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Hi guys,

I’ve just found this for sale on gumtree, does anybody have any knowledge of this car? Also, what do generally think of it? The mileage is good, cambelt done, 4 new tyres, there’s a few imperfections shall we say around the car.

cheers everybody!!!

https://www.gumtree.com/p/lexus/lexus-ls400-96-234-miles/1269971150

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It is SORN which means Statutary Off Road Notice, it is not legally driveable, reasons not stated about the SORN, it might be because he parked it up & stopped taxing & insurance, you would need to know what the SORN is all about. The 12 months MOT was done in July 2017 for one year, yet it is SORN??:wacko:

It has had offside & nearside coil springs broken, no idea of how or why but potentially other damage might or might not have occurred. Also, it is normal good practice to change both the water pump & idlers etc when the cambelt is done, no mention they were changed as well.

I can only say that if I were looking for an LS400 that car is not one I would bother with.

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The only way to really tell is to go and look at it.  I can't decide whether the description would put me off, or whether they're just being very honest!  It is a fairly long list of minor things though.  If I had to travel any distance I personally would think twice. 

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2 minutes ago, The-Acre said:

The only way to really tell is to go and look at it.  I can't decide whether the description would put me off, or whether they're just being very honest!  It is a fairly long list of minor things though.  If I had to travel any distance I personally would think twice. 

The problem for me would be that no one can do a test drive in it because of the SORN.

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4 minutes ago, dendonc said:

The problem for me would be that no one can do a test drive in it because of the SORN.

Good point, although the seller says they've been driving it weekly to keep things working!

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32 minutes ago, The-Acre said:

seller says they've been driving it weekly to keep things working!

I never thought about that, wow, driving a SORN around.

Also mrdoofa, I would find out about what make of Coil springs were fitted when the others broke & find out about the possible quality of them if they are not Lexus, Lexus Coil springs are bound to be very expensive, other car forums might help on that as well as here

I saw these on ebay yesterday, both worth looking at if your on the 'buy' only the top link has a 'sane' price

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1998-Lexus-Ls400/112625955360?hash=item1a3907b220:g:RCwAAOSwh9hZ-jvm

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1997-LEXUS-LS400-ONLY-43-788-MILES-FROM-NEW/232529455743?hash=item3623d5ea7f:g:JVIAAOSw43hZ6Mgz

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Martin, if it's not too far to go and see i think you might be pleasantly surprised .....  springs break at will, often going over some dreadful stretch of road !

Being driven on a private stretch, say around a business yard is quite ok and on SORN

The lack of detail on the peripherals being changed with the cambelt might be a little academic ......  mine are only just going to be changed for the first time around early next year at 205k miles !

The rest of the " issues " seem a little petty to worry too much about at that mileage and age and price imho

Malc   :yes:

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If you can live with some of the cosmetic imperfections then it would be worth a look. I think the seller mentioned the springs had been replaced but as has been said, depends on the quality of the part. The car may appear to be top price but the 400's are getting rarer and knowing how good these cars are, I think worth the money. 

 

My only concern is the SORN - why MOT and then SORN? Still might be worth a punt.

Let us know if you go and see it. 

Took mine for a spin yesterday - what a car!  Picked up my son's friend, he got in and said, "This is a luxury car!" That boy will go far!

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3 hours ago, Spacewagon52 said:

My only concern is the SORN

A few things would concern me, not least, the coil springs were first broken at 87,681 miles and the same sides coil springs were broken again at 96,211 miles, less than 10,000 miles, then he replaced them again, got the MOT & SORN'd it.

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37 minutes ago, dendonc said:

A few things would concern me, not least, the coil springs were first broken at 87,681 miles and the same sides coil springs were broken again at 96,211 miles, less than 10,000 miles, then he replaced them again, got the MOT & SORN'd it.

Well spotted Denis! That is odd.

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12 hours ago, mrdoofa said:

Hi guys,

I’ve just found this for sale on gumtree, does anybody have any knowledge of this car? Also, what do generally think of it? The mileage is good, cambelt done, 4 new tyres, there’s a few imperfections shall we say around the car.

cheers everybody!!!

https://www.gumtree.com/p/lexus/lexus-ls400-96-234-miles/1269971150

For a car with so little mileage, it has an awful number of MOT failures.

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This car has been advertised before so obviously has not sold.

I think you need to ring the seller and ask all the questions over the phoe including the queries members have suggested above. This will give you a clearer insight into the condition, history and seller. This will help you in making in decision wether this car is for you or not

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Cheers for all the help guys, it does seem a little strange that the coil springs have been changed twice in less than 10,000 miles. It’s not very far away so may arrange a viewing this week. I did have an absolutely cracking 99 LS400 which I sold in January, I wish I’d kept it, especially as the car I replaced it with (GS450h) went so badly wrong!!! You live and learn though.

