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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi there folks!
I'm from San Diego, and I do a part-time side gig renting out cars (I currently rent out a 2017 Mustang, and an 02' Toyota Corolla, both of which do really well).
I'm looking at expanding my fleet on the cheaper end of the spectrum, and I've seen quite a few 4th gen Tauri for sale locally, and they are extremely affordable. I looked at one that was a bit rougher than I expected (clearly had been wrecked at some point), so I passed on it. But I've seen multiple other clean examples for sale, including a really nice looking 2007 w/152k that I'm planning on looking at tomorrow, as well as an 05' with 124k on the clock (both cars are equipped with the 3.0 Vulcan engine).
From what I understand both the engines in these things are pretty reliable, but the transmissions are kinda hit and miss. Other than that, I don't know much about them... Is there anything in particular I should be watching out for when looking at these cars?
Thanks!
Alex
 

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You're not in the rust belt so that really helps. I think they all end up with sagging rear springs eventually but the earlier gen 4's had an issue with the springs actually breaking. I think by '03 they had that figured out but not sure the exact date. I would just suggest looking for one that has a good known maintenance history. Buying an older used car always carries the risk of needing repair/maintenance but knowing it was well cared for lowers the risk. You are right that both engines are very good and reliable.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
You're not in the rust belt so that really helps. I think they all end up with sagging rear springs eventually but the earlier gen 4's had an issue with the springs actually breaking. I think by '03 they had that figured out but not sure the exact date. I would just suggest looking for one that has a good known maintenance history. Buying an older used car always carries the risk of needing repair/maintenance but knowing it was well cared for lowers the risk. You are right that both engines are very good and reliable.
It sounds like the 05' has religiously had oil changes every 3k or 3 months, and has an upgraded stereo w/ BT, aux, etc. According to a VIN check it's had 3 owners. Only one pic though, so not 100% sure about it's cosmetic condition, but it looks clean in the one picture of the car.
The 07' is a bit more expensive, even though it has a little bit higher miles. It looks SUPER clean in the pics, and it's also got the front "bench" seat so it can seat 6, which I think is kinda cool... Also appears to have new tires, which is a plus. From what I know the 07's were fleet only?
Both cars are SE's the same shade of light blue, though the 05' has alloys and the 07' has steel wheels.
 

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Transmission wise, later G4 models (2004-2007) are notorious for torque converter failures. Over time, the pump shaft strips out the splines in the converter, and once that happens, the transmission will loose all gears because the torque converter can't turn the shaft for the pump. Failure usually occurs after the 60,000 mile mark, commonly occurring during freeway driving or when taking off from a stop. Fortunately, the transmission remains unharmed in most cases, and the torque converter is all that needs to be replaced. How the car was driven and taken care of all depends on when the splines will fail, so heavy city and hilly driving means that failure can occur sooner at a lower mileage.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Transmission wise, later G4 models (2004-2007) are notorious for torque converter failures. Over time, the pump shaft strips out the splines in the converter, and once that happens, the transmission will loose all gears because the torque converter can't turn the shaft for the pump. Failure usually occurs after the 60,000 mile mark, commonly occurring during freeway driving or when taking off from a stop. Fortunately, the transmission remains unharmed in most cases, and the torque converter is all that needs to be replaced. How the car was driven and taken care of all depends on when the splines will fail, so heavy city and hilly driving means that failure can occur sooner at a lower mileage.
There are a few I’ve been looking at, two of which I went and saw in person yesterday. One was an 07’ SE w/154k for $2,500 that had just had the torque converter replaced a couple months ago. The other was a SUPER clean 02’ SES with 92k, that came with a folder full of all the maintenance records. That one was $1,950.
I’ll be seeing another this Saturday, 05’ SE w/124k for $1,750.
 

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Just out of curiosity what can you expect to charge for renting a car like these in your area?
 

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Just out of curiosity what can you expect to charge for renting a car like these in your area?
Probably somewhere between $20-25 per day. I'll probably start if off at $22 and see how it does. Currently my high mileage/beat up old Corolla fetches $18 per day. I also offer discounts for weekly and monthly rentals.
 

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If you walked past a "SUPER clean 02’ SES with 92k, that came with a folder full of all the maintenance records" for $1,950 you should do a heel turn and walk right back. A great maintenance history on a used car is hard to come by.
 

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If you walked past a "SUPER clean 02’ SES with 92k, that came with a folder full of all the maintenance records" for $1,950 you should do a heel turn and walk right back. A great maintenance history on a used car is hard to come by.
Picking it up tonight for $1800!
 

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Well, I did it! Went and picked up that 02’ That I looked at on Thursday. This thing drives about as close to “like new” as any 17 year old car can. I’m very surprised at how comfy it is...
Just a hair under 93k miles, owned by the same family from new, and it’s got a big Manila folder full of it’s maintenance history. All for just $1800. The only thing I need to fix is the blend door actuator...

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congrats, looks great and sounds like an awesome deal!
 
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