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91 Ls400 Good Deal Or Not?

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first I will tell you my story

I am a highschooler that has had horrible luck with cars. first I bought a 1999 saab 9-5 with 160k miles for $2500 (I worked and saved up every cent of that myself) then the turbo went a couple months later and the engine soon followed. it is in my driveway collecting dust.

after that, I drove around my brothers 1980 jeep cj-7, in the winter, and frankly would rather take the bus, but the ignition switch went out so I started driving my moms 1969 chevy c/10 truck, which actully runs pretty good but the three on the three is not working out too well for me (i got rear ended because it got stuck and wouldnt go into gear) i am currently driving that around but it is big, loud, stinky, and has just a bad of a heater as the jeep.

I found a 1991 ls400 for $3,000 and 118,000 miles. it has a broken headlight, dent on the hood, and the a/c doesnt work. kbb is $5,000. I would fix the headlight and possibly in the summer I would fix the a/c. I dont have all the money right now and would need to take out a loan with my parents and pay them back in time for taxes (so id need to sell the saab)

I read the buyers guides on here and they seem very outdated, so If any of you were in my shoes would you buy this? once I bought it I couldnt really afford any repairs but these are supposed to be pretty reliable right? so, thanks for your opinions and if all goes well I will be a member of this board and actually own a lexus! thanks again

other cars in my area: a 91 ls400 with 216k miles, $2200 and a '93 ls400 with 180k miles, it needs a water pump and has been overheated several times.

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first I will tell you my story

I am a highschooler that has had horrible luck with cars. first I bought a 1999 saab 9-5 with 160k miles for $2500 (I worked and saved up every cent of that myself) then the turbo went a couple months later and the engine soon followed. it is in my driveway collecting dust.

after that, I drove around my brothers 1980 jeep cj-7, in the winter, and frankly would rather take the bus, but the ignition switch went out so I started driving my moms 1969 chevy c/10 truck, which actully runs pretty good but the three on the three is not working out too well for me (i got rear ended because it got stuck and wouldnt go into gear) i am currently driving that around but it is big, loud, stinky, and has just a bad of a heater as the jeep.

I found a 1991 ls400 for $3,000 and 118,000 miles. it has a broken headlight, dent on the hood, and the a/c doesnt work. kbb is $5,000. I would fix the headlight and possibly in the summer I would fix the a/c. I dont have all the money right now and would need to take out a loan with my parents and pay them back in time for taxes (so id need to sell the saab)

I read the buyers guides on here and they seem very outdated, so If any of you were in my shoes would you buy this? once I bought it I couldnt really afford any repairs but these are supposed to be pretty reliable right? so, thanks for your opinions and if all goes well I will be a member of this board and actually own a lexus! thanks again

other cars in my area: a 91 ls400 with 216k miles, $2200 and a '93 ls400 with 180k miles, it needs a water pump and has been overheated several times.

3 G's for a 118k LS400..If it had the timing belt and water pump changed out already, I would consider it. A/C not working is probably just lack of freon (R12 in this car)

The Dent in the hood is cosmetic, but looks horrible on a car of this caliber, the headlight is very pricey, you need to shop it at a yard as they are about 250 a piece. If you are looking for a reliable car that is relatively inexpensive to maintain, then this may not be for you. I would consider a 4WD Subaru in your neck of the woods.

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Yeah man, unless you are good doing repairs yourself don't buy. Even though LS400 is reliable, there's a specific list of things, its definitly going to need...

If you have a garage and are good with tools, I dont see why not.

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The $3K LS w/118K seems like a good deal. I am in the process of buying a 202K LS400 for $3200! Kinda like $2K, but it just had $1200 worth of maintainence just completed @ a reputable Lexus dealer. Timing belt, water pump, oil, tranny fluid, all filters, new coolant, axle grease, completely new brakes @ every wheel, etc. Mostly all highway miles from between the northeastern suburbs to the international airport.

I would stay away from the LS that has overheated several times. Sounds like that engine may have suffered some damage!

