a fixed income and need to get best value possible out of my cars.
 

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I use 5w20 conventional oil on all my Taurus the full life of the car. They usually rust out before the engine goes and I reach about 250k miles before the rocker panels rot to the point you have a had time jacking the rear up.
 

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2006 Ford Taurus SE, 3.0L Vulcan, AX4N/4F50N transmission
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Discussion Starter #11
There was some white crystaline stuff in there and I suspect someone had used the wrong coolant or put some harsh flush chemical in there.
I'm planning on having the coolant flushed soon, as I do not know when it was done last. What type of coolant is recommended. The coolant in the car currently is orange, which I have never seen before. Only the typical green, and in GM cars I've seen red.

The AX4N in the later models seems to last well if reasonably driven. I think the 30K service is a good idea and always use Motorcarft Mercon V.
I drive my cars pretty easy, once in a blue moon doing WOT or near WOT to help blow things out. I've noticed when accelerating from a stop it's rare that I need to rev over about 2500 rpms, (usually gear changes are at around 2200rpm) unless merging onto a 4 lane and may need to go up to around 3200 - 3500rpm in heavy traffic with A/C running. I'm not sure what the redline is for the Vlucan, my tach goes to 7k, but there's no indication of redline.
 

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At about 100K I switched from 5W20 to 5W30 due to a little bearing noise on warm starting. Switched viscosity and never heard it again in over 100K more. I believe the reason for the light, low viscosity oil is to improve the average Ford fuel economy to satisfy the EPA requirements. I'm sure Taurus's accounted for quite a large % of Fords on the road.

Use Motorcraft Gold VC-7-B coolant. I get it from the dealer. It's more expensive but it's not very often and like good quality oil, it's a lot cheaper than repairs.
 

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2006 Ford Taurus SE, 3.0L Vulcan, AX4N/4F50N transmission
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Discussion Starter #13
I know this is drifting off of my original thread topic, but I'd like some input here. Since my Taurus is new to me, and I really have no maint. history on the car, other than the fact the oil was changed just prior to my purchase by the dealer and a Motorcraft filter was used. I unfortunately have limited resources, therefore only the ability to perform maint. in stages to get the car in the best shape that I'm able to.... could someone advise me as to the order that I should perform the following procedures that I'm planning. (i.e. in order of importance, urgency, cost, etc).

Thus far, I've only had the tires rotated & balanced, and changed the spark plugs with Motorcraft SP433 Platinum plugs. (old ones were completely TOASTED) Re-used wires as they look nearly new and in perfectly good condition. Also cleaned IAC, and MAF, which drastically improved an issue with fluctuating/rough idle.


  • Coolant System Flush
  • Transmission Fluid & Filter Change (I'm assuming a drain & re-fill w/ 6-8 qts Mercon V ATF is recommended over other methods--?)
  • PCV Valve
  • Diagnose & repair EVAP Leak Code (P0455)
  • 4 wheel alignment
  • Replace front & rear struts (rear seem to be worse than front, currently)
If there's anything else that I should look into, since the car is new to me, please don't hesitate to point things out. Better safe than sorry!
 

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I know this is drifting off of my original thread topic, but I'd like some input here. Since my Taurus is new to me, and I really have no maint. history on the car, other than the fact the oil was changed just prior to my purchase by the dealer and a Motorcraft filter was used. I unfortunately have limited resources, therefore only the ability to perform maint. in stages to get the car in the best shape that I'm able to.... could someone advise me as to the order that I should perform the following procedures that I'm planning. (i.e. in order of importance, urgency, cost, etc).

Thus far, I've only had the tires rotated & balanced, and changed the spark plugs with Motorcraft SP433 Platinum plugs. (old ones were completely TOASTED) Re-used wires as they look nearly new and in perfectly good condition. Also cleaned IAC, and MAF, which drastically improved an issue with fluctuating/rough idle.


