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Ratman2356

Buying Decision - Advice Requested

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Hello, I have been reading up a lot on these amazing cars and have test driven a cherry 99 LS 400 and will be driving a 95 tomorrow. I am selling my 350Z and would like to ideally eliminate a car payment by buying a 95 or 96 with the cash equity from Z and my savings. Prices in my area are about 4-5k for a 95 with about 170k miles. The afore mentioned 99 is my other option, it has 93k miles on it and rides like brand new.

So here is my dilema, do I buy the 99 for the lower miles, more options, features etc and presumably better reliability and keep a payment (z payment and insurance runs about 375 a month, LS payment would be shorter term but would still run about 320 total) I can get the 99 for between $10-11k depending on my bargaining skills. OR

Do I hold out till I sell my Z and buy an older, higher mileage car outright but have little to nothing left for repairs. This will be my daily driver. My wife has her car but she works full time as well so might as well consider it my only car.

My concerns,

With the 95 - 1. That it will need work right away before I have had time to put back some repair fund money and I am stuck with a broken car and have to take a loan out to get it fixed.

2. Downtime with repairs. No car, no work and cost goes up and up with lost income.

3. That I will wind up paying so much to recon and repair a 175k-200k mile car that I should have just got the newer model with lower miles.

With the 99 - 1. I will still have a payment, which is ok but I am looking to reduce expenses if possible.

2. It's still an 11 almost 12 year old car and approaching 100k miles and may need repairs or even 100k type maintenance that would cost just as much as the old 95 which would hurt a lot more in the wallet since I would still be making a payment too.

So what are your thoughts, does the price of the newer car with half the miles offset the risk of the older cars? Or is it worth it to own outright and take my chances with the repairs?

This is all assuming that both potential cars check out with lexus used car buyer inspection and my own inspection using the buyers check list here on the sight.

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Hi, I have owned several LS's, and truly love the 99's I have now, but also the 95-97 cars are strong runners, and very trustworthy, SO, my advice is: pay cash, but that is my way of doing things.. no payments in twenty plus years..... all that money you payout in interest, will buy you a lot of freedom. well: that is my sermon for the day. Hope it gives you something to think about.

Good Luck, let us know/see your decision..........

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Pay cash. Sell your Z, and buy what you can afford. There may also be some nice other cars out there (Accord, Camry) that you could get while you save up for your next LS. Also, the price may be a bit high on the 99. I thought that I paid a bit much for mine. 113k miles and I paid $8900 at a Toyota dealer (with records). My thinking that I paid a bit much comes from my readings here and on Club Lexus where purchases of 98-00 models float in the 6500-8000 range, may be with a little more mileage--but not much if at all.

Keep searching. Be willing to travel somewhere. I see you're located in Tulsa, and I seriously thought I was going to buy a 98 there (it sold). I bought mine in Kansas City. Don't settle!

Micah

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Billy's advice is dead on pay cash. Micah Berry's advice is dead on too,get some documentation on the service it's had.

Both cars would need a new timing belt/water pump at 90 K and pretty soon at 170 K . Each needing a new one every 90,000 miles.

The few other things are a starter especially on the car with 170,000 K miles and the standard power steering pump. This is also assuming the transmission was serviced according to lexus as well as the differential ,power steering flush ,brake fluid flush etc. You won't know any of that without a history of the service already done.

This is the only reason i bought my 97 Lexus as it was serviced at Lexus from day one. I was also given a 14 page printout from Lexus of what and when service was done from day one. My car has 150,000 miles and has needed a new starter [big job] and now needs motor mounts and within a year a new power steering pump. These seem to be the most common items at this age /mileage on these cars. many front end parts were changed ,,lower ball joints etc by the previous owner.

If all was equal between the 95 and 99 cars I would prefer the 99 ,,not because it is newer but it has I believe variable valve timing and a 5th gear which I hear has more authority at launch if needed. I love my 4 speed 97 though..

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I agree with Turboomni on the thrust of the VVT. I was reminded of it on Saturday night, when I pulled into a lane, checked my rear view and saw that the Tahoe that was way down the road was approaching me RIGHT NOW! I mash the gas to the floor, and the "little" 4.0L V8 punted the LS down the road. I rarely use the acceleration capabilities of the V8 - I bought it because it was smooth. But I like knowing it's there if I need it. My only complaint with the 5 speed is that it seems a little "confused" as to which gear to be in when I'm going at parking-lot speeds. Not really even a complaint, just something that I've noticed.

He also makes a good point on the common parts that will need to be changed (assuming that normal maintenance has been completed).

Don't finance an 11 year old car. Most banks that I know won't do this unless it's a collector's car (think vintage Ferrari and the like) but those are fairly specialized transactions. You're on the right track - wait for the right one to show up. It will. People move this cars on for many different reasons. You can score a well kept one at an excellent price if you are patient. While you're waiting, be sure to continue to save. If it were me (and it was when I was shopping...) I would pay a little more for a well documented LS than one without.

Good luck!

Micah

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