Monday, October 19, 2009

Lexus LS430 Ultra Luxury

My mission to find a 2004-2006 Lexus LS430 Ultra Luxury was finally accomplished. I found a very clean-looking 2005 LS430 UL located in Oklahoma City, OK at John Vance Autos. The car was listed on AutoTrader, Ebay, and After some lengthy discussions with the expert sales staff, I decided to make the trip.

I used my frequent flyer miles from Delta Airlines and booked a roundtrip flight to Oklahoma City. Took an early flight so that I could use the roundtrip ticket if the car didn't check out. The dealer provided a free shuttle (30min drive) to their lot. When i arrived at the dealer, i saw the LS sitting there. I was amazed at how clean it was. I first thought this was NOT the car, but it was. I did a physical inspection and then a 20min drive. The car looked great, felt good and then the paperwork was completed. The staff at John Vance was great. I'm glad we did business and this car was exactly what i wanted.

The next step in the search was returning home. The trip was about 650 miles from Oklahoma City to Huntsville, AL. I left around 2 pm and made it home at 1 am. It was a long drive, but didn't seem so bad sitting behind this luxo-cruiser.

Problems about this car:

On the drive home the Radar Cruise Control stopped working suddenly. I knew immediately what the problem was, as many ClubLexus members have posted problems with the PCS System. Looks like there issue was with the ECU located behind the passenger glove box. This part, MSRP $778.17 from Lexus, has been re-designed by Denso. The original part is prone to failure, so my cruise stopped working at 250miles into the trip home.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Searching for LS430 Ultra Luxury

After two failed attempts to find my next car, I'm doubting that my next car exists. I've recently decided that another LS430 Ultra Luxury sedan would be a good replacement for my Lexus SC430. I've taken two road trips to buy this car, but both of them had less than acceptable paint work. My search continues for a 2004-2006 LS430 UL.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Search for a new vehicle

It's not much of a surprise that I'm in the market for another used car. This cycle occurs every 2-4 years and usually results in me loosing money on the deal. Not that I'm over paying for the cars I buy, but after selling my car and getting a new one, the exchange always results in more money being applied to the car fund.

This time around I'm looking for a four-door vehicle that comfortable seats 4 adults. I'm considering several cars and SUVs including the 2005-2008 Acura RL, 2003-2007 Lexus GX470, 2006-2008 Lexus GS430, 2003-2007 Lexus LX470, and Acura MDX. I've owned both Acura's and Lexus cars before, and noticed the quality differences between the two. That's not to say that there are not Lexus vehicles that have less than stellar build quality. For instance, the Lexus GX470 has some of the worst leather I've seen in their model lineup. It doesn't hold up well, as I've witnessed on several 2004 and 2005 used SUVs. And the numerous Acura RLs i've looked at have held up poorly to the daily use of buttons/controls. They seem to also show signs of wear on the leather and plastic inside the cabin.

Since my past cars have been the premium products from Lexus (LS430 Ultra luxury edition and the SC430), my standards are quite high. My search for an affordable, clean used luxury car will continue...

Monday, April 13, 2009

Photo Credit

I was just made aware that one of my photographs taken on a business trip to San Diego, California has been published in Schmap San Diego Guide (Seventh Edition). The image was taken from the San Diego Convention Center terrace, which looks out over the harbor toward Coronado Island. It was certainly not one of my best pictures, but it was recognized and used none the less.

No financial gains on this one, but I was given photo credit. Not so bad.

Coronado Island
Link here...

Monday, February 9, 2009

2009 DistribuTECH Conference

This past week I attending the annual DistribuTECH conference. It was held in sunny San Diego California where attendance was actually the best ever. I believe I heard the total figure to be near the 5,700 mark. Very impressive since we're in the middle of a recession and most companies are closely monitoring their travel expenditures.

The topic of the week was centered around Smart Grid and Intelligent Electrical Networks. Nearly every vendor in the massive exhibition floor had some reference to their smart grid offerings. In some cases this was just a marketing ploy, but others are really positioning themselves as a modern gird innovator. All the usual software vendors were in attendance, however some vendors appears to scale their booth and personnel back to minimize the impact this conference has on travel and non-billable hours. The traffic on the showfloor appeared to be less fruitful than in years past. I expect that most of the buying public is on hold and therefore do not have a serious interest in browsing the exhibit hall.

Noticeably more involvement in the conference hosted breakfast roundtables too. The breakfast roundtables were well attended and seem to provide a great format for exchanging ideas in a non-commercial atmosphere. I anticipate these to be more beneficial in years to come.

The conference sessions also appeared to be well attended. There was several presentations that were standing room only. These sessions were mostly centered around the Smart Grid topics.