is200 Newbie

What to look out for - Lexus IS250 (2007 model year)

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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

Brake pad shims - some members reported missing brake shims from the rear calliper - probably from when pads were replaced and the garage or dealer forgot to put them back on. Its not something you can easily check on a test drive but if missing they are very hard to source except from a scrap dealer if they will sell them at all separate.

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 - if you have the time and want to get your hands dirty then you can put together a bespoke exhaust yourself for around £100.

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

Tyre choice - A good choice of branded rear tyres will serve well. Remember its a rear wheel drive car - Do not go for cheap brands as while they may last/wear well, the performance in the wet will be hazardous. Read through the forums for owner experiences on brands.

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. Check this out before buying if possible.

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

Alloy wheel corrosion - this is apparent across the Lexus range - corrosion on the alloy happens and noticeable by bubbles under the alloy coating - will eventually lead to pressure loss if not tended to as it will break the seal between the tyre and the wheel itself

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

Spare tyre - 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. Also a rattle has been reported, again not widespread.

Noise from driver door area - don't know If this is a common area. I originally thought it was the door seal but narrowed it down to the handle above the door rattling slightly - I oiled the hinge and the noise disappeared

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 though)

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

Squeeky steering adjustment - has been reported by a few members. Mine squeeks in hot weather when automatically adjusting. Not all the time and has not caused any issues.

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 (Courtesy of Vintagesixtysix)

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

Paint - the paint is soft on these cars so are prone to scratching easier than other makes if not careful

Cat failure - there has been a couple of reports of the cats failing on these cars but only a few have been reported at relative low mileage for the car (around 80 / 90k miles) not common though. There are 2 cats on these.

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.

Recalls - that I am aware of: cabin carpet mat required securing / airbags / fuel sensor washer. there may be more but these are the ones I know of.

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 consideration - in the 7 years I have owned the Lexus brand we have by far spent more money during this time in maintaining a fairly new Vauxhall  !!

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

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Hey mate. Great thread. This has been saved/bookmarked and will be using it when I go and collect my car on Saturday! I did use it beforehand too.

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Thanks for re-posting :smile: topic is now pinned to stay at the top as it's a brilliant write up :thumbsup:

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Thanks. This type of info is invaluable for those of buying second hand

 

.

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1 hour ago, peachy said:

£600 for a spark plug change 😕

Yep, it requires the inlet manifold to be taken off.

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22 hours ago, Shahpor said:

Yep, it requires the inlet manifold to be taken off.

Depends on the dealership and other works which are needed. Some charge only £160 and the spark plugs most likely last over 100k miles anyway.

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4 hours ago, Linas.P said:

Depends on the dealership and other works which are needed. Some charge only £160 and the spark plugs most likely last over 100k miles anyway.

Regardless of other work, it still requires the inlet manifold to be removed. :smile:  And since the only time that would be free is if the car is in for warranty or recall work, you have a limited window of opportunity to make use of.

In all other instances, you are going to pay quite a bit to change those plugs.

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Had the plugs changed on my previous IS250 when it was in for the fuel pressure recall....only paid for the plugs !  Benefit of a good relationship with ones dealer.

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That's some list. One might as well buy a Volkswagen:wink3:

Seriously though, that is an excellent list; it's thinks like that that make this forum such a brilliant resource. Many thanks, speaking a someone possibly in the market for an IS250 next...

Edited by gdh300
needs more
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On ‎07‎/‎01‎/‎2017 at 8:07 PM, gdh300 said:

That's some list. One might as well buy a Volkswagen:wink3:

Seriously though, that is an excellent list; it's thinks like that that make this forum such a brilliant resource. Many thanks, speaking a someone possibly in the market for an IS250 next...

Looked after, to an extent they are bullet proof. The list is quite long but covers everything. Don't let it put you off as a lot of whats on the list is for information

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By the time I finished reading all that, the car I was interested in was sold :yucky:

Joking :wink3:

Superb in depth list of things to look out for. I've had 7 IS200s all from new as many years ago my brother was a regional marketing director for Lexus (perks of the job)

Lovely cars and looking at getting an 05-07 IS250 for my Wife.

Driven an IS220d and gearbox was dreadful.

Driven 2 IS250s and both been great. Found one with mid 60k and searches about spark plug change LED me here.

A trip back to see the car and test as much of the list as I can

Thanks

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Only niggle I've got so far is the wheel corrosion. I thought I had a slow puncture as i was losing around 6psi per week from the front passenger tyre. I took it to my local auto centre who confirmed it was losing pressure through the wheel due to corrosion. I actually had to have the wheel repaired. The other wheels are not looking too good either. The cars not even done 30k yet.

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Lexus cannot and never have, as far as I've seen, been able to get decent alloy wheel sets.

Had all 4 done last year. They had suddenly become really quite dreadful in appearance. You could literally peel layers of 'foil' off each spoke.

