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Advice Or Comments On Buying A 2000 Ls400


eddielasvegas
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Hello All,

I joined a few months ago anticipating the purchase of a 98-00 LS400.

After lots of searching and test drives, I think I've found the car. It's a 2000 LS400 with 134,000 miles. The test drive today went fine. The car is in good shape with new Michelins and front brakes. The interior shows a little wear, but overall is in good shape. The windshield has a couple quarter size dings and there is one parking lot door ding. The hood shocks need replacing and the plastic tray under the engine compartment needs screws or replacement.

The car spent its first three years in NY and the current owner (2nd) says all maintenance has been done as scheduled, but he is "not a receipts keeper kind of guy." Carfax checks out with no problems, but it does show the car was repossessed in 2003 while in NY.

I'm having the car inspected (including a compression check) by a Lexus shop. It's not cheap, but necessary given the situation. If the car passes inspection, I think this LS400 is a good deal at $10,750.00.

I would appreciate any comments, suggestions or advice before I buy this car.

Thank you.

Eddie

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Often owners that have their cars repo'ed don't spend money maintaining them either. "Not a receipts kind of guy"? Now that's cute.

I'd recommend that you avoid 98-00 LS400s with the nav system. The old nav is pretty bad and you have to control many of the radio functions through the screen. Stick with the std Pioneer or Nakamichi.

I've seen more excellent low mileage 98-00 LS400s in the Phoenix area than just about any other place except Florida. I suspect you could find a much better example of a 98-00 LS in the Phoenix area but the price will likely be higher.

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Often owners that have their cars repo'ed don't spend money maintaining them either. "Not a receipts kind of guy"? Now that's cute.

I'd recommend that you avoid 98-00 LS400s with the nav system. The old nav is pretty bad and you have to control many of the radio functions through the screen. Stick with the std Pioneer or Nakamichi.

I've seen more excellent low mileage 98-00 LS400s in the Phoenix area than just about any other place except Florida. I suspect you could find a much better example of a 98-00 LS in the Phoenix area but the price will likely be higher.

I have a fully loaded '98 LS400 w/Navi, have had absolutely no problems whatsoever. And I picked my car up with only 20,800 original miles and all receipts.

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Thanks for everyone's comments.

I have not bought the car yet, but I've negotiated the price down to $10,000, plus add $200 for an inspection and compression/leak down test.

The car was repo'ed prior to the previous owner and that was 80,000 miles ago. I'm guessing any real issues would have surfaced by now.

Anyway, I'm looking at a one family '98 LS400 this weekend with 80,000 miles. If it is in good shape, that'll will be the car I'll buy if it lives up to the owner's description. It is more expensive, but the lower miles is well worth the difference.

Thanks again posters and I'll post an update here once I make a purchase.

Eddie

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As the owner of a 00 LS400 i can say they are great cars. I had a 94LS prior to my 00 and it also was a great car. In short I would say buy the best car you can based on your budget. A lot of time people give advice based on the car only and not what your budget may be. What I am saying is if your budget is 10k then buy the best you can buy for that amount. Look carefuly at the history of the car and over all condition. Just keep in mind Lexus can be very expensive to work on if you should have problems. I am a big on making sure proper maintiance is done like frequent oil changes, filters, etc. Lexus is a very durable car and can go many miles with little or no trouble. Good luck with your purchase.

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I bought a well-cared for 2000 LS400 Platinum edition (without the navigation) with 68,000 miles in January of 2007, and I've only come across two real issues so far:

1) The potentiometer on the Nakamichi stereo's volume knob is wearing down

2) The "one-click" syndrome when starting the engine (typically a problem with the starter); I still need to get this problem fixed, but the car has yet to leave me stranded.

I don't know if either of these are chronic problems with this generation of the LS's, but it is one of the best cars I've owned - hands down.

- gogetter

"Quality is never an accident"

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2) The "one-click" syndrome when starting the engine (typically a problem with the starter); I still need to get this problem fixed, but the car has yet to leave me stranded.

I don't know if either of these are chronic problems with this generation of the LS's, but it is one of the best cars I've owned - hands down.

