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#3127058 - 09/16/13 09:43 PM Seeking advice from Bull experts: '03 Taurus
faramir9 Offline


Registered: 06/01/12
Posts: 421
Loc: PA
So, the lady got a 2003 Ford Taurus SES Deluxe with the 3.0 Duratec recently. I don't know much about the Taurus, having never driven one before hers.

It's in good shape, considering it just hit 152K miles. A little paint peeling on the hood, the wheels look like they've seen plenty of outdoor duty and probably salt, but mechanically it seems sound to me. As I said, I am no Taurus expert.

Anything in particular to look out for with this car?

Thanks.
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#3127074 - 09/16/13 10:02 PM Re: Seeking advice from Bull experts: '03 Taurus [Re: faramir9]
The_Eric Offline


Registered: 03/31/10
Posts: 5081
Loc: Iowa
In general, decent platform. Look for degraded vacuum hose ends (molded rubber elbows) and various other vacuum related hoses. They like to rot out and kick lean codes. Ford has some updated parts available. The engine isn't the easiest to work on either...

Look for broken springs in the strut assemblies as well as bad sway bar end links.


Edited by The_Eric (09/16/13 10:11 PM)
Edit Reason: spelling
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#3127079 - 09/16/13 10:11 PM Re: Seeking advice from Bull experts: '03 Taurus [Re: The_Eric]
Thax Offline


Registered: 11/07/10
Posts: 719
Loc: VA
Originally Posted By: The_Eric
In general, descent platform. Look for degraded vacuum hose ends (molded rubber elbows) and various other vacuum related hoses. They like to rot out and kick lean codes. Ford has some updated parts available. The engine isn't the easiest to work on either...

Look for broken springs in the strut assemblies as well as bad sway bar end links.

The Eric pretty much summed it up on the Taurus. Degraded vacuum hoses from Ford are notorious for throwing P0171 & PP0174 codes. As preventative maintenance I would change all fluid and give it a nice tune up. Spark plugs can be a pain as the upper manifold needs to come off in order to reach the rear plugs. Give the MAF a good solid cleaning with electrical spray as well. These were decent cars (boring) but made very good daily drivers.
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#3127084 - 09/16/13 10:15 PM Re: Seeking advice from Bull experts: '03 Taurus [Re: faramir9]
gregk24 Offline


Registered: 04/13/13
Posts: 5063
Loc: FL, USA
Watch out for the transmission. They like to [censored] out early
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#3127089 - 09/16/13 10:22 PM Re: Seeking advice from Bull experts: '03 Taurus [Re: gregk24]
Thax Offline


Registered: 11/07/10
Posts: 719
Loc: VA
Originally Posted By: gregk24
Watch out for the transmission. They like to [censored] out early

Gregk25 has a point , perhaps a auxiliary Trans cooler and a few drain and fills would be a good idea.
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#3127091 - 09/16/13 10:23 PM Re: Seeking advice from Bull experts: '03 Taurus [Re: gregk24]
methusaleh Offline


Registered: 06/09/05
Posts: 413
Loc: Vermont
Originally Posted By: gregk24
Watch out for the transmission. They like to [censored] out early


x2, big time! Just for good measure, change the fluid and filter if you aren't relatively sure when it was last done. At the very least look and sniff what's in there.

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#3127094 - 09/16/13 10:27 PM Re: Seeking advice from Bull experts: '03 Taurus [Re: faramir9]
Chris142 Offline


Registered: 06/05/03
Posts: 14861
Loc: apple valley, ca
Keep fresh coolant in it or it will rust up and plug the heater and radiater. You don't want to replace either on this car.
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#3127109 - 09/16/13 10:56 PM Re: Seeking advice from Bull experts: '03 Taurus [Re: methusaleh]
faramir9 Offline


Registered: 06/01/12
Posts: 421
Loc: PA
Originally Posted By: methusaleh
Originally Posted By: gregk24
Watch out for the transmission. They like to [censored] out early


x2, big time! Just for good measure, change the fluid and filter if you aren't relatively sure when it was last done. At the very least look and sniff what's in there.


Thanks to all for the replies and advice. Will check the tranny fluid tomorrow....
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2005 Corolla LE, 1.8L
Castrol 5w-30 per sticker dealer put on windshield
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#3127194 - 09/17/13 05:00 AM Re: Seeking advice from Bull experts: '03 Taurus [Re: faramir9]
Roadkingnc Offline


Registered: 07/16/11
Posts: 722
Loc: NC USA
Good car, keep it serviced and drive it.
The duratec doesn't have a problem with the cooling system but the Vulcan engine does. Trans failure isn't all that common but does happen.

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#3127211 - 09/17/13 05:56 AM Re: Seeking advice from Bull experts: '03 Taurus [Re: Chris142]
Miller88 Offline


Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 11853
Loc: Onondaga County
Originally Posted By: Chris142
Keep fresh coolant in it or it will rust up and plug the heater and radiater. You don't want to replace either on this car.


The aluminum Duratec engine wasn't too bad with coolant. The cast iron Vulcan engine was HORRIBLE with coolant crud.

The biggest problem with them is rust. Check the metal coolant lines and the PS lines. The springs like to break.

Throw a transmission cooler on it.
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#3127246 - 09/17/13 07:17 AM Re: Seeking advice from Bull experts: '03 Taurus [Re: Miller88]
The_Eric Offline


Registered: 03/31/10
Posts: 5081
Loc: Iowa
Originally Posted By: Roadkingnc
Good car, keep it serviced and drive it.
The duratec doesn't have a problem with the cooling system but the Vulcan engine does. Trans failure isn't all that common but does happen.


Originally Posted By: Miller88
Originally Posted By: Chris142
Keep fresh coolant in it or it will rust up and plug the heater and radiater. You don't want to replace either on this car.


The aluminum Duratec engine wasn't too bad with coolant. The cast iron Vulcan engine was HORRIBLE with coolant crud.

The biggest problem with them is rust. Check the metal coolant lines and the PS lines. The springs like to break.

Throw a transmission cooler on it.


Agreed on both above points. I've replaced far more GM and Chrysler trannys than Ford. Duratecs are fine with coolant, just treat it like you would a normal system and replace it on schedule. I did forget about the metal coolant pipes though- look around at their condition, especially underneath on the passenger side, I think there is a tube there that will rust. If not, I've confused it with the Vulcan engine...
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#3127500 - 09/17/13 11:53 AM Re: Seeking advice from Bull experts: '03 Taurus [Re: faramir9]
Miller88 Offline


Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 11853
Loc: Onondaga County
I haven't been under the hood of a Duratec powered Taurus, but the metal lines on my Vulcan taurus were rotted bad.

I was leaking about a gallon of coolant a week towards the end.
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