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Hoondavan
Hoondavan HalfDork
12/1/22 3:02 p.m.

I've finally made a tentative decision around buying a vehicle to supplement Old Blue (rapidly aging 2008 Honda Odyssey).  A 2010 Lexus GX460 w/130,000 at a small private dealership.  ~6 nice looking used cars stored inside a nice facility.    It looks mint and very, very clean underneath (too clean?).  No visible leaks or issues, but there's a slight vibration in the steering wheel at high-speeds.  The dealer said it was the all-terrain tires and just called to say they had been rebalanced and the vibration is gone.  I guess I'll see tomorrow.  I'm pretty sure I saw some evidence of grease by the lower control arm bushing boot. I wish I took pictures while I was under there to share.  Either way im' having an independent inspection done tomorrow.

I'm pretty sure I smelled oil inside the cabin...it could be the cleaning materials they used...i'll have to go back with a family member  tomorrow.   Front cam seal oil leaks are common and they can drip on the exhaust.  The oil was just changed, so even so light it's tough to see.  There's a giant skidplate that makes seeing a leak a little tricky.  Valley coolant leaks are also common and not an "easy." fix.

Thanks for reading this far.  My main question relates to the carfax.  The vehicle lived in Louisiana in 2020 and sold in Alabama in Feb 2021.  In January 2022 it shows a purchase in Mississippi, then Tennessee (reported by MS Motor Vehicle), then a title in Mississippi...Any idea what this means?  Should I suspect the title may be "washed?"  

Current mileage is 127,521...only 2k miles in the last 12 months

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

calteg
calteg SuperDork
12/1/22 5:12 p.m.

The TN part is the only head scratcher. I will say, those dates are right in the thick of tax season, during the most rapidly appreciating market we've ever seen. It wouldn't surprise me if several dealers were playing hot potato, selling it to the next dealer profitably

Driven5
Driven5 UberDork
12/1/22 5:28 p.m.

So it's all under one owner within a couple days. I don't know anything about title washing, but I've seen similar from used car dealership chains with out-of-state headquarters... Although that would typically end in a 'vehicle offered for sale' line.

Hoondavan
Hoondavan HalfDork
12/1/22 6:35 p.m.
Driven5 said:

So it's all under one owner within a couple days. I don't know anything about title washing, but I've seen similar from used car dealership chains with out-of-state headquarters... Although that would typically end in a 'vehicle offered for sale' line.

The guy said he bought it at a carmax auction, so that may be explainable.

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
12/1/22 7:12 p.m.

For Toyotas, on the Toyota website there is a section for "owners."  In that section you can sign up for an account for free and don't need any real proof of Toyota ownership.  Once there, you can insert a vin (even the vin of a car you don't yet own) and the site will report back to you all the Dealer Service the car has gotten anywhere in the US.  

I think Lexus has the same under Lexus Drivers.  Its free and I have found valuable info on potential purchases.  Samples are that you might find that it was religiously maintained at the dealership...or maybe not.  Look for red flags like last report advising something like transfer case replacement or any other big job that might be enough to warrant offloading the car.  

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
12/1/22 7:24 p.m.

I also find it amazing what can be found by just googling the 17 digit VIN number.  

Here are the results...

Notice that down page there is an Edmunds listing for that vin for sale in Birmingham AL but, when you click on the link, it doesn't pull up the car.  It's just residual left over info from recent past.  In Birmingham the car was labeled Certified Pre Owned.  This is good because the car met whatever Lexus requires to be CPO.   

In similar fashion, the vin comes up at a dealership in Saucier, MS (30 minutes north of Gulfport, MS)

Does that all jive with Carfax?  

 

How about this find!  Call the previous owner...

Joan Cromwell

PO BOX 3597, GULFPORT, MS 39505

P: (228) 234-5379

VIN: JTJBM7FX2A5007432

 

This site will give you pictures of Joan's house and that she is 71 years old.  Zillow says the house, new construction, is worth $700k.  
Adult owner of financial means is the kind of previous owner you might want!  I suspect she is the original owner.  

All gotten by just googling the 17 digit vin number

93gsxturbo
93gsxturbo UltraDork
12/1/22 8:58 p.m.

All the factory body panels should have VIN stickers on them.  All the glass should be either Toyota or Lexus branded.  All the paint should match, and all the fasteners holding the fenders and hood on should be OEM and untouched.  Crawl around underneath and see if you see any evidence of any hanky-panky like stretched out holes on the frame evident of a being on a frame machine.  If all that checks out and the price is right I would not lose a lot of sleep on anything else.  

That all being said they are sort of miserable little beasts.  Uglier than a 4Runner but just as cramped.  A little more power than the 4Runner but worse MPG.  Tall and skinny so they get pushed around pretty bad in high wind.  Interior is nice but infotainment was out of date when it was new and 13 years have not been kind to it.  Forget ever having Android Auto.

