About to buy a 2003 Corolla, anything to look for?

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Phoenix, AZ
Hello, We are considering selling our 2000 Corolla because my girlfriend's co-worker has a 2003 Corolla up for sale. The car is clean and only has 25,000 miles!! Anyways, since she knows her, she'll sell it to us for 6,000. The car books for 83-8900. As the title says, anything to look out for on this car? Common issues, etc. I'm only asking because our 2000 has the "ping" and oil burning issue. I checked it out today and it's clean and runs great. We'll change the fluids because of the age and it needs two tires. All in all, pretty flawless car. Thanks in advance.
 
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348
Location
Mars
well, toyota corolla's are grand little cars. Just know the record (how the co-worker treated/took care of it) also, 25,000 mi is really not many miles at all, so do you think as it ages, and gets more miles, it may burn oil? i really dont think the 2003's burned oil.................
 

Bill in Utah

Staff member
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UT
I'll buy it since my 2005 has "only" 115,000+ miles more! (and I prob could sell it for more than the 2003) For $6k if it runs, no check lights and all it needs is a couple of minor things a deal it is.... Wish I could come across deals like this... Take care, Bill
 
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3,735
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Miami-Dade County
Sound like a great deal...But ONLY if the car was serviced on time. It seems the 03 Corolla has a better cooling system then the 00-02...A friends 00 was always running hot in this Miami jungle heat with the a/c on and his pinged and used oil also so he sold it...Another friend has a 03 Corolla and it runs just fine in this jungle heat with the a/c on all the time. I would still take it to a mechanic you can trust anyway and have it checked out..Just to be 100% sure its OK.
 
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usa
we know of someone who has an 2006 automatic COROLLA with 150,0000 plus miles . Only issue was EVAPORATOR CANISTER . Had over 100,000 miles when it was replaced by dealer for around $600 . These are virtually the same car . Has his oil changed every 3,500 miles or so . Still going strong . Uses it for his business .
 
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panthermike

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Phoenix, AZ
Thanks for the replies everyone. I figured it was a steal, as our 05' has been a great car too. I also checked under the oil cap. You can't see much but it's spotless(as it should be with proper care). The lady needs to get some kind of insurance so that we can drive it to the mechanic, hopefully she does soon. One weird thing, the old lady had the airbags disconnected because the airbags scared her. I want that checked out to see what was done.
 
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usa
1. ) take a flashlight to shine through oil filler hole of valve cover to look for excessive tarnish or gunk inside valve train . Then check dipstick for tarnish . 2.) run finger inside tailpipe to check for excessive soot or coolant 3.) Have someone start car after it has sat for awhile and stand in rear of car to look for any smoke from tailpipe . 4. ) Check air filter for cleanliness ( if very dirty could tell of neglect ) 5.) Remove radiator cap ( when cold ) to see if coolant is excessively low . Last , find out the date the COROLLA was purchased . If was bought used as CERTIFIED vehicle through TOYOTA dealer you should get the remainder of a 7 year / 1000,000 mile warranty . GOOD LUCK on your new used addition .
 
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panthermike

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Phoenix, AZ
Thanks Smokey. I'll check those things. I did check the coolant, it's good and clean. Good idea on the checking for smoke and varnish. The person that drove the car was the co-worker's mother in law and she is the original owner. When we looked at the car yesterday the odometer reads 25,800.
 
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3,265
Location
North TX
That year Corolla had some A/C problems causing the system to freeze up solid. The fix was to raise the temp coming out of the vents. Considering where you live check the A/C VERY closely and make sure it cuts the mustard. How do I know this? We owned two, one worked well the other had to run at full fan speed all the time after the recall was done. NOT meat locker cold, just cool. That and the awkward driving position (five speed) resulted in trading mine in less than a year. The other was kept 5 years with only normal maintenance required.
 

panthermike

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Phoenix, AZ
We picked up the car today for the 6K, got it washed, it was filthy. It needs two tires due to age, oil change, air filter, and a cabin air filter. Other than that, it seems like a great car and got the thumbs up from the mechanic. He said the brake pads are 75 percent. I think we got a good deal and the price was over 2K off of book value.
 

panthermike

Thread starter
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Phoenix, AZ
 Originally Posted By: The Critic
Just clean and adjust the rear brakes and you'll be good to go!
Got that done today, the pads are still excellent too!
 
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North TX
 Originally Posted By: panthermike
What was the issue with the A/C?
As stated, it froze up. No reason was specified at that time just the fix to make it blow warmer so it wouldn't freeze.
 
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