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'04 LC/LX potential purchase question...advice needed please

Discussion in '100-Series Cruisers' started by boze_man, Aug 19, 2006.

  1. boze_man

    boze_man

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    Hello All...great website...a lot of sweet 100's posted

    I am considering an '04 LC from a local non-toyota dealer $37.9K and about 40k miles being sold AS-IS...grey,grey, pretty clean, NAV, and what looks like an aftermkt tow hitch (looks diff from the LX one)....

    My dilema is it is just out of warranty with an '04 w/NAV am I better off going to an early MY...say an '02 or '03 with more miles but getting below 30k and using the diff for future maintainence and possible repair???? pony up for a warranty???

    There is also a fully loaded (Nav, DVD, Night vision) CERTIFIED '04 LX for sale (54k miles I think) at the local Lexus dealer for prob 5-6k more.....BUT I dont feel comfortable driving a vehicle with the LEXUS badge on it...can I strip the truck of much of its LEXUS badging??? (my apologies to those who are proud to own a Lexus....hopefuly no offense taken, just not my style...sorry sorry sorry) :whoops:

    There also always seems to be more LX's than LC's for sale at any given time around here and I am just tryin to keep my options open...

    BTW...the truck would be the wife's daily suburban assault vehicle and also family truckster for camping, towing, off road adventures, etc :D

    Thanks again for the advice
    Bill
     
  2. Jim_Chow

    Jim_Chow

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    I'd only get an '04 if it had the warranty...too risky w/o the warranty based on feedback on nav problems. The nav's through '03 are the older, gen-3 nav's...tried & true, but nothing fancy. With a '03, you get the 5spd auto; '02 is the 4spd, non-gate shifter. I might add that when I was shopping around (prereq's were the 5spd tranny, Southwest vehicle), I was looking for a 03 LC but found a much better selection in LX's....there were CPO LX's w/ fewer miles than no-warranty dealer and pp LC's for the same money. It was ludicrous.

    Part of the reason for a better supply of newer LX's is new Lexus owners typically buy a new vehicle every 2 yrs, according to the fleet manager at the dealer where I bought. Some buyers hit the max miles allowed under their lease in just a couple of years and trade it in, some always want a "new" car, others just have tons of money to burn and want the latest body style. There's one guy on clublexus who's on his third LX; he buys a new one every 2 yrs, and is waiting for the latest body style to debut, when he'll dump his 3rd LX for the latest, chic style. That's when people like us swoop in and buy their used rigs.

    If you're looking at a LX, you can go to any Lexus dealer and have them download the service records (any time it was serviced by a Lexus dealer in the US/Canada), even if it's one your looking at on the web. They can tell you what dealer it was purchased at, and what dealer performed the service. You can at least piece together a history and know that, say, it's not a Midwest or Northeast vehicle that was driven in salt.

    My wife and I didn't care about the labels (LC or LX) or color (as long as it wasn't black...gets kind of hot here in AZ!). The condition/service history is what mattered to us, plus we wanted a warranty (face it, these rigs are expensive & complicated, and service can get expensive fast if not in warranty...like $5K for the 04 LC nav unit!). Check the undercarriage to see if bolts are rusty, etc. If mileage is over 60K, check to see if brake and AHC fluids were flushed, check to see if they used toyota red coolant and didn't mix red w/ green (a big no-no), etc. You can only do so much on the dealer lot, but do these engine compartment checks BEFORE you even start the engine.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2006
  3. boze_man

    boze_man

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    hey jim...thanks for the feedback...

    agree on the NAV with the '04...have read a couple threads on the new NAV issues...$5k to replace...Yikes!!!

    will probably focus on an '03 in the meantime...or look more closely at the '04 LX...

    aren't the rear badges just glued on??:D

    later
    bill
     
  4. boze_man

    boze_man

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    or I guess i could push for a after market warranty on the LC...just not sure what the deal is with those...are they any good???
     
  5. Jim_Chow

    Jim_Chow

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    If it were me, I'd only go w/ a Toyota or Lexus platinum warranty (there are different levels). I'm not sure how much truth there is to this, but Lexus might be more generous on warranty claims rather than try to nickle & dime you and say it was abuse or some BS. The platinum warranty covers more stuff than gold, etc. It should cover exhaust manifolds, nav, brake master cylinder pump (all big ticket items).

