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Pascott

93 Ls 400 Longevity (Don't Want To Do It In)

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Own '93 LS400 with 185,000 miles. I'm going to be starting a long commute, 100 miles a day. Adds up to 25,000 miles a year. Afraid putting so many miles on may lead to major repairs (transmission or engine). How many miles can I count on the car to keep going? Am considering, as an alternative, using our other car (Volvo S60) for the commute, but it's on a lease. That many miles would lock us in to buying it at lease end. We have been planning to do so, but would like to keep our options open. Again, our choices now are (1) commute in the LS400 and add 25,000 miles a year, or (2) commute in the Volvo and just drive the Lexus around town, hoping to stretch out its lifespan. I'm a new member here. Checked several discussions and saw the LS400 can last 200k-300k and beyond, but what's normal and when would the big repairs kick in? What do you think? Thanks!

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When you get right down to it, cars are appliances. Kind of like refrigerators. Sure we make noises about them emotionally, and I've been guilty of that all my life. But in the end, appliances. So use the appliance that will serve you best. That's the Lexus. Cars are only worthwhile if you drive them, and consider that having the opportunity to drive such a great car as the LS every day is good thing. For sure the car was designed to do what you need to do. If either car will fail early, it's the Volvo.

So use the Lexus for the big commute and every day you'll be reminded of why it is such a great car. If it breaks, fix it or replace it, but don't worry about the future now.

Auto Philosophy 101 is dismissed......

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I completely agree with SRK -- especially due to have owning three Volvos although only one was purchased new.

An LS400 is never going to become a "classic" car in the traditional sense -- too many electronics that are eventually going to become unavailable. Don't worry about preserving it for posterity. Properly cared for, your 93 LS engine and tranmission can last hundreds of thousands of miles. I think my first LS, a 1990, is nearing 300,000 miles and I think the current owner (Tobywan, are you reading this?) told me at lunch six weeks ago that the engine is still running fine and not using any oil between changes. He told me that he is going to keep it "forever".

There are always going to be repairs on any car as it ages -- the key is to take care of issues as they happen and don't let them build up into a mountain of problems. As your LS continues to age, you'll likely be spending an average of around $1,000 annually on repairs and maintenance but that is way less expensive than buying a new car.

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Thanks for the advice.

I'm planning to put on new tires and a new fuel filter & hoses soon. And eventually new struts (because its lower on the driver's side, and it rocks going around curves). That's $1500-2000 in repairs already, and I've read several posts indicating that I may need new ball joints soon. The last thing I need is a major repair on top of that. Otherwise, it's well cared for and running fine. I'm not planning to keep it forever...I'd be happy to get a few more good years with low to moderate repair and maintenance costs. As for the Volvo, it's only got 25,000 miles on it, all problem-free, so I'm worried about it failing any time soon. I'm sorry to tell you that it handles better for freeway driving, but the Lexus should do better when it gets new struts. (Of course, it's already smoother for for city driving). And in terms of the interior, the Lexus is more plush and spacious, while the Volvo, being a newer car, has all the convenience options that weren't available in '93. Preferences aside, the main concern is to feel confident that the Lexus could handle a year, two years, or longer of seriously long commuting if I decide to go that route. Any more comments? I'll let you know how it fares. Many thanks.

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25,000 miles a year is not a huge amount. I've put around 22,000 miles per year on my ES every year since it was new. My Dad drove about that on his LS's when he was working. Your commute is going to be freeway miles which are easy, my miles are around town and stop and go since I'm a real estate broker. Listen to Jim and get those needed repairs done now, get the struts and the ball joints done at once, saves on labor. When you have 2 or 3 big things that need done...thats when you feel like the thing is going to drown you.

Think about it this way. If you drive the Volvo for 3 years and put 75,000 miles on it then it has 100,000 miles and your Lexus has 200,000 miles. If you drive the Lexus your Volvo has 40,000 miles and your Lexus has 250,000 miles. Why have two high mileage cars when you can have one?

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Wear and tear issues aside, which car do you feel or know to provide more overall safety? Since you will be spending much more time commuting, you will be exposed to more drivers. Lots of opportunity for a potentially dangerous accident. Some idiot in, oh I dont know, say a pick up truck, may pull out in front of you while you are doing 50-60 MPH. Of course an accident could occur a mile from your home but with a longer commute you do increase your exposure. The Volvo may provide more modern safety features which trump your concerns about wear, tear and major repair. You only have one body. Just something to ponder outside of the money/maintenance issue.

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Tough choice. My wife was driving my 90 LS400 to commute about 100 miles a day so I picked up an 04 ES330 a few years ago and she racked up the miles on that instead. My LS has about the same milage as yours and like you I worry about the thing having huge expenses but... then I drive it and I just love it. I have the opportunity to buy a 1999 LS400 from a friend of mine and it only has 86,000miles on it. If I do, I will probably have to sell the 90 since I am accumulating to many vehicles. Tough choice for me to.

And oh yeah, you are going to need the Lexus if you commute. Imagine commuting that distance every day in a Volvo and that should set you right. I'd put only what I needed and keep the fluids fresh and these cars will go 500K

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you have one of the best powertrains in the world ever built - no worries there. just basic maintanance. 250K on mine and I drive it hard everyday in commuter traffic -

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Well you might want to factor in the costs of ownership in your equation too. 100 miles a day is 4-5 gallons of fuel a day or $12-15 or $60-75 a week. That is if its mostly highway speeds. If stop and go then even lower. The LS has impressive MPG for such a large heavy car but it is a large and heavy car. So maybe you could get 30-40% better mileage off a small 4 cylinder car then you would save $17-20 a week or $750-900/year. Doesn't seem like $900 fuel savings will cover the cost to have an additional vehicle, registration, insurance, and maintenance.

My take, ride the LS and enjoy yourself.

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