99 Avalon vs 98 Olds 88 LSS

Messages
876
Location
US
I was the guy with the 97 kia sephia burning a qt of oil every 10 days. Now the state emissions will pay me to 1500 retire it so I have have $2700 Lots of looking brought up a perfect 98 Olds 88 non supercharged with 90,000 miles. Leather Also a 99 Avalon with 115000. (I see no record of a timing belt) Both carfax good. I will see both tomorrow but the 88 looks nicer from the pics What are the thoughs? Thanks
 

mjk

Messages
1,482
Location
Wishin' I was in Wi
If there is a way to determine whether that Avalon had routine oil changes, that car has many miles left in it. Of course, the 3800 would as well. Would be nice to know if the Intake Gasket was replaced, and if the Dex Cool had been drained on a semi-normal basis.
 
Messages
8,307
Location
Grand Rapids, MI
Both engines have common flaws. The Avalon with the sludge issue and the Olds with the intake manifold gasket issue. Both are very solid aside from those issues.
 
Messages
17,669
Location
Upper Midwest
Looking into the fill hole on a 1MZ-FE will do you no good, there is a baffle under the cap that is covered in a gritty black coating that a lot of people mistake for sludge. You have to pull the cover to see anything.
Originally Posted By: simple_gifts
99 is a sludger year for the toyota V6; extremely careful inspection of the fill hole is advised.
 
Messages
1,440
Location
NY
my 2000 lexus with the 1mzfe looks like old burnt oil tar under the oil cap but it has always had routine oil changes 3-5k. i dont think it has a sludge problem so under the oil cap can be misleading. The dex cool has plasticizers in it that eat at the plastic with silicone stip gasket in the intake manifold. they might make a fix for this or you can switch to conventional green. Btw the 3800 series motors are fantastic.
 
Last edited:
Messages
593
Location
Al
I'd pick 99 Toyota product every time instead of anything by GM in that model year time frame. Only thing you need to know for sure is if the Toyota had regular oil changes. If you can't verify oil changes on a used car you should not be buying it no matter what the make or model. Let the suckers buy all the undocumented maintenance used cars. Smart folks are patient enough and are willing to do the extra work and effort required to find the great used cars out there that have real documented maintenance records.
 
Last edited:

Nick1994

$50 Site Donor
Messages
13,447
Location
Phoenix, AZ
Both would be good but I would prefer the Oldsmobile. If looking at the Toyota you can bring a flashlight, take out the PCV valve and peek in there for sludge. Passenger side on rear valve cover.
 

clarkflower

Thread starter
Messages
876
Location
US
Originally Posted By: cashmoney
If you can't verify oil changes on a used car you should not be buying it no matter what the make or model. Let the suckers buy all the undocumented maintenance used cars. Smart folks are patient enough and are willing to do the extra work and effort required to find the great used cars out there that have real documented maintenance records.
Thanks to all. I had no idea about the Toyota. It looks like it got great service till 2005 and 59K After that I got nothing
 

clarkflower

Thread starter
Messages
876
Location
US
Originally Posted By: Nick1994
Both would be good but I would prefer the Oldsmobile. If looking at the Toyota you can bring a flashlight, take out the PCV valve and peek in there for sludge. Passenger side on rear valve cover.
The Olds looks better and the avalon just went through the auction and is being sold by a guy pretending to be a private seller...not that that is bad but it could be. I guess a follow up is as this guy has a shop could he have cleaned under the valve cover?
 

clarkflower

Thread starter
Messages
876
Location
US
What should I look for on the olds 88? Was it taking coolant into the lower end? Like what color coolant may give a hint they did something? Thanks
Originally Posted By: joegreen
my 2000 lexus with the 1mzfe looks like old burnt oil tar under the oil cap but it has always had routine oil changes 3-5k. i dont think it has a sludge problem so under the oil cap can be misleading. The dex cool has plasticizers in it that eat at the plastic with silicone stip gasket in the intake manifold. they might make a fix for this or you can switch to conventional green. Btw the 3800 series motors are fantastic.
 

