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pops

They Call Me 'lucky'

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"If it wasn't for bad luck. I wouldn't have no luck at all! " I needed a reliable, comfortable car to go touring in. After reading all the reviews, I decided on an LS400 (naturally). I found one - a '94 model - full Lexus service history - private seller - nice guy - car looked 'au naturel' - no 'dealer glossed' tyres etc. But I'm no mechanic so I employed a car inspection expert recommended by a well known motoring journalist, (both of whom shall remain nameless - at least for the present) to examine the vehicle. It got a clean bill of health and I bought it. Now 6,000 miles down the road, I'm facing repair bills of approximately £3,000. (brakes, cat, suspension, etc.) Dur! - what do I do now, folks? Seems to me I need a cheap repair shop and a lawyer!

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Don't they give some kind of guarantee with the inspection ?

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WOW!

I've got a '94 and I would certainly get a second opinion on that lot.

You made me feel quite sick!!! :sick:

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thing is who is in the wrong.. the garage or the surveyor?

The garage could be telling you need these bits when really you dont.

if you have to pay that then becoming a gld member will save you £500 off that price!!!

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That's sad news dude. You don't say where you are, but two garages I know of that can repair Lexi very cheaply are:

1. Powerhouse Garage in Camberley, Surrey 25+VAT labour/per hour

2. Westfield Motors in Rayleigh, Essex, 32+VAT labour/per hour

I've heard good things about both, and I personally get mine done at Westfield. The guys there take you round the ramp and show you everything that REALLY needs doing. The Lexus dealers I have used when my car was under warranty generally picked out everything that might be wrong with the car even though that particular part would not need changing for another year or two. I'd make whoever gave you a bill for £3,000 justify every single penny. Most of that is labour I expect!

Yes, join Gold just to get the parts cheap, you will save a lot.

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Thanks to everbody who replied. I've taken your good advice and am in the process of joining Gold. I've had no time to get quotes from independent repairers yet but it looks as if things may not be so bad as I thought on the costs front. Maybe I overreacted a little through shock at the prospect of losing an arm and a leg. It's genuinely nice to have a place to come to out of the shark pool.

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Sounds like you might benefit from cheap parts, use www.lexus-parts.com

Yes, they are in Dallas, Texas, but they are biggest online Lexus parts in US and the exchange rate currently offers very good deals. I just ordered some front control arms and saved 60% off the UK price, even after shipping costs.

Good Luck!

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There was a couple on e-bay under 2k for the whole car...might be worth buying a non M.O.T and using all the parts you need off that.

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I've just come back from a 500 mile round trip and I'm convinced I bought an excellent car (in spite of the problems referred to above). Even with the heat shields (or according to Lexus, the cats themselves) rattling gently in the rear, the journey was effortless. I'm feeling less like sueing somebody and more inclined to bite the bullet and pay up for the repairs. If (following the advice of people on this board) I can get the bill down to £1500-2000, I still have a lot of car for under £6K. Touring Europe this summer, I'm going to feel happier (even more prudent) in my Lexus than in something "sensible?" like my buddy's Twingo - after all, I can fill the tank a few times before I reach the figure he paid for his vehicle. My only fear is that with a mileage approaching 160k, more major expenses could be expected. What do others think?

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You haven't listed exactly what you have been recommended to change on the car, but some of the expected repairs in older, higher mileage cars include:

rear main seal (if leaking)

power steering pump (again, if leaking can leak onto alternator and cost even more to fix)

steering rack

front upper control arms

balljoints

rear axle carrier bushings

EGR pipe

engine mounts

transmission mounts

front anti-rollbar bushes

Fellow LS400 owners can add to the list if I have missed anything. Also depends upon where you are driving though (my part of London is full of speed bumps which I'm sure has accelerated wear on the suspension).

This is in addition to your expected things such as pads, discs, tyres, oil and filters.

Driving ANY older, higher mileage luxury car will not be dirt cheap to keep on the road. Ultimately, it all depends on how long you want to keep the car.

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Maneesh. The list includes pr balljoints, top balljoint, hub and bearing,trailing arm, v belt, fuel filter pipes, exhaust inc cats and ctr exhaust. heatshields (fixing), shock dust covers, oil pan - the exhaust and hub being the most expensive items.

I'd be interested in your estimate for fixing this lot. How long do I want to keep the car? I don't want to change it - unless I move on to a post '95 model. Would I be wiser spending my money doing this now and if so, what will I get for my present car in its present condition?- these are the questions I'm asking myself.

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That sounds like an awful lot of expense. I've never heard of any LS400 requiring a new exhaust. They are like £1500 to fit. The rear hubs are probably the bushes inside but you need to spend £500 per side to fix those because Lexus don't sell the bush separately from the hub. I have the same issue, but have found some replacement bushes for £20 from the US, which will save me a fortune. I'm fitting them this Friday so will let you know how good they are. Balljoints are supposed to be around £300 per side. Not sure about the rest.

