'00 Lexus LS400

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Friend of mine is looking for a reliable daily driver, to keep the mileage off his newly acquired Lexus LS460 L. He wasn't really interested in the used car market, but we reckoned it won't hurt to take a look. We were mainly looking at new Crown Vics, so we went to check out a few used 2003+ models. Accidently, we came across a 2000 LS400 with 120,000 km (75,000 miles) on the clock. It's got the 1UZ-FE 4.0L, mated to an A650E 5-speed auto. It's a one owner vehicle (being sold by the original owner), and quite clean cosmetically. The only thing that worries me is nothing has been serviced other than engine oil/filter, air filter and brake pads. The ATF isn't brown, but has a dark red tint to it. Everything else has just been topped off. Coolant is somewhat nasty looking, as is the brake fluid. Haven't had an opportunity to check anything else, but she drives nicely. Obviously, if this vehicle is purchased, about $500 will need to be set aside for maintenance. But is $13,000 really worth it for a vehicle with nothing but mainly oil changes? Although I have quite the soft spot for Lexus', at $13k, I would put my money on a brand new Crown Vic (P72). Not quite the bells and whistles as the LS400, but at least he would be the first owner and there's no history to worry about. Any opinions?
 
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Sounds like a great car. 75k on a lexus transmission with no change is no sweat. Just do a cooler line flush with a T-IV type fluid of your choice. Another thing to consider is the timing belt. I cant remember if the 1UZ-FE has a belt or not. I would do several drain and fills with Toyota coolant and flush the brakes with a good DOT 3. Easy stuff and relatively cheap ( ok maybe not so much in Kuwait!). Also, I would flush the PS fluid as well. I also have a soft spot for Lexus vehicles, especially the earlier models. You can put 200K on them and they still drive like when they were new. Very well built car. If everything else checks out I think your friend really cant go wrong here.
 
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Falcon_LS

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Thanks for the input! There's no doubt this vehicle has a lot of life left in it...Lexus vehicles, especially earlier ones, are built like tanks. If he does end up buying this car, I would without a doubt carry out the following as maintenance: - Engine oil/filter - Air filter - Cabin air filter (equipped IIRC) - Timing belt and tensioner - Serpentine belts - Spark plugs - PCV valve - Cooler line ATF flush, new gasket and filter - Coolant flush with distilled water - Thermostat - Upper/lower radiator hoses - Radiator cap - Power steering flush - Brake fluid flush - Differential fluid - Treat weather-stripping And obviously replace wear and tear items as necessary, and give it a full detailing. Only down side is, I'm not sure how much "value for money" this purchase may be...but to each, their own I suppose. If he's dead on for an LS400, it's great value for money. If he's after something newer and cheaper, then it's not exactly the best buy.
 
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I think you have everything under control there. Sounds like you are the chief mechanic for your friend. I do the same stuff for many of my friends. I enjoy it and it saves them money. You hate to see your friends buying a [censored] car or driving around a good vehicle thats on the edge of a break down due to lack of maintenance.
 

Falcon_LS

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I try to help as many people as I can...I enjoy it as well, and you always learn something in the process. Although in some situations, it can be a real pain. Not long ago, I changed the fuel filter on a Mercedes ML500 following the factory manual I have...it was more like a treasure hunt than anything else. It was then understandable why the dealer wanted $500 for the job. Generally speaking, newer German cars can be a pain to work on...but I've also had the "pleasure" of replacing a starter motor on a '98 LS400, and dear God what a nightmare that was. Thankfully, it's not something you replace often.
 
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You might have a secondary fuel filter. Some of the 1MZ-FEs of that vintage did. Look under the master cylinder area.
 
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I can never understand the whole "want to keep miles off the car" idea. WHY? You pay good money for a car, why do you want to save it for the next guy? I mean, also, this guy's got a brand new top of the line Lexus - if I had that I sure wouldn't want to be driving a used one knowing I got a better one at home. AS long as you keep the car clean and detailed, maintained mechanically and drive normally that car will go 200k plus miles still looking like new. So why, why, why bother trying to keep the miles off?
 

