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Hi folks, just wanted to say hi and to ask for your thoughts on a possible LS430 purchase.

As a long and current Mercedes owner, I am on my 14th Mercedes, I have little knowledge of Lexus; I have never owned one. However, I love the LS430 and have been exploring Autotrader where I have seen several in the £5k bracket from 2002 to 2005. They look in good condition, as far a one can tell from an ad, but wanted to know if there are any model years that have issues.

If I use my W124 Mercedes as an example, the model run was 1985 to 1995 but in 1992ish, they started using water based paint which meant the later cars were very prone to rust. Therefore, earlier cars are much more sort after, at least by those in the know.

Having searched this forum, I have not seen anything that suggests there are model year specify issues so I thought I should ask the question. Forewarned is forearmed, as the saying goes!

Many thanks.

Jonathan.

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Hi, I have just realised I posted this on the wrong forum, is it possible to move it? 

Thank you.

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Hello there. I too was an MB fan.

First bought a new 190E 2.00 back in '93. Have had too many since to list (although I think the SL60 was my favourite).

I don't know specifics regarding Lexus paint, but their general build quality is pretty spot on.

Similar to that of MB before they decide to manufacture money instead of cars.

I've got/had three Lexi (!)  and have had no rust issues.

Current is an eighteen year old 420 GS which is rust free and goes very well indeed.

I'd love an LS but they're too big for MrsIA2 and she's the main driver these days.

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If you get an LS you won't go back to MB!  The facelift model has a 6 speed transmission and Bluetooth, plus a few other upgrades.  History is really important, as is evidence of a cam belt change. The only places for rust are the sunroof area and just above the middle trim on the doors, although not that common and treatable. Where in Surrey are you?

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Here are a few pointers when viewing potential purchases:

Make sure it has a full or at least a good service history which includes the cambelt change.
 
On driving the ride should be quite smooth comfortable with no noises or creaks from the suspension.
 
Gearbox changes should not be noticeable
 
Upon starting the steering should tilt and retract - test and make sure the mechanism works as motors are very expensive
 
Braking should be quite and smooth - if you get a groaning noise when coming to stop that’s a sign of cheap aftermarket brake pads - they will need replacing.
 
Check colour of gearbox oil it should be red with no smell of burning.
 
Check colour of coolant - it should be red - ensure no oil in the bottle
 
Check all electrics work
 
Check the Sat Nav works - there have been reports of some failures
 
Check the sound system properly to ensure no blown door speakers or woofer
 
Check the air suspension works  - when the switch is flicked the car should rise about at inch slowly - and the compressor does not make any noises
 
Check the bonnet struts hold the bonnet
 
Check the car has the correct Toyota red coolant
 
Check for rust around the doors near the plastic trim and around the boot area
 
Check rear quarter panel glass for cloudiness - this indicates the glazing has failed ( pre face lift)
 
Ask if the cabin filter has ever been changed - these are often over looked.
 
Check the bonnet pull works as it should - some of them fail
 
Check toolkit is present
 
Make sure there are no warning lights lit in the dash
 
Ideally you want 3 remote keys
 
Check the car has a matching set of tyres and wether they are branded or not - this should give an indication wether the car has been pampered or neglected
 
Before driving off make sure you have the say nav code and locking wheel nut key.
 
hope this helps
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Thanks Gents, feedback much appreciated and a good check list, Mark.  Quick question, what model year did the facelift come in on?

Phil, I am in Woking; probably not too far from you?

Kr

Jonathan

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, akafudge said:

Thanks Gents, feedback much appreciated and a good check list, Mark.  Quick question, what model year did the facelift come in on?

Phil, I am in Woking; probably not too far from you?

Kr

Jonathan

 

 

 

 

Facelift was 2003 I believe. Yes, Woking isn't too far. If you find anything within a reasonable distance and want another pair of eyes just let me know.

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Most facelift cars from 2004.

Mine had rust [four years ago, an '04 with 82,000] that needed epoxy mastic around the rear jacking points. Some will be unaffected by rust but others will suffer from it especially around the rear sub frame although should not yet be terminal. Worth crawling underneath with a good torch which is what I would do on any car of that age.

