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I’m looking to get back into owning a Lexus as I had to get rid of my IS250 due to Covid. I’ve found an LS430 that has full Lexus, a LPG tank in the boot to replace the spare wheel. It holds around 70 litres.
 

I was just wondering if anyone could offer any suggestions or advice on possible problem areas. General costs of items.
 

Cheers  

Rob 

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Hello Rob, as someone new to Lexus myself, I have done a fair bit of digging around on this and the American owners forums. Please note that not all of the below listed items are guaranteed to fail, but this should give you a general idea of what might fail on any given LS430 - unless already addressed by the previous owner:

  • Radiator - can leak, which in my understanding sends coolant into the gearbox - bad, bad idea! Solution: replace radiator, and install a separate gearbox cooler
  • Sunroof - has been mentioned as getting stuck in one position or other, in some cases can require manual intervention, i.e. you'll need to push it up to close. Have read of a few cars where there's rust build up near the sunroof area
  • Steering Wheel Motor - known faults with levelling or telescopic motor failures (won't move up or down, in or out, sometimes both!). Fixes included replacing the motor in its entirety, or even something as simple as replacing a washer - your mileage may vary, also seems to affect facelift and pre-facelift models in different ways
  • Air Suspension Failures - I believe the car you are looking at should look "normal" (height-wise) - not sagging on either end. If it sits too low to the ground (almost scraping) - this may mean that the suspension is on its way out - one of the most expensive items to replace like-for-like. Alternative solutions include replacing air suspension with regular coil springs. If I remember correctly, there are companies in the US, UK and Italy that supply these, you can Google "LS430 Air Suspension Conversion" to get the idea for cost as well as numerous articles from owners and their experience. There is also fully guided replacement video on this very topic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZILfT7SKCY&list=LL&index=38 - looks pretty straightforward if you are mechanically minded! 
  • Subwoofer - placed at the rear of the cabin, behind passenger headrests - is known to start rattling or "blow". Costly item to replace outright, however it appears there are simpler and cheaper fixes, including replacing the foam cushion around the subwoofer itself, as seen here: https://youtu.be/K0uvSRFUDvk
  • Door Locks - the actuator can fail and you no longer have central locking, the fix will depend on the severity of the problem
  • Power Fold Mirrors and Mirror Motors - seen instances where the motor fails on one or both mirrors and doesn't let you adjust them or auto fold them on lock
  • Passenger Windows - are sometimes known to have condensation issues as they are laminated / double glazed, and moisture builds up between the two panes of glass. Easy enough to spot - you will see the lower half of the passenger window all steamed up. I don't believe it can be fixed, therefore an outright replacement is required (just the glass, not the door)
  • Bonnet / Boot Struts - commonly known to fail. You will notice this right away if your bonnet fails to stay up on struts, or boot feels heavy to lift up
  • Door Rust - rust is known to build up above the chrome strip on all doors, you will often see it start bubbling up on some cars

I think this about covers it for the most common faults, of course there will be others which are more or less minor, or are simply wear and tear items (cambelt, brakes, suspension bushes, exhaust system, etc.). Lots and lots of forums threads that cover these and other problems in detail, as well as numerous videos on Youtube to help you.

In terms of cost for all parts listed, I have heard Paul Frost at Lexus Spares Direct being mentioned a lot on these pages: https://www.ebay.co.uk/usr/lexussparesdirect. There is also the official page for new parts: https://lexuspartsdirect.co.uk/, not to mention Euro Car Parts and the like.

Generally this model is well regarded for its build quality, reliability and comfort, and is built to last. A good example should - and will! - feel every bit like you would expect a flagship Lexus to feel - well put together, quiet inside, with supreme ride quality, all this despite the age. You will see prices going anywhere from £900 for a high mileage, beaten up and sorry looking pre-facelift model, and up to £10,000+ for ones that look like they never left the showroom: https://www.kassclassicsautos.co.uk/cars/lexus/ls430/4.34dr/617396/

LPG models are common and look to be a good choice in terms of fuel economy, but I would say having someone with LPG experience give it a once over before the purchase is still very beneficial. Otherwise make sure to confirm it has had its annual (?) service done at an LPG specialist or has paperwork to back it up.

