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I want to buy a used Year 2000 or newer Taurus for my daughter, primarily due to its superior safety design. But I keep seeing references to transmission failures so I wonder if this is a good idea.

Have transmission problems been fixed by year 2000?

Also, it seems people recommend the high output V6 instead of the Vulcan because that also gets a better transmission? Does the high output engine use a timing belt that needs periodic changing? And if it breaks, does it take out the engine?
 

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Welcome to the club!!!!
There are no timing belts in our cars, it is a timing chain. Yes, the do wear out just like everything else, but most are good for 100,000+ miles. The engines in the Taurus are extreamly reliable, as well as the chassis. The reason you hear so much about the transmission is because it is the weakest link in our cars. Most ford trannies fail by around 75,000 miles. If you put on an aftermarket tranny cooler it will help tremendously. The heat that buildes up in these trannies is incredable, and 9 out of every 10 fail because of excessive heat. Another think, is that you want to go full synthetic on the tranny fluid, unless you want to change it every 10,000-15,000 miles. I had a failure on my 2000 SEL at 44,000 miles, but that was an electronic failure and didn't require a total overhaul. For the money, a used Taurus is a bargain in the automotive world.
Another thing is that the rest of the car is easy to work on, and there are tons of parts available. The 96-2004 are basically the same car, but with changes in the body over the years. Look at a 96 and 04' and you will see that the doors are the same. The tranny for the Gen IV (2000+) Taurus' was upgraded, and it shifts silky smooth, almost Lexus-like in feel.
If you have any other questions about anything, no matter how small, just post it and people will help you.
 

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Also, the transmissions are much better in the 2000+ models than in the earlier years. I was able to get 148,000 miles on my transmission with fluid changes every 20,000 miles.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you for the feedback. Doesn't Ford install a transmission cooler at the factory?

Also, is there a difference between the transmission used on the 24V high-output engine and the Vulcan engine?
 

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Transmission problems are a total thing of the past. They were primarily an issue with the 1st and 2nd generation Tauruses (1986-1995). You do not want to get your daughter the high output V6, more commonly known as the Duratec. It's a dual overhead cam engine, great design. The thing is though, though you may not believe it, but even the Vulcan makes plenty of power, more than she will likely need, and unless she's like the average of us on here, she won't need the extra power that the Duratec makes.

As for reliability, they should not even be a concern with Gen 4 (2000+). My vulcan engine sees WOT on a daily basis, and the only problem I've had as a result is a general thinning of my front brake pads.
Also, full syntheic transmission fluid is NOT needed. The mercon V transmission fluid is already a synthetic blend, and with a transmission cooler, you'll likely have no worries if you put the cooler in early. In fact 1 owner on here put a transmission cooler in and a shift kit (makes the transmission shift faster, less heat build up, less wear on internals) and his transmission lasted almost 235K miles. He definitely holds the record for transmission life, however he put his tranny cooler in at about 30K miles (like I said, get it in early).

And keep in mind, though having plenty of power, they typically are "older" people's cars and as such are likely not beat on very much. They are a bargin at the prices they can be had for, and with preventative maintenance, your daughter will come to love her Bull as much as we all do.

-mobiuslogic
 

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couple of things,

the Vulcan is better/cleaner than the duratech, as I have seen for these forums. also easier to work on.

U might want to reconsider a Taurus, unless your daughter or you are a DIY person.

The factory tranny cooler is not enough. Well I do have a 96 Gen3 with 131k, its been doing good (Shhhhh....) I put in a tranny cooler recently. got from ebay.
 
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Vision67, the taurus is definitly a great value as well as a very safe car. However, I would to point out that it's high ratings come from frontal crash tests, where as the side ratings are not as great as the frontal. Such cars like the toyota corolla even outperform the taurus in side crash test ratings (however the corolla slightly trails the taurus in frontal crash scores). A honda civic 4 door w/o side airbags actually performs just as well, even beating the taurus in many of the tests. Here's a website which has the ratings: http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/NCAP/Index.html Another great website is http://www.hwysafety.org The only thing that scares me about the smaller cars is the footwell area


Owning two tauruses since I was 16 (had a 95se for almost two years, someone ran a redlight and totalled it, so I got a 96lx), I can give you a few pros and cons which I have come across:
Pros:
*Bigger car - means greater changes I will be the one driivng my friends around - (very good since I dont trust their driving anyways)
*Very practical, lots of space, can fit a lot of stuff
*Very cheap to insure
*Very confortable/big, I can even take a nap in between classes in the back seat
*Great frontal crash protection
*This car does not grab a lot of attention, so cops are less likely to go after you.

