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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I found a 99 Wagon SE comfort for my Dad. Going to look at it tomorrow. It's pretty clean 2 owner job 2 car (24 valve but single exhaust) it's said to have zero rust zero leaks and zero mechanical problems. Is there anything I'm not thinking of I should be checking other then the normal used car check points? I can't think of any gen 3 wagon unique problems to check. Any ideas?
The car is a satin green tan cloth SE
24valve
Power seat
Alloys
3rd seat
74k miles
No body work ever (so he says)
It's in very nice shape via the pix anyway. He's looking for a reasonable 3400.00. As hard as it is to find a clean low miles 24valve wagon for cheap I hope its nice.
 

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Check the tranny fluid, be sure its pink.
Ask if its ever been changed.
 

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I would change it regardless of its color. It is supposed to be done every 30,000, so assume it hasn't been done and do it, unless the PO can provide receipts showing the maintenance history. I would change all the fluids.
 

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Check the springs for corrosion/breakage. Even if the body is clean, that year Taurus (and many other Ford makes) had the rusted spring issue. This only applies to rust belt areas.
 

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I find the following website helpful for car buying advise

http://www.samarins.com/buying/index.html



As far as Taurus specific information is concerned, find someone who understands suspension and steering, and have them lift this car and check everything. Firestone does this for $20. At around 50-75,000 miles many of these cars need the following things fixed:

1. Steering gear. This is a $700-900 job. You can tell if the car needs this repair if you can hear a whining sound from power steering when making turns at a low speed around a parking lot. Sometimes this sound is very nuanced, only driver can hear it, but it gets worse with time quickly. I can hear a neighbor's Taurus wagon make this sound from across the parking lot. A low level of steering fluid or steering fluid leaking from underneath the car could indicate this problem.

2. Lower ball joints. This is a $400-$600 repair job. Often go bad at around 50-80,000 miles.

3. Sway bar endlinks.

Basically if there is any play when try you move around the front wheel of a jacked up car, there can be a problem with steering/suspension. Also drive the car over potholes and try to hear any noises from steering or suspension. Any kind of chunking noise could mean a problem.

None of these issues has catastrophic repair cost but it does add up. If you see any of these things needing work, perhaps you could ask for a lower price.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks guys. All sound advice. The car is very solid. Springs all good zero rust. Needs some work. I'll post up some pix. We pick it up sat.



I find the following website helpful for car buying advise

How to buy a used car - step by step guide



As far as Taurus specific information is concerned, find someone who understands suspension and steering, and have them lift this car and check everything. Firestone does this for $20. At around 50-75,000 miles many of these cars need the following things fixed:

1. Steering gear. This is a $700-900 job. You can tell if the car needs this repair if you can hear a whining sound from power steering when making turns at a low speed around a parking lot. Sometimes this sound is very nuanced, only driver can hear it, but it gets worse with time quickly. I can hear a neighbor's Taurus wagon make this sound from across the parking lot. A low level of steering fluid or steering fluid leaking from underneath the car could indicate this problem.

2. Lower ball joints. This is a $400-$600 repair job. Often go bad at around 50-80,000 miles.

3. Sway bar endlinks.

Basically if there is any play when try you move around the front wheel of a jacked up car, there can be a problem with steering/suspension. Also drive the car over potholes and try to hear any noises from steering or suspension. Any kind of chunking noise could mean a problem.

None of these issues has catastrophic repair cost but it does add up. If you see any of these things needing work, perhaps you could ask for a lower price.
 
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