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Greetings all, first time posting here but not my first Owner's Club  :)

My old car's failed it's MOT and I'm sick of throwing money at it (Fords!) so I'm looking at something more reliable and comfortable.  My initial thought was for a Mk1 or 2 RX300 but when I looked into the MPG costs I shed a single tear and started looking at my other choice: the IS models.  Not being able to drop the rear seats might be a massive pain depending on The Wife's plans for buying flat pack furnishings but everything else about the car seems very agreeable.  After a brief look about on here most people say to go for a petrol and as it's been a while since I've driven a V6 (my Capri 3.0S is sleeping in my parents' garage needing work) that sits well with me, plus while it's not as economical as my old Ford diesel it is better than the RX300.

I've spotted a nice black IS250 a few hours away which is the spec I was looking for and the chap seems very eager to get rid of it, he even offered to drive it the 2.5 hours to my town and then endure the 3.5 hour train ride back, and I'm not sure if that's a good sign or not.  He's sent pics of a bunch of Lexus and independent garage receipts for me to check out, it seems to have been serviced by Lexus in '13 & '14 who also replaced the headlamp bulbs & a rear reflector (cluster?) in addition to the expected service items.  An independent garage has changed the alternator (117k miles) & the plugs (at 142k miles).  He's gotten himself a very fancy Range Rover which is why he's selling and he seems like a good chap from speaking to him, but...

1)  The car's done just under 150k miles on an 05 plate.  I think it's slightly above average for a 14 year old car, should this be a concern?

2)  There's unspecified "welding" done in 2014 (£65) and the exhaust's been welded in 2017 twice (£20 Feb & again in Nov £40?) but I'm not sure how much welding one can get for £65 in that first instance?  My local garage quoted me £150 to weld a plate onto my Focus' sill so based on that it doesn't seem like much, but why would a decent Lexus need "welding"?  Problematic exhaust?

3)  The alternator's been replaced in 2015, is ten years an expected lifespan?  I replaced the alternator on my Focus last year, that's also an '05 plate and I find it odd that a Ford alternator on a 170k mileage Focus would outlast a Lexus alternator that did 117k miles?

4)  The radiator's been replaced this year.  Are they known to go and could any neglect cause this?  I've needed to replace rads from stone damage and the like, is that likely the case here?

5)  https://www.check-mot.service.gov.uk/ Reports that there's an outstanding recall by Lexus for this model vehicle, is there any way of finding out what that could be for?  I assume that Lexus are obliged to carry out work there for free?

So the plugs, rad, alternator & lambda sensors have been replaced in recent years, I know the plugs can be an expensive job so I'm glad that's done, and the car's failed 5 of it's MOTs; mostly on tyres but also one for a blowing exhaust (welding then) & lambda sensor in '17 and again for a lambda sensor last year.  The car is coming in at the top-end of my budget and I have until Sunday to get my parents' car back to them so I'm kinda up against it for choices.  Is anything mentioned here a major cause for concern?  Should I look at a RX300 instead?  ;)

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You didn't mention your budget, but I bought for £4,200 last year on a 07 plate with 115k on the clock. Unless you are paying less than £3k for this car, I would pass on this one. It sounds like it has been a little neglected. 

 

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Welcome....

firstly, top choice of motor ( but I might be slightly bias!) you are right to have doubts about the boot space, it has a large capacity but a very small opening and the fact the back seats do-not fold does not help any. The other (only) negative for me is rear leg room, but as I'll only ever be driving it not such a problem!

1. Mileage in itself should not be a concern as these cars can absorb the distance without problem if treated well.

2. Welding....if there was any welding done other than to the known weak point in the 'Y' on the exhaust then I would be wary! But as a genuine exhaust from Lexus can run you £000's ( because they last well and the car is not very common there wasn't, until recently, any after market choices) repair is acceptable.

3. Alternators do fail and comparing a IS to a Focus is not really fair, the Lexus has prob got a hell of a lot more electrical demand than the focus but if it has been replaced then that should be a good thing yes?

