Would you buy a used car from....?

Discussion in '200-Series Cruisers' started by Bob Frame, Jan 11, 2019.

  1. Bob Frame

    Bob Frame

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    I am shopping for a used LX and am looking all over the US. I want a clean 2015, but having grown up in the northeast, I am terrified of salt damage. Given this preference, I automatically reject cars that have lived outside of the southern half of the US or the west coast (CA, OR, WA). So, no Northeast or Midwest cars for me. I'm told that Washington state does not use salt in snow removal, so even though there's snow, you don't have the effects of salt. For that reason, I'd include a WA car.

    I even question a coastal car, such as Miami, although my '06 LX470 spent its first two years there and has been perfect. I fear that a car that has been exposed to salt air on a regular basis could suffer.

    Am I going overboard on this?
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
  2. TonyP

    TonyP GOLD Star

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    Grew up in the northeast too (Boston and S. Rhode Island). I've only encountered one vehicle in my purchases that wasn't rusty. Solely due to the sellers diligence in maintaining the vehicle. So it's possible but highly unlikely.

    Stick to the southern states.
     
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  3. Bob Frame

    Bob Frame

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    Thanks...this confirms what I feared. I hear a lot about how much more protection cars have from corrosion/rust but I think soaking in that awful salty brine every year will attack anything that isn't protected. And that can be hard to do in mid winter in the northeast.
     
  4. Bob Frame

    Bob Frame

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    Do you think that a Miami car with potentially high exposure to salt air is at risk for rust?
     
  5. Overland Tailor

    Overland Tailor Boltripper Supporting Vendor

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    I watched a special a few weeks ago on Discovery or some channel and that due to the increasing tide levels, Miami has times where streets are flooded with sea water and they have been installing pumps to help with this issue. I can imagine these trucks running down flooded streets of salt water.. Would be no different than running it on the beach in the ocean.... No thanks...

    Any Miami guys that can confirm this??

    I personally think that I will look more inland for any used vehicle.
     
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  6. Sandroad

    Sandroad SILVER Star

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    I’d be more concerned about corrosion if you were looking for an older vehicle. Most of what you’ll find if you’re wanting a ‘15 will only have 3 seasons of salt if in the NE. Assuming reasonable care for an LX, I think you’ll be fine looking most anywhere. So, look first for a southern vehicle if you’d like, but good maintenance and good history are more important than location for a 3-4 year old, IMHO.
     
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  7. JohnJB

    JohnJB

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    If you want to be a fussy buyer, which I thoroughly support on $$$ vehicles, I go so far as to encourage people to avoid all cars from FL. Meaning I write off vehicles that have even been registered in FL.

    Why? Salt exposure from ocean proximity like you mentioned is one reason (yeah yeah there's inland parts too). Two, FL has some whack and lax DMV policies. It's easy to get away with things like title washing in FL, which means the vehicle could have previously damaged, salvaged, rolled back, or that the # of owners is misrepresented (I have actually experienced this, which is one reason why I've adopted this policy). Sure this is possible in any state, but it's easier to get away with in FL compared to many other states. Lastly, and this is where I tick off all the FL residents, folks in Florida are cheap. Many folks live in FL for tax purposes. And I'm going to make a gross generalization here: some of these types of folks, who worry about all types of penny pinching, are not the type of people you want to buy a used car from, as do you think they really performed all necessary maintenance? Unless the owner can provide documentation for every single service with mileage verification, forget it.

    Now, we are talking a late model vehicle that is generally reliable and can likely live on oil changes alone for the first few years of service assuming mileage isn't high. So am I making a mountain out of a mole hill? Probably. But those are my thoughts and I know more than a handful of enthusiasts and collectors that are like-minded and share much of the same rationale. YMMV
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
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  8. chsu74

    chsu74

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    ^+1. Also hurricane flood cars
     
  9. Bob Frame

    Bob Frame

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    JohnJB,

    My current LX470 ('06) was a south Florida car (for two years) that has been a dream to own. SO I think that your comments have some validity. I also lived in south FL and understand your position on some, though certainly not all, of the folks who live there.

    I can verify service history (from a distance) and will absolutely walk on a car that is missing this. Judging the effects of salt damage is much more difficult and hence I am looking for a set of "rules" to follow (such as where the car has lived) in searching for my next LX. I sense that a Florida car can be iffy.
     
  10. Bob Frame

    Bob Frame

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    Would this sort of exposure show on a Carfax?
     
  11. chsu74

    chsu74

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    Only if the car is insured and a claim can be made.

    There is also a lag between insurance claim and showing up on Carfax. Same with accident claims as well.
     
  12. CGP

    CGP

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    I wouldn't worry so much about rust potential on coastal cars but the flood damage and other items are cause for concern. I am always skeptical of good deals in coastal TX (and there are lots out there!).
     
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  13. Bob Frame

    Bob Frame

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    I think this makes sense. The Carfax report does show the car's geographical history. That helps.
     
  14. Docboy

    Docboy

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    You are not going overboard. My LX I bought certified spent the first years of its life in Nevada and WA. As a WA state resident, there are no issues with salt corrosion wrt used vehicles that spent its life here.

    I looked at a few used 4Runners, GX, and LC; many came from NY, NJ, and 1 from Alaska; ALL of these trucks had pretty severe rust and corrosion. I passed on all of them, even though the prices were tempting on some.

    I would try to find a LX that originated from CA, OR, WA, AZ, NV, NM. FL and TX, as mentioned, MAY have flood issues.
     
  15. Volunteer

    Volunteer Bayou State Land Cruiser Association SILVER Star

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    Absolutely I wouldn't buy one without the carfax history especially since some of those North East cars are shipped to other locations for better sale opportunities. I ran into that when I was looking. With the carfax you can trace them I found some dealerships or auction houses hop to locations where they feel they can move them. Definitely one of those that stay clear of anything in the salt belt. Good Luck with your search :cheers:
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
  16. Bob Frame

    Bob Frame

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    My policy is I get a free Carfax report for the vehicle or I wont even read the ad. A Carfax report, assuming its accurate, is an amazing tool. Regarding the search: Thanks. I'm prepared for this to take months.
     
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  17. TimCFJ40

    TimCFJ40

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    Personally, I think coastal cars are a mixed bag, and I'd be weary but not write them off. I'd look for flood damage evidence or unusual ownership history (multiple owners in a short time, hopping from dealer to dealer). I'd also look very carefully at the rear frame area and hitch for evidence of salt water boat ramp usage. I've seen trucks that had 10 years of salt water boat ramp usage where the frame from the rear wheels back looked like it came from Buffalo, NY, and the front looked brand new. My 200 came from Mobile, AL (Might as well be FL) and even as a 2008 with 210k miles, it shows no evidence of rust.
     
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  18. Bob Frame

    Bob Frame

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    This is very helpful.
     
  19. Bendcruiser

    Bendcruiser

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    Washington and Oregon no salt on roads. Good buying territory if you can find one?
     
  20. Bob Frame

    Bob Frame

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    Glad to hear OR is salt free. We rode our 1200GS's through Bend this fall...love that place.
     
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