Late-model Taurus reliability

taurus
transmissions
#1

I’m looking for a used car under 10k, and found several 06-07 tauruses (taurii?) for sale, with around 50-60k miles on them. I realize that they are probably rental vehicles. I know that these cars have had transmission problems in the past, but are the new models with the AX4N tranny subject to them?

#2

Don’t know too much about the later models Taurus…But family members and friends have owned several Taurus’s (latest being a 2002)…and they were all terribly terribly unreliable. Literally junk after 150k miles. Sister-in-law put THOUSANDS into her 98 before it was junk at about 80k miles.

#3

According to the reliability ratings in Consumer Reports, the '06 Taurus is “much better than average” or “better than average” in all areas except Body Integrity, for which it was rated just “average”. (Body Integrity refers to whether the car is subject to rattling and other body noises)

There are no ratings for the '07 model, due to a lack of data. However, it is interesting to note that the transmissions are rated “average” to “much better than average” for all years from 2000 to 2006. It appears that their transmission problems were cured with the last major redesign for the 2000 model year.

#4

In my opinion…there’s no way you can tell how reliable a car is after just 2 years. I would hope that ALL cars have a good rating after just 2 years.

#5

The transmissions in those models have been reliable. At that mileage, you will be more likely to see problems with the fuel system, electrical, climate control, suspension and brakes. Look for an 08 with less mileage. It may be better to buy the new one, run 50,000 mies off it and then you can sell it for $10,000 or more. You may also be doing your country a favor. The Ford 500 had a good record before it became the Taurus. The only problem area seems to be the brakes.

#6

The Taurus/Sable line of cars are reliable vehicles.
There were some transmission problems in the very early models (that was solved long ago) and many of those transmission problems were often owner inflicted due to abusive driving habits or never changing the transmission fluid on a regular basis.

As with many people, they neglect something and when there’s a premature failure point the finger at the car instead of themselves.

I owned an earlier model Sable (purchased used) and it suffered a trans failure at about 130k miles. I replaced it with a salvage yard transmission that had 40k miles on it and I put another 290,000 miles on that transmission (420,000 on the car) before selling the car. (with the trans still shifting perfectly)

The salvage transmission was also one of those “bad ones” and to what do I attribute the transmission longevity? Fluid changes every 30-35k miles; something that should be done with every car on the road.

#7

Keep in mind that Ford stopped selling the Taurus to the general public in, either 05 or 06. So chances are you are looking at used fleet cars which are probably dirt cheap. But they may have lived hard lives, and may or may not have had all the maintence done in a timely fashion. Definately get the car checked out by your mechanic. The AX4N is much more reliable than the older AX4S units. All Tauri with the Duratec DOHC have the AX4N, some but not all Vulcan powered cars have it as well. To be sure you’ll have to check the data plate.

#8

Sister-in-law has an 05 with quite a few miles and it has held together very well. The AC compressor just failed the other night (the clutch, specifically), but other than that, seems like a good car.

#9

PDV–Due to Ford’s confusing name-swapping, you are mixing up two different Tauruses. The OP is apparently referring to the “old” Taurus, which was still made (essentially for fleet sales) in '05, '06, and–I think–for '07, along with the totally different Five Hundred.

As you know, the Five Hundred was later renamed “Taurus”, and because of that name-change, it can sometimes be very confusing to try to figure out which Taurus design someone is referring to.

#10

I “inherited” a Taurus rental from a fellow worker on a NW project. This car had only 20,000 miles on it and although it ran great, the body integrity was such that it felt older than my wife’s 14 year old Nissan. The handling was also sloppy. The car will hold up well, if it was maintained well from day one; but it does not inspire pride of ownwership for reasons described! A two or three year old Tauruis is very difficult to love!

#11

There is lots of good info here about the new vs. old Taurus. Note also that at the time the name of the new ones changed from 500 to Taurus, there were also significant changes to the vehicle. The changes are not as dramatic as the difference between old and new Taurus, but significant.

#12

The new Taurus (old 500) is a superior car in nearly every way. It’s bigger, has more power, gets better mileage, it’s safer, has much more interior room a much bigger trunk, and you can even have AWD if you desire.

#13

They did stop selling them awhile back, but they’re bringing the Taurus name back for 2010.

#14

Unfortunately, some cars stand out as unreliable after only one or two years. I have found CR does a pretty good job of projecting reliability on new models. They do this by factoring in the reliability of the previous generation of that model, looking closely at changes made, and some other factors of which I am not aware. If you are interested, take a look at CR’s projected reliability for one or two models and then in a couple years, take a look at their used car buying guide and see how they fared. Of course, it wouldn’t take much for CR to skew its reliability ratings to support their projected ratings.

#15

The Taurus name returned for the 2008 model year when the Ford Five Hundred was rebadged as the Taurus. By that time, the “old” Taurus had been discontinued.