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Off To Look At A (Gen 2) Gs300, What Should I Look For?


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I'm off to look at a 1998 GS300 3.0 SE. 98,000 miles on the clock, factory sat nav, full service history supposedly. Dealer is asking £3,000 for it (which is my budget, though I can stretch over that).

This is my first time looking at a car, let alone buying one (got my test next week actually). I'm going with my father so I'll have someone who isn't completely ignorant!

So what should we look out for? Is £3k a fair price?

Also, while I'm asking, what sort of mileage can these cars do before they start to need a lot of money spent on them? Are they pretty reliable generally?

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I don't know much about the GS300, but I know the Soarer with the same engine can do easily double the mileage. Provided it's been regularly serviced.

That's your main concern along with how young or tired the car seems.

Mileage reading on cars of this age is often not dependable unless you see a stack of MOTs to back it up.

Dealers will almost always have some reserve in their list price so offer low and haggle.

There's a lot of general advice on the web about buying cars, well worth a good read.

Have you checked your insurance premium is manageable? A 3L car on a new driving licence will cost a bit.

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If it does how a good full service history with lots if paperwork to back it up car should be an ok buy, brake master cylinder will be the main thing to look out for ,pre 2000 cars have issues with this and its a very exspensive job to fix

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Thanks, I've checked the AA guide to buying a used car so I'll have something to go on, and I'll check the service history to see if the brake master cylinder and cam belt have been changed recently. If the brake master cylinder has not been replaced, does that mean it's likely to break soon? Or do I need to physically look at it?

How can I tell if a car is 'tired' or 'young'? I've only driven my learner Peugeot 307 on the roads (also my father's Volvo V70 and sister's VW Golf in a car park) so I don't have much experience of what a car should feel like, as you can imagine.

insurance is going to be steep, but then that goes for anything it seems! I'm going to be getting a whole family policy where I'll be listed as the primary, no-claims earning driver but my father and sister will be listed as occasional drivers. This halves the cost of my insurance! It would still be cheaper to get a little supermini or something, but I'm pretty sure I'd rather spend a few hundred quid extra and have a nice car that is a nice place to spend time, and looks respectable when I turn up at work or at a client's business (The Lexus GS seems perfect for this, I don't think it looks pretentious like a Mercedes etc might, given my age, but is still a nice refined car).

I'll be viewing it tomorrow by the way.

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Thanks, I've checked the AA guide to buying a used car so I'll have something to go on, and I'll check the service history to see if the brake master cylinder and cam belt have been changed recently. If the brake master cylinder has not been replaced, does that mean it's likely to break soon? Or do I need to physically look at it?

How can I tell if a car is 'tired' or 'young'? I've only driven my learner Peugeot 307 on the roads (also my father's Volvo V70 and sister's VW Golf in a car park) so I don't have much experience of what a car should feel like, as you can imagine.

Insurance is going to be steep, but then that goes for anything it seems! I'm going to be getting a whole family policy where I'll be listed as the primary, no-claims earning driver but my father and sister will be listed as occasional drivers. This halves the cost of my insurance! It would still be cheaper to get a little supermini or something, but I'm pretty sure I'd rather spend a few hundred quid extra and have a nice car that is a nice place to spend time, and looks respectable when I turn up at work or at a client's business (The Lexus GS seems perfect for this, I don't think it looks pretentious like a Mercedes etc might, given my age, but is still a nice refined car).

I'll be viewing it tomorrow by the way.

The brake master cylinders dont go on all cars its just an issue that has happened to quite a few ,just test the brakes well to make sure they are not to spongey and work well and also the cylinder starts to make a noise when it is starting to go, if you do as search on here you find out exactly what to look for and what to listen out for.

Also check for steering wheel wobble cars are prone to that , get the car up to a good speed and see if the steering wheel wobbles at all.

When comes to checking whether the car is young or old its the same with all cars, check steering wheel to make sure its not to shiny and worn , check all the pedals to make sure the rubber on them is how it should ie if all the pedals rubber covers are worn away car has done lots of miles, check seats to see how worn they are can idicate the mileage just check all the interior well, again it will show how genuine the car is.

When test driving at low speeds brings the windows down so you can listen out for any unusual noises and check all the equipment to make sure it works ,press every button.

Obviously with the mileage it has done it will have natural wear and tear but that has to be within reason,

Hope this helps theres lots more i could write but have to go just be sensible and dont let your heart rule your head if anything is not right about it walk away .

James

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How can I tell if a car is 'tired' or 'young'? Would be good to get someone experienced to go with you. Look for worn out pedal rubbers, worn drivers seat, worn steering wheel, that sort of thing tells you if a car is heavily used. It should drive almost like a new one, smoothly over deep drains without banging, stay straight and true cruising and braking. No wheel shakes. Quiet. You get the picture. Try and see more than one before deciding. Good luck.

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I wish I could come with you and help you out. I've looked at lots of cars and bought a few dogs but over the years, along with a budget increase, I have got better at buying 'good' cars.

Good luck and give us your feed back on the GS!!

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Just got back from the dealer. The car appeared to be in very good shape, no major chips or scratches, no rust beyond what you'd expect for a car of its age (the exposed nut on the alloys and a couple of bolts inside the engine compartment etc). The leather was in good shape, no significant creases and it didn't look to be wearing thin. The piping on the drivers seat had split in several places which I guess is what you'd expect, but the leather itself had no tears. There was a bit of what I'd describe as 'speckling' on the seat itself, little spots that are slightly more pale than the surrounding leather. No major scratches or dings to the wood or plastic beyond normal wear and tear. Tyres looked in good nick.

The touch screen computer and many gizmos all worked well, aircon blew very cold. I had to turn the heated seats on to warm up a bit :lol: The boot is very large for the size of car which pleased me. Bit of a smokey smell inside, and doggy smell in the boot, but not enough to bother me. The cam belt had been changed at 62k, so will be due for a change in about another 2 years but I was impressed at how easy it was to get to. I imagine a cam belt change on this car would be very cheap, just an hour's work?

Only thing that concerned me was the alloy wheels looked as if the outer 'layer' had flaked off in a spot and were grubby underneath. The salesman told me this was the lacquer wearing off, and that it was normal and happens on all Toyota/Lexus cars, even new ones. Is this true can can it lead to problems?

It had recently had new brakes fitted and service history looked good, only two previous owners.

I didn't take it for a test drive but I'll go back if, after seeing a couple more, it looks the most promising.

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Try to get a look at the V5. You should be able to see previous owner details without salesman realising (or you could just be open and say you want his details) then contact previous owner to ask if anything caused problems. Since you are buying from a dealer don't forget you get 6 months warranty irrespective of what the dealer tells you.

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