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I Need Your Expertise W/ 95' Ls Purchase W 220k Mi


ezekielj007
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I'm thinking of buying this one owner LS but the only hang up is the fact that it has 220,000 miles on it. the car rides perfectly and has no leaks that I can tell. All the service was done at a local Lexus dealer. The guy is asking fof $4300 and said he's getting rid of it because the car is too old and will be buying a new one. What do you think about the price vs miles issue? I really only have about $4500 to spend and I want wo get a Lexus with the money.

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Do you have some money set aside for repairs? Like $1,500? They're great cars! Blake918 has 271K on his. I have 111k on mine. Both have required some repairs. Mine is a bit out of the ordinary though. But I'm also a freakin' nut case, so take that with a grain of salt. Before asking what service has been done on the car, you need to be prepared to shell out some dough for repairs, as there WILL be some with that amount of miles.

Ask your local lexus dealer to run the car's vin number through their service computer. They will print up a repair history for you, and if it was indeed serviced at the dealership only, then you should have the entire history of what was done, why it was done, and when it was done. If he did not have the dealership do all the service, then you'll be able to tell. There should be foot notes in the report to something to the effect of "done by 3rd party" or so forth. Honestly?? I could be very wrong here, but judging by how expensive Lexus dealership services cost, I would doubt he had everything done over there. Especially when the car started to rack up the miles, fell in value and he probably went into "pinch penny" mode. But again, he could also be like some of us here, and be a lexus lunny like some of us are in the persuit of perfection....if you don't believe me, I'll fax you my credit card statement...hahaha.

If you buy the car, you will be fixing it....it's just that simple. It's not like a 1979 BMW or anything, but it will require a bit of TLC, which means $$$$$.

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Wow, what an informative reply! How about this question:

With the money I'm looking to spend in a car, would you rather spend $5000 on say a 93,94 ES, GS or SC with 150,000 miles instead of a 95 LS with 220,000 miles. Since that is what my money is looking like at the moment and I desperately need a 2nd car that's what I'm in the market for. Either one of those or a 1st gen LS with about 150,000 miles.

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Wow, what an informative reply! How about this question:

With the money I'm looking to spend in a car, would you rather spend $5000 on say a 93,94 ES, GS or SC with 150,000 miles instead of a 95 LS with 220,000 miles. Since that is what my money is looking like at the moment and I desperately need a 2nd car that's what I'm in the market for. Either one of those or a 1st gen LS with about 150,000 miles.

ezekielj007:

I agree with everything the other posters have said, but another question you should ask yourself is "how many miles a year do I anticipate putting on the 400?". If you're only going to put 10K on, then a lot of the maintenance can be deferred (not eliminated) to a later date.

If you're like me and put 60K to 70K on per year, you're kind of stuck. You'll need to put a lot of work into it in a short period of time, which means $$$$$. From my perspective, I "live" in my car and I'm d**ned well going to enjoy it. I'm not going to spend $75K to $100K on a status symbol though. I'll let someone else take the depreciation hit & buy their vehicle from them for a very good price. It might take $3K to get it back in "tip-top" shape, but if you can get into a nice 400 for cheap, $3K is an extremely reasonable amount to have to put into it.

We have 2) '96 ES300's & 1) '95 LS400. I've put 330K & 220K on the 300's respectively. We just bought the 400 with 150K on it. The 300 with 330K had a rear mainseal replaced at about 270K. Other than normal maintenance/timing belt/water pump/tuneup/fluid changes, they are all very reasonable vehicles to keep roadworthy. I fully expect that I'll get 350K to 400K out of the 400 before I need to start thinking about getting rid of it. I'll probably drive it into the ground, but at least I've got that option. What American car can you say that about?

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No, don't do it... Did the car have its timing belt changed in the last 50k? Go look for a 91 with 90k on it. Should be safer with the T-belt (indifferential) and minor maintenance at 100k. 220k is 220k and the odds are that parts will need to be replaced.

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These are definately probably some of the best made cars in the world. That price seems fair even if you have to put some money into the car for repairs and finance them with a credit card or something over time. The great thing about the car you are looking at is that the price you are being offered is low enough that if you had some work done on it and kept it in good shape you can probably sell it again for what you paid for it. Its hard to find a decent car, reguardless of mileage, for that kind of money. I searched for a winter car and luckily ran across a really good deal, but those are far and few between.

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I would pick the LS over the other cars too, for a couple reasons. 1) I'm biased. 2) The LS is no hotrod, which means it was probably not driven like one. It's a cruiser. The other cars you mentioned are set up to be more sporty in nature, handle turns better and so forth. You want to make sure the timing belt and waterpump has been replaced, at least twice with that amount of miles. The service interval for this is 90k miles. It's not a cheap service either. The 90k interval service is probably one of the most crucial services the LS has. Everything else is just fluids here, filters there, and maybe a cable adjustment or two. Nothing major. The history report will tell you this. I like the fact that this is a one owner car, and he's selling so he can buy a new one. That shows me that he has been through the repairs, and still loves the car. Just make sure it's been maintained. Ask him these questions:

1) Do you have any suspension issues? Any "clunk" noises when going over bumps?

2) Have you ever had a problem with the engine computer? Has the car ever shut off after a long highway cruise? Or, does it have a herky-jerky feel in the transmission around 40 mph?

3) Did you have the starter replaced under the "only" recall ever issued for the car?

4) How are the interior dash lights? Have you ever had problems with the dashboard lights going dark on you?