Cons:
*Reliability - my car (96lx) has been nothing, but a total piece of junk, buy esp warranty and make sure you get into a good relationship with the service manager
*Car is big - some times difficult to maneauver through college parking lots and spaces. Since 99% of the time I am driving I am alone, I wish I had a smaller car.
*Gas milage isn't the greatest - especially with my 30 miles a day comutes to college.
*Side crash protection
*Resale value - you get a great value when you buy it, someone else gets an even better value when you sell it.
*I'm already sick of my taurus (96lx), its really boring and I'm dying for something else. My parents paid for this car, so I'm not complaining to them. Right now I am working and saving up for the car pictured in my signature.

*note, this is entirely my opinion and soley reflect my 96lx.

I recommend going with a 2002 or newer. Those still have some factory warranty left, plus ford made a few changes and I have yet to see anyone post any major problems about the 2002 and newer.
 

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Transmission problems are indeed a thing of the past. I would wholeheartedly suggest a taurus as your daughters first car rather than any other vehicle.

QUOTE
Vision67, the taurus is definitly a great value as well as a very safe car. However, I would to point out that it's high ratings come from frontal crash tests, where as the side ratings are not as great as the frontal. Such cars like the toyota corolla even outperform the taurus in side crash test ratings (however the corolla slightly trails the taurus in frontal crash scores). A honda civic 4 door w/o side airbags actually performs just as well, even beating the taurus in many of the tests.[/b]
Be that as it may, but if a taurus and a civic were to get into an accident, it doesnt matter where the civic hit the taurus, the taurus would win every time due to its mass. The civic is a very safe car in its low-weight class, not across the board.

Reguarding my car, i actually think its too small (which is one reason why my next vehicle will be a truck). I have no problem whatsoever manuevering my car.
 

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I also have no trouble manuvering the Taurus, but the Gen3 and Gen4 make it impossible to actually see the corners of the car (since they curve downward so quickly), also the turning radius is HUGE so these are just things a new driver would need to have explained to them.....
 

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Hey I am 16 and my dad bought me a 2000 taurus for my first car. Great car. I have the vulcan engine and it has plenty of power 155 hp and 185 lb ft torque. No tranny problems here. My dad got the car last used from ford dealer and we got a 3 year warrenty on it.
 
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Originally posted by Capital Punishment@Feb 16 2004, 12:00 PM
Be that as it may, but if a taurus and a civic were to get into an accident, it doesnt matter where the civic hit the taurus, the taurus would win every time due to its mass. The civic is a very safe car in its low-weight class, not across the board.
http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/NCAP/Index.html does the same test on every car, so the numbers have no bias in the numbers, so it is a safe car across the board. But they classified the cars by weight category so you can compare them. But yes, the transfer of momentum from a heavy car to a smaller car is a different story.
 

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I've got a 97GL with the vulcan engine, and I'm a 16 year old female. My mom gave me the car after we had been into an accident involving a Honda. The honda ran a red light and hit the front end of the car, resulting in...



(I dont know if you see it, but the hood is up, and there is minor damage underneath the bra that I bought to cover it up)

The honda was ****ed up. My car is still driveable, and handles fine. My car isn't fixed from that incident yet, because of the fact the guy had no insurance.

Well, a few months later, I was in reverse with my door open, gunned it, and smashed my rear driver's side door...



So there you see the differences in crashes... I really, fully recommend a Taurus for your Daughter.

I, in fact, hated the Taurus with a passion. When it was time for me to get a car, I was looking at Civics, Sunfires, Camrys, Neons, and even a Stratus. I was on my way to buy a '99 Honda Civic, actually, when the crash occured. It was the best thing that had ever happened to me. At the time of the crash, I fell in love with the Taurus. It saved my life! My mother and myself were not injured, infact, we were as fine as we were when we started out.

So, since owning the Taurus for a lil while, I've decided to keep a Taurus in my family. Even my mom, (who now owns a 95 Intrepid as a result of the accident) is a Taurus lover for life. I own the Vulcan, which has plenty of pep for the average girl. The Duratec might get your daughter in a spot of trouble, one day. So I would suggest a Vulcan. But instead of a 2000, I would suggest a 96-99(gen3), because I'm baiased to their design. Good luck in your future decision!

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This would be a good first car for your daughter. Especially since it's less expensive than other cars in its class, and has a high safty rating.

There really isn't a transmission problem in the newer cars, especially if your daughter doesnt abuse the car...and that is a reason why i reccomend the vulcan, 155hp engine...

The side crash tests are lower than other cars...a way to help this would be to get side air bags such as i have...they do not improve the crash test results, but i looked further into this, and side air bags in general, will decrease your risk of death in a side inpact crash by 48%.