4. Rads are not a known weak spot on the IS as such and that would be unusual as far as I know,

5. There have been two recalls, one for a fuel seal, which was a few years ago and if the car was still getting serviced by Lexus back then I would expect that this would have been done. The more recent one is for the passenger side airbag unit and this will, like you say be done FOC ( and you'll prob get a loan car also!)

6. Tyres are a common topic on mot's with the IS and alinement/tracking needs to be done every time tyres get changed ( this should be done anyway)

I sure you will love the IS, weather this one or not, as I haven't found anyone who hasn't been thoroughly impressed as time went on!

one point that arouse recently was the fact that when someone was looking for a IS there seemed to be a lack of paperwork history for maintenance and repairs! It was then pointed out that this was about right as these cars are very reliable and do not need nursing at every corner ( unlike my Ford). But it does seem as though this one has had its share of garage ramp use!

Also the bit about delivering it!!! Either a very nice man or not as the case may be.

paul m.

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1 hour ago, Hondaman said:

You didn't mention your budget, but I bought for £4,200 last year on a 07 plate with 115k on the clock. Unless you are paying less than £3k for this car, I would pass on this one. It sounds like it has been a little neglected. 

 

Thanks for the quick responses!  My budget is pretty limited as this wasn't planned at all, but the car is just over £2k so that fits with your threshold.  Beggars, an' all that!

57 minutes ago, Texas said:

Welcome....

firstly, top choice of motor ( but I might be slightly bias!) you are right to have doubts about the boot space, it has a large capacity but a very small opening and the fact the back seats do-not fold does not help any. The other (only) negative for me is rear leg room, but as I'll only ever be driving it not such a problem!

1. Mileage in itself should not be a concern as these cars can absorb the distance without problem if treated well.

2. Welding....if there was any welding done other than to the known weak point in the 'Y' on the exhaust then I would be wary! But as a genuine exhaust from Lexus can run you £000's ( because they last well and the car is not very common there wasn't, until recently, any after market choices) repair is acceptable.

3. Alternators do fail and comparing a IS to a Focus is not really fair, the Lexus has prob got a hell of a lot more electrical demand than the focus but if it has been replaced then that should be a good thing yes?

4. Rads are not a known weak spot on the IS as such and that would be unusual as far as I know,

5. There have been two recalls, one for a fuel seal, which was a few years ago and if the car was still getting serviced by Lexus back then I would expect that this would have been done. The more recent one is for the passenger side airbag unit and this will, like you say be done FOC ( and you'll prob get a loan car also!)

6. Tyres are a common topic on mot's with the IS and alinement/tracking needs to be done every time tyres get changed ( this should be done anyway)

I sure you will love the IS, weather this one or not, as I haven't found anyone who hasn't been thoroughly impressed as time went on!

one point that arouse recently was the fact that when someone was looking for a IS there seemed to be a lack of paperwork history for maintenance and repairs! It was then pointed out that this was about right as these cars are very reliable and do not need nursing at every corner ( unlike my Ford). But it does seem as though this one has had its share of garage ramp use!

Also the bit about delivering it!!! Either a very nice man or not as the case may be.

paul m.

Again, thank you.  Apparently all Lexus saloons have fixed rear seats, I imagine having a rear bulkhead stiffens the rear end up like a strut-brace (I'd prefer a strut-brace and folding seats but I suppose that's more "performance" than "luxury") which is why?

 

1)  Thank you, that helps my mind a lot.  I'm not entirely sure that the price helps with the mileage but then it is a top-spec car so I can't really have it both ways.

2)  The chap's said that it's the centre section, not the Y-piece.  I'm not sure if that's alright or not; are they stainless and so resistant to rust?  Known to be easily damaged on stuff?

3)  Good point.  Thanks!

4)  Asking for more details, the exhaust too.

5)  Good to know, I should be able to call my nearest Lexus dealer and give them to reg to see if it's been done?  I've not actually had to take a vehicle in due to a recall before!

