Have you gotten a proce for just the core itself - part only? If it is close to the total including labor, then it is probably fairly easy to replace. If the core is pretty cheap, then the labor will be pretty intensive.
Usually you have to make sure to get out as much antifreeze as you can, or you will spill it all over your interior, which will ruin it totally.
The heatercore at Autozone was $45, if I remember correctly great if you have some place that will do it cheap (i.e. friend of family, big maybe though). The labor is what is the real kicker. Its like a 5 hour job so not many people wanna do it, and if thy do it wont be cheap. The job requires removing the whole dashboard to get to it, and remove it. One place wanted it done for $425 not including the heatercore that we picked up, and PepBoys wanted like $467 inculding their own heatercore, and a warranty on all the labor and parts. We just chose PepBoys since we had some kind of credit coming to us. So far so good.
Heater cores are a pain in most modern cars. You usually have to remove the dashboard, etc.... Not necessarily hard, but certainly labor intensive. Whatever you do make sure you buy a good quality heater core. I personally would stick with a Ford original or make sure you find one that is as at least as good quality. A lot of the aftermarket ones are junk and will blow pretty soon. The vast majority of the cost in replacing the heater core is labor (yours or somebody you are paying). I had a friend who bought an aftermarket one for his Explorer, and it blew up in less than 6 months, sure it was covered by warranty but his labor wasn't ;-). I haven't done it on a Taurus but I did it on my 87 Mustang some years back and it took about 8-10 hours (I took frequent breaks and made sure to document everything so i could put it back together).
Yes I got prices for ~$60 for the part. I do have a friend with a nice garage but he only wants to work on BMW and Benz. So its a big favor to ask him to use his lift and his expertise, I donâ€™t know if I feel right asking him for something that will take 5 hours.
I am thinking of selling it. But I probably wonâ€™t get a good price if the core still needs to be replaced. I have taken very good care of the car and have replaced about 1/3 of the engine components from normal wear or for preventative maintenance; so I am not interested in trading it in for like $2k.
I took the cheap and easy way out, I poured some radiator sealant into the radiator, cranked it on, it ran thru the system with the heater on and it plugged itself...beem working top notch for 9 months now