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Did a pre-purchase inspection... thoughts?

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Old 04-16-17, 04:33 PM   #1
4cylinder
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Default Did a pre-purchase inspection... thoughts?

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Old 04-16-17, 04:38 PM   #2
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I tallied it and am over $2k in my head, why did you agree on a price and that you'd fix everything? imho cars are not worth coming between good friends...if you are looking to get $6,500, just sell it to a perfect stranger as is...my .02. Meaning, nothing you came up with from the inspection is like say a blown head gasket that you're putting over on someone. They're all maintenance items. You'll be getting just over 4k for a 2003 with your friend?

edit: now that I think of it, I don't agree with the assessment on the timing belt, I thought it was 8 yr. / 90k....it should be impossible for your belt to have degraded since 2012 and 20k miles, and he would not be able to view it without removing the radiator and then the timing covers. It wouldn't be fair for you to replace it at the cost of $900, and it would be of little benefit to the buyer of the car as well, only the mechanic would be better off...

this is what my components looked like at 11 yrs./86,xxx k miles...

https://www.clublexus.com/forums/ls-...ub-at-87k.html

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Old 04-16-17, 04:55 PM   #3
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Old 04-16-17, 05:59 PM   #4
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Seeing how you feel about your friend, I would say maybe do the work except the timing belt and tires....your friend would understand that the timing belt is not necessary, and really doesn't benefit him either...he doesn't want you to simply pay for something that won't benefit anyone....and you probably should not have to pay for tires, unless they are at the wear indicators....but then do the rest, and I think both you and your buddy will be happy and it all works out. I know that if I were buying a car from a good friend, I'd appreciate anything they did over and above a car dealer....good luck!
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Old 04-16-17, 09:26 PM   #5
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honeslty JMHO nothing on that list seems out of the ordinary or worrisome for a 14 year old car with over 100K miles on it. Even the best car on the road (a Lexus LS) is bound to need maintenance. The Timing belt rule he is telling you is not Lexus standard. That 5 year rule is shorter than Lexus recommends and many on here have gone past that amount with no issues at all. I would follow Lexus guidance, not this mechanic who didn't look at the belt. Transmission is normal maintenance at 100K miles, and valve cover gaskets are normal as well, mine didn't go bad on my 2001 when I had it until 165K miles. Battery seems too soon to replace so I would retest it. Even here in FL heat I get a few years out of a good battery. As far as the tires, I wouldn't replace them. I get that he is your friend but you say you are already giving him a good deal at the $7K so he should plan on tires soon. I don't think just 3 can be replaced I was under the impression that the rule is always 2 or 4 at a time.

Is carmax offering you a similar price?
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Old 04-17-17, 08:03 AM   #6
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I agree with Johnhav with regards to selling an older used car to a friend. Personally I would not go there and prefer to sell elsewhere or trade it in. Yes you seem to be a great friend but how far will you go with your repairs. If your friends trans goes 2 months after selling it to him will you take care of that as well? Our cars are expensive to maintain. Think about letting him take the Camry. You may feel better in the long run. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 04-17-17, 08:20 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bocatrip View Post
I agree with Johnhav with regards to selling an older used car to a friend. Personally I would not go there and prefer to sell elsewhere or trade it in. Yes you seem to be a great friend but how far will you go with your repairs. If your friends trans goes 2 months after selling it to him will you take care of that as well? Our cars are expensive to maintain. Think about letting him take the Camry. You may feel better in the long run. Just my 2 cents.
My mom always taught me not to involve money with friends and relatives....good advice. And if you do, truly be prepared to consider it all a loss, meaning get involved up to an amount that you are willing to give away. Thing is, she didn't take her own advice. She bought a Volvo from her sister, and then complained that this and that were wrong with the car. I am objective, the amount she paid was nothing, $1000. The Volvo was about 10 years old, my mom's complaints (sorry mom) were unfounded. But it's just human nature...I guess whatever price is paid, a person hates to find out something is now needing repair. That's why imho folks need to learn, "AS IS," and mark a sale as such.....or, simply avoid dealing with friends and relatives. My buddy's mom refused to sell me their used Volvo for this reason, but I convinced them to do so....it was a super sweet car and $1,400, but I had to go and wreck it...
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Old 04-17-17, 11:34 AM   #8
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You have already agreed on a price, and to fix all post-PPI issues. Only thing left is for you two to agree if mechanic recommendations are genuine, and if genuine, who will fix what. If I was either of you two, I would agree to these.

1. leaking gaskets: get a second opinion, and if needed, fix is on you (seller).
2. transmission service: All fluids are on buyer (depending on regular service previously). He should establish his own baseline for future services. Also, dropping Pan is not necessary if transmission was serviced regularly per Lexus recommendation.
3. Timing Belt: Not necessary.
4. Battery: If car cranks fine every time, I would leave it to buyer to replace it in future. This is pure wear and tear, but still should not need replacement within one year.
5. Tires: This should not have required a PPI for your friend to agree on the price. So this should be on him.
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Old 04-17-17, 04:52 PM   #9
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Don't sell or buy a car from a friend. I did that once and I really regretted it.

