My 96 Ford Taurus has a slew of problems, no reverse, won't park, leaking coolant, leaking oil.

Melissa Miller

Asked by May 24, 2013 at 09:01 PM about the 1996 Ford Taurus

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have a 96 Ford Taurus. I really have no money, I take that back..I have enough to eat,
get to work, and pay my bills, barely.
I bought my car for 600 bucks from a relative it only has 135k miles or so but here are
the issues;
The car will not go into reverse & it won't stay in park..we have to park at the end of
every parking lot to ensure we won't get stuck pushing it & we have to apply the
emergency brake just to keep the car from moving. It's pretty much constantly in
neutral, but still drives.
It is leaking antifreeze outrageously fast, sitting the the parking lot for 10 minutes
created a puddle of antifreeze a foot or two in diameter (we had just put the anti freeze
in) We just recently spotted the leak, pretty sure it's on the radiator itself.
There is an oil leak, have no clue where..but we put in a quart every 2 weeks.
Basically, it's a hot mess & I have no way of knowing if I'm getting screwed if I take it to  
a car shop..I can't afford to fix what's actually wrong at the moment, so I for sure can't
afford to be dicked around (excuse my french) Is my car better off as scrap metal & I
should drive it until it blows up? Or do I need to bother to try and fix it?

9 Answers

Melissa Miller

If I had it any other way I would not have a car, I would ride a bike everywhere. Alas, I am 25 and live 20 minutes away from where I work & just bought the first thing i could afford to get me to and from work. I have gotten my money out of it & really thought I'd be in a better position to afford a down payment for another car..but life happened. :(

Chip Johnson

keep your chin up ; I'm guessing that neither buyer or seller knew that was a hundred dollar car . A used car dealer would call it a 50. not trying to cause family problems but that might be something you could bring up @ some point, or not , if you call the scrapper they would send a truck out a nd give you one to $200 for it. you can't really afford to spend any money on that car you know the old dead horse silver saddle thing ., option 2 , Drive it keep fluids in it, find someone who changes their own oil regularly and get it for your car, treat it as if its a newborn baby . try not to give it much throttle or run at high speeds , under the care of a gentle person it could last for a long time . try to plug your leaks with apoxie , clean the surface and sand it , you can use a1 inch square of T-shirt cotton , saturated with apoxie ,then put another blob on it and cover the hole, be creative, find that radiator leak cut some fins out if you have to , you can close of an entire passage in a radiator if you have to it won't hurt anything . good luck bro .get back with me if you need some ideas .

Best Answer
Chip Johnson

I guess I should have said SIS,

Chip Johnson

don't forget oil water transmission fluid Exedra .... you can run almost straight water until winter time .

Melissa Miller

Ha..yeah I would be a sis..That's basically what I'm doing. Keeping oil, driving it like it's gonna blow up any second & throwing water in it constantly now..I don't think they knew much about the car in the first place..and neither did I..I just knew I wasn't going to find a car for 600 bucks that would let me pay it off 100 bucks at a time.


An old trick for stopping a radiator leak that my father taught me is pour black pepper in the radiator. The kind you put on your food. It doesn't dissolve and will plug up the leak. He grew up on a farm during The Great Depression. As for the oil leak get a bottle of oil stop leak from your local auto parts store. It's basically very thick "goop" that will at least slow down the oil leak or if you're lucky stop it from leaking. For the no reverse, try a can of "tranx" in the transmission. Follow the instructions on the can. It once restored reverse in my friend's '84 Buick Regal, years ago. As far as no park, just keep using the emergency brake. As long as it works and keeps the car from rolling away that's good enough. I've been through hard times myself and know what it's like! Hopefully this will keep your car going until you can afford to replace it. Remember it won't be like this forever. You WILL get back on your feet again. I did and so will you. Good luck to you! HTH. -Jim

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
Melissa Miller

Thank you!

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

You're welcome. -Jim


this is kinda late for a year old thread, but do they not have a u-pull-it yard in your area ? or a vocational school ? The students at a school could learn from helping you, and you from helping them. You can walk or bike to work till the car is safe. Instead of stabbing mechanics in the back who you havent even met, you could get the information and safe practices told to you by students under a qualified teacher. They could find you the parts you need for dirt cheap. so many of those cars get thrown out and were fixable.....The preventatives and the repairs are outlined in the manufacturer's literature. Be brave, ask for help, humble yourself. learn not to expect ill treatment and you may find good advice, cheap used parts, and avid learners still exist.

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