    Yes, those badges are basically adhesive stickers. In Japan you can buy the LC or LX/GX badges. As Toyota doesn't sell any of the Lexus SUV's in Japan, many wanna-bees have spent a lot of money and replaced their LC emblems, door steps, lights, steering wheels/airbags, key covers, etc. w/ LX ones.
     
  6. LXPearl

    LXPearl

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    I recommend the LX470 with the warranty between the two. The Lexus CPO is excellent and will take you 3 yrs or 100K miles. You also know it is in like new condition and not sold "as is."

    Another reason for the LX is how you will use it - it fits your use very well. Since it is your wife's daily driver, she will enjoy the LX better. My wife had reservations about driving a Lexus, but after getting one, she now appreciates its qualities over the LC we owned. For your use, the AHC system is great. It will automatically adjust (auto level) for whatever load you have, when you get off road you can raise it to High if needed, and the suspension tuning does an outstanding job on dirt & gravel roads.

    If you want to take off the badging you can. Maybe even put on Toyota badges - most on the stree would not even notice that it was not "correct.".
     
  7. DarkStar

    DarkStar

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    LX is a much nicer urban vehicle than the LC especially with the AHC, Levinson, etc....and the service deparment at Lexus is second to none.
     
  8. KLF

    KLF Frame waxer SILVER Star

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    I personally wouldn't hesitate to go with the LX. I'm not into show-off status symbols, if that is your reservation, but I have been totally pleased with everything about my car, including the purchase experience at the dealership. They were very professional, no pressure, and called me twice afterwards to see if I had any questions or problems. This was on a 6-year old used car (bought it 2 years ago).

    It's more than just a badge.
     
  9. boze_man

    boze_man

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    well both vehicles have sold...

    but the Lexus dealer does have an 2003 LX with 60k miles (also 60k service done)...they are asking $37.9, which seems high to me...it is NOT certified...what r my choices w/ warranty?? can i purchase a Lexus warranty or am i stuck with after-mkt??

    from what i have read here seems like '03 is a good model year, esp with the NAV issues....but for a few dollars more i can get an '04 with 20k less miles...
     
  10. Jim_Chow

    Jim_Chow

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    Does it include the 60K mi service? If not, try to bundle it in. Dealers are often not flexible on the price but if you throw in extras (warranty, etc.), there's more bargaining room since those are marked up so much. I got my CPO 3 yr/100K warranty extended by 2 yrs for only $300 (list was $1600, to get an idea). I wanted to get the 60K service include, but they wouldn't budge, saying they couldn't sell service through the car sales dept.

    I got the 03 since it was the last year Type IV ATF was used and has the ATF dipstick plus the first year w/ the 5 spd auto. I also considered a CPO '04 for $3K less, but the service at that dealer (So. CA) sucked (wouldn't answer any of my email questions, just asked if I was interested in the vehicle). I did have one warranty claim...steering wheel wasn't centered (was 5-10 deg to the left when vehicle tracked straight). I didn't notice it on the test drive since the road was inverse cambered (concave) and was concentrating on seeing if there was any steering vibration at certain speeds up to 60mph (none). Anyways, the dealer said the VGRS ECU was updated (vehicle was built in 11/02, so one of the earlier '03's) and that the warranty covered it and replaced the ECU ($800+labor). If I didn't have the warranty, I would have just lived with it.
     
  11. Gohawks63

    Gohawks63

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    You obviously have read som of my threads. Check the service history. If the Nav screen was replaced you should be fine. THere was a TSB and the replacement screen was redesigned. There is also a TSB on the radio that addresses problems when using Bluetooth. Basically the radio won't "unmute" after the call. It may correct itslef when placing another call, or not. The only way to get it back for certain is to turn the vehicle off and then back on. The TSB for this also states to have the headunit replaced with a redesigned one.

    If not, as others have said try to see if you can get a Toyota warranty. I know I got one when I purchased my '98 used, but I did buy the vehicle (and the warranty) at a dealer.

    While these two instances have disappointed me somewhat, I still enjoy our 'Cruiser and would buy another. Next time though I won't labor so much on whether I should buy the warranty.