Hope this helps,

Max

Edited by MaximusPrime
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Excellent Max, well done .....  a superb resume of all that's gone before in this Forum on the Ls430

Sunroof .......... just use it occasionally to stop the rot

Steering Wheel Motors ............... can fail and can cost up to £1k to sort out  ...  the Washer fix is generally on the Mk1, 2 and 3   Ls400 alone

Air Suspension .......  can cost up to £1k a corner to " fix " but the options are there for the alternative as advised

Bonnet / Boot STRUTS ............ SGS supplies brilliant low cost replacements

The other points are beyond my wit to advise on .......  thankfully             BUT I'm sure someone will pop along with thoughts on costs etc

Good luck Rob

Malc

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Firstly thanks to Max for his outstanding first post 😀

I would add in the following points.

Suspension...these are heavy cars and suspension items do wear, control arms, lower ball joints, bushings.

Expect corrosion on the wheels unless refurbished.

Perform an MOT history check on any potential candidates.

Check underneath for corrosion particularly on the rear subframe.

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Steering column tilt motor often suffers due to owners pulling themselves out of car by the steering wheel whist the motor is trying to park itself.

I was fortunate that by removing the plastic shroud and dousing the slides and mechanism with silicon spray it came back to life.

Radiator should be replaced unless new (£100) and the transmission routed to a separate cooler (seePaul Frost kit (£100)so it cannot be contaminated from coolant.

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Thanks for all the help and advice. It’s absolutely superb.

This is the car Reg:

YX54VUD 

Seller is asking £4K for it and informed me today the AirCon doesn’t work.

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A known cause of no AC is corroded pipes to the rear AC for the drinks cooler plus of course the other usual suspects like the compressor and condenser.

MOT history looks reasonable but been off the road for a couple of years from 2019.

Is it a private sale or dealer?

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9 hours ago, steve2006 said:

A known cause of no AC is corroded pipes to the rear AC for the drinks cooler plus of course the other usual suspects like the compressor and condenser.

MOT history looks reasonable but been off the road for a couple of years from 2019.

Is it a private sale or dealer?

It’s a small car dealer. I think the gap from 2019 could be due to Covid. When you couldn’t get MOTs etc

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Huge mileage to my mind for this car unless you have a good proven service record showing UCAs and lots of other suspension stuff sorted ....  it's simply ALL time and mileage expired to be serviceable if its original, at 225k miles  .........  but be positive tho', ............ if it's been replaced with OEM parts by a good service garage or even Lexus then you might have a good 'un to haggle the price on  ....  if it's not yet been " done " you could be looking at several £'000s to sort out and the car might be 4 x over valued by this car dealer .......... do it have Full Lexus Service History, stamped book etc with this car do you know ?

I'm thinking reading somewhere that Lexus at the Centre ( computer )  keeps a record of Lexus servicing etc

Keep us in the picture please

Good luck

Malc

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Hi Rob, I think I have been down to see that same car just last week! It looked to be pretty tidy (despite the mileage), and from what I recall it had so many Lexus stamps they've ran out of space in the service book! 🙂

From my observations:

  • Honest and trustworthy family business, with plenty of recent glowing reviews on AutoTrader for this dealer
  • Bodywork looked to be in good shape, few scuffs here and there, but nothing major, I did not see any surface rust at all around doors or wheel arches
  • I believe this LS has had the same owner since 2005
  • Engine started perfectly first time and sounded as quiet as you would expect it to
  • Tidy interior, may just need a good valet to bring it back to its former glory
  • Ride height seemed alright, the car wasn't slammed to the ground and the air suspension seemed to hold it up okay - although I didn't get to test drive it as it was pretty late already
  • Cambelt changed approx. 15,000 miles ago (however this was done in 2015)
  • Good service record 
  • Declared as CAT N in 2018 - although no signs of damage anywhere that I have looked
  • LPG installed and filler cap tucked away near the petrol cap
  • Pretty clean MOT history, however there are several gaps in MOT records:

    -Between October 2019 (pre-lockdown) and September 2021
    -Almost a year between October 2010 and June 2011


With the way prices are at the moment it may be a little on the high side, it's got the highest mileage out of all examples that I looked at. It would be interesting to see if the dealer is willing to negotiate on the price if you factor in the age, mileage and MOT gaps.

Edited by MaximusPrime
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4 hours ago, Malc said:

Huge mileage to my mind for this car unless you have a good proven service record showing UCAs and lots of other suspension stuff sorted ....  it's simply ALL time and mileage expired to be serviceable if its original, at 225k miles  .........  but be positive tho', ............ if it's been replaced with OEM parts by a good service garage or even Lexus then you might have a good 'un to haggle the price on  ....  if it's not yet been " done " you could be looking at several £'000s to sort out and the car might be 4 x over valued by this car dealer .......... do it have Full Lexus Service History, stamped book etc with this car do you know ?

