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.
This is the worst car I have ever owned.
*** REPEAT, THIS IS THE WORST CAR I HAVE EVER OWNED.
I should have checked out the reviews. I'd like to go American, but my only experience with an American car was this (and a Dodge, which was only marginally better), and it was so absolutely lousy -- so unforgivable -- so expensive and aggravating, all I can do is post on these forums to say: NEVER AGAIN. When a car almost kills you -- you tend to not be so forgiving.
I forked over hard earned money to keep this car running, but the problems with this car were so many and so hard to find, the stumped mechanics had no idea what to do, so they just found things to fix that they thought would solve the problem.
No mechanic could do anything about the engine light, which kept coming on. I was not able to register my car in the city I live, because if the engine light is on, they wouldn't pass you. I spent beaucoup bucks to fix it, but all the money I spent achieved nothing. The mechanics could never figure out the source of the problem. They charged me all the same, however.
It got really bad toward the end when the car became 'a death trap'. My husband and I tried to have it fixed, but the problems were such that only a major overhaul on the suspension would have fixed it. The mechanic did not tell us this. At this point, we were taken advantage of by Firestone to a extreme degree, when they fixed the brakes, and left the crucial problem untouched. They told us that what they were fixing would solve the problem. We could have died.
The problems that this car has are mechanical, electric, and with the suspension.
This car has so many problems, that unless you are able to work on cars yourself, you will spend more in maintenance than you spend on the car itself.