Although Lexus/Toyota are more reliable than Mercedes [in fact than all other makes] the LS430 is an expensive and complex car. The silly bells and whistles do not worry me but the expensive air suspension is the major potential pain best remedied for me by either new Lexus parts or second hand from a well known breaker up north.

I love mine and would buy another if only for the fun of owning a high quality car for old banger money. Would not buy one though if it were my daily driver and without reserves of cash.

Good luck and let us know how you get on.

As said above you will not buy another MB after an LS430. 

 

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Forgot to mention that the facelift iteration can be recognised by a slightly different shape of the side lights on the front.

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7 hours ago, cruisermark said:

Here are a few pointers when viewing potential purchases:

Make sure it has a full or at least a good service history which includes the cambelt change.
 
On driving the ride should be quite smooth comfortable with no noises or creaks from the suspension.
 
Gearbox changes should not be noticeable
 
Upon starting the steering should tilt and retract - test and make sure the mechanism works as motors are very expensive
 
Braking should be quite and smooth - if you get a groaning noise when coming to stop that’s a sign of cheap aftermarket brake pads - they will need replacing.
 
Check colour of gearbox oil it should be red with no smell of burning.
 
Check colour of coolant - it should be red - ensure no oil in the bottle
 
Check all electrics work
 
Check the Sat Nav works - there have been reports of some failures
 
Check the sound system properly to ensure no blown door speakers or woofer
 
Check the air suspension works  - when the switch is flicked the car should rise about at inch slowly - and the compressor does not make any noises
 
Check the bonnet struts hold the bonnet
 
Check the car has the correct Toyota red coolant
 
Check for rust around the doors near the plastic trim and around the boot area
 
Check rear quarter panel glass for cloudiness - this indicates the glazing has failed ( pre face lift)
 
Ask if the cabin filter has ever been changed - these are often over looked.
 
Check the bonnet pull works as it should - some of them fail
 
Check toolkit is present
 
Make sure there are no warning lights lit in the dash
 
Ideally you want 3 remote keys
 
Check the car has a matching set of tyres and wether they are branded or not - this should give an indication wether the car has been pampered or neglected
 
Before driving off make sure you have the say nav code and locking wheel nut key.
 
hope this helps

This is very good advice. I had a 230E W124 and ran it for 10 years. It was a dream and so serviceable at home. Even the torque convertor was drainable........ but....the LS430 is a different league. I have done 40,000 miles in mine and had just a lamba sensor fail, (£260 fitted) and that was a huge shock as one gets so use to nothing happening. Funny enough the W124 did about 30-31 mpg and the Lexus does the same. The ride is simply sublime. We never drive anywhere, we just glide. Everyone who is in the car just marvels. At my MOT garage it is known as 'that silver Lexus' and even the young mechanics come and look.

Buy with caution and simply enjoy. When the kids go tearing across the counry, you just waft, and try not to look too smug.

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I'll add in a Plus 1 to the never go back to a Merc comments. I had a few and my last one was a 2006 S Class - one owner, full service history, low mileage "cherished" example sold "as seen on behalf of a customer" from a local so called dealer. I should have known better 🤨 Electrical gremlins, dodgy suspension and the final nail in the coffin an faulty gearbox put the idea that an S Class was the ultimate car firmly out to pasture. (I was coming from a Range Rover and on reflection should have just spent the money doing it up and keeping it I would have saved myself a few grand. Anyway, enough of that I bought my 2006 model with a good service history and few niggles but all have been more or less sorted now for very humble money

I had the cam belt done as a precaution as the car had only done 76,000 miles however it was 13 years old (I read somewhere do the belts at or before 100,000 or ten years) and it was on its last legs so a job well worth doing. My car came in from Southern Ireland and has a KPH speedo that I have to change and no sunroof (Sun? in Ireland?)  🙂 Everything bar the afore mentioned steering wheel motors works, I updated the SatNav with a Disc from the interwebs for £19 (2018) and the only problem seems to be the inability to type in a postcode but to be honest I rarely use it. Air con is still ice cold  but do check the condition of the drivers seat cushion, mine has "flattened" out over the years and is a little uncomfortable slightly spoiling the entire "magic carpet" sensation (its not that bad I can live with it but its on my list to get sorted) 

And yes, you do see boy racers coming past - those that know nod in approval, those that don't sometimes find out there is a lot of life in a 13 year old 4.3 V8 😉

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It looks as though we have enough folks to start the "We used to be Merc Boys 'till we discovered Lexus". Club :-)

Just a point about cam belt changes. Always best to do the water pump at the same time.

