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caddieman

Getting In Over My Head?

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I may be purchasing a 1995 LS400 in a couple days (98k, incredible cond, $12,900, loaded x2) if the carfax checks out. I can comfortably afford the payments, increased insurance, and I have somewhat of an idea on the increased maintenance costs, but I thought some of you might offer me some advice, please. Should I expect to put a certain dollar amount into this car yearly, above and beyond the routine maintenance? I have always taken great care with my vehicles, but this is a little intimidating. I want it badly, but I don't want to make a foolish mistake. Also, would you recommend or even strongly recommend a 100 point (or whatever) check at the dealer for this purchase? Anything I should look or feel or listen for when I take it for a drive tomorrow? I would certainly appreciate fast and multiple responses.

Phil

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b4 you will buy this car go to any lexus dealership with a vin number and ask them to run a search for the car. they all connected between each other and this will help you to get the maintanece records of the car. also ask the owner for the maintancene info. if you will do regular maintanence this car will last you forever. i have a 1996 ls for 2 years and i didnt have any major problems with it. just burned bulbs, replacing brakes etc. if the condition of the car is great your maintanece costs might be lower then other cars that you owned,, so go ahead and join the club of lexus owners!

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A used lexus has so little porblems that brand new first year model redesigns people think small thinks like a whistle or a rattle is bad .Compared to a brand new anyother model which may and usually does have tons of problems.Like broken cracnkshafts and other major repairs.

I agree with the lexus inspection or even more gettin a preowned lexus from lexus.

They only resell perfect vehicles with all lexus service done at a lexus dealer .So both you and them know it is perfect insdie and out.

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I'm driving a 94 LS 400 with low miles similar to what you are considering buying. The car has been maintained according to factory schedule. Nothing too major has happened -- replaced the rear bushings once which was kind of pricey, until this year, when I had a valve gasket cover that had to be replaced ($600) and may be looking at a steering rack replacement before long (I was advised it has a v. minor leak and to keep an eye on it). That will be a grand or so. So, as they age, yes, things can happen. I was told this car will go forever (by a mechanic) a few years ago, and he may be right, but I'd rather be in a new one where I have full warranty. It's just a little nerve wracking being in an older car. If you are a DIY, then I think it's easier driving an older car, because you are not at hte mercy of the mechanics if something does go wrong. Something to think about. Yes, I would definitely get a thorugh inspection and check maintenance history etc. The inspection will at least give you peace of mind, which sounds like what you want. Good luck.

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Also forgot to mention that I have had problems with the power steering pump..it was replaced once, then that one didn't work for long (i think it was defective), and now I am on the third one. I may have to replace this one too before long. Not sure whether it's the pump itself, or whether the valve gasket leak and low power steering fluid caused the problem. It's making groaning noises that I've been told are 'cosmetic' only. We'll see what develops. The first two were covered by warranty, but this one will be on me. Around $700 a pop unless you are a DIY. Other than THAT and bushings and now the valve gasket seal and maybe a steering rack have been/will be my only repairs in 10 years. It adds up to a few thousand in repairs over ten years above and beyond the standard maintenance you have to do in any case (tires, brakes, fluids, etc.). Not bad!

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Just went through the same ordeal. Check out the link below. It helped me with my decision. Also check to see if the 90K service has been performed. If not, that's an extra $1,400.00 at the dealer! I purchased a 95 LS with 89K miles for $11,900. The car had been religously serviced at the dealer until the 82K mile mark. Do a search on skyview to see the responses I received on buying a new a used LS.

http://www.apaqdigital.com/ls400/ls400_guide.htm

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95 is gen II and they have much less problems then gen I due to that they are younger and a lot of parts have been redesigned. i have 130k now and no major problems and i didnt change anyting except timing belt!!! one guy at work has a 2000 ls with 56k and my engine is quiter then his!!! GEN II LS rules!!! B)

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i keep seeing references to gen11. what is this? newer than 95? thanks...

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skyview: that's a great list, even for someone who wants to check up on their own car to see whether there are unaddressed 'problems'. i am bookmarking that site. thanks.

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there couple generations of LS model out there

I - years 90-94

II 95-97

III 98-2000

IV 01-03

V 04 - present

they all differ in exterior so it is really easy to distinguish between them

check pictures in the gallery.

