Purchasing a 2002 Lincoln Towncar 140k Miles

I am thinking about purchasing a 2002 Lincoln Towncar with 140k miles for $2500 from a private owner. He said the only thing that he knows it will need is the passenger side ball joint because he just replaced the driver side. I was wondering, providing the inspection comes back with no major issues, what is yall opinion about buying this car as a daily driver and for long road trips(400miles+)?

Why would you use this for trips when you have a 2021 Honda Accord ?

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140K is just broken in for that car. It has 160K still left in it if it has been well maintained to this point. An inspection should help tell you if it has.

Great travelling car if you can afford the fuel.


Why didn’t the previous owner do all of the ball joints . . . ?!

I’m thinking the car needs a lot more than one single ball joint

Do you live in an area with emissions and safety inspections

I’d pay for a mechanic to check it out first

Put the car on a lift

Check for rust

Check the steering, suspension, brakes, etc.

Check for fault codes

Check for readiness monitors

And so forth

Make sure the mechanic has absolutely zero relationship to the seller


Due to financial hardships, I am thinking about trading in my 2021 accord. The $400 note per month was fine but was just hit with a lot of unforeseen expenses and I am looking to reduce my debt.

I plan to go see it Saturday, and then if i dont see anything wrong with it ill bring it to Firestone for a full inspection.

Everyone says Toyota and Honda are the most reliable but in my local area, a 2002 camry/accord is ~$6500 with the same miles so i wanted to entertain the idea of going a cheaper brand

Here is a link of the vehicle.

Trade in your 2021 Accord ? For what ? If you are near a Carmax see what they will offer for it. What will you do if you don’t get enough to pay off the loan ? Even the dealer where you bought it might pay enough for it.

The car market is still kind of crazy right now with the chip shortage so according to KBB, I “should” be able to trade it in for what i bought it for

You would do better with an indepenent mechanic Firestone is OK for tires but not mchanical.


Here’s my story. Back in the last gas crisis, the wife was in grad school and had to commute 45 miles. We went looking for a small economical car but they were all way over-priced like today. I ran across a 73 Lincoln for $800 and we bought it. Great car but expensive for some items like tail lights and tires. The car just floated along and the mileage really wasn’t that bad. Our snooty neighbor though (but nice guy) called it a pimpmobile. Traded it in for $1000 when we were done with it.
I’d ordered a new car and we planned to drive the Lincoln to Florida if the new car didn’t come in on time. Would have needed new tires though.

I had a 2006 Town Car that I sold when I moved 7 years ago. Fantastic car for traveling.

Ball joints and tie rods are not an unusual repair for those cars at that mileage. Mechanically they are simple and reliable cars. I wish I still had mine.

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The final outcome of this story might be never known . But they say they can tradein the 2021 Accord for what they paid for it which might be true. But what will they trade for since almost any new or used vehicle will be overpriced so they will upside own to start with . That 2500.00 for a 20 year old vehicle will make 6 payments . I really think this person needs to forget trade in and just sell the Accord if they can get enought to pay off the loan .

The EPA says 15 MPG city 21 MPG highway for a 2002 Town Car. People have said the fuel economy is a bit better than this. You might get something like 25 MPG cruising on the Interstate. It is a V8. Oil prices will probably crash in the not too distant future though.

How much do you drive?

I drive about 30 miles a day round trip to work, mainly city driving. With trips to the store etc. I say id average around 9k miles/year

This is one of the perfect “buying on a budget” cars, in my opinion. Very reliable engine, and not really popular anymore, so it’s relatively cheap. As long as it checks out mechanically, isn’t rusted out or abused, I think it could be a decent purchase. I wouldn’t be surprised if it doesn’t need a major repair in the near future (transmission, AC problem, etc), but it very well might not for some time. I’d recommend budgeting for that anyway, just in case. I’d also recommend servicing it after you buy it by having all of the fluids changed (notably transmission, engine oil, and coolant).

As for the newer car, I assume you mean you’re selling it rather than “trading it in”? $2500 is only about 6 car payments. Even if you put twice that into the older car (hopefully you wouldn’t have to), that’s still only 1 year’s car payments on the other car.

FWIW, I have 2 2005 GM vehicles with close to 200k each. One, I would trust on a long trip and the other I would not as the transmission shifting is kind of sketchy. Different vehicles than you’re considering, just saying that it is possible to have an older car that is reliable.

Let us know what you decide to do. Good luck.

I may have misworded it, but yes i plan to sell the car back to a dealership if I can get what I paid for it or close to it. The 2002 Lincoln is privately owned, not through a dealer

Trying to schedule with the owner to meet tomorrow at 8am to look at it. The issue is that most mechanics in the area are closed on Saturday. “Renegade” mentioned Firestone not being great for a mechanical inspection but I might not have a choice unfortunately.

Please answer my question if you live in an area with a smog inspection

If so, it’s imperative that the mechanic . . . not Firestone, please . . . check for codes, pending codes, and the status of the readiness monitors

For example, if all of the monitors are complete except the catalytic converter, the monitor may run to completion 3 days after you buy it, the check engine light is now on with a P0420, due to a degraded catalytic converter

I wouldn’t buy it unless it’s mechanically sound AND all the monitors have run to completion, along with no check engine light and no codes


As I posted I have no association with Carmax . In 2018 I sold a vehicle to Carmax and it was a painless transaction . They did give me 7 days to accept the offer. None of the dealers we looked at for a vehicle would even come close to what they paid us.

That’s a good point. I do not live in an area that has inspections and failed to consider that.

I did buy my current truck with a code for an evap system leak. It turned out that it needed the purge valve replaced, which was not a big deal and I did the repair myself. I probably wouldn’t have gambled on it if I lived in an area with inspections, though.

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Is the owner of this 2500.00 20 year old vehicle actually going to let someone take their vehicle to some place for an inspection that could take all day ? I doubt it . At that price there will many buyers willing to pay for it after a short test drive and go on their way.