Recommended Posts

I have been trying to find a decent GS300 for a while with no success so far - so to widen my options I am now thinking I should also consider a 450h as a possibility.

I am retired and living on a strict budget with a small amount of capital (comparatively speaking) which is one factor contributing to the problem finding a GS300.

Within the capital and budget I have I have fixed on a 2005 GS300 as the road tax doubles on models from 2006 on (within what I can afford to spend for the car). The problems this creates are that there are not as many decent ones of these around and also because it would be over 12 years old there is no chance of buying a warranty for it. (Unless someone knows different).

Considering a GS450h  widens my choice as the road tax/insurance is within budget and for my money I may find one slightly younger, it also opens the possibility of buying a warranty if the car is no more than 12 years old.

Whilst looking I have seen large variances in the asking price for 450's of similar age and mileage, and most are a fair distance from me and quite a distance apart from each other which means I have to somehow short-list before attempting viewing. Can anyone here suggest what issues I should be considering when looking at 450's to help me save myself exposing myself to a 'dud' .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 

The primary faults to look for on the GS450H are leaking shock absorbers at the shaft seal, and exhaust leaking around the area of the "Y" piece where the exhaust splits into two to go to the rear silencers. The rear silencers also rust into holes on the top of them this does not seem to make the exhaust noisy so can be difficult to spot.
The shocks are around £250 each, and there is no alternative. The exhaust rear section is around £600 from Lexus, but most here have systems made from stainless steel for much less money with a life time guarantee.

A few have had a problem with the gearbox electric hydraulic oil pump. Cost from Lexus £2500, but can be simply repaired by changing the bearings for an outlay of less than £10, and a couple of hours work to remove and refit the external pump.

Minor problems that apply to most of the Toyota/Lexus range are seized rear brake caliper slide pins. These can be usually freed, and greased without problems. As they are not considered a service item Lexus will just fit new calipers.

There were a number of Lexus recalls for some items on the car, but do not worry if these have not been carried out. Lexus will still carry out any outstanding recalls free of charge, and usually with a loan car if required along with a wash and valet. 

I am in the same position as you, and find the 450H a better proposition than the 300 being lower road tax, and better fuel consumption.

Do not let these seemingly expensive problems put you off these amazing pieces of engineering. If you try one you will buy one.

John.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Check that the engine check light comes on with the ignition and goes out once checks are complete. There have been vehicles with warning lights removed or covered over to hide problems.

Biggest issue outside suspension and exhaust is hybrid Battery failures. Not really sure what you can do to protect yourself against this as if there is an issue at the time of viewing it will be obvious but you could be unlucky and start to have an issue just months down the road.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the replies guys.

I had sort of assumed that the suspension may be an issue. I have checked the historic MOT's on a few and this seemed to be the main reason for failures - apart from a common problem on some of tyres failing after low mileage - wonder what the 'average' mileage is for these. I used to get about 20 - 30k out of the tyres on my 300 (if my memory serves me well).

How long should the Battery last, and if the Battery failed, what cost are we looking at for repair/replacement - anyone know?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do not find that in any way is tyre ware a problem. All the tyres on my car ware evenly across the tread. I do not rotate them. The fronts last around 30K miles the rears around 25K miles.

The Battery is not that expensive to refurbish depending on if you DIY or have it done by a professional. A new Battery is circa £2000, But member Richard of Hybrid Battery solutions would refurb your Battery, and give a guarantee. for much less than this. Again it is not that the Battery is unreliable in fact the very opposite. My own car is a 2007 with 135K on the clock with no signs of problems.

John.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If the guy’s worrying about a few hundred quid road tax every year, perhaps a 12-year old hybrid with the aforementioned potential battery issues might not be the best choice? They go wrong extremely rarely, but as any warranty you’ll get on a car of that age won’t be worth the paper it’s written on, maybe a petrol-only car might reduce this risk? Would an IS suit your needs? 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, mrfunex said:

If the guy’s worrying about a few hundred quid road tax every year, perhaps a 12-year old hybrid with the aforementioned potential battery issues might not be the best choice? They go wrong extremely rarely, but as any warranty you’ll get on a car of that age won’t be worth the paper it’s written on, maybe a petrol-only car might reduce this risk? Would an IS suit your needs? 

