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Hi all -

I'm looking at a very nice-looking 2002 Taurus SEL in the Arizona beige metallic clearcoat. It has the durtec engine, the leather, moonroof, etc. I've checked out all the 'toys' on it and they seem to all work well. It does have the auto climate control. The car has 39,309 on it, and has never had the trans filter/fluid changed, nor a tuneup and has the original tires.

I drove it and it drives very well, brakes seem fine, smooth idle, and the air is nice and cold.

Anything specific about the duratec or this model (SEL) that is known to be trouble or jsut a 'your mileage may vary'? I'm a bit worried about the trans fluid being in there for 7 years or so, but the mileage isn't too extreme on it.

Thanks for any pointers I appreciate them!
 

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There are definitely a few things to check. If the owner doesn't mind, pop off the plastic passenger door kick plate/sill (it just snaps into place) and pull the passenger floor carpeting back. Check around for any dampness or water. If it's damp, time to seal off the gasket around the AC drain and check for cowl warping.

Enter the VIN on Ford's site to make sure all recalls have been performed. There were 3 for that year (brake on/off switch, windshield, and adjustable pedal spacing adjustment).

The AutoLamp function may or may not work, problem with a relay in the GEM. My car had some faulty alarm sensor at 5 years old, with the trunk one...just had it replaced last year. No way you can really prepare I guess...but something to keep in mind since the SEL has a factory alarm. I wouldn't be afraid of changing the fluid, it's certainly due for it, it'll be fine :)

Good luck with the purchase, make sure you check the pinned thread at the top for a general overview about checking a car over if you want to. Post some pics if you get it B)
 

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Hi and thanks - I found that article after I posted this but the tips you mentioned I'll definitely check out today if I can get back with the person selling today.

I know on some cars (Nissan for one), there are 'silent OBD codes' that don't always trigger a CEL but will show with the code reader. I have one so I need to check that as well I presume?

I'm thinking that with the autolights I could cover the sensor on the dash and give it a couple of minutes to see if they come on, I have a dodge dakota with the auto lamps and it has a sensor in the foreward side of the rearview mirror.

thanks again and I'll post up if we get.
 

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Since it's such low mileage, look for excess rust or corrosion on the front brake discs...
 

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Went and took a 2nd look to see if I missed anything the first time.. nothing major, the floor shift surround has a broken tab and won't stay down on one corner and I found a door ding I didn't see yesterday. Overall seems pretty nice. Trying to find some info on it now by carfax or autochek
 

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Only other suggestion would be to budget for a new set of tires if they're the original. At this point they're over 7 years old. The recommendation now is not run tires that are over 6 years old due to the rot and aging that goes on regardless of how many miles are on the tires.
 

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Check the coolant for signs of corrosion, if you do buy this car, this would be one of the first things next to trans fluid you should do asap. I wonder how many times the oil has been changed on it? Do the carfax or autocheck on it before buying. I did see a Taurus for sale here locally, a '04 SE, and had only 9k on it, it was their grandma's car.
 

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Sounds like you found a pretty nice Taurus. Regular transmission fluid/filter change is definitely in order asap. About seven quarts of Mobil One transmission fluid, new filter and pan gasket, which should be well cleaned along with the magnet in the pan. It really depends on how it was driven and cared for as to the overall condition of the car. If the family that owned the car did not have a teenage son that drove it regularly, then you are probably O.K. I was once one of those teenagers!
 
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