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Too Good To Be True?


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Hi all, I'm trying to decide between buying a late model LS400 or GS300.

I just got off of the phone with a guy selling a 1994 GS300. Here were the details he gave me about the car.

149K miles

Gold package

Second owner - first owner sold at 90K

Timing belt and water pump replaced at 120K

All seals in the engine have been replaced

Shocks, brakes, rotars and tires were all replaced about 6K miles ago - Tires are Michelin

At the recent tune up the egr valve was replaced and fuel injection gaskets were changed. Also the fuel injector was taken to a specialist who gave it a thorough cleaning.

Always has used synthetic oil and highest available quality fuel.

Alloy wheels with no scratches.

Upgraded stereo with 10 CD changer (not Nakamichi)

Gas and air filters were changed at recent tune-up

AC was recently serviced and all seals were replaced.

New radiator 2 years ago.

Washed, waxed and detailed weekly

Lower and upper control arms and bushings have all been replaced.

Engine mounts replaced

most rubber parts have been replaced (he claims 80%)

Tinted windows

Car has always been garaged.

Asking price: $8,000 firm

This sounds too good to be true.

Here's the kicker - this guy has done most of the work himself. When I asked for receipts he said he wasn't able to keep them because a mechanic friend of his helped him get the parts and he needed to keep the receipts. He also said he wasn't worried about keeping records because he never intended to sell the car.

It seems to me that someone who so meticuluously maintains his vehicle would also make copies of receipts to document work done to the car. No?

Should I take the trip to look at this car? As a fraud examiner perhaps I'm just too suspicious. Any advice would be appreciated.

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If there are no bills, then the work wasn't done. I do much of my own work and I keep a log book, with everything entered by mileage and date. That has some provenance as to the work done. If he has NOTHING to indicate work done, as it was completed, (no reverse engineered bills allowed) then he has prepped the car after an auction purchase or something. Smells like a quick flip to me. Maybe you can get the original owner's name.....but he won't be forthcoming on that.

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If there are no bills, then the work wasn't done.  I do much of my own work and I keep a log book, with everything entered by mileage and date.  That has some provenance as to the work done.  If he has NOTHING to indicate work done, as it was completed, (no reverse engineered bills allowed) then he has prepped the car after an auction purchase or something.  Smells like a quick flip to me.  Maybe you can get the original owner's name.....but he won't be forthcoming on that.

Good luck getting the original owners name. I have tried and run into a brick wall with the state of Washington.

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I "meticulously" maintain my GS3 and do alot of the work myself, however, I have receipts for just about everything done on the car. It should be obvious just by looking under the hood or under the car at the suspension to tell if al the rubber has been replaced recently. If you can't tell take it to a trustworthy professional and they'll be sure to let you Know. <_<

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I agree, if you dont have reciepts then you have no proof whether or not the repair work was done or not. You could also go over and see the car and ask him to describe the repair work that was done.

Also dont have too much confidence in "washed waxed and detailed weekly" I've heard that one too many times to count then when I see it its a total disaster.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I think you should look at the car in person to determine how it is. I wouldnever just rely on papers and signitures.

For people that have the talent to do the work themselves, the work's probably done better than if it was done @ a dealer!! They wouldn't have records, but it was still done.

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