2001 Taurus - Oil related concerns to be aware of?

Messages
895
Location
Midwest
I just recently purchased a 2001 Taurus wagon since my wife and I are expecting our first child in 3 weeks. My '03 Buick Century and her '06 Golf were just too small for making the extended trips to visit family (400mi away) and being able to fit our luggage, baby items, a car seat (and infant) and a 100lbs chocolate Lab/Chesapeake Bay retriver mix in our vehicles. I picked up the Taurus for $4,500. It has 20,000mi on it, was owned by a gentleman that developed Alzhiemers and was traded in by his son who didn't want the car. Its interior and exterior are in "like new" condition. I've never owned Fords before much less a Taurus. Its got the 3L Vulcan (standard, not the 24 valve variety). Are there any oil related concerns I should know about? I'll be changing out the oil with 5w20 Syntec and a K&N filter within the next few weeks ($25 package deal at Advanced Auto). Any comments on this choice of oil? Also, I don't think this vehicle was all that well maintained as far as regular maintenance goes. I pulled the engine air filter last week and replaced it. It appeared to have been changed once in the cars lifetime of 20k mi. The cabin air filter had never been changed and was completely clogged. Because of this I suspect that the oil was never changed all that regularly. Are their sludging issues with these engines I should be worried about?
 
Messages
4,431
Location
Massachusetts
Nice find! I don't think there are any real major things to worry about. The 3.0L is a very reliable engine. Your oil choice sounds fine too. I would probably use 5/10W30 because that's whats in my stash, but the 5W20 Syntec will serve you well. Enjoy it. \:\!
 
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3,130
Location
Phila,PA
A quality oil and filter (like the ones you planning on useing and following the car makers Oil Change Interval will get you very far with that automobile.
 
Messages
25,041
Location
ON, Canada eh?
Very reliable tough engines... a bit fussy on oil though. They like Dino or Synthetic Blend and not full synthetic because of the type of cam-shaft or something... (Somewhere here on BITOG). This engine if properly maintained will last you a very long time!
 

buickman50401

Thread starter
Messages
895
Location
Midwest
 Originally Posted By: Nickdfresh
The 3.0 Vulcan is bullet-proof... I'd just stick with Motorcraft 5W-20...
Thanks guys. Its good to know that someone else has developed a "bullet-proof" engine for recent generation cars. I've owned GMs in the past with the 2.5L Tech4 (aka Iron Duke) and the Series I 3800 which both fell into this category, particularly the Tech4. I am a bit befuddled about about the comment related not using synthetics in these? Could anyone explain further?
 
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34,944
Location
NY
 Originally Posted By: Nickdfresh
The 3.0 Vulcan is bullet-proof...
Yes it is 170,000 miles and going strong. I recently switched it to 5W20 after 2 A-Rx treatments, it runs great!
 
Messages
14,776
Location
Illinois
My sons Ranger has 330,000 miles on his 3.0 Vulcan and the valve covers have never been off. M1 10-30, 10,000OCI and the engine is still very clean. No more oil usage than when it was new.
 
Last edited:
Messages
4,828
Location
Kansas
 Originally Posted By: buickman50401
I've never owned Fords before much less a Taurus. Its got the 3L Vulcan (standard, not the 24 valve variety).
I've owned a half a dozen Fords with this engine. You should hit 250K+ miles on this engine using any dino oil on the market. I would worry more about the tranny. Don't let the tranny go over 25K miles without changing the filter.
 
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18,257
Location
Michigan
 Originally Posted By: Kruse
 Originally Posted By: buickman50401
I've never owned Fords before much less a Taurus. Its got the 3L Vulcan (standard, not the 24 valve variety).
I've owned a half a dozen Fords with this engine. You should hit 250K+ miles on this engine using any dino oil on the market. I would worry more about the tranny. Don't let the tranny go over 25K miles without changing the filter.
Just something about those trannies...
 

buickman50401

Thread starter
Messages
895
Location
Midwest
Is the tranny really big of an issue in these cars? I will certainly get it changed out if you guys can provide a reasonable explanation behind why it needs to be done so early, but 25,000mi seems a bit premature.
 

hal

Messages
393
Location
NC
i service my car's tranny every 30k. ford has had some issues with their transmissions in the past in Tauruses, but I think that was more of a 1990's problem. that 3L V6 is a very good engine, ive heard its more reliable than the DOHC version.
 