I'm thinking reading somewhere that Lexus at the Centre ( computer )  keeps a record of Lexus servicing etc

Keep us in the picture please

Good luck

Malc

Yes it’s got Lexus Stamps until 2013.

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3CDA2246-1330-470B-942D-47D64AD61961.jpeg

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52 minutes ago, MaximusPrime said:

Hi Rob, I think I have been down to see that same car just last week! It looked to be pretty tidy (despite the mileage), and from what I recall it had so many Lexus stamps they've ran out of space in the service book! 🙂

From my observations:

  • Honest and trustworthy family business, with plenty of recent glowing reviews on AutoTrader for this dealer
  • Bodywork looked to be in good shape, few scuffs here and there, but nothing major, I did not see any surface rust at all around doors or wheel arches
  • I believe this LS has had the same owner since 2005
  • Engine started perfectly first time and sounded as quiet as you would expect it to
  • Tidy interior, may just need a good valet to bring it back to its former glory
  • Ride height seemed alright, the car wasn't slammed to the ground and the air suspension seemed to hold it up okay - although I didn't get to test drive it as it was pretty late already
  • Cambelt changed approx. 15,000 miles ago (however this was done in 2015)
  • Good service record 
  • Declared as CAT N in 2018 - although no signs of damage anywhere that I have looked
  • LPG installed and filler cap tucked away near the petrol cap
  • Pretty clean MOT history, however there are several gaps in MOT records:

    -Between October 2019 (pre-lockdown) and September 2021
    -Almost a year between October 2010 and June 2011


With the way prices are at the moment it may be a little on the high side, it's got the highest mileage out of all examples that I looked at. It would be interesting to see if the dealer is willing to negotiate on the price if you factor in the age, mileage and MOT gaps.


That’s the same car. The dealer said he was open to offers. It would have to be a sensible offer. 

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Lexus stamps look good BUT has lots of work been done to it at those services I wonder .......  would this car be on the Lexus service computer base showing works carried out I wonder ?

I would worry buying it without full good knowledge that the suspension stuff has all been OEM renewed during it's long illustrious life ......  drivetrain goes on forever with peventative maintenance BUT all else could simply be " worn out " 

Take care

Malc

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I need to try and see if I can go down of a weekend to view it. What questions do you think I should ask the dealer? Also what sort of prices would you pay?

The problem with theses cars is they are quite hard to get hold of. Good ones seem to fetch a premium. I would want one with LPG as I think it’s worth it. 

I suppose I just don’t want to pay over the odds for it and it’s then costing a fortune over time. But then it’s to be expected with an old car.  I would be looking to finance the car as I’m saving for a house at the moment. 

Do you think I could email Lexus Liverpool and see if they can send me any information about the car?

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37 minutes ago, rdb85 said:

I need to try and see if I can go down of a weekend to view it. What questions do you think I should ask the dealer? Also what sort of prices would you pay?

The problem with theses cars is they are quite hard to get hold of. Good ones seem to fetch a premium. I would want one with LPG as I think it’s worth it. 

I suppose I just don’t want to pay over the odds for it and it’s then costing a fortune over time. But then it’s to be expected with an old car.  I would be looking to finance the car as I’m saving for a house at the moment. 

Do you think I could email Lexus Liverpool and see if they can send me any information about the car?

The good ones with a premium I've noticed seem to be selling, I've seen 2 marked as sold both over £10k in the last month.

I looked at the one in Bolton at £8250, only because it's near where I live, and that one is literally a £2000 car as it is lol, all the common faults exist, I also have this one in Preston on my list too but I've never owned a car with such high miles so I haven't been to see it, I'm not ready to buy yet though so I'll not go to look as the dealer may be reluctant to negotiate of there's interest from others 👍

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10 minutes ago, rdb85 said:

I need to try and see if I can go down of a weekend to view it. What questions do you think I should ask the dealer? Also what sort of prices would you pay?

The problem with theses cars is they are quite hard to get hold of. Good ones seem to fetch a premium. I would want one with LPG as I think it’s worth it. 

I suppose I just don’t want to pay over the odds for it and it’s then costing a fortune over time. But then it’s to be expected with an old car.  I would be looking to finance the car as I’m saving for a house at the moment. 

