1999 Ford Taurus Multiple car repairs needed

Tiny
SARASCAR
  • MEMBER
  • 1999 FORD TAURUS
Suspension problem
1999 Ford Taurus 6 cyl Automatic 100300 miles

The problem is not only suspension. It involves also engine performance, and others.

I am considering if I should or not spend additional money in my Ford Taurus 1999.
I just took it out of the shop and spend close to $ 800 replacing the radiator, A/C condensor, belt and belt stabilizer. Now it is loosing the steering fluid, makes a really bad noise (the pump) and another mechanic said I need additional repairs. I have also replaced the syncronizer 3 years ago and the coolant container twice. Other than that I had no problems until recently: 100,000 miles

I was given the following estimate by a small shop:
OIL PAN GASKET 59.95
PLUMNUN GASKET 28.00
VALVE COVER GASKET 41.95
FUEL FILTER 24.00
PCV VALVE 6.95
6 SPARK PLUGS 35.70
SPARK PLUG WIRES 69.00
{MOTORCRAFT} RACK IN PINNION275.00,
STABLE LINKS 117.90,
2LOWER CONTROL ARM 339.00

LABOR TO INSTALL RACK IN PINNION. 350.00
LABOR LOWER CONTROL ARM 190.00
LABOR TO INSTALL LINKS 65.00


LABOR OIL PAN 4.5= 275.00
LABOR VALVE COVER GASKET4.0=240.00
TUNE UP LABOR TO INSTALL PLUGS,
WIRES, PCV. FUEL FILTER 2.5= 145.00
TOTAL 2263.35
TAX 135.78
TOTAL 2398.78
The mechanic says he is charging me $ 60/hour about. He said he can not predict how long my transmission will last. The cost of repairs are above the retail value of the car. I just wish that if I do the repair the car will last at least 2 or 3 years.
What is the repair record of this car? Should I spend the money in repairs?
Please advise. I just not ready to get into car payments again, but I do not want to throw good money away.
Also, what about the parts guarrantie. This mechanic says all parts are refurbished in the factory becuase new parts are too expensive and that the guarrantie is 1 year in parts and one in labour.

Also, recently, I was going at a very slow speed and the engine"jumped". Not sure what it was.
I also hear the engine surging or slowing down by itself when I turn the car on and is iddle (not running). It did not do that before. I have never done a tune up on the car or replaced the spark plugs.

Please advice. I have no mechanical knowledge at all.
Thank you kindly in advance.
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Saturday, May 2nd, 2009 AT 2:17 PM

4 Replies

Tiny
OBXAUTOMEDIC
  • EXPERT
Hello,

Thank you for the Donation.

First off what kind of driving problems are you having with this vehicle. And not what the shop told you.

Next, you siad it is a small shop. Ok, how busy did they look, are they a reputable shop?

If don't know I would find a known reputable shop and have them take a look at it and see what they say. And Do Not tell or say anything about the other shop.

It sems to me more work than would be needed at one time. As far as the Steering Rack most of the time the Steering Pump and/or Line go bad before the Rack.

Have you looked at the engine? Is there Oil all over it?

Look under the vehicle, is there oil on the under ide of the vehicle?

If no the the above 2 questions then why do valve cove and oil pan gaskets.

Now what did they say about the Lower Control Arms and why they need replacing.

As far as a tune up since you say you never done one that would be the one definate thing I would have done.

.
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Saturday, May 2nd, 2009 AT 2:41 PM
Tiny
SARASCAR
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"If don't know I would find a known reputable shop and have them take a look at it and see what they say. And Do Not tell or say anything about the other shop."
Unfortunately, I made the mistake of showing him (small shop)the Tires Plus estimate which was the first erstimate I got yesterday. The small shop was the second one to see the car. Tire Plus said I needed the rack and pinion replacement including the steering gear short rack. They also said I needed to replace the Sway bar link kits and ball joints. They said the first should be the rack and pinion.

"It sems to me more work than would be needed at one time. As far as the Steering Rack most of the time the Steering Pump and/or Line go bad before the Rack. "
What I have had is that the steering fluid was depleted twice within the last 2 month. My old mechanic, the one that replaced the condenser and radiator said he did not see a leak (steering) or a problem there last month but he had to refill twice the steering fluid.

Have you looked at the engine? Is there Oil all over it? Not sure if oil on the engine.
There was a leak (on the floor) for a while. There has been oil under the car for over a month. The old mechanic said the oil pan gasket and the rear main oil seal were lealkng. He thought it might last for a year maybe before a repair. Or replace of these parts. I am not sure how careful or detailed he is though.

"Look under the vehicle, is there oil on the under ide of the vehicle?"
Yes, for the past month. It seems dark oil.

"Now what did they say about the Lower Control Arms and why they need replacing. "
Tire Plus said they needed replacement. The new mechanic in the small shop said the right side is the worst and it needed to be replaced ASAP because I might have a problem when I turn right. He said the eft said was not so bad but that he could nots say when will they go bad.

I rotated the tires two weks ago and I started to notice that the car goes sidewise, or is not a stable drive. I did not tell them that though. I thought it might need alignment.
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Saturday, May 2nd, 2009 AT 4:15 PM
Tiny
OBXAUTOMEDIC
  • EXPERT
Well, as long as you trust the Tires Plus diagnosis I would go with there suggestion Plus the tune-up. However, I would call around and see if you can get a better price. That would be for doing the Steering Rack and all, Ball Joints, Stabilizer Link and a Tune-Up.

Also ask if they would install if you purchased the parts. Would save you a lot of money.

.
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Saturday, May 2nd, 2009 AT 9:01 PM
Tiny
SARASCAR
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I am not sure I trust any of them. They can read all over my face I do not know what they are talking about. I am concerned that the first, my old mechanic did not realize any of these problems. How do I know if they are not misrepresenting the situation? Or it could be my prev mechanic was not careful and deeail on the evaluation.

What is your opinion of places such as Tire Plus or Pep Boys(corporate chains) Vs. Small shops in terms of mechanical repairs. Are they reputable repair shops?

I asked the mechanic about bringing my own parts, but he said that if anything goes wrong on the part I will be on my own dealing with it. I do not know anything about buying parts. How much could the savings be?

What about his labour fees? Do they seem reasonable or inflated?

In reference to my first question about spending that kind of money on a 100,000 miles car?
What is the track record of these cars? How many miles can you get on them? How long do the transmissions last on these Fords?
As I said I did not have many problems until recently after the 100's miles.

I am concerned on spending all this money and then have more coming on a car that has no residual value on a trade.

Can you make any other suggestions as to how to get other opinions?

Thank you very much.
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Saturday, May 2nd, 2009 AT 10:42 PM

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