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I’m going to look at a 2003 RAV4 tomorrow that only has 47,591 miles and is selling for $4,300.

Clean body & interior, one owner, well maintained, has been kept garaged and has no rust issues. Automatic transmission.

I feel like this is a good deal, but my only hesitation is the ecm and transmission issues that some have with the ‘03. I’m definitely going to ask the seller if they’ve experienced these issues.

Is there anything else you suggest I ask about?
Have you had an ‘03? Would you recommend buying one?

I’m just out of college so this is a big purchase/decision for me and i really don’t want to buy a lemon. Please share your insight with me!! Thanks!
 

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If she's rust free I'd gobble her up!! I have an 03 manual with 227k miles and absolutely love her. If you don't buy it, I might haha

Sent from my ONEPLUS A6000 using Tapatalk
 

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I would buy it, sounds like a great value to me. However, I would caution you to get in the mindset that a 17 year old car, even low mileage, may not need a tune up.

I would still anticipate taking it to Toyota and having them go through it replacing and servicing items by their calendar month interval. I would budget a one-time payment of $2,000 in service and parts. Toyota parts aren't cheap, you can find them cheaper online, and Toyota charges about $100-$120 an hour.

But I emphasize that this 2003 RAV4 with 47K miles for $5,000-$6,000 complete is a very good deal. Drive it for 200,000 miles afterward. Great SUV, great value.
 

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find a good independent mechanic to inspect it before you buy it, but sounds like a great find. (I would avoid the dealership unless you have deep pockets). Should cost you $100-150.
 

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amazingly low mileage for the year.
check the service history because some maintenance must be done on either mileage or time such as:
brake fluid, transmission, transfer & rear diff oil, engine coolant, engine air filter...
The enigines are quite thirsty by today's standard so don't be shocked:)
 

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The record of repairs and services done by Toyota dealers and also self-entered by the owner can be accessed by obtaining the vehicle's VIN number, going to www.toyotoowners.com, and registering. Then go to My Vehicle and then to Service History.
 

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The 2000-2003 do have ECM problems due to soldering defects and some capacitors failing. There are many online businesses that can rebuild the ECM for around $200. The ECM is under the glove box and is not that hard to remove and reinstall. They are reliable aside from the ECM problem. I have owned a 2005 and love that car. It has a bigger 2.4 litre engine and was very reliable. Did not have any major work done except a few holes in the exhaust system which cost $200 to repair. One of most reliable car I owned with the fewest repair. I got it cheap and got back a good price when I traded it in. I have sold that for a bigger suv with a V6. My ride now is a 2009 RAV Sport which I have owned for 5 years now.
 
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