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First of all thanks so much for the replies on "Should I try a Taurus /Sable". The input is greatly appreciated and I encorage more, thanks.
The title asks the question so I won't repeat. You folks mentioned the transmission as a weak link in the car, how can I tell if it's OK or not (I've always had gearboxes)?
Depending of course overall condition and maybe high milage, how wrong can I go for $2600.00 plus tires, as opposed to financing $10,000.00+ for a '01-'02 w/ Duratec? The latter was the original plan, but I sure don't object to saving that kind of cash. If I'm favorably impressed, I'll get into a new or gently previously owned one.
I look forward to all your input, I hope to find time to check out the car over the holiday and by then I'll be armed with other questions, I'm sure.
Thanks again and Happy New Year. Jon
 

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You should ask for maintenance records and a suggested maintenance schedule from ford. You should see fluid changes regularly and depending on milage, you might look for a tranny flush. Check the transmission fluid. It should be a nice medium red to dark pink in color. if it's a very very dark red or a brown/black it needs changed and there may already be problems with the transmission. Usually it's the 1-2 shifting that start to go first, but check all the shift points. The shifts won't be instant as they go for comfort, but it also shouldn't be a large hesitation durring a shift either. Make sure any recalls have been performed. Make sure the rotors aren't warped (had mine warped by 35K miles on my 2000). Other then that, just check it like you would any other used car.

As for options, more is definatly better


But really it depends what you like. I have almost all options. If you are interested in getting an aftermarket head unit at all, DON'T get digital climate controls. The stock radio and climate controls are integrated, making it impossible to remove one without the other. If you don't feel the need for an aftermarket radio, the climate controls are great. I have a remote start installed on mine too, so if I set the temp then I can get the car to temperature before I even leave the house. I have the Mach audio system with six speakers and Six disk changer. I've installed two 12" Audiobahns and a 500 Watt RMS Kicker amp to add some base to the system.

I also enjoy my leather seating, sun roof, automatic headlamps (they turn on when it's dark) and heated side mirrors.

-Dan
 

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Its too bad you're not looking for a sedan, my buddy has out grown his 1996 Taurus LX, has leather, Duratec, etc.

Anyway if the vehicles shimmers a little on braking, this is a sign of the prevoiusly mentioned warped rotors. They range in price from $20 each to $60+ each and arnt that hard to replace yourself. I'd considor taking the car to a Ford, Lincoln/Mercury dealer to have it checked out. If they find a problem, get an estimate and present this to the owner. They must either fix it or drop the price accordingly.

I almost bought a very clean 1992 Ford Tempo GLS 2-door (rare model, the "sporty" edition with fog lamps, 15" wheels, etc) but the pot lot I was buying it from refused to allow me to take it to a dealer for a check up. What were they hiding? I dont know because I refuesed to buy the car on this very point. It may have been wrecked and reparied, had a mechanical problem, etc...who knows? It ran and drove well but that isnt always the greatest indication of a sound car.
 

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Hi,

I've got a 96 GL Wagon that I love.

It has:

15" alloy wheels
power drivers seat
heated mirrors
power antenna
am/fm cassette
Ford alarm system

It does have some quirks.

1. Sometimes when the alarm is activated/deactivated, the parking lights flash and stay on. I have to arm/disarm several times to have them turn off.

2. Door ajar and interior lights stay on. This was easily solved by spraying silicone spray in the door latch. Problem has not reoccured in 2 years.

3. Front windshield washer does not work sometimes. The multi-function switch needs to be replaced.

4. Slight groan from power steering during right turn only. This may happen less than once a month.

5. Rear wiper switch sometimes needs to be jiggled to activate.

6. Glove box opens on its own if not forcefully closed.

These are all minor problems.

I have had no problems with the transmission or engine in the 2 years I have had the car.

Good luck
 
J

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If you are willing to spend the 10k + you might want to look at Ford certified preowned at a dealership. You will find cars that are generally well cared for and in great condition. I got the 2001 SES I have now in August for 11.5k with about 20k miles on it - I now have about 36k miles and have not had a single problem with it. I have the Vulcan engine, Floor shifter, power moonroof, heated mirrors, Traction Control, ABS and came with very nice cloth seats, I swapped them out with leather ones myself. I also bought the Ford PremiumCare warranty which is 99.9% as good as the original factory bumper to bumper warranty. They gave me a very good deal on the warranty and only charged me about $600 for it. This warranty covers everything from powertrane to electronics such as the heated mirrors, sunroof, window motors, etc... I might have voided or will be voiding some of this warranty due to my modding, but I don't care. The warranty has a $100 per trip deductible (unless you are making a return trip for the same issue) and covers the car for 6 years/100k miles. Anyways, I am very happy with my car and love it. It is very obvious my car was well cared for. Of all the certified preowned vehicles I looked at and drove and when compared to "regular" used cars, I must say that there really is something behind their certification, it isn't one of those "BS" false sense of security type deals. Just my $.02
 

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Originally posted by DNAMIT@Dec 30 2003, 12:36 PM
4. Slight groan from power steering during right turn only. This may happen less than once a month.
I'd have the power steering system flushed by a Ford, Lincoln/Mercury dealer. I had it done on my 1992 Tempo to correct this very problem and it did. I've had the car for about three years since and the power steering pump is quiet and works very well. Its due to a build up of moisture in the hydrolic fluid used in the pump.
 
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