By on January 28, 2015

power steering pump. Shutterstock user Kudrin Ilia

Casey writes:

Dear Sajeev,

I love your column! Anyway long story short I’m an idiot. When I met my wife she had a 2003 Ford Explorer Sport Trac that was in ROUGH shape inside and out, cosmetically and mechanically. She liked her truck though and it worked for us for a few years. Recently we (I) was tired of it. So I traded it in on a 2006 Ford Fusion SEL V6. It’s a beautiful car, black on black, lots of power and nice ride. I paid $7,200 for it with 108,000 miles.

The problem is, only about 5 months into ownership and 4,000 miles later several issues have revealed themselves.

The power steering pump is going out, something is going on with the ABS where whenever they engage (only 2 times since we bought it) the brakes take hours to recover, the oil pressure light comes on at idle, and the heater is to be described as tepid, at best.

I only owe about $2,000 on the car and could easily trade it in. My wife refuses to drive it so she took over my 2013 Camry and now wants a Camry of her own (likely a 2007 or 2008 on our budget). So what should I do? Stick with the Fusion for a while and then trade it in? Trade it in now? Or spend the I don’t know $2,500 to fix all the issues and keep it for the long haul?

I Feel Like an Idiot,

Casey

Sajeev answers:

Wow, where to start?

Let’s say all those problems have minor fixes: flush out the crap from the heater core (or repair/replace the blend door system), fix the leak in the power steering (i.e. the pump is still fine), flush out the ABS pump/accumulator, and replace the failing oil pressure sender/switch?

What are the odds of those problems being that easy? Is it more likely that a new heater core (pull the dash to do that), a new ABS accumulator, and a new engine are in your future?

Probably not, I covered two extremes without mentioning the likely middle ground. But who cares when it’s gonna cost a ton in diagnosis/repair relative to the value of a 8-9 year old car? You’re aching for another (used) Camry, so make it happen. And get a PPI to make sure it isn’t a lemon like this Fusion.

[Image: Shutterstock user Kudrin Ilia]

Send your queries to [email protected]com. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry…but be realistic, and use your make/model specific forums instead of TTAC for more timely advice.

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157 Comments on “Piston Slap: A Fusion of Malcontent?...”


  • avatar
    Spartan

    It’d be a lot cheaper to get a power steering pump, abs actuator and flush your cooling system than it will be to get rid of that Fusion and buy another used headache.

    OAN: The first generation Fusion has aged incredibly well. Love that design.

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    Oil pressure is definitely, hands down, the biggest worry. Was there any sludge on the cap when you bought it, indicating a lack of changes?

    For all of these issues I’d refer to a model specific owners’ forum. If one car has that problem chances are others have encountered it as well. Hopefully it is just the oil pressure sensor.

    Your symptoms of weak brakes after ABS application sound like an issue with the HCU (hydraulic control unit) of the ABS system. At least that’s what 5 seconds of googling leads me to believe.

    Do warm ups take a long time? If so, it could be a sticking-open thermostat that is also leading to the weak heater. Could also be air in the cooling system, apparently these cars are not so trivial to bleed correctly, or can be deceiving in their coolant levels.

    Frankly, the car sounds really neglected and I wonder whether a more thorough pre-purchase inspection would have alerted you to this sooner.

    Or given the supposedly terrible condition of your wife’s previous vehicle…. maybe the ‘nut behind the wheel’ is a possible cause of the problems? I kid :)

    • 0 avatar
      MrGrieves

      Neglected / abused by previous owner(s) is definitely what I thought of first. Probably 20,000 mile oil changes with conventional oil, never flushed out coolant or brake fluid, etc. Oil pressure light at idle is probably a sludged up engine. Get ready for the transmission to start going haywire sooner or later. 108K miles of abuse will trash a car regardless of how robust it is.

    • 0 avatar
      acesfull

      I used to own a 2006 Fusion, and now I have a 2010. I put 110k on the ’06 with only minor issues. At about 40k miles, the thermostat went bad, turning on the check engine light in the process (yes there is an OBD II code for this). My car had the base 4 cyl engine, however. On the 2010, I had a sticking rear caliper, which didn’t cause any pedal feel issues. But, if the caliper was replaced on the car in question, it is possible that it was not bled properly, causing pedal feel issues.

  • avatar
    Stumpaster

    Never mind the mechanical issues, let’s get to the root of the problem. You are driving a 2013 Camry, which you bought new or almost new, but you bought your wife a top of the line but very used Ford with over 100K miles and paid for it through the nose. You like black on black. I don’t know a single woman ever that would like black on black. What I am getting at is that you bought your wife a very old car that appealed to you, not her! Fail 1. With the Ford now ailing, your immediate thought is to buy YOUR WIFE a well used Camry while you are going to drive a NEXT generation Camry. Fail 2. Duuuude, you gotta get your priorities straight – take the Ford, give the wife your Camry, then see how you can live with the Ford before you make another stupid mistake. Maybe do a brake flush jobbie for $100. How many oil changes have you done since buying the Ford? Hint: none is the wrong answer.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      I think he overpaid quite a lot for the Fusion as well.

      • 0 avatar
        Sigivald

        KBB says $6115 in “good” condition with reasonable options.

        If it looked *really sharp* on the outside and the mechanical problems – obviously – were still buried, his price looks roughly on par.

    • 0 avatar
      PJmacgee

      “Fail 2. Duuuude, you gotta get your priorities straight – take the Ford, give the wife your Camry”

      +1

      Seriously, this is on page 1 of How To Have a Long & Happy Marriage. Wife gets the newer/nicer car (used by both on road trips, etc), Husband gets the higher mileage/older car with “character” (Husband does so willingly, knowing he is henceforth excused from many other frivolous/selfish purchases). Next question.

