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Is It Time?


jonjdurkin
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I have a 96 LS400 that just reached 180,000 miles. My question for you: should I spring for the expensive ($12-1400) scheduled maintenance or sell her and get a newer one, i.e. a 99 or 00 LS. The car is running fine, no dents, rust, paint is 90%, seats all intact, Nak sound works, rubber 60%,

but she's getting long in the tooth and I'm seeing more 96 problems appearing on the forum. I know that 99's and up have quite a few features not found in my '96 and they are pretty affordable. I primarily use my Lex for long highway trips and have a "beater" for local stuff. What say you?

Keep and maintain/sell and buy newer?

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I have a 96 LS400 that just reached 180,000 miles. My question for you: should I spring for the expensive ($12-1400) scheduled maintenance or sell her and get a newer one, i.e. a 99 or 00 LS. The car is running fine, no dents, rust, paint is 90%, seats all intact, Nak sound works, rubber 60%,

but she's getting long in the tooth and I'm seeing more 96 problems appearing on the forum. I know that 99's and up have quite a few features not found in my '96 and they are pretty affordable. I primarily use my Lex for long highway trips and have a "beater" for local stuff. What say you?

Keep and maintain/sell and buy newer?

It sounds like you already long for a "newer" model and are tired of the old girl. If you have the "jack" and really want a newer model, go for it. Life is short. The 98-00 are pretty sweet, however, they can have expensive maintenance issues as well. For now, it won't hurt to dream and look. I do it all the time though I have no plans to upgrade. Who knows, a really good deal could come along. But save that coin. If upgrading means digging yourself into more debt, just keep your 96 until you can pay cash.

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I don't know how long you have owned your 96 LS, but it sounds like it is in good condition and I think holding onto it would be a good idea.

Scheduled maintenance can be expensive but you have to do that to any car. It's not going to be any less expensive on a newer Lexus.

And I don't think an LS that is 3 or 4 years "younger" is going to be much more reliable than your current 96 unless you were lucky enough to find one with unusually low miles. Those usually aren't cheap and a 99 or 00 LS is still 11-12 years old.

I think you should keep maintaining your 96 LS well and it will continue to be an outstanding car.

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The car is worth $800 in a trade, $1300 for a private party sale. I think I'd just run it until it dies then give it away. Doesn't seem logical to do a $1400 repair on a $751 car.... "She" is a grandma, don't get emotional, everyone has to go eventually.

If you are ambitious you can do a TB change yourself and save major $$$.

..." my Lex for long highway trips and have a "beater" for local stuff."... You other car is the beater?

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good advice, either way you go..... I had 2 97's and now have two 99's, only because I like the 99's looks and softer handling. But the 97's were probably the stronger/tuffest LS built. you cant go wrong, either way..

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These cars can go a looong way if well maintained. Who cares about the book value. If you like the car and can keep from crashing and totaling it, it can be good economics to keep cars to high mileages. I sold my 1990 in 2003 at 183,500 miles after owning it from new. The person I sold it to drove it from Kansas City to Portland Oregon last week pulling a 5x8 loaded trailer -- and the car now has 290,000 miles on it.

Maybe it was bad economics, but I had the expensive 180,000 mile service performed on my 90 LS before I sold it 3,500 miles later. I'm just that way -- I don't sell cars that haven't been maintained to spec.

With all that said, the 98-up LS400 and LS430 sure comes with some great features as standard. Now that I've had it, I would never consider another car that did not have a stability control system. And I love the HID headlights that are usually on the 98 LS400, almost always on the 99-00 LS400 and standard on the LS430.

The LS430 is a huge step up in technology over the 98-00 LS400 and early LS430's are getting quite low priced. I'd prefer an LS430 over a 98-00 LS400 just for the LS430's audio system which allows you to add all sorts of interfaces like iPod and Sat radio.

The following webpage has a summary of differences among model years: http://www.lexls.com/info/lsgenerations.html

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Curious, those prices are Edmunds/Autotrader. Edmunds is always on the very low side. KBB has it listed as $4200 for a private sale which I think is a little on the high side. The truth is somewhere in the middle. In my recent experience, any 96 that is "clean" with 180k miles is worth at least $2500-3000 private sale.

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