    Good luck!
     
  12. boze_man

    boze_man

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    WOW...regarding the 2003 LX470 w/62k miles...the dealer wants $3225 for a plaitinum, 0 deductible, 3/36 warranty...WTF???...warranty price seems insane to me...would make the price 37900+3225=$41125 for a NON-certified 2003???

    and yes the 60k service was done on this NON- certified vehicle...

    anyone know the real cost of a Lexus warranty??

    also can I purchase a Lexus warranty if I buy a private party LX470 w/ time or mileage out of the standard factory warranty...??

    thanks again guys
     
  13. Jim_Chow

    Jim_Chow

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    I believe to certify a vehicle, the dealer has to pay Lexus about $2.5K, plus it has to do the 200 point service check and it has to have a complete Lexus service history. If the PO didn't have Lexus perform all the service, that should disqualify the vehicle from being CPO; doesn't mean it's not as reliable, but you just don't know who did the service. It could have been a Jiffy Lube mechanic who added brake fluid to the AHC resevoir, slowly destroying the AHC damping membranes over months.

    Somewhere I heard if your vehicle is below the factory warranty limit in miles/years, you can extend the original factory warranty for a lot less than if it has more miles than the limit. Can anyone confirm this?

    Anyways, I think your dealer is asking too much. Is this a Southwest-only vehicle?
     
  14. coulomb

    coulomb

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    When we were looking for a LC we ended up finding a Certified Used LX470. This was in late '03. It was an '00 with 54k miles. We found the list prices then to be within 1k of the LC.

    We paid asking price at the LX dealer for the truck- it was a little below KBB dealer prices with options. We got them throw in the Platinum Warrenty at no charge. I think they have very low financing rates too for Certified Used (3.8%?) The warrenty is well worth it to say the least. We have already had some warrenty stuff come up that has more than covered any price differential we might have gotten on haggeling the list price with no warrenty. We had to have both mirrors replaced due to bad motors- over $1800 in charges covered. :) Now, having owned it 2 years, we still have 1 year warrenty and we're only at 84k miles so we feel very covered for anything that comes up.

    IMO the LX is VERY cushy and a great off-roader as well. It took a little while to stop being self conscious about driving a Lexus but having it paid for and using it to it's capabilities quickly deminished the Luxury Vehicle status from our minds. We have been Toyota owners forever and had pu's, 4 Runners & FJ40's.

    Just keep looking, you will find one that is perfect for you. We drove 5 hours to get ours but well worth it.
     
  15. Gohawks63

    Gohawks63

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    $3,225 is insane. In 2001 I bought a '98 LC with 45K miles. I paid $1,400 for a warranty that took it to 100K miles with a $50 deductible. I think the $0 deductible was a couple hundred more.

    I can't imagine the prices have gone up that much.

    No way I would pay that.
     
  16. jjbodean1970

    jjbodean1970

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    thats about right, jim. the average cost to certify a pre-owned lexus is about $1400, and the lx470 will be on the higher end of the average. there is also the CPO fee they pay to lexus to register the certification that runs about $900, so $2500 is a fair estimate
     
  17. jjbodean1970

    jjbodean1970

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    that price is actually correct, straight from lexus financial services
     
  18. Gohawks63

    Gohawks63

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    Yeah, just like MSRP is correct, but how many people actually pay that?

    I bought an '06 Acura RL in May. Dealer initially quoted me $3,200 for an extended 7yr/100K mile warranty (factory is 5yr/50k bumper-to-bumper 6yr/70K powertrain).

    I initially negotiated them down to $1,700 and then finally down to $1,100. This was a certified Acura Care warranty through Honda Financial Services.

    Nice little mark-up the dealer gets when customers pay the "correct" price.
     
  19. jjbodean1970

    jjbodean1970

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    thats a ridiculous amount of markup for an extended service agreement. the lexus policies average about $700 markup
     
  20. Gohawks63

    Gohawks63

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    That's still high (IMO). Like I said I paid $1,400 for an extended warranty on my '98 LC that I bought in '01, and when I bought my '04 they pro-rated me the unused amount of the warranty (~$400) that I applied on the new contract.
     
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