  • Coolant System Flush
  • Transmission Fluid & Filter Change (I'm assuming a drain & re-fill w/ 6-8 qts Mercon V ATF is recommended over other methods--?)
  • PCV Valve
  • Diagnose & repair EVAP Leak Code (P0455)
  • 4 wheel alignment
  • Replace front & rear struts (rear seem to be worse than front, currently)
If there's anything else that I should look into, since the car is new to me, please don't hesitate to point things out. Better safe than sorry!
Pic of condensed maint. Missing from that is PCV valve at 100K. Most will not go far wrong with following this.
-chart-
 

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Since I was the person who brought up the timing chain cover leak, let me try to reassure you. If it leaks you will see the level of coolant slowly go down. It is my understanding that this is an external coolant leak, will not contaminate, nor dilute your oil. So it is an annoying problem, but often livable for long periods of time as long as you watch your coolant level. The leak often drips down onto the exhaust and evaporates never reaching the ground. I believe I have a small leak there which I have managed since 2015. So let's forget the nausea and panic for now. You mentioned disability payments, can you perform any of your own maintenance? It sounds as if you were going to do your own oil change, if you can do that there is plenty of maintenance you can perform yourself. Stretches the budget to purchase of parts and your time. Another common cause of coolant loss are cracks on the bottom of the coolant degas tank/reservoir. Mine developed cracks a couple of years ago but could not see them without removing the tank. If your coolant seems clean, free of particles, rust maybe that can wait. Any chance of obtaining service records from a previous owner? Check your automatic transaxle fluid. Is it pink, relatively clean, or is it darker, brown or smells burnt? Maybe that can wait as well. You can visually inspect the air filter easily under the hood. Fuel filter not so much. Fuel filter is easy if you can get right rear up, even on a ramp, relieve fuel pressure, then change out. Did you happen to get a Carfax from the people you purchased the car? These cars are capable of a long life if properly maintained.

Scott
 

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2006 Ford Taurus SE, 3.0L Vulcan, AX4N/4F50N transmission
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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
@boulderdentist

Thanks for a good news with regards to the timing chain cover/gasket issue! That brings relief! :)

Unfortunately I am not able to do the majority of the work. Just cleaning the IAC, and MAF about put me down for a day or so, unfortunately. I know a guy who works as a mobile mechanic and is very reasonable with most of his prices (example, he came to me, and changed the passenger CV axle for $60 labor, I provided parts) I've already replaced the Engine Air Filter. As far as oil change, there is a local garage that will change for $15 + tax if I bring the oil & filter, so that's easy enough. I know the ATF needs to be changed, as it's almost lost it's pink/reddish tint, headed for light brown, but thankfully doesn't smell burnt, and isn't dark brown at this point.. The coolant seems to be in acceptable condition, as I didn't see any particles floating around. Kind of checked all this out as best as I could before purchase.

I did get a carfax, I am the 3rd owner. 1st owner was a rental and/or fleet for the first 20k miles, then the second owner was in VA, I'm in TN, so it's a relatively local car. Interior looks immaculate, so whoever had it most likely took pretty good care of it, just from what I can visually see. Not a single stain anywhere, so I would guess an older individual, and garage kept, as the paint is in excellent condition with the exception of a small rust spot at the front edge of the hood where most likely a rock or something chipped the paint.

I asked the dealer for any maint. records, and he didn't have any. The only thing he could advise me to do is go to a Ford dealership with the VIN # and see if they could pull any service records that may have been done at any dealership, as their computer systems are linked together.
 

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2006 Ford Taurus SE, 3.0L Vulcan, AX4N/4F50N transmission
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Discussion Starter #17
At about 100K I switched from 5W20 to 5W30 due to a little bearing noise on warm starting. Switched viscosity and never heard it again in over 100K more.
Yeah, I'm thinking that I'm having the same issue, and it's annoying the [email protected]#$ outta me. I really don't wanna change the oil considering it doesn't even have 2k miles on it yet, and still looks almost like it was just poured in... I'm not big on using any type of additives (with the exception of Techron in the tank at every oil change), but I'm wondering if a bottle of original STP Oil Treatment (blue bottle, no stop leak or other junk), would suffice and quiet things down until I get it changed and go with 5w30
 

