Wednesday, November 30, 2022

CT200h - Pickup, First wash and mod.

I've been on a hunt for a CT200h off and on for over two years now I feel. I say off and on because when I started in 2020 prices on average were under 10k for a 2011. I kick myself for not picking up a 2015 F Sport up from a private seller then for about 9k. My thought process on picking up any vehicle is to figure out everything that can go wrong with the vehicle, along with all maintenance items needed to bring it up to par. I price out parts, labor needed etc., add that all in a spread sheet and then figure out what I want to spend on a car. So with the CT, a high mileage one, will need a lot to bring it up to par. I accounted for everything, head gasket, main battery, hybrid battery, EGR cleaning or replacement, gaskets, etc. At that point purchasing a used CT for over 15k made no sense to me. It made more sense to just go buy a brand new hybrid Corolla. Well I didn't really need it but just wanted a CT really so I just put it no the back burner till prices for these cars came down. Few friends of mine who are dealers knew I was looking for me and out of the blue got a call saying that one was coming up for auction the next day and carfax mentioned that the head gasket was done 18k prior. He gave me the VIN# and I did my due diligence and found out it was a one owner vehicle with everything done at the dealer since new. It did have a reported check engine light on the auction listing but the body looked like it was in very good condition, same with the interior and excellent service history so took a gamble and gave him a max bid price I didn't want to go over. Well, HE WON IT! He had to pick up another car as well from the auction so I figured we can just go up together and I'd just tow the CT back. Got to the auction and my buddy plugged in an OBDII scanner to check the code and he had a smirk, popped the hood and found the MAF was disconnected, connected it back, started the CT and no more check engine light. 800 miles later the CT was home! 

Although a head gasket was done, there was no history of the EGR valve, cooler or intake being changed out or cleaned. Being serviced at Lexus I was pretty sure no cleaning of these said parts would occur so as preventative maintenance that is on my list. For now I'm just gong to drive it for a bit and see the issues, if any come up and then tackle all the needed maintenance items I had in mind done. 

First Wash, don't mind my drying towel on the windshield, it's drying.  

As mentioned before body was in great condition, I found 3 tiny dings that weren't really noticeable. It definitely showed it's age though, outside definitely needs a full detail. The bumper has a tab missing on the driver side so it is not sitting in properly at the fender. Might look into a front end conversion later. The headlights are horribly oxidized, I'll try the sanding, polish and clear method to see how it turns out. If it is not to my liking then I'll probably get some new headlights or at least new lenses if I can find some. Some clay, polish, elbow grease etc. and this will look beautiful.

I had a diode dynamics relay on hand so wanted to add that because I love the soft tap turn signals feature so did that. It was a pain to get my big hands into the tight spaces behind the dash but got it done.

On my LS460 it was easier to access the relay from behind the cluster so removed the CT cluster but was a no go on accessing it. Since I had the cluster out, figured I would just polish the lenses and protect it before putting it back on. 

The cluster being nice and clean lead me to polish the other display area.

A couple of minutes and a whole lot of satisfaction. Also ended up changing out all the interior bulbs and side view mirror puddle light bulbs to leds. Super happy and excited to own one finally. 

-AJ Abraham

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