The starter on your Ford Taurus uses a small rotor called a pinion to engage and turn the flywheel on the engine during the starting phase. After the engine has started, the pinion within the starter automatically retracts. The teeth on the pinion look similar to a gear. If they wear down or break off, the pinion can’t turn the flywheel correctly, which will prevent the car from starting. The starter on the 1995 Ford Taurus mounts on the lower front of the engine next to the flywheel. Replacing the starter should take you 30 minutes.
Things You'll Need
- Socket wrench set
- Hydraulic jack
- 2 jack stands
- 3/8-inch drive torque wrench
- Dielectric grease
- 1/4-inch drive torque wrench
Raise the hood and disconnect the negative cable from the battery with your socket wrench. The negative cable on the battery should be all black and have a small (-) minus symbol next to the post where the cable connects to the battery.
Apply the emergency brake and then raise the front end of the car with a hydraulic jack. Set a jack stand beneath the frame rail on the driver and passenger sides then lower the hydraulic jack until the car completely rests on both jack stands.
Slide under the Taurus and locate the starter near the flywheel. The starter looks like a can of soup, but without the label, and it has a smaller metal cylinder attached to it, which is the solenoid.
Remove the smaller push-on wire from the solenoid first. Grasp the rubber boot on the wire and gently squeeze it, then pull the wire straight off its connection.
Remove the red, rubber safety cap covering the other solenoid wire’s nut by simply popping it right off by hand. Then remove the nut holding the wire onto the solenoid, using your socket wrench. Slide the wire off its terminal stud and tuck both wires out of the way.
Remove the upper starter mounting bolt at the base of the starter. Support the starter with your free hand and then remove the lower starter mounting bolt. Carefully lower the starter using both hands away from its position, down, and out of the car.
Raise your new starter into the same position as the old starter. Thread both upper and lower mounting bolts by hand then tighten them until snug. Set the 3/8-inch drive torque wrench to 20 ft-lbs. and completely secure both mounting bolts in place.
Place a small dab of dielectric grease on both sides of the terminal for the push-on wire, then reinstall the wire by pushing it back on until it clicks in place. You should hear a small click when the wire engages. Check the connection by tugging on the wire gently.
Place the second solenoid wire back onto its terminal stud and hand-thread its retaining nut until snug. Set your 1/4-inch drive torque wrench to 120 in-lbs. and hold the wire in place while you tighten its nut until secured. Put the red, rubber safety cap back over the nut. The cap pops back on just as it popped off.
Raise the Taurus again with the hydraulic jack and remove both of the jack stands. Lower the car completely, remove the hydraulic jack, and release the emergency brake. Reconnect and secure the negative cable back to the battery. Start the 1995 Ford Taurus to make sure the starter is functional.
Tips & Warnings
- Ford issued a technical service bulletin for all Taurus models from 1992 to 1995. This particular bulletin has to do with the solenoid’s wires corroding, particularly the push-on wire. The wire, as they explained, can be damaged by moisture buildups under the rubber boot that connects it to the solenoid. This is why you’re instructed to use dielectric grease on the terminal for the wire.
- "Chilton's Ford: Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable 1986-95 Repair Manual"; Kerry A. Freeman; 1995
- "Ford Taurus & Mercury Sable, 1986 thru 1995 Haynes Repair Manual"; John Haynes; 1998
- Photo Credit Ablestock.com/AbleStock.com/Getty Images
- "Alternators and Starter Motors"; Robert Bosch; 2003
- "Automobile Starting and Lighting"; Harold Phillips Manly; 2009
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