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  1. #1
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    Ford Taurus X - where X answers almost anything

    Well, not literally. I do admit that the Taurus X can serve multiple purposes and do a good job every step of the way. Francis thought the Taurus X was sweet and BigLarry was inspired to write up a detailed review of the Taurus X. Click on the link below for BigLarry's in-depth review of the Taurus X. A link to Francis' formal review is also included on the page.


    2008 Ford Taurus X Limited Review - A Family Guyís Perspective

    For those of you that still think Ford products lack reliability and anything that resembles quality. Think again. Initial quality of Ford domestic vehicles (Ford, Lincoln, Mercury) is now close to the level of Toyota and Honda. Hard to believe isnít it?

    A just-released study on quality by the RDA Group of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., shows Ford now matches Honda as well as Toyota in initial quality. The RDAís first-quarter 2008 U.S. Global Quality Research System study shows Fordís domestic brand quality level was a combined average of 1,284 things-gone-wrong (TGW) per 1,000 vehicles during the first three months of ownership. This performance is statistically equivalent to the 1,250 TGW level of Honda and Toyota.

    Now what do you have to say?
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  2. #2
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    Initial quality might be good, but the long term quality of my 2000 Ford (bought new in 2000) leaves a lot to be desired. Poor fitting parts, a transmission that is not designed well for the vehicle, dealer service that is piss poor, paint that looks worn even when waxed every 6 months, etc. Granted, the engine hasn't fallen out yet but at 70,000 miles I expect something a little better.
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  3. #3
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    "9 out of 10 Fords are still on the road.....that's where they broke down." Quote from an old mechanic I know.

    I personally can't get over how it looks. Now if that babe that has been in all the new Ford commercials was in the passenger seat with nothing on, I might be on-board.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by bustamove
    Initial quality of Ford domestic vehicles (Ford, Lincoln, Mercury) is now close to the level of Toyota and Honda. Hard to believe isnít it?
    Well, I'm a lot more concerned about long-term quality.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem
    Well, I'm a lot more concerned about long-term quality.
    Agreed, report back on how that Taurus X is doing after 150K and then we'll see if their quality has actually caught up to Toyota and Honda.
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  6. #6
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    My '87 Mustang GT made it to 220K on the original engine and trans(Sold it to a friend at 210K who crashed it). Granted some of the interior parts were getting beat up, but they make replacements for the little things that go wrong for that model as people love to restore it.
    Had a couple Expeditions that were awesome vehicles. One did have an issue with the self leveling air suspension, but that option should have stayed on the Navigator as it was a bit overkill.
    My current '06 Mustang GT is really nice, lining up well with most cars in quality. There have been a couple quirky problems other owners have seen but they are easily resolvable by the dealer.
    Yes Ford dealer service blows.
    If you want to see poor quality you should have seen the route my '99 Dodge quad cab went! I could never bring myself to look at a Dodge/Chryser product again.

  7. #7
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    Seems pretty crappy - poor build quality - check out the shots in this article (on par with toyota and honda - ha!) and a reactive AWD system:

    http://www.cars.com/go/crp/research....=&aff=national

    Ford is really dumb, they sell their best cars outside of the US.

    Territory, Euro Focus, Mondeo, Falcon, Kuga etc...

    Check out the AU/NZ crossover - full time AWD and up to a 4L 6 cyl Turbo:

    http://www.ford.com.au/servlet/Conte...Page&c=DFYPage

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by syadasti
    Ford is really dumb, they sell their best cars outside of the US.
    I'm a Ford fan and your comment rings true for me too.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by wesd
    Initial quality might be good, but the long term quality of my 2000 Ford (bought new in 2000) leaves a lot to be desired. Poor fitting parts, a transmission that is not designed well for the vehicle, dealer service that is piss poor, paint that looks worn even when waxed every 6 months, etc. Granted, the engine hasn't fallen out yet but at 70,000 miles I expect something a little better.
    Hopefully, the new generation of Ford vehicles have moved beyond what was built in 2000. There are always compromises between quality and cost. In the past Ford wasn't smart enough to demand quality of parts and construction because they were able to absorb the costs of repairs for the vehicles under warranty. Maybe they finally applied Toyota's mantra of requiring all of their parts suppliers to meet a high quality standard or go home. Ford can save buzzillions of cash by spending a little extra up front and saving money on covering the repair costs and money wasted on parts that fail even before they are installed at the factory.