I had the same thoughts as Stuart and wondered if a CT200h might be a possibility. I have tried one recently and would happily downsize if I had to.

Alternatively, what about a Prius or an Auris hybrid? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, royoftherovers said:

I had the same thoughts as Stuart and wondered if a CT200h might be a possibility. I have tried one recently and would happily downsize if I had to.

Alternatively, what about a Prius or an Auris hybrid? 

All still have hybrid batteries, and are not in the same liege as a GS. Having had a Prius I can say I think it is a better car than the CT, particularly for ride comfort, but noise levels were high in both cars. Running costs again are cheaper for the Prius I will agree with zero road tax, and mid 60's mpg easily obtainable. However they cannot be compared with a GS450H.

John.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Britprius said:

All still have hybrid batteries, and are not in the same liege as a GS. Having had a Prius I can say I think it is a better car than the CT, particularly for ride comfort, but noise levels were high in both cars. Running costs again are cheaper for the Prius I will agree with zero road tax, and mid 60's mpg easily obtainable. However they cannot be compared with a GS450H.

John.

Many thanks John. I agree with your comments, but I was simply offering possible alternatives in view of the OP`s limited budget and retirement status..

Both the Auris and Prius are part of the Toyota/Lexus family and their Hybrid batteries longevity are legendary. I would happily consider their purchase along with the CT.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very rare for Prius, Auris, CT200h or RX400h batteries to give issues. The series III GS450h Battery issues, as a percentage of vehicles sold, whilst very low is significantly higher than any other Toyota hybrid.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, ColinBarber said:

Very rare for Prius, Auris, CT200h or RX400h batteries to give issues. The series III GS450h Battery issues, as a percentage of vehicles sold, whilst very low is significantly higher than any other Toyota hybrid.

Thanks Colin.

Any idea why this seems to be the case? What is the source of the information ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, ColinBarber said:

The series III GS450h Battery issues, as a percentage of vehicles sold, whilst very low is significantly higher than any other Toyota hybrid.

Which is the series III (which years).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

16 hours ago, Britprius said:

 

The Battery is not that expensive to refurbish depending on if you DIY or have it done by a professional.

John.  

Is there any sites which would show the DIY procedure?

All I have seen about these is they need 'expert' handling as touching a Hybrid Battery is dangerous as the voltage is DC (grabber) and high (killer).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Peter, there's a guide on the forum :wink3: 

There are also plenty of vids on YouTube.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Pewe said:

Is there any sites which would show the DIY procedure?

All I have seen about these is they need 'expert' handling as touching a Hybrid Battery is dangerous as the voltage is DC (grabber) and high (killer).

As well as the above there is a huge amount of information on the US Prius chat forum. This includes detail such regenerating the modules with chargers as well as re hydrating the modules. 
The modules "6 cells" are the same across almost the complete Toyota/Lexus range of cars making them interchangeable from one car to another. There are 40 modules in the GS450H.

The Battery can basically be electrically split in two by a safety link mounted on the Battery. This halves the available voltage to make it much safer to work on around 140 volts. Removing copper links between modules reduces this again. If you choose a link half way along one section of the Battery the voltage would be reduced to 70 volts. The average person does not feel this voltage. 

LOC member Richard of "Hybrid Battery solutions" can repair your own Battery, and give a guarantee or even rebuild it with new cells, and give a longer guarantee than Lexus does at considerable cost savings.
Battery failure is rare and not the catastrophic event that the press has made out in the past. When the Prius first arrived on the scene they were saying the batteries would only last 2 years. There are now cars on the road at 15 years without problems.

John

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, royoftherovers said:

Any idea why this seems to be the case? What is the source of the information ?

Not really, compromised cooling design or moisture protection possible.

Source are LOC and TOC forums - owners reporting problems. We have 10 to 1 issues with GS450h batteries compared to RX400h on these LOC forums, and the 400h outsold the GS 5 to 1 according to Lexus official UK sales figures.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Pewe said:

Which is the series III (which years).