6)  Gotcha, thank you.

Aye, my gut feeling is that the chap seems nice enough, I mean he went out at 11pm last night and filmed a vid of the car interior starting up and running through the head unit functions off his own back so he seems like a fine chap.  The welding on the car's exhaust is niggling me but I'm leaning towards going for it...

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Well if you do get it for about 2k then you are getting a hell of a lot of car for your money, what model is it?

paul m.

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I guess the only other area that can rack up a few quid are brakes ( calipers ).

It’s a bit of a weak spot with this model...& when I say that you have to take in to account the overall strengths and reliability of an IS.

“Even champion racehorses sweat”... as my old dad used to say 😁.... I think I knew what he meant.

I don’t know if there is any reference in the paper work to any work or replacements... just a thought.

Good luck

phil

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3 hours ago, Texas said:

Well if you do get it for about 2k then you are getting a hell of a lot of car for your money, what model is it?

paul m.

It's a SE-L with everything in it, which is why I'm trying to negotiate getting to the car or it to me.  The chap has realised that it's a 5-hour round trip if he comes during the week (I don't expect anyone to do THAT after working a full day) but if he drives down on the weekend then my crappy rail service knobbles him with replacement busses and his return trip balloons up to a grim 3 hours 45 mins.  Also not cool.

3 hours ago, Vintagesixtysix said:

I guess the only other area that can rack up a few quid are brakes ( calipers ).

It’s a bit of a weak spot with this model...& when I say that you have to take in to account the overall strengths and reliability of an IS.

“Even champion racehorses sweat”... as my old dad used to say 😁.... I think I knew what he meant.

I don’t know if there is any reference in the paper work to any work or replacements... just a thought.

Good luck

phil

Your Dad sounds like a good'un; everything has a downside and even machines of happiness need vents.  Tantamount to the same thing, I think.

 

There's also another IS250 I've noticed which is way under £2k but under the chap saying "This is well maintained" in the ad it ends with "GEARBOX SOMETIMES HANGS".  Even being very cheap I'm not sure I want to entertain that kind of nonsense, unless it's a known thing and can be remedied fairly easily or without great expense?

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FYI the automatic gearbox on the IS is pretty much bullet-proof and if a fault occurs then it could easily cost £000's to fix at a dealership. They very rarely give trouble and I don't think I would entertain an automatic car ( Especally a Lexus) at any price with a known fault. As my old nan used to say 'Plenty more fish....."

paul m.

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HOKAY.  So last night, luckily, another SE-L cropped up in an agreeable colour a 30 mins drive away, I tested drove it this morning (in the pouring rain, lovely) and agreed to pick it up at the weekend.  😄  It's pretty much the same car as in my initial post, almost identical mileage, same spec, but has a lot more Lexus service history and after that the sheet continues with garage stamps.  The chap thinks that the sparkplugs have been changed (every 100k, is it, or more regular than that?) but I didn't get a proper look at the tons of receipts as I had to get to work!  Would Lexus have changed the plugs at 100k as a matter of course?  Also, the car has 

Two very minor questions:

1)  The driver's side wing mirror adjust doesn't work (the passenger side works fine), is this a fairly simple fix or is it a replacement job?

2)  When the car was in Sport, the gear indicator number on the dash just read "4" and didn't change with the gears as it did when the car was in Drive.  Is this normal?

Thanks again, chaps.  I work in IT and am used to messing with older cars, so if anyone needs any IT-type help just holler!

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Happy days , got yourself a 250!

did it come with a tomb of a owners manual because everything you need to know is in there?

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Note, when you own car ( need details from the V5) you can sign up to the ‘My Lexus’ app via Lexus ( ‘My Lexus’ is more user friendly on a phone than a PC for some reason) and view details about cars history including any servicing carried out by Lexus.

paul m

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According to Lexus service schedule, spark plugs are at every 72 Months/60,000 Miles* (whichever comes first) so if this service was done by Lexus I would expect to see 'Plugs' in the 'My Lexus' service history.

