97 Ford Probe- Fix or Sell

Hello everyone, thank you for taking the time to read my question. Basically I am the current owner of a 97 Ford Probe with around a 160-170 thousand kilometres (I am not sure because the odometer quite working about a year and a half ago). In the last six months I have spent about 2000 dollars replacing the timing belt, alternator, some belts, the exhaust system and the windshield. My mechanic is now telling me that I need another 1,500 dollars in suspension work done in the very near future. Plus, my car is now holding revs until it warms up so I think I may need to get that checked out and I also think it will soon be time to replace the crankshaft ignition sensor for the third time in 4 years, about an 8-9 hundred dollar job. All of these expenses on a 12 year old car have got me thinking about replacing it with something newer. I am curious about readers? opinions on this question. Keep it and fix it? Or sell it and look for something new?

Also has anyone had any experienced buying formal rental cars? I am looking at some 2008 tauruses (taurusi?) that were previously renal units. They tend to have very low mileage, about 30-40 thousand km, and very attractive prices, about 15-19 thousand depending on the options. Could one of these be a good idea if I do decide to sell my current car?

Thanks in advance


Can You Say Specifically Which Suspension Components You Are Advised To Replace?

Is anything broken or just worn? Have you asked which items are critical for safety and which items are desirable to replace?

Is your forehead warm? It sounds like you may be coming down with new-car-fever.

I have purchased 2 former rental cars, one with 7,000 miles, the other with 11,000.

Both had lots of factory warranty left and both were excellent cars for several thousands of miles. Both Dodges. Oops! Make that three. I forgot. My Bonneville pulled duty as an Alamo car and lived in Florida as a puppy. That’s why it’s white! It came with leather and a spoiler, too, at a super price. It’s been fantastic.

You will get some folks on here telling you to avoid rentals. I will just say to make sure the car you look at is inspected for accident or flood damage repairs. Get one that’s pristine.

30-40 km must be about 18-24 thousand miles. I’d shoot lower if you can, like 10-20 km, even if you have to give a little more for it. Get some factory warranty and don’t buy one that has been crashed.


I think it is time to move on.

I bought a previous rental car with 24K miles. No issues due to its time as a rental. Usually rental car companies change the oil and maintain the cars close to mfg recommendations. They sell the cars before they need major service. When I have rented cars I didn’t abuse them, but there are stories. Like all cars there are rental cars that were in accidents and repaired.

Ford Taurus is a mainstay of rental car fleets and are generally very reliable if unexciting cars. The prices you are quoting do not seem “low” to me. Do some research on Edmunds.com, NADA.com, and google Kelly Blue Book to see current values of the car with similar options.

It would be a good idea to pay for an independant mechanics opinion of the car before you buy. That way any collision damage, flood damage, and undercarridge issues will be “seen” and reported back to you.

Thanks for the advice. The ones I am looking at are the new style Ford Taurus, the one that used to be named the 500 until they gave it an engine and transmission upgrade. They retail in the low to high 30s new in Canada so 15-18 seemed like a good deal to me, but I will now have to check around. Still unsure as to whether I should move on or not… Decisions decisions!

Thanks for taking the time to respond. My mechanic says that the front control arms and tire rod ends need to be replaced plus the steering linkage. I have not really driven the car much sense that news. I am planning to get a second opinion at another garage just to see if they say the same thing. I like your suggestion about getting it inspected. What are your thoughts about how rental companies take car of these cars? Do they follow scheduled maintance?

Thanks Again

In my mind I pictured the older, front wheel drive, Taurus. The newer one based on the 500 platform is a nice car. Still check out the “book” values, but this sounds more like a better deal.

It is likely the car has been serviced regularly. Check the owner’s manual to see if a major service is due soon. That will be on you and could be costly.

You can check the air cleaner and pull the dipstick on the oil, and transmission and get some idea on your own. Check the tires, there are either due for replacement or already replaced. If they are OEM tires you can see how they have held up.

The mechanics inspection will tell you the amount of brake pad wear is left and condition of the rotors.

I Think So. When I Returned A Rental Once, They Mentioned It Was Up For An Oil Change.
See Uncle Turbo’s comments.

But, that’s one reason I go for low miles when buying one. Just in case some maintenance is missed. 10-20 km with something missed won’t do anywhere near the damage that 30-40 km would, not to mention more warranty to see if any issues develop. A lower km car may be harder to find, but I have noticed the price isn’t much different than one with more kms.

Maufacturers also sell “Program” cars, usually through their dealers, in the states. These can be executive’s cars, rental cars, lease returns, demos, etcetera. Some have very low miles.

I have befriended service people at dealers who can take a car’s VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) and print me out a service repair history of a car I’m interested in. I’ve obtained them from Dodge and Pontiac dealers. It shows who the car was originally delivered too, also.

Your second opinion sounds like a plan. Maybe you can patch it up to buy a little shopping time and make it better to sell.


Agree with others that it’s time to move on. Sell your car for whatever you can get for it.

I have helped a friend buy a 1997 Ford Taurus rental/lease car with only 18,000 miles on it in 2000. He is still driving it and has been very happy with it. Rental cars are better maintained than many private cars.

Good luck.

Thanks for your response!

Thanks for the advice. It sounds pretty solid.