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I'm looking at a 2002 IS300 with 105k miles on the odometer. It's automatic with "step-tronic" shifting on the wheel and factory chrome wheels, metallic grey with black suede/leather interior. I'm probably going to have to give between $11,500 and $12,000 for the car.

Does that sound like a bad deal and what should I look for before purchasing?

 

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sound like a good deal to me, but remember that there is a 100,000 miles service that will cost close to a $1000 at a dealer. unless the owner can show that it was just done
 

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Try to ask the owner if he has any maintenance records for the car, and ask if the timing belt and tensioner were replaced.
Other than that check the usual things like accident history, rust, and such.
The only real problem I have had was the driver side headlight low beam not working but other than that they are fairly reliable.
 

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Check for maintenance records and if the previous owner has em, then its probably a good deal.
 

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Great deal brother. Welcome to the car forum too. Remeber 1 thing, you are buying a Toyota name brand. Toyota= ON DEMAND and will last for a long time. I mean you will start seeing some major problems at 300,000+ miles predicted and most likely too. Japanese cars are really reliable. Very high re-sale value and very reliable period. MY friend, 1991 Acura Integra, 317,000 miles on the engine, still runs good, problems with head gaskets, fuses, and windows. My, myself, 138,000 miles on a 1998 Toyota Avalon, no major problems other than both sun visor mirrors (the mirror that flips open when you flip the visor down) both broke off (not that it's needed, plus i just use the rearview mirror to check myself out), air condition ventalitions chipped off (nothing major, this is only exterior, the wind still blows fine), and THATS IT! Dad bought this car brand new and admits he had his moneys worth. I'm telling you brother, you will get your moneys worth as long as everything is straight with that car. i'm buying a 2002 Silver IS300 manual shift, with 76,600 miles for $15,000. Planning to enjoy it for at least 5-7 years and maybe re-sell it/pass it down/keep it. Great buy though, Toyota motorworks are the best.
 

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My, myself, 138,000 miles on a 1998 Toyota Avalon, no major problems other than both sun visor mirrors (the mirror that flips open when you flip the visor down) both broke off (not that it's needed, plus i just use the rearview mirror to check myself out), air condition ventalitions chipped off (nothing major, this is only exterior, the wind still blows fine), and THATS IT! Dad bought this car brand new and admits he had his moneys worth.
Awesome. My dad has a 1995 avalon with +250k miles on it. No highway miles either, puertorrican stop and go traffic jams, and its still going strong. He just bought a new one but refuses to let go of the 95.:)
 

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I just bought a '02 with 75k on it for $11,500...all paperwork, flawless shape, and all the options.
 

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The 90k service is the major one. It includes the timing belt and a bunch of other little things. (Timing belt being the most important). Also, I wasn't aware of a major service at 100k but its possible that this one includes replacing the water pump replacement?? Many people have the water pump replaced along with the timing belt because there is really no additional labor cost to do it when the timing belt is being done. My 02' just clicked past 100k and i've had zero problems with it for the 15k miles ive owned it. Previously the car was owned by relatives of mine and they had no problems with the car at all. I think it is a real solid buy, even at a mileage of ~100k. I swear mine still drives like a new car, no squeaks, rattles or anything. Anyways, buy the car and enjoy it.
 
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