NEW Here...new Taurus owner...help!!!

First, please excuse my ignorance. I will do my best to stick to just the facts.
Just purchased the second Ford of my life time...1999 Ford Taurus with
the 3.0 duratec engine. The vehicle has 71,000 miles on it and I paid $3,000.
During the auction preview day, the car would not start when I first looked at it. The help there jumped the car and it ran very well...smooth etc. The car shifted smoothly, although I was not allowed to actually drive it. The AC was cold.
Tried to pick up the car yesterday. Again, it would not start. Jumped it 3 times, it would run but then stall when I took my foot off the gas and not restart. Attempted to keep it running...until it ran out of gas!!! Went and got 10 gallons of fuel and started all over again...but a minute or two after taking my foot off the accelerator it would stall again. And once, after removing the key from the ignition, I heard a click, click that sounded like it was coming from the steering column. Finally had it towed to my local mechanic.
My mechanic jumped the car and tested both the battery and the alternator...the alternator was charging the battery. We took it for a short ride. The AC blew hot air for quite a while...and then turned cold. The security light flicked on and off a few times. The car felt like it was going to stall and also jerked/bucked a couple of times and the rpms jumped up to 3,000/4,000 and then back down to 1,00/2,000, while it was jerking.
My first thought is to replace the battery as it was totally dead and could have a bad cell, etc. The serpentine belt is also going to be replaced. I am wondering if there is some major electrical problem going on.
Do you think that the probably 10 or more jumps that this car had...both mine and other folks who looked at the vehicle...could have really screwed up the computer settings and that could cause these problems? I did research the "reset the computer" proceedure and I know, at least since it has been in my possession, it has not been done.
I apologize for my novice descriptions. And, I do trust my mechanic. Just need to get some information so I can stop worrying if I did the wrong thing by purchasing this car.
Any suggestions? TIA.
Lori
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lori8288 wrote:

you bought the car at an auction, just like the used car dealers do.. they are more experienced with junkers and have real cheap repair places that can can get these lemons running and then unload them on the public... even if they make mistakes the odds are that they will come out winning by volume alone... with an individual if you get stuck with one car it will hurt you as you are not getting 20 other cars in the next month to make up for the bad ones that pop up every now and then... and the $3,000 price for the car seems too cheap, i guess you get what you pay for.....
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[This followup was posted to alt.autos.ford and a copy was sent to the cited author.]
@accucom.net says...

If the battery keeps dying, it's either bad or there is something draining it. Also, the constant boosts and/or low voltages could have scrambled the computer's settings.
I would first try the easy stuff, and get the battery itself checked, or just replace it. If it's original, it's due anyways. When you disconnect it, leave it disconnected for about half an hour or so to guarantee the computer is 'dead' and reset.
When it's first started, let it idle until its warm with the A/C off. Then, put it in gear at let it idle for a minute or so. Turn on the A/C and let it idle a few minutes. Take it out of gear and let it idle with the A/C on. This can give the computer a change to do a partial learning of the engine. It should improve as it's driven over time and learns more.
Other items to keep an eye on could be bad or dirty injectors, and the gas filter.
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Here are some things you should do right away. Change all the fluids and major filters, Oil, and Transmission, Coolant, Brake fluid.Air and Fuel filter, Have the brakes pads checked when the fluid is being changed. As you mentioned you need a battery..get the correct type, it is a size 36R...that is specially made/designed for that Taurus. That stalling could be caused by a bad IAC, idle air control valve. Have the Mechanic pull the codes, if any and it will tell you if the IAC needs service. Look out for the VSS, vehicle speed sensor too, a bad one will cause jerky/erratic shifting Assuming there are no problems with the transmission, $3000 seem a good price for that car, spending a little to get it ready for the road should be worth it.
says...

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