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Buying the car I have wanted since I was a teen

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Old 08-13-14, 06:56 PM   #1
HandsomeB
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Default Buying the car I have wanted since I was a teen

Ok I' m not new to the lexus community I have owned my first gen GS since I graduated high school and have loved her and still do. She now has close to 315k and multiple items are beginning to fail. So I figured now would be a good time to upgrade to a second gen GS. I have secured a loan through the bank already and will be purchasing now this week. My question is should I be turned of by examples with several owners (4+). I have seen some with higher mileage and service records to go with it, then I have seen some (GS400's) w 170k mileage and multiple owners like 7.

I am looking to spend between $4500 to $5500 on a decent GS and I have found a few good 400s and a good number of 300s w good miles (less than 160k), I know what I should be looking for mechanically but what are the other important factors, mainly the amount of previous owners. Any help is greatly appreciated!!!!
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Old 08-13-14, 08:17 PM   #2
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Personally I'd be more concerned with service records, don't buy one without them unless you have the car thoroughly checked out by a mechanic. For that price range you should be able to find a good condition gs300 with lower miles around 130-150k miles gs4s tend to cost a little more, depends what you want, both cars are super reliable. I think I'd rather have a great condition lower mileage gs3 than a possible higher mileage maybe more worn gs4. But if I had to do it over I'd have kept saving and gotten a good condition gs430.
Make sure lower ball joints have been done on the car as that's the main issue with the cars, and obviously check fluids and such and see if timing belt was done, but they are great cars, obviously same engine basically as the first gen
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Old 08-14-14, 01:47 AM   #3
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Pass on the Gs300 and look for a Gs400/430. Just my opinion. They pretty much get the same mpg according to lexus. But extra horsepower of course with the 400.
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Old 08-14-14, 03:16 AM   #4
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I'd say it depends on what route you plan on taking with it. If you're going to be wanting power... I'd pass on the 400/430 and get a 300 and 2JZ-GTE swap it. If not, and you just want a nice day-to-day cruiser then I'd go for the 400/430.

As for amount of previous owners... Some people like to switch cars like the seasons change while others find something they like and keep it. However, just because a vehicle has only had one owner doesn't mean that that particular person has taken care of it properly. It won't really matter as long as it has a history of being well cared for (i.e. maintenance records). You know?
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Old 08-14-14, 03:28 AM   #5
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Thanks for the info. I kinda of figured that with the LBJ and timing belt maintenance but I saw some with good service records but miles in the 170-180k for gs4's . But the GS3s that I was looking at had like 7 previous owners from NY to FL to OH to GA, so that was mainly what freaked me out. But I will drive it today and let you guys know. Hope to have pics up by end of the week.
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Old 08-14-14, 04:20 AM   #6
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cars that are 15 years old are going to have anywhere from 2 to 5 owners maybe more.. very rarely will you get a 1 owner GS... you can check our classifieds as well. There have been some nice 300/400's for sale
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Old 08-14-14, 08:29 AM   #7
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dont even think about getting the 300, you will regret it everyday when you want more power, the MPG is almost identical so its a no brainer. Miles dont mean anything on these cars, as long as maitenance was done all you need to worry about is finding a clean 400/430. Patience is a virtue, take my word and get the 400/430, you will be very happy! the 300 will leave you wanting more. I sold my 300 to get the 430 and it was night and day difference, the 300 felt like a hoopty compared to the V8, its a heavy car it needs the V8, ESPECIALLY on the highway, thats when you really notice the difference of luxury feeling the V8 provides. And based on your post you seem like you want a reliable daily driver, you dont seem like the type thats going to waste thousands on dropping a turbo in a 300.
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Old 08-14-14, 11:53 AM   #8
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Take your time for sure. I was lucky enough to get 2 GS4 from the original owners who had all the paper work. Like others have said the V8 is worth it, gas mileage is about the same and these cars last as you know. Other than maybe insurance being higher, go for the V8.
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Old 08-14-14, 12:24 PM   #9
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i don't see what all the hate towards the 300 is about. i'm erally happy with mine. the power isn't as bad as it's made out to be. my car can get up and go, and i don't feel "deprived of power"
i mean sure eventually i'm going to swap in the GTE, but that's only because i'm sitting at 343k miles and i'm going to swap for the hell of it.
but hey, to each their own! decide on what would be best for you. Test drive one of each and base your decision on that.
like everyone else has said, service records are VERY important. i wouldn't worry too much about mileage or number of owners.
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Old 08-14-14, 02:57 PM   #10
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As Luka said service records would be nice. Barring that a thorough check by a trusted mechanic after much filtering would be in order. ASK questions!! Don't be shy. Good luck!
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Old 08-14-14, 03:46 PM   #11
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Ok thanks for the info going to look at 2 400s tomorrow one from a private owner with 184k but tons of service records and the other with 139k at a used dealer so I will see them both.
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Old 08-14-14, 03:52 PM   #12
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All of these cars are going to need some repairs after this age so prepare yourself.

To be clear that I mean repairs and not maintenance.
In the owner's maintenance manual, all those line items that say "inspect xyz" are there because part xyz doesn't last forever and eventually needs to be replaced.

You could be turned off by a service record that shows a lot of repairs thinking this is a hunk of junk, all this stuff broke so more stuff is going to break.

But equally, you should be wary of a service record that shows no repairs, cause all that stuff is original and ready to let go.

Unfortunately, neither case ensures future trouble-free ownership. You just need to get things checked out.

And even in that case, if things check out, you need to be ready and prepare funds for unforeseen breakdowns that couldn't be detected in your inspection.
Such is just the reality to being an owner of a 15+ year old car.

Last edited by raytseng; 08-14-14 at 03:55 PM..
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Old 08-14-14, 05:57 PM   #13
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That's a good choice seeking out a 400. I have both cars a 2004 gs300 and a 2000 Gs400. A turbo is going into the 300 soon that's the only reason it's still around.
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Last edited by Lexusjg1; 08-14-14 at 06:10 PM.. Reason: Wrong wording
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Old 08-17-14, 09:33 AM   #14
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Surprisingly all the 400 that I found were either riced out or just not in good condition. All that mentioned it is best to save up and buy a 430 were completely accurate. That's the best move in my opinion but I need a vehicle now that is clean reliable and has a ton of records. I ended up finding a super clean black GS300 w a ton of lexus service records and only two owners. Took it to my mechanic who advised that all work needed had been done, timing belt, water pump, lower ball joints, and more so I bought this one for $5600. This is my first second Gen and I love it so far. Pics to come but I will either begin saving for a 430 or a 3GS 350. Thanks for all the help and trust I wanted the 400 but not being able to find one in my price range that had the good service history was damn near impossible.
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Old 08-17-14, 11:46 PM   #15
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get a v8...more fun when doing burn outs....and i just bought a clean 01 gs430 with 115k for $5600
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Old 08-17-14, 11:46 PM
 
 
 
 
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