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Old 02-20-18, 05:23 PM
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Bootyman
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Background: So I won an auction on ebay for a 1996 SC400 for less than $1600 and it has 99k miles on it. Carfax is super clean, original owner, and it's been regularly serviced by lexus with all the recommended and scheduled maintenance. I researched the guy selling it to me and I think he's loaded. It won't cost much to register it in california. I've seen pictures and it's in great condition but I haven't seen the car in person yet. I'm mechanically inclined.

Situation: I live in Southern California and the cars in New York. I'm flying there in a few days and I'm driving it 3,000 miles back. Thoughts?

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Old 02-20-18, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Bootyman View Post
Background: So I won an auction on ebay for a 1996 SC400 for less than $1600 and it has 99k miles on it. Carfax is super clean, original owner, and it's been regularly serviced by lexus with all the recommended and scheduled maintenance. I researched the guy selling it to me and I think he's loaded. It won't cost much to register it in california. I've seen pictures and it's in great condition but I haven't seen the car in person yet. I'm mechanically inclined.

Situation: I live in Southern California and the cars in New York. I'm flying there in a few days and I'm driving it 3,000 miles back. Thoughts?
that's very low miles for a car that age I would be suspect of anything rubber seal bushings gaskets ect .if it wasn't kept in some sort of climate garage.
3000 miles is not a short ride for a car that hasn't been driven if that's the case I would on the safe side have it transported or rent a trailer and truck and drive it back
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Old 02-20-18, 06:34 PM
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id say transport it, especially since you havent seen it in person. Also new york means snow which could mean rust, make sure you check for all that before you put any more money into it.
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Old 02-20-18, 09:26 PM
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Usually we bring them the other direction. Depending on how the owner used the car would depend on how much rust would be on it. If he is from upstate Ny then more chance for salt in it. NYC not so much. If the car has been serviced as it should be and well taken care of and has fresh tires on it, and timing belt is in good condition, I would give you 70 percent probability that you could make it back to Ca. with it by driving. Hoses,radiator condition need checked. I' d do a oil change if not done recently also. Run it normally not race it cross country it should hold as they are well built cars. If you have any doubt's though, I recommend that you ship it. Which shouldn't add to much to the total cost for the car as you got a good deal on it already. Good luck and enjoy!
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Old 02-21-18, 07:12 AM
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I agree with above. Either pay to transport it, or pay an import shop to go through it and put a few miles on it before your trip. Either way it's going to need some money thrown in its general direction, but it sounds like you got a great car for a killer price. Congrats!
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Old 02-21-18, 10:19 AM
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I would pick it up and give it a look over, if tires are good and its not overheating then just drive it.
plan a couple extra days just in case something does go wrong.
you could also go check it out and then have it sent back on a truck. can avoid the extra mileage etc..
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Old 02-21-18, 04:51 PM
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All great advice. I haven't actually paid for the car yet. I won't pay til I've drove it and inspected it.

The timing belt was done a year ago at 86k miles at lexus, and the owner assured me there is no rust. The original paint is suppose to be in good condition, since the owner claimed it has been garaged all it's life, but defiantly not climate controlled. A glaring concern I have is the owner who is 70 years old has only put about 3 miles on the car in 3 months, makes me suspicion since it took me pulling the carfax to have to figure that out. I have a feeling it's been sitting, and I confirmed that the owner doesn't flush the fluids when letting it sit. He mentioned he takes the car to the store every once in a while. And he didn't know the MPG, which I'm not sure how he wouldn't know. The other thing that bothers me is I'm meeting him at the parking garage where the car is parked at, not his house. Although, lives in the very heart of New York city so doubt he own a house.

When I asked why he is selling it so cheap, he said.. My wife and I can't deal with craigslist. We just to sell it to someone who will make it easy for us to sell. He said he's happy to sell it to a lexus enthusiast who will appreciate it...

I'm not even considering shipping it or towing it. If I have any doubts I'll pass on it and take a flight back to Cali empty handed. I'll inspect everything, I'll take it to a shop get the oil changed, and I'm hitting the road. I figure if the car does majorly breakdown halfway, I'll get a hotel near by and post it on craigslist for $500, sell it the next day and fly back. I realize there is a lot of risk but the potentially I can get another 100k miles out of this car.

