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lucymiao

97 Ls 400 A Good Buy?

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hi, I am considering to buy a 1997 LS400 V8 base version, with 135k mileage on it from a private owner, the price is 5700 dollars.

the car drives smooth and quiet, and I really like the feeling of driving it. It is in a good shape.

it has several problems:

the two hood strut is loose, i will buy as it is.

the front bumper has a split in the middle front. i will buy as it is.

the power steering high pressure hose is leaking. the owner promised to fix it before he sells to me.

the owner is the second owner and had it for 6 years, and kept excellent maintenance and good record of documents.

my quetions: how serious the problem --he power steering high pressure hose leaking-- is, can this problem ever be fixed or it may happen again and again?

Is 5700 dollar a good value to purchase?

Is it much more expensive to maintain a LS 400, compared to 1997 or 98 camry LE?

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The BIG question is whether the fluids(engine oil, coolant, transmission, differential, brake, power steering) have been changed as recommended by Lexus. And has the timing belt been replaced yet? It should have been replaced at ~90K miles.

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Is it much more expensive to maintain a LS 400, compared to 1997 or 98 camry LE?

YES!

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I have a 98 with 188k and running strong.

Check with Lexus and see if the timing belt and water pump was changed.

very important to see if it had a starter motor done. Starters are located under the intake manifol and will cost you 10 hrs odf dealer labor = 1000 plus starter 400. If it had that done thats goo.

You should also expect front strut bars to go something a local mechanic can instal if you buy the parts about 200 plus 3hrs pro labor.

Everything else is going to go for a least 200k in my estimate.

CHeck what records Lexus has and be patient. Look for obvious signs of abuse like curb rash and trashed interiors. COuld be worth an hour of lexus labor to have it checked out by a pro.

rfworld

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I have had 8 LS400's thru the years, have 2 now,

I would not have anything else. They cost a little more to repair,

but do not need as much up keep as others do, so I think it is a trade-off.

make sure the timing belt & water pump has been changed, and you are good to go.

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thank you so much for your help. the gentleman I am going to buy the car from is very detail oriented. he has every record of the services and repairs. yes, he did timing belt and water pump replacement at less than 90,000 miles. and he does every other maintenance timingly and has record.

I am a new user of this website. I am so pleased to get all these info from you guys. I feel so good here. thanks again.

I

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my question is that the power steering high pressure hose leaking, can it be ever fixed? or it will effect the other parts of the car, such as engine, and transmission etc.?

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Is 5700 dollar a good value to purchase?

Personally, I'd keep looking for a better example if not a better price.

Is it much more expensive to maintain a LS 400, compared to 1997 or 98 camry LE?

You betcha. My CPA wife drives a 98 Camry and cringes when I hand her the repair invoices for my LS. I could probably give you some hard data but I'll take an educated guess that my LS costs at least three times as much to maintain and own as her Camry per mile driven.

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You betcha. My CPA wife drives a 98 Camry and cringes when I hand her the repair invoices for my LS. I could probably give you some hard data but I'll take an educated guess that my LS costs at least three times as much to maintain and own as her Camry per mile driven.

That is because you are 3x more anal about the LS! :lol:

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yes, i like the smooth and quietness of driving this LS 400. BUT i am concerned about the possible maintenance and parts replacement. I do not have enough budget for it. Also, I think 5700 for 97 LS 400 is a bit high. I would be more comfortable to pay 4800 dollars. but I cannot find a deal like this in Kentucky

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The more time you spend on this site, you'll see how common your issues are. To answer your question about the high pressure hose, to my knowledge, once you replace it, you don't have to think about it again. Same with hood struts, quick fix then move on. These were the first two fixes on my 95LS, which I bought for $5,000 with 156K. Have it inspected so you can use the report as leverage in negotiating price.

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averona, do you have more to fix for your 95 LS 400? are they pricy?

The owner fixed the steering power high pressure hose. the part is 160 dollar, the labor is 115 dollars, so in total is 275 dollars. the labor is at 60-70 dollars per hour. I am not sure whethere there will be more problems and more parts to fix down the road. So I am really hesitant to buy this 97 LS 400. One is it maybe consume quite a lot gaslone and the other is pricy maintenance.

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averona, do you have more to fix for your 95 LS 400? are they pricy?

The owner fixed the steering power high pressure hose. the part is 160 dollar, the labor is 115 dollars, so in total is 275 dollars. the labor is at 60-70 dollars per hour. I am not sure whethere there will be more problems and more parts to fix down the road. So I am really hesitant to buy this 97 LS 400. One is it maybe consume quite a lot gaslone and the other is pricy maintenance.

I have found that the Lexus is only slightly more pricey to maintain and fix than my other car. But that is because I do all the work myself. If you have to take the car to a shop, a Lexus will be more than say, a Toyota. However, the ride and safety of the LS is superior to most other lower cost vehicles. So, its a trade-off. The LS really is a very reliable car overall. Learn to do some of the work yourself and save. As Billy mentioned, make sure the timing belt/water pump has been changed because that is a high dollar maintenance item ($1k-$1500 depending). If the car has had fluids changed on schedule, buy it. You will love it. You are not really planning on taking any of that nasty money with you anyway, are you? :D

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After I did my pressure hose and hood struts, I didn't do anything except change the oil for the next year or so. The car was 15 years old, but didn't need anything. Then, look out for things like motor mounts, ball joints, maybe a radiator, but it is so worth it to drive a solid car. Just find a trustworthy mechanic. My first mechanic, before I moved, charged the same per hour whether it was a honda civic or a lexus.

I love driving an older car which is extremely well made compared to something new and expensive. I'd rather invest the money in keeping my classic running.

averona, do you have more to fix for your 95 LS 400? are they pricy?

The owner fixed the steering power high pressure hose. the part is 160 dollar, the labor is 115 dollars, so in total is 275 dollars. the labor is at 60-70 dollars per hour. I am not sure whethere there will be more problems and more parts to fix down the road. So I am really hesitant to buy this 97 LS 400. One is it maybe consume quite a lot gaslone and the other is pricy maintenance.

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averona, thank you so much for your information. I think it is a good car and I would like to have it. I think 5625 dollars is worth it. I consider to buy it today.

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i bought the 97 LS 400, both my husband and I are very happy with it. we love the sound system and the moon roof, the adjustable seat and so on. I guess we just have to pay a bit more for the gasoline. so far so good.

Thanks to all the friends here offering me advice.

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