* This is for emission reasons and plugs can easily last upto 100,000!

paul m.

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Mirror could be physically broken inside or not getting electrical supply.

Firstly try operating it with engine off/window open to check if motor is operating.

report back when you have car as there are numerous fuses associated with the mirrors!

 

paul m.

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'When the car was in Sport, the gear indicator number on the dash just read "4" and didn't change with the gears as it did when the car was in Drive.  Is this normal?'

The gear indicator on the actual dash panel shows the highest gear available when in S mode. You can change that, up or down, with the paddles. When you switch to S mode, it automatically selects 4. On older cars like this, the paddles only work in S mode. It still works as an auto - just on the lower 4 gears. Paddle up and you get the range 1-5 or 1-6. Paddle down and you get the range 1-3 or 1-2. etc.

I keep the current gear showing in the information panel at the top of the dash - you select that with the display button on the steering wheel - it cycles through various things like outside temp and fuel consumption - and current gear engaged..

Once you get used to it, you can drive like a manual - select 2 as your max when you take off, up to max revs, paddle to 3, max revs, paddle 4 etc. By now you're well over the speed limit. All that is if you want to drive like a boy racer. It's fun, though!

It can be useful to switch to S and paddle down to 3 (or even 2) on steep hills etc. That helps with engine braking.

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Also don't forget to use the PWR button!

That's if you don't mind watching the fuel gauge drop like a stone!!! But then again you just bought a V6 so perhaps not.

paul m.

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On 3/14/2019 at 1:16 PM, Texas said:

Happy days , got yourself a 250!

did it come with a tomb of a owners manual because everything you need to know is in there?

 

On 3/14/2019 at 1:29 PM, Texas said:

Mirror could be physically broken inside or not getting electrical supply.

Firstly try operating it with engine off/window open to check if motor is operating.

report back when you have car as there are numerous fuses associated with the mirrors!

 

paul m.

 

On 3/14/2019 at 2:07 PM, Texas said:

Also don't forget to use the PWR button!

That's if you don't mind watching the fuel gauge drop like a stone!!! But then again you just bought a V6 so perhaps not.

paul m.

I the manual was in the leather binder-oojit, along with a billion A4 sheets of paperwork and a DVD?!  A DVD.  Wat.  The mirror was very easy to move by hand but I think the motors for mirrors don't have to be that beefy so I don't know if there should've been much resistance to move the mirror (and thus the motor) or not.  It didn't move out of position while driving so I think it's still mounted alright.  Fuses are good, once I get the car and info I'll take a gander.  Are the mirror motors individually fused?

 

On 3/14/2019 at 1:59 PM, johnatg said:

 

'When the car was in Sport, the gear indicator number on the dash just read "4" and didn't change with the gears as it did when the car was in Drive.  Is this normal?'

The gear indicator on the actual dash panel shows the highest gear available when in S mode. You can change that, up or down, with the paddles. When you switch to S mode, it automatically selects 4. On older cars like this, the paddles only work in S mode. It still works as an auto - just on the lower 4 gears. Paddle up and you get the range 1-5 or 1-6. Paddle down and you get the range 1-3 or 1-2. etc.

I keep the current gear showing in the information panel at the top of the dash - you select that with the display button on the steering wheel - it cycles through various things like outside temp and fuel consumption - and current gear engaged..

Once you get used to it, you can drive like a manual - select 2 as your max when you take off, up to max revs, paddle to 3, max revs, paddle 4 etc. By now you're well over the speed limit. All that is if you want to drive like a boy racer. It's fun, though!

It can be useful to switch to S and paddle down to 3 (or even 2) on steep hills etc. That helps with engine braking.

Understood, thank you.  Does the S gear change the performance of the engine at all or is it all gearing?

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Understood, thank you.  Does the S gear change the performance of the engine at all or is it all gearing?
Hard to say - I think it's all gearing, but it seems to hold the gears longer - ie use higher revs - in S mode.