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The LS is very reliable, but not bullet proof, and certainly no more reliable than other Toyota built cars that will cost you a LOT LESS if they need some repairing. My suggestion to you is look for a camry or something like that, for now. The LS isn't too difficult to work on yourself, which is the key component to owning one of these older cars, to make them somewhat affordable. If you can't fix stuff yourself, then you're going to find yourself way over your head in costs. But, the other problem is the parts, they're not very cheap either, and the older these cars get, the more expensive the parts are going to become. You need something with the realiablity of the LS, w/o the overly inflated maintenance costs for that "L" on the grill. For example, I have an 05' 4runner, same engine as the Lexus GX470, and many other same/similar parts. Toyota dealer will give me a bumper to bumper inspection for $49 bucks...same inspection for the GX470 is more than twice that. Oil filter..$4...lexus? $9. Same parts... I say an older camry, corolla, etc... Something that has an average parts price of about $40 bucks, not $120 like the LS has these days. Not to mention the gas mpg of a V8 in the mountains either..

True, mileage on the LS doesn't affect it like other cars, but age is age, and in your neck of the woods with the cold and such, mounts, bushings, seals certainly have been effected, especially on a car with a dented hood, busted head light, broken a/c...aka...not taken care of very well. An abused or neglected LS400 can run you into bankruptcy, very quickly. They're some of the best cars ever made, but they're just cars, man made machines.

Camry, Corolla, Maxima, etc... something reliable, fun, and cheap to fix. Lexus has 2 of those 3, but the 3rd can be the killer.

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Since money's a concern, take a closer look at the 91 with 216K miles. If it has been well maintained, if it has no apparent problems (might be worth it to pay a Toyota mechanic to check it out), and especially if the timing belt and water pump have been replaced recently, it might be a better deal for you. You could make a lower offer, due to the mileage, and see. Doesn't hurt to make an offer.

Have you checked the Carfax report for the cars you're considering? It's especially important to verify mileage since a fair number of early LS's have had their odometers replaced, and not always with the correct mileage.

Don't refer to Kelley Blue Book for prices; they're insane, based on asking prices, not selling prices. Edmunds.com is a better starting point, especially for buyers. (Be sure to do the complete appraisal process, with mileage, color, options, etc.)

If you're looking at the LS because you really want an LS, then go for it. But if you're just looking for a reliable car, there may be cheaper alternatives where maintenance is concerned, as others have said. But they might not be cheaper if they aren't really just as reliable, which few cars are. Even other Toyotas aren't quite as reliable as the LS, on average. Subarus are great for snow, but not as reliable as Toyotas.

You're going to need good tires for winter if you get an LS, probably snow tires, or at least all-seasons that perform better than average in snow. Rear-wheel drive, you know, and the traction control option is a mixed bag on the early models. You might want to put some extra weight in the trunk for better traction.

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it sold already after 3 days on the market, I was gunna go take a look at it today. it seems everywhere I look/research everything says that these cars are amazingly reliable, maby you guys are right and i'll find a $500 subie (been looking for one actually I just think they look ridiculous ) or camry (or corolla for that matter) and stay out of debt- I love how what my parents didnt buy they cant take away, owning it is just so much better when you worked for it- I feel sorry for the kids who get everything handed to them then turn 18 and go out in the real world and end up in a shack- thanks for your help!

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It might be a little late, but I can definately agree with the above posters. Just turning 19 myself, I threw $3200 into buying a well maintained 91 LS400 this summer. It required a few parts, which when all bought (ebay!), and installed myself ran me roughly $1200! But now I've got a reliable, bulletproof car with new belts, pumps, tires, rims, celsior lights, and fresh fluid changes throughout.

If you can do the fixes yourself, and afford to take the time to shop around, older lexus are definately the way to go! It doesn't feel like I'm spoiling myself when I'm driving it.... until I hop in my little sisters 95 sunfire. Difference between the two is night and day! (to the extreme, lol). And better yet, it's more reliable, cheaper to fix, and JUST AS luxurious as my parents 2005 DTS Deville!

Beautiful cars. :)

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