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Old 07-13-14, 10:11 AM   #1
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Default Is this a good price/should I purchase?

]Hello. I would appreciate advice from anyone who has more experience with Lexus than I do. My grandfather has a 1999 LS400 (mystic gold/ivory interior). It has 32,000 miles on it and he offered it to me for $5500. I haven't seen it as he lives 1000 miles away, but he sent the service records and it looks like all work was done at the lexus dealer near him, including the timing belt service in 2011 at 28,000 miles.

The negatives: he had an accident in 2002. No structural or mechanical damage, but one door was replaced on passenger side and basically the whole passenger side was repainted (by Lexus). The alternator was replaced at one point, don't know if there was actually a problem or not - I see a bunch of battery R&Rs on the service records, I think because he didn't drive it often. I might fly over to see him and look at the car - anything in particular I should look for or known issues? Any problems expected from it not being driven much?

I currently have a 2003 Honda Civic with 165,000 miles that has been economical and dependable and I'm not sure if I should sell it and buy the lexus or not.

Any advice appreciated!
Thanks[
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Old 07-13-14, 10:57 AM   #2
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Buy it, that's a great deal!!!!
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Old 07-13-14, 11:13 AM   #3
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]anything in particular I should look for or known issues? Any problems expected from it not being driven much?

Any advice appreciated!
Thanks[
That depends completely on where the car was stored while it wasn't being driven. Not driven while sitting outside during harsh winters is COMPLETELY different from a garage kept vehicle. Even more so if the garage was climate controlled. Alternators just don't get replaced. Alternator failure isn't so common that they just die on their own. Especially not on these cars. That in conjunction with "all" the battery replacements might signal something worrisome. Not so much that it would be a deal breaker though.

The issues to look for in general would be just about the same for any car. If garage kept at all, I would purchase in a heartbeat.
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Old 07-13-14, 11:25 AM   #4
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Thanks. Mostly stored in a carport in FL. So, out of the sun but not protected from humidity, etc.
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Old 07-13-14, 11:30 AM   #5
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^^^
If it's his grandpa, who sounds like the original owner of this $70,000 car, I'd wager he garaged it and took exceptional care of it. Original owners of these cars, 99/100 have beyond exceptional maintenance practices even in disuse.

If you routinely let your battery die, then jump it and drive/run it to charge it, you will kill your alternator.
6months of storage can sulphate a battery and kill an alternator if left running long enough.

The battery and alternator replacements are not a concern to me on a car with 32k on the clock, nor is the hit.
As master tech for over almost 15years now, I wouldn't be too worried. I'd still get a thorough PPI done on the car at the local Lexus Dealership.
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Old 07-13-14, 11:34 AM   #6
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^^^
If it's his grandpa, who sounds like the original owner of this $70,000 car, I'd wager he garaged it and took exceptional care of it. Original owners of these cars, 99/100 have beyond exceptional maintenance practices even in disuse.

If you routinely let your battery die, then jump it and drive/run it to charge it, you will kill your alternator.
6months of storage can sulphate a battery and kill an alternator if left running long enough.

The battery and alternator replacements are not a concern to me on a car with 32k on the clock, nor is the hit.
As master tech for over almost 15years now, I wouldn't be too worried. I'd still get a thorough PPI done on the car at the local Lexus Dealership.
My thoughts exactly. Sorry if my post made it sound like I was trying to say something different.
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Old 07-13-14, 11:40 AM   #7
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Yes, that is exactly what he would do... get a jump start from a neighbor and drive to the lexus dealer where they would take out the battery, charge it and put it back in. He just put a new battery in it this week though in preparation for selling it.

How much should I expect to pay for a PPI?
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Old 07-13-14, 11:44 AM   #8
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$100-200 for a good one. Make sure they look over the whole car beyond the basic inspection they might otherwise do.
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Old 07-13-14, 04:27 PM   #9
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Default Alternator failure

"If you routinely let your battery die, then jump it and drive/run it to charge it, you will kill your alternator.
6months of storage can sulphate a battery and kill an alternator if left running long enough."

Excuse me for jumping in on this purchase thread here but I've never heard of dead or dying batteries killing alternators in this way. I understand about sulphation but how does the alternator die? Is it through some sort of charge resistance in the battery?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 07-13-14, 04:45 PM   #10
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you're alternator is not designed to charge a dead battery, it was designed to maintain a charge and compensate for the accessories and demand of the systems on the car. By running the car on a dead battery, you are now forcing the alternator to not only manage all of that but also to charge the battery as well. So if you leave your lights on over night and kill the battery, you should properly charge the battery before driving on it. not always possible but it is the right thing to do.

now if you have a sulphated battery and manage to get the car started with a jump and able to run, the sulphated battery will cause an even bigger load can cause the alternator to full field and take out the voltage regulator from heat or even burn out the brushes and even windings.


back on topic, if there were a bunch of battery replacements (they also only last 5-7years for a good one, so there should be at least 2-3 anyways) and an alternator replacement on the service history, this just tells me that was the most likely cause. something to look into but these cars do not have wiring issues that would otherwise cause a dead alternator so there isn't much else that could be the cause other than the PS leak... which could also and easily be a contributing factor to the alternator death.

either way, i wouldn't be worried about it as a redflag on the car.
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Old 07-13-14, 07:00 PM   #11
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I'd buy it. Excellent price for these miles.
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Old 07-13-14, 09:36 PM   #12
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buy it or send him my way and I will
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Old 07-13-14, 09:43 PM   #13
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lol..was going to say..thats a horrible deal..where is the car so I can steal it from u
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Old 07-14-14, 05:28 AM   #14
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Realize you're switching from an economical Honda to a Lexus... they are the the same cars and don't serve the same purpose.
If you want gas mileage, then stay with the Honda.. if you want a real nice ride with luxury, dependability and comfort... then go with the Lexus. Just because it's a good buy, does not mean you should buy it if it does not meet your needs. If the Honda does Ok and meets your needs, then you can keep it... if you don't want the LS, then just let us know... we can help.
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Old 07-14-14, 07:27 AM   #15
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Sounds like an excellent car at an excellent price. And since it's your own grandfather, I'm assuming you don't have to worry about getting snookered by an untrustworthy seller.
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