For not many more pesos you can get an LX570 that is better in every single way.  

https://www.cars.com/vehicledetail/94aaa3de-0ba0-4e0e-b475-c2f77cc89789/

grover
grover Dork
12/1/22 10:23 p.m.

That's almost exactly what I payed for our 2013 with 96k miles 4 years ago- at CarMax. I know prices are crazy but dang! We have about 160kish I think and have had 0 issues. Small oil leak somewhere but it's basically a drip every 1000 miles. It's louder than you would expect and also bad on gas (we avg 17mpg) but it's bulletproof. 

Hoondavan
Hoondavan HalfDork
12/1/22 11:13 p.m.

All great advice, you guys are the best!.

I did find the prior owner's name but only found a PO box.  Good work, @JohnWelsh!  That info jives w carfax.  I wasn't what it meant when those seaech results showed up...your info is reassuring.

I crawled around underneath and didn't see anything odd, except the rear fender liner was loose and looked new.  I didn't check the glass or inspexr the panels for VIN stamps

I registered the VIN W lexus owners, but it didn't show prior owner service.  I read somewhere they don't show prior owner history. Not much lexus dealer service work in the carfax.  I may ask my toyota dealer to run the VIN.

The gas mileage would be easier to swallow if it wasn't drinking premium fuel.  My 08 odyssey only gets 22 on the highway.  I'll pay a little more for the comfort.  I didn't check the big boy LX570...i had assumed the fuel economy was FJ80 bad...but it's actually pretty similiar.  Good call.

SWMBO has wanted one of these for a long time.  The gx460 is supposed to ride much better than the older gx470.  They also have more trunk space and a timing chain (instead of a belt).  I was pretty close to buying a 2017 expedition until my indie mechanic told me what I already knew about ford engineering.

I think the early GX460s have the best looks, i don't like the gaping jaw look of the newer ones.

 

Ojala
Ojala Dork
12/2/22 11:29 a.m.

My GX is 5 years old and it's not fast, sporty, or good looking but it's been anvil reliable. It's a 4wd suv appliance. I think I have used premium only a handful of times and I saw no difference from regular. Unless I have been on a road trip I have always filled up at our Costco and averaged about 18mpg. 

grover
grover Dork
12/2/22 1:11 p.m.

I will say that if you do purchase- go ahead and buy the metal oil filter housing. The factory plastic one sucks.  

Hoondavan
Hoondavan HalfDork
12/2/22 1:15 p.m.

I talked to the original owner.  It was pampered for the first 40k miles of it's life.  They only sold it when they moved to a town without a nearby lexus dealer.  The other 7 years and mileage is a mystery...although apparently Madison MS is the nicest part of the state.  

The independent inspection didn't find any issues so I'll be heading out to likely bring it home this afternoon. 

grover
grover Dork
12/2/22 1:18 p.m.

In reply to Hoondavan :

A/c seats are the best. 

spitfirebill
spitfirebill MegaDork
12/2/22 5:47 p.m.

This story is reflective of a similar vehicle I was checking I've r for my daughter.  It was the same model and lived it's first life in Hawaii.  Then it ended up in Cali for a while and on to other states.  Strangely, it had service done later on in Hawaii???   I doubt it got shipped back to HA for a service.  

Hoondavan
Hoondavan HalfDork
12/2/22 7:44 p.m.

I bought it, it's home.  Family is very happy.  The vibration wasn't fixed.  I vert nearly walked away from it, but SWMBO wants new touring tires anyway.  I called the the shop that did the inspection and they're a land cruiser/lexus offroad shop.  I trust they did a thorough inspection.  I think the tires were flat spotted from sitting some, because it did get better on the 60 mile drive home.  

My brain finally placed the "oil" smell I noticed in the interior.  It's crayon...like a early 2000s VW plastic aging.  It took a while for the synapses to fire on that one.

AC seats are nice, especially in Florida. When I started looking at newer SUVs that was the one feature I said "that'd be nice."  So many other neat luxury features I've never had in a vehicle.  I'll start a new ownership thread once I have photos from the daytime.  Woot!

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
12/2/22 7:50 p.m.

In reply to Hoondavan :

Congrats.   Cool that you spoke with the PO.  I've done it before 3 times and if done kindly and non threatening, I have found that people are genuinely interested to here a story of "where it is today" of their old friend (car) and they will share some relevant info.  
I also enjoy sort of "forensically" tracing the history of my used cars.  

Hoondavan
Hoondavan HalfDork
12/2/22 8:12 p.m.
John Welsh said:

In reply to Hoondavan :

Congrats.   Cool that you spoke with the PO.  I've done it before 3 times and if done kindly and non threatening, I have found that people are genuinely interested to here a story of "where it is today" of their old friend (car) and they will share some relevant info.  
I also enjoy sort of "forensically" tracing the history of my used cars.  