But as Paul said, you can use the PWR button / switch for more power.

Both S and PWR make for less smooth progress, although S is good for country roads with lots of low gear corners - cuts the number of gear changes which actually smooths things a bit.

Sent from my PSP7551DUO using Tapatalk

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The S option is also good for when you are stuck in slow moving stop/start traffic for an age ie on the motorway, it is intended for use in Snow and the car pulls away more gently in a higher gear ( so as not to spin the wheels hopefully) which makes the traffic jam a bit more pleasent ( not that you want to be stuck in traffic at all) and iirc it automatically comes out of S(now) mode at 28 MPH. ( gone off to check this right away.....)

Paul m.

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Regarding the Rear View Door Mirror problem, have a read of this thread, admittely it was for the 'No Tilt when in Reverse' problem but it does show (very well) how to get to mirror mechinisms and check if all is OK.

 

 

Paul m.

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43 minutes ago, Texas said:

The S option is also good for when you are stuck in slow moving stop/start traffic for an age ie on the motorway, it is intended for use in Snow and the car pulls away more gently in a higher gear ( so as not to spin the wheels hopefully) which makes the traffic jam a bit more pleasent ( not that you want to be stuck in traffic at all) and iirc it automatically comes out of S(now) mode at 28 MPH. ( gone off to check this right away.....)

Paul m.

That's the 'snow' button /switch - S is the gearstick position - PRNDS! 

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Consider me in!  😀

Thanks for all the help thus far, chaps!  I think the only disappointments I've had so far are very minor but are bound the the Multimedia model of the car, which I assume it is instead of an SE-L?  No dimming mirrors, puddle lighting or driving position memory but these are whimsical so I'm very happy to live without.  Multimedia-wise, as I usually use Alpine units in my cars I'm kinda disappointed to see the lack of options in the Mark Levinson unit; just T, M & B with Surround & fading, plus the sub is more quiet than I'd expect.  I was also up too late last night burning tons of MP3s to a DVD to see if the head unit would play audio from DVDs too - after all, data is just data and it clearly plays MP3s already, but nope, the disc number on the screen stayed blank so that was a bust too (or it was still reading the disc's index?), which was a shame but no massive biggie when there's 6 CDs and an AUX socket.

Performance-wise the car seems a bit "snatchy" when pulling away from a standstill, like it's fairly lazy to move but certainly does when the accelerator is pressed a bit more, there doesn't seem to be much in-between.  It's my first auto (but I have intermittently driven my family's auto-boxed cars too) so maybe it's a characteristic of the box/car and I just need to learn to work with it.  Not having a clutch to smooth things out is weird.  😛

I'm very happy with how the car goes, though.  It's currently at the local F1 Autos getting the tracking done as it pulled to the left a fair bit.  Some reviews stated that the IS250 feels under-powered for a 2.5 but then it has a sneaky "extra go" press at the bottom of the accelerator's travel & a PWR button to help when needed: it's a car for cruising primarily, not a sports car.  Having owned things like an MR2 turbo and a GT4 ST185RC (which I still have) I'm perfectly OK with being comfortable first and powerful second, as long as power is there when needed.  Despite the minor grumblings above I'm very happy after two days of ownership and you chaps have proven that this OC is knowledgeable and friendly, which is exactly what I expect an OC to be.

I'm yet to get through the 300 page manual for the thing, are there any separate crossover or volume controls for the sub?

The speedo needle seems to have a dull LED or two, are the needles a pain to replace, can they be replaced without a ton of agg?

Also, sometimes when I turn off the engine and open my driver's door the car continuously beeps at me until I close it like the lights have been left on.  The lights are set to Auto and it's done it in daylight - is it telling me I've forgotten to do something and if so...what?  😁

Thanks for all your help so far, chaps!