The dash light problem is mostly for the 90-94 model years. The engine computer however is a curse for the 95 and 96 models. Some of them are flawled and send a faulty code to the fuel injection system when you take your foot off the gas...it's drops the fuel supply too quickly, which creates a buckling feeling in the driveline. Mine had this problem, the dealer fixed it for free, but the normal cost is $2k+.

The "clunking" noise is directly caused by worn out suspension control arm bushings wearing out. On the 90-94 models, you can buy aftermarket bushing called "Daizen" for MUCH cheaper! But, they're also hard plastic. The original bushings "which give it that famous Lexus ride" are soft rubber. These bushings usually last anywhere from 100k to 200k, just depends on how the car was driven, and where "pot-hole city, or smooth highway". Chances are you will have to replace the front strut rods at somepoint soon "if they have not been replaced already within the past 70k miles". They're not hard to replace, and with connections on this website to vendors, you can get them for probably around $200 +/- for both. Ask the owner about them, I'm willing to bet he'll know exactly what you're talking about.

There is really just one potential major problem with the 95's....the engine computer. Everything else is normal wear and tear stuff. And let me tell you, as others have already agreed to, these cars will last forever, if taken care of! You get a good one, and you'll be loyal to it for a very very very long time. But, it's no Corolla. You can't use duct tape to fix it. And it can be expensive at times. But, well worth every penny if you ask me! Especially for $5,000. You won't find a better car out there for that kind of money.

Wow, what an informative reply! How about this question:

With the money I'm looking to spend in a car, would you rather spend $5000 on say a 93,94 ES, GS or SC with 150,000 miles instead of a 95 LS with 220,000 miles. Since that is what my money is looking like at the moment and I desperately need a 2nd car that's what I'm in the market for. Either one of those or a 1st gen LS with about 150,000 miles.

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I put about 15 to 17,000 miles per year on my 99 Acura TL so Id say I would be putting no more than about 10,000 miles per year on the Lexus I purchase. I'm going to check and see when the last time the timing belt was changed. if it hasn't been changed until recently then I'm going to hold off on the purchase. Keep the opinions coming. It's giving me a lot to think about guys. Oh, and I appreciate all of your responses. You guys are the ones that drive these cars everyday and give a good consumers point of view.

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I'm thinking of buying this one owner LS but the only hang up is the fact that it has 220,000 miles on it. the car rides perfectly and has no leaks that I can tell. All the service was done at a local Lexus dealer. The guy is asking fof $4300 and said he's getting rid of it because the car is too old and will be buying a new one. What do you think about the price vs miles issue? I really only have about $4500 to spend and I want wo get a Lexus with the money.

That sounds like the same car I bought two years ago...mine was a one owner '95, 223k miles, owner upgraded to a newer LS model, except I paid more and this car has no Lexus service history. The price sounds really good. Have a mechanic take a look at the car before you finalize things. In addition to the ECU and suspension problems, check for ps leaks (at the pump and rack), missing stereo LCD segments, cd changer is functional, and a cracked EGR pipe (it'll sound like an exhaust leak that goes about 97% away once the car is warm.).

I think we're all taught to think miles=condition from a very young age, and while that may work for some, it's a very bad way to evaluate a LS. I'd take 220k hwy miles over 100k city miles any day of the week. I've had my '95 LS for almost 2 years and 50k miles (it has over 270k miles now), and the only real problem I've had is the battery (and that's not even the car's fault since the battery was 4 or 5 years old.). Good luck!

:cheers:

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check the suspension, arms, timing belt power steering pump. make sure all the bushings are in a top notch condition.

i just turned 150k on mine and had to change all struts and change all brake rotors along with pads. parts alone cost me around 1000$

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I put about 15 to 17,000 miles per year on my 99 Acura TL so Id say I would be putting no more than about 10,000 miles per year on the Lexus I purchase. I'm going to check and see when the last time the timing belt was changed. if it hasn't been changed until recently then I'm going to hold off on the purchase. Keep the opinions coming. It's giving me a lot to think about guys. Oh, and I appreciate all of your responses. You guys are the ones that drive these cars everyday and give a good consumers point of view.

ezekielj007:

I just remembered......................Stay away from it if it has air suspension! Costs a fortune to fix WHEN it goes out.

Other than that, I think you should go for it, provided you've checked out all the items that everybody has replied to this thread with.

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I put about 15 to 17,000 miles per year on my 99 Acura TL so Id say I would be putting no more than about 10,000 miles per year on the Lexus I purchase. I'm going to check and see when the last time the timing belt was changed. if it hasn't been changed until recently then I'm going to hold off on the purchase. Keep the opinions coming. It's giving me a lot to think about guys. Oh, and I appreciate all of your responses. You guys are the ones that drive these cars everyday and give a good consumers point of view.

ezekielj007:

I just remembered......................Stay away from it if it has air suspension! Costs a fortune to fix WHEN it goes out.

Other than that, I think you should go for it, provided you've checked out all the items that everybody has replied to this thread with.

hey, ezekielj007' if you listen to these guys and it all checks out good then GO FOR IT!!!! I bought my ls for $100 cheaper then yours and its a 92 with similar mileage. Car is champ-i promise when getting on the highway you will prefer to drive this car-if not this particular one try autotrader and you'll find one. Look at it this way-$4300 + say $3000 in replacement stuff,etc,etc and you WILL have a vitually brand new car...good luck and let us know what the color and options,etc are....

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