I emailed the guy to ask about the usual faults like steering wheel motors, damp boot etc. He said all electrics including steering wheel are working, there is a rubber plug missing which allows some road spray into the boot area. He said he’s going to check the service history to tell me how many services etc it’s had and details of any bills and receipts and get back to me. I’ll keep you posted!!! Thanks again everybody.

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The GS450h was a good newer alternative, you just unlucky to find a poor one. Keep up the search.

Have you considered a different Lexus? LS430?

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As most of you will be aware from my post a while ago suspension springs can just fail as mine did while parked at the airport hotel, with the state of the roads and road humps they are constantly stressed. It may be that the owner fitted some cheap aftermarket replacements that failed prematurely, question is what are the second set likely to be.

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@Spacewagon52I had an LS430 once before as well which went terribly wrong too, the gearbox failed on that!!! I don’t have much luck with cars yet I keep coming back for more lol!!!

I really liked the GS450h, I thought it was going to be a real keeper, it was extremely comfortable, looked good, just the right size,  had all the toys and was ridiculously fast and being a hybrid the fuel economy wasn’t too bad either. I’d love another one but after the last one I’m a little apprehensive. If there was some definite tests you could do to ensure the car will be ok I’d get another in a heartbeat.

 

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12 hours ago, mrdoofa said:

, there is a rubber plug missing which allows some road spray into the boot area.

Sounds like the quick fix to deal with leaking boot seal, so worth checking if seal has been replaced.

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Have you considered an RX 400h? I have the RX300, which is a lovely car to drive but the fuel consumption is on the high side if you are covering average mileages each year.

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The guy selling the LS400 has sent me a picture of the spare wheel well and also where the rubber plug is missing in the boot. 

 

 

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Looking at that picture that would not be the plug that normally gets removed when leaky boot syndrome occurs - my Mk3 and Mk4 had leaky boot and it gathered in teh wheel well, as the water runs around the seal and then leaks in near the boot lock.

So it might be just a case of putting some duct tape over the hole and then after some decent rain check out the boot.

The appearance of the jack and brace seems to show corrosion worse then any of mine were, but not sure if that is just quality of the picture. 

If the boot has been collecting water for any length of time the spare will have a very dull and (possibly) corroded appearance.

The only other thing I know if that can cause problems would be a water ingress on the rear clusters, but the MK4 has a better design of bulkhead fitting to reduce chances of this.

 

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Just an observation, looks like the Car has had LPG in the past or does that model not have a spare wheel securing post in the boot?

Personally, if someone says that they have had the Air Con re-gassed I'd pass on the vehicle.  There is only one reason why air con needs re-gassing.  OK a re-gas means you may get a months ice cold air which will hide a problem from a would be purchaser, but after that ???

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The car does look as if it has had a leak but I would not consider it a deal breaker if the buyer is happy with other aspects of the car. Just make sure the electrics are not effected and there are not rust issues in the boot. Just needs the carpet removing - giving a good clean and replacing - perhaps a second had carpet which is not stained . . . . . oh and the boot seal replacing or resealing.

Stuart: My handbook recommends I regas my aircon every 2 years - I do just that and my aircon works just fine

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1 hour ago, runsgrateasanut said:

Just an observation, looks like the Car has had LPG in the past or does that model not have a spare wheel securing post in the boot?

Mines' had an LPG conversion & the LPG tank went into the boot well where the spare wheel is normally kept, I simply keep the spare wheel on the top of the inside of the boot, I don't carry a lot of stuff in my boot so it's not a problem.

I don't remember them giving me any option to site the LPG tank else where, can't see there is one.

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1 hour ago, cruisermark said:

 

Stuart: My handbook recommends I regas my aircon every 2 years - I do just that and my aircon works just fine

Thats interesting Mark.  I'm loathe to have the air con re-gassed as its been working perfectly since purchase (April 2014)and there are so many Cowboys out there that could possibly damage it. Perhaps if the Drier needed replacing it would have to be serviced but  if the system is leak free where is the need for a top up, is my question?  I have no knowledge specifically of this subject other than having had cars which did not have working air-con.  Mercedes, Supra, etc..

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PS.  Lots say that the gas leaks out via the hoses-some say 15% p.a.  . This reply on a site in 2011 is interesting

Quote It's actually the oil they inject with the gas - the gas doesn't lube. And 2 years is shocking, we have a car sat on the drive that hasn't been re-gassed ever in it's life and it still icy cold - it's a 1998 renault but it's air con is used every couple of weeks for preventative reasons Unquote

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