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I have a 1998 S280 - yes its a real rocketship ;) , after 3 years of ownership I want to get rid. I wish to spend 5-6 k on a 2001 era GS430.

Other than the usual common sense advice when buying any used car I have a few questions.

1 ) is 'wheel wobble' a GS gremlin ?, I have it badly on my car at 45-60 and I do NOT want to be walking into that one again.

2 ) Does anyone recommend this over a BMW E39 540 ? if anyone has experience of that car.

3) My W140 rides fantastically at 110 k , with little done to the suspension, - how does the suspension, ride hold up with this model ?

oh and what kind of MPG do these get ?, I used to 20 mpg in town and 26/27 on a run. Cheers !

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I have a 1998 S280 - yes its a real rocketship ;) , after 3 years of ownership I want to get rid. I wish to spend 5-6 k on a 2001 era GS430.

Other than the usual common sense advice when buying any used car I have a few questions.

1 ) is 'wheel wobble' a GS gremlin ?, I have it badly on my car at 45-60 and I do NOT want to be walking into that one again.

2 ) Does anyone recommend this over a BMW E39 540 ? if anyone has experience of that car.

3) My W140 rides fantastically at 110 k , with little done to the suspension, - how does the suspension, ride hold up with this model ?

oh and what kind of MPG do these get ?, I used to 20 mpg in town and 26/27 on a run. Cheers !

Before I bought my present car, I ran a P reg W140 S320 for two years. In those two years I had the following problems: -

Both Drop links on the front anti-roll bar needed replacing.

Front shock absorbers needed replacing.

Water pump needed replacing.

Engine mass air flow sensor needed replacing. (£300+)

All 3 HT coils and 6 HT suppressors needed replacing to cure miss-fire.

Rubber flexible joint on main drive shaft needed replacing.

Windscreen wiper mechanism needed repair.

Drivers’ door stay needed replacing.

Both rear springs and lower wishbones needed replacing.

Rear wheel bearing needed replacing.

Counter balance spring on boot lid needed replacing.

But the worst problem was the bodywork corrosion which was worse than a 'BL Montegos' and was the main reason I changed the car.

I now run a Lexus LS430: nothing has broken in 15 months and no corrosion!

The chances are that any Lexus you buy will be far more reliable than any MB or BMW. Look at the independent survey results.

'Wheel wobble' on any car will be caused by: -

A tyre out of balance, or

Shock absorber faulty, or

Suspension bush fault, or

Wheel bearing failure.

Any good garage should sort it!

John N

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Lol at montegos - Not seen one of them in a long time. Yes the prior owner had done a fair bit but all in all i've been fortunate with it - it was just a car I had to have, now that time is past.

I hope the GS430 doesnt use larger than 235 tyres - the tyres I use at the mo, 235/16/60 are enough. Do you have any idea why the Americans seem to gush praise over the GS where as the British press were not usually so kind ?, Im sick of MB/BMW - their everywhere, Id be quite happy for a 'Q' car for a change. I suppose Im reading too much into the wobble issues as some people have found them unsolvable.

Are indy bills reasonable ?, Ive found the W140 oddly quite affordable - it is only the Straight six though. Ive yet to test drive any yet - I suspect the ones I do will have been looked after as they dont seem to the be the kind of car to abuse.

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We had a W140 S500 a few years ago and considered swapping to a GS430 (mk3 though), and it held up pretty well but ended up going for the CLS in the end :hehe:

I think you won't really have any problems with the mk2 GS, they're pretty solid if you get a good one. The drive will definitely be a little sharper than the S (from what I remember the S did not like corners!) but due to this the ride will never be as carpet smooth (I still miss the ride in the W140, it was incredible)

Another thing to consider is that Lexus cars have quite high road noise, this can be reduced with careful tyre choice but it will still be high compared to what you're used to but you'll notice this during a test drive so I'm sure will know whether or not its something you can live with. And as above, wheel wobble isn't the cars fault, it's something that any decent garage should have sorted for you.

We never really had a corrosion problem with our S though.......

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I am currently running a 99 E300td but really want to replace it with an LS400 or GS430 (makes sense as I work for Lexus :) )

The Merc is lovely to drive but has had some issues whilst owning it but I dont think I will regret changing it for either of the Lexus models. :winky:

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Yes corners are an issue - though oddly never as bad as a 523 i had once which must have had something wrong with the suspension. Road noise is not an issue as Im usually listening to something , speaking of which, it the Stereo as good as I hear. The W140 has subwoofers I believe, but as I have the lowly S280 is isnt the BOSE one. I came back from US a few months ago on hols, and even in a crown vic, V8 torque is what I need !, I have to rev the nuts off my current to get anywhere.

edit - Just having a look at pics of the interior, is the dash unit not a standard DIN stereo ?, I would like to connect my iphone/pod through a 3.5 mm jack.

I will miss the ride quality, but you cant have everything. Was going to go for a 540 but will not pay for 265 rears , not too mention the fact that their everywhere. (the shape that is).

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If you get a GS with the Mark Levinson sound system (not sure if the 430 had that as standard or if it was an option) then the sound is stunning. The standard Pioneer system is pretty good as well though so no issues on that front. I know the cars with satnav can have an ipod hooked up to them and controlled via the touchscreen but not sure about cars without satnav.

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Its a sacrifice Im willing to take - maybe Il have to start burning CDs again ! - Ill probably post again in a month with some pics / specs of potentials. Glad this forum seems to have some decent traffic. Perhaps its a good thing you didnt go for the MK3 - quality issues I hear ?

Having a look at the interior it seems they have copied MB to an extent, Lexus do this for the LS range re taking inspiration from the W126 in 1990, the W140 for the mark 3 model . The seats seem to be lifted from the 140 which is no bad thing.

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According to this it should work whether it has nav or not - LINK

Another option...... LINK

Yep there do appear to be quality issues with the mk3 so maybe we did escape there, the CLS has been pretty reliable actually given what Mercs have become, except for an ESP fault that was sorted under warranty and a parking sensor problem that was recently sorted at minimal cost, nothing else has gone wrong at all (touch wood!)

You're right, the current generation of Lexus cars is the first lot that haven't tried to clone Mercs and have established their own distinctive style.

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thanks for the links - looks like where there's a will........

I believe Mercedes have lost their way in the looks dep., the CLS is a very nice car, but the menace has gone - Mercedes shouldnt be curvy. The front end of the SL a colleague of mine has at work just doesnt do it for me the way the R129 does.

I decided on a GS from being intrigued by the car in this clip - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hqpEXI5C3Ck that interior !

the smallest thing I see and I want a type of car, I was 11 when I saw a 140 on tv and wanted one since, 26 now - will look more my age in GS methinks.

Looks like theres only 5 on sale within 200 miles of worcester - looks like I'll have to wait a while...

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Wonder why they put an aftermarket stereo in there, doesn't look right in a GS..........

Looks are obviously a personal thing, but I think they got the CLS spot on - one of the best looking cars on the road imho (but that's why we bought one!). But my favourite Merc is the SLS - absolutely love that thing, looks perfect and supposedly drives perfect too. Just need to find £160k to be able to buy one :whistling:

Wow you've been driving a 140 through your early 20s? That's an unusual choice of car at that age but must have been fun!

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Just seemed to make more sense to me than econo boxes - more comfortable, auto , quick enough around town, not too expensive at 4500 when I got it and 100 % reliable. Spent more on my first car ( Vectra) than I did on this one. Bit of a downer that there are so few about !, will have to wait for some more to come on the market. Not even many 540s about.

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