Already you're seeing why it's not a good idea, you feel responsible for his future ownership experience and you're willing to blow a lot of money in repairs that you normally wouldn't.
After he buys it, he'll be asking you questions about it, and anything that goes wrong he'll still hold you responsible.

And taking it to a shop to "see what it needs" unfortunately is almost always an invitation for a whole lot of repairs. The mechanic wants to cover his *** and also would like to upsell for the extra work.

I'd just sell it "as is" to a stranger and move on.

You can say something like "the car has more issues than I thought and I just didn't want any potential headaches for you"

Even when you think you have all your bases covered, something always ends up biting you.

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Old 04-17-17, 08:33 PM   #10
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Agree with others about not selling it to a friend. Just let him know that there are more issues with the car than you had expected and you would be worried it would get costly for him down the road. Same thing with loaning him money, if you do, you better expect to never see it again. Your friendship is worth more than any of this stuff. It's best not to put either of you in that situation. Just my opinion.
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Old 04-17-17, 09:22 PM   #11
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Valve cover gaskets are $33.79 at Rockauto. 10x markup seems a little extreme.

As others have mentioned, timing belt is not required for several years or 70k miles.

Take the car over to the place where you bought your battery and have them test it. If it is truly bad then you should likely get a free or low cost replacement if the thing is less than a year old.

Transmission fluid sounds like it could use a change. Shop around for a better price.

Tires are a tough call without seeing them. What is the actual treadwear in 1/32's for each tire? I'd probably not change them simply because everybody has their own idea of what brand they prefer.

I personally would not have a problem selling a car to a very good friend especially if I knew it's history and felt that it would be reliable for him. That said, I'd really would want to know how interested he truly was in the car and how long he planned on keeping it.

Let us know what you finally decide...
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Old 04-18-17, 12:06 AM   #12
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1) Valve cover gaskets - As Gronemus said, buy from RockAuto, get on their email list and they sometimes send personalized discount codes. Parts.com also usually has good prices. Then change yourself or pay a good mechanic to do this.
2) Dirty transmission fluid - draining and refilling ATF in any 2000-2003 is easier than changing the oil, and oil changes are really simple on this car. Buy 2 bottles of T-IV fluid and a funnel, change it yourself in minutes. Measure exactly what goes out and put exactly that much back in. Do this every oil change (8000km) until it is clear of sediment, then increase the interval to whatever you are comfortable with. Cost is less than $20 for 2 bottles of T-IV costs and a funnel.
3) Car battery - I really wouldn't bother changing if you never have difficulty starting the car. If you bought less than a year ago, it surely has a pro-rated warranty remaining. Find out what brand it is, then go to any shop that services that brand, have it tested, if there is an internal failure, a good battery tester will say so. Note poor alternator charging is not the battery's fault. For future reference, I recommend Costco for their no-hassle exchanges. Very easy to change battery yourself, only cost is battery, ~$80-150.
4) Official timing belt replacement spec is every 7 years or every 144,000km. It is very unlikely that a 5 year old OEM timing belt would fail before 7 years. I would not consider doing this for another few years.
5) Tires - measure tire tread depth numerically, compare numbers to replacement spec. If you need new tires, Michelin Primacy MXV4 are very smooth and quiet, the replacement Michelin Premier A/S may even be better. Ensure you get roadforce balancing and clip-on wheel weights (my experience with stick-on weights is that they fall off or get blown away when washing the car). If all 4 tires are still within spec, it is on your friend if he wants new tires.

I would not hesitate to sell to a friend so long as you: aren't hiding anything, have records of all service, and fully disclose what work you think should be done versus what you think needs to be done. Write a little contract and have both of you sign off on it, then so long as you receive all your money and he receives all of your car, a deal is a deal. He should know future problems may appear, and that you had no knowledge of them and they are his responsibility after he takes ownership.

Also, it sounds like your mechanic isn't an LS430 expert - maybe you should take it to a Toyota or Lexus dealership for a full inspection.
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Old 04-18-17, 08:49 AM   #13
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I am attaching the maintenance schedule for LS430 so you can show the buyer that certain things the mechanic asked for don't have to be done yet. One for sure is the timing belt that is 90,000 miles or 72 months.
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File Type: pdf 2002 LS430 maintenance schedule.pdf (210.8 KB, 21 views)
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Old 04-18-17, 08:56 AM   #14
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I'm thinking about giving my Maxima to a friend or his son. Wife wants it gone, 4 cars, 2 drivers, one-car garage, she's not happy. They have access to an autobody shop (ex-wife's family or son's grandparents). But I would spell it out, AS-IS, and I'll tell you everything that I know which needs attention. Because there could be a lot of use left in it, even though it's a 1998. Even my in-laws do not want the Maxima, their home is a dumping ground for all the relatives. There's no home owners' assc., this is north Jersey, but you have 1.3+ mil. homes next door, and someone complained to the town and they were fined for running a car repair shop (they are always fixing a relatives car, however), which isn't even true. ugh I'm like so Ginger is leaving her volvo here, huh? What happened to the audi? nosy neighbors...
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Old 04-18-17, 11:14 AM   #15
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I'd sit down with the friend and the maintenance schedule - and maybe a second mechanic's eyes - and see what your friend says.

I'd also print out some AutoTrader ads showing higher prices to emphasize the savings your friend is already getting.
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