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I'm looking to purchase a late model Taurus Wagon in Cincinnati. I've narrowed it down to 3 choices.

1. 2004 SE, Duratech, 9500 mi., asking $18,500
2. 2003 SE, Vulcan, 14500 mi., asking $13,998
3. 2002 SEL, Duratech, 24,539, asking $13,998

I'm leaning toward the 2004, but only if he's willing to deal heavily. My main question is the engine. I've read both engines are reliable, but which one is easier to work on. I typically keep a car more than 200K miles and do all the maintence myself. Is the vulcan significantly easier to work on?

Also, how can you tell if the car has ABS? I didn't see anything on the master cylinder that looked like ABS, but I wasn't sure if they had the module hidden somehow.

Thanks
 

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Vulcans are WAY easier to service, but don't have the balls of a Duratec. Vulcans will probably last longer, too.

When you turn on the key, there should be an "ABS" light that briefly illuminates on the dashboard. Without that, it won't have ABS.
 

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If you can swing the payments, I would look into a new wagon from a dealership. I don't know what deals they're running now, but I bought a new sedan at the end of Feb. and only paid about $18,500 for an SES with the Duratec. I also have an '03 wagon with the Tec and I love it. I bought a used Vulcan wagon and traded it in for the Tec. No contest when it comes to performance. As for durability, anything will last if it is maintained.

-Jeff
 

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Get the newer Duractec. That thing is a tank. You'll need the extra HP to pull the extra weight. The Vulcan may be cheaper, but you'll lack any kind of performance.

Even the 2002 SEL is a good buy. It's half as much as the 2004. You won't have any problems for a good 75,000 miles
 
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I'd go for the 2002 duratec. First year depreciation on the Taurus is insane.
 

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Definitely go for the Duratec. It's a well built engine and will give you a little ooomph so you can drive it like it wasn't a grocery getter. As to which 'tec you should get, it's all up to personal preference/options/price...

Welcome to the club, by the way!

JR
 

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Another way to tell if you have ABS, is to check on the driver window, cause if memory serves me correct, there is an ABS sticker there, unless the owner removed it.
 
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If you turn the keey but do not start the car, the abs light should light up then go out.

If you really want to test if the car has abs, turn the key to the on position, then jack up a wheel and spin it. The abs light should come on and stay on until you turn off the car.
 
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