Full acid strip, repair a few minor kerbings, repaint and clear coat, all baked, balanced and refitted. They look the dogs now.

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It is a shame lexus can't put a decent set of alloys on. Mine will be going in for refurbishment soon and possibly painted black as I really think they would suit my white car.

The wheels on my previous is220d were a lot worse. Lots of bubbling and flaking. 

Only other thing I can think of that let's the car down are the seized calipers. This happened on the 220d with the rears and I had to have the housing replaced too.

Not going to be a problem with my current 250. I recently had a full service at westlands toyota and they greased the slide pins for me. As I have my vehicle serviced every 6 months I will ask to have the pins greased to avoid any problems. 

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Some of post-facelift (2009+) were rather good. I believe the most issues were with 2005-2009 style alloys and Lexus addressed that issue with facelift.

Being fair I would say, if you have scratched or kerbed your alloys sooner or later they will flake and bubble-up, no matter how good the paint is (even though mine didn't... even after being badly kerbed, on other had 1 years is not that long of the period). Another point, I am not so fussy about alloy paint, driving in city I would kerb them well before they bubble-up or flake themselves.

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36 minutes ago, Linas.P said:

Some of post-facelift (2009+) were rather good. I believe the most issues were with 2005-2009 style alloys and Lexus addressed that issue with facelift.

Being fair I would say, if you have scratched or kerbed your alloys sooner or later they will flake and bubble-up, no matter how good the paint is (even though mine didn't... even after being badly kerbed, on other had 1 years is not that long of the period). Another point, I am not so fussy about alloy paint, driving in city I would kerb them well before they bubble-up or flake themselves.

Sorry, but I have to disagree with you from my experiences.

My car is 2010 facelift. Kerbing was nothing to do with the peeling. The finish was peeling from the back edge of the spokes and bubbling was in places where there was no damage at all.

My is200's ( 2001 and 2004) had dreadful peeling and bubbling problems. They were replaced by Lexus with brand new wheels on the 04 ... they too peeled and bubbled after 4 years. I know because I saw them later as the car is local.

My is220d (2007)had peeling finish on the alloys too.

I have seen far too many Lexus' with alloy defects to think they have sorted this. From what I see nothing has changed. Lexus now even try to worm out of replacing wheels under warranty

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6 hours ago, Rebecca said:

Only niggle I've got so far is the wheel corrosion. I thought I had a slow puncture as i was losing around 6psi per week from the front passenger tyre. I took it to my local auto centre who confirmed it was losing pressure through the wheel due to corrosion. I actually had to have the wheel repaired. The other wheels are not looking too good either. The cars not even done 30k yet.

Have added to the list as it is an issue across the range

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@normski2 - that is true for certain styles. I would stay with my opinion that mostly affected are pre-facelift models, where some post-facelift rims styles could have issues as well. Based on all paperwork I can see rims on my car (2008) was replaced 3 times, 2 times under warranty dealership replaced them and third time at 87k there is comment in the qoute by the service manager "plase make these the best possible price as this is 3rd time they beeing replaced" and indeed they sold the for £47.25 per rim with fitting. My understanding is that first 2 rims were common pre-facelift IS:

mOVF1vBaHvy7zcO7bKPZgtQ.jpg

Whereas last set was post-facelift from Advance (not sure they were option on any other grade)... and to be honest there were no issues with these rims burbling up or peeling even after heavy kerbing.

_DSC8898.JPG

@is200 Newbie - as I have previously mentioned this is great effort and great list. As it is growing bigger and bigger it seems that there is a need to separate what is model specific issues and what is general advice to look for when buying e.g. missing wheel locking nuts applies to any car with wheel locking nuts and not necessary IS mk2

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Great list of potential weaknesses but to put things in perspective i drove my IS250 for 4 yrs and 100.000 kms and not even a lightbulb did go wrong. the car felt as if it came out of the showroom 4 yrs earlier when i sold it.

I did have the wheel issues however..  

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Creaking dashboard is the one I most remember from my ownership. Fixed by wedging some black rubber/foam of the right stiffness into various points along the nearside area between dashboard and windscreen. Think it was this forum where I found out about the problem. Such a shame because in all other respects the car was super refined.

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There was a Tech Bulletin regarding 'Dash Rattle' so if the car has not had the 'Air Bag' recall done yet ( you can check with a Lexus dealer or MOT check on .GOV website) ask about the rattle when having the airbag done, it is a couple of plastic clips that will require ordering in.

paul m.

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Boot Lid hydraulic Struts do deteriorate over time and loose their strength, if your boot lid falls from about 1/3 height and slams closed very un-Lexus like then they are worn. Not really a deal breaker but OEM struts are over £100 from dealer or very good after market ones ( straight swap) are about £50 pair (2017)

Paul m.

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