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I Am Looking At An '02 Gs430 With 158k Miles.....but Should I Be?

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Hi All,

Due to economic conditions, I have had to downgrade my search for a Lexus from the '05/'06 variety to the '02 variety. The good news is that I have found a 2002 GS430 that is extremely clean (sunroof, wood wheel, and rear spoiler, but no nav, alloys, or ML Sound). The bad news is that it has 158,000 miles on it.

The car is approaching 9 years old, so the mileage isn't out of line vs. the NADA average of 15,000 miles per year. However, it's still a lot of miles for a car that will not be under warranty for me. The local Lexus dealer is selling it, but I haven't had a chance to see/drive it. Not even sure yet whether this was dealer maintained, or even has any records. Judging by the condition of it in pictures, I'd say that someone has taken pretty good care of it cosmetically.

Even if it was dealer maintained with full records, should I be comfortable buying this car for $11k? The Dealer Retail price on Edmunds is $11,700, so they are at least pricing it close to where it should be priced. I'll be driving approximately 18-20k miles per year for the next two years, and just wanted to make sure this is not the kind of car that would eat up my auto repair budget.

Any advice/recommendations you can give will be most appreciated!

-David

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I'd say it depends on what's been done with it. If it's had the latest services and doesn't need any new high price repairs, then you should be OK for 2 years.

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Assuming you make it through the next two years without incident the next question will be how much is the car worth with 200K miles on it when you go to sell it. You might be dealing with a 50% depreciation situation here, especially if the car needs repairs when you're done with it. I would suggest sticking with what you have and save a bit more money, or biting the bullet and buying something reliable that will give you better a depreciation scenario. Maybe it is a Ford Taurus that will do the trick for you until 2013.

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Assuming you make it through the next two years without incident the next question will be how much is the car worth with 200K miles on it when you go to sell it. You might be dealing with a 50% depreciation situation here, especially if the car needs repairs when you're done with it. I would suggest sticking with what you have and save a bit more money, or biting the bullet and buying something reliable that will give you better a depreciation scenario. Maybe it is a Ford Taurus that will do the trick for you until 2013.

A taurus....ouch!

Actually from a depreciation standpoint that will be one of the few cars that WON'T bite u in the !Removed! when it gets 200k on it....It would blow your mind to see how much a clean high mile lexus will still bring at an wholesale auction.

p.s. a camry/avalon may be the direction, but a taurus is not the answer;) good luck!

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Assuming you make it through the next two years without incident the next question will be how much is the car worth with 200K miles on it when you go to sell it. You might be dealing with a 50% depreciation situation here, especially if the car needs repairs when you're done with it. I would suggest sticking with what you have and save a bit more money, or biting the bullet and buying something reliable that will give you better a depreciation scenario. Maybe it is a Ford Taurus that will do the trick for you until 2013.

A taurus....ouch!

Actually from a depreciation standpoint that will be one of the few cars that WON'T bite u in the !Removed! when it gets 200k on it....It would blow your mind to see how much a clean high mile lexus will still bring at an wholesale auction.

p.s. a camry/avalon may be the direction, but a taurus is not the answer;) good luck!

With all due respect I beg to differ. The exact reason for the original post is because this guy is dubious about buying a high mileage Lexus, and he worries it could destroy his repair budget. Auction buyers carefully consider resale of a 200K+ mile car, no matter how nice. I see well driven gems go way below wholesale at the high-line Manheim auction here in PA every month.

A $5000 Taurus won't kill you at the beginning, middle or end. Just giving common sense advice to a guy who can't afford to take a hit. And for this money you can get a reliable car with about 50-75K miles that you can still get $3,000 for in a few years with 100K+ on the clock.

Problem is you're driving a Ford. But hey, people waste money every day on status.

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Gotta do your homework: Gotta See/Drive It. See Records. Good Sign if Owners Manuals are stamped by Dealers at Service Intervals and ask dealer for printout of service history. (Register your own VIN at Lexus.com to see your own history of dealer service)

THEN, look ahead for two years at maintenance schedule. Has timing belt been done, is it scheduled to be done in next two years? That's how you can forcast BIG costs.

BUT, Cars are just like Women. ...sigh... you see one you fall in love with, then you just GOTTA have it. You will pay any price, if it makes you happy. Few cars(women) come along in life that are just "the right one".

Advice: Buy (marry) a dependable, reliable car/woman. One that you wont be ashamed of, then, you can still admire the trophy cars/women, look at them, admire their beauty and sleekness, BUT you dont have to pay for their high maintenance and upkeep. Real !Removed! when they break down. I take the wife to dances, then play the gentleman and ask the Trophy Wives for a dance (Test Drive). I hold them tight, smell their perfume, fantacize, but I dont have to take them home, park them in my garage, pay the insurance or upkeep. See?

Women, Cars, Airplanes & Steam Locomotives are all alike. Pretty to Look At, but to REALLY appreciate them, you gotta Start 'Em Up,,,get their motors running. Know What I Mean?

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You also gotta consider how much you will be spending on gas as well. The gs430 is a great car. Make sure you check if the timing belt and water pump have been replaced, upper and lower ball joints(common problem with the gs series in that year) struts, and other wear and tear items. If the car has been taken care of properly, then you wont have problems with it. Of course you're gonna have to do routine maintenance as well like brakes, oil change, tranny fluid. If you keep up with the maintenance, the car will not leave you stranded.

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