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What Would You Do Differently?


martini90
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Newbie here. This is a great resource!

In the next few months I plan to start looking for a '98 - '00 LS. I'm trying to find

as many different sources to search as possible. Currently I'm searching the usual sites.

Cars.com, autotrader.com, ebay, craigslist, etc. Are there other ideas for my search?

If you were to do the hunt over again are there places you now know of that you didn't before?

I live in the Indy area but am willing to travel for a good one!

Probably be starting the serious search in the late summer / fall.

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If I had to do it over again, I would have put my car on a lift and checked it out for rust.

I took mine to a local indie mechanic near the dealer, who gave it a clean bill of health. When I did the first oil change, I was a little disheartened to see bits of rust here and there on the underside. Mine is a northern car, but living in the South, I'm used to not having any rust at all. I traveled north to Kansas City (3 hours) to purchase mine. The car was from Michigan.

Look for a car that has had it's 90k timing belt and water pump service. This is a very expensive and not to be ignored service. If the owner has no documentation, I'd pass or negotiate a lower price because you'll want that service completed before you do any serious driving.

Also factor in to the cost some of the consumables with this car. By consumables, I mean bushings and mounts. Those items wear out eventually, and need to be replaced. That's something I was sort of prepared for... My car isn't perfect, as much as I would like it to be. But if it were perfect, I'd be paranoid about the most petty things. So it's probably better that my LS isn't perfect. It drives nicely!

I think the best advice I can offer you is to be patient. The right car will turn up. I was a little jumpy with mine when I saw it, but overall, I've been pleased with the car. While my strut rod replacement hopefully cures odd high speed vibrations, my car is just so dad-gum smooth at slower speeds!

Oh yes, the other best piece of advice is do not take the transmission pan off by yourself. Ever. on a 98 - 00 LS400.

I found my car with Autotrader.com. You have the right search methods noted above. I also purchased a CarFax subscription so that I could run VINs. Doing so saved me from a beautiful LS400, but CarFax reported the airbags had gone off. I passed. It's not foolproof, but another tool to help you zero in on the right car. You can also subscribe to Lexus' website, and see if it has had proper service, if it was done at a Lexus dealer. CarFax happened to report where one of the cars I was interested in was maintained, so I called the place and found out that the maintenance recorded by CarFax wasn't maintenance, but was actually body work. Passed on that one too. If I were to do it again, I'd buy from an individual who had maintenance records. I was prepared to pay a premium for a car that was well maintained than one without the service history.

Read the posts on this site. Become as familiar as you can with the LS before you get serious about shopping for one. The more familiar you are, the better decision you can make.

I put about 16,000 miles on my 1999 LS this year, my first year of ownership. It is an awesome car. In fact, as an aside, my wife got to drive an S430 several months ago, and she preferred our LS over the Mercedes. If you'll take the time to buy the right car, you'll be rewarded with an excellent ownership experience.

Good luck!

Micah

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If I had to do it over again, I would have put my car on a lift and checked it out for rust.

I took mine to a local indie mechanic near the dealer, who gave it a clean bill of health. When I did the first oil change, I was a little disheartened to see bits of rust here and there on the underside. Mine is a northern car, but living in the South, I'm used to not having any rust at all. I traveled north to Kansas City (3 hours) to purchase mine. The car was from Michigan.

Look for a car that has had it's 90k timing belt and water pump service. This is a very expensive and not to be ignored service. If the owner has no documentation, I'd pass or negotiate a lower price because you'll want that service completed before you do any serious driving.

Also factor in to the cost some of the consumables with this car. By consumables, I mean bushings and mounts. Those items wear out eventually, and need to be replaced. That's something I was sort of prepared for... My car isn't perfect, as much as I would like it to be. But if it were perfect, I'd be paranoid about the most petty things. So it's probably better that my LS isn't perfect. It drives nicely!

I think the best advice I can offer you is to be patient. The right car will turn up. I was a little jumpy with mine when I saw it, but overall, I've been pleased with the car. While my strut rod replacement hopefully cures odd high speed vibrations, my car is just so dad-gum smooth at slower speeds!

Oh yes, the other best piece of advice is do not take the transmission pan off by yourself. Ever. on a 98 - 00 LS400.

I found my car with Autotrader.com. You have the right search methods noted above. I also purchased a CarFax subscription so that I could run VINs. Doing so saved me from a beautiful LS400, but CarFax reported the airbags had gone off. I passed. It's not foolproof, but another tool to help you zero in on the right car. You can also subscribe to Lexus' website, and see if it has had proper service, if it was done at a Lexus dealer. CarFax happened to report where one of the cars I was interested in was maintained, so I called the place and found out that the maintenance recorded by CarFax wasn't maintenance, but was actually body work. Passed on that one too. If I were to do it again, I'd buy from an individual who had maintenance records. I was prepared to pay a premium for a car that was well maintained than one without the service history.

Read the posts on this site. Become as familiar as you can with the LS before you get serious about shopping for one. The more familiar you are, the better decision you can make.

I put about 16,000 miles on my 1999 LS this year, my first year of ownership. It is an awesome car. In fact, as an aside, my wife got to drive an S430 several months ago, and she preferred our LS over the Mercedes. If you'll take the time to buy the right car, you'll be rewarded with an excellent ownership experience.

Good luck!

Micah

Excellent advice. Club Lexus is another owners forum you can look over. Not as good as this one.

Paul

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