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2003 Taurus SES
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That's a decision that has to be made pretty early into the rot process. I was considering this on my 2006. The rocker area is made up of three components from what I have researched. The floor plan, the rocker cover and in the middle of those two is the reinforcing panel. You can buy a floor panel but it can be fabricated, the full rocker panel is available on line but the reinforcing panel is not available OEM or aftermarket and looked like it could not be easily fabricated if at all. If that reinforcing panel is in bad shape it is hard to justify fixing.
I suspected rust and it was confirmed when I had the safety inspection done. My shop said they could pass me this year, but not next year. Local body shop fabricated what they couldn't buy. The reinf panel was ok they said.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Is it safe - not just road worthy, but for anyone that drives it?
Is it still running well?
Other than gasoline, is it costing you more than 50% a month of a replacement car payment?
Does it have any trade in value toward any car you might replace it with (I'm guessing no, so it would be a private sale)?
If you get a replacement, will you need to finance (because that'll add more insurance cost)?

The mid-level car market is still high right now, and if you need a loan for a used car those are higher as well. If it's running, and you don't NEED a replacement yet, keep it. Save for the replacement. And keep another vehicle out of the scrap yards.

Mine is a 1999 Wagon with under 156K miles. When I bought it I lived in California and it's a rust free, well maintained car. I'm now putting about 8K miles per year on it, and in the winter try to wash off any salt within a day. It's got a couple of bumper scratches and the wiper stalk needs to be replaced or repacked, but other than that all is good on it.

I've been on the fence a few times about replacement (before the car market skyrocketed). I'm going a different route when it comes time to replace - all used: Lexus LS460 AWD, RX350, or Hyundai Genesis 4.6L or 5.0L.
Thank you for responding. I like your answer. It is a second car that I will use primarily to go back and forth to work 2-3 times per week. My wife doesn't drive, so it is not something that I like having. My only expenses with this car are the gas and oil to keep it running.
 

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Thank you for responding. I like your answer. It is a second car that I will use primarily to go back and forth to work 2-3 times per week. My wife doesn't drive, so it is not something that I like having. My only expenses with this car are the gas and oil to keep it running.
Registration and insurance are really the high cost of my Taurus. I have four cars and keep the Taurus around for local winter driving. I spend about $300 for insurance and registration.
 

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1999 Taurus SE Wagon (dohc, ax4n)
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Thank you for responding. I like your answer. It is a second car that I will use primarily to go back and forth to work 2-3 times per week. My wife doesn't drive, so it is not something that I like having. My only expenses with this car are the gas and oil to keep it running.
If it's a 2nd car, and costs nothing except gas and regular maintenance, keep it until it dies (unless it's costing a lot to register and insure - I don't know your state). You've already got a primary vehicle so you'll have a fall back for a few days or couple of weeks while looking for a replacement when the time comes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Registration and insurance are really the high cost of my Taurus. I have four cars and keep the Taurus around for local winter driving. I spend about $300 for insurance and registration.
$300 per year for a spare car is very inexpensive. I live in Texas, so , we don't have a lot of cold weather or snowy conditions here. I drive mine to work 2-3 times per week.
 

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My goal for used cars, depreciation of $1K per year or less. Depends on prime family car or daily driver second car. I have 4 cars on the road now.
Best recent, this one $4K drove 8 years and 70K miles, sold for $1K to a friend. Pic of dealer ad.
My worst recent, '02 Lin Cont at 40K miles, traded at 80K miles got little for it. Five years and I could not trust it. Three fails that caused me to cancel trip or use daughter's car. And exterior trims failing bad. Horrible to work on.
As times pass and the Dollar is devalued that goal might be harder to take.
Used cars getting hard to find at good prices. I have to look longer and harder to find a good one.
-chart-
 

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