1997 Ford Taurus Wagon 6 cylinder from North America
I got a lot more than I expected for the money!
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.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 26th February, 2012
Just an update to my previous post.
Since posting, the AC has died. Was told it was compressor clutch ($750 for new compressor kit).
Also the brake warning light came on. I got a mechanic to replace the front pads, as I had previously been told during an oil change that they were down to 20%. The warning light stayed on, I looked at the old pads, they were 80% at least! I checked the master cylinder, low fluid, topped it off, no more warning light. My fault. Seriously people, if you EVER find a mechanic you can trust, hang on to them, because it's been my personal experience, that the majority will rape you for every penny they think they can get.
There is a very good chance that a good reason for the majority of gripes on this site, is because of people being lied to by mechanics, and they don't know any better, or never bother to check the facts. Seriously people, spend a little time thinking about this stuff, and don't be afraid to learn a little bit about your car. I used to know this, but somehow forgot over the years.
If you just plain don't want to deal with it, then you can look forward to having many costly encounters with mechanics in your future. Best if you can keep driving a brand new car, and trade it in at the first sign of trouble. For the rest of us, THINK.