You may have seen me over on the introductions page, but if not I'm Andy and I've just recently purchased a 2005 LS430 with only 65,000 miles on the clock.
While in fairly good condition, it does have a few issues that need to be taken care of. Is is nearly 15 years old after all. A lot of what I'll be doing to the car is preventative maintenance, as I need this car to be as reliable as possible (which shouldn't be too difficult in one of these).
I'm planning on having the car converted to LPG fairly soon. I have a long commute so the cost of the conversion should take me less then a year to recoup. With the local LPG station near my home selling for 57p per litre and the one next to my work selling for 63p, I'll have the benefit of driving a full size luxury car with Toyota reliability and the running costs of a diesel family car.
I was going to wait until I had the car properly detailed before I made this post but decided I should show the car first the way I got it.
So here it is in its current state. Please forgive my parking job, I'm still getting used to driving such a big car.
This is a big upgrade from my 2006 Volvo S60 D5. I can't fault it too much though, I bought it for 4k 3 years ago, doubled the mileage and it's now on 150k with life still left in it. But as dependable as it was, it's terrible to drive. I drove the old girl after a week of being in the Lexus and the difference is shocking. How I did 75,000 miles in that thing is beyond me.
So, back to the Lexus. A low mileage example, but with a few faults. The car was advertised as having full service history, but it turned out to be partial. I already knew it needed a cambelt service so was ready to negotiate. In the end I'm happy with the deal I got, and it leaves me with some pennies left for a few jobs that need doing.
So today I gave the car a full service using all genuine Lexus/Toyota parts. Oil, filter, new spark plugs, air filter, cabin filter and a new battery.
Thanks to Daniel at Lexus Parts Direct for getting these out to me so quickly and helping me find the correct parts I needed.
Thought I'd use the ramps today so save time using my big heavy trolley jack and axel stands. I'll reconsider this next time. You need a feather touch to get this beast on a set of ramps, it was fairly dicey. Note the scrape marks on the driveway, we slid a bit. And take no notice of the oil stains. That's from my old car, and I'll finally clean that now I have a car that has no leaks (and yes I checked).
The car looked like it had been serviced fairly recently. Cheapo air and cabin filters I'd never heard of, but at least it had a MANN oil filter and NGK spark plugs. The existing filters looked pretty new, and the spark plugs didn't look too bad but I changed them out for good measure anyway.
The underside of the car is what can best be described as "mildly crusty". Looking at the history of the car it seemed to have lived in Scotland. Nothing too bad. Suspension components seem fine for now, drives very nice. I am concerned about how long that exhaust has left, but we'll cross that bridge when/if we come to it.
Some other goodies have come in the post. Mainly some supplies to restock my dwindling car cleaning kit. I hadn't been cleaning the old car as much as I should have been.
There's more than this, it came in two boxes. The car could do with a good machine polish, but for now I'm going to give it a proper wash, clay bar it, apply some wax etc. Also going to focus on the interior as it needs some love. I've got interior fabric cleaner, leather cleaner and conditioner etc. I think she should polish up nice for nearly 15 years old.
I also picked up and xCarLink iPod adapter, and a Brodit mount to go with the existing holder I have for my phone. Still awaiting on some parts for this so more on that later.
Tomorrow I'll be giving the car a proper clean, and hopefully if I have time changing the serpentine belt which looks like it's had better days. Euro Car Parts don't stock too many decent parts for the LS430, but they do have ContiTech belts and are currently having a big sale so I've got one reserved.
The car is booked in with Lexus next week for a full cambelt service and water pump replacement. They gave me a very good price, comparable to an indy with the added bonus of being given a courtesy car.
Next weekend it's booked at a garage local to me for an alignment/suspension geometry, and to check that the wheels are balanced right. There's a bit of a wobble at around 70MPH. Also going to see if they can re-gas the air conditioner, the recent weather we've had has revealed that the A/C isn't blowing as cold as it probably should.
I've ordered a separate cooler for the gearbox which hopefully should prevent any failures in the future. Not sure when I'll get to fix this, but I'm thinking I might swap out the radiator and flush the gearbox at the same time.
Really the only other issues it has is the electronic steering wheel adjustment doesn't work properly, and one of the rear lights is letting in water.
And fingers crossed, some time next month it's going to have the LPG conversion all finished.