    I would love to do a long-term test on a Ford Taurus X, Edge or something just to find out if Ford's initial quality lasts beyond 6 months or more. Help me drive more traffic to CarReview and Ford might take notice of my site someday.
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  10. #10
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    I'll drive traffic to your site, but I caution you against becoming another fan boy only to be let down. (I was once a fan boy as well).

    The problem is that Ford has not yet learned. Their new cars are nice looking, but take for instance the Fusion - Cheap seats, will probably last about 2-3 years before padding is worn out. Gauges look horrible. Mustang - horrible dash, retro gone amok, wouldn't buy for any amount of $$. F150 - can't even put a functioning oil pressure gauge in the dash - if Ford is going to cut corners on that, what else are they cutting? Steel body looks thinner than comparable GM products. Focus - nice car all around but inside had gimmicky lights on the dash - we're not teens anymore.

    How many shots at spending $30,000 am I going to give Ford? Zero more. Twice is enough, and I've been displeased both times. Now I have a Ford product the dealers don't want to trade, it's hard to sell private party, and frankly it's not worth a whole lot. Too bad because such a nice looking car is built with crappy components.
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  11. #11
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    Another Freestyle/TaurusX/Flex in the MTBR fold

    After much deliberation I recently purchased an 05 Freestyle SEL and am very pleased.

    From what I have read the problems folks have had with the CVT can be traced back to two issues. One was a batch of output shafts that were built out of spec and caused an o-ring to blow on the high-pressure circuit. The other seems to be a lack of training on the part of Ford mechanics, when the CVT was brought in for it's first service the mechanics topped it off with the usual ATF. Both of these issues destroyed the tranny and caused quite a bit of embarrassment for Ford. All other reviews for this car have been shiny and sweet with many miles driven by happy owners.

    The one I purchased had 97,000 miles behind it and is in near perfect shape. It runs very well, accelerates briskly when needed and can be very economical if I'm careful. I'm getting about 22mpg around town and have seen as high as 31mpg over several miles while on the highway. (onboard computer readout)

    The included features are fantastic. Three zone climate control, leather seats, 6-disk MP3 player that sounds oh so sweet, Volvo chassis that drives almost as good as my 97 Subaru Impreza with 180,000 miles, and so many convenient bells and whistles.

    This is the perfect choice for me as it serves as a great MTB platform that I can sleep in, and it carries me, my sweetie and her four kids (3 of them teens) in comfort.

    Planning a solo Summer trip to Colorado in July and looking forward to seeing what kind of mpg I can milk out of it. I know I'll be comfy and it is soooooo much quieter on the road than my Subie.

    Hoping to add another 150,000 miles on it over the next several years.
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  12. #12
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    I think this is the last year for the Taurus X. Too bad it's a real nice car for transporting the MTB's.
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  13. #13
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    I owned a Ford Ranger for many years and it ran great. I dumped it for a more fuel efficient car, because there was lillte use of the vehicle as a actual truck.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tinshield
    I think this is the last year for the Taurus X. Too bad it's a real nice car for transporting the MTB's.
    The car may be great (it also may not be), but you can't stick around when you're that damn bland.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by NJ-XC-Justin
    The car may be great (it also may not be), but you can't stick around when you're that damn bland.
    I've found my Taurus X is great for both family and MTB rides. I been shuttling MTB rides for four people and gear from San Jose to Tahoe or Moab/Fruita, and six riders and bikes on more local MTB trips. The carpool ride is almost as fun as the MTB.

    For those who find the T-X to be bland, Ford agrees and is replacing it with the new shell of the Ford Flex, which is best described as maxi-mini. Personally, I like the wagon-like looks of the T-X better, and the $5K lower price for essentially the same car doesn't hurt.

    The Flex is built on the same Volvo platform as the T-X and shares all the same great features and most dimensions.

    Ford Flex:

    It's not slow, it's doing more MTB time.

  16. #16
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    I own a 1998 Ford Taurus Stationwagon. I tried to sell it many times, but I can't find a good reason to do so. My total expense since 1998 (when I bought it new) was:

    Rear Shox (2x$11)
    AC Recharge ($20+)

    And then the usual oil change, gas, car wash, etc, which is really a maintenance not a repair.

