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Hi all,

I used to post on here many moons ago when i owned my beloved IS200. Had a change of car back in 2008 and since then I've always been longing to get back into the Lexus fold and now i'm finally ready. Wish i had never got rid of the IS200, but hindsight is a wonderful thing.  

Due to a house move, a baby and generally growing up I'm on a limited budget, but i'm on the lookout for an earlier IS250 SE-L Auto, ideally with MM, but not a deal breaker. I have up to £7k max, but there are a few that are well under that on Auto Trader at the moment. 

I do about 10-12k miles per annum and had considered a IS220, but from what i can gather they seem more trouble than they are worth, so happy to stick to petrol.

Are there any particular problem areas i should look out for when viewing the petrol variants? I'm assuming that, like the IS200, a well looked after higher mileage (80k plus) shouldn't be discounted? The ones i have seen are circa 2006/7 with 60-70k on the clock but towards the higher end of my budget. 

 

Anyway, i thought i'd re-introduce myself after a few years away from the forum and welcome any comments. 

 

Cheers

 

 

 

 

 

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Hi welcome back the wheels are a pain as you may well be aware. Cars are currently on a recall for fuel pressure sensor gasket. Air bag recall imminent as well.

Had mine just over a year no faults apart from above, fuel sensor gasket was done other week. Make sure spark plugs have been done if getting a car

with 60,000 miles plus. Its very expensive unless you do it yourself. Make sure brakes arent sticking and exhaust is sound. Also make sure all panels have

the factory number sticker on, means no body repairs. Hope i have not scared you.

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Pretty much as Keith has said.

The only thing I would emphasize is to check exhaust condition as this can be expensive to replace. Other than that, you just need to check service and MOT history and get a feel for how well the car has been looked after.

Good luck with finding a good 'un :)

 

 

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I feel for you. I spent the best part of 3 months seriously looking (several months window shopping before that) but then I did have a pretty specific list of features I wanted and a restricted budget. 

I also found that the vast majority of IS250's for sale seemed to be in the SouthEast, not suprising really.

The one you linked to seems about right on price. I spent slightly more for an 07 plate with a shade under 80K from a dealer in Kent.

In retrospect, I feel that I paid a little over the odds - partly because the dealer knew I had traveled hundreds of miles and that weakened my bargaining power. So do your homework fully.

This caught my eye though "£92 Admin Fee Applies" WTF!

 

 

 

  

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Looks a little belter mate, dont be afraid to travel for the right car. Iv travelled to birmingham for a car before. Nice round trip and you get a feel for the new car 

you have bought. She looks good for the money all the toys and a nice colour to boot.

In york there is 1 IS250 and 1 IS220d a lovely Gs300 and a Beautiful Gold430 1 200h and a couple of IS200. So not a lot on my doorstep, my car came

from Rotherham.

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Welcome back Dan. Good luck with your Lexus hunt. Mike.

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Thanks for the comments, 

 

Is there anything obvious to look for when checking the exhaust? 

 

Sticking calipers i assume you can "feel" that on a test drive?

 

With regards to the recalls, i'm assuming Lexus can check if they have been done and if not, are these done free of charge?

 

Cheers

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Recall is free of charge yes. they have only just started to do them but not loads of IS250 in uk.

Calipers yes you should feel, make sure hand brake works also, its inboard and a pain to do. Exhaust just listen for obvious unusual sounds.

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Welcome back to Forum I travelled from Essex to Plymouth to get my is250 se-i 2009 sometimes u can never buy car near u, I bought from lexus main dealer.i don't mind travelling if price is right @ a good deal.hope u find 1 soon  u tried lexus main dealer, sometimes can find 1 for 7k. 

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IME, Lexus dealers are not really interested once they go below 10K. 

