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I just got a 2003 SES with the 3.0L DOHC engine, auto, and less than 29k miles. I replaced the tires, wipers, and battery. The brakes, hoses, and belt look good. What other maintenance items should I check out, and what problems should I look for? The car looks and runs great, no funny noises, no leaks, no obvious issues. Trying to keep it that way. This will be my son's first car when he passes his driving test in a month or so.

Thanks!
 

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I have a 2003 SEL wagon w/ 108k miles and I've had a front sway bar/tie rod link replaced two or three times now. You'll know when it goes bad when you start hearing clunking from the front end when you turn or go up the curb to the driveway. I think these things went bad because they were made from a resin composite or some such thing. The last one my mech replaced is actually made of metal.

My rear defogger just quit working one day. The hood latch spring broke...a two dollar spring from the local hardware store took care of that. I had to have a 'tune-up' to repair a poor running engine...some new wires fixed her up. You don't have a wagon but my roof racks look like some one took a grinder to them...sun bleached and peeling.

The engine leaks oil and I go through brakes pretty regularly. Other than that, it has been a decent set of wheels.
 

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I suggest flushing the cooling system, and changing the transmission fluid and filter, by dropping the pan. Do not have the transmission hooked up to a flushing machine, as this could cause damage to a older transmission (age). A few things to look for on the Taurus: Check the pass side floor for signs of water leaks. You should change the cabin air filter, and there should be a rain hat covering the cabin filter (check topic finder). Another water leak source would be the evaporator drain line, where it connects to the plastic evap housing. If this car has been driven in the rust belt, check both front and rear springs for signs of corrosion, as they're known for rusting out and breaking, the Escorts and ZX2's also have that issue in the rust belt.
 
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