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Buying a GS300 Series II - What to look for


Buying a GS300 Series II - What to look for when purchasing a Series II GS300

This is a list of things to check when viewing a series II GS300. If you are unsure about checking these items it is recommended that you get an independent inspection carried out.

  • Wheel vibration – The GS300 is sensitive to front wheel balance. Make sure you test drive the vehicle at 70-80mph (where appropriate).
  • Front brake discs – These are prone to warping if wheel nuts are not tightened in the correct order and to the correct torque. Any steering wobble under light braking from 60mph indicates a problem.
  • Ball joints – Perform full lock turns and try to drive over speed bumps and listen out of knocking noise or loose steering feel.
  • Wind noise – Check for noise at 70mph around sunroof, door, mirror and windscreen.
  • Door sensors – Open each door in turn and check the door open warning light illuminates on the dashboard. A problem with a sensor is costly as they are integrated into the door lock mechanism.
  • Battery – When starting the engine should turn over very fast. If the car struggles to turn over may indicate a problem with the battery.
  • Sat Nav version – If the vehicle is fitted with Satellite Navigation then check the CD version. Anything under 3.x will not have full UK road coverage. To upgrade will cost around £100. A DVD based system will contain all road data but newer versions support enhanced features. To upgrade a DVD system will cost around £120. Updates are available from your Lexus dealer or online:

  • LCD display - For non Sat Nav vehicles check the stereo and heating LCD displays for any missing segments.
  • Power Steering Cooler - Check power steering cooler, located in front of the bottom part of the radiator, for corrosion/leaks.
  • Pre facelift only - 1998 to Sep 2000
  • Master Keys - The vehicle should come with two master keys and one sub key (valet). You need a master key to have additional keys programmed, without such a key the engine ECU has to be replaced to obtain a new key and will cost around £800. Do not purchase a car without a master key and if it only has one master key then obtain another one ASAP which will cost around £100. To determine if a key is a master or not insert it into the ignition, the security light should be off. If you insert a sub key the security light will illuminate for 1 or 2 seconds before going out. Master keys will also normally have three buttons and be able to lock the boot and glovebox. Sub keys only have two buttons, missing the remote boot release.
  • Brake Master Cylinder/Booster - With engine running repeatedly press brake pedal until brake booster pump can be heard running. Allow pump to turn off, around 30 seconds, and repear several times making sure no VSC or ABS warning lights appear or alarms heard. Brake booster is a common failure and currently the only known cure is a full master cylinder with pump replacement at £1600 + labour. Salvage yards are a source of second hand units for around £500.

Thanks to Colin Barber for this Guide!

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