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Keep Or Sell?


chadmg7
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Hi all.

Sorry in advance for the long post! :unsure:

I'm trying to decide whether to keep or sell my '97 ES300. I have about 98k miles on it... bought it with about 86k.

The reason I am looking at possibly selling is because I want to make sure that I have a car (over the next 3-4 years) that will not require a lot of repairs/maintenance. I am not sure how well the car was maintained before I purchased it, but my local mechanic and Toyota dealer both have said it looks like it's A-OK. I have owned it for nearly 2 years and have replaced the following:

Brakes... $350-$400

Tires... $350-$400

Valve Cover Gaskets... $330

Rack and Pinion Steering... $650

90k-Mile Maintenance... $525

I think that is pretty much it. Most of this stuff seems to be pretty standard maintenance, so that's fine.

I will be graduating from college soon and I want to make sure that the car I have for the next few years will be one that will have very few repairs/maintenance.

I want to keep the Lexus, but I also am concerned that I will have to repair the following in the next year or two:

Power Steering Pump... $300

Water Pump... $150

Transmission... $2000-$2500

Stereo... $400-$500

Struts (more importantly, the annoying clunking from the strut mounts)... up to $1200 for all 4

The reasoning for me thinking that this stuff will have to replaced soon is because of what I have been told or read. The power steering pump and water pump will need to be replaced in the next 1/2 year. The struts are in great condition (says the local mechanic) but the mounts are worn out; the possibility that the transmission will go out scares me because it's so expensive to replace; and the stereo LCD panel bleeding problem seems to be a frequent one. I am also concerned about the engine sludge issue, since I do not know the car's history. Is there any way I can have the engine checked right now for signs of a sludge problem?

I love this car, but I don't know if I can afford to put another $2,000 or more into it over the next 3-4 years. Do my concerns have any validity or am I just being paranoid?

Sorry again for the lengthy post, but I'm trying to get some good feedback about whether I should keep the "older luxury car" or get a "newer cheaper car" with less miles.

What do you think? Any feedback would be GREAT! Thanks for the help.

-Chad :)

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Do you think it would be wise to get a newer ES (perhaps a '99 or '00) with less miles (something like 50k or 60k), or should I just take my chances with my current ES?

The good thing about this car is that I know what needs to be done/what has been done. Buying a new car is always sort of a guess, in terms of what needs to be done/how well you know the car.

Someone recommended that I get a newer one, but personally, I think that keeping my current car would be wiser since I "know" the car.

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"I want to keep the Lexus, but I also am concerned that I will have to repair the following in the next year or two:

Power Steering Pump... $300

Water Pump... $150

Transmission... $2000-$2500

Stereo... $400-$500

Struts (more importantly, the annoying clunking from the strut mounts)... up to $1200 for all 4"

1. Is the power steering pump is leaking now? if yes $300 (i did put after market)

$250-300

90,000 miles service (hope they changed timing belt, waterpump and check camseal, crank shaft seal

Transmission ??? I have 140000 without any problem.

stereo.. that is go with personnel choice and how early you want to loose your ears.

mount. struts are good than just change mount only. $300 for mount and labor.

Hope this help.

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Again though, thats definately going to cost you more than $2,000.

Trading a car in this day and age qith 100k isn't something you do to "save money" unless you're going to a cheaper car where you're going to make a profit, get out of debt etc. Cars today last so long, if you pan out what it will cost you if EVERY repair you are afraid of must be done in one year (which is extremely unlikely given that you drive 10k miles a year) its always going to be less than trading it in on something newer that costs more.

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I am sorry but i noticed two things,

1.Most writer they from north. Winter, they don't have anything to do or they can't do anything so they write.

2.Reason of snow in winter you don't wants to drive and summer city fixes roads so you can't drive.

In texas we drive 10K in 5-6 months.

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I am sorry but i noticed two things,

1.Most writer they from north. Winter, they don't have anything to do or they can't do anything so they write.

2.Reason of snow in winter you don't wants to drive and summer city fixes roads so you can't drive.

In texas we drive 10K in 5-6 months.

in english please!

I would keep it if you love it. all the repairs from the past and future will allow the car to last well past 3-4 years. it's all about upkeep and making sure you use quality parts. besides, who knows your car better than you? If you get another car, depending on what it is, your insurance will likely be increased, no?

:P

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Yeah camlex, what are you talking about?

Sounds to me like he's an uninformed Texan who think that northerners don't drive. His 'logic' is that in the winter it snows so you can't drive and in the summer you can't drive because they're fixing the roads.

That's probably news to people who actually LIVE in the north rather than simply parrotting the bigotry they've heard.

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i think the differences are in north-east, i can almost get anything i would need daily within just couple of miles.

I am sorry but i noticed two things,

1.Most writer they from north. Winter, they don't have anything to do or they can't do anything so they write.

2.Reason of snow in winter you don't wants to drive and summer city fixes roads so you can't drive.

In texas we drive 10K in 5-6 months.

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Forget about the fog from camlex...he's uninformed. Keep the car. What you're describing is normal maintenance. You'll have to do this with any other car you buy, unless you buy new. And no matter how you cut it, 2K is better than 35K anyday!!

CP

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Forget about the fog from camlex...he's uninformed. Keep the car. What you're describing is normal maintenance. You'll have to do this with any other car you buy, unless you buy new. And no matter how you cut it, 2K is better than 35K anyday!!

CP

That would be my initial viewpoint, too. Even if you have to spend $5 K on the car to get it in top mechanical condition, that's far less than a new car will cost you. Heck, you'll spend more than that just on the first year depreciation on a new car.