Do you think I could email Lexus Liverpool and see if they can send me any information about the car?

From what I’ve seen in person, this particular car is worth a gamble, provided you can drive the price down a bit. I think you have mentioned that you have owned an LS430 previously, this should put you in good stead when it comes to comparing this and your previous car. I would recommend asking for a test drive, there’s a long stretch of road by where the dealer is, hopefully this will give you a good feel for what the car is like.
 

From my own experience, the ride should be smooth, but not bouncy or ‘wallowy’, a good example just absorbs all the potholes. At normal speed you shouldn’t hear the engine at all, unless you are pushing it of course! The car I went for in the end is unbelievably quiet inside, even on motorway. Gear changes should be almost unnoticeable as you accelerate. 
 

I think it’s important to focus on the big three: engine, gearbox and suspension, and base your questions around servicing (when and where was x last serviced or replaced etc.). If possible, go through all the receipts and make a note of what works have been done to the car, is anything major due to be replaced soon? Cambelt was done in 2015, I wonder when the next change is due. How is the radiator looking? Was there a recent coolant change? I don’t recall if the gearbox cooler was fitted (although not particularly expensive at £110 or so brand new).
 

Secondly, get a feel for those wear and tear items: pads, discs, tyres, what are those like? Will the car need a big service soon? Ask to check that the ride height switch is working (whilst the engine is on) and make sure you can hear the pump working whilst the car moves up and down - it’s not instant, but you should be able to see it adjust the height. I thought the bodywork was okay for the age, but do check for obvious signs of rust.
 

Lastly, check all the interior items, start with seats and the multitude of adjustment options, if it has heated seats - put those on as soon as you turn the engine on. Steering wheel column - do all the motors work etc. Move on to doors - do all the windows go up and down, test central locking if possible, last thing you need is not being able to fully lock the car! 🙂 Check the sunroof motor. Check the stereo at loud volume, bring a CD if you like to test the CD changer. Aircon was mentioned as not working, sadly I don’t know enough about it to even recommend anything.
 

Hopefully at this stage you’ll have test driven the car too, and have more or less a clear picture of what the actual condition is like and what needs doing in the near future. Considering other examples currently available, I believe that this car should be valued around £2,500-£3,000 but not sure if the dealer would agree to go down that far. Do arrange to see it and test drive it, and keep us posted!  
 


 

 

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26 minutes ago, Rory said:

The good ones with a premium I've noticed seem to be selling, I've seen 2 marked as sold both over £10k in the last month.

I looked at the one in Bolton at £8250, only because it's near where I live, and that one is literally a £2000 car as it is lol, all the common faults exist, I also have this one in Preston on my list too but I've never owned a car with such high miles so I haven't been to see it, I'm not ready to buy yet though so I'll not go to look as the dealer may be reluctant to negotiate of there's interest from others 👍

Interesting! I’ve not seen the Bolton car in person but their valuation seems to be based solely on mileage (I think it was 80 something thousand miles). The price is definitely on the high side! There’s also a very clean looking green pre-facelift LS430 in Bedford that I wanted to see, but luckily I have already found my car by then 🙂

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It's also worth mentioning that virtually all parts are available through Rockauto in the US with prices sooo much lower than here. I would never be put off buying parts from them, as having bought many for my previous LS's I believe the quality to be excellent.  The madness in used car prices at the moment has filtered down to every level, most "experts" however believe the bubble will burst this year.

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21 minutes ago, MaximusPrime said:

From what I’ve seen in person, this particular car is worth a gamble, provided you can drive the price down a bit. I think you have mentioned that you have owned an LS430 previously, this should put you in good stead when it comes to comparing this and your previous car. I would recommend asking for a test drive, there’s a long stretch of road by where the dealer is, hopefully this will give you a good feel for what the car is like.
 

From my own experience, the ride should be smooth, but not bouncy or ‘wallowy’, a good example just absorbs all the potholes. At normal speed you shouldn’t hear the engine at all, unless you are pushing it of course! The car I went for in the end is unbelievably quiet inside, even on motorway. Gear changes should be almost unnoticeable as you accelerate. 
 

I think it’s important to focus on the big three: engine, gearbox and suspension, and base your questions around servicing (when and where was x last serviced or replaced etc.). If possible, go through all the receipts and make a note of what works have been done to the car, is anything major due to be replaced soon? Cambelt was done in 2015, I wonder when the next change is due. How is the radiator looking? Was there a recent coolant change? I don’t recall if the gearbox cooler was fitted (although not particularly expensive at £110 or so brand new).
 

