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Independent inspection before buying?

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Old 07-16-16, 07:22 PM   #1
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Default Independent inspection before buying?

I am looking at my first Lexus - 2011 GX 460 - for sale through a friend of a friend. 64k miles, seems to run great. My question is, is it worth getting it inspected at an independent mechanic pre-sale, other than the usual state inspection? With the Lexus reputation for reliability, I do not know if this is reasonable or not.

If I get it inspected at a dealership, I will probably get a laundry list of things that are not really needed, however I do not know any local (Towson, MD) Lexus mechanics.

All feed back is appreciate, as are referrals to any Lexus mechanics in the area.

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Old 07-16-16, 11:51 PM   #2
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If you're getting it through a private party sale then I would definitely have an inspection done and run the carfax as well. Just look for a reputable independent shop to do it. You don't need someone who specializes in Toyota/Lexus vehicles.

The pre purchase inspection can catch a lot of things that aren't necessarily tied to reliability. Just because you're buying a car from a brand known for their reliability doesn't mean the GX hasn't been in an accident, that the brakes aren't nearing their end of life, that the tires are still good, or suspension components aren't worn/damaged. They may not influence whether you will purchase the car but they can certainly impact price. You'll want to account for anything it may need.
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Old 07-18-16, 01:40 PM   #3
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Ideally you should always get a vehicle inspected before you buy, even if it's under warranty. There aren't a lot of things that go wrong with these, but there are issues (not super common, but not uncommon enough IMO) such as the secondary air injection pump which can go bad and cost a couple grand to replace at the dealer.

However I think with a long test drive and long personal lookover you might be okay, considering it's a Toyota product. Pay a lot of attention to things you might not think about everyday. Check each tire for wear. Look at every body panel. Look at all the seats (3rd row too) and check for tears, stains, etc. Turn on all the lights and features. Raise and lower the suspension. Engage low-range. And so on.

That said, 2010 and 2011s are now under the takata airbag recall, with no solution until early next year. Something to consider if you are in an affected area.
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