    • 0 avatar
      1967mgb

      TRUTH! WORD! An excellent post.

    • 0 avatar
      SaulTigh

      So. Damn. True. And even if it wasn’t the key to a happy marriage, there’s nothing worse than getting the call that she’s broke down somewhere (maybe with your kids), in some busted ass ride you made her drive.

      That’s why my wife toodles around in a 2014 F150 and I drive a ’08 MKZ (so far dead reliable through 86,000 miles, by the way).

      I learned this from my dad. My mom always had the newest, nicest car(’87, ’92, ’01 and ’14 Accords), and he either had a company vehicle or drove some POS (’77 LTD II, ’78 Malibu, ’82 Celebrity, ’82 Skylark, ’88 Pontiac 6000 – which actually was really good, then several Tauruses and finally an ’08 Chevy Uplander – or as I liked to call it, his “crack ass van”).

    • 0 avatar
      frankev

      With respect to black on black, my better half insisted on exactly that color combo when she picked out a 2012 Ford Fusion SEL last July (used with about 21k on the clock). A very classy looking vehicle when it’s clean. Of course keeping a black car clean, especially during winter in Chicagoland, is like having a part-time job.

      I absolutely agree with all the posters stating that the wife should always be in the best, most up-to-date vehicle. Prior to picking up the Fusion, my wife drove our 2011 Kia Sedona regularly, my eldest son drove the hand-me-down 2009 Hyundai Accent sedan, and I tooled around in a 1992 Olds Cutlass Ciera S. Upon buying the Fusion, I gave the Olds to a student at my old seminary–she had no vehicle at all–and took over the van as my daily driver. My son, who’s a college freshman, continues to drive the Accent and it seems to serve him well.

      They key is that everyone is vehicularly happy at this juncture. While I wouldn’t mind having a pickup truck or perhaps another GM A-body as a project car, I do have a 1988 Honda NX125 dual-sport bike as my “fun” vehicle.

    • 0 avatar
      CaseyLE82

      OP here: I have always given my wife the choice of which car she drove. She prefers the Fords. She says they have style. She hated the Camry. She said it was the most boring car she ever drove. I offered, emplored, nudged, and just about everything else to get her to drive it. She wouldn’t. She likes the Fusion and I like it too. Between the two, the day to day driving experience is much better in the Fusion.

  • avatar
    rpol35

    Your heater problem may just be the thermostat, if it doesn’t close all of the way, or not at all, you won’t get heat.

    That oil pressure issue has me concerned. I think I would want to know the true oil pressure and make sure that it is not something more serious than just a sending unit. My experience with sending units is that they malfunction across the entire engine speed spectrum, not just at idle.

  • avatar
    jaydez

    I read somewhere that if you give your wife a black car she will never want any car of a lighter shade. You should watch out.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      O_o, I see what you did there

      • 0 avatar
        ReSa

        Strange. I read somewhere it’s not so much about the physical appearance of the car as it is about the ride handling characteristics.

        But let’s not digress…

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          Size of the trunk, for some reason they seem bigger on black cars and some women just love a big trunk

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I dunno, my mom bought a black Escort in the 80s, and said “Never again!” after that.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            I don’t know what your mom was thinking but Escorts, even the black ones don’t have trunks. No wonder she was disappointed

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            On a serious note, it was her first-ever new car purchase. As a single woman, an 82 (I think) black/tan Escort three door, with manual. It had a gold pinstripe too – she always mentions that feature.

            It taught her to hate manuals and black cars, and she never went back to either.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Yeah, well 1982 wasn’t exactly a good year for any American car

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Maybe it was 84, not 82. My mind buzzer is telling me that the accompanying Tempo models came out in 84.

          • 0 avatar
            TMA1

            Corey, my mother’s first new car was also a black Escort. An ’84, I believe, but with an automatic. Also a miserable experience, I can remember wher taking a sweeping turn onto a side street as the car gave the ghost at 4 years old, just using what momentum was left to get the car off the main road. Replaced by an ’88 Tempo that also died at 4.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            LOL 4 years old, and she got herself another Ford?! That’s loyalty, I think.

            Was it a 4×4 Tempo, I hope?

  • avatar
    gkhize

    I’d fix the Ford rather than getting another Camry. The devil you know is better than the devil you don’t. The heater issue would be the simplest fix with the already suggested flush/bleed. The brakes could be the ABS pump, a bad ABS sensor, low fluid (which would beg the question why?)or a sticky caliper. Is the engine full of oil and is it the right viscosity? What shape is the oil filter in? For less than $100 (with the exception of the ABS pump) and a Saturday afternoon in the garage you could be set for quite a while and payment free after that $2K is paid off. While I’m sure there are problem free used Camrys out there, the problem is at the end of the day you’re driving a soul-less Camry. At least the Fusion has some semblance of a soul. Full disclosure;I drive a black on black V8 Mustang so I may be a bit biased in that regard.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      I don’t see how a Fusion has more soul than a Camry. Soul as in a leaking power steering pump and failed ABS system?

      I’ll make the wager that a 108k mile 2007 Camry will be in better shape than a similar year Fusion, given similar neglect. Although not changing the oil in anything short of a Chrysler slant 6 will lead to catastrophic issues fairly quickly. For 99% of people buying these cars used, soul is hardly on their minds.

      • 0 avatar
        gkhize

        Point well taken.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Also, though this model Fusion looked nice on the outside, the interior is nothing to write home about. A bunch of cheap plastic parts which don’t age well. My friend has an 06, SEL V6, black on black with something like 80k miles, and the interior is simply falling to pieces.

        The two most notable things would be the passenger airbag cover having warped and pulled away from the dash, and the passenger side interior door handle losing it’s fake metal finish. Now it’s exposed white plastic with very sharp metal plastic in certain parts.

