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I'm new to the forum and looking to get a decent car for just A to B. The Ford dealer in my town has a 2002 Taurus SES 3.0l. The vehicle has 86k on the OD, cloth seats, sunroof, new goodyear kelly tires, 6 disc changer, etc. Cosmetically, the interior and exterior are pretty good. Took it for a test drive and it seemed alright. I live about a mile away from the dealer, so I took a pit stop to let it idle and pick through it and noticed somethings that concerned me. Not sure if this is usual or not for these types of vehicles.

Engine sounded like it had a "knock" noise, but not the thunk thunk type. Sounded like it was coming from the pulley turning in the front portion of the engine on the driver side. I'll admit, I don't know this engine very well, but have heard they are pretty reliable. Just didn't sound right to me. Wasn't noticeable in the cab, just outside with the hood open. Injectors possibly? My 5.4 in my truck sounds like a diesel cause of the injectors, just not sure on this.

Constant door ajar light stayed on, closed all the doors hard multiple times and it wouldn't go off. Lock the doors and they unlocked themselves after a few seconds, even while driving. Sensor might be bad or something isn't latching right. Not something I want to put my 3 week old baby in! =). So that definitely needs to be fixed.

Dash portion underneath the OD doesn't light up. Pretty sure it is suppose to have the P R N D D 1 L or something lit up there. Fiddled around with it a bit to no avail. Not sure if it is a fuse or if the lights are just burnt out.

Otherwise, everything else seems to function just fine. No issues with vents, AC, heat, lights, Mach stereo system. No transmission slip and smooth acceleration out of the engine.

Any other problems, common issues, or maintenance portions I should have checked out before buying? Not wild how the engine sounds, just doesn't sound right. I plan on having the dealer change the plugs, BGK induction clean it, do oil, and fuel filter if I decide to buy. They also want $8,450 for it which seems pretty high.

Thanks in advance for the help!
 

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02 ses

I'm new to the forum and looking to get a decent car for just A to B. The Ford dealer in my town has a 2002 Taurus SES 3.0l. The vehicle has 86k on the OD, cloth seats, sunroof, new goodyear kelly tires, 6 disc changer, etc. Cosmetically, the interior and exterior are pretty good. Took it for a test drive and it seemed alright. I live about a mile away from the dealer, so I took a pit stop to let it idle and pick through it and noticed somethings that concerned me. Not sure if this is usual or not for these types of vehicles.

Engine sounded like it had a "knock" noise, but not the thunk thunk type. Sounded like it was coming from the pulley turning in the front portion of the engine on the driver side. I'll admit, I don't know this engine very well, but have heard they are pretty reliable. Just didn't sound right to me. Wasn't noticeable in the cab, just outside with the hood open. Injectors possibly? My 5.4 in my truck sounds like a diesel cause of the injectors, just not sure on this.

Constant door ajar light stayed on, closed all the doors hard multiple times and it wouldn't go off. Lock the doors and they unlocked themselves after a few seconds, even while driving. Sensor might be bad or something isn't latching right. Not something I want to put my 3 week old baby in! =). So that definitely needs to be fixed.

Dash portion underneath the OD doesn't light up. Pretty sure it is suppose to have the P R N D D 1 L or something lit up there. Fiddled around with it a bit to no avail. Not sure if it is a fuse or if the lights are just burnt out.

Otherwise, everything else seems to function just fine. No issues with vents, AC, heat, lights, Mach stereo system. No transmission slip and smooth acceleration out of the engine.

Any other problems, common issues, or maintenance portions I should have checked out before buying? Not wild how the engine sounds, just doesn't sound right. I plan on having the dealer change the plugs, BGK induction clean it, do oil, and fuel filter if I decide to buy. They also want $8,450 for it which seems pretty high.

Thanks in advance for the help!
price is too high, I think about 5500 is a better price, all problems should be fixed before you buy for 8450, door lock issue could be a bear but if you can get it for 5 or 6 k that might be a deal
 

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Hahahahaha 8450. Right. I love dealer pricing. Subtract 3 grand and you are doing well. The car's almost 10 years old!

OK so it sounds like you found a Duratec Taurus. If the seats were two tone, the wheels look like the old SHO slicer wheels, and the dash had brushed aluminum fake trim, you found an "SES Sport" model.

The water pump may be due for replacement if that's the area the noise is coming from.

Floor shifter Tauruses, except for 96 models, do not have a gear indicator under the speedometer. Pretty lame huh? The plastic around the instrument cluster starts to bow up with age + heat. My 2000s is doing that.

The door latch probably needs to be lubed or replaced. One of the doors has a sensor that is gummed up/sticking, causing the door not to sense that it is shut. Very common issue on Tauruses.

The Duratec sounds a bit like a diesel. Its just noisy fuel injection. See a video I made awhile back checking my motor mounts:

Speaking of which, make sure the mount by the firewall isn't leaking hydraulic fluid. Take the car to a shop. Have them inspect it, run a smoke test to indicate any vacuum leaks. You are about due for a "Duratec Tuneup": replace valve cover, lower intake, upper intake, spark plug gaskets. Hopefully front, green clip o2 sensors have good voltages. If you're in the salt belt, check for rot in the rear wheel well arches and behind the plastic rocker molding.
 