2005/6 - 2011/12

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/16/2018 at 11:20 AM, Pewe said:

I have been trying to find a decent GS300 for a while with no success so far - so to widen my options I am now thinking I should also consider a 450h as a possibility.

I am retired and living on a strict budget with a small amount of capital (comparatively speaking) which is one factor contributing to the problem finding a GS300.

Within the capital and budget I have I have fixed on a 2005 GS300 as the road tax doubles on models from 2006 on (within what I can afford to spend for the car). The problems this creates are that there are not as many decent ones of these around and also because it would be over 12 years old there is no chance of buying a warranty for it. (Unless someone knows different).

Considering a GS450h  widens my choice as the road tax/insurance is within budget and for my money I may find one slightly younger, it also opens the possibility of buying a warranty if the car is no more than 12 years old.

Whilst looking I have seen large variances in the asking price for 450's of similar age and mileage, and most are a fair distance from me and quite a distance apart from each other which means I have to somehow short-list before attempting viewing. Can anyone here suggest what issues I should be considering when looking at 450's to help me save myself exposing myself to a 'dud' .

jUST SEEN THIS

https://www.motors.co.uk/car-50855980

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the add the millage is shown as 102000 miles. Otherwise the MOT history is good with no failures.

John.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just looking at the MOT again, and in 2017 two shocks were listed as  misting. There is no MOT for this year as yet, but I would be concerned about these, and if they have not been replaced they should be as part of the deal. It is probable under normal circumstances it would fail the MOT on these, but how well does the dealer get on with the MOT station?

John

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No mention in the ad of ignition keys. They are expensive so two is a must.

John

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Whether you go for a GS300 or a GS450 you’re buying a fairly complex car (with an original list price of £40K+) when it’s over a decade old, with known expensive spare parts. While both cars are known to be relatively mechanically reliable even relatively small problems - not unreasonable on a car of that age and complexity - will be expensive to resolve.

If buying either car represents a stretch then personally I’d feel financially very uncomfortable having to hope nothing goes wrong as I’d lack the means to fix it.

How about a modern classic Mercedes, like a W124 series E Class? You can get decent examples for under £5K and they’re well engineered without many electronics.


Sent from my Iphone using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was in this position 18 months ago, had done my research and decided a GS was the car I wanted, but which one. I did my usual thing of looking at worst case scenario and came to the 300, took a few months to find 'the one', haven't looked back.

450 - I decided that as I wanted to do some DIY, have normal garages work on my car and didn't need the extra performance it was not necessary. Looking at the batteries and electrical systems, active suspension and the fact economy difference doesn't warrant the extra initial cost.

430 - lush V8, but active suspension again, cam belt and more rarity. 

460 - super rare, would have taken any compromise to own one!

300 - timing chain, normal shocks, still hits 60 in 7 seconds and can dent your licence if you're not careful. No hybrid gubbins, tax no worse that 450 as long as you get an 05 or 55. Plus I got an Se, has 17 inch wheels for softer ride and cheaper tyres.

Only thing I'd say is transmission. Check it's smooth, as I have seen several 6 speeds, V6 and V8 that have problems with the box. Budget a few hundred quid for a trans filter, 3l of WS fluid and a couple of hours independent garage time for a drain and fill to keep it sweet. 

Also, unplug the Battery for a bit, put it in learning mode and you'll get best economy for your driving style. 

Then pre-empt problems, get intimate with eBay and you can save a shed load. I'm searching every day, have a full set of new EBC disks in my garage for less than 50 quid, salvage front calipers bought and posted from Texas (!) for less than 150, 4 new TPMS for less than 40. I use good part worn premium tyres, plus I now have techstream, and all this added together makes her really cheap to own as my commuter car.

But whichever you choose, it'll be better than any German equivalent! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think I may have found a nice 2005 GS300 with low mileage, but have also seen a 540h which is also nice.

But that raises a question

A 124,000 mile 2006 450H (with a recent Battery refurb) which is immaculate inside and, apart from some scratches on the wing and roof which will cost about £500 to rectify, has immaculate bodywork OR a 2005 300 with 84,000 miles and immaculate interior and paintwork (really, no scratches at all). Both cars within the same price bracket of £4500 (well the 450 is £300 more but may get him down).

Which would you guys go for.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now