Sounds like the car has been abused. Given the amount of work needed, you won't find anyone giving you anywhere close to book price for the car. You are going to have to keep it for 5-8 years really just to recover the costs of the work (as opposed to buying a newer model in good condition). Can you see yourself doing that?

Any luck with suing someone?

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I'm interested that you never heard of a Lexus needing a new exhaust. Maybe mine has been misdiagnosed as I originally hoped. I'll know more on Monday after its MOT. Lexus's quote for the balljoint work was £230 - cheaper elsewhere of course. Most encouraging though, is what you say about the replacement bushes. If that turned out to be my problem too, it could save me £550. I'd be very interested to learn how you make out fitting yours (wouldn't care to do mine as well would you? LOL )

As for the car being abused, it wasn't a showroom model when I bought it but was described by the inspector (in writing) as in good to average condition. I've just written to the firm involved inviting their comments. I'll keep you posted on further developments.

It wouldn't be a hardship to keep the car. They're all expensive mistresses and I still love the damn thing. I just don't like the idea of being bilked.

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Dude,

The exhausts are stainless steel, so meant to last the lifetime of the car. The only thing which could cause them problems I guess, is driving over speedbumps at bad angles/too fast which may have messed them up.

I'm not fitting the bushes myself (independent dealer is), so will feedback in next few days how the car feels after the work. It should be pretty tight again.

Yeah, don't get balljoints done at Lexus on your older car, it's a waste of money. Look around.

Sounds like you gonna keep it then? Can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em, eh!

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Okay, here's the latest in the saga! I put the car through an MOT test and it sailed through everything, including the emissions test without a problem. So what about the Lexus dealership's list of nearly £4,000 worth of necessary repairs including the faulty exhaust, cats, hub, etc? Your answer is as good (and probably better) than mine. The brakes will still want looking at but I think I can get them and most of the other minor stuff done locally at minimal expense. How did the bushes work out by the way, Maneesh?

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Which dealer was this (think it's alright to ask?) - delete this if not admins.

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Pops,

Glad to hear things turned out well. My posting on the bushes is at:

http://www.lexusownersclub.co.uk/forum/ind...howtopic=11989&

The bushes are holding up well, and the only thing I miss is the supersoft ride with the factory bushes(made of rubber), but the ride is definitely a lot more controlled, and the rear end does not swing out very much compared with before when the factory bushes were knackered.

Your story sounds a bit like mine, in that a Lexus dealer quoted me 6,300 for my first service with a list of things to do on an A3 sheet of paper. That was 3 months after buying from another Lexus dealer which had all been inspected etc. I get the feeling that dealers in general quote you in order to restore the car to "as new" condition. With 10 year old cars, there's no sensible way you can justify spending money making it "as new". That's why so many independent dealers are around, for those folk who just want their car to be to safe and driveable at a reasonable cost.

Maneesh

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I don't see any problem in identifying the dealership as Lexus Coventry (there's nothing top secret about a car service). As far as I'm concerned, the main problem with their inspection was they didn't say how urgent they considered any of the repairwork to be in terms of keeping the car running. The whole thing was presented to me as "bad news" - which it certainly would have been (financially) if I'd just said go ahead. It wasn't until I'd read some replies here, spoken to some people and then put the car through an MOT, that I began to figure what was happening. I agree, Maneesh, they were talking about returning the vehicle to near delivery mileage condition, whilst I'm just interested in keeping a ten year old car fairly roadworthy. It seems that this is a common experience with dealerships. Maybe when some elderly customer suffers a coronary in reception, they'll try explaining things a little better.

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i had my heart attack just BEFORE buying the lexus, so i'd already had the double bypass before i had to cope with the sort of bills you're talking about above!! :lol: mind you, i think the op affected my powers of reasoning, cos mines cost me over 6 grand since november, and i've only been able to drive it 500 miles so far!

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6 grand for 500 miles? That's running cost of £12 per mile. Why not go the whole hog and get a secondhand Bentley? Would have been cheaper!!!

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you're right, but atwhat stage do you stop? the cars worth, maybe 4 grand. including my purchase price, i've paid altogether just over 8 grand. each time something else needed fixing, i had to weigh up what it would be worth if i sold it 'as was', and the conclusion is always the same, would i get a car in such good condition for, say, another grand?

however, watching eBay has shown that much newer ones go for very low money, tho you could still end up paying another 2 or 3 grand to bring it up to a first class level, and i've almost got one of those already!

it's like going out with an attractive girl, they cost more than the 'bog standard' variety, but what they do for you outweighs the extra cost!!

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Hmmm, reminds me of that phrase, better the devil you know. These days when they say 1 in 3 cars offered for sale is clocked, it may be easier to stick with the current car and just keep it in good condition. At least your car is not depreciating by a couple of grand each year!

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