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Hi, I want to get an older Toyota Corolla, maybe 1995 with a mileage over 100,000 and I wanted to know what I should be aware of. Should I be worried about the timing belt? All I know is that the belt needs to be changed at 100,000. Are there other issues I should look out for? Thanks for your help, Tasneem

Answers from the Automotive Experts

Amy Mattinat, Owner and Author at Auto Craftsmen Ltd Hi Tasneem, Toyota Corolla's are great cars. They are reliable, cost effective and can last a long time. This being said, a 13 year old car is just that, a 13 year old car. To find one with only 100,000 miles on it and that has been taken care of won't be easy, but is do-able. You will want to make sure the body is solid with no rusty brake lines, fuel lines, gas tank, trunk, wheel wells, and no rust around the fenders. To find a 13 year old car with no rust will largely depend on the state it lived in. Always ask the owner (be it a private owner or a dealership) if they have any service records on it. This will give you the history of any maintenance work and repairs done on the car. PLEASE, take any car you are thinking of buying to a trained auto technician before you purchase it to make sure it is worthy to be bought. You can not tell by how it looks on the outside and from the interior of the car. I have seen $14,000 beautiful vehicles that look new, turn out to be lemons over and over again. Then on the flip side, I have seen $3000 cars turn out to be good transportation for years. You will have to spend at least $100 to get a thorough inspection, but it will be worth every penny. The technician will be able to then advise you of any service (like the timing belt) or repairs it would need to be safe and reliable. All My Best, Amy Mattinat

Amanda J. Pierce, MBA Tasneem, Yes, the timing belt is a need to be replaced at 100,000 miles. You should also take a look at the condition of the brakes, transmission fluid, coolant PH, spark plugs and wires to be safe. AJ Pierce

Suzanne Grego, Technician at City of Philadelphia Fleet Management Tasneem, I always recommend that if you are purchasing a used car from anyone other than a reputable dealership, that you first take it to a qualified technician before any deals are made. The technician may charge you a small fee to look at the vehicle, but it is very much worth it. Keep in mind that in almost every state, a private sale of a vehicle is considered "as-is" unless otherwise stated. A technician will be able to tell you if anything is bad or going to be bad in the near future and you will then have the opportunity to negotiate the price of the vehicle or to not purchase it at all. If you are worried about the timing belt, do not just take the sellers word for it. Have them show you proof that the timing belt was already changed or have them write it in the sales contract. Suzanne

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