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BMW refugee looking at 01-04 LS430s. Need opinions.

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Old 03-21-14, 09:33 PM   #1
MrCi
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Default BMW refugee looking at 01-04 LS430s. Need opinions.

Hey everyone.

I've had a couple of BMW 740iLs (a 96 and a 00), and I got rid of both due to infinite engine/tranny issues, not to mention weak cooling systems.

I read through the FAQ and I'm pretty surprised to note that the main 'service' is a timing belt job. Looked at the videos and it seems super easy to do (compared to what I've been through...)

My question is: What do you guys (and girls?) spend, on average, per year on these cars, and are they actually as reliable as they sound. I've spent, oh, 2-3k per year on average on both BMWs, and that's doing most of the work myself.

Is there a detailed buyer's guide somewhere I can look through? The common reliability issues I've read about on here seem very minor. Something I'm missing?

Thanks for the help, and hopefully I'll join the community soon!
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Old 03-21-14, 09:54 PM   #2
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Hey buddy

good move getting away from the BMW's, german cars are a nightmare.

I can tell you forsure that these cars are one of , if not THE most reliable car ever produced.

They are as rock slid and realiable as can be.

Ive owned mine for just over 6 months and aside from two oil changes ive spent a grand total of $0.00

After 06, the ls460's , they start to get more problematic,,which is a real shame honestly.
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Old 03-21-14, 10:16 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1WILLY1 View Post
Hey buddy

good move getting away from the BMW's, german cars are a nightmare.

I can tell you forsure that these cars are one of , if not THE most reliable car ever produced.

They are as rock slid and realiable as can be.

Ive owned mine for just over 6 months and aside from two oil changes ive spent a grand total of $0.00

After 06, the ls460's , they start to get more problematic,,which is a real shame honestly.
What's the mileage on yours? Air suspension?
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Old 03-21-14, 10:38 PM   #4
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I wanted reliability, so I bought one without navigation and without air suspension. Had it 3 years and gone 40,000 miles. All its needed were new tires , brakes and oil changes.... and a four wheel alignment.

Car has 96,000 miles and runs like a new car.
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Old 03-21-14, 10:52 PM   #5
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Purchased 06 model in 2009 with 13k miles, now has 56k miles. Mine has no navigation or air suspension.

So over 4 years and 43k miles total repair costs have been zero dollars (although driver's side mirror was replaced under warranty). I have spent very minor money on routine maintenance/wear items only - one set of new tires, front and rear pads (diy easy job for $100 total), change diff fluid once (diy easy job for $30, brake fluid flush ($100 at dealer) and several oil/filter changes. No other costs. Car has been bullet proof.

Car has 56,000 miles, everything works perfect, and it drives like brand new car.
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Old 03-21-14, 11:24 PM   #6
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The ls430 is one of if not the most reliable cars ever made. Consumer reports says the same thing. The LS460 still tops the 07 + luxury sedan market. I would look for an 04-06 model as they have 6 speed transmissions and more safety features.
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Old 03-22-14, 12:18 AM   #7
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Just went thru all my receipts.

Purchased new 2006 Ultra, currently w/ 330,000 miles.
46 oil changes.
$25K in maintenance. Not counting labor I've performed myself (2 X Airstruts & Brake work)
$3100/year.

Also went thru receipts for my 2011 Town Car. Current has 227,000 miles. $4,600 in maintenance, since Nov 2011.

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Old 03-22-14, 12:19 AM   #8
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I used to own a E39 BMW 540i before getting the LS430. I know your pain. I replaced the radiator 3 times. 1-2 thousands a year in parts sound about right. When I got the Ls430 last year I spent around $1000 in parts which included: timing belt, water pump, spark plugs, sport rear sway bar and few front suspension parts. It currently has 117k miles and I have not wrench the car in the last 6 months. I do miss the BMW handling once awhile. Find yourself a well maintained LS and you be happy. If money isn't an issue get the 04-06. IMHO it looks better and has few great features like keyless entry and ignition. Its a invaluable feature to leave the keys in your pocket.
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Old 03-22-14, 05:16 AM   #9
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I have an '04 CL bought in '08 with 34k on the clock and coming up on 100k and have had nothing besides normal maintenance come up. The only "issue" thus far has been that my radio volume control from steering wheel isn't working, but my arms are long enough to reach the volume ****.
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Old 03-22-14, 07:59 AM   #10
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04 Premium, 55 to 200k when I sold it. One wheel bearing due to 3 year construction zone and driving over drainage grates with the lane reroute. 550 bucks, they are as reliable as camry's. Wish they handled like a Beemer though.
Brakes are reasonable, hold alignments well, tries last forever.
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Old 03-22-14, 08:46 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrCi View Post
What's the mileage on yours? Air suspension?
Oh sorry mine is an 03 without the air suspension bought with 68000 miles ( 110 000 kms) now has approx 123 000 kms
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Old 03-22-14, 09:09 AM   #12
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I bought mine two years ago with 89,000 miles. I've never spent a dime on it outside of mods and gas. I did buy the timing belt kit and a bunch of other maintenance items since the parts were cheap but haven't put any of it on.

My 93 SC300 is the same way. I've had it almost five years and only spent $80 getting my fuel pump ECU fixed. I haven't spent a dime on it either but I did do all the maintenance on it just to be safe.
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Old 03-22-14, 09:48 AM   #13
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My last 2001 LS430 UL with 175K miles had it for 4 years. Bought with 80,000 miles on it. Spent regular oil changes, did a timing belt for $500 and did valve cover gaskets for $750 (got hosed at dealer)....THATS IT!

Now on my second 2006 with 25,000 miles on it. A-OK so far *knock on wood*
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Old 03-22-14, 10:32 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1WILLY1 View Post
After 06, the ls460's , they start to get more problematic,,which is a real shame honestly.
The owner of the independent Lexus repair shop that has maintained our Lexus vehicles since 1997 and who I have known since the early 1990's when he was a service writer for the local Lexus dealer told me a few weeks ago that, at similar mileages and ages from new, the LS460 has been substantially more reliable than the LS430.

Don't dump on me - I'm just passing on what he said.
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Old 03-22-14, 10:57 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kansas View Post
The owner of the independent Lexus repair shop that has maintained our Lexus vehicles since 1997 and who I have known since the early 1990's when he was a service writer for the local Lexus dealer told me a few weeks ago that, at similar mileages and ages from new, the LS460 has been substantially more reliable than the LS430.

Don't dump on me - I'm just passing on what he said.

Your definitely wrong on this one. The 460's, while still an excellent car, have suffered more problems than the 430. Not to mention that parts are much more expensive vs the 430. Also, the 430s have proven themselves with many high mileage vehicles still going strong. There is a reason why ls400 and 430s are the Lexus mechanics choice majority of the time.
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