    I can't wait for the darn thing to break down so I can justify buying a new car. This car survived an Audi Allroad, Chrysler Sebring Conv., 1 C5 Corvette, and I think my Dodge Caravan is going to die before the Taurus does. What do I have to do to kill it?! The only thing I wish the car had was a All Wheel Drive setup. But this thing is still running strong after 107324 miles. I really hope my next Ford product will not disappoint.

    My next car is either the Ford Flex, Ford Taurus X AWD, or a Volvo XC. I was considering a 2 year old Lease return of a R350 Merc, but I bet I get a better deal on a new Ford.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by daleksic
    My next car is either the Ford Flex, Ford Taurus X AWD, or a Volvo XC. I was considering a 2 year old Lease return of a R350 Merc, but I bet I get a better deal on a new Ford.
    Our review of the Volvo XC70 for your reading enjoyment:

    2008 Volvo XC70 (Cross Country) Review - The stalwart of the family wagon
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  18. #18
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    I had a 97 taurus and I hate to say it but it was one of the best cars I've ever owned. The only money I ever put into it was...I can't even remember, oil leak maybe? Anyhow from everything I've heard about the Taurus, you and I have been lucky.

    The car was eventually totalled in a wreck. The body shop told me of horror stories about those cars, like the doors ripping the hinges off the car because the front doors were so heavy and the hinges too light. Anyhow I miss that car (kinda), it always looked like it had a smile on it's face with the rounded air intake and droopy front end. My wife called it the 'happy car'.

  19. #19
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    A just-released study on quality by the RDA Group of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., shows Ford now matches Honda as well as Toyota in initial quality. The RDA’s first-quarter 2008 U.S. Global Quality Research System study shows Ford’s domestic brand quality level was a combined average of 1,284 things-gone-wrong (TGW) per 1,000 vehicles during the first three months of ownership. This performance is statistically equivalent to the 1,250 TGW level of Honda and Toyota.
    The RDA group (probably a Ford subsidiary) says one thing, but the people and resale values say another. I agree with those who say initial quality is useless. I'd be willing to say that the quality of my 4Runner far exceeds the quality of a comparable sized Explorer, not only in actual vehicle quality, but capabilities and resale value.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by rearviewmirror
    The RDA group (probably a Ford subsidiary) says one thing, but the people and resale values say another. I agree with those who say initial quality is useless. I'd be willing to say that the quality of my 4Runner far exceeds the quality of a comparable sized Explorer, not only in actual vehicle quality, but capabilities and resale value.
    I agree with you on most of what you say.
    - What matters more to people is the long term reliabilty rather than initial little nit picks that can be fixed.
    - In the past, Ford reliabilty was far worse than Toyota.
    - Toyota has much better resale value due to it's generally better reliabilty.

    However, Ford has recently made great progress in quality and reliabilty, which are somewhat related in that obsessive attention to every little item is required. Ford is doing more and more things to improve quality. Just one example of how they've changed: They now take longer test rides with the first batch of vehicles, checking for every litte nit again and again until it's perfect before they allow a single car to be shipped to dealers.

    Also, Ford has improved their reliabilty too. For a good example, just look what happened to the Freestyle/Taurus X reliabilty over the last three years, according to Consumer Reports. The trend is towards all "red dots" of well above average, while comparing to the full pool including all the Japanese brands.

    It will take years for this trend to be fully proven, and yet many more years for perception to change. At that point resale value may improve too.
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  21. #21
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    I've been in the automotive field for going onto 12 years. I've worked for Ford, Subaru, Honda, and currently a Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep dealer.

    All a technician and the public sees/hears are cars that have problems. With the domestic manufacturers, you don't usually see the cars that have 90+ miles on them. The mindset is different from domestic and import.

    When I was at Subaru and Honda, it was normal to have a car come in with 90k+ and have the customer spend $1000+ in repairs (maintenance and normal repairs), I had customers at Subaru toss me the keys and say do what is needed and leave. I remember one customer that had a $2300 bill and she didn't even blink at the cost. They just wanted their Subaru's to last a long time. I had another customer that had a Subaru Legacy with over 300k miles on it. Was in every 3k for service.


    At Ford and Dodge you don't see that. We do get the occasional one in, but its not the norm.


