Should I get a new car?

I have a 1999 Ford Taurus that I’ve been driving for the last 7 years and haven’t really had any major problems with it. The transmission is a little clunky (love those Taurus’!) but other than that haven’t had any major issues.

I recently moved to Florida and took my car in for some work (my radio was stolen) and when my mechanic looked at my engine he started laughing and remarked that it was amazing I hadn’t been stranded yet but didn’t give many details and recommended I find a new car. Another friend of mine that is mechanically oriented said much the same thing.

My question is, do I listen to them and get in the market for a new car? I own this car outright and enjoy not making any car payments so am not too excited about the idea of making payments on a car. The second part of my question is, what should I get? I am an outdoorsy person who goes backpacking, snowboarding and likes offroading but also commute to work everyday. So please! Assist me in trying to make the right decision regarding whether or not I should buy a new/used car!

Without knowing what’s wrong with the engine, I doubt anyone can give you meaningful advice.

Exactly. That’s why I doubt I need to get a new car. All they said was it’s going to leave me stranded somewhere and I should get a new car. But I question their bias against a ford as well. It’s never broken down on me before and I keep a regular maintenance schedule.

Neither is really helping you out. Have them tell you exactly what the issues are. Post the info back here, and then someone can help you make a rational decision. That may help sort out “Ford bias” vs what is really happening to the car.

If you have kept up maintenance, and had no previous breakdown issue, I am not so sure these two folks are speaking with any reasonable authority. What may “look bad” is not always a mechanical issue that needs to be repaired.

If you really do need to replace your Taurus, then buy a good used car. One thats about 2 to 4 years old. (Maybe another Taurus!) Make payments for 2 to 3 years instead of 5 or 6 years. Also, don’t take that new car “hit”. Good luck to you. :smiley:

Before Florida where did you live? All I can imagine is that in Florida the mechanics are used to seeing nice clean engine compartments. Perhaps your engine is comparatively dirty. Don’t attempt to wash it yourself, but a car detailer can clean the engine for you. If there are lots of old leaves, and assorted debris perhaps it would help to clean it out.

Otherwise about all the can see are dry rot in hoses, cracks in the serpentine belt, and a gunked up battery compartment.

I haven’t heard of anything really wrong with the car. Perhaps a few bucks spent for AAA or another motor club would give you some reassurance. It doesn’t sound like you need a new car, at least not yet.

If you like Ford Taurus sometimes you can find some rental cars for sale that are in good shape, maintained well, and at prices far below a new one.

Keep the car. You didn’t say you had engine problems, so you might continue to not have any problems. They probably made aobut a bazillion of those transmissions, all of their problems are well documented, so parts should be pretty easy to come by and a rebuilt tranny for you car, if it ever needs one, will be nothing compared to the cost of a new car.

“when my mechanic looked at my engine he started laughing and remarked that it was amazing I hadn’t been stranded yet but didn’t give many details and recommended I find a new car. Another friend of mine that is mechanically oriented said much the same thing.”

Perhaps you can coax the mechanic and your friend into revealing the big joke or the impending tragedy that they have observed under the hood of your car. Without those details, all we can do is speculate, and all that you are likely to do is to waste your money.

When you post back with those details, please also tell us the current odometer mileage of the car, and give us an indication of its maintenance history. (Hint: Telling us that it has been “well maintained” is meaningless, and we need at least an actual list of services that were performed at the most recent major time and mileage interval listed in the Owner’s Manual, along with the date and the odometer mileage of that service.)

Does the engine make any funny noises? Does it use oil? Do you have to add coolant often? If changing the oil and filters is all you need to do, then it is likely that there is not much wrong with your Taurus. You said the transmission is a little clunky. Describe that condition more. When does it clunk?

I see nothing in what you told us that would indicate any likely problem. Since it appears the “mechanics” did not even suggest why they made the comments, I can only guess they were pulling you leg or were looking for a sucker to pay them for some unneeded work, maybe a flush or two.

It is hard to say what is going to happen with your current car in the future. On the other hand, if you can afford a new car I don’t think there is a better time to buy one than now. Especially if you have good credit and can take advantage of the low or zero interest loans that are being offered. Prices for new car are really good now as the dealers are begging for customers.

From your interests you may really like driving around in a Subaru. Especially if you get into snow in the winter time, though that isn’t going to happen in Florida. If you haven’t driven a Subaru I suggest you go try one out and see what you think. They are most likely pretty rare in Florida but here in Alaska they are all over the place.