 

 

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There are loads of replies to this question on the forum

A quick list of what to look out for .... don't let this put you off ... all the faults I can remember are listed below (some are common sense), maybe there are a few more that owners can add

Seized rear calipers - cost around £300 each - Easiest way to check is to take the car on a test run and then when parked back up again feel the heat on each alloy - should be warm and not excessively hot. No squealing. Also, if discs are still rusted looking after driving then there's a problem. Obviously pulling to the side is noticeable

Seized front calipers - as with the rears, around £300 each. Both front and backs can be freed if not too far gone, re-greased and put back together again but once seized they may need looking after more than ones not having been seized in the past as pitting and ill fitting rubber seals may be an issue. Why does this happen ... last owner not looking after the car or using the wrong type of grease in that it attacks the rubber boots letting dirt and water into the caliper moving parts. If it was looked after by the dealer then new calipers would have been fitted if seized. Greasing is not a part of the service schedule from Lexus so be aware. You may not experience any warnings that they are seized. Its the most common fault on these cars so get an assurance from the seller to replace if found to be seized or have him check them first. To be honest If it was me i would also check them myself when I got home with a new car just to be sure. Easy DIY job to both replace and maintain (grease) I do mine every 6 months but a lot of owners do it every year.

Black oil - A sign the cars not been looked after - the oil should not be black. It will go dark in colour but not black. Again, an easy DIY job - I use Magnatec and an oil change, including the filter will cost you around £60. Takes a bit over 6 litres.

Oil filter cap seized - If you can, ask the dealer or garage to ensure the cap housing thr filter will move. A lot of garages, including dealers put these on far too tight and some owners have experienced cracked housings while trying to remove the caps to change the filter. An easy DIY job

White crust around front water pump area - an indication the water pump is on its way out - costs around £200 for a new one (inclusive of fitting)

Exhaust shot - Black soot around the welded joints - check the centre section around the middle resonator as this is a problem area. Get this checked out at an exhaust centre. Pay for the inspection as you wont get a lot of change back from 3k for the replacement parts (back box and centre) if it has gone or is on its last legs - the pattern parts have not been released to 3rd party manufacturers so the replacement parts are only available from Lexus unless you are going bespoke and going for a stainless one - a Cat back system will cost around £500

Tyres rotated wrong way - Ask why have they done this? un-even tyre wear so look around the shocks / springs to see if theres any issues - maybe nothing

Leaking shocks - Expensive replacements but not a real issue - some owners have reported replacing them and hard to find

Wheel locking nuts seized - Put on with a tyre dealer air hammer. Will come off with specialised tools and a lot of patience - I think this is common cause on all cars - happened on 3 in our household over the years.

Wheel security locking nut missing - check this is available when buying the car. Without it you wont be able to take the tyres off easily or replace if you get a puncture

Tow hook missing - only handy when you need it so check its there - located in the boot of the car

Spare type - it houses a space saver wheel - make sure its inflated. If it looks like its been used then take out and inspect to make sure its inflated.

DVD sat nav extraction tool missing - only handy when you come to update the sat nav DVD - the tools for this should be in the black tool kit in the boot of the car

CD/DVD head unit fully working - take an original CD / a DVD and an MP3 disc with you and test each one out - they should all work without messing with the settings. (you will need to select each disc to play and it should)

Noise from front speaker cover - a cracking noise from the speaker cover on the front centre dash board - not experienced this myself but its apparently quite noisy.

Coolant level low - check the heating is hot when on. Check for a "gurgling" noise which will indicate the cooling is low - if its low then there could be an issue with a leak or possible indication the pump is on its way out

Front headlights - will become "cloudy" over time - no more than any other car and can easily be restored with a bit of elbow grease

Corroded wheels - a common issue with the Toyota wheels - bad ones will eventually lose air and deflate due to the corrosion not creating a good seal.

Uneven wear on tyres - indication there's something a miss with the alignment / shocks - to be honest this is not reported as a problem on the cars. Maybe more so from owners using non OEM wheels

Cams are chain driven - no worries there but they can stretch (very extreme)

Rear blind working - read a few posts on here that its stopped working or stuck in the up position - check its operation

Front discs - They are heavy on discs and front pads. Check the wear on the discs on the front - not expensive to replace and an easy DIY job

Lights not bright and flickering - an indication that the bulbs are on their way out - check both are the same colour. If not, one has been replaced and other will need to be done at some point. Check all front lights as they are quite fiddly in replacing the bulbs

Aircon works - should be cold - if not then check coolant level, if ok the system either has a leak or may need re-gassing

Mirrors dip when in reverse - the mirrors should dip towards the road when in reverse, a feature on the cars to ensure easy viewing of where you are going. If they don't then its most likely they will just need to be cleaned internally. Again an easy DIY job.