    Its all in the mindset of the consumer. Most import manufacturers (Honda, Toyota, Nissan, ect) push maintenance big time. Unfortantely the domestics are just starting to get that idea.

    It took Daimler-Benz to start the fixing of Chrysler. Its only getting better at Chrysler.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by frdfandc
    I've been in the automotive field for going onto 12 years. I've worked for Ford, Subaru, Honda, and currently a Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep dealer.

    All a technician and the public sees/hears are cars that have problems. With the domestic manufacturers, you don't usually see the cars that have 90+ miles on them. The mindset is different from domestic and import.

    When I was at Subaru and Honda, it was normal to have a car come in with 90k+ and have the customer spend $1000+ in repairs (maintenance and normal repairs), I had customers at Subaru toss me the keys and say do what is needed and leave. I remember one customer that had a $2300 bill and she didn't even blink at the cost. They just wanted their Subaru's to last a long time. I had another customer that had a Subaru Legacy with over 300k miles on it. Was in every 3k for service.


    At Ford and Dodge you don't see that. We do get the occasional one in, but its not the norm.


    Its all in the mindset of the consumer. Most import manufacturers (Honda, Toyota, Nissan, ect) push maintenance big time. Unfortantely the domestics are just starting to get that idea.

    It took Daimler-Benz to start the fixing of Chrysler. Its only getting better at Chrysler.
    I get your point. Most people neglect their cars, the imports just do a better job at standing up to it. Especially in regards to transmissions. A Honda Accord vs a Ford Taurus, they'll both go on and on upwards of 200k w/ scheduled maintenance. If each car was neglected, perhaps an oil change here and there with no coolant or transmission service it's likely the Honda would still far outlive the Ford.
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  23. #23
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    Maybe, maybe not. Honda transmissions are the weak link. Even with servicing, they are junk. I'd take a Ford trans over a Honda transmission any day. Engines on the other hand, thats a different story. lol

  24. #24
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    Actually the Duratec Engine is first class. I had one of the first Duratecs in my Taurus (1998 Ford Taurus Stationwagon). I'm pushing 110k miles now and it's as stong as when I got it. My transmission on the other hand will probably go out within the next 10-15k miles.

    I've been running 10W30 Mobile 1 Full Synthetic Oil in my car since the beginning (like I do on all my cars).

    The only thing I wish would be a Manual tranny on those engines. There just aren't any available only that weak AX4N Aluminium tranny that doesn't hold up to the heat, especially under towing.

  25. #25
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    I'd get into the whole "what engine I would want" deal, but its too long. lol But yeah, the Duratec Engines are nice. I had the "old" Duratec 3.0 in my 1986 Taurus, before they were called Duratec. It had 260k on it before I got rid of the car.

  26. #26
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    You are actually talking about the Yamaha Engines right?

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by frdfandc
    I'd get into the whole "what engine I would want" deal, but its too long. lol But yeah, the Duratec Engines are nice. I had the "old" Duratec 3.0 in my 1986 Taurus, before they were called Duratec. It had 260k on it before I got rid of the car.
    In 86 that would have been the old Vulcan 3.0l v6 which wasn't all that power full but was super reliable. The 3.8l was a bit more problematic.

  28. #28
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    frdfandc it was the vulcan if you had a 3.0. The 3.8L was a good engine, Ford just had bad headgaskets and the trans couldn't take the tourque. Ford detuned the contintal with the 5.0 for the same reason.

    For any info on the gen1-4 go to http://www.taurusclub.com/
    the wiki has great infor http://www.taurusclub.com/encycloped...ine/index.html

    We haven't had enough gen5 taurus owners yet so the info is not as great.

  29. #29
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    We've had 2 Tauruseseses

    The first taurus was a 93 we purchased in 94. It was one of those executive driven jobs.
    Pro's -
    -it had 4 wheel disk brakes on the base model..execs have all the perks
    -we had the car until 2005 and it performed well

    Con's -
    - the switch in the column broke and had to be replaced (it controls wipers turn signals etc)
    - The parking brake seized and burned up the rear brakes (wife was dead set on using it)
    - Had a fair amount of engine work, but nothing really major
    - The transmission ate itself up a wee bit past 100,000 miles (or we'd prolly still have it)
    - the rear coil springs both broke about 1/4 of the way down from the top and had to be replaced
    - The flex pipe in the exhaust failed 2x on that car
    - The flex pipe and springs were done right before the transmission failed! Like peeing in the wind?

