calibra71207

Buying Gs450h - fresh import from Japan - advices please

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Hi Guys,

First of all, hello everyone. I am fresh here. I live in NZ and I am looking now for a GS450H (3rd gen). All the cars here are freshly imported from Japan, usually without any service history available but we can suppose that Japanese are pretty good at doing all the services and maintenance on time. But anyway it is a guess. I am targeting a car from 2006 - 2008 and they usually have got a mileage of 60 000 to 125 000 kms (not miles). I have got a couple of questions for the experienced users:

1) What should I check before buying - I am going to bring a Hybrid specialist to check the Battery but do you know from your experience how reliable this kind of opinion might be?

2) Do you think that is better to choose a car from 2006 with 93000 kms or 2008 with 125000 or it doesn't really matter

3) Is there any possibility to check the hybrid system during the test drive - for example today I was testing 2008 with 125000kms and initially batteries were empty (car is sitting at the dealer place for almost 3 weeks) and during 15 minutes of test drive was charged until 80% (2 upper lines weren't filled up). Drive was a combination of crusiing 50-70kmh plus 3 minutes highway - 100kmh plus 2 strong acceleration from 20kmh to 110kmh - at the end of the drive - still 80%.

4) What is the DABC system?very problematic and expensive to replace? Especially with the mileage over 120 000 kms? 

5) Any other symptoms / common problems that I should check before buying?

I have tested a couple of cars and GS450H is the great one. I just love it but buying such advanced technology is always a risk so I am trying to minimize that.

I will be grateful for any tips and tricks.

Thank you Guys in advance !!!

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HI Peter, welcome to the forum.

Ah the age old question of mileage vs age and I would also take into account the condition and service history (if at all possible).

The traction Battery meter not showing green at the top end of the display is pretty normal and mine only goes into the upper levels when I head over to the hilly countryside and get some stronger/longer braking/regen.  Provided the Battery charges to the levels you have seen, then you should be good.  Lexus have just extended the traction Battery warranty to 15 years, just get yourself an annual hybrid health check 😉

The rear brakes can mostly be fixed with a good service, dealers may also tell you that dampers need replacement when they actually seem pretty reliable, alloys corrode and the paint can be in a terrible state.

From what I've read  vehicles from Japan are mostly in good condition, so that should give you some confidence.

Good luck in your hunt and let us know how you get on.

Cheers, Lee

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Thank you for the first reply!!! Much appreciated. 

I know that I should avoid cars with ASSS and this can be checked only in the spare tyre space? 

Re Battery I will check with Lexus NZ if this option is available here. The procedure with this option is I can do the Battery check before or after purchase to get this Lexus warranty?

Re service history - this is the biggest issue with Japan import - they don't usually have any written history.

 

Aby other options or features that I should avoid? 

 

Thank you in advance 

 

 

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Hello Peter and welcome to the Lexus Forum.

I have a 2010 Gen 3 GS 450h. It is one of the later productions of the Gen 3 which I understand ceased production in mid 2011.

It has covered 60,000 miles (approx 100,000 kms) in 9 years without fault. It is maintained by Lexus here in UK, It is covered by the Lexus Extended Warranty and it receives an annual Hybrid Battery Check which covers the next 12 months so long as you do not exceed 10,000 miles in that period and it can be checked until the Battery is 15 years old.

My Battery indicator shows readings similar to yours and I do not ever recall it showing completely full.

I cannot think of any reason you should not choose the 450h.

I have just read Lee`s comments and I endorse those.

Please do report back on your decision.

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Peter, you can get a hybrid healthcheck and warranty at any time, on a vehicle up to 15yrs old. How good is that!

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Hi Peter.

While every thing said above is true I doubt Lexus will do a hybrid health check with guarantee on an import vehicle.
Many new comers to the Toyota/Lexus hybrids worry about the  hybrid Battery, but the technology is now well proven to be very reliable. Even in the event of a Battery failure there are plenty of people now able to replace individual sections of the Battery at realistic prices. The Battery is made up of 40 X 7.2 volt batteries of 6 cells each  "generally called modules" any one of which can be replaced.

Be aware that the multi display "satnav radio, and Battery display" as may the small display in the instrument pod will be in Japanese, and cannot be turned to English without being replaced. Also the radio may not work well as the frequency spacing is different in Japan, and I am not sure replacing the satnav map disc with an NZ version will be recognized.

Engines are pretty sound, but some will have or develop a start up rattle from cold for a second or so due to oil draining back from the variable timing chain sprockets. Lexus say this is not a problem.

John.

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Thank you Guys and I will keep you posted how my search is going. 

Cheers 

Peter

 

 

 

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I can certainly confirm what John says about the satnav, I put a UK disc in mine and it wasn't recognised.  My understanding was that most imports, certainly to the UK anyway, have history with them.  Mine does have the service book but you'll need Google Translate if you don't speak Japanese!  As just about all of the imports come from auction they should come with the auction report which will verify mileage and body/cabin condition.  These reports are reliable as the inspections are strictly controlled and not designed to deceive you into buying a lemon!

