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2000 Lexus ES300 Purchase

 
Old 02-28-17, 10:45 AM
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mahydock
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Default 2000 Lexus ES300 Purchase

Good afternoon everyone,

I'm looking into purchasing a 2000 Lexus ES300 Platnium Edition with 43,000 original miles and was wondering what is a fair price to pay and any common issues to look out for? The dealership is asking $5990.00 which I think is a bit high. They related I can get it out the door for $5500. There is a full set of service records including a timing belt change and fluid exchange. KBB is 4900-5900. The dealership assured me that it's a mint, 1 owner Florida car with no accidents. I'm familiar with Lexus as I had an LS400 years ago, but I'm weary purchasing a 17 year old car regardless of the mileage.

Thoughts anyone??

Regards,

Mark
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Old 02-28-17, 12:23 PM
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That's around 2600 miles a year. I would be concerned about leaks as seals can dry out with so few miles driven. If oil changes were done on a good schedule though then I don't think there is much to worry about. It's a very reliable car. I'm preparing to sell my 2000 ES300 (170k miles, not a platinum edition) and I can tell you that it still starts on the first turn of the key and still rides smooth and quiet. My 2007 RX350 still looks new inside and out and still drives and performs like a new car.

If you can get out the door for $5500 that's a good price for a vehicle with such low mileage (I'm assuming it's pristine inside and out) but I would want a Carfax on it.
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Old 02-28-17, 12:59 PM
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Awesome! Thanks for your quick reply. The dealership told me they replaced the valve cover gaskets and there are several records available indicating that gaskets have been replaced throughout the years. The timing belt was changed in 2008, but only 15k miles ago. It looks clean with a clean CARFAX. It has the platinum package with the traction control; cashmere on beige leather with the birds eye maple wood. Even the LCD is intact on the radio.
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Old 02-28-17, 01:14 PM
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I think that's a great price! However, you should factor in another timing belt replacement if it was last changed in 2008.
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Old 02-28-17, 01:30 PM
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Miles aren't the only thing that affect the belt. It's rubber and rubber ages with time (9 years, I'd call it aged).

Better safe than sorry, $1000 timing belt service vs. $3000 engine replacement.
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Old 02-28-17, 02:00 PM
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While not ideal a belt from 2008 is still fine, I personally wouldn't change it if it were my car, it's just super easy for people to say change it again, especially if they aren't the ones paying for it.There are plenty of late 90s lexus running around with the original belt and 160k miles and while not ideal, still going. If I was set on an ES I'd pay that much all day for a clean low mileage one.
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Old 02-28-17, 02:23 PM
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Sorry, I have to concur. This is an interference engine and it will destroy itself if the timing belt fails. See if the dealer is willing to split the difference... pay them $6k out the door if they replace the timing belt.
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Old 02-28-17, 02:50 PM
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Thanks everyone!! I factored in some preventive maintenance in my offer; just wanted to make sure I wasn't overpaying for the vehicle. It's a very clean, well maintained example with nearly 30 service records including fluid changes, T-belt/water pump, a few sensors including the knock sensor, etc. I'm just looking at it for a commuter car and it seems solid.
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Old 02-28-17, 06:25 PM
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Originally Posted by mdbrown View Post
Sorry, I have to concur. This is an interference engine and it will destroy itself if the timing belt fails. See if the dealer is willing to split the difference... pay them $6k out the door if they replace the timing belt.
Hey guys, first time poster here. I normally hang out on the Toyota Nation forums.

Just wanted to add a correction: while Toyota/Lexus say that the 1MZ-FE with VVT-i is an interference, it is actually not...on TN this has been proven many times over with lots of snapped timing belts on the VVT-i motors (hardtopte72 on the TN forums corrected me on this when I joined up).

I have a 2001 Coach Edition (same as Millenium Edition I think) with 151k miles that I bought from the first owner...similarly "mint" condition. Got it for $1500 because the trans fluid pump or torque converter is busted, and it barely moves. Car was always dealer serviced (I didn't care about this except for only OEM parts used), and saw 20 miles per day back and forth from work, with the occasional roadtrip (no sludge under the VCs).

The main thing to watch out for on these later 3ES's is the U140E transmission, which is not nearly as robust as the older A540E/A541E. If the car checks out, I strongly recommend adding a good auxiliary trans oil cooler (I like Tru-Cool LPD) and inline magnetic filter, which help a lot to extend these trans. Also use a good fluid, and change the filter if it hasn't been changed by the dealer. If you read Bob Is the Oil Guy forums (BITOG), Toyota WS is generally considered to be a crappy fluid (it's a slightly modified Dex III). Across all my Toyotas (A140E, A541E, A247E, and U140E trans represented), I use either Valvoline MaxLife or Dexron VI. I use a lot more MaxLife nowadays because it's as good as the OG ACDelco Dexron VI, and somewhat cheaper ($20/gal vs $27-32). I initially drain and refill three times until what comes out is red, then drain and refill every 30k miles (with an inline filter change).

The A541E continued in the V6 Camrys until gen5 IIRC, but the VVT-i ES's got the U140E. Do a bit more research and you'll see they have a good bit higher rate of failures than the A-series...with the proper precautions, I'd recommend it in a heartbeat. Excellent, dressed-up V6 Camry with a Lexus badge!
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Old 03-04-17, 05:31 AM
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I just recently bought a 2001 ES300 Coach Edition with 37k miles and I didn't even think twice about it. Had all the Lexus service records from Sarasota, FL. The car so far has been a dream. Changed the engine and transmission oil and called it a day. I ended up giving the car to my grandparents who were driving a '98 Accord with 210k miles. They couldn't be happier. I got ours for $4700. I saw another thread that indicated how much the prices on these cars varies. If you like the car, it's in good shape, and maintenance records hold up to your liking, then jump on it! You'll have a car that will run for years to come. And even if suspension components wear out in the next couple years due to age, the parts aren't terribly expensive. You can drop quick struts into place (cheaper), and find a good independent mechanic to do other suspension bits, and since the vehicle is basically a Camry, parts are generally not overpriced.
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