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Just bought 2008 GS450h, new to forum, new to Lexus.


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Hello everyone,

I'm a new user to this forum, I'm a new user of Lexus community, I have read a lot of threads in this forum and I'm really enjoying to be here.

Just a quick background, my first and only car (before Lexus) was Skoda Octavia 1.6 sedan (gasoline) from 1999 and owned it close to 5 years. Throughout those years I have learned a lot about mechanics and a started to do the maintenance my self. Since the first day I bought it (rushed decision) I was always worried and fixing something. Either it was a blown headgasket, old shockers, electrical problemas, locking mechanism (damn those VW mechanisms) and so on. For the past year I was done with always worrying about something in the car. It practically became Saturday routine to fix something.

This brings me to Lexus. I have read so much about the Lexus. About making very luxurious and reliable cars. I started to look after IS250 from 2008 (due to low budget 12k€), described as a very fun, agile and reliable car (except direct injection system). Unfortunately I live in Portugal and used cars are very expensive and not a lot of them (specially Lexus). In total there are 30 used Lexus currently selling in Portugal under 12k€ 

Then, there were no more IS250 selling during 2 months, so I started to look after different Lexus models. For my budget I could only find RX400h, IS220d (diesel), IS200, RX300 and that is it. And then, I found GS450h. Although I was looking for something more sporty and with bigger boot, I got very excited by the power it can deliver and luxury put inside it. It was a risky decision for me to buy it since it was located 400km away from me. The car condition on the photos and 65k miles on it got me VERY interested. For that price I couldn't get anything better regarding comfort, power, luxury and condition. The only thing scaring me of buying that car on the same day was the age due to hybrid Battery. Car had 12 years and apparently it never changed the Battery. Originally this car cost 60k€ and I managed to buy it for little over 10k€.

Fortunately for me the risk has paid off (in my opinion). Car barely had any scratches, had 1 owner who barely drove it (average of 5k miles per year, checked with Lexus dealer), always assisted at Lexus and great condition overall. And after his death his wife didn't need the car so she asked nearest used car dealer to sell the car.

Although hybrid Battery will require a soon replacement/reconditioning for sure. When I was using Techstream software (with READY ON and radio ON), hybrid Battery was discharging 1 bar per 10 min. Reaching only 2 bars left (purple) ICE would kick-in to charge the Battery. Anyway, with luck I might need only to replace some Battery modules (40$ each) or even if I replace the whole Battery (1600$ total) I still think this car is worth it. Fun, elegant and very low maintenance. It's weird for me that car doesn't need to change anything like a regular car like a driving belt.

The only thing I see in maintenance manual to replace is: oil filter, oil. Occasionally change air filter, clean air conditioner filter. And very rare (spark plugs and coolant). I still don't believe it. Oh and I bet the breaks are still original, since the car uses regenerative braking. I checked them, still within the limits, probably only in 1-2 years I will see the brake pad warning light. Please don't take this literally, I do know the car still requires maintenance, but damn, it is so less than I'm used to.

Another big deal factor that got me into Lexus is the maintenance. Usually who buy a Lexus (at least in Portugal) has the money to pay for the maintenance. And if they have the money to pay for it, they won't go to local sketchy mechanics, specially if there is a problem Hybrid system. And in Lexus if there is a tiny issue, all the warning lights will come on and will bug you until you fix it. That is very good if you are buying a used Lexus and very bad if you are trying to sell a broken Lexus. And it's not easy to camouflage issues. For example, when I bought the car it had a TPMS warning light. I knew it wasn't a big deal and it even helped to negotiate the price (car dealer had no idea what that warning meant).

Anyhow, I'm very happy to be part of this community and I'll try to contribute with what I know and learn throughout the way.

 

Cheers!

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A warm welcome Denis and congratulations upon your purchase and the informative first posting.

You seem to have hit on a really good vehicle.

I`ve had mine for more than 6 years with not a single problem. There are instances of drivers getting well over 150,000 miles from Discs and pads.

The Hybrid Battery can be replaced...see Hybrid Battery Solutions.com, they are based in England but will offer advice over the phone. Ask for Richard.

You do not need a Sports Car now you have the 450H as it will see most things off the road, but I do not advise that you try that.

It is a high quality, luxurious, limousine---a wolf in sheep`s clothing.

If possible try to locate a Lexus Dealer and ask about the Annual Hybrid Check which will result in the Hybrid Battery being warranted for 12 months or 10,000 miles. It is not expensive (£59) and can be carried out until the vehicle is 15 years old.

Send us some photos of you and your 450h when you can and tell us where you are in Portugal.

Enjoy the Forum.

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Denis, welcome to the forum! Good to have you here! With Lexus you will have boring weekends - nothing to fix on the car 🙂 but money saved will be spent on waxes, polishes etc! 🙂

When I had a BMW I always had on a back of my mind that something will go wrong with the car, I knew every MOT or service there is a potential of repair, may be not a breakdown but defo an advisory, to me it is the same as I tend to fix even advisories as soon as I can. 🙂

It is a good advice to see LExus to do a Battery Health Check, I was just not sure they do it on the cars older than 10 years. Check shock absorbers (common on Mark 3) and brake discs/calipers as they tend to seize, especially when the car was not driven for a while. It is easy to do brake maintenance. 

As John says, please attach some photos, we all like them.

Good luck with the Car Denis and keep us posted!

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You have bought a very reliable luxury performance car that will give you many years of trouble free motoring.