      • 0 avatar
        wstarvingteacher

        What is this soul you keep referring to. She want’s a boring car that will not result in breakdowns. Totally different criteria than most of us seek in our rides. Concur that she needs the new car. Has worked for me for years.

  • avatar
    Mr. Orange

    I had one of these, a 07 Fusion SE. I want to forget about it. I was the second owner. I was being nice and got it from my nice who wanted a TC, a car that she would put 300,000+ miles on.

    Long story short at 104,000 miles transmission went. $2,700 out of pocket and then a new car because while it was being test driven by mechanic some douche in Expedition rear ends it. Complete loss.

    But up until the transmission went nice and very reliable.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    I’m mostly concerned about the ABS – that could be the most expensive problem, and it’s safety-related. A coworker just had his Altima’s $1600 ABS unit replaced under extended warranty. For the ABS, I don’t know what you mean by “the brakes take 2 hours to recover”.

    An engine with low oil pressure can run for a long time (assuming that it’s not just a sensor).

    If this was my car, I’d fix everything myself. Parts for that car are cheap (with the possible exception of the ABS stuff). But if you’re not mechanically-inclined, trade it now for something better, like a CPO Sonata.

  • avatar
    jmo

    “I paid $7,200 for it with 108,000 miles.”

    You sure you didn’t transpose the 2 and the 7? Wow…

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      Welcome to the post-2009 car market! I was aghast at what used cars were going for when I was car shopping in late 2012. I know that cars last longer these days but as we see here, them lasting longer just means there’s a longer window of opportunity for neglect to occur.

      • 0 avatar
        jmo

        “I know that cars last longer these days”

        And the price reflects that – but it doesn’t seem like there is any value left. Used just isn’t a deal like it once was.

        • 0 avatar
          George B

          JMO, I believe that the new willingness to finance the purchase of high mileage cars destroyed the value. In the past only people with cash on hand bought cars well over 100k miles. Now they’re more expensive because people who previously couldn’t afford them now help bid up the price.

      • 0 avatar
        an innocent man

        Yea that number seemed really wrong to me, too. Then I looked it up. Near me there is an ’07 SEL V6 with 110,000 miles. For $10,200.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Seems just too high for a Fusion! I feel like the price of entry is “set,” and it’s around $6-7k for “anything” decent. This is the newest item you can get at that price, so you get a crap item. Couple MY older, and you get a better car.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          In the $6-7K price range, a Focus will be a much better buy.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Also, this 6-7 range is getting right at where the late 90s sedan hold-over models were being replaced by the newer model cars which we essentially have today.

            04-06 seems to be the changeover point.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            (can’t edit) Which is a bad place to be trying to buy in.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            $7K should get someone a 2010 Focus with under 100K miles. I would expect the 2010 Focus to be more reliable than a 2006 Fusion. That era Focus wasn’t as desireable as the current Focus, but I’ve seen them go well past 200k miles.

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      Carmax lists similar cars in the $11,000 (!!!) range, and presumably sells them at that price.

      I don’t think there’s anything I can add to that that the $11,000 didn’t already say.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        $11K?!?!

        F all that.

        Come to Detroit and a Lincoln dealer will sell you a 2010 MKZ for $11K with only 75K miles. You can probably find a Certified MKZ for under $15K.

        http://varsitylincoln.com/Detroit-Metro/For-Sale/Used/Lincoln/MKZ/2010-Ultimate-Gray-Car/36518484/

    • 0 avatar
      duffman13

      Welcome to inflation. The $6k car is the new $3k car.

      When I was in high school in the late 90s you could get something pretty cool or pretty reliable with 75k on it for about $3k. You could get some really cool mid-80s stuff like a 944 in decent shape for around $5k. Now you’d be lucky to get a clapped out 944 for $5k.

      It’s to the point that I think the LeMons rules should be upped to $1k, since finding something that even runs for $500 is a serious proposition.

      • 0 avatar
        jmo

        “Welcome to inflation. ”

        Sorry, no.

        The MSRP of a 1995 Camry LE was $19,778, the MSRP of a 2015 Camry LE is $22,970. Inflation doesn’t explain it.

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          It definitely doesn’t work the same way for used cars as it does new.

        • 0 avatar
          duffman13

          Call it market forces then. Plenty of people will still say that C4C effects are still hurting the bottom of the market for used cars.

          Luxury cars have been on a steady price creep for the past 20 years; maybe there’s a reason cars for normal people haven’t seen an appreciable MSRP increase in 20 years.

          Also, back then Honda and Toyota were more premium cars and were priced accordingly. A 1995 Altima GXE was a $16,319 MSRP vs a 2015 S at $24,330. Volume chasing has to account for something.

          • 0 avatar
            Russycle

            Cash For Clunkers is a factor, but the main cause of high used car prices today is that sales of new cars tanked in 2008, and have been recovering slowly, so there’s a shortage of used cars now. Econ 101.

          • 0 avatar
            jmo

            “but the main cause of high used car prices today is that sales of new cars tanked in 2008”

            I don’t think that’s it. There was a golden age of used cars from sometime in the 80s until sometime in the 00s when cars had dramatically improved in terms of durability but that wasn’t reflected in their price. However, the market has adjusted and cars are now properly priced.

            Unfortunately, what proper pricing means is there isn’t any money left on the table. At one time you could buy a used Accord for $5k that had $10k worth of life left in it. Now, $10k worth of life costs $10k.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            JMO

            Good point. Used cars have improved drastically since what was available in the 80s (that ol’ 70s garbage), and are now priced accordingly. The adjustment just took a long time to make.

            Only hope in excess value now is to buy from an individual that doesn’t know quite what they have.

          • 0 avatar
            Mr. Orange

            The effect as of today for C4C would be so small today on the price of average mainstream cars to be unobservable.

