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Seriously Considering Buying '92 Sc400


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Hi everyone. I'm very interested in purchasing a 1992 SC 400. It is in great condition, no accidents 84,000 miles. The asking price is around $9650 US. No doubt about it, this car is a sweet ride. But with the high price of gas these days I'm wondering if it is worth it.

Can anybody give me an honest rundown of what it is like to own this car. What is the cost of routine maintenance like? And what can I expect in terms of repairs in the next little while.


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It's definitely a good car, but it may not be worth $9650. Check the car out first, through Lexus as well as yourself.

I own the LS400, similar to SC400's engine, and that's purring. Definitely check out whether it's a cold climate car. The underbody where rust and wear is severe. If that is the case, car may not be worth it to you. If the car doesn't have too many problems that show up on Pre-Certification testing, then the car is definitely worth it.

As for maintenance. Cost can be high if go through the dealers. Oil changes, filters and others are very simple to do-it-yourself'rs, and shouldn't cost that much. If you're satisfied with your Lexus survey, the car won't need any major mainetance, except for the timing belt at 120,000. Fuel wise, it depends on how often you drive the car and how you drive. If you drive conservatively like grandpa, no problem, but if you drive like I do on weekend, not worth it.

I hope this helps to some degree. I hope you're not paying the $2.00/gallon I paying over here!

If you choose to buy this car, definitely bargain $1-2k less than what they are asking for, and off course post any problems you might have with the car on this post. Most of us here are quite knowledgeable when it comes to taking care of our cars, and can also point you in the right direction when it comes to parts. :cheers:

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hi, im new here, infact this is my first post. i was considering purchasing an SC3/4 are there any major problems that should be checked out(any tranny issues or things that everybody seems to have a problem with) before purchasing. i found a 93 sc400 with 108k, for $9500. good deal? and do the dealers rob you, or is it reasonable?

i would really like to know common problems so if you could list them, thanks.



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I was told by the place I bought my Lexus from that you can go into any Lexus dealership and give them the VIN number of the car you are thinking about buying and ask them to print out the service history of the car for you. This does not include prices, of course, but you can find out if the car has been taken care of and if any major repairs have been done.

The gas is the least expensive part of owning a Lexus. I have a 1997 SC400 and the gas mileage is not bad, really. Almost 30 mpg on the highway and around 20 in town.

The maintenance is very expensive. Normal 5000 mile service costs around $200. Here is the rundown for the major service milestones:

30,000 miles: around $600

60,000 miles: $800

90,000 miles: over $1000 (timing belt gets replaced)

If you actually need anything repaired/replaced (brakes, shocks/struts, wheel bearings, etc.), expect to pay $700 to $2000 or more. :chairshot:

And don't forget about insurance!

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I do most of my work for 1/6 of your estimates. Even private mechanics can take care of these items at much less cost. You lose the factory trace on service, but save your receipts and you have the same thing. Please see the link above or the faq for information on maintenance items. General rules for looking at a used car apply. Feel free to share tricks. I usually inspect headlights, undercarraige, hinges, engine seals, cleanliness, paint, and ask the owner/seller a lot of questions.



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I agree with AWJ. Throughly check the car out, paint, hinges, electronics, and others. I still recommend paying the $150-250 Pre-certification inspection done through Lexus. Yes they may not find all of the records for the car, but it's okay. If Lexus checks the car out, you can rely on it. If Lexus gives you an estimate on repairs, believe it's an over-estimation. Lexus tends to put everything on an estimate that they think it may be. You can also use any estimate what Lexus believes it to be as a bargaining tool. I managed to knock $700 of an already cheap car.

If you have any major repairs after your purchase, we'll help you fix it. Just post something on the Forum, and we'll walk you through it. There are some things you might not want to do yourself. Then take it to a well-reffered mechnic, who is familiar with Toyotas, and they'll fix the problem with a low cost. Over-all your cost is lower than what you would expect paying at the dealer. My SC has been running maintenance free for the past 4 months. Just an oil change that I had done at Walmart because I was lazy and a problem with my Taillight indicator.



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  • 3 weeks later...


I'm considering buying a 1992 SC400... Has been serviced exclusively at LEXUS dealer, all service records since 1700 miles, they're asking $9500, which seems like a good deal to me.

Timing belt was replaced at 75,000. Is there anything I should be checking for besides this. And, in general, how long are these cars good for? Do they start having problems at a certain milage? I'm under the impression that Toyota is good at almost any milage, so long as you keep up with it.

Any guidance is very much appreciated. Thank you.

Chris Anderson

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Welcome to the club. You are looking at a very wonderful car. I don't think that price is unreasonable. Of course, the condition of the vehicle will determine the value. Only those that see it can tell for sure. I merged your thread with another very similar one because it covers most of the issues. Let us know if there is any other questions and good luck.


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The only issue I can think might be a problem with this car is electrical. When I bought mine, I had a couple of errors with the lighting system in my car. I believe it could be due to the interstate battery. Yeah, I know that couldn't be the culprit since it's just a battery. But since the dealer has serviced the car throughly, it won't be an issue. You should have a stock Toyota Battery. As long as you take care of the car after your purchase, the car will continue to purr, even after 200k. MIne has 184000 miles and is still running at peak performance.

I hope you bought the car. It will grow on you.


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