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Price

I'm new to the forum and looking to get a decent car for just A to B. The Ford dealer in my town has a 2002 Taurus SES 3.0l. The vehicle has 86k on the OD, cloth seats, sunroof, new goodyear kelly tires, 6 disc changer, etc. Cosmetically, the interior and exterior are pretty good. Took it for a test drive and it seemed alright. I live about a mile away from the dealer, so I took a pit stop to let it idle and pick through it and noticed somethings that concerned me. Not sure if this is usual or not for these types of vehicles.

Engine sounded like it had a "knock" noise, but not the thunk thunk type. Sounded like it was coming from the pulley turning in the front portion of the engine on the driver side. I'll admit, I don't know this engine very well, but have heard they are pretty reliable. Just didn't sound right to me. Wasn't noticeable in the cab, just outside with the hood open. Injectors possibly? My 5.4 in my truck sounds like a diesel cause of the injectors, just not sure on this.

Constant door ajar light stayed on, closed all the doors hard multiple times and it wouldn't go off. Lock the doors and they unlocked themselves after a few seconds, even while driving. Sensor might be bad or something isn't latching right. Not something I want to put my 3 week old baby in! =). So that definitely needs to be fixed.

Dash portion underneath the OD doesn't light up. Pretty sure it is suppose to have the P R N D D 1 L or something lit up there. Fiddled around with it a bit to no avail. Not sure if it is a fuse or if the lights are just burnt out.

Otherwise, everything else seems to function just fine. No issues with vents, AC, heat, lights, Mach stereo system. No transmission slip and smooth acceleration out of the engine.

Any other problems, common issues, or maintenance portions I should have checked out before buying? Not wild how the engine sounds, just doesn't sound right. I plan on having the dealer change the plugs, BGK induction clean it, do oil, and fuel filter if I decide to buy. They also want $8,450 for it which seems pretty high.

Thanks in advance for the help!
As a comparison

I bought '03 Sable LS Premium with which comes with all leather, sun roof, DOHC, lighting group, tinted glass, heated mirrors, power seats both sides, side impact air bag, automatic climate control, and on and on. 80K miles and as clean as you can imagine. $5800 with a 3 month warrenty.

Tree fell on it and totaled, insurance said it was worth $7600.

For what is worth. Location mid East PA. (buy location not my location)

-chart-
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for all the input guys. It really helps.

Bull Geek: Yes, it sounds like the video you posted. Figured it was noisy injectors, but just wanted to be sure. If I do get the vehicle, I'll recommend your tuneup to my list.

I heard about the rot/rust under the plastic molding due to salt. I haven't checked it, but I live in Nebraska. The smaller towns don't salt too heavily which is where this vehicle came from. 1 owner, and probably a farmer's wife vehicle. Engine bay needs a bath, surprised they didn't detail it. Either way, I'll take it for another spin and dig into it more.

Yes, I'm not going to put down ~8.5k for the vehicle. KBB/NADA all put it at ~5k for MSRP. If they don't like it, oh well. Theres a 04 Buick Lesabre Custom with lower miles that is super clean starting at 7.9k that wouldn't be bad either. But I prefer to stay loyal to Ford if I can :D.
 

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Buying Cars

Thanks for all the input guys. It really helps.

Bull Geek: Yes, it sounds like the video you posted. Figured it was noisy injectors, but just wanted to be sure. If I do get the vehicle, I'll recommend your tuneup to my list.

I heard about the rot/rust under the plastic molding due to salt. I haven't checked it, but I live in Nebraska. The smaller towns don't salt too heavily which is where this vehicle came from. 1 owner, and probably a farmer's wife vehicle. Engine bay needs a bath, surprised they didn't detail it. Either way, I'll take it for another spin and dig into it more.

Yes, I'm not going to put down ~8.5k for the vehicle. KBB/NADA all put it at ~5k for MSRP. If they don't like it, oh well. Theres a 04 Buick Lesabre Custom with lower miles that is super clean starting at 7.9k that wouldn't be bad either. But I prefer to stay loyal to Ford if I can :D.
Just a suggestion, I looked at two internet sites and found a wide spead in advertised prices vs what the car would be worth. Since I live in a serious rust belt, I look about 150 miles south into PA. I first found 17 Taurus/Sables but pared it down to 5 after some Carfax looks. Then went to buy one of the 5. First one would not idle and check engine light is on. Oh well, just education. Second looked OK, third OK, fourth So dirty it was NO WAY, then #5 was a keeper. Well worth the effort.

-chart-
 

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$5500 is still too expensive. Similar year/mileage Tauruses are going for $3500~ privately on places like Craigslist.

Hell, I'm feeling like I might have overpaid with my $1800 '98 with 160k on it...
 

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There's a '96 GL in a local used car lot that the asking price is $3999.00. Toreador Red with gray leather interior, moon roof, 106,000 miles. Cosmetically, I'd rate it a strong 7 out of 10.
 
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