            690,000+ vehicles were traded in, in a market of 250 million+ vehicles. A market that contracted by over 5 million sales in 2009. A little less in 2010. Then a little less in 2011.

            Every year approximately 5 million vehicles are totaled by insurance companies with only a fraction of those being repaired for resale. That would have a much larger affect on resale values. It would be such a long shot to state it affected the sales of Ford Fusions.

            Just accept it. The Fusion doesn’t have a complete crappy resale value.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        I agree that the Lemons rules should probably be upped. It’s getting tougher every day to find a runner under $500. When the series began, $200 runners were still common. Then the price of scrap spiked.

  • avatar
    tsoden

    Buying what you want for your wife is definitely a fail. If your wife is not a car person, go ahead and do your research, but provide some options for your wife to pick.

    • 0 avatar
      heavy handle

      The wife already has the car she wants: she is driving the 2013 Camry. It seems that the Fusion is Casey’s problem now.

      My advice to Casey: the wife keeps the Camry, you get a second opinion on the Fusion’s issues. Assuming it’s not worth fixing, dump the Fusion and get something for yourself.

    • 0 avatar
      mkirk

      Yep. She’d probably still be rocking the sport track with no complaints. I hated my wife’s Tucson and came up with scheme after scheme to ditch it. Fortunately I was not successful and I hate it a lot less now since it is a 90000 mile paid for car in very good shape excepting the stained up interior which I notice less since it was paid off. She’s happy and we usually take my truck out so I’m happy. If it is reliable and she likes it don’t screw a good thing up.

      And I agree. She likes the Camry so let that ride and you trade the Fusion in for something that you like. If you deride a cars “lack of soul” then you don’t want the Camry anyway. Perhaps a used v6 300 is in your price range?

  • avatar
    johnhowington

    fix the power steering pump and pray the oil light does not come on at carmax.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      Shady used car trick. Pull the plug on the pressure switch. If the light stays on constant, jump the terminals of the switch connector with a paper clip or similar.

      • 0 avatar
        ellomdian

        Do people still try shit like this when they are dealing with Trade In’s? It’s not like the dealer is stuck with it – I promise, somewhere in the paperwork you sign is a clause that allows them to reverse the transaction if they determine you intentionally defrauded them.

        (I only know because I tried to buy a car last year that they had on the website, but had already sent back to the seller for shenanigans.)

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          Happens both ways. Unless you represent the car to be in a particular state of repair and defect-free, I don’t see what recourse they would have. Dealers get stuck with crap like this all the time. Then they try and unscrupulously dump it on someone else at auction. I have a car right at this very moment that didn’t show it’s rod knock until about 30 minutes after driving it away from the auction.

        • 0 avatar
          mkirk

          When I worked at a dealer he only time I saw this was on a car that had been rebuilt but the owner had pulled some shenagins with the title. As for mechanical issues a dealer is afforded all of the protections anyone gets when buying used which is to say not many.

          I saw many a quad 4 receive a dose of stop leak before being wholesaled.

      • 0 avatar
        mik101

        Or if it’s a one wire, ground it.
        Kind of a shitty thing to do though. I’d throw an oil pressure gauge on there and see what is really going on.

        The biggest worry is the ABS system. I ended up doing an ABS delete on my Honda because non-abs parts were available and inexpensive, but if it was a car the girlfriend drove, I wouldn’t have done that.

  • avatar
    Jeff Waingrow

    I’d keep the Camry, sell the Fusion, and buy a new Fit or similar with a long loan period, being that money is cheap right now. Then you could spend the time and effort you’d waste with the Ford on something more worthwhile, namely making more money or furthering your training or education. And I’d have my wife choose which new car to buy, with your input, of course.

    • 0 avatar
      Featherston

      I’d be leery of committing to a long-term loan on something with a CVT (assuming an automatic) and direct injection. I mean that as general paranoia, not Honda-specific paranoia.

      Any feedback from DI owners out there? I know it’s becoming the norm on new cars. The (potential?) carbon buildup issue would worry me.

      I’ll also add that a buddy put 115,000 miles on his ’05-ish Murano with nary a hiccup from its CVT, though nervousness about exceeding the 120,000-mile powertrain warranty was a factor in his trading it in.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    Definitely figure out what the deal with the oil pressure light is. If the engine has insufficient oil pressure, it’s pretty much game over. Get an actual pressure gauge on it and see what’s up.

    As for the heater problem, it was very common on this model for air pockets to get trapped in the heater circuit. Sometimes it would cause gurgling noises in the dash, but most often would be noticed as a lack of heat. Sometimes the only way to get it out is burping it with a vacuum tool to help work it out. Raising the front of the vehicle when burping it helps too.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    That model year Fusion was cheaply made, finished & a real POS.

    You also paid about 2x as much for it as you should have.

    Trade it in on an Accord or Camry & make the pain Go away.

    If you’re a masochist, trade it in on a Cadillac ATS.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      An ATS lease is so cheap that he might get a car for 2-3 years based on the trade in value.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        28 may have some solid data thus far, but I bet mid-trim ATS’s depreciate 60% from MSRP within 3 to 3 1/2 years.

        Non-car people are only beginning to realise how unreliable, giant POS they are, so a when new $40k ATS will probably sell for around 15k in 40 months.

        But who’d want it?

        • 0 avatar
          jmo

          “from MSRP”

          That’s a meaningless number.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          I wouldn’t buy one. Cadillac is getting the lease deals out there though. Some are pretty attractive.