Falcon_LS

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His line of work requires him to do a fair bit of travelling (200+ km a day) on rough roads and dusty conditions. He also keeps his cars a long, long time. Why spoil a $92,000 car he saved up for and got as a weekend driver?
 

Falcon_LS

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 Originally Posted By: ChiTDI
You might have a secondary fuel filter. Some of the 1MZ-FEs of that vintage did. Look under the master cylinder area.
Thanks, didn't know that! \:\! But this is a 1UZ-FE...does this still apply?
 
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 Originally Posted By: Falcon_LS
His line of work requires him to do a fair bit of travelling (200+ km a day) on rough roads and dusty conditions. He also keeps his cars a long, long time. Why spoil a $92,000 car he saved up for and got as a weekend driver?
Yeah, that's a good point. I hate to drive my new Cadillac CTS in the rain so I can only imagine a high dollar Lexus on gravel roads. Would be neat to have a "beater" as a Lexus and a LExus as a weekender, too!
 
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Worth taking a look. '00 is the time frame when they did put an inline filter in some of their cars. Not an item you would want to overlook. It's black and about four inches below the master cylinder near the firewall on the 1MZ-FE.
 

Falcon_LS

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 Originally Posted By: GMBoy
Yeah, that's a good point. I hate to drive my new Cadillac CTS in the rain so I can only imagine a high dollar Lexus on gravel roads. Would be neat to have a "beater" as a Lexus and a LExus as a weekender, too!
Yup! Cars aren't exactly an investment, but having paid good money on a luxury car, it's best to avoid subjecting it to that kind of "abuse". ;\)
 Originally Posted By: ChiTDI
Worth taking a look. '00 is the time frame when they did put an inline filter in some of their cars. Not an item you would want to overlook. It's black and about four inches below the master cylinder near the firewall on the 1MZ-FE.
Thanks Chi, I'll definitely take a look at that! \:\!
 
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 Originally Posted By: GMBoy
I can never understand the whole "want to keep miles off the car" idea.
Same here, I think if you want to keep miles off a car by putting off the reasonable use (i.e. renting a car for long trip instead of driving your own) then you bought a car that is too expensive or too nice for yourself. The best way to avoid this is not to buy the car in the first place and keep driving a beater, or don't keep a redundant car around.
 
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 Originally Posted By: Falcon_LS
...but I've also had the "pleasure" of replacing a starter motor on a '98 LS400, and dear God what a nightmare that was. Thankfully, it's not something you replace often.
I had my '94 LS400 starter motor replaced a month ago, it took the mechanic 2 days to dis-assemble and re-assemble almost everything on top of the engine. But he charged me only $500 labor and $100 for parts. Replacing starter motor on a LS400 is not a DIY job for most home mechanics.
 
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 Originally Posted By: Falcon_LS
His line of work requires him to do a fair bit of travelling (200+ km a day) on rough roads and dusty conditions. He also keeps his cars a long, long time. Why spoil a $92,000 car he saved up for and got as a weekend driver?
I would definitely go for the new Crown Vic..The rough and dusty roads is a piece of cake for the Crown Vic.
 

Falcon_LS

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 Originally Posted By: HTSS_TR
I had my '94 LS400 starter motor replaced a month ago, it took the mechanic 2 days to dis-assemble and re-assemble almost everything on top of the engine. But he charged me only $500 labor and $100 for parts. Replacing starter motor on a LS400 is not a DIY job for most home mechanics.
Took about a week at this end! I'd love to know what they were thinking when they decided to locate the starter in there. Having said that, you got a good deal on the starter - I got the starter for $190!
 Originally Posted By: CROWNVIC4LIFE
I would definitely go for the new Crown Vic..The rough and dusty roads is a piece of cake for the Crown Vic.
Exactly, and they're pretty straight forward to work on as well. Parts are cheap too...but it's his call in the end. The Lexus is rather tempting though, and even with the age, it still drives like a new car!
 
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