Lexus lack of service

I have a chance to buy a very nice 2006 Lexus LS430 with only 23,000 miles. It just came off a lease. Carfax info is absolutely clean and it is a “certified pre-owned vehicle” on the dealer’s lot. My question: the records show that it was serviced only once at the dealer at 21,747 miles after being driven two and a half years. That is a long time without an oil change. Should I take a chance? I plan to keep the car at least 4 years.

That doesn’t necessarily mean it wasn’t serviced. The previous owner could’ve just taken it to an independent shop for oil changes and the like.

The car may have been serviced by someone other than the dealer. At least one hopes so.

Is the vehicle “certified” by Lexus or by the dealer? There’s a difference.

A Lexus certified vehicle should come with a nice warranty, in which case I wouldn’t worry about it.

Car fax does not depict all owner maintenance. Usually it is just dealers maintenance performed since they typically report into system.

The owner could have used an non-dealer to perform the oil changes in a timely fashion.

Is this a Lexus Certified car or dealership certified car? There is a large difference.

There could be other service records if the vehicle was serviced at other locations. If, indeed, the oil was only changed once, stay away from this vehicle. However, the leasor may have had it serviced elsewhere.

The car MAY have been serviced…but you really don’t know. I work with a guy (VP of marketing) who leases a new car every other year…and he NEVER EVER changes the oil. Puts about 40k miles on his vehicles too. His philosophy is “Why put any money into the vehicle if I’m going to buy a new one in 2 years.” So far he’s been lucky. Always leases a Cadillac or Lexus or Mercedes…or some other higher end Luxury car.

If the car has really gone that long without an oil change run, don’t walk, walk away from it.

Many people lease cars and since they know full well that they don’t own the car and will be giving it back in a few years, they have no intention of spending one dime of their money on it; and that includes oil changes.

Without records this can be hard to verify. About all I could suggest would be a few procedures that MAY help to determine this.
One could be removal of a valve cover to inspect for any sludging in the valve train.
Another could be draining the engine oil and use a probe to stick inside the oil pan. Rake the probe across the bottom of the pan and note if the end of the probe has any gunk on it when removed.
A cylinder leak-down test could also be performed to determine if there is a possibility of sludged up/stuck piston oil wiper rings.

I would remain dubious about this car’s quality until proven otherwise.