Parking sensors - with the engine running have someone walk within a foot of the sensors at the front and the rear of the car - it should start beeping when the person walks past them. Not seen any issues with this reported by the owners.

O2 sensors - PreCat (within engine bay) will go around 70 to 80k easy DIY job - cost around £180 for OEM Denso ones - don't use 3rd party ones as they will not last

Rear brake shoes - Cant easily be checked on a test drive - changed mine at around 90k last year and they still had a bit of meat on them, probably on the car from new so more than likely will need changing or inspection at least. Easy DIY job

Main engine plastic cover - centre engine cover can become loose from removing and re-applying it. there is a push button tab that breaks off and it can in some instances be heard rattling over lumpy roads. Mine has broke - not a real issue as the radio at low volume masks any rattle. I expect some strong glue would fix this.

Engine idle - make sure its constant at tick over when cold (quite high) and when hot (around 700revs) - if erratic it could indicate a carbon build up - not an issue with an application with cleaning liquids

Valve Rattle - VVTI may rattle from time to time - the oil will drain in some cases from the resoviour for the valves after standing for a bit and as a consequence there is a rattle noise (similar to a dull machine gun noise) but will disappear in a second or so. Happenned on mine a few times when I first had it. but not come back for a couple of years now. Regular oil changes and I do an engine flush each oil change and in my opinion it has helped a lot.

Exhaust smoke - no smoke from these - only condensate when in cold weather which is normal for most cars

Cabin carpets - check the drivers side has clips anchoring the carpet down (if it has one) if it doesn't then the carpet can creep under the pedals

Boot - Its a fair size boot but the opening does not give good access to large items - ideally it could have done with split seats but its not that kind of car I guess.

Audio - Make sure the spec includes a Mark Levinson branded head unit which is the better of the head unit specs on these models.(indicated on the front of the stereo on the bottom right of the unit)

Rear seat room - its a bit cramped in the back with passengers on the seats - leg room is dismal, maybe that's why I have never sat in the back when its been driven. Wife wont drive it due to the size of the car which I don't mind at all.

Reliability - looked after its bullet proof, best make of car I have owned. Running costs are petrol only. Put in the time to do the services (oil, filters etc) and it will serve you well.

Parts availability - Had my 250 for 3 years and an IS200 for 2 prior to that - the only time I was unable to get a part was the exhaust for the 250 - I could get one from the dealer but at nearly 3k I thought no way and went down another route. Parts are available from Eurocarparts / ebay / online easily enough and are not expensive.

Speed - People forget these are not sports cars - they are quick in manual mode and can keep up with the best of them but are not made for that purpose. Its nice owning one for the individuality of having something different from whats sitting on the neighbours drive or in the works car park. I only know of an IS200 Alteeza and a IS220 local to myself so its my bit of exclusivity. Don't care how old it is, its still better than a new model medium city car.

Mileage - mines on 93k - no issue and having has a high miler is200 and this one then I would consider another high miler but with the knowledge of what to look for. I don't think there would be any problems if you are careful in what you are looking at - gut instinct in a lot of cases. I guess there will be very few low milers available now on these cars now but you may be lucky in finding one.

Keys - Ensure it has a minimum of 2 keys and they both work  - if not then its definitely a bargaining chip to use as a replacement one will cost you around £350 and a trip to Lexus.

Corroding windscreen wiper arms - these seem to bubble quite a bit under the paint on the main body of the wiper arm. No issue but it will break through the paint at somepoint.

Check front windshield, if non-genuine check if wipers defrosters and auto sensing wipers works OK. As well windshields mouldings sometimes gets gets loose (broken clips) - about £80 to get new mouldings. (Courtesy of Linas.P)

Main ground cable - In wet climate it was reported that main ground cable sometimes gets corroded and it is very hard to troubleshoot it.(Courtesy of Linas.P)

Squeaky seats reported for the manual option (Coutresy of Vintagesixtysix)

DMF issues (Dual Mass Flywheel) for the manual drive option (Coutresy of Vintagesixtysix)

Service milestones - consider cars around 60k miles require a spark plug change - or so Lexus recommends although they are good for 100k. This is an expensive job at around £600. Not done mine yet, planning on doing them at 100k. I would state at 100k then you will need to get your hands dirty and give the car a good going over, fluids etc just for peace of mind. Lexus service interval report does not state any excessive requirements, mostly checks to be made.