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Satnav in Japanese and problems with radio frequency is a standard here as 90%of the used cars market comes from Japan so it is not a concern for me at all. 

I know about the Japanese auctions report as well and it is true that most of the cars are in great condition. Someone has told me that hybrid Battery is checked twice, first at Japanese auction and secondly here by NZ Vtnz but I am assuming that is just basic test. 

The good thing is that here is a huge amount of Prius and hybrid Camry running around mostly as the Uber cars so there is a couple of places to fix potential problems. 

Is Standard suspension problematic or quite durable (shock absorbers?!) 

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2 hours ago, calibra71207 said:

Satnav in Japanese and problems with radio frequency is a standard here as 90%of the used cars market comes from Japan so it is not a concern for me at all. 

I know about the Japanese auctions report as well and it is true that most of the cars are in great condition. Someone has told me that hybrid battery is checked twice, first at Japanese auction and secondly here by NZ Vtnz but I am assuming that is just basic test. 

The good thing is that here is a huge amount of Prius and hybrid Camry running around mostly as the Uber cars so there is a couple of places to fix potential problems. 

Is Standard suspension problematic or quite durable (shock absorbers?!) 

I can only comment on what I've read on this forum and it may be that the suspension is a weaker point, and replacement is much more expensive than a non hybrid GS.

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So re suspension, all the 450h have got this ASSS or only some of them?

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I think the problem Phil is referring to is the shock absorbers that are prone to leaking from the shaft seal. There is no aftermarket suppler of these, and the OEM shocks are circa £250 (UK ponds) each to buy. We see very few models with the variable rate anti roll bar system here.

John.

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Peter

The ASSS suspension system was on the sport model and i think an optional extra on the 450h

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So far I have viewed 2 cars since I found out about ASSS and both of them are equipped with that. One of this car is my option. I will check another 2 this week and we will see. 

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Hi Guys, 

So I need your advice. I'm not too sure if you can help but maybe. I have selected 2 cars to choose. Both are fresh Japanese import. Both through dealers specialized in used cars from Japan. Price is not a factor because is a bit similar in this case. 

 

Number 1 - 2006, 93000 kms, very good interior and exterior condition, all the features apart from radar, parking sensors but has got leather, ventilated seats etc, no ASSS which is important I think. 

link: https://www.trademe.co.nz/Browse/Listing.aspx?id=2165063058&rsqid=299244cc6d7c4adbb6c89452227475fd-001 

 

Number 2 - 2008, 121000 kms, very good interior and exterior condition, more extras and after lifting model, radar (I don't need that), Music AUX (nice), DABC (no idea what is it) and unfortunately ASSS, parking sensors (nice)

 

I am going to buy a 3 year warranty for the car so maybe I shouldn't worry about ASSS?

 

When I was driving both cars the only one difference / symptoms I noticed was:

Number 1 - batteries were charging a bit longer (it might be very subjective)

Number 2 - during very fast acceleration I noticed some weird, robotic sound from central speaker on the dashboard (very quiet but weird one)

 

What do you think Guys? I was surprised today after driving number 1 - was around 20 minutes test drive - after 10 minutes I switched to hybrid (from power) and normal (from sport) and I got 16.6 km/l which is around 6.02l /100km . I was shocked as my current city driver - Mazda Verisa 1.5 is doing around 7.4/100km . 

 

Any advices? Both cars seem to passed big service at Lexus (90 000kms and 120 000kms). They don't have any history but most of the cars from Japan are ok. Maybe I should take into account this service facts? 

 

I will be grateful for any advice or thoughts?

 

Thank you Guys in advance

 

 

 

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Hi Guys, 

 

I am targeting this car and probably tomorrow will make a call. 

https://www.turners.co.nz/Cars/Used-Cars-for-Sale/lexus/gs450h/19507553

 

I think 2008 plus mileage that indicates regular use will be better option. There are more features as well that are important to me. 

 

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Looks very nice apart from the rear seats which look a bit baggy?

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Looking at those rear seats I guess it's an ex taxi.

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🙂 no idea how to explain but in real they look ok. So made a decision 🙂

I thought that 121000km during 11 years will be better than 90000km during 13 years. If the Battery is not used properly it is not good as well. 

The biggest concern with the Japanese cars is that they don't have any service history (usually). On the other hand japanese people are crazy about the cars and service. It's always a risk. 

 

Shall I be worried if the car is ex taxi? 

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I have bought 2 years warranty for peace of mind. It is my first experience with hybrid and to be honest I am really afraid... 🙂

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Any way of changing the Sat Nav and instruments to English?

 

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  • Club Hybrid Poll

  • 205 Hybrid Reliability

    1. 1. If you were to consider buying a Hybrid model over 5 years old, would you be worried about the reliability of the Hybrid system?


      • Not really as Hybrid systems are always reliable
      • Not if it had a Manufacturers Warranty on the Hybrid system
      • I would not buy a Hybrid model over 5 years old