First thing I did was replace the serpentine belt 1 month after purchase.
Front brakes were replaced.
Radiator leaked and was replaced.
Starter failed and was replaced.
Alternator burned up and was replaced.
Put in a new battery although it may not have been totally needed.
Many front end parts replaced, including both ball joints and right side tie rod end.
Transmission rough shift between 1st and 2nd gear, had tranny fluid changed which helped some.
Most recently I had to replace the water pump.
This is my first car and it has not been a good experience at all. I know the car has high miles, but I think it should be holding up better than it has. I will say despite the many costly repairs the car has never left me stranded (yet!)
I take some of the blame for not researching more before I bought the car, however my parents had a similar vintage Mercury Sable and didn't have this many problems. My guess is the previous owner of this car did not do much preventative maintenance.
Despite the mileage the car does not burn or leak any oil and the engine seems strong. Has never failed to start except when starter needed replacing.
The shocks could use replacing, but other than that it does ride nice and is fairly easy on gas when its running right and not in the shop for a repair.
Next purchase will be a Jeep 4.0L engine, a strong a proven engine I don't want another Ford. My dad who has a 1997 Wind-star is having a lot of problems right now.