Spec - I would personally recommend the top spec SE-L Auto box at 2007 / 2008 as I believe when the face lift came along then the models lost a few features that were on the older models. A sunroof would be brilliant but like gold dust at this spec.

Quite a bit of points above - don't let this put you off at all - the exhaust nearly saw me pack the car in when mine went but I went down the stainless route so alls not lost. Best to go into a sale knowing all the points to look at before making your mind up. Best car I have ever owned.

One last point, if you have an OBD error code reader then take along and scan the ecu for any stored fault codes unless the dealer has cleared it down

The car you have seen states it has a sunroof .... I would check it has and if so its definitely factory fitted, should be electric. Also double check the model as I think there were models around issued as SE-I and some garages have advertised them as SE-L. The model of the car can be found on a label on the inner passenger or driver door jamb (not sure which one). I think the price is excessive for that even though it has relative low mileage - consider putting 3k on the mileage total (taking it over 70k) which you can conceivably do in a month and then try and sell it for anything near that price. A more realistic price would be 4500 to 5000. For thw price its advertised for I would expect no issues with anything listed above. The sunroof I would imagine is a bonus if its factory fitted and would command a better price but not at nearly £6000. Also - look closely at the lower front bumper lip - it looks like its had a smack on something, probably a high kerb so I would definitely state between 4500 and 5000.

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Very comprehensive guide!

 

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Wow, thanks for that is200 Newbie.

Only thing that concerns me there is the exhaust. 

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20 hours ago, is200 Newbie said:

There are loads of replies to this question on the forum

 

This must be put as sticky to the IS 2gen. Forum!

I hardly have anything to add,except some minor things:

Check front windshield, if non-genuine check if wipers defrosters and auto sensing wipers works OK. As well windshields moldings sometimes gets gets loose (broken clips) - about £80 to get new moldings.

In wet climate it was reported that main ground cable sometimes gets corroded and it is very hard to troubleshoot it.

I am on my 3rd IS250 and very happy (IS250 SEL 2008, previously IS250 F-Sport 2012 and IS250 AWD 2010).

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3 hours ago, swfcdan said:

Wow, thanks for that is200 Newbie.

Only thing that concerns me there is the exhaust. 

I nearly got rid of the car over the exhaust - could not believe the replacement cost from Lexus  :yucky: but as its a daily runner I needed it sorted either way. I was recommended a local exhaust company who would make a stainless cat back for 450£ - I didn't do a lot of shopping around but didn't have a choice really so went with them. Bad choice.

Its so noisy, a novelty at first but 2 years down the line I am putting together an exhaust myself - have found suitable parts but need the time to put them together so watch this space. Stainless does not absorb the sound (drone at certain revs) as well as mild steel does. So far the parts have cost me 140£ and this will replace the cat back system but I don't want to post whats used until I can prove it works.

Some owners have had quiet ones fitted and some are experiencing the drone - usually around 2k revs in each gear and its sits steady droning away at 70 mph so its experienced within driving limits. They come up on ebay - there are a few centre pieces on there at the moment but you will find the boxes are like gold dust. Why Lexus didn't release it for re-production is beyond me (money obviously) but a lot of cost must go into developing these exhausts.

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2 hours ago, Linas.P said:

This must be put as sticky to the IS 2gen. Forum!

I hardly have anything to add,except some minor things:

Check front windshield, if non-genuine check if wipers defrosters and auto sensing wipers works OK. As well windshields moldings sometimes gets gets loose (broken clips) - about £80 to get new moldings.

In wet climate it was reported that main ground cable sometimes gets corroded and it is very hard to troubleshoot it.

I am on my 3rd IS250 and very happy (IS250 SEL 2008, previously IS250 F-Sport 2012 and IS250 AWD 2010).

If it is "stickied" then I will add to it as and when other issues come to light - will be good to have one list to compare with rather than trawling through countless posts.

