2002 escort

I am considering buying my grandfather's 2002 Ford Escort 4-door which has 50,500 miles on it. I have not had the chance to check it out yet and am asking if there is anything in particular to this design that
may be troublesome. A cursory Internet search reveals some problems with automatic transmissions and rattling noises, although I would expect these issues would be corrected by the 2002 models.
Any suggestions?
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Make sure he sells it as a "gift to minors," to avoid some of the taxes, WBMA.

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AC failed on our 03, had no idea it was in the AC module and I might have fixed it myself, dealer charged $750 I think.
A rattle that sounded like a rod knock around 100k, dealer told us it was the flex plate, I have always trusted them and let them fix it for $1400, then I see the same retainer nut on the trans side wheel as before, in the exact same position, makes me wonder what they really did to the car.
Anyway, I am into it for $2200 or so in repairs at 120k, I put a new timing belt and pulleys and water pump in it myself to avoid another $800 from the dealer.
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"retainer nut"? Axle nut maybe? I've seen techs on flat rate just knock the axle out of the trans, pull the strut way out and then let the inboard end dangle...Could that be it?
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The rattling is probably the heat shields on the exhaust. They are often mistaken for a transmission problem. At 50K miles the transmission should be fine, espically if it was driven by your grandfather. Now if it has been driven by a teenager, anything goes.
FWIT, my 1995 Ford Escort at over 194,000 miles still has it's original automatic transmission.
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