          I’m still waiting for the CTS AWD to drop under $300/month with $0 down.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          I don’t have time at the moment to do some calculations but they were hovering 50-55% or so of suggested MSRP the last I checked, with avg retail 60-65%. I could envision a scenario where the ATS I4 is at 40% of msrp in 36-48 mos depending on condition and mileage. OP sounds a bit like me, he needs to find a solid car and ride it out or he needed to pay way less than 7200 on an MY06 though some kind of time travel. Since my slightly newer and better condition W Pontiac has been nickle and diming me in a similar way, I suggest clean Camcord, Civrolla OR now on sale hybrid/EV (or go full on in for an MY10-12 Zephyr and hope build quality improved).

          “But who’d want it?”

          Precisely. MY10-13 Sigma Catera is the only one worth looking at from Cadillac outside of the Tahoe rebadges.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Additional:

            MY14 ATS Coupe V6 Luxury RWD

            01/22/15 MISS Lease $29,000 6,812 Above MAROON 6G A Yes
            01/12/15 ORLANDO $26,900 7,107 Avg GREY 6G A Yes
            12/01/14 ORLANDO $26,000 8,722 Avg BLACK 6G A Yes
            12/01/14 ORLANDO $28,000 9,294 Avg SILVER 6G A Yes
            01/22/15 DENVER $27,800 10,012 Avg MAROON 6G P Yes
            12/01/14 ORLANDO $27,600 14,088 Avg SILVER 6G A Yes
            12/17/14 NASHVILL Regular $26,100 21,817 Avg SILVER 6G A Yes

            Sedan I4 Luxury RWD

            12/31/14 TX HOBBY Lease $24,600 11,163 Avg WHITE 4G A Yes
            01/06/15 GEORGIA Regular $21,600 19,342 Avg SILVER 4GT A Yes
            01/08/15 SO CAL Lease $21,750 28,187 Avg BLACK 4G A Yes
            01/08/15 ARENA IL $25,000 8,376 Above WHITE 4G A Yes
            01/09/15 FT LAUD Regular $21,200 21,082 Below PEARL 4G A Yes
            01/14/15 PITTSBGH Lease $22,000 8,575 Avg GREY 4G A No
            01/16/15 NEVADA Regular $21,700 25,511 Avg CHAMPGNE 4G A Yes
            01/20/15 ORLANDO Lease $20,000 24,993 Below BLACK 4G A No
            01/22/15 DENVER $25,800 9,766 Above WHITE 4G A Yes
            01/27/15 ORLANDO Lease $22,700 23,817 Avg GOLD 4G A Ye

            There does not appear to be a 2WD sedan with a V6 option in MY14.

          • 0 avatar
            JohnnyFirebird

            Just looked at the ADESA Canada market guide – Fusion SELs had an average of 160,000 kilometers (100k miles) and a transaction price of $2900, with the highest being $4500. This is how nuts the used market is here.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Oh you mean la marche de voiture avec prix malhereusement?

          • 0 avatar
            tresmonos

            That is insane. WTF

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      Used lot down the street here has a pinkish (!) CTS Wagon for $3k.

      What could *possibly* go wrong with that?

  • avatar
    tresmonos

    Make sure the power steering pump is the issue. A company called Coupled Products made the lines for the CD3 and they did a terrible job. It could be anything from a leaking fitting to a tuner that was knocked loose inside of the line causing noise.

    If it’s noise – make sure the noise is coming from the pump.

    If it’s a leak – trace the lines to see where the fluid is leaking from. This can be done with a black light and fluorescent dye (added to the fluid). My guess is that the line is the issue and not the pump.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    I hate to say it, but you got taken. Did you do a used vehicle inspection from a reliable, independent mechanic before purchase? When buying a used car it is the best $100 to $300 you will ever spend.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Funny you say the mechanic inspection thing. I think a lot more people have become wise to using this resource here lately. When I sold a cheapo Subaru Impreza in summer of 2012 (IIRC asking $2500 or $2700) people were taking it to mechanics or in one case, bringing a mechanic along with them.

      Even in that price range!

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    Gotta love the original owner’s mojo. Get it new, never service anything. Why change the oil (?). Just top-off enough to keep it going. Unload it 8 years later or early signs of trouble. Repeat. Rinse.

    • 0 avatar
      SaulTigh

      My neighbor is doing this with her lawn mower. She comes out and laughs at me every spring when I’m outside changing the oil in the $160 Murray I bought at Walmart. I know it’s a largely disposable mower, but I was raised to take care of my things.

  • avatar
    seth1065

    Ok here is my 2 cents , one take it to your indie guy and get a estimate to fix everything, maybe it is $900 maybe $3,000 I have no idea and neither do you so do that, face it your wife is keeping the 13 camary so if you sell it your replacing a car for you not her assuming she likes the camary, at the $7,000 price point your in no mans land esp if you buy something like another Cam accord who hold their value, I see you have 2 options lease something cheap like a cruz … or buy something unloved that is cheap, say a mazda 6, a impala from 2009 or perhaps a taurus say around 08, 09, or a Buick. I do not like leasing cars but maybe it would be worth it here , you drive it for 3 years test it and maybe buy it out if it meets your needs if not hopefully your in a better place to buy a better car in three years, good luck. If you buy used get a indie to look at it before you buy.

  • avatar
    CaptainObvious

    That price does seem high. I bought an 08 Fusion SE V6 AWD with 65,000 miles this past summer for $9500. I bought it from a Ford dealer and I got about $1k off their asking price. There doesn’t seem to be much negotiating room on used cars.

    Also – one of the sales reps I was talking to said most of the decent, reasonably priced used cars got traded in during “Cash for Clunkers” – not sure it that’s true or not – but food for thought.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      No it’s very true. A lot of very serviceable used cars (the stuff you find on CL) got destroyed. It’s shot holes through the used market, and driven the prices up on used stuff.

