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Harold

Sending Taurus To College---How To Prepare

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Our daughter goes to college in Western New York, 350 miles from here, and will be taking the Taurus with her at the end of August. I want to prepare the car to minimize the possibility of repair issues. So far, I'm planning to change the battery (the present one is 4 years old and doing fine, but it gets cold up there in the winter), have a couple of new tires installed, replace the cabin filter (way overdue), and lube all the locks and hinges. Are there any other things I should put on my 'to do' list for the car?

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So she's taking the 01. How many miles on it? What have you done in the past say 50k to the car maintenance wise.

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So she's taking the 01. How many miles on it? What have you done in the past say 50k to the car maintenance wise.

The car has about 164,000 miles and runs really well. I've maintained it regularly and do the easy repairs myself. My friend is a tech who does side work and I bring the more complicated stuff to him.

The latest repair was for a stuck thermostat about a month ago. I don't know whether he topped off the coolant or replaced it completely. The pan gasket was replaced several years ago with the new style, and I've had a few replacement (aftermarket) sway-bar end links. There is an occasional groan from the front that my friend says is a tie rod end, so he'll do that in a couple of weeks when I bring the car to him. The cooling system has its original radiator and heater core so I'm keeping my fingers crossed. In fact, most components except the brake pads/rotors/shoes are original. I don't want to throw big bucks into replacing parts that are still working well 'just in case'.

I added a few more items to the 'to do' list since my first post:

Use silicone spray on the window channels

Check and replace wiper blades if needed

Make a copy of the fuse chart and put it with spare fuses and bulbs in the glove compartment

Put together a basic tool kit (I have enough tools to stock a hardware store....)

Any other suggestions welcome.

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Include a roadside safety kit with jumper cables in the trunk. I need one for inside my truck, just in case. Left my lights on at a fair yesterday. If I didn't go back to my truck on the little trolley they have there for the heck of it, they would have been on all night and killed my battery.

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If you haven't done so already, teach her the basics of fluid maintenance, how to change fuses, how to use the tools you're giving her ! And a membership in AAA wouldn't hurt !

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If you haven't done so already, teach her the basics of fluid maintenance, how to change fuses, how to use the tools you're giving her ! And a membership in AAA wouldn't hurt !

+1 for AAA

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I keep basic fluids and jumper cables in all our cars so those will stay. She is a camp counselor now and will be home for about 10 days in August before going back to school. I'll schedule a learning session for her at that time. I made sure that both our kids learned something about using tools as they were growing up. The lack of this knowledge among teenagers (and a lot of adults) really scares me. Good point about AAA....we'll add her to our policy.

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Get her OnStar FMV.

I thought about getting this for myself. No real reason, just thought it'd be cool to have. Too pricey though. It's $300 for the unit, plus the monthly fee.

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Flush the fluids, radiator, brake, transmission. Add a transmission cooler.

If the radiator is original I would replace it and the hoses and add Redline Water Wetter.

Check the brake pads.

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I thought about getting this for myself. No real reason, just thought it'd be cool to have. Too pricey though. It's $300 for the unit, plus the monthly fee.

I thought about getting it too, but I agree it is very expensive.

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I have AAA for all our vehicles, new or old, sooner or later they will let you down. Change the fluids and check for cracks in hoses, etc. you know the obvious, and get her AAA a good investment.

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Teach her to know where the hell she is in on the highway in case she breaks down.

Mike

B)

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It's funny you mention having her know where she is. Until a few years ago, if you turned her around twice she was lost. Since getting her license, her sense of direction has increased considerably. One good thing is that we've gone from our area to the Western New York region many times so she pretty much knows the route and landmarks.

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My son has been taking pre college courses this summer and the only problem we've faced with the '99 is the factory battery terminals corroding. Had to replace them yesterday. Store extra oil and ATF in the trunk.

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My son has been taking pre college courses this summer and the only problem we've faced with the '99 is the factory battery terminals corroding. Had to replace them yesterday. Store extra oil and ATF in the trunk.

