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To Fix Up or Trade Up, That is the Question



  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,120
    It seems to me that a Lexus E300 (which is basically a fancy Camry V6) with 72,000 should have a lot of life left ifit's been properly maintained mechanically and driven with reasonable care, once you make the required repairs. Do you know how it's been maintained and driven? I'd want to know why it needs a catalytic converter.
  • casino2casino2 Posts: 23
    Have your ever tried Lucas Stop Leaks? Just change the oil and add a quart into your crankcase. I hear that it is very effective in curing this headache.

    Good Luck.
  • dgaldgal Posts: 24
    It needs a new timing belt, catalytic converter, engine mount torn, hood support pads, and a new seatbelt buckle. It might also need sway bar bushings and possibly have an engine leak (dealer saw it, mechanic didn't). The dealer said I also need a power steering flush.

    The mechanic said it was the catalytic converter that turned on the engine light. I guess I can call him and ask why. I really don't know anything about cars. I had thought my Grandfather was maintaining it, but I don't think he new it needed any problems. He didn't drive it to often.
  • Well the trouble code for the catalytic would show up even with a simple misfire. I certainly wouldn't replace it without a good deal of further testing, based merely on an engine light.
  • dgaldgal Posts: 24
    I will make sure further testing is done before the catalytic is fixed. Thank you for the advice!!!
  • And if the mechanic says he doesn't know "how" to test the catalytic, well then, you have your answer....
  • dgaldgal Posts: 24
    edited November 2012
    In the end I would be buying the car for $1500 ($1,000 + $500 for freight). Repairs Needed are: Left Inner Tire Rod, Alignment, Sway Bar Bushings, Seat belt Buckle, Engine Mount, Timing Belt, Hood Support Rods, Power Steering Flush, Valve Cover Gasket, and Catalytic Converter.
    The total Repair Costs would be $2,223. Without getting the Steering Flush, Valve Cover and Catalytic Converter (not serious) would be $1,148.

    Now that I have all the estimates, I would greatly appreciate opinions on whether it is worth it to put all the money into car. Thanks in advance!!

    It's a '97 Lexus ES300 with 72,000 miles, in average condition. Appraises trade in value as $2,636 and private party $3,095
  • Yeah, that's okay, but I'd get second opinions on some of these repairs---things like hood struts, you can do that yourself for cheap, and the sway bar bushings sounds to be of dubious necessity.
  • dgaldgal Posts: 24
    It won't pass MD state inspection without the Sway Bar Bushings. What else can I do besides the hood struts myself?
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 16,897
    edited November 2012
    well, hell, you can easily replace the swaybar endlinks, too. I find it hard to believe it would have anything to do with inspection, but they are easy and cheap.

    Valve cover gasket is an easy job, too.

    The catalytic is definitely the most expensive. You might call around for other estimates on that from muffler shops. Another place might weld in a universal replacement for you that would be significantly cheaper.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '08 Town&Country

  • dgaldgal Posts: 24
    The mechanic said it's not the links that need replacing it's the the actual bar bushings. I'm a girl and don't know too much about cars. So unless it's really easy to fix myself, I would probably need to take it in. I will definitely call other muffler shops for estimates.
  • "It won't pass MD state inspection without the Sway Bar Bushings"...

    I find this a bit hard to could take that bar and throw it away and the car would drive fine.
  • dgaldgal Posts: 24
    You're funny :). That's what the inspector told me. They go by a whole list of things.
  • dgaldgal Posts: 24
    Do you know where I can find video tutorials on fixing those things myself?
  • you might browse YouTube...sometimes there are very good videos on various car repair subjects. They might not be completely specific to your make and model, but a sway bar is a sway bar is a sway bar.
  • dgaldgal Posts: 24
    I will, thanks!
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,452
    If the end links are shot, you get a banging noise from the suspension and it feels like something is loose in the front.
    One of my kids had had this happen on 2 different cars they have driven.
    After it was fixed, I knew what to look for and could see they were bent on vehicle #2.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 16,897
    The mechanic said it's not the links that need replacing it's the the actual bar bushings.

    Ya know, I thought that's what you were saying, but that's so odd I assumed you really meant the endlinks, which commonly fail.

    In any case, the bushings are easy, too. 2 brackets with 2 bolts each and the new bushings will be split, so you lube them up and slip them over the bar and bolt the brackets back on.

    Here is a writeup with pics. OF course, if you don't have any tools, its probably not cost effective to do yourself.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '08 Town&Country

  • dgaldgal Posts: 24
    I had the mechanic do the bushings. Too complicated a fix for me.
  • dgaldgal Posts: 24
    I also need an alignment to pass inspection. I think I'm going to get the lifetime alignment at Firestone for $160.
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