Looking at a 2012 SHO for $15300

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omnedon

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Local dealership just got a 2012 SHO. Excellent cosmetic condition. Carfax shows one owner with regular dealership maintenance for its lifetime. No mods or tunes.

-dealership asking $15400USD
-62,200 miles

I’ve wanted a SHO since they came out. Never had one. Came close a couple times but never did it. So here I am. I want this to be my wife and I’s second car. We have a dead reliable Toyota Highlander as our main travel ride. The SHO would be my daily driver - and I average 9000 kms (5500 miles) per year- so light duty. I’m not a mechanic- but I’m handy. I keep my current daily (2004 4 banger Chevy Malibu) running going with some minor wrenching (pick and pull) and I have a trustworthy shop for real work. I’m not a performance driver. I’m just in love with the sleeper aspect of a SHO.

I’m asking for the wisdom of the forums to help me out.

-mech inspection-what must be checked?
-what do I check for on the CARFAX?
-what price should I try to get it down to?
-what maintenance/ repairs must I be clear eyed about if I buy this?

I still need to confirm whether or not it has the PP. it comes with spare rims and winter tires (aftermarket summer winter factory).

What should be my next steps if I’m crazy enough to fulfill my SHO fantasy?
 

Joshw0000

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Local dealership just got a 2012 SHO. Excellent cosmetic condition. Carfax shows one owner with regular dealership maintenance for its lifetime. No mods or tunes.

-dealership asking $15400USD
-62,200 miles

I’ve wanted a SHO since they came out. Never had one. Came close a couple times but never did it. So here I am. I want this to be my wife and I’s second car. We have a dead reliable Toyota Highlander as our main travel ride. The SHO would be my daily driver - and I average 9000 kms (5500 miles) per year- so light duty. I’m not a mechanic- but I’m handy. I keep my current daily (2004 4 banger Chevy Malibu) running going with some minor wrenching (pick and pull) and I have a trustworthy shop for real work. I’m not a performance driver. I’m just in love with the sleeper aspect of a SHO.

I’m asking for the wisdom of the forums to help me out.

-mech inspection-what must be checked?
-what do I check for on the CARFAX?
-what price should I try to get it down to?
-what maintenance/ repairs must I be clear eyed about if I buy this?

I still need to confirm whether or not it has the PP. it comes with spare rims and winter tires (aftermarket summer winter factory).

What should be my next steps if I’m crazy enough to fulfill my SHO fantasy?
Honestly, I think that's a bit high. I bought my 2012 about 5 or 6 years ago for ~$14.5K with 59K miles. I'd try to get that number down to $10ish. Maybe if the maintenance records show any major replacements (water pump/timing chain and/or torque converter replacement). Those are items you should budget for on a SHO. I've also replaced the power steering but that seems to be less common.

One thing to consider is that the 2010-2012 models are different from the 2013+. Headlights, taillights, stereo, more are different. So if you decide to modify in the future, your options are limited. Check those rear tail lights. The fake chrome trim is either flaking, been painted black, or maybe the dealership dropped a new set in. This model has the Sync 1 stereo. No Android / Apple Auto. 2013 - ? has Sync 2 and the late models have Sync 3. The 2013+ can be replaced with Sync 3 but the 2010 - 2012 cannot.

You'll love the car regardless but if I had it to do over, I'd look for a 2016+, preferably a PP.

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Joshw0000

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Also, I'm sure the PTU / RDU fluids have never been changed. Ford will tell you they have lifetime fluids. Check the forums and you'll find tutorials. Just buy the fluids and a few cheap tools and you can do it yourself for $100 - $200. That car has few enough miles that you should do it immediately upon buying and every 30K miles thereafter.

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rubydist

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In my part of the country, that should be $10,600-11,700 according to the data I have.
 

omnedon

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Thanks for all input so far!

I’m aware of the age of SYNC in that model. My plan would be a modern aftermarket head unit with Apply CarPlay and yank the original SYNC. Any watch outs there?

I agree that the sticker is high. I’m going to shoot for $10k or $11k if things get serious.

If I take it to that shop for an inspection what should I ask them to verify specifically?
 

yaycandy

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Thanks for all input so far!

I’m aware of the age of SYNC in that model. My plan would be a modern aftermarket head unit with Apply CarPlay and yank the original SYNC. Any watch outs there?

I agree that the sticker is high. I’m going to shoot for $10k or $11k if things get serious.

If I take it to that shop for an inspection what should I ask them to verify specifically?
Your better off finding a 2017 or newer. Ptu and engine and other mechanical bits had lots of revisions so even up to a 2014 have parts that have higher failure rates then say 2015 or newer
 

Joshw0000

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Thanks for all input so far!

I’m aware of the age of SYNC in that model. My plan would be a modern aftermarket head unit with Apply CarPlay and yank the original SYNC. Any watch outs there?

