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Purchasing My First Lx


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Here's my deal. I'm going to be purchasing a 96-97 LX sometime in the next month. I want to know some things that I should be on the lookout for when I do an inspection of the vehicles. Some dealers will let me take it to a Toyota or Lexus dealer, but not all. And the ones which are at Lexus dealers, I'm sure I'm not going to get the full picture of the vehicle's health if it negatively affects their chance to make a sale.

I know that the rear main seal on the TLC's and LX's can start leaking and that can be expensive to fix. Not sure what to do aside from look for staining and oil leakage from there.

From you guy's perspective as people who know a lot more about the LX than I do (even though I've done a ton of research) I'd like to know what you think the top few issues are that I should look for when purchasing a used LX. I'm going to try to find one with less than 100k miles, but I'm not sure if I will be able to do so.

Can I call a Lexus dealer with a VIN and find out whether the vehicle has been serviced by Lexus previously?

Any input you guys might have would be MOST appreciated.

Hopefully I will soon be a contributing member with an LX of my own.

Wish me luck!

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Welcome to the LOC and Good luck, man!

I would call a service advisor or even stop by and chat with one at your local Lexus dealer. Tell him what you are doing, ask his opinion on what you are thinking about doing and then ask him if it would be ok to shoot him an email with a vin and have him tell you what he thinks about the service history. The implication, of course, is that you will develop a relationship and use them for your service in the future.

If you were to approach me that way, I would certainly be glad to help you out with some info. If the vehicle has been serviced by Lex, they have it in their database for sure.

Again, welcome and good luck!

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Yep, dealer should be able to give you any service history if it's been serviced by Lexus.

As you mentioned, rear main seal seep pretty common. Mines been doing since I bought it 4 or 5 years ago.

You'll want to inquire whether any front and rear axle service work has been performed... replace axle seals, clean and regrease CV (birfield) joint on front, clean and repack wheel bearings.

These trucks have a propensity to blow head gaskets, so you should inquire whether that's been replaced. If it's been replaced with the newer style casket by a reputable shop, I'd consider that a pro instead of a con.

Some other items that are somewhat big ticket things that could be going on.., oil leaking at the front crankshaft seal and oil pump cover gasket.

That's most of the big things..., other than routine maintenance stuff like brakes and rotors, just walk the vehicle and look things over. Check the under carriage for excess rust... that's never good.



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