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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First time post here. No stranger for Ford products, driven many a Taurus in my companys fleet and as rental. Owen two Ford escapes (05 & 09 Limiteds.)

My 18 and a 1/2 year old daughter just received her leaner permit. She and I figure it would be good to learn to drive from the start in one car. That said, need hints as to what to watch for in a 2003 SES with the 24 valve Duatec V-6?

Here are the details: 2003 SES with ABS and front air-bags. Miles is 62K, sold by the dealer (where the escapes come from) new in 03 and resold in 04. Locally used car as Vehix report shows all inspections at the same dealer. Vehix report is clean, no service report of issues on the report. Looks OK inside and out. Just inspected by the dealer, good for a year.

Didn't start it. Looking under the hood all looked OK and normal for 7 year old car. The only visual item is on the passinger side, the wire harness housing (black molded plastic, rectangular shape conduit) that comes out of the top of the intake then makes a 90 degree bend towards the firewall (L shape with the foot of the L going to the top of the intake) has tape holding the top down. Looks as if someone has been in there and couldn't (or broke) the top. Then took black electrical tape and put three turns abount this plastic housing to hold it down.

Is the conduit an indication of an issue? What else to look for beyond the normal tires (new set of 4) and the like?

Been around cars for 50 years and understand the basics. Did read John (?) tips on buying a used Taurus. What to get specific to the 2003.

Also, please someone confirm the OHV Duratec has a timing chain, not a belt?

Thanks folks!:D

Premium Member
17,415 Posts
Ok the DOHC engine is not the same as the OHV engine. If the vin reads 1FAHP55S, that S indicates you have the Duratec 24V DOHC V6...whereas if it reads 1FAHP55U (or 2), the 'u' indicates it's a Vulcan (or '2' indicates flex fuel vulcan).

Things to watch for...
Coil packs & wires (like to throw misfire codes). PCV valve & PCV hose (More codes). Various vacuum lines running throughout the engine. The clutch and coil on the AC compressor. Crankshaft position sensor is another item. Less often is having issues with the fuel injectors causing a misfire. Lower intake manifold gaskets as well. A low coolant light may mean the coolant tank is sludged up and needs to be cleaned out or replaced. The float valve gets sticky with age. And finally, the oil pan gasket is well known for leaking with age (mine was documented with a leak @ 75,000 miles when it was 5 years old).

Not like all of this will happen at once, or even at all for the lifetime of the car, but those are some things that do pop up from just reading on here.

Both the Vulcan and the Duratec engine use a timing chain.
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