I own a GS300 since 1999 (50.000 miles), and the car has been the best I
have ever had. I am looking for a second hand model in good condition, and I
found one today with 100.000 miles on the odometer. Since my brother is
buying the car on the strength of my advice, I don´t want to look like a
fool buying a high mileage car prone to problems.. Has anyone out there
driven a GS300 well over 100.000 miles'?. I know Lexus builds tough cars,
but any reassurance that I am doing the right thing would be appreciated.
I have a 10 year old ES300. I got it a year ago.
Beware the transmission. If it's seen anyone other than the dealer,
beware the transmission.
But it's fixed now, and the entire car runs great. My new model of
buying cars is to find those 100K mile Lexuses that people don't want
There are reports at clublexus.com of quite a few 200K+ GS300's. The engine
is absolutely bulletproof. On a car like this maintenance records are
absolutely vital and I'd get a very thourough mechanical inspection,
especially looking for whether the car has been in a collision. If anything
doesn't check out, walk.
Having said this, any 100K has a pretty high risk of various other
nickel-dime failures that can add up - instruments, struts, electrical
problem, O2 sensors, interior problems, etc. You may only pay $15K for the
car, but you're maintaining a 6-year old, 100K car that costs $40K new with
lots of expensive systems that can break. I'd want a healthy $2-3K budget
for repairs the first year or so, and at least $1K/year after that. There's
no free lunch. Given all this, a brand new Accord can start to look like a
pretty good deal.
Mark offers some excellent advice here.
To expand, I personally would not want to ever go out on a limb and
"recommend" any vehicle, used or new, to a friend or relative. I might
tell them that my own experiences have been positive and that Consumer
Reports says that the car has a better than average repair history, etc.,
but I would leave it at that and encourage them to do their own research.
Many of us who has ever recommended something to someone else know how
easily these "personal recommendations" can backfire and come back to
haunt us. That is especially true with a used car.
My opinion, and please take it for what it's worth, is that you're setting
yourself up to drive a wedge in your relationship with your brother if the
car turns out to be a lemon.
Furthermore, to digress a little more, I would tell anyone considering
selling -their- car to a friend or relative, to never do it. At least not
directly. Put a dealership in the middle of any such deal. If you're
buying a new car and have a buyer already set up to take your trade-in,
most dealers will welcome you with open arms, even if there's a
pre-arranged price that's below market. First of all by doing this you'll
capture the tax credit for yourself (assuming you're replacing the car
you're selling). More importantly, by having a dealership in the middle
you acquire a layer of insulation from hard feelings (and liability) if
the car suddenly starts having problems or someone gets hurt because of a
mechanical breakdown. i.e., "don't blame me, I didn't sell it to you,
discuss your issues with the dealer."
Not quite a GS, but I bought my 92 ES300 with 162,000 miles on it from a
friend who couldn't sell it due to the high mileage. He happened to use
it for long highway drives for business purposes and had it immaculately
maintained to boot.
When I saw it and heard it idle I bought it without any further question.
Just passed 370,000 and it's the best car I've ever had. It's definitely
not perfect anymore (instrument panel needles are all dark except for the
gas guage, but I can still see by their silhouettes on the lighted dash.
And a few other things that I just live with.
Check the history of the car, especially maintenance records. If all the
records have been thrown away or "just can't seem to find them", I'd walk
away from the deal, unless it's really too good to be true, in which case
you might still end up ok after putting some money into the car after you
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