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2 hours ago, IanA2 said:

It looks as though we have enough folks to start the "We used to be Merc Boys 'till we discovered Lexus". Club

Suggest the full title of that club includes, "and not stupid enough for an out of warranty BMW or Audi".

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3 minutes ago, GrahamG said:

Suggest the full title of that club includes, "and not stupid enough for an out of warranty BMW or Audi".

No argument from me..... :-)

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6 hours ago, GrahamG said:

Suggest the full title of that club includes, "and not stupid enough for an out of warranty BMW or Audi".

No argument from me either as I had the choice of a 2006 A8 W12 or the LS430 (I think I made the right choice) 🤣

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It never ceases to amaze me how 'young guys' ( I was one once.....but in an Hillman Imp!), seem to scream by and never have any idea just how fast and how furiously powerful a LS430 is, as it quietly progresses. Naturally, we look down on these screaming kids, but as I smugly say to my wife, there is little on the road faster or more powerful than this ....but it is all so beautifully discrete. That's the elegance.

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2 minutes ago, MLW said:

It never ceases to amaze me how 'young guys' ( I was one once.....but in an Hillman Imp!), seem to scream by and never have any idea just how fast and how furiously powerful a LS430 is, as it quietly progresses. Naturally, we look down on these screaming kids, but as I smugly say to my wife, there is little on the road faster or more powerful than this ....but it is all so beautifully discrete. That's the elegance.

I agree. Sometimes when I really let the car go, it still amazes me just how powerful it is, although even flat out you still only get a growl from what is probably still one of the best V8 engines ever produced. I've had two different people telling me it's like an electric car being so quiet.

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21 hours ago, IanA2 said:

It looks as though we have enough folks to start the "We used to be Merc Boys 'till we discovered Lexus". Club 🙂

Just a point about cam belt changes. Always best to do the water pump at the same time.

I'm in!  (R129 SL)

Just one thought on your first 430. Finding an independent specialist is very worthwhile for your maintenance.  It is a complex beast,  and a guy who knows where the potential problems are and checks them out for you is invaluable. 

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Yes, 129's, from the time MB made proper cars!

 

Over my (many) MB years, I never had much difficulty finding indies.

Lexus indies are (at least in my area) rarer than hen's teeth.

Probably 'cause they don't need much fixing!

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Thanks Jon, that is a good shout and very much the issue I am starting to notice with Merc specialists, these days.

There seems to be a lot of love for your Lexuses guys but there are not many 430's out there, at least not local so I may need to be patient, which is not my forte 🤔

 

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4 minutes ago, akafudge said:

Thanks Jon, that is a good shout and very much the issue I am starting to notice with Merc specialists, these days.

There seems to be a lot of love for your Lexuses guys but there are not many 430's out there, at least not local so I may need to be patient, which is not my forte 🤔

 

Ahem, as any Tom ***** or Partridge will tell you, the plural is Lexi :smile:

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1 hour ago, akafudge said:

Thanks Jon, that is a good shout and very much the issue I am starting to notice with Merc specialists, these days.

There seems to be a lot of love for your Lexuses guys but there are not many 430's out there, at least not local so I may need to be patient, which is not my forte 🤔

 

Have you thought about a Celsior?  There are a few out there and you'll get low mileage and a generally rust free underbelly! You'll also more likely to get one well maintained.

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19 minutes ago, Tulpen said:

You either missed the smiley, or you have missed the fact that Alan Partridge is infallible. I know this because he told me so.... :laughing:

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11 minutes ago, IanA2 said:

You either missed the smiley, or you have missed the fact that Alan Partridge is infallible. I know this because he told me so.... :laughing:

Anyway, the brand is much rarer than most so the plural is not often called for!

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