I hope this little bit of information will help you make your decision. Overall, my taurus has served me well... it is roomy and helps me move back and forth from college in one trip... it gets great gas millege on the hwy... i average 35 mpg with my duratec engine on trips... and in the city i get almost 25mpg.. its nothing to be ashame of... the insurance is cheap on my car, and overall its enjoyable to drive.. goodluck!
 

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if i had a daughter,i'd buy her a two seater because there's plenty of guys like me out there and if theres a backseat theres trouble.
 

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Well, the Taurus/Sable is a great choice for your daughter. First off the insurance is cheap, second, there is less chance of her hot rodding it, and finally it gets from point A to B in style, enough said.

XLSuruaT, you think the taurus is not the best for parking or fuel economy, try a Grand Marquis....
 

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This would be a great first car. I remeber my first was a 93 sable. I had to buy it myself though. Save me a lot of money on insurence though because of its safty rating. Air bages also saved me $65. The more safty options you get the cheaper insurance is. Airbags, Ati-theft, ABS..... I would highly recomend the taurus line. I think you opinion is scewed when you look at tranney problems. Many of my friends have an old taurus or sable and none of us have had problems. This forum is a place for do it yourselfers who want to know how to fix things and that is why there are so many questions on this. I beleve that the problems that were around are pretty much irerned out though. I would recomend doing a car fax check and contacting the previous owner if going threw a dealer before buying. I have a different color mirror on my sable and carfax showed nothing. I called the past owner and he said he clipped a post and runed the old one and he bought one from the salvage yard and fixed it himelf.
 

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I have a 2000 with a performance chip and duratec 24V DOHC. I've got about 43K miles on it and my tranny is still rock solid. Never had a problem. (knocks on wood). I do have like another two years on my warranty though and I installed a nice big secondary tranny cooler at about 35K miles... just to be on the safe side. If you don't abuse the transmission and change it's fluid as reccomended, you'll probably be OK on a 2000+.

-Dan
 

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Originally posted by XLSuruaT+Feb 16 2004, 03:17 PM-->QUOTE (XLSuruaT @ Feb 16 2004, 03:17 PM)
<!--QuoteBegin-Capital Punishment
@Feb 16 2004, 12:00 PM
Be that as it may, but if a taurus and a civic were to get into an accident, it doesnt matter where the civic hit the taurus, the taurus would win every time due to its mass. The civic is a very safe car in its low-weight class, not across the board.
http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/NCAP/Index.html does the same test on every car, so the numbers have no bias in the numbers, so it is a safe car across the board. But they classified the cars by weight category so you can compare them. But yes, the transfer of momentum from a heavy car to a smaller car is a different story. [/b]
When the cars are tested versus a stationary wall, yes they are unbiased tests. When the two cars collide, one has 2300lbs, one has 3400lbs.... guess who wins?!?
 

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Originally posted by spridget+Feb 19 2004, 06:29 AM-->QUOTE (spridget @ Feb 19 2004, 06:29 AM)
Originally posted by [email protected] 16 2004, 03:17 PM
<!--QuoteBegin-Capital Punishment
@Feb 16 2004, 12:00 PM
Be that as it may, but if a taurus and a civic were to get into an accident, it doesnt matter where the civic hit the taurus, the taurus would win every time due to its mass. The civic is a very safe car in its low-weight class, not across the board.

http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/NCAP/Index.html does the same test on every car, so the numbers have no bias in the numbers, so it is a safe car across the board. But they classified the cars by weight category so you can compare them. But yes, the transfer of momentum from a heavy car to a smaller car is a different story.
When the cars are tested versus a stationary wall, yes they are unbiased tests. When the two cars collide, one has 2300lbs, one has 3400lbs.... guess who wins?!? [/b]
Well, thats what i was saying. Did anyone not understand it?
 

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Originally posted by spridget+Feb 19 2004, 06:29 AM-->QUOTE (spridget @ Feb 19 2004, 06:29 AM)
Originally posted by [email protected] 16 2004, 03:17 PM
<!--QuoteBegin-Capital Punishment
@Feb 16 2004, 12:00 PM
Be that as it may, but if a taurus and a civic were to get into an accident, it doesnt matter where the civic hit the taurus, the taurus would win every time due to its mass. The civic is a very safe car in its low-weight class, not across the board.

http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/NCAP/Index.html does the same test on every car, so the numbers have no bias in the numbers, so it is a safe car across the board. But they classified the cars by weight category so you can compare them. But yes, the transfer of momentum from a heavy car to a smaller car is a different story.
When the cars are tested versus a stationary wall, yes they are unbiased tests. When the two cars collide, one has 2300lbs, one has 3400lbs.... guess who wins?!? [/b]
Then a 5000lb pick up comes out of nowhere and plows through both of them.
 
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