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I Am Looking At A Number Of Mk4 Ls400s

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Greetings of the seasons one and all,

I have viewed a silver LS400 Mk4 in Windsor, and there is a second car also in Windsor and a third in Slough that will come under my mediocre scrutiny this week.

Can you let me know if (someone as mechanically unminded as myself) there is anything else I should be looking out for during the viewing and test drive?

1. Documentation

V5 present and VIN matches; call previous owner (on V5)

Manufacturer’s handbook

Service history log with invoices

Road Tax

MOT and old certificates

Mileage consistent on documents

HPi clear

2. Physical Inspection

Number of keys

Alarm/ immobiliser functioning

Body panels and shut lines; evidence of resprays

Opening/ closing of all doors, bonnet and boot

Tyre tread and condition

Spare tyre, jack and toolkit

Locking wheel nut

Alloys’ condition

Exhaust fumes

All exterior lights work

All interior lights work

Number plates front and back match

General interior condition

Wipers and washers

All windows and their switches

Multifunction steering wheel controls

Dash and other controls’ backlighting

AC is ice cold (front and back)

All other ventilation (front and back) functions

Audio controls, multidisc CD changer, sound quality

All electrical items, including mirrors

Electrical steering adjustment

Electrical seat adjustment and heating for seats

Sunroof function

Engine bay condition

Fluid levels: brake, oil, coolant, washer

Suspension mounts and chassis members

3. Test Drive


Noise on start up

Cruise control functioning

Check brake performance

Handbrake tight

Steering – what to check?

Suspension on cornering, noises?

Unnecessary noises

Smooth gear changes, including reverse

Computer functions

Hoping that Xmas present to myself does actually arrive before Xmas. All silent 4 litres of it.

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Well it will almost! :mellow: A lot more comfortably and more quietly too.

Nil point, Nitmoi.

Agree wholeheartedly on the comfort and quietness front.

But the Ferrari has a whole 100 bhp more and weighs around 700 kg less.

Quick though the Lexus is, it will not see which direction the little red thing went.

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Unless you are familiar with the car you will have to be very much guided by the gut feeling - I saw 6 and loved every one of them: all beautifully presented inside out and of course they are so quiet it takes about a month before you begin to get the feel of the car. Ultimately I chose based on the seller and price and so far (after a couple of months) my only regret is that I didn't buy one sooner. Mechanically I think the most important thing is to know when the timing belt/water pump were replaced (hopefully by Lexus) - my understanding is that this has to be done at 63000 miles intervals, possibly sooner depending on elapsed time. By the by, it is a parking (i.e.: foot brake) rather than handbrake and it may have an automatic release (when you shift into gear) or it may have a release built into the dashboard (left of the steering wheel). Look out that the drivers seat is not 'sunk'... And, of course, bear in mind that most things on these cars will be expensive to fix/replace. I do love my LS400 and hope you will find a good one too.

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I've had my 99 model for a month now, and have generally been pretty pleased with it. It was the first one I had actually driven, but I can usually tell a good car from a nail, so was happy to part ex my Saab 9000 for it (wife still prefers the Saab though).

I felt I paid a fair price for it (£3K), and was aware that it needed a cam belt, and having driven it realised that there was possibly some suspension work needed (upper rear control arm bush worn as noticed on MOT). I will bring it up to good mechanical condition, but it is really a pretty sound car (in a dark red metallic).

I do however feel that the suspension lets it down (DHP model) as it appears to be mismatched to the car. Whilst it actually goes round corners fine, it is upset by minor road imperfections (all roads these days), and feels like an American car in this department.

I'm not unhappy with my purchase, and will keep it for several years (I still have my Morris Minor I bought in 1972) as I tend to hang on to cars.

Buy the best you can afford, but factor in upgrade costs for the future. I've spent a fair bit of time trying to find the best place to buy parts as there is a considerable difference in price between suppliers for the same thing.

I've found this site pretty informative (most one make sites are really), so just do your research.


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