Anonymous asked in Cars & TransportationMaintenance & Repairs · 2 years ago

Should i scrap, sell, or keep a my LS400?

Sorry if its long, but i thought i would give as much of a backstory as i could so i could be clear.

Back in 2015 or so, my mother had bought a 1994 Lexus LS400 off craigslist for 2 grand. It was for my older brother to use as a daily. But he never really used it so my mom drove it as a cruiser for about a year until the engine started to have problems. It could turn over and start well, but it had lost power and (i think) wasn't charging the battery (maybe alternator?). Therefore it could not start on its own without a boost. Also whenever we steered it would whine (maybe p/s pump).

It sat in our driveway for a year or so before we tried to start it again. It ran after a boost, but black smoke was coming out the exhaust it sounded weird. It had lost so much power that it had trouble climbing our driveway.

It sat for another 3 years, without a cover in Vancouver weather.

The car has decent paint somehow and there is no body rust but under the car and in the wheel wells there is alot of rust, including on the brakes. The interior is in good condition as well.

The car has around 50000km on it.

Where i live, it will be 3 - 4 years before i can start getting my license.

I would like to learn how to drive stick.

The LS400 is an auto.

I estimate it would cost around $600 to fix main issues, not included changing the dry rotted tires.

It will be washed and put under a tarp in Spring 2019.

Should i fix and drive it? Or sell it? Or scrap it?

7 Answers

  • Anonymous
    2 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Don't scrap it.

    1) Here's the deal on corrosion. If it's surface rust on brake discs/drums, suspension components, etc, it may not look nice but it's not a big deal. What you would have to worry about is deep body corrosion.

    2) If it is clean, as you say, then it should be worth fixing. If it can at least be made to start and run, than if nothing else it would probably sell very easily with such low mileage and clean body and interior. At minimum, I'd say $2000 as-is, and probably closer to $3000-$4000 cleaned up and driving pretty well. With paint and interior professionally detailed, and in excellent running condition,under 120,000 miles, LX400's often fetch $5000-$6000 here in the States.There's one near me with only 35k miles (56,000 km) on the clock and they're asking $6,800 for it


    3) I would have a shop or mobile mechanic diagnose the mechanical issues and give you a rundown of what the safety issues are, and what the mechanical condition is. Then you can properly analyze the cost vs benefit of turning it into a reliable daily driver. They were, and still are very good cars if kept up.

    4) The power steering pump is not a costly or difficult repair or replacement, and it may only need fluid or a new hose. A leaking steering rack is more expensive, but not a bank-breaker.

    5) The alternator is very easy to diagnose and replace if faulty.

    6) The rough running and black smoke is a consequence of sitting. At minimum it needs an all around tune-up and the fuel system flushed. The fuel injectors probably need cleaning, or at least some cleaner mixed with the fuel run through them on a good long drive.

    7) A lot you can learn to do yourself and it would be a very rewarding thing to learn. Over your lifetime you could save a lot of money on car maintenance, even if it's knowing when a shop is trying to rip you off. if you decide not to fix something yourself. You've obviously got a lot of time to learn.

    8) A word on tarps: a car should not be left under a tarp indefinitely. They can chafe the paint in the wind and trap moisture that can do more harm than not having the car covered. The car definitely needs to be allowed to air out uncovered periodically, and that's more often than most people think. Cheap tarps are a waste of money. Don't skimp on one.

    9) If you were my kid, I fix it, have you learn to drive in it, then decide to sell it for a manual if you still want to do that.

    Good luck with it.

  • Anonymous
    2 years ago

    Depends if all the car needs is a tune up then you should keep it. If the engine has low compression or the transmission is slipping then junk it.

  • 2 years ago

    The first thing you would need to do is get rid of that gas, it is NO GOOD. Put another battery in it and see what happens. You will know much more after that.

  • Dan
    Lv 5
    2 years ago

    If it really only has 50,000 kms then it is worth selling or fixing. Maybe both, but if you meant 500,000 kms then it should go to the scrapper.

    In Vancouver there is collector car insurance that you can apply for. The car must be 25 years old and in good original condition. Because the insurance for a collector car is very cheap there are guys that are hunting for low mile cars that are, or about to turn 25 just so they can have a cheap but interesting second car. Your Lexus will have hidden value to some but they won't tell you this if they come looking from Craigslist, make sure you let them know that you know.

    Source(s): Brother living in Vancouver
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  • nt
    Lv 6
    2 years ago

    Engine problems are often more than $600. You need tires too and will have rust. So its not worth much but probably worth more than scrap.

  • 2 years ago


  • Anonymous
    2 years ago

    If you can put it in good service you won't get anything at those prices. I would look down upon a car with rust.

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