I am not an expert on cars, so I will do my best to explain what happened with this terrible car. My comments will not be 'technical' in nature.
We paid $3300 dollars for this car in 2007.
The day we got it home, the ABS sensor came on and stayed on. We were told that to fix it required a complete overhaul, which would have been expensive.
Within a week, all of the engine lights went on -- even the oil light, which deterred us from our trip that time. This same problem would occur periodically. We never figured out the cause.
Within 8 months, the engine would start knocking going up hill.
Within a year, the engine would chug and 'miss', and behave very poorly.
Within a year, the engine light would be on permanently, which made me fail my emissions test, which made registering it hard.
Sometimes the sensor that registers whether the door was closed would malfunction.
After about 2 years of owning the car, it would squeal when driving it. The brake pedal was nearly unresponsive. The front end suspension degenerated, and the Ford became a death trap. We took it to Firestone, and got taken advantage of. They fixed the brakes, which wasn't the 'problem' to make a quick buck, but it didn't solve the problem, and the car was still a death trap.
We recently gave it away to friends who work on cars -- they confirmed that we had been ripped off, and that the car was indeed a death trap. They spent days and days fixing the extreme suspension problems. They have it running, but little problems crop up constantly.