Check engine light was on when purchased. The actual bulb had been removed from behind the dash, so that the light wasn't illuminated. The fuel gauge and temperature gauge didn't work because of the dash having been removed.
The brake pads had been installed backwards, and it had the wrong oil drain plug. Obviously, this was a car that had been sitting for a while, and the dealer set out on a mission to get it running for minimum dollars, and get it out of his life.
Also battery died the first night I had it, and the windshield wipers were dry rotted, so both of those were replaced the second day of ownership.
I bought this car for 1,500 dollars, so I was understanding about a certain amount of these faults.
I bought this car just as a backup to get to work, and to allow my wife to keep the other car at home. I didn't really expect much from it, but it's turned out to be one of the most reliable vehicles I've ever owned.
I did spend a few hundred dollars in getting the brake pads turned around, getting the check engine light fixed etc., but in reality I didn't even have to do anything except the brake pads.
I only attempted to have the check engine light fixed, because the car wouldn't pass smog. It still won't pass smog, but that doesn't appear to affect driveability. The car just runs and runs.
I don't mistreat it, but I don't really take care of it either. I'm not attached to it, it's just an investment to get me to work and back as long as possible until it dies. The fact is, it won't die though. The A/C works great, heater works, engine runs good, transmission shifts smooth, and it's never come close to leaving me stranded anywhere. I'm a big fan of the Taurus, or else I'm really lucky.
As would be expected in a car of its age, there are a few squeaks and rattles, but I can deal with them. I might even give up on the idea of this car dying anytime soon, and go ahead and do a little restorative work on it. Very unexpectedly, it's become my primary source of transportation, since it outlived our other car.