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The Ford Taurus was incredibly popular with consumers over the years. With enough size to accommodate the family, yet economical enough for commuters and daily drivers, the Taurus won the hearts of thousands. With so many Taurus’ on the road, you can expect a host of common problems too. We dove in to find out more about some of the most common problems, based on the accounts of Taurus owners that you should know.

Automatic headlights not working

A good number of consumers experienced issues with the Ford Taurus’ automatic headlights not working. Possible failures with the sunload sensor or the Smart Junction Box (SJB) are probable.

If your Taurus has malfunctioning headlights, it’s best to have a professional diagnosis first to determine your vehicle’s cause. 12 model years seem to have issues, including the early to mid-2000s.

Camshaft sensor magnet may damage synchronizers

The check engine light may come on, as an indication of a problem with the synchronizers. The magnet designed for the camshaft position sensor might become dislodged from its mount, causing synchronizer damage.

What you’ll experience are longer crank times when trying to start the engine. The remedy here is a complete replacement of the magnets and synchronizers. Taurus owners across 16 model years, from 1995 through 2010, and various V6 engine configurations reported these issues.

Engine stalling or hesitation upon acceleration

On extremely cold days, vehicles can often struggle to start. But, for the Ford Taurus, some owners who experience difficulties during cold starting, also report stalling out when idling, and even hesitations during accelerations.

If you’re experiencing these types of stalling, you could be, like many others, have problems with the idle air bypass valve. This valve is designed to keep the vehicle idle steady at a standstill. Over 13 model years are affected by this valve issue, including 1990, 1994, 1997, and 1998.

Engine buck and misfire at freeway speeds

Nothing is more frightening than cruising along at highway speeds when your car starts bucking and misfiring. Unfortunately, this is one of the second most common problems with the Ford Taurus. Consumers report not only experiencing the misfires but then when attempting to diagnose the problem, no fault codes were stored in the control module.

Some suggest this is caused by a more intermittent problem with the camshaft synchronizer assembly. There is a Ford service bulletin for this concern, citing diagnosis can be made by monitoring the knock sensor. Complete replacement of the synchronizer assembly is the only option. With over 18 model years affected, from 1992-1995+, this was one of Taurus’ more serious problems.

Engine oil pan gasket leak

This single most reported Ford Taurus problem is the leaky engine oil pan gasket. While it might not seem like a terribly dangerous concern, the sheer number of consumers experiencing a burning smell has outnumbered the other complaints so far.

An oil pan gasket replacement can be a $300+ replacement, and enough to be a nuisance. The leaky gasket affects over 20 model year Taurus’ from 1990-2014, and across a multitude of engine configurations, as well. The 2.5L four-cylinder, 3.0L V6 DOHC, 3.0L V6 SHO, 3.4L V8 SHO, and 3.8L V6 show consumer issues with this gasket.

If you’re in the market to find a larger sedan and are on a budget, the Ford Taurus is worth a look. When buying used, it’s always recommended that you consult a vehicle history report. With an older model Ford Taurus, it’s best to check for any fixes of these commonly reported problems.

You can save yourself some hassle with the higher mileage sedans. At the very least, you’ll know what issues to be asking about before you buy.