things to look for in buying LS-430

Old 03-22-2007, 10:52 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1
Default things to look for in buying LS-430

Hello. Glad to find this forum and hoping for a little inside skinny. I'm looking at buying an 01 to 04 LS-430 Ultra. Looking to saving some green by going for the high milage cars since these last forever. Want to keep the car for 10 years and put about 150k miles on the car over my ownership. The localdealership recommended that at 90k I need a new timing belt that would cost about $1,200. Is there anything else that I should consider. My focus is buying a used lexus and over the next 10 years the total ownership cost would be the same if not less than buying a new Buick. I alsoget all the creature comforts, realiabilityand safety that Lexus has to offer. Any pointers would be great.
Old 09-16-2007, 02:09 AM
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 1
Default RE: things to look for in buying LS-430


I just spend the last two weeks analyzing the heck out of every factor possible while searching for the ls430 I just purchased. I wound up with a 2002 w/nav,ml, and eurosport. At the beginning of my search my parameters were even wider than yours: stock - ultra, 01-04, 30k miles to 110k, sourced from ebay, dealer of private party. With my parameters this wide, I was thrashing and basically getting no where. The I narrowed my parameters to:

a) 02-03 only - not 04 six speed and isnewer, butadds at least 7k or more the price, and this just wasn't worth it to me. 01 since it's the first year, is more likely to have bugs that haven't been worked out.

b) 40-70k miles. Miles not so low that I need to pay up big, and not so high that it's on the verge of the 90k service.

c) Must have ML

d) nice to have Nav and Eurosport

e) no ultra. What I’ve read about the air suspension turned me off to it.

f) Private seller – more legwork and patients and risk, but I felt a motivated private along with careful screening, would yield the best deal.

I then assembled my list of questions to sellers during the initial phone conversation:

a) specs of the car ( options, color, miles)
b) Original owner? If not what’s the story.
c) Accidents? If so describe? I was willing to consider a car with where bumper was cover replaced, but no metal work.
d) Condition issues: smoker? Eaten in? Interior grade? Garaged? Mostly driven with only one passenger? Describe how the car was used. Describe the wear on the interior. Is it limited to the driver seat and arm rest only? I would then ask them to walk around the car in day light and describe every in perfection to the finish of the car, look at the wheels, have any been curbed? Describe scratches; how long, how deep? Pits, bumper condition?
e) Any aftermarket equipment? – Bluetooth, XM/Sirius, DVD player, alarm, tinted windows, custom wheels and etc, if so, show stopper.
f) Service Most recent service that was done on the car. Brakes changed? Tires changed? Any suspension work? (if so, possible red flag)
g) Clean title, any liens – if so, show stopper for me.

Based the answers to these questions, I would then determine if the car was a candidate for me to purchase. If a candidate, I would then make a one and only offer contingent: a) the car being as I believed described. B) an inspection by Lexus yields no issues.
I ended up seeing only three cars in person. The first wasn’t even close to the condition described over the phone. The second car I found a couple of minor issues not reviled in my questioning that caused me to have to lower my offer (it was declined), the third car was better than described. I purchased the third car that same day.


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