Here are a few highlights of the carfax


04/20/2011
86,470 New York
Recommended maintenance performed
Water pump replaced
Timing belt replaced
Valve cover gasket(s) replaced
Oil and filter changed
Tire condition and pressure checked
Vehicle washed/detailed
Emissions or safety inspection performed

04/17/2012
90,734
Recommended maintenance performed
Antifreeze/coolant checked
Air filter replaced
Cabin air filter replaced/cleaned
Fluids checked
Oil and filter changed
Tire(s) balanced
Tire condition and pressure checked
Tires rotated
A/C system serviced
Fuel injection system flushed/serviced
Emissions or safety inspection performed

04/24/2013
Recommended maintenance performed
Maintenance inspection completed
Oil and filter changed
Tire condition and pressure checked
Vehicle washed/detailed
Antenna replaced
Drive belt(s) replaced

04/15/2014
93,507
A/C system serviced
Fluids checked
Oil and filter changed
Maintenance reminder reset
Tire condition and pressure checked
Vehicle washed/detailed
Floor mat(s) checked
Fuel injection system flushed/serviced
Emissions or safety inspection performed

10/24/2014
Maintenance inspection completed
Four wheel alignment performed
Fuel injection system flushed/serviced
Brake fluid flushed/changed
Oxygen sensor replaced
Engine cover removed and reinstalled

04/15/2015
95,257
Recommended maintenance performed
10,000 mile service performed
A/C system serviced
Emissions or safety inspection performed

12/26/2015
96,731
Maintenance inspection completed
Battery replaced
Battery/charging system checked

04/09/2016
Maintenance inspection completed
Oil and filter changed
Emissions inspection performed
Emissions or safety inspection performed

07/19/2016
Recommended maintenance performed
Four wheel alignment performed

03/04/2017
Maintenance inspection completed
Fuel system cleaned/serviced
Battery serviced
Battery/charging system checked

03/25/2017
Maintenance inspection completed
Brakes checked
Fuel system cleaned/serviced
Tires rotated
Oil and filter changed
Emissions inspection performed
Emissions or safety inspection performed

10/28/2017
99,855
Maintenance inspection completed
Steering/suspension checked

Last edited by Bootyman; 02-21-18 at 05:27 PM.
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Old 02-21-18, 05:47 PM
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Rust would be my #1 concern. You need to see tha car in person before paying for it!
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Old 02-21-18, 08:24 PM
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I'd be slightly worried about suspension components like shock absorbers or control arms ball joints and bushings. 3000 miles is a bit to put them through especially if they have never been replaced in 22 years. It'd probably be an excuse to finally wear these down so you can get some nice new parts, KYB shocks are good, as well as new front NAS LCAs.

Since the car is OBD2, make sure you bring some sort of code reader to check out what the ECU records. The car may not have a check engine light on but it's a button away to clear. Doesn't sound like it'd be the case though, with the owner being 70 and OG owner at that.
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Old 02-21-18, 09:27 PM
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Here's the thing about cars from NYC. The guy lives in an apartment, owns a car and has enough money to pay to keep it in a parking garage. Good thing! Uses taxi or other transportation most of the time to get around, cuz it a pita to drive in the rotten apple. He used the car to get out of town or see his buddies on long island. NYC doesn't get the crap weather for the most part and wasn't drove in winter. If the car had been driven a lot in the city and street parked it would more than likely be beat to crap. Such as the cars Gazzi got and scrapped, and sold us the parts from. Good chance this car is viable, but from the records could use a bit of service before the long haul. I would drive my 96 400 cross country any day and will do so in few short years from now 235k on it but fully serviced. It wasn't owned by a kid with drift dreams, so it has not been hammered. You have a very good chance with it, so I see in your future a nice drive cross country. Enjoy the trip or op out. You have that choice.;-)
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Old 02-22-18, 06:42 AM
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I'm rather jealous and have a feeling you may show up to find a real cream puff!
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Old 02-22-18, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by RudysSC View Post
I'm rather jealous and have a feeling you may show up to find a real cream puff!
Is a real cream puff! good or bad?
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Old 02-22-18, 07:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Bootyman
Is a real cream puff! good or bad?
A cream puff is a great thing
Also Ramblerman is spot on with his comments, it's not like upstate ny where I'm at and they dump 50lbs of salt every 10ft lol. Either way, good luck.
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Old 02-22-18, 09:21 PM
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i never meet any buyer at my house regardless of what im selling. You never know who youre going to be meeting and the last thing i want is some psycho knowing where me and my family lives. It does sound like youre gonna end up with a gem. Make sure to change the oil before driving off. When picking a mechanic to check the car make sure that they will be ok showing you under it while its on the lift. When i bought my frist SC i took it to a mechanic and he went over the car inch my inch with me right next to him and before that he asked that the owner waits for us outside of the garage are where the car was. Try to find something like that when having it checked out.
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Old 02-23-18, 07:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Bootyman View Post
Is a real cream puff! good or bad?
Very good thing
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