With my streak of bad luck with transmissions, I always keep ATF with me. rolleyes.gif

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New transmission........

The second year I took the Taurus to college, the transmission exploded. Pan was full of needle bearings :blink:. Somehow drove 2.5 hours back like that and made it under its own power. 112k on the clock. Very large B&M trans cooler plus bypassed radiator cooler, all new lines. Fluid was about 20k fresh.

Make sure all slips, jerks, squeals and rattles are accounted for.

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Lots of good suggestions above. Perform all the regular basic maintenance and it should carry her for at least 1 year (fluids, filters, wipers, etc). Lube the parking brake components to prevent rust and sticking from salt and ice. Lube all hinges. Apply RainX to all windows.

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Our daughter goes to college in Western New York, 350 miles from here, and will be taking the Taurus with her at the end of August. I want to prepare the car to minimize the possibility of repair issues. So far, I'm planning to change the battery (the present one is 4 years old and doing fine, but it gets cold up there in the winter), have a couple of new tires installed, replace the cabin filter (way overdue), and lube all the locks and hinges. Are there any other things I should put on my 'to do' list for the car?

Harold,

How does the serpentine belt look ?

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Flush the fluids, radiator, brake, transmission. Add a transmission cooler.

If the radiator is original I would replace it and the hoses and add Redline Water Wetter.

Check the brake pads.

Water wetter isn't going to do anything in New York lol...it has zero effect on a 50/50 water-antifreeze mix, its only when you run less water and more antifreeze that water wetter can have an impact. It works the best in a straight water application.

I always ran a 70/30 antifreeze/water mix living in Chicago and further north because of the threat of subzero temps, and if I had a small antifreeze leak to develop, I wanted to be able to add water as a temporary fix without the worry of it freezing and breaking something else.

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Flush the fluids, radiator, brake, transmission.

DO NOT, I REPEAT, DO NOT FLUSH THE TRANSMISSION.

Just do a fluid exchange yourself or drain and refill. If you push some buildups through the valve body and clog it, you're in trouble.

Do this. I did it and it worked great. Nice and easy.

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Harold,

How does the serpentine belt look ?

Good question. It isn't more than a couple of years old, IIRC. I'll put it on the list for my friend to change.

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We're getting close to blast-off and most of what I wanted to do is completed. I had the two rear tires replaced yesterday and kept the old ones because they still have usable tread. When I got home, I was surprised to see that the rubber was age-cracked between the treads. I bought these tires in 2007 and wasn't happy to see the cracking. I've got 40+ year-old tires on my old Plymouth and they're not bad at all. The tire companies must be going cheap on the materials they use. I also used the Rain-X headlight kit and was impressed with the way they cleaned-up.

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The car has about 164,000 miles and runs really well. I've maintained it regularly and do the easy repairs myself. My friend is a tech who does side work and I bring the more complicated stuff to him.

The latest repair was for a stuck thermostat about a month ago. I don't know whether he topped off the coolant or replaced it completely. The pan gasket was replaced several years ago with the new style, and I've had a few replacement (aftermarket) sway-bar end links. There is an occasional groan from the front that my friend says is a tie rod end, so he'll do that in a couple of weeks when I bring the car to him. The cooling system has its original radiator and heater core so I'm keeping my fingers crossed. In fact, most components except the brake pads/rotors/shoes are original. I don't want to throw big bucks into replacing parts that are still working well 'just in case'.

I added a few more items to the 'to do' list since my first post:

Use silicone spray on the window channels

Check and replace wiper blades if needed

Make a copy of the fuse chart and put it with spare fuses and bulbs in the glove compartment

Put together a basic tool kit (I have enough tools to stock a hardware store....)

Any other suggestions welcome.

Harold,

Does this vehicle have the vulcan engine?

If it does, has the heater core been flushed to prevent the no heat condition ?

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