1999 Ford Taurus SE 3.0L Duratec V6 from North America
To those of you who are having trouble with heat in the Taurus...beware! I had my thermostat replaced twice and had a full system flush (around $600 by the time everything was done).
I decided since no one could pinpoint the problem, I would just deal with freezing during the winter. The other day while driving, my temperature gage dropped to zero and the car chugged and then died. I got out and saw white smoke coming out of the exhaust and under the hood, with coolant spraying everywhere. Turns out my car overheated (with NO indication on my temperature gauge!!!) and blew the head gasket. It also warped the cylinder heads and the car is toast. There was a puddle of coolant the size of a couch under my car, so there obviously was plenty of coolant in it. The dealership has no idea why it overheated and even less idea why the temperature gage showed nothing, but they said it's common in the Taurus.
I have 98,000 miles on this car and I've maintained it well.
HOWEVER, I have had all the classic Taurus problems:
Interior light on randomly.
Ball joints and rotors replaced.
Several new thermostats.
Defective rear disc brakes.
Heater core is bad.
In addition, I've had a litany of other fun problems:
Huge hole in my fuel line led to having to replace the fuel filter, fuel line, and gas tank.
Had to replace the radiator coolant well at 80,000 miles.
EGR valve backflow problem reading on my computer... replaced EGR valve and light would not go off... now "check engine" light is always on and EGR backflow code always shows on computer.
Heater line had to be replaced at 50,000 miles- very expensive, difficult repair and the part was hard to find.
Alternator replaced at 70,000 miles.. during this repair, a pulley wheel on another part of the engine broke because it was synthetic instead of metal and we had to order a special tool to fix this.
The car also has wiring problems and has shorted out two batteries.
Every time we have to do a repair, Ford is completely puzzled and usually has no idea how to fix it. If they DO know how to fix it, they usually have to order a special tool to do so, and it costs twice as much as expected because of the amount of labor required.
Doing labor on your own is practically impossible because the car is set up so most parts are totally inaccessible without taking off other parts or putting it on lifts. Even changing the oil is a huge hassle because the car is so low to the ground, we've had to prop up the body with logs because the jacks don't lift it high enough.
This car has been a pain in the butt the whole time. It has spent more time in the shop that being driven. Last week it dumped me on the side of the highway and I am honestly glad to be rid of it. We've bought Ford for 40 years, but NEVER AGAIN after owning this car.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 2nd February, 2008