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I think it must be sticky... We have so many half baked lists all over the place. Your one is one of the most comprehensive I have ever seen. Where you were holding it... secretly compiling over the years and only now sharing? :laugh:

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On 7/1/2016 at 3:59 PM, Linas.P said:

This must be put as sticky to the IS 2gen. Forum!

I hardly have anything to add,except some minor things:

Check front windshield, if non-genuine check if wipers defrosters and auto sensing wipers works OK. As well windshields moldings sometimes gets gets loose (broken clips) - about £80 to get new moldings.

In wet climate it was reported that main ground cable sometimes gets corroded and it is very hard to troubleshoot it.

I am on my 3rd IS250 and very happy (IS250 SEL 2008, previously IS250 F-Sport 2012 and IS250 AWD 2010).

What would be the best way to test this? The auto wipers - to just pour water on the windscreen? What about the defrosters? Should I be feeling heat from somewhere?

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On 7/1/2016 at 3:59 PM, Linas.P said:

This must be put as sticky to the IS 2gen. Forum!

I hardly have anything to add,except some minor things:

Check front windshield, if non-genuine check if wipers defrosters and auto sensing wipers works OK. As well windshields moldings sometimes gets gets loose (broken clips) - about £80 to get new moldings.

In wet climate it was reported that main ground cable sometimes gets corroded and it is very hard to troubleshoot it.

I am on my 3rd IS250 and very happy (IS250 SEL 2008, previously IS250 F-Sport 2012 and IS250 AWD 2010).

What would be the best way to test this? The auto wipers - to just pour water on the windscreen? What about the defrosters? Should I be feeling heat from somewhere?

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+1 for sticky status...

Most other forums I use have this and it's then easy to point an enquirer to it and then invite them to post if any specifics required.

Can we add squeaky seats & DMF for manual please.

Sent from my iPad using Lexus OC

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1 hour ago, Vintagesixtysix said:

+1 for sticky status...

Most other forums I use have this and it's then easy to point an enquirer to it and then invite them to post if any specifics required.

Can we add squeaky seats & DMF for manual please.

Sent from my iPad using Lexus OC

I have added to the main text and asked the mods how to make it sticky.

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On 02/07/2016 at 6:40 PM, kris250 said:

What would be the best way to test this? The auto wipers - to just pour water on the windscreen? What about the defrosters? Should I be feeling heat from somewhere?

That is actually good question. It is indeed hard to test auto wipers, they never work so well in mist... my best guess would be - go to car wash. They usually have combination of light mist sprinkling and heavy pressure washing. Obviously, it is better to turn off auto wipers ir car wash, but I guess it is good way to check if you satisfied with how they work. You can simulate it with pressure washer as well, or as you said pouring water or rather spraying it.

Defrosters are easy to check - if equipped (standard on SE-L, but not on SE, Sport, F-Sport or SE-I), then just turn them on - you can actually see contacts and kind of copper colour wires on the bottom of the windshield. Windshield around wipers should become "warm"  ... not hot. Usually, if they don't work after windshield replacement they don't work at all.

I know all that sounds pretty much common sense, but my point - there are no specific test to do. They either work or not.

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On 02/07/2016 at 6:40 PM, kris250 said:

What would be the best way to test this? The auto wipers - to just pour water on the windscreen? What about the defrosters? Should I be feeling heat from somewhere?

That is actually good question. It is indeed hard to test auto wipers, they never work so well in mist... my best guess would be - go to car wash. They usually have combination of light mist sprinkling and heavy pressure washing. Obviously, it is better to turn off auto wipers ir car wash, but I guess it is good way to check if you satisfied with how they work. You can simulate it with pressure washer as well, or as you said pouring water or rather spraying it.

Defrosters are easy to check - if equipped (standard on SE-L, but not on SE, Sport, F-Sport or SE-I), then just turn them on - you can actually see contacts and kind of copper colour wires on the bottom of the windshield. Windshield around wipers should become "warm"  ... not hot. Usually, if they don't work after windshield replacement they don't work at all.

I know all that sounds pretty much common sense, but my point - there are no specific test to do. They either work or not.

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It is an SE-L, it has the wood-effect trim inside and the headlamp washers. Well spotted on the lower front damage - a point to haggle over price. Might not be too much to fix but need a better picture of the damage and get a quote first so you know what you are working with.

 

 

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