However, I'd add one caveat. I'd suggest having a good mechanic go over it top to bottom with a very fine toothed comb first. They should be able to tell you the condition of the transmission, whether the timing belt is worn, and so on. It will probaby cost you $100 or so, but you'll know upfront how much you're going to spend on the car over the next year rather than just guessing. Right now, you're merely guessing on what it might need over the coming years. There might be some major problems you're missing. If the total comes out too high, then I'd sell it and buy a newer used one in top condition.

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I am sorry but i noticed two things,

1.Most writer they from north. Winter, they don't have anything to do or they can't do anything so they write.

2.Reason of snow in winter you don't wants to drive and summer city fixes roads so you can't drive.

In texas we drive 10K in 5-6 months.

camlex, that is total speculation on your part and very much not true for all notherners.

I put close to 20k miles on my ES each year. The mileage is the same each month so it is not like 15k in summer and 5k in winter. Rain, snow, or shine I still got to go to work.

steviej

ps, and as for the roads, they are crappy the entire year.

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I am sorry but i noticed two things,

1.Most writer they from north. Winter, they don't have anything to do or they can't do anything so they write.

2.Reason of snow in winter you don't wants to drive and summer city fixes roads so you can't drive.

In texas we drive 10K in 5-6 months.

camlex, that is total speculation on your part and very much not true for all notherners.

I put close to 20k miles on my ES each year. The mileage is the same each month so it is not like 15k in summer and 5k in winter. Rain, snow, or shine I still got to go to work.

steviej

ps, and as for the roads, they are crappy the entire year.

the rack and pinion will set you back quite a bit. If you dont have connectiosn and cant do it yourself, count on $1500 labor and $1,000 for the part.

My R&P was listed $986. I have a connection at a toyota dealer and got it for $367.

as for tires, i was in and out with les than $275 out of pockt.

I posted a similar thread about my car, but after sitting back and weighing the options, figureing i would have to put in at least $2,000 to be able to physically sell it (ball joints and R&P were so shot it was wayy difficult to drive and wouldnt pass any inspection. in this state its illegal to see a vehcile that will not/has not passed an inspection) i decided to fix those problenms first. then i decided since i was already into it, i might as well do some more. now that i am into it for well more than what the car is worth (by almost $2,000) i just keep going, cause when i am done, i will have a car that my children can enjoy.

but its all prefernce. i actually went looking for a project car.

since you have spent that much, i say keep it.

keep up the maintenance on your tranny and you will be fine. change your mounts and it will feel better. the tranny concern is totally unwarranted, they dont just drop. you get signs first. i have only heard of 1 toyota lexus tranny failing before 100K that wasnt due to abuse. (that doesnt mean they dont exist).

with regular maintenance, and not so regular poundings, your trannywill take you well into 250K and maybe farther.

and camlex, i lived in alaska for my entire life. from the time i was 16 till the time i was 18 i racked up over 200,000 miles.

i now live in texas, and i hate it here. i miss my home in the north. but i havenoticed i actually drive a lot less here.

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camlex- I'm from DC and I put 22,000 miles a year on my car, LexKid is from RI and he and his wife put 40k a year EACH on their cars. What does region have to do with anything? Washington DC isn't exactly blizzard conditions, I think we got 7 inches of snow total this year. We're not huddled up all winter not going anywhere, this isn't Antarctica. Only have time to write? Come on, I work my !Removed! off.

I got my mileage estimate from what he said, he said he bought the car with 86k on it 2 years ago and now it has 98k on it. Thats actually less than 10k a year, thats 6,000 miles a year. Thats extremely low use and the car should last him a long time with regular maintenance.

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Hey everybody,

Thanks for the great feedback. I really appreciate it. I am now leaning toward keeping the car. It would probably be the wiser choice.

Jragosta,

What should I have my mechanic look at for the fine-toothed comb inspection? Is there a list of things that they should examine? The timing belt was changed at 90k. Valve cover gaskets are new as is the rack and pinion.

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Hey everybody,

Thanks for the great feedback.  I really appreciate it.  I am now leaning toward keeping the car.  It would probably be the wiser choice.

Jragosta,

What should I have my mechanic look at for the fine-toothed comb inspection?  Is there a list of things that they should examine?  The timing belt was changed at 90k.  Valve cover gaskets are new as is the rack and pinion.

I don't really know. I'm not really much of a car expert - I usually pay my mechanic to take care of that stuff. If you explain your situation to a good mechanic, he'll know what items could wear out and check those.

I would probably consider the following:

Engine compression

Shocks/struts

Brakes

Tires and alignment

CV and boot

Transmission

Power steering

Water pump

A/C pressure and condition

Belts and hoses

Inspect undercarriage for rust or damage

Essentially, anything that can wear out.

Good luck.

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The good thing about this car is that I know what needs to be done/what has been done.  Buying a new car is always sort of a guess, in terms of what needs to be done/how well you know the car.

I think you just answered your own question.

My wife's 1st gen went over 160K w/o a tranny or PS pump or alternator or starter, etc... and was one of the least expensive cars in terms of total cost of ownership that we have ever had. My '95 is still going strong and the most expensive thing I've done to it was the Timing Belt/ Water Pump. Some things are wear and tear and would have to be replaced on any car, but for the most part Lexus' are incredibly reliable cars.

As to the sludge issue, I would suggest you to check out the following websites:

Bob Is The Oil Guy

Auto Rx

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