Originally Posted by Johnny Mullet
The Taurus is not really a bad car at all. I prefer the 3.0L Vulcan engine because of reliability and easier repairs, but the 24V is not too bad. It has lots of power and will be a decent engine. After time, these may develop engine noise and it's usually the timing chain guides.
Do not tow with it and keep up with regular maintenance and you will have a fine car!
From my experience with my 2001 Taurus SEL w/a 3.0L Duratec, it's not that hard to maintain. Granted, doing spark plugs isn't that easy but once you get the R. cowl out of the way and set aside the coil pack, it isn't that hard either. When you have the cowl out of the way for the plugs you can replace the A/C filter while your at it-only $15 at AutoZone. The PCV valve is slightly hidden but doable. I didn't get a chance to do the water pump when I had it (it didn't go bad) but it's run off the intake cam on the front bank on the back of the engine. The replacement is more complicated than the 1996-2000 models, where the water pump is run off the serp. belt. Check under the P/S pump for leakage-common on Duratec models but if it is just seeping a little just keep the fluid topped off. Duratecs have far better power than the Vulcans. You won't be disappointed. As long as the trans. fluid has been changed you shouldn't have a problem with the trans. The front brake rotors are a sore spot but not bad to do. Tie rod ends are common, as well as sway bar links. Door lock actuator can go on these, the rears you have to drill out the push button bellcrank rivet and partially take out the latch, the fronts you can leave the latch in but it takes some skill to get it out and put it back in. There was an issue with the R. cowl leaking water into the heater box but otherwise, these are great cars. Things do go wrong with these cars, JUST LIKE ANY OTHER 5 YEAR OLD CAR WITH THE SAME MILEAGE.