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2006 171K Miles, Keep Or Trade In?


Spoogie
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I bought my GX 470 new in 2006; it had 12 miles on it. The miles are mostly highway, and the car very well cared for. It drives like new, and the problems it has had are as follows:

Regular:

- tires

- brakes

- battery

- alternator

- radiator (after five years, right on schedule)

Unexpected

- every door lock actuator has failed at one time or another

The car is need of tires again, and I'm told these models need a transmission like clockwork at or near 175k miles. So wondering now if I should trade it in for something else: looking at a 2014 Acura MDX or a 2014 Toyota Highlander.

In addition to a $5k transmission, the car will need the timing belt and water pump completed again at 200-220k. It also needs a $750 bumper repair.

Discussing this with my local mechanic whom I trust, we've both decided the car is at the tipping point in terms of ownership. I can account for the upcoming known repairs, but what else might popup at this late age? This is rhetorical of course as nobody can know.

I've been offered $12,300 in trade. Very conflicted about trading it in and spending $43k on something else. It's especially difficult given that I've had few problems with it and know exactly where it's been.

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Hi Dana and welcome to the LOC.

You sound like your that "rock & a hard place" that affects all car lovers. When is the best time to say good by to your first love and follow that siren call of that shiny new object.

I come from the side that tends to believe that after 8 good years, your GX470 has given you excellent service. Now she is starting to show the the results of those years. The folks that are good at and can do their own repairs, enjoy the fun of keeping their Lexus in top shape as their Lexus go's along.

If you are not "do it your selfer" but have a good mechanic, in my opinion, your still going to continue to have ongoin repairs as you go along.

In addition, as you've already found out. after 8 years, your market value has pretty much hit bottom. This has made your ability to negotiate a new car some what difficult. Having said that, given your current history, I would come down on the side of selling your GX either intrade, or as a trade in. Your best price will come from selling your self, but that can be a real hassle. Don't rule out the flexiblity of a lease.

Come back and let us know how things are progressing.

Paul

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Hi Dana and welcome to the LOC.

You sound like your that "rock & a hard place" that affects all car lovers. When is the best time to say good by to your first love and follow that siren call of that shiny new object.

I come from the side that tends to believe that after 8 good years, your GX470 has given you excellent service. Now she is starting to show the the results of those years. The folks that are good at and can do their own repairs, enjoy the fun of keeping their Lexus in top shape as their Lexus go's along.

If you are not "do it your selfer" but have a good mechanic, in my opinion, your still going to continue to have ongoin repairs as you go along.

In addition, as you've already found out. after 8 years, your market value has pretty much hit bottom. This has made your ability to negotiate a new car some what difficult. Having said that, given your current history, I would come down on the side of selling your GX either intrade, or as a trade in. Your best price will come from selling your self, but that can be a real hassle. Don't rule out the flexiblity of a lease.

Come back and let us know how things are progressing.

Paul

Thanks for your reply. I'm conflicted since it has been such a good suv. I'm going to drive it a while.

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We have a 2007 GX470 with 110K. The truck has been extremely reliable with the only large non-maintenance item being that the dash split which Lexus swapped out under "good will." While we are 60k miles behind you our plan is keep it forever. We like the extra space provided by being able to take out the 3rd row of seats which provides more space than the new version that folds down. Of note, we intentionally bought a non-nav version so that we can swap out electronics as new tech emerges. We have updated our aftermarket system twice and each time we do joke that it is really makes the car feel new. We figure we can do a lot of maintenance and still come out ahead of a $800 car payment.

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To help you make a more informed decision on this high ticket item, why not take it to a dealer and have them do a complete transmission flush including drop the pan. It won't be cheap ... $300+ but they should be able to tell with a visual inspection and a review of the "droppings" if any in the pan, if any, overall condition, trappings in the filter (felt/screen?), etc. Should you decide to keep it, the full tranny flush and clean should extend the life of the transmission.

Should you decide to get rid of it, the 2014 Highlander is awesome.

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Sounds like you don't need the money, but have you realized that the instant you turn the key, depreciation on a new 2014 will cover all your forseen repairs for probably another 2-3 years? I would evaluate whether you just want a new car and are trying to justify it, or if there isn't something else more meaningful and durable to you to spend the money on.

I can't speak for you or anyone else, but there are a lot of great deals on 2013 and slightly older vehicles that might allow you to do both. But the fact is, as a means of transport in a nice looking, relative up to date vehicle, your 2006 has a lot of life left.

We have purchased or leased three new cars in the last 15 years and every one of them cost far more than a good late model used vehicle. Whether you buy "certified" from your dealer for the peace of mind or use Carfax and an inspection to buy privately, from a dollars spent standpoint, you can't go wrong.

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New car love fades quickly. Fix what needs fixing, keep maintaining like you have been, enjoy the savings and take a dream vacation instead. I sold my 2000 GS 400 at 170,000 miles and got a 2010 LS 460 AWD. If I had it to do over again, I would have kept it!

YMMV.

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My 2003 GX 470 with 95K mile still drives & looks like a new car. I have had very little problems with it and plan to keep her for another 100K miles. I had a look at the new Mercedes GLK 350 Bluetec diesel and decided to pass. Paying $55K + tax for a vehicile that doesn't match up to my good ole GK just doesn't make any sense!! I use my GK for off road 4x4 activities, haul a boat and drive on long trips (in a luxury SUV). What more can you ask ?? This is the best vehicle I have ever owned !!

Short story: I used to have a 1984 BJ 42 diesel Landcruiser that I took on some serious adventures

up in Utah. Well - I got caught up in Monument Valley with a starter problem and had to abort the trip.

The next time I went to Utah I used the GX 470 and took her up some roads that my BJ 42 was good at. Guess what !! - the GX did all the 4x4 stuff with a luxury ride including heated seats!! The 4x4 system in the GX will go up against most heavy duty off-road vehicles. Also the height adjustment feature on the GX is great in snow & mudd. KEEP HER !!! (I sold the Landcruiser !!)

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