I agree that the sticker is high. I’m going to shoot for $10k or $11k if things get serious.

If I take it to that shop for an inspection what should I ask them to verify specifically?
There's really no plug and play to convert to Android radio. If you're electrically inclined you could piece together all of the needed components for about $1-1.5K. That's if you're installing it. I'm sure you'll pay a nice penny for a shop to do the install.

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kryptto

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Yeah - look - I feel like many here - so when folks come here about used SHOs it's a death trap. Since we all have pain in maintaining these cars to keep them healthy, we tend to come off negative about purchasing used SHOs. So i will reiterate the samd feelings others postedhereas well. I have a 14, stay with 15+ with same maintenance history. Watch miles once these cars miss 2 or 3 30K miles ptu/rdu maintenance windows, go for a newer model. Turbos at 90k can then be issues. Not including snowbelt rust of the chassis. Whole other discussion since you chose not to post your location.

My suggestion is what I listed, 2015+ lower than 60k miles - get it up on a lift and look for possible rust damage, especially around those plastic parts in the rear wheel wells.
 

SouthernSHO

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Best thing you can do if buying from a dealership is pay for an extended warranty.

I bought a 2012 last year, 1 owner 45k miles last year. It has the micro suede massage heat/cooled seats, nav touch screen, blind spot mirrors, 20” wheels, sunroof.

I paid $13.5k for it but opted for a 5 year 50k mile extended bumper to bumper warranty with a $100 deductible (covers everything including full engine, trans, etc replacement along with stuff like electronics). There is different levels of warranty protection you can buy. I had previously read all the issues people have had with these SHO prior to buying.

I kid you not 2 weeks later I smelled an oil smell on a trip we took. Took it to the Ford dealership and they worked with my warranty company to fix the issue. Rear valve cover and oil separator. It would have cost me around $900 for parts, labor and the $250 diagnostic fee. I paid the $100 deductible. The main thing to remember is keep all dated receipts of work done or parts you buy. Including the parts if you do your own oil changes, spark plugs, etc.
 
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I agree with @kryptto that we can come off aggressive and negative when it comes to buying for many reasons between maintenance as well as model year differences. but if you have decided that this is the car you want and you are in love you're probably going to read past a lot of the negative and file it under "taken into consideration". if we look at this as a "I just bought a 2012 with low miles" then here's what I suggest.

Get any and all records you can from ford for any repairs or maintenance done by the dealer.

Acknowledge the limitations of the 10-12 years with the aftermarket, you want a sleeper then it shouldn't be too bad keeping it stock in appearance.

There are android auto/ carplay touchscreen interfaces that sit on your dash or mount to the windshield and connect via Bluetooth and use the existing Bluetooth (which isn't that great in sync 1 or 2 but its available) this way you wont have to fight with the integrated systems of sync and maintain your stock functionality but gain some modern luxuries.

For maintenance you should get your base line and do all the fluids and keep a record of it, RDU, PTU, Trans, engine oil. go ahead and invest in a catch can early and stop the oil from recirculating in the intake. I assume because you used KM that you are north of the border and rust is a concern, check the under side thoroughly including anywhere plastic conceals, and anywhere subframes mount. as for the engine itself you have timing chain, water pump, VVT solenoids, and the occasional oil pump to be concerned with. check for seepage, a good shop can do a leak down test, the mileage indicates the chains probably haven't been done so I would just start a stash for that in the next 20k-30k miles, and the VVT solenoids can probably be done at the same time.

I daily drive my 13 and she is not without her problems and sees about 70 miles a day, they're high maintenance and expensive when things go wrong, but with good upkeep and staying ahead of problems you can avoid most of the expensive repairs. they're a blast to drive and reward you right back, I would recommend an SHO to anyone as a good all around performer. that said, if you are not heart set on this one in particular car, shop around, the consensus here is that 2015-up should be in the right price range and is a better starting point

As for purchasing a warranty, there's been discussion and horror stories about how shops handle warranty repairs, they're often stripped down to bare minimum labor and handed off to the less seniority (depending on the shop of course, not saying all are bad) but this leaves a window of error and even if it is covered under the warranty to fix warranty repairs, no one wants their car in and out of the shop repeatedly so its up to you if you want to roll the dice and spend the extra for the warranty.

you said you are handy and most of the maintenance can be done on jack stands in your driveway if you educate yourself and use patience, and most of the time proper maintenance will negate the need for a warranty if the car is healthy at the start, with the exception of timing chains and water pump, take it to a reputable shop and pay full price for that, sometimes its worth it to pay for quality if the alternative is shotty work and a damaged engine.

