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#1 jc0481

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 15:23

It's a 1996 Ford Taurus LX. My wife's grandmother did not drive it very much and she is the original owner. They bough it bought brand new at the dealership in 1996. It has 130,000 miles on it. Overall it is in good condition. It does need the heater core need to be replaced and my wife's grandparents said they will pay for that repair. We wouldn't be able to pay for that repair. I found out they have to take out the whole dashboard just to access it the heater core. It is the heater core as well. The grandparents got a second opinion from another mechanic. It's got a 3.0 Liter V-6 engine in it. The engine is filthy though. I need to get it cleaned.

My wife and I have been sharing just one car right now. We have a newborn son in our house right now. We are excited about that. So having a reliable second car is the utmost important.

I did look up the Kelley blue book value and it said $1,500 for selling it privately.

I am not sure on what to do. It's good that we know it's history and the original owner. We know it's been treated well. But not sure about the total cost of ownership for this car. I don't want to spend a fortune to repair this car in the future.

So what should my wife and I do? Sell it or keep it?

Edit: I just want to point out. That we are really grateful and blessed for having my wife's family able to help us like that. Not very many people are able to get a car for free.


#2 ILikeTobacco

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 15:26

If you don't need it, sell it. A gift that you have to continuously pay for isn't much of a gift. Make $1,500 or spend thousands keeping it up and running. Your call.

#3 Nick H.

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 15:31

It does need the heater core need to be replaced and my wife's grandparents said they will pay for that repair. We wouldn't be able to pay for that repair. I found out they have to take out the whole dashboard just to access it the heater core. It is the heater core as well.

So, the problem is with the wheels, right? :p

I agree with the idea that if you don't need it then you may as well look to sell it. I've been able to avoid owning a car so far, mostly because I don't want the hassle of paying for the upkeep on something I wouldn't use very often.

#4 Burned

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 15:46

If you need it then keep it. Its normal for the dash to be pulled to replace a heater core in any car made after the 90's. If you dont want to replace it then it can be bypassed by placing a T at the firewall.
That car is going to be cheaper to repair than any new car. You know the history and you know its reliable, so keep it.

#5 +warwagon

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 16:09

if you need it use it, if you don't sell it.

But first make sure you check the drivers side door car panel for drugs. :D

#6 Co_Co

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 16:26

its 15 year old car...sounds like a money pit with bad gas milage. you wont even get $1500...most offers i bet will be in the 800 range. especially if it needs repairs and engine cleaning

#7 _dandy_

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 16:57

I'm with everybody else...it's a 17 year old car that was really never anything special to begin with...if you really *can* get $1500 for it, sell it "as-is" immediately. You've already stated it needs repairs, and once you insure it and get it safety-checked (who knows what else they'll find), it's probably going to cost you more than what it's worth even before you put a single mile on it yourself.

#8 vcfan

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 17:04

around here,you'd be lucky to make out with even $700. The heater core needs lots of labor. Im not a mechanic but I've done 2 of these. The whole dash needs to come out,steering,everything.

#9 +zhiVago

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 17:08

Trade it in. This way you'll get what you want and the grandparents will feel like they've contributed to the car too and help you.

So having a reliable second car is the utmost important.


imho. anything that's more than 8-10 years old or has 100,000+ on it can't be called reliable unless you invest in the beast. What if its breaking fluid hose rusts and breaks... :no:

#10 sc302

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 19:52

This car costed you 0 to get. You have a car in working order right now. You are making no monthy payments right now to own said car. If you have to put in 1000 or even 2000 by the end of the year for things that aren't routine maintanence (not including brakes, tires, fuel, air filters, oil changes, and other normal wear and tear stuff), that is roughly 100 to 200 a month. And if you don't put that much into the car by the end of the year that is a big fat whopping 0 a month. So it needs a heater core, yes it is in the dash and the dash needs to be removed to get to it. It can be plugged up, but you will not have heat in the car if you do plug it up (this is the most cost effective way to fix the issue but not the best you or your kids can freeze in the winter).

I say let it ride for as long as you can, put a limit on what you are willing to spend on it by the end of the year and if you reach that amount prior to year ending sell it or get rid of it. It is costing you absolutely nothing to own it as it sits, this is where cars start paying you back instead of a month to month payment to the bank. Reliability and cost of ownership run hand in hand, you want a reliable car you will pay a lot for a new or newer car. I say drive the car until it really starts giving you problems.

I gave my sil a car, trans still good, engine still good...but they need a $300 part that they can't afford to put into it (exhaust) So instead they want to scrap it. I will take it back and put the exhaust on it, have it pass inspection and sell it to someone who can use it for 1500-2000. really, ride it until it dies...it is worth more to you to get from point a to point b and save some money than it is to sell it and get almost nothing for it.

#11 Growled

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 01:28

Keep it. In most cases it's cheaper to fix one up than to try to buy another one.

#12 farmeunit

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 01:39

You don't NEED a heater core. Being in Utah it might be pretty cold where you are, though. I went a whole winter once without a heater core in Missouri. I just bundled up :) I know you have a baby, though, so that makes a difference.

I would drive that car when it's nice so you don't put miles on other car. Plus, if you have one car have issues, you have a backup. Sometimes, you can't get enough money to make it worth selling. Just drive it until it dies, then junkyard will pay you money to take it. I sold my 2000 Grand Am to a junkyard for $350. That was wrecked and with 265,000 miles on.

#13 Lizardslap

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 01:51

you really dont need to get the engine cleaned whats it matter if its greasy and dirty its not gonna hurt anything

I would go to a U pull it and yank a heatercore and learn how to pull the dash on your car at the same time

dont matter if u hurt a junked cars dash to get at it but it will go alot faster the second time when you put it in

#14 Detection

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 02:17

Can't cars get their heaters hot air from the engine still ?

#15 +CrossCheck

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 02:21

remember with a 96 ford and you dont fix the heater core...when it comes to wintertime good luck using the defroster. unless you live in a warmer climate area. as for the 8-10 yr 100000+ statement is false. i had a 2001 focus with 130000 miles that we gave to a friend cuz she had no car and it still runs like a champ. 6 mos later
if your grandparents did scheduled maintenance since they bought it the you will have a very reliable car, gas mileage might not be the greatest. but this will leave your wife with a car if you are at work to run errands or take your baby to the doctor if needed and wouldn't have to take you to work.