20190317_134818.jpg

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'I was also up too late last night burning tons of MP3s to a DVD to see if the head unit would play audio from DVDs too - after all, data is just data and it clearly plays MP3s already, but nope, the disc number on the screen stayed blank so that was a bust too (or it was still reading the disc's index?), which was a shame but no massive biggie when there's 6 CDs and an AUX socket.' It took me a few trial goes and reading of the manual to figure out how the MP3 CD needed to be organised to play correctly in my IS's 6 CD player (no multimedia DVD in mine) so would I guess the DVD is similarly picky.

'Performance-wise the car seems a bit "snatchy" when pulling away from a standstill, like it's fairly lazy to move but certainly does when the accelerator is pressed a bit more, there doesn't seem to be much in-between.  It's my first auto (but I have intermittently driven my family's auto-boxed cars too) so maybe it's a characteristic of the box/car and I just need to learn to work with it.  Not having a clutch to smooth things out is weird.  😛' The throttle response is very non-linear! i.e. as you noticed nothing much at first (so it's smooth in town traffic) and then it ramps up. Slightly less so when in ECT/PWR mode which is where mine stays, interestingly in ECT/PWR mode if you brake harder than a certain threshold at speed  it downshifts to help with braking like you might do in a manual.

Also, sometimes when I turn off the engine and open my driver's door the car continuously beeps at me until I close it like the lights have been left on.  The lights are set to Auto and it's done it in daylight - is it telling me I've forgotten to do something and if so...what?  😁 There appears to be some safety logic that makes it beep at you if you turn it off with the door open, it beeps at you until youve closed the door (or pressed the door switch low down in the B pillar). Oddly if you turn it off with the door shut it doesn't turn off the auto light or lock the steering until you open the door?

Andrew

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17 hours ago, C Andrew Green said:

Andrew

Thanks!  I'll keep that in mind when burning CDs.  As for the PWR button, is there a resource anywhere that actually states what it does in technical terms?  I think the Snow mode makes the car use 2nd gear as the lowest available at low speeds, but the PWR?

Gotcha regarding the door alarm.  Odd :]

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1 hour ago, Mauler said:

Thanks!  I'll keep that in mind when burning CDs.  As for the PWR button, is there a resource anywhere that actually states what it does in technical terms?  I think the Snow mode makes the car use 2nd gear as the lowest available at low speeds, but the PWR?

Gotcha regarding the door alarm.  Odd :]

Hi @Mauler

I guess there's a separate manual for the multimedia stuff as it isn't mentioned in the main manual.

From the USA Spec manual that I found in .pdf form (I'm 6000 odd miles from my IS and it's manual at the moment, slumming it in a Toyota Yaris!) but I'm fairly sure it's equally descriptive!

I got a set of 16" Goodyear Vector 'All Season' (snow rated for Europe) tyres on a spare set of rims in January this year, with those on and 'Snow Mode' engaged it made the couple of days of snow we had a quite enjoyable safe experience, I didn't really check what gears it was using but it's more of a 'low torque' setting.

Andrew

ECT PWR.JPG

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44 minutes ago, C Andrew Green said:

Hi @Mauler

I guess there's a separate manual for the multimedia stuff as it isn't mentioned in the main manual.

From the USA Spec manual that I found in .pdf form (I'm 6000 odd miles from my IS and it's manual at the moment, slumming it in a Toyota Yaris!) but I'm fairly sure it's equally descriptive!

I got a set of 16" Goodyear Vector 'All Season' (snow rated for Europe) tyres on a spare set of rims in January this year, with those on and 'Snow Mode' engaged it made the couple of days of snow we had a quite enjoyable safe experience, I didn't really check what gears it was using but it's more of a 'low torque' setting.

Andrew

ECT PWR.JPG

Cheers!  Aye, I got my paws on PDFs for the manual, multimedia manual & quick guide.  Thusly armed I intend to turn off the highly irritating Traffic Patrol/Notification nonsense in my car!  lol

I've seen a few people mention snow tyres on various forums, that those existed over here never really occurred to me as we tend to get snow in Essex only once or twice a year.  Also just ordered a Techstream cable, I'm interested to see what options for auto-locking, interior lighting and the like that gives me...

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