Lengthy yes, informative, I hope so, good luck and if this one doesnt work out, dont give, up these are amazing cars with a great community to support you through ownership.
 

omnedon

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UPDATE

I’ve read all of your advice (taken some of it!), done a lot of research and spent $200 having a trusted mechanic look at it- and then I lowballed the dealership and walked off the lot.

Here is where this stands. They gave me a ******** laundry list of stuff they would do if I paid $15k (hood struts!? Side mirror?! Wtf). I said pound sand. I got the dealer down to $11600 all in- as is no warranty- contingent on my mechanic review. (comes with two sets of rims and tires- all seasons are all done- winter tires are nearly new). I put down a $1k deposit to take it to my mechanic.

Mechanic said- it looks very good- well maintained. He checked all the things (PTU, etc etc). This is what it needs NOW:
-inner outer tie rods and alignment ($800)

Here is what it needs within a year or so:
-engine light- P0420 - cat system efficiency (new cats $900)
- (light oil film in intercooler) both turbos replaced $1500
-PTU fluid change- all other fluids recommended (in addition to oil changes of course)
-FYI it still sports its original water pump, original timing chain, original PTU
And it has a SCT out of the box tune. IMO not a positive.
It’s been lowered and the original springs are in the trunk.
It has a an AIR RAID intake and the original is in the trunk.


So I offered $8500. A$$ Sales Manager came out and gave me a song and dance about how he could just send it to auction for that (after he literally pushed my sales guy out of the way). I said Ok. I grilled him about the tune- asked if he could ask the person who traded it in if he would share tune details- maybe answer questions about the car if I purchased it. A$$ sales manager said “No- we can’t do that”. I thanked him for his help and walked out.

Fact is- I love the car. I wish it was newer (2012 has shit SYNC and lacks later year PTU upgrades etc). It’s a color I love- the interior is near mint and it was clearly was cared for.

So- tomorrow I’ll go in - say I thought about it- and get my deposit back. I expect to get some more pressure from a$$ sales manager. I can walk away and be ok.

Any thoughts from you long time SHO owners for this wannabe? Am I grinding the dealership too hard? Not hard enough? If they won’t come down- should I ask them to do the immediate service free to make the sale? (this dealership is new- no reputation) Should I ask for an extended warranty if they won’t come down?

Help me feel better for being ready to walk away from my SHO fantasy (at least this time)
 

kryptto

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UPDATE

I’ve read all of your advice (taken some of it!), done a lot of research and spent $200 having a trusted mechanic look at it- and then I lowballed the dealership and walked off the lot.

Here is where this stands. They gave me a ******** laundry list of stuff they would do if I paid $15k (hood struts!? Side mirror?! Wtf). I said pound sand. I got the dealer down to $11600 all in- as is no warranty- contingent on my mechanic review. (comes with two sets of rims and tires- all seasons are all done- winter tires are nearly new). I put down a $1k deposit to take it to my mechanic.

Mechanic said- it looks very good- well maintained. He checked all the things (PTU, etc etc). This is what it needs NOW:
-inner outer tie rods and alignment ($800)

Here is what it needs within a year or so:
-engine light- P0420 - cat system efficiency (new cats $900)
- (light oil film in intercooler) both turbos replaced $1500
-PTU fluid change- all other fluids recommended (in addition to oil changes of course)
-FYI it still sports its original water pump, original timing chain, original PTU
And it has a SCT out of the box tune. IMO not a positive.
It’s been lowered and the original springs are in the trunk.
It has a an AIR RAID intake and the original is in the trunk.


So I offered $8500. A$$ Sales Manager came out and gave me a song and dance about how he could just send it to auction for that (after he literally pushed my sales guy out of the way). I said Ok. I grilled him about the tune- asked if he could ask the person who traded it in if he would share tune details- maybe answer questions about the car if I purchased it. A$$ sales manager said “No- we can’t do that”. I thanked him for his help and walked out.

Fact is- I love the car. I wish it was newer (2012 has shit SYNC and lacks later year PTU upgrades etc). It’s a color I love- the interior is near mint and it was clearly was cared for.

So- tomorrow I’ll go in - say I thought about it- and get my deposit back. I expect to get some more pressure from a$$ sales manager. I can walk away and be ok.

Any thoughts from you long time SHO owners for this wannabe? Am I grinding the dealership too hard? Not hard enough? If they won’t come down- should I ask them to do the immediate service free to make the sale? (this dealership is new- no reputation) Should I ask for an extended warranty if they won’t come down?

Help me feel better for being ready to walk away from my SHO fantasy (at least this time)
You listed all the money you need to dump in find the walk out the door final offer - don't like it pass. You have the upcoming costs - RDU PTU oil change - tie rods and alignment - unsure if you have a tuned car or not. $9k max for me.

Just get ready to start doing some work. Pump will go soon and turbos will get iffy in 10-15k.

Rusting and where? Check those wheel wells?
 