Messages
1,027
Location
Wisconsin
I would get ahold of a owner's manual. One thing that they will list is the recommended maintenance interval. The recommended service interval for a number of FORD transmissions is every 30K miles to change the transmisssion fluid. I am guessing that, for your particular car, FORD specifies 5W-20 oil for the engine, and Mercon V ATF for the transmission and power steering fluid. The transmission filter most likely is not specified for change out with each fluid change.....although if you decide to drop the pan to take a look....might as well put another filter in at that time. The magnefine filter that Steve recommended will filter out smaller particles from the fluid than the factory filter will. This is particularly beneficial for the newer transmissions with the solonoids. If you have your oil changed for you, you can almost always take in your own oil and filter for them to use.....so you can still use your choice of products. At this point, at 8 years old.....I would also be looking into exchanging the coolant.
 
Messages
6,156
Location
Buffalo, NY
Since we're talking about Ford Taurus/Mercury Sable engines, I was wondering if anyone knew the sump capacity for a 1999 Merc. Sable with the 3.0 24-valve Duratec engine? My father never bothered to get a manual. I thought it was five qts., but then I/he end(s) up adding to it thinking it is using oil, but then it seems to stop using much oil after six qts are in it...
 
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9,913
Location
Birmingham, AL
The only thing I'd be concerned about with the engine is the cam synchronizer. It's the Achilles’ heel of the Vulcan 3.0. The cam synchronizer runs the oil pump. After a while, they can wear out and start to make a chirping noise. If they fail completely, the oil pump stops working and you have no oil. It's not an expensive or hard part to replace, just don't ignore the chirping noise. Always use a Motorcraft or A1-Cardone replacement, not Dorman. This issue is covered in detail on Taurus websites. Other than that, the 3.0 is a very solid engine.
 
Messages
645
Location
US/UK
 Originally Posted By: buickman50401
I just recently purchased a 2001 Taurus wagon since my wife and I are expecting our first child in 3 weeks. My '03 Buick Century and her '06 Golf were just too small for making the extended trips to visit family (400mi away) and being able to fit our luggage, baby items, a car seat (and infant) and a 100lbs chocolate Lab/Chesapeake Bay retriver mix in our vehicles. I picked up the Taurus for $4,500. It has 20,000mi on it, was owned by a gentleman that developed Alzhiemers and was traded in by his son who didn't want the car. Its interior and exterior are in "like new" condition. I've never owned Fords before much less a Taurus. Its got the 3L Vulcan (standard, not the 24 valve variety). Are there any oil related concerns I should know about? I'll be changing out the oil with 5w20 Syntec and a K&N filter within the next few weeks ($25 package deal at Advanced Auto). Any comments on this choice of oil? Also, I don't think this vehicle was all that well maintained as far as regular maintenance goes. I pulled the engine air filter last week and replaced it. It appeared to have been changed once in the cars lifetime of 20k mi. The cabin air filter had never been changed and was completely clogged. Because of this I suspect that the oil was never changed all that regularly. Are their sludging issues with these engines I should be worried about?
Excellent car. \:\! I purchased my 2001 Taurus with 3.0L DOHC V-6 and AX4N transmission in May 2005. Very reliable machine. At the time of purchase, I performed as much remediation maintenance as possible due to unknown maintenance history. It was worth it in the long-term to do this as I plan to keep car for a long time. BTW, do you have AX4N or AX4S transmission?
 

Bill in Utah

Staff member
Messages
12,849
Location
UT
Had the same engine and car combo. Easy on the oil and a nice car. On mine the engine required Head Gaskets @ 61k and 108k. The engine has a little over 150k on it now and other than the Rust and transmission is showing some "issues" it still goes down the road. I ran mine on Pennzoil 5w-30 with 4-5k OCI. Flushed out the transmission every 30k. Gets excellent MPG for as heavy as it is. Nice find for $4500. I paid $14k for mine with 21k back in 2001. Bill
 
Messages
16,120
Location
Silicon Valley
 Originally Posted By: buickman50401
Is the tranny really big of an issue in these cars? I will certainly get it changed out if you guys can provide a reasonable explanation behind why it needs to be done so early, but 25,000mi seems a bit premature.
The main weakness seems to be the original Al piston in the tranny cracking prematurely. A Gen 4 update to steel piston solved the problem. They do last on average more than 100k (some even 150k) miles now.
 
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