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cool. thanks vmf. back to that list, skyview. i just have one quibble, which is the comment to stay away from cars that have shiny clean engines. au contraire, according to the detailing forum, owners who keep their engines clean are likely to take better care of their cars overall. mechanics may give better care to cars with clean engines, etc., because it's obvious their owners are taking care of their autos, etc. i started a thread recently about how to clean the engine on my car, and learned a lot in the process. as long as electricals and sensitive areas are covered during washes -- power or otherwise -- there should be no problems. they also say not to use petroleum based degreasers too often (citrus based are betterr), and when done, to use a protective rubber sealant which preserves the life of hoses and plastic shields. so, it's really more HOW the engine is cleaned rather than beware all clean engines. food for thought. still is a great list!

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skyview -- do you know what the 70K service costs? i'm about 6-7 months away from that one...just curious...

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depends where you gonna do it. you dont have to do everything they tell you to do. just do things that are necessary. dealers just want your money. i went there once and it was a complete dissapointment

i did a tune up b4 with oem party myself a week b4 i went to the dealer and imagine what they told me? that i need a tuneup!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i dont know i prolly look like a dumb lame .... or they presume this about all customers!!! i would strongly recommend to stay away from the dealers if your car is not under warranty otherwise they will suck all your money! i wasted 100$ just to get "news" about tune up, bent rim and timing belt, while my car was in the perfect order and i wanted to check the tranny!!!!!!!

they are the reason that i decided to do everything i can myself on the car. they charge too much money and they dont care about your car while it is there and you cant see what they are doing to it and what was change and what is not so you have to take their word for it while regular mechanics just dont know anything about those complicated cars!!! i have to tell mechanics what do to and how while paying them for this!!!

those cars got more cirquitry then first space ship!!!

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vmf -- agree, use them only when necessary and carefully. i've learned over the years...really, that's interesting about how you were advised you need a tune, etc. wrong mechanic!! i make it it a rule to get second opinions anytime i am advised i need a repair in excess of around 500=600. you'd be surprised how varying the opinions can be, or, er, maybe you wouldn't. i chalk it up to difference in training (one guy told me bushings were cracked/worn, another said they were fine once). so, yes, you have to stay on your toes. for example, only recently have i taken an interest in what's going on under the hood of my car. this AM, i looked things over and saw a PATCHED (pieced together that is) hose near the front, behind the radiator. what the dickens? i never at any time authorized that kind of patch and am not sure who did it (but have some idea). i am going to follow up on it. the hose seems to from below and then up and over to the right (if you are facing hte car). any idea what that hose is? i did have a power steering pump high pressure hose replaced about six months ago (it was leaking), but i paid $224 for the part, not a patch. what do you think? could that hose be for the power steering? it's kind of near the top of the radiator, right behind and down from the top a little bit.

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you better make a picture and attach it to the post and i will tell you for sure what it is.:)

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sorry, no pic and no digital camera to get one. that's been on my list for months, but i never get around to it. just means more research, more shopping and price and features comparisons, ugh. anyhow, i'll try to look at it again tomrrow and describe as accurately as i can. maybe you'll be able to make an educated guess! if it's what i think it is, i'm going to be 'talking' to someone soon. and not in a nice way. ha ha.

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I think the key to purchasing the right used Lexus is of course to go ahead and spend the dollars for a complete inspection and then make the decision based on the results. I don't necessarily believe that you will have more costs than other vehicles if you purchase pre-owned that has a good service history.

My only gripe is that I'm having some suspension problems on my 94' with only 93k and I drove my Infiniti for almost 150k with absolutely no suspension issues or for that fact, no issues with anything else. I do believe that as a car ages even with low miles, you may have parts that fail or wear earlier than a newer high mileage vehicle.

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why dont you use one of the existing pictures in the gallery and show me what hose you are talking about. is it the big fat oen that goes from the radiator to the engine?

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i'm dizzy from looking at pics. never found one that is 'top down' that shows what i am talking about. if the pic is taken from the front (out over the engine, a little higher than level with it), you can't see the hose i am talking about because it is right behind radiator and a little below it. willprolly give more details tomorrow if time permits. tx!

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Re purchasing the LS400 follow the advice and have it checked out by a Lexus dealer, look at the service history, run a CarFax and also have it checked for body damage while your at it. Take your time, their are plenty of LS400s that are in excellent shape, don't settle for anything less. Four Door.

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