Joshw0000

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I hate Sync 1, but only because Sync 3 is so much better. It's still a big screen with a lot of bells and whistles you won't find elsewhere. Honestly, I'd say pick 2 prices. One that you feel you win at and one that you'd be OK at. Get all of your pre-approvals in place if you haven't already and make up a story about another car somewhere. Tell the guy you're buying a car THIS WEEKEND. You've already made an offer on this other car and here's the offer for this car (you win price).

Tell the sales guy if he accepts, you're ready to sign the papers now. If not, he's welcome to counter offer, but you won't accept until you hear back about the other car. If someone accepts the offer price, it's a done deal.

Polite but firm. Quick call, or 15 min visit. Be ready to walk out / end the call after offering. He's a sales guy. He's trying to get the most profit out of this sale and he knows you want it. If he thinks he's going to lose the sale, he'll be willing to cut some profit not to lose the sale. But again, you have to be confident and don't make up a story that he's able to debunk (XYZ dealership has this car at this price).

Off topic story, my parents bought a SEL Taurus shortly after I got my SHO (when they were worth more). They called me and gave me some info and asked me to look as they were with the sales guy right now. I showed up and immediately pointed out every single imperfection I could find. The dealership wanted $13K. I told them I wouldn't pay a penny more than $10K (in front of the sales guy) and left. They really wanted it but offered $10K and left. Before they got home, he called back and offered it for $11K so they went back and got it.

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I would say 10 max and that's if you really love the car. From what I understand you can't have a box tune, these cars need custom tunes and parts to make a tune work. With the other mods I'm thinking it was either loved or thrashed (or both) it was an enthusiast of some degree which should be something to take into consideration. (I had the notion my car was owned by someone younger based on stickers). I don't think you'll get the dealer much lower, especially being new dealer they probably paid more for the car initially to play on its rarity. And I wouldn't have them do the work either, if they're already losing their a$$ on it I'd be worried about sabotage or just poor workmanship (but I'm paranoid).

If it were me I'd find a 13+ as close to stock as possible with good records. Good upkeep is essential to these things and from an investment standpoint its the most important thing, and while there are plenty of tuned and modified SHOs that are perfectly fine I just don't like taking the chance that someone else's shortcut or oversight is going to cost me in the long run. Again that's my point of view and if you were buying directly from the person that did the work it'd be a different conversation. I'd express to the salesman that the modifications without documentation can hurt its value to some buyers, it clearly wasn't granny driving it to church on Sunday's
 

omnedon

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And now for the denouement…

Went into the dealership. When the sales manager was able to make time for me we chatted for a while. Wouldn’t budge from $11600 and tried to guilt me for asking to change the deal after my mechanic checked it out.

Thanked him for his time and got my deposit back.

I’ve learned a lot. This process (and the help from many of you on this forum) have made me a much more informed buyer of a 4th gen SHO in 2024. Still a wannabe- but that is ok for now.
 

kryptto

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And now for the denouement…

Went into the dealership. When the sales manager was able to make time for me we chatted for a while. Wouldn’t budge from $11600 and tried to guilt me for asking to change the deal after my mechanic checked it out.

Thanked him for his time and got my deposit back.

I’ve learned a lot. This process (and the help from many of you on this forum) have made me a much more informed buyer of a 4th gen SHO in 2024. Still a wannabe- but that is ok for now.
You will get one - they aren't a Herring yet and wait and grab a better prospect.
 

FREAK_SHO

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And now for the denouement…

Went into the dealership. When the sales manager was able to make time for me we chatted for a while. Wouldn’t budge from $11600 and tried to guilt me for asking to change the deal after my mechanic checked it out.

Thanked him for his time and got my deposit back.

I’ve learned a lot. This process (and the help from many of you on this forum) have made me a much more informed buyer of a 4th gen SHO in 2024. Still a wannabe- but that is ok for now.
Glad you listened to the collective and your gut.
Keep searching you will happen upon "right" one and it will just feel correct. Took me close to a year to find my 2015.

Good luck in your continued search
 
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They're out there, and you'll be happy you didn't take the leap in this one when you find THE one. I commend you on your will power, I speak for myself at least when I say it's hard to let something you want pass by when it's right in front of you, justification becomes your worst enemy. Well done standing your ground and walking away
 

rubydist

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One thing to clarify - the dealer is absolutely prohibited by federal regulation from sharing any information about a prior owner (or any other client of theirs) so he was not being an a@@ about not providing that information, he was just trying to comply with the rules. The best you can possibly hope for is to ask the dealer to pass along your contact information to the prior owner with a request that they call you. Since you are specifically asking them to pass along your information it is technically ok, and they may do it. But no reputable dealer will give you any prior owner information.

If you really like the car, $11,600 is a decent (not great, but fair) price because no 10+ year old car is going to be perfect.
 
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