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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Today was an interesting day. Today I bought a used 1997 Ford Taurus GL 3.0 v6 engine. Mileage is only 136k and I got it for $1700. Brought my dad along cause he knows more about cars than I do.

He drove it around a block, said,

"- the steering is good
- brakes are good
- A/C works very nicely
- engine was alright."

We get back and he takes the keys out of the ignition, opens the door and the car beeps like the keys are still in it.

So my questions is:

How do I fix that?


Bonus Questions:

Could someone give me an insight as to why this car is a good car?

Is there anything to make the cup holder more appealing?

Was the car a steal, and should I be expecting any problems arising because of it?

There are two keys. One is for the door and the other is for the ignition? Is there any way to change that? (A stupid and serious question)


Thanks to everyone who responds in advanced! I look forward to driving this car.
 

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I've had this very same problem with my car. There is a small switch that is inside the steering column that detects when the key is in the ignition. It's held on by a small snap that seems to break off at random. You need to take the screws out of the bottom of the steering column that cover around the shifter. The plastic piece on the ignition just pops off with a screwdriver. Once you have it open, the culprit should just be hanging by a wire right by the ignition switch. To fix mine, I honestly just pushed it into place, and used electrical tape to tape over it several rounds. I never had a problem with it again, even after I sold the car. It worked until it was sold as scrap.
The only way to get the keys to match is to get a locksmith to re-key your ignition. Obviously it went bad at some point, and instead of fixing it right they cheaped out and just bought a new ignition with a new key. When I had mine done, I had the mechanic re-key it at the same time, because I didn't want that same problem you have.
The cup holders suck, and there isn't much you can do about that. The rubber parts do come out for cleaning though if you don't already know that.
That is honestly about the going rate for that car. I wouldn't say it was a steal.
As long as you take care of it, that motor should easily last to 300,000 miles. The transmission would be what I'd worry about. Make sure to change the fluid and filter every 25,000 miles at the most. I would do it NOW if I were you since you don't know how well the previous owner took care of it. I'd also install the largest auxiliary transmission cooler you can find onto it to help keep the transmission in top shape. Heat is the main killer of transmissions, and the stock cooling leaves much to be desired on Taurii.
 

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The Taurus can be a good car if you take care of it. The only major problem i hear out of them is the transmission being the weak point and some have lost theirs before 100k.

Rebuilding a transmission can cost almost as much as you paid for the car so if you can get records on when they changed the transmission fluid you know if you need to do it again.

It costs about $130 for a ford dealership to drain and refill the old fluid, of which $60 is the cost of the 12 quarts of fluid. Probably a good idea to keep that up to date.

Which engine do you have? Probably the 3.0 Vulcan, which is the OHV. Its easy to work on and they usually last between 200-300k miles if oil changes are done correctly.

Plus they are easy to work on. The alternator is right on top and i can change myne in about 30 minutes after doing it a couple of times. The starter is easy to replace if you ever need one and those are the 2 biggest things that go out wear and tear from what i have done on myne.

Consider moving to a synthetic oil like Mobil 1 and a high quality oil filter to keep the engine running clean.

I don't know how much you know about cars but if your getting the oil changed in the car read this about oil filters. It tells you why Fram oil filters suck and you shouldn't use them. I use Purolator or Wix and they are top notch.

Oil Filters Revealed - MiniMopar Resources
 

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2003 Ford taurus Centennial Edition
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The only major transmission problem I've had is that clip breaking in the transmission that shifts the tranny into O/D..the replacement clips (which are stronger) can be had if you check with your ford dealer..My dealer found one in wisconsin...you might look into doing this kind of as a preventative measure..mine went out at about 137k.
There is a write up of this change in the topic finder. Just some helpful info.
 
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