    The Taurus I have now is a 96.I have had it since the last taurus
    Pro's -
    - Better entry into and out of the car (compared to the 93)
    - More powerful engine not the SHO though...
    - More comfortable seats
    - Fold down rear seat into trunk for long storage items
    - Better handling
    - Great brakes!

    Con's-
    - That stupid column switch is broken on this one (not gonna fix it till it s unsafe to drive)
    - AC dies every sodding year!
    - Headlight plastic is all fogged up, a flashlight would throw more light!
    - Stereo assembly was designed by total morons and is almost impossible to upgrade
    - Cup holder was designed by a higher grade of moron and holds nothing without chucking it out at the slightest bump.
    - Door panels pull out of the door frame when you try and close the doors! Replaced plastic - The snap in gizmos on drivers door, they pulled out too! (A few sheet metal screws into the door frame will fix this)
    - The drivers door handle,and both passenger door handles stay up thus preventing the door from latching, unless pushed down from outside
    - The drivers door does not like to latch in sub zero weather. (ya that's safe)
    - The paint is randomly starting to peel. Well mostly the clear coat is peeling. Ya think I would have learned with 2 pickups in the 90's that did this?
    - The transmission seems to be as crappy as the last, it is starting to exhibit the same signs as the last early into failing
    - A motor mount is going bad
    - The ball joints need replacing.
    - The flex pipe failed once on this car
    - The engines intake manifold gasket (I think that's what it was) failed and cost me 300 bucks to fix it. A 30 cent piece of plastic and 299 dollars in labor....Ford, can we get any cheaper?
    - The brake line running to the rear of the vehicle ruptured right where it runs under the drivers door. Nice touch eh? That happened right after I had the Muffler done which was right after I had the transmission sensor done, which was right after I paid off the loan (paid off early) on this car.

    All in all, I have put about 700 into this car in the more than 3 years I have had it, so I guess that is good. That includes the gasket, an exhaust system, brakes, a sensor on the transmission and the rear brake lines.Though if I fixed all that was wrong on this car, I'd have spent much, much more.

    The problem with FORD is and has always been idiotic interior design and cutting corners on things like those stupid plastic ribbed bayonets that are supposed to hold the door panel on the door. Whatever happened to screws? There are some similar issues on my wifes 2001 Windstar mini van, but not nearly as bad as on the 96 Taurus.

    Now the new Taurus X may have changed a few of these issues. I plan to check on out in the next few weeks as the current taurus may not be around in one years time. I will probably replace the Taurus with a *gasp* minivan. I would ideally want a full size van but with fuel prices these days and the low mileage they get that would be a giant step backwards!

    I want the room to haul a bike or two inside for security reasons on some rides or overnight stays. I have also taken one bike and slept in the same minivan. I guess that means I have slept with my bike???? I guess that is another story....

    Maybe Ford's engineers are starting to get the picture with the new stuff...but I doubt it.
    Last edited by ProfGumby; 08-11-2008 at 08:55 PM.
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  30. #30
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    Ford and the rest of the big >3 are hurting to sell there new SUV. Yeah gas prices have come down, but passing $4/gal for 87 was a major milestone. Frankly, the fewer the SUVs on the road the better off it is for bike riders, even if they are driving to the trail. I know SUVs are safer then the use to be, but the morality rate statistics are still bad,

  31. #31
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    Ah, i'm also a member of the Taurus Car Club.

    At best, my Stationwagon ran a 15.1 sec on a 1/4 mile at 89mph. You should have see the faces of some of the Honda Civis guys. All I had to repair though in the last 10 years on the car was a new set of rear shox, 2 sets of wheels, K&N Air Filter, Oil and Fluids, and windshield wipers. I'm probably going to Ford to have my Timing Chain replaced, just in case.

    It is a good car, the paint will still look fine for another year and I'm not sure if I'm going to refresh the paint or get rid of the car. I'm not the type of guy to get rid of a car just because it's old. If it was anything like my Chrysler Sebring Convertible, where within 1 month, the A/C and tranny died and my roof sprung a leak, i would have gotten rid of it in no time. Honestly, I really can't wait for my taurus to break, so I have a reason to get rid of it

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