The starter is common. Its only going to get worse and its expensive to do.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The 80,000 miles car looks like a more agreable choice. Remember a Lex usuallally goes for 300,000 milles with good maintenance. Yes I know there are some oustanding engines that had gone unto a lot more but that is the least. Why buy a car that has travelled so much and then a repo with not so good records of maintenance? I would rather have you buy an Avalon for the same price newer and with less milles than have a car that will probably need a suspension update, tune up, tranny flush, and a probable starter very soon. It an owner does not have documents of the major maintenances, like tranny fluid change and timing belt changes, the car is not a good deal with the many miles and with almost 10 years of age. Even if the owner is a DIY then he should have the receipts of the parts he installed, like timing chains and starterts generators. I just do not want to get taken into a car that may give you a lot of troubles down the road. I do not want anyone to regret their Lexus experience. Mine is coming out of the paint shop looking almost like new.

CPR

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Well folks, here's the LS400 I ended up buying. It's a single family '98 with 81,000 miles. Runs well and has some normal interior/exterior wear and tear, but I think I got a decent deal at $10,750.00. The only thing it needs fairly soon are tires (going with Goodyear Assurance Tripletreds) and hood struts.

Can anyone recommend a good source for hood struts besides Lexus at $130/each?

Thanks for everyone's comments and suggestions.

Eddie

post-51075-1195623737_thumb.jpg

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I bought hood struts for my similar 2000 LS400 from www.lexus-parts.com (Sewell Lexus) for $61.01 each in December 2005. I may have gotten a better price since I am a fairly frequent customer. They arrived in two days and took perhaps ten minutes to install.

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2) The "one-click" syndrome when starting the engine (typically a problem with the starter); I still need to get this problem fixed, but the car has yet to leave me stranded.

I don't know if either of these are chronic problems with this generation of the LS's, but it is one of the best cars I've owned - hands down.

The starter is common. Its only going to get worse and its expensive to do.

I can second that - My starter went out when my 99 LS was 4 years old - 1 grand to replace.

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Hello All,

I ended up going with Michelin Primacy MXV4. They rode great drving to work today.

Discount Tire (B&M) messed up and did not have the Assurance Tripletreds there as they said they would. DT sold me the Michelins at the Goodyear price and even deducted the GY rebate off the top.

I was very happy with the way DT handled their mistake and the OTD price was pretty good from what I can gather.

Still shopping for hood supports, but am leaning towards an online Lexus retailer.

Thanks for everyone's replies.

Eddie

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I have a question here on the Starter. I've got a timing belt to change in the spring. I'll also do the preventative maintenance and do the water pump as well. Would it make sense to have them replace the starter at that time, even if I'm not having problems with it or would it make sense to wait until I do?

2) The "one-click" syndrome when starting the engine (typically a problem with the starter); I still need to get this problem fixed, but the car has yet to leave me stranded.

I don't know if either of these are chronic problems with this generation of the LS's, but it is one of the best cars I've owned - hands down.

The starter is common. Its only going to get worse and its expensive to do.

I can second that - My starter went out when my 99 LS was 4 years old - 1 grand to replace.

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Noted. Thanks. I really don't like to spend money before it's time :P

What are the symptons of a failing starter?

Actually, I don't think problems with the starter are common on any of the LS400 model years. A starter can last the life of the car.

I certainly would not replace a starter until it failed or began to cause problems.

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Actually, I don't think problems with the starter are common on any of the LS400 model years. A starter can last the life of the car.

I have heard many stories both on the internet and in real life about LS starters going bad. Its especially bad between 90-94 but continues on. The problem isn't really that the starter is prone to failure, its just that its so difficult and costly to replace.

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Hood Strut Update: Found a decent price on these from a PHX area Lexus dealer, but decided to buy them off an eBay vendor since the mfg. provides a lifetime warranty. This eBay vendor was not the cheapest, but is a highly rated power seller and I like the lifetime warranty.

Very easy to change the struts except the after market studs are 11MM versus the 12MM stock, all this really means is you need another wrench.

Eddie

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  • 1 month later...

Thanks for the strut update, my next job on my 2000 LS with 128K.

Some basic advice- Watch out for the 90K service, its a killer, water pump, belts, ect...

Tires- Have used Michelin MXV4, Bridgestone Turanza LS-V (discontinued) and just put on a set of the Yokohama ADVAN S4's, best tire yet, we'll see if they last.

Starter- Just went bad, classic one click symptoms. Lexus wants $1,450 to do it, My local toyota dealer wants $800.00, same parts. If your Toyota dealer is willing and able to work on your Lexus take it there, you'll save a lot of labor dollars and get the same parts. I was lucky, the service writer used to work at a Lexus dealer and the Tech is from Japan and Lexus factory trained, they love my car and like the fact that I take it there instead of the Lexus dealer.

Overall- One hell of a car, refined yet can still be a beast when called upon.

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  • 3 weeks later...

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