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I have a "new to me" 2006 Taurus SE, with 146k on the clock. This is my first Ford vehicle, and I'm learning more about the Taurus by reading around on this forum. I've had the car less than 2 months, the oil was fresh when I bought it with a 5k OCI sticker in the window. (No idea of brand, viscosity, etc) At a 5k interval I'm not due until nearly 150k. At that time I'll be doing my first oil change on the car. I'm not aware of any leaks, and with me putting less than 2k on the car since purchase, the car doesn't need any oil added at this point.

I've been researching on different change intervals, and oil types. With a Vulcan at 146k, I'd like some input on weight, type, change intervals etc. The car didn't come with a manual, however the cap states 5w20, which seems pretty thin to me. One concern is synthetic oils leaking due to higher mileage and older gaskets/seals. About 60% of my trips are shorter than 10 miles. I'm in east Tennessee (Smoky Mountains) with winters that can get pretty cold, summers typically hit mid to high 90s in the dead of summer.

Thanks in advance for any input, and advice. Be Blessed!
Hey Shane,
Welcome! There are many here who are smarter than the average bear... me, I just read, keep an eye out for topics that are affecting me or that I find interesting or someone I feel I can help. I've played mechanic for many years and have owned 4 diff bulls over those years. Oil recommendations/tidbits I've picked up are as follows: I agree 5W-20 sounds thin/light, but as I've heard, tolerances have gotten smaller as our engineering prowess grows. So there's a need for thinner oil to enter/ protect those surfaces... I think it was a Toyota blurb I read recently that they are now reccomending a 0W (that's a "zero W"), lol. Must be like water, huh? Anyway, I've always run 5W-20 and to my knowledge, never caused an issue... I figure, since I don't have the engineering degree, I'm gonna listen to the guys who do! (Starting w/the fellas who designed it!!) As for traditional vs synthetic, my theory is this: if I buy it brand new, it gets synthetic right out of the gate. Used/ new to me? No appreciable leaks? It gets a synthetic blend... (I'm a middle of the road guy on a lot of subjects)... plus, it's what my mechanic also believes! Yes, I have one now that I'm getting older... the best advice I've heard on the matter is "Just change it, for Pete's sake!! Anything is better than nothing!" Traditional = 3K miles, blend = 4K, full syn = 5K.... Also, Syn doesn't CAUSE leaks, but if you have any, it'll help you find 'em!! Good luck Shane, enjoy those beautiful Smoky mountains! (I'm near Nashville).... Cheers!
 

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I have a "new to me" 2006 Taurus SE, with 146k on the clock. This is my first Ford vehicle, and I'm learning more about the Taurus by reading around on this forum. I've had the car less than 2 months, the oil was fresh when I bought it with a 5k OCI sticker in the window. (No idea of brand, viscosity, etc) At a 5k interval I'm not due until nearly 150k. At that time I'll be doing my first oil change on the car. I'm not aware of any leaks, and with me putting less than 2k on the car since purchase, the car doesn't need any oil added at this point.

I've been researching on different change intervals, and oil types. With a Vulcan at 146k, I'd like some input on weight, type, change intervals etc. The car didn't come with a manual, however the cap states 5w20, which seems pretty thin to me. One concern is synthetic oils leaking due to higher mileage and older gaskets/seals. About 60% of my trips are shorter than 10 miles. I'm in east Tennessee (Smoky Mountains) with winters that can get pretty cold, summers typically hit mid to high 90s in the dead of summer.

Thanks in advance for any input, and advice. Be Blessed!
I live in the Eastern part of Utah (Uintah Basin), deep cold winters and hot, dry summers (rarely hit's 100, but 90's are normal and often). If it was me, and if the vehicle doesn't uses less than a quart in 5k miles, I'd change the oil to a good 5/20 weight oil as recommended by Ford. If it uses more than a quart of oil I'd go with a 5/30.
 
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