      • 0 avatar
        bumpy ii

        Ehhh, the impact of c4c is overstated. It did wipe out the bottom tier of big, thirsty cheap cars and SUVs, which bumped everything else up a notch or two on the price scale. What really happened to the used market is that we have a big wad of 8-12 year old used cars, and a decent clump of 2-3 year old lease returns. The big hole in the 4-7 range is the new-car sales swoon of 2008-11 or so.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          “It did wipe out the bottom tier of big, thirsty cheap cars and SUVs, which bumped everything else up a notch or two on the price scale.”

          Yes, things you buy on CL. Things you want for <$3k – which is where it's nice to shop if you're A) desperate or B) want an extra car to play with.

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          A lot of really clean Explorers and Grand Cherokees and Cherokees, and Tahoes and Suburbans were wiped out by C4C, a damn shame. They make excellent utilitarian transportation and work vehicles for the not so well to do around here. Even some wonderful old Land Cruisers bit the silicone oxide bullet :( I’d argue C4C hurt poorer folks, the kind that never set foot in a new car show room.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            That’s right, it hurt the poor used car buyer. If they could afford something nicer they would not be shopping bottom end!

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          @Bumpy

          I agree, and the 4-7yo gap is what most used folks are interested in, hence a 25%+ premium due to low supply vs five years ago.

  • avatar
    JohnnyFirebird

    Two things:

    1 – the price of used vehicles in the US is astounding. Cars become pretty much worthless here in Quebec after 12 years, except at Eighth Chance In-House Financing lots.

    2 – Selling vehicles over 100,000 miles is rough here too. We have something called le garantie du bonne functionnement which is vaguely written but means that a vehicle should get as much use as its price will dictate. Like, you should get $6000 of use from a $6000 car. It’s up to a judge to decide if you did or didn’t get your money’s worth before it broke down when you buy a car if you choose to sue. Clients can’t sign away this provincially mandated warranty, the only thing I can do as a dealer when selling old beaters is an inspection and have them sign off on everything that’s wrong with the vehicles. Other less scrupulous dealers just do the math and sell piece of crap cars knowing that only 1 in 5 clients will bring them to court if something goes wrong. It’s pretty gross, but would have covered the question asker. But this is why high mileage / old cars aren’t worth *anything* here… seriously, check out Quebec auctions if you want to get a cheap used car. (Note: there will be rust.)

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      That’s a very interesting government mandated warranty program. It would not work in the US, as the legal system is full of suits already for child support and coffee burns etc.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      Consumer protection laws in Quebec are pretty nuts. As you mentioned, cases often land in the hands of a judge that can rule arbitrarily.

      From my experience though, the main driving factor behind 10 year old cars being worthless in the region is that they really are. They corrode so rapidly that it isn’t worth fixing. Just this past week we replaced the front floor in a 2006 Taurus that had spent much of it’s life Ottawa. 118,000km or about 70k miles for the Americans in the group. Body outwardly nice looking, floors, swiss cheese.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Johnny,

      1. Find clean desirable vehicles which have also been Krowned.
      2. Determine how to legally export them to US customers.
      3. Specifically offer them for sale to US customers via the interwebz.

      Why?

      Because with the current CADUSD exchange rate USD holders get a 25% premium over Canadian dollars. If cars are already “cheap” in Quebec, they become even cheaper to US buyers and thus shipping/importation fees can be priced in.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        Way back when the dollars traded at 50% value, many car dealers in border cities would advertise their prices in both CDN and US dollars. The problem now is that the average American used car shopped doesn’t want to bother getting a passport just to come to Canada.

        Wholesaling would be another story.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          For the right prices I could see the plan having merit, it just depends on how difficult registration/exportation would be. I think it would also depend on the type of product being offered.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            Export/import of cars between the US and Canada is easy. There are some fees and paperwork that are designed to be minor barriers, but they are easily navigated. I’ve done many in both directions.

  • avatar
    gasser

    Get it to a good mechanic FIRST.
    If low oil pressure due to sludge/abuse….go to Carmax
    If ABS system is shot, it is expen$$ive to repair…go to Carmax.
    If heater core is shot, repair will require pulling dashboard and good luck getting everything working again…go to Carmax.
    If you can get a reasonable estimate for repairs…add 50% for optimistic misdiagnoses. If this total is over $3K…go to Camax.
    I agree that used car prices are ridiculous. The price of used vehicles has little to do with how much service life is left in them WITHOUT major $$$ investment or PITA breakdowns. I think this is more related to fewer new sales in 2009-2012 and thus no trickle down stock to buy in the trade in department.
    Next time buy your wife whatever she wants and you drive the crappy car. You may be unhappy, but you won’t be divorced.

    • 0 avatar
      ldl20

      Well, I agree that the most painless thing is to just go to Carmax if you’re willing to take whatever they give you. However, their evaluations are ridiculous. Case in point: drove to New Haven, CT from northern NJ to get a quote on selling my 2006 Mazda6 Grand Touring wagon with 65K miles. Interior was spotless, and exterior was very nice (some people who, admittedly, were a bit clueless, were surprised it was a used car). Tires were Conti DSWs with 7K miles, much newer rims off a 2012 Mazda3, and in good condition.

      They were willing to give me $4,000 (October 2014). And, they had an 05 Hatch with 85K miles for $11,900 on the lot! Needless to say, I politely declined, went back home, and eventually found my way to a local mechanic who paid me $5900 for the car (and waited 8 weeks while my Outback came in) in late December.

      Of course, your results may vary.

      • 0 avatar
        gasser

        I agree with you re: lowball Carmax price. You had a premium vehicle and deserved a premium price.
        An unrepaired Fusion is something one needs to dump on a corporation which will hopefully service/repair it.
        One does not want to sell this Fusion to anyone who would know where you live.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    Should you go Camry you should know that you may end up back at square one, a car with costly problems. Camry owers are some of the most neglectful owners you’ll ever meet.

