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MrDog2000

Noob, My First Lexus

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Hey everyone,

I bought my first Lexus, a 2000 GS400, in Oct 2009 and have gotten some great info from this site (thanks all). I love my new-used car, and actually still can't believe I bought it.

I've always owned American cars because they're cheap to fix - and I worked in a GM parts dept. for many years. Before the Lexus I owned a '04 Malibu Maxx, which was amazingly versatile and a decent car. But, I noticed that repairs were getting pricey. I had a brake job done and it was over $600. Then I had to replace the transmission cooler lines, which cost $250 each plus labour! I said to my wife that if I'm going to pay that kind of repair costs I'd at least like to drive a better vehicle. So, what to buy? My brother had bought a 2004 SC430 and I was amazed at the quality of this car, but it was out of reach for me. So, I looked at older Lexus' and found a GS400 in Calgary, 300Km south of where I live in Edmonton.

I asked my wife if she wanted to go see the giant new mall they've built just outside of Calgary and maybe go see the GS400 I found on the web. She agreed, but we left late and as we passed the mall she said we better go see the car first. We got to Silverhill Acura and saw the GS, I said "this car looks good," missus agreed. A test drive had me convinced and my wife. I should explain that I have agonized over every car I've bought, and no doubt tortured my poor wife. It was a bit like the both of us playing "chicken" with she wondering when I'd get cold feet and back out of a deal!

The sales rep, Bob, was a retired RCMP officer, so he has to be honest, right? He showed us the carfax, which we were able to confirm as a a one-owner car from Calgary. Plus, Silverhill had done the brakes, rotors, timing belt, spark plugs, battery (all OEM) and new Michelin tires.

A deal was made and 2-days later we drove down to Calgary after work to pick up the new car. I'd asked that they put the snow tires on, as it was October. As soon as we hit the highway north, I new something was wrong. The car pulled hard to the right and there was a loud 'wah-wah-wah' sound accompanied by steering wheel shake. It was 9:30 and the dealership was closed so we drove 300 KM home. I thought I'd been hood-winked and had bought the worst car in the world. But, I told my wife that it must be the snow tires, as the car drove beautifully on our test-drive with the new Michelins. Back home, my friend, who's a service manager for a Ford dealer, tested it and agreed the snow tires were shot. One set of Michelin Alpins and an alignment later, my Lexus again drove like a dream.

Since then I've replaced the ball joints (thanks for the safety tip) and put a new starter in (it is 10 years old after all). I cannot believe how well this car looks and drives for 10 years old. Everyone I've shown the car to thinks it's only 3-4 years old.

I'd like to do a few mods, maybe some really good shocks/struts (Tiens perhaps) some LED marker lights, stainless brake lines and some wheels. I love the look of old-school racing wheels like Panasports or Superlites, but I don't think they have my size.

Thanks for reading my long story, I think I'm now Lex for life.

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Congrats on the car! In my opinion that generation GS when it came out in late 97 as a 98 model was WAY ahead of its time as far as styling goes. Even to the day it still looks new. I love it...

Have you thought about upgrading the tail lights to the 01-05 GS type? Same size, direct replacements, they just look a little different.

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Congrats on the car! In my opinion that generation GS when it came out in late 97 as a 98 model was WAY ahead of its time as far as styling goes. Even to the day it still looks new. I love it...

Have you thought about upgrading the tail lights to the 01-05 GS type? Same size, direct replacements, they just look a little different.

Thanks for the welcome, most appreciated. I've thought about the tail-light swap. Maybe E-Bay's a good place to look for that. I'd like to get new mufflers too, not so much for sound, but my tips are so grungy they just won't come clean.

I like that quote by Foose on your post, that's my car mod philosophy too.

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