Secondly, get a feel for those wear and tear items: pads, discs, tyres, what are those like? Will the car need a big service soon? Ask to check that the ride height switch is working (whilst the engine is on) and make sure you can hear the pump working whilst the car moves up and down - it’s not instant, but you should be able to see it adjust the height. I thought the bodywork was okay for the age, but do check for obvious signs of rust.
 

Lastly, check all the interior items, start with seats and the multitude of adjustment options, if it has heated seats - put those on as soon as you turn the engine on. Steering wheel column - do all the motors work etc. Move on to doors - do all the windows go up and down, test central locking if possible, last thing you need is not being able to fully lock the car! 🙂 Check the sunroof motor. Check the stereo at loud volume, bring a CD if you like to test the CD changer. Aircon was mentioned as not working, sadly I don’t know enough about it to even recommend anything.
 

Hopefully at this stage you’ll have test driven the car too, and have more or less a clear picture of what the actual condition is like and what needs doing in the near future. Considering other examples currently available, I believe that this car should be valued around £2,500-£3,000 but not sure if the dealer would agree to go down that far. Do arrange to see it and test drive it, and keep us posted!  
 


 

 

Thanks for the helpful information. It’s much appreciated. I’ve only ever owned an IS250 SE-L which was great.

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15 minutes ago, rdb85 said:

The 2005 car in blue (non-LPG) looks a bit suspicious to me, it keeps disappearing and reappearing on AutoTrader, was listed for £3,290, then £3,490 (only this week in fact!) now it’s down to just £3,000.
 

If you look closely at the service book it says ‘replacement’ all over it, and all those Lexus stamps are dated as ‘2012’, whereas a genuine dealer stamp would have the year corresponding with the year the car was being serviced, so a 2006 stamp on a 2006 service and so on. I even went as far as emailing Lexus Hatfield to confirm if those services ever took place - they have never replied 🙂 I’d say stay well clear unless there’s absolutely nothing else out there! 

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Rob, you really need to checkout the ( genuine ) receipts for all and any work done over the years on this car . or any car really ......  it might well have been fastidiously looked after and lots of expensive stuff sorted when it needed doing .... most long term Ls owners will have done this methinks .....  I know members here certainly have but maybe we're a tad exceptional  !

Wear and tear on non consumables is expensive BUT has to have been done and preferably with OEM parts ........... my own experience with my Ls400 at 238k miles has had expensive " lumpy " but expected costs ..  UCAs etc ..... and on this Ls430 would have probably appeared to need replacing from about 150k miles onwards ....  these costs if required going forward will make this car stupidly expensive unless you have a bit of a bottomless ££££ pit ........  and also the Ls430 air suspension issues whenever they may appear ........... 

Do your homework of course 

Do you need a LPG car too .  do you do huge mileage and need to defray those fuel costs ?  otherwise I'd not worry too much about that concept  tbh

HOWEVER .  these are simply my own personal observations and as I said before, I've never owned a Ls430  and possibly won't .....  I'd go for a Ls460 maybe 

There's other concurrent posts from I think maybe a guy in the USA with huge Ls430 issues .....  suspension stuff .  might be good to read his posts and get some of his personal views .....  just a thought 

The bottom line is that the dealer may have all the good answers at his fingertips or maybe put you in touch with the previous owner ...  to give you " comfort "

I'm an ex car dealer too ............ and would just make sure the data you get is real and genuine 

Good luck whatever you decide

Malc

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I have a 54 reg LS430 and my AC is the last of a string of faults that came with the car.

I have had the system checked twice by emptying the refrigerant and putting it under vacuum fot 30 minutes.It shows no leaks.

Next is to start replacing parts, I have no error codes.

There is a hidden AC diagnostic menu in the display screen you can access that may give more clues see utube

Its a major cost ,£3-400 for a compressor,£100 for condenser (radiator) plus labour.

I am changing the AC electronic control box first in the hope that it is glitching ,as the heating also is irregular.

So this may be a big bill waiting!

why hasn't dealer fixed AC with a recharge?

maybe more to it.

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I will have to see if I can call down on the weekend. I will be checking everything with a fine tooth comb. A friend also said that I could look at a LS460. They are a lot more expensive but maybe a better car with less problems. I only do around 4K a year as I only use the car for weekends and work during the week. 

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