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Should I Purchase 1998 Ls400?


landar

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I am looking at a 98 LS400 (4.0L V8) with 62k miles. It looks very clean and is a one-owner vehicle.

As I performed an inspection of the car, everything seemed pretty much normal.

I opened the engine compartment and pulled the dipstick to check the oil level. To my surprise, I found

the oil level at the 'L' position on the stick indicating that it was perhaps several quarts low. In addition,

I saw brown-colored varnish on the dipstick which usually indicates an overheated engine, maybe even sludge.

The owner was completely clueless about all this and said that he will take the car to the dealer for an

oil change and explanation as to why the oil was low. Although he did have records of dealer visits, he did

not recall when the oil had last been changed.

Now, I liked the car and it drove nicely, BUT this oil incident is setting off alarm bells for me. I know Toyota had

some oil sludge problems with their engines a while back. Has anyone else had oil consumption/sludge with their

LS400? Should I steer clear of this car?

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If the Dealer did not change the oil during his visits and his visits were for normal maintenance then I would be inclined to look for another. L would indicate 1 quart or so...no oil light?

Ask the owner who did his oil changes.

My 94 takes 5.6 quarts. the typical quick lube places advertise they refill with "Up to 5 quarts" of oil. they will routinely shave the total fill by .5 quarts to save themselves money. this would leave me a total of 1 quart low. That is why I do most all of my changes myself. When, do to weather or time restaints I have to use one of these services, I check the oil and make them top off before I leave.

What is he asking for the car?

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Thanks for the replies so far.

The owner had the oil changed at the dealer sometimes and at other times, he took it to Jiffy Lube.

Not sure who changed it last, but you raise a valid question. Perhaps I am reading too much into the low

level and the lube shop just short-changed the fill. If the low level on the dipstick indicates only one quart low

then its not such a big deal.

The asking price is $14.5k, but no takers thus far. The book value looks to be $12k to $14k.

I like $12k better ;-). If there is an engine problem though, I think I would pass.

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Thanks for the replies so far.

The owner had the oil changed at the dealer sometimes and at other times, he took it to Jiffy Lube.

Not sure who changed it last, but you raise a valid question. Perhaps I am reading too much into the low

level and the lube shop just short-changed the fill. If the low level on the dipstick indicates only one quart low

then its not such a big deal.

The asking price is $14.5k, but no takers thus far. The book value looks to be $12k to $14k.

I like $12k better ;-). If there is an engine problem though, I think I would pass.

62k is only about 7k a year. Way low miles. THis car should be good for at least another 125k. Where else you gonna get this nice of a car that is good for that many miles for 14k?

I'd be looking really hard at it.

BTW, My 94 has the varnish as well. Doesn't concern me a bit at 163k.

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I am looking at a 98 LS400 (4.0L V8) with 62k miles. It looks very clean and is a one-owner vehicle.

As I performed an inspection of the car, everything seemed pretty much normal.

I opened the engine compartment and pulled the dipstick to check the oil level. To my surprise, I found

the oil level at the 'L' position on the stick indicating that it was perhaps several quarts low. In addition,

I saw brown-colored varnish on the dipstick which usually indicates an overheated engine, maybe even sludge.

The owner was completely clueless about all this and said that he will take the car to the dealer for an

oil change and explanation as to why the oil was low. Although he did have records of dealer visits, he did

not recall when the oil had last been changed.

Now, I liked the car and it drove nicely, BUT this oil incident is setting off alarm bells for me. I know Toyota had

some oil sludge problems with their engines a while back. Has anyone else had oil consumption/sludge with their

LS400? Should I steer clear of this car?

I own a '98 LS400 with 97K and have never had an issue with oil level. I use Jiffy Lube or Fuller's every three months in our area and they have serviced the car well without incident. I would be looking for $12-13K if I sold my vehicle, so a '98 LS 400 with 62K at your price is not out of line. Ask the owner to show you all of his service records (dealer and other) for the vehicle. You can easily tell by the dates whether or not he maintained the vehicle properly. Split the difference with him on the price if you are satisfied with his maintenance.

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