Nick1994

$50 Site Donor
Messages
13,447
Location
Phoenix, AZ
Originally Posted By: clarkflower
Originally Posted By: Nick1994
Both would be good but I would prefer the Oldsmobile. If looking at the Toyota you can bring a flashlight, take out the PCV valve and peek in there for sludge. Passenger side on rear valve cover.
The Olds looks better and the avalon just went through the auction and is being sold by a guy pretending to be a private seller...not that that is bad but it could be. I guess a follow up is as this guy has a shop could he have cleaned under the valve cover?
I'd skip on the Lexus. My brother bought one this year from a guy who turns cars from auctions. Turns out it's a big oil burner that blows blue smoke out of the tail pipe and had check engine lights for vacuum leaks.
 
Messages
13,389
Location
ROCHESTER, NY
Either will be a good choice! Drive both and feel the comfort differences between the two for your personal structure. I have driven both and would have a tough time deciding between the two, even though I am more inclined to buy Toyota's in my past! Both will offer decent MPG(for V6's) if this is means anything to you! The Olds will certainly be the torquier engine between the two. I was certainly impressed with my Brother-in-Law's(BIL's) '95 Olds 88 Royal w/3.8L V6
 
Messages
10,008
Location
Upstate NY
Get the Olds. Parts are cheap, everywhere, and those cars only have a few areas that are a pain to wrench on. Pulling the oil fill cap allows a direct view into the head. If the coolant is orange or looks gunky, it's likely the original. Newer Dex-Cool is reddish-pink, and all-makes is generally greenish yellow. Changing the upper intake manifold and lower intake gaskets isn't a terribly difficult job for a DIY'er on that engine. It's doable in about 4-5 hours, and is well-documented online.
 
Messages
6,362
Location
KY
I'm no GM fan, but I'd buy the LSS if it was in good shape. I'd gladly pay for a few extra repairs rather than risk death by crushing boredom driving the Avalon. But that's just me...
 
Messages
17,669
Location
Upper Midwest
Like I said, you are not looking at the engine but a baffle that is supposed to be covered with that substance.
Originally Posted By: joegreen
my 2000 lexus with the 1mzfe looks like old burnt oil tar under the oil cap but it has always had routine oil changes 3-5k. i dont think it has a sludge problem so under the oil cap can be misleading.
 

clarkflower

Thread starter
Messages
876
Location
US
Just got back from the Olds 88 LSS. Coolant was yellow New tires and water pump. The drivers door handle was broke and taped. Plastic cracked AC didn't cool car and it seems stuck in low speed coming out the defrost and lower. It would not blow out the middle Looks like they tried to wet sand the hood, roof, trunk and a few inches of all 4 fenders as it curves down. No key fob. At auction an avg car with 95k seems to bring 2000
 

clarkflower

Thread starter
Messages
876
Location
US
It was yellow...No pink at all
Originally Posted By: sciphi
Get the Olds. Parts are cheap, everywhere, and those cars only have a few areas that are a pain to wrench on. Pulling the oil fill cap allows a direct view into the head. If the coolant is orange or looks gunky, it's likely the original. Newer Dex-Cool is reddish-pink, and all-makes is generally greenish yellow. Changing the upper intake manifold and lower intake gaskets isn't a terribly difficult job for a DIY'er on that engine. It's doable in about 4-5 hours, and is well-documented online.
 

ls1mike

$50 Site Donor 2021
Messages
6,822
Location
In the Garage...
Could you see between the intake and the heads in the LSS? if the gasket has been done it will most likely be aluminum and you can actually see the sides of it. It is plastic it will still be black. Check around the valve covers to make sure they are not leaking. Yellow mean it is was most likely changed. How much are they asking?
 
Top