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2005 Ford Taurus - end of life outlook

Yesterday the a/c pump went out on my car, after a couple hours of a grinding sound coming from under the hood. This car, which I am still paying on, has had 3 major repairs - a replacement of the synchronizer, the serpentine belt, and an overhaul of the transmission. Of course I am going to replace the a/c pump, but it could go one of two directions:

1. Replace with a used part and trade in for a new car.

2. Replace with a new warrantied part and keep for another couple years and hope nothing else major goes wrong with it.

The car is in fair condition (not good or great), the exterior having not been washed in the last 6 months or so. What would you folks suggest?

Are you upside down on this vehicle? Do you owe more than it’s worth? If so you don’t have much choice here if you want to keep your credit in good standing. I hope a certain mechanic that offers advice here reads your post. According to him the newer Ford Taurus models have no transmission problems. I know better and so do you. The only consolation I can offer is that a lot of individuals are in the same boat as you. If you are able to trade for a new vehicle then that’s an option. Since you have already put money into the vehicle it probably makes more sense to replace the AC compressor and drive the car until the wheels fall off.

What is the mileage?

It’s late - I’ll check the mileage in the morning and post it here. Thanks for the posts.

Edit - it has just over 100K miles, and yes I am upside-down on the loan.

For one - the serpentine belt is not a major repair under any definition that I am aware of. Worst case, that should be a $75 repair.

The synchronizer was a trouble spot on the Vulcan, but that still shouldn’t have been much over $300.

The transmission, though, should never have needed repair yet. As these transmissions were above average for reliability, I’d seriously question how well the vehicle has been maintained. If it hasn’t been maintained properly, THEN I’d doubt its ability to last.

Anyone who would claim that they have “no transmission problems” would be wrong.

However, all data from Consumer Reports to JD Power to TrueDelta to MSNautos to Consumer Guide shows that there is no common problem with the transmission.

I have to agree with eraser’s comments here and would add that an AC pump on a vehicle with 100,000 miles is not an indication of abnormality. An AC pump at that mileage is relatively minor and just “the luck of the draw”.

The smartest thing to do would be to get the repair done, get all the maintenance up to date, keep it there, and keep the vehicle.

Did the compressor itself fail, or just the drive clutch?? If the compressor blew up, the entire system has been contaminated with metal shavings…Most shops will want (demand) to replace EVERYTHING if you want any kind of warranty, big bucks.

A/C systems CAN be flushed out, but results are spotty…So perhaps a used compressor, a system flush and hope for the best…Or live without it…

Thank you everyone for your replies. After carefully considering your words and seeking advice from a few mechanically-inclined friends, I decided to keep the car, make the repairs using a new a/c pump, and work harder at taking better care of the car during the next couple years.