    These Fusions look better than most Camrys of tha time, and if anything look better than todays ANGRY SO SERIOUS Fusion. I could never warm up to the cheap chrome grilles though.

    • 0 avatar
      mechaman

      Yeah, I love it when someone says, “It never gave me any trouble, I never had to have any major work on my (fill in the blank, H*T*N..).” and so on. Brake work is major work. You will have to have it done in those hundreds of thousands of miles. Hoses and belts wear out too..

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        Define brake work. Replacing rotors and pads is not “major work.” Now a timing belt and water pump as scheduled maintenance, yes in terms of cost it is ‘major work,’ but it is an expected maintenance item that is specified and known of. Replacing accessory belts and radiator hoses is not major work, again it is specified maintenance (at 100k miles or however many years typically).

        • 0 avatar
          mechaman

          OK, I’ll define major work. If all you have to do after checking brakes IS pull pads/rotors, not major. But what if you have a leaking/sticking caliper? Or other problems that can pop up. I spent the better part of a week replacing a caliper on a Datsun 510 because of the pins, that slid into the caliper to hold the front pads in place around the rotor. The pins were frozen in place, and not even KROIL would get ’em out. I had to get a new caliper, hardware (had to go back to the dealer for the hardware), do BOTH sides, and go to work, etc., in the bargain. So to me, brake work is major because you don’t know at the outset how much you are gonna wind up with. And I do NOT cut corners on brake work. Ever.

  • avatar
    Alfisti

    I love how no matter what price you list everyone chimes in with “you paid double the correct price”. Then someone chimes in with “here in Detroit the price is ….” well gimmie a break, yeah sure the asking price is lower in some of the crappiest cities in the civilised world.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      Why is that?

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      Being from a crappy city doesn’t have anything to do with it, the examples linked to were actually in nicer areas. Fusions are just exceedingly common cars in the Metro area due to it being the location of the Ford World HQ. With that many to choose from, you’re bound to find some deals.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        No no no. They are cheap because Metro Detroit is just one giant liquor store and BHPH lot. Alfisti knows that Oakland County is a ghetto.

        • 0 avatar
          Kevin Jaeger

          “They are cheap because Metro Detroit is just one giant liquor store and BHPH lot.”

          That’s not true. There are crackhouses, too. Don’t wanna dis the contribution of the crackhead community in the D.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Your spelling of civilized indicates you’re not an American, so I’d be careful how you throw around “crappiest cities” titles.

      :)

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      $11K for a 2007 Fusion is too much. I was illustrating that a lower mileage, nicer vehicle, with a better V6, that is built on the same platform, is available for less than what CarMax wants for 2007 Fusion. The reason why I chose the Lincoln dealer I go to is that they have a huge inventory and deal with a ton of volume. I’m sure it wouldn’t be that hard to find a $12K MKZ somewhere else in the US.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Here’s an 09 AWD with 60K for that :), with the updated interior version.

        http://www.autotrader.com/cars-for-sale/vehicledetails.xhtml?zip=45242&endYear=2016&modelCode1=MKZ&showcaseOwnerId=0&startYear=1981&makeCode1=LINC&searchRadius=25&maxPrice=13000&showcaseListingId=0&mmt=%5BLINC%5BMKZ%5B%5D%5D%5B%5D%5D&listingId=390858233&Log=0

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        See, CarMax is crazy. 28CL needs to write a mathmatical proof for his used MKZ theory. It’s always right.

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          Yeah, but Tavarish says to buy a two year old Bugatti Veyron for the price of a new Toyota Avalon, and DeMuro advises to add the famous $2,270 bumper-to-bumper CarMax warranty to the bill of sale.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Ugh. Those articles.

            Even if I add the $4000 warranty, which is stupid, I would still have to deal with the hassle of taking my pin pulled grenade to the shop all the time.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Well that’s proprietary information :)

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            You just need to figure out how to monitize it.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Black Book already has me beat, their calculations are excellent. I just crunch numbers from MMR.

            Additional: Based on stuff I remember doing in 2012, the Zephyr sub-100K seems to get to the 30-37% range at year 5-5.5 and hold there when in clean condition (which then would have been MY06s and 07s with the 3.0L not the 3.5L). I might do a +/- of 5% on that 30-37% to account for inflation from when those 07s were sold new (msrp in MY07 was like 30K and it jumped to 38K by MY12). So on the high end a clean Zephyr at year 5-5.5 should be about 40%-42% at avg miles of 60ish (12*5=60K miles), slightly less for avg condition, and on the low end 25-30% for rough. i’d have to see OP’s car but it sounds somewhere between avg to rough in its current condition.

  • avatar
    mnm4ever

    $199/mo for a new Corolla or Civic lease for your wife or yourself, whoever drives the shorter distance to work.

  • avatar
    Trend-Shifter

    I would fix a few things in phases then decide to keep it or sell it.

    Phase 1
    * Change the oil and filter. Use a Motorcraft filter and use Mobil-1 high mileage oil. Select Mobil-1 10W-30 in winter and 10W-40 for the 3 other seasons. Never mind what the oil cap, manual, or internet says. Mobil-1 flows very well at low temperatures and in tight clearances where conventional oil cannot.
    * Change your oil again in 2000 miles using the same oil and filter. You will find the oil looks dirty. That is Mobil-1 doing it’s job. Did the oil light go out? Now change oil every 5000 miles using the same oil & filter. If the light still comes on, change the sending unit.
    * Change the anti-freeze and thermostat. Has the the heat improved?

    Phase 2 if everything is improving.
    * Fix the power steering pump.
    * change the hydraulic control unit of the ABS and bleed all new brake fluid into the system. Try to find a place than can bleed the brakes with a scan tool to activate the ABS while bleeding the brakes.

