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mjferguson
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This car would be my first Lexus. It is a 97 ES300 with about 55,000 miles on it. any opinion as to what I should pay? It is at a dealer so probably a little higher than a private sale. I know it is about 7 or 8 years old, but only 55,000 miles seems great?

I would love to get a carfax on this car if anyone is able. Thanks.

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If you are seriously considering this car, I would ask the dealer if they have any history on the services of this vehicle because the 1997 ES300 has the 1MZ-FE engine which is prone to having engine sludge. If they cannot offer you any history of the cars services, I would highly advise not buying it because it may have engine sludge. If you can get a hold of the service records for the car, make sure the car was serviced at every 5k or less increments because any intervals above 5k most likely will have caused sludge in the engine. This forum is full of information on the likely problems encountered on that generation ES, as well as information on engine sludging. 55k on a 1997 ES is actually lower than average. Be aware that the timing belt will be due for service at 60k (unless it specifies in the manual to have it done at 90k), as well as a 60k major service. Expect around $1k from a Lexus dealer for a 60k service, and around $400 from a non-Lexus shop. Timing belt would cost you $1k too from a dealer or $600 from a non-Lexus shop. If my information on the timing belt is incorrect, someone please correct me. I know only that the 1999+ ES300s require that the timing belt replaced at every 90k. As for what is a fair price for the car, I can't really help you because pricing varies from location to location. Good luck in finding your ES.

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This is kind of strange, when I was looking at a couple of GS300 I got all kinds of opinions under the GS300 topic and had 3 or 4 carfax reports run for me. Is the GS300 a more popular model? This car is in mint condition and owned by 1 older couple. it was serviced every 3000 miles and the dealer selling it did the servicing. When I looked up the ES300 on some websites it was rated as a best buy for used cars. Should I stay away from this year and model?

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You don't have to stay away from this generation of the ES300, but I and I am sure other members would stress that you be more critical of the ES300's maintenance records. The ES300 is a great car and many automobile magazines, and auto experts would agree with that statement. However, in light of the possibility of engine sludging if service was neglecing, you have to be more critical of the car. Granted, if you get the car and the engine were to die on you due to sludging there is a campaign initiated by Toyota to replace affected engines, but it's a big hassle, and you really need the service records to prove it had regular oil changes. Personnally, I would go for the GS300 simply because I prefer a RWD car over a FWD. Either way, it's really up to you. They are both good cars, and I still really like my ES300 even though it's a FWD car. I would provide you a carfax report, but I don't a have subscription, sorry!!! :blushing: Did you find out any information on the ES300 from the dealer selling it?

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I would seriously consider it.

Will they let you take it too an independent mechanic of your choice to give it the once over. If that mechanic finds anything, will they fix it at no cost before the sale is made or lower the price?

ie. brake job, leaky valve cover, etc.

steviej

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There has been a lot of sludge traffic - (a lot of it mine :cries: ) - but bottom line is that if it becomes a problem, Lexus will take care of it at little or no cost to you.

To cover yourself, make sure they say in writing that upon delivery the car is sludge free, and make sure you do change the oil every 5k and KEEP THE RECORDS.

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  Timing belt would cost you $1k too from a dealer or $600 from a non-Lexus shop.  If my information on the timing belt is incorrect, someone please correct me. 

I paid about 350 for a timing belt/driving belt change, transmission fluid change, and I believe new coolant fluid. I had it service at a Toyota dealership. I don't have the receipt handy, but I do not think I spent more than 4 bills.

:huh:

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Wow, $350 from a Toyota dealership :o . Did they change the water pump too on your ES? If they didn't that may be the reason why it's not as expensive. Even then $350 plus tranny fluid is pretty good. I remember my Toyota dealership wanted $800 to do the timing belt and water pump. It's $140 for tranny service at my Toyota dealer.

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Ah I see, well hopefully they at least checked your water pump. Mine was actually in need of replacing anyway. $10 labor for replacing your wiper blades, LOL :D . If they were going to charge me for labor for putting on wiper blades, I would have told them to leave the blades in the car and I'll do it myself. That's the funniest thing I've heard the whole day.

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I thought they were just going to put the blades on for no charge. When I looked at my statement as left, I called the heifer and told her that next time she is going to charge me a ridiculous labor fee, to let me know prior to payment. I told her that I could have easily done it myself and saved myself the $10. Needless to say, they will no longer have my business, so I hope that ten bucks was worth it to them.

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I thought they were just going to put the blades on for no charge. When I looked at my statement as left, I called the heifer and told her that next time she is going to charge me a ridiculous labor fee, to let me know prior to payment. I told her that I could have easily done it myself and saved myself the $10. Needless to say, they will no longer have my business, so I hope that ten bucks was worth it to them.

Ya I still find that rather silly they charged you for putting on the blades. I bought new blades for my Camry and they put it on for me for "free." I guess I was lucky :D . Anyway, did you buy the ES300 yet mjferguson or are you still looking around?

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