The husband called me back and was happy to hear from me.  We talked cars for 20 minutes or so...they buy new ones pretty frequently.  I promised i would send him a picture, he said his wife loved that SUV.  Great personal interaction in this day and age.

Steve_Jones
Steve_Jones SuperDork
12/2/22 8:26 p.m.

The seats are vented, not a/c. Still very nice, but when you don't get cold air, it's not broken, it's how it should be. Also, hit lock on the fob 3 times, holding it down on 3, it'll start the car. It's a hidden feature many people don't know. 

Hoondavan
Hoondavan HalfDork
12/2/22 10:19 p.m.
Steve_Jones said:

The seats are vented, not a/c. Still very nice, but when you don't get cold air, it's not broken, it's how it should be. Also, hit lock on the fob 3 times, holding it down on 3, it'll start the car. It's a hidden feature many people don't know. 

When my son was little (5 or 6) i convinced him our odyssey had voice activated doors.  Saying "open door, please" was the password for opening the power sliding doors (while clicking the key fob hidden in my pocket).  This lasted for YEARS.  He's now 15.  Peak dad-joke moment just happened when I yelled "start car please" and used the three click trick.  Dad jokes never get old.

grover
grover Dork
12/2/22 11:53 p.m.

In reply to Steve_Jones :

Really? Is it possible our 2013 seats are ac? I did not know about auto start, I've gotta try that. 

Steve_Jones
Steve_Jones SuperDork
12/3/22 8:55 a.m.
grover said:

In reply to Steve_Jones :

Really? Is it possible our 2013 seats are ac? I did not know about auto start, I've gotta try that. 

No Toyota seats have any cooling, they are "vented" which means they have a fan that moves air around (which is better than non vented). Toyota gets a lot of complaints that they're not "cooling" and they're broken, but there is no cooling. If you put the ac on the floor vents, it can help some by making it grab colder air to move around. 
Many Toyota/Lexus salespeople don't know about the keyless start trick either. 

grover
grover Dork
12/3/22 8:13 p.m.
Steve_Jones said:

 Also, hit lock on the fob 3 times, holding it down on 3, it'll start the car. It's a hidden feature many people don't know. 

I tried this about 20 times and couldn't get it to work on ours. 2013 non premium for reference. 

Steve_Jones
Steve_Jones SuperDork
12/3/22 9:09 p.m.
grover said:
Steve_Jones said:

 Also, hit lock on the fob 3 times, holding it down on 3, it'll start the car. It's a hidden feature many people don't know. 

I tried this about 20 times and couldn't get it to work on ours. 2013 non premium for reference. 

I've never had it not work, and have done it on a bunch, from RAV4, 4Runner, and GX. There's a timing to it, it's press, press, press and hold. After 5 seconds the lights should flash and car start. It can't be low on gas though (low enough that the light is on)

93gsxturbo
93gsxturbo UltraDork
12/4/22 8:57 a.m.
Steve_Jones said:
grover said:
Steve_Jones said:

 Also, hit lock on the fob 3 times, holding it down on 3, it'll start the car. It's a hidden feature many people don't know. 

I tried this about 20 times and couldn't get it to work on ours. 2013 non premium for reference. 

I've never had it not work, and have done it on a bunch, from RAV4, 4Runner, and GX. There's a timing to it, it's press, press, press and hold. After 5 seconds the lights should flash and car start. It can't be low on gas though (low enough that the light is on)

The so called factory remote start (toyota VIP remote start) was typically a port added option that MOST higher end trims got.  If your vehicle has it there will be a sticker under the hood saying something to the effect of "vehicle may start, disconnect battery, blah blah blah"  Its a pretty useless system in that it shuts the engine off when the doors are opened, forcing a restart, or not allowing you to keep the engine running while you load things up for your drive.  No huge loss if it doesnt work.  

Steve_Jones
Steve_Jones SuperDork
12/4/22 9:32 a.m.

In reply to 93gsxturbo :

Here's the strange part, it's on vehicles that never had it installed. I assume it was easier to add it to all vs having separate modules and tracking who ordered it on what vehicle. I've owned 6 GX, none show it as an option, worked on every one. My daughter owns a 2020 RAV4, same thing. All bought new. If you ask a salesperson, they say you need to use the app now, but the "press and hold" still works. 

Toyota remote start does turn the car off when you open the door because "safety" and it is very annoying. That combined with not being able to program the Nav system if you're moving is why we didn't buy a Lexus this last go round. From 2002-2021 that's all my wife drove, I was surprised she switched brands. 
 

edit: I just looked out of curiosity, no sticker under the hood on the RAV4, nothing on the factory sticker, but it starts. 

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