    Phase 3
    * Change the transmission fluid and filter by dropping the pan and doing a refill. No flushing.
    * Change all general maintenance items like ignition parts, air filter, fuel filter, etc.

    Enjoy your beautiful 3-bar grill and motor on.

    • 0 avatar
      notapreppie

      Regardless of oil brand or engine condition, all motor oil looks dirty after being in an engine for 2000 miles.

    • 0 avatar
      nickoo

      No offense but that’s bs. First Pennzoil ultra platinum beats the pants of Mobil 1 which isn’t even a true synthetic. Second, you don’t seem to understand how multi viscosity oils work. NEVER run a 10w in the winter, it doesn’t have a cold flow rating low enough. He should run 5w 40 shell rotella oil in both seasons and hope that it takes care of his low oil pressure issue. Chances are its too late and the bearings are worn anyways.

  • avatar
    EAF

    I don’t like the look of the 2006 Fusion! Personally, I would much rather own a 2006 Camry. Not to mention, the Camry is actually built “Ford Tough.” I also hate this Duratec engine, I had to reseal the timing cover on a couple if them to address leaks = gloomy days = I dabbled with suicide. Lol

    I would not hesitate on taking the loss and trading it in for a comparable V6 Accord or Camry. TBF.

    If you decide to keep the Fusion, the problem I would resolve first is the oil lamp. As Sajeev wrote, it is most likely the oil pressure switch which can be had from Motorcraft for less than $30. Change the oil & filter while I’m at it. It is a driveway job just don’t choose Superbowl weekend to hastily run through it.

    The second problem I would tackle, only if problem #1 is fixed, are the brakes. You could have the Fusion scanned for ABS codes, an OBD2 handheld scanner won’t suffice. If no faults are present, I would suspect air is trapped in the system, use the scanner to bleed the unit. You never know what the previous owner did, maybe replaced a caliper / master / line and allowed air in? Who knows? It is certainly within the realm of possibilities.

    Heat. After the car reaches normal operating temperature, carefully feel the two hoses that travel from the engine to the firewall and heatercore. If they are both hot then your problem is most likely a clogged core. Youtube is your friend on this one, you can employ a similar tactic to the ones described there and see if it helps. Garden hoses, modulated compressed air, I’ve tried them all and have been very successful.

    Lastly, check power steering fluid, if full, replace pump. I believe on the Duratec the pump is located in the valley. Not incredibly difficult if you are mechanically inclined.

    Goodluck!

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    Give the wife the Camry and get yourself a used Miata or some other fun, sporty car.

  • avatar
    nickoo

    I agree. Sell it, immediately, for all you know, the idiots before you ran it thousands of miles over oil change intervals and the main bearings are shot, may have ran it so low on oil, they damaged or cracked the block, and the dealership put some sort of block sealant goop in the coolant system to keep it from leaking.

  • avatar
    SoCalMikester

    if the oil is full and the correct viscosity, i would be worried. get rid of it ASAP. a change with 20w/50 might keep the light off long enough to trade it in.

    the dealer will likely send it to auction, where everything is caveat emptor

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Reading through the comments above I’m floored that a nine model year old Fusion with over 100K on the clock would hold its value this well.

    I was a huge fan of this generation Fusion and this was my go to rental car of choice. And that’s part of the reason why I’m so surprised they held value this well. This generation Fusion was a rental fleet darling – usually not an indicator of strong resale value down the road.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Testing…

    inside

  • avatar
    claytori

    +1 on the marital advice above. OTOH- The most serious problem here is the oil pressure light. This could be a sludged oil inlet screen, or a seriously worn engine. Both can be caused by lack of oil changes and poor quality “Quikki Oil Change” bulk oil or both together. The former, drop the pan and clean the screen. The latter, change the engine. The ABS I would only flush and change ALL of the brake fluid and see what happens. If no go, consider the ABS delete or a rebuilt or used pump. It is over-rated. Learn to threshhold brake. The PS pump is a cheap easy fix. But first try changing ALL of the PS fluid. If the poster above is correct it could be one of the hoses, but you would need to check the Fusion forums for confirmation. You shouldn’t decide to dump the car without a consultation with your mechanic. Changing a car has high hidden transaction costs.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    Used Camry’s are a dime a dozen as the market is flooded with them. I just saw 2 2013 Camry LE’s for 12995 with mileage in the low 30’s. You could probably land an older 2008 or 2009 for well under 9K but avoid the V6 models as they seem to suffer more transmission and intake gasket issues than there 4 cylinder counterparts. Fixing the Ford may not be wise. The 3 liter Duratec is a decent engine but I have witnessed 2 as of late that needed both intake and head gaskets replaced which wasn’t cheap. Then there is the transaxle which Ford doesn’t have a good prior reputation with.

  • avatar
    mechaman

    There was an independent mechanic here in the Chicago area who used to advertise that he’d ‘fix’ $39.95 brake jobs. A reporter asked him why he worded the sign that way, and he explained that he fixed the shoddy work of other mechanics who didn’t check thoroughly and fix properly. I’d add the ‘$19.99 oil change’. The last one of those I had, I found later that the drain bolt was stripped all the way up to a single turn and a bit of thread under the bolt head. The bolt fell into my drain pan catch screen with ONE turn. I might screw my car work up, but I’ll be damned if I’ll pay a professional money to screw up!!

  • avatar
    CaseyLE82

    Here’s how it all turned out for those of you who care:

    We traded in the Camry, not the fusion, because my wife wanted a truck. We got her a very nice little Ford Explorer Sport Trac for half the price of the Camry.

    The Fusion needed the following:
    New Oil Pressure Sensor (guy said it was the worst one he’d ever seen) $156.
    Power Steering Fluid: $4
    New Rotors: $400

    Car is fixed, and I love it and my wife loves her nicer Sport Trac and all is happy.

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