2004 Ford Taurus with extremely low mileage

I am buying this car. It only has 4,000 miles on it. This car is 500 miles away from my home. I’m flying to the owner’s town, picking up the car, and driving it home. What precautions should I take? I guess I am a little worried about the fact that I plan to put 500 miles on this car in one day when the car has only averaged 1,000 miles a year. I assume I should go ahead and change the oil before I get too far down the road and I doubt the car has been driven faster than 50 mph very much. I know this is a little vague. Any information would be appreciated.

Is this an ebay “done deal”, or do you have the opportunity to inspect it (or have it professionally inspected) before money changes hands? Did you do a “carfax” to see if it had low miles due to waiting at a shop for two years to be rebuilt? Chances are you have absolutely nothing to worry about. Change the oil, and drive that jewel home.

What I would seriously be questioning is why this vehicle only has 4k miles on it.
What’s the story behind it? Elderly owner who drove it very little? Owner deceased and car is now out of probate?

If this is an eBay deal as mentioned then maybe the vehicle was smacked up 3 or 4 years ago when it was near new and has only now been repaired.
It could all be on the up and up, but a near 5 year old car with mileage that low does sound a little suspect.

The salvage pool in north Oklahoma City has countless acres of near new and late model vehicles, from theft recoverys to bridge abutment hits, sitting out there waiting to be repaired.

If the car is legitimate I don’t think you’ll have any trouble at all.
Change the oil, check the rest of the fluids, and don’t worry.
(If the car has the original battery then you may have to replace that soon due to age and sitting idle. The latter is not good on batteries.)

At least have the battery checked (a battery that old should be suspect) and change the oil before heading home. I might have a mechanic take a good look at it before heading home.

In addition to the other good suggestions, I will add the necessity to check the tire pressure. Bring your own tire gauge, check the tires when they are cold (before driving 2 miles or so), and be prepared to add a lot of air. A car that has been sitting is likely to have low tire pressure.

Be sure to check the spare also. A temporal (donut) spare usually takes about 60 lbs. of pressure. The label on the door jamb of the driver’s door will tell you the correct pressure for the other four tires.

I know the family that owns this car. An elderly couple purchased a 2nd car about 3.5 years ago. The husband’s health had a sudden decline and he is in a nursing home. So his 78 year-old wife had two cars to drive but she doesn’t drive on highways/interstates. Just drives to grocery store, doctor’s office etc. So I’m not concerned about being scammed.

I should have given some background on the car in my original post. Car is legitimate. No ebay or internet deal.

I would not worry much about the miles. Check the normal basics(oil level, coolant level, tire pressure) and go. 500 miles on the highway at normal speed 55MPH-70MPH is very easy on a car.

If you personally know the people selling the car…that’s something totally different then just buying it blindly. I can understand the very low mileage.

I’d check the tires…And see if you can find out what maintenance has been done recently. Check to see when the last oil change was. If it hasn’t been for a while then I’d suggest getting that done if you can before the trip. If not get it done when you get home.

Sounds like a good deal. Good luck.

Since the mileage is legitimate I don’t think you will have any problems at all.