It only needs scheduled maintenance which you will find in the repair manual. The repair manual advertised now on ebay uk from usa is the same with the original manual from Lexus for GS European specifications and it is about £50.

For the traction Battery you can replace any cell or you can buy a replacement original reconditioned Battery or a new one from uk. Already other learned members have mentioned a member source.

You seem to have had enough repair experience already and we all help each other in any way we can. Some members, you will find, are gurus in mechanical, electrical and electronic engineering.

Chris.

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Here go the pictures of my car. Finally remembered to take them during the day 😄

Very happy with the car.

IMG_20210121_132815.thumb.jpg.8722f0ae217c0fe07b81fa873980a3e3.jpg

IMG_20210121_132751.thumb.jpg.b8b6002855c9a827f2c4cec87df51535.jpg

IMG_20210121_132734.thumb.jpg.b6dde9b907a355ad926d0d672e115ceb.jpg

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10 minutes ago, royoftherovers said:

She is a beauty Denis. She has polished up really well. Glad you are pleased with it.

Where are you in Portugal ?

Currently living in Aveiro. Center of the Portugal, close to the ocean.

Actually, the car is not polished yet, has swirls and small scratches all over the car.

Next week going to buy a polishing kit to make it perfect (https://www.amazon.es/Meguiars-Ultimate-Paint-Care-ultpckit/dp/B079QZPB26)

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Lovely car Denis. I strongly suggest find a car body shop to de swirl and polish your car. Doing it yourself unless you have a DA will be so time consuming and you could do more damage than good. I took my is250 to a body shop I know as my car had thousands of scratches and swirls. £80 later over 90% gone and gleaming. Look in the 2nd gen is250 section and look for a thread titled 13yr old paint. That's my car. 

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24 minutes ago, Mr Vlad said:

Lovely car Denis. I strongly suggest find a car body shop to de swirl and polish your car. Doing it yourself unless you have a DA will be so time consuming and you could do more damage than good. I took my is250 to a body shop I know as my car had thousands of scratches and swirls. £80 later over 90% gone and gleaming. Look in the 2nd gen is250 section and look for a thread titled 13yr old paint. That's my car. 

Thanks for the advice. I was indeed considering to go to a professional shop.

I'm used to time consuming jobs. Yesterday I was vacuuming my car for something like 2 hours, almost until midnight. 😁

And no, I wasn't vacuuming the car for 2h, it was more vacuum one side, inspect, get a wet tower, clean something, try this new cleaning product, compare results, etc... I'm an easy going guy. I admit, I waste a lot of time doing things on ease with as much detail as possible.

And I love doing as much as DIY as I can. It's not about the money per say (although it counts), it's more about the knowledge I get that I can apply also to something else.

This video blowed my mind. And inspired me to do something like that.

 

 

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Just one thing Denis mentioned in your first post....don’t wait until the brake pad wear light comes on, the sensors cost more than the pads to replace.

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11 minutes ago, steve2006 said:

Just one thing Denis mentioned in your first post....don’t wait until the brake pad wear light comes on, the sensors cost more than the pads to replace.

Hmm... Isn't sensor part part of the brake pad? Unless Lexus uses different from the usual brake sensor setup.

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On 1/17/2021 at 2:26 PM, ThE_0nE said:

with READY ON and radio ON), hybrid battery was discharging 1 bar per 10 min. Reaching only 2 bars left (purple) ICE would kick-in to charge the battery.

That's exactly the same behaviour as my IS300h. During the coronavirus lockdown last year I needed to keep the 12volt Battery charged and as recommended by Lexus I put the car in Ready for an hour a week. Having nothing better to do, I logged the hybrid Battery state of charge and when the engine started and stopped, (as well as the 12 volt Battery charge). I don't have Techstream but I was also using the Hybrid Assistant app which shows a lot of useful data including the percentage charge of the hybrid Battery.

What I found was that the hybrid Battery charge would run down to 40% (equivalent to two bars on the dashboard meter) and then the engine would start. It would keep running until the hybrid Battery reached 50% charge, which was displayed as three bars, and then the engine would stop. The state of charge would then gradually go down again (I had the radio on too but I doubt it uses a lot of charge compared with the air conditioning which was also on.) After 10 minutes it was down to 40% again (two bars) and the engine would start again. And so on.

This was at outdoor temperatures when little or no heating was needed. In winter weather the engine will keep running a bit longer to keep the cabin warm and the bars on the Battery gauge will go higher than three.

The instinct of most people when they start using this hybrid system is to want the Battery to be full, as you would with the petrol tank. But the point of the Battery is to store spare electricity generated from braking. If the Battery is already full the car has to throw away the energy as heat. So a good compromise level for the Battery is around 50% - that leaves plenty of capacity to store regenerated energy but at the same time has a good store of energy to add to a sudden burst of acceleration.

Incidentally, the bars don't represent the battery's actual capacity. The computer will aim to prevent the Battery going below 40% by starting the engine, or above 80% by using the electric motor to spin the engine without using petrol, which you might notice happening after going down a long hill and getting up to eight bars on the meter. Keeping the Battery within this 40-80% range prolongs its working life.

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3 hours ago, Thackeray said:

That's exactly the same behaviour as my IS300h. During the coronavirus lockdown last year I needed to keep the 12volt battery charged and as recommended by Lexus I put the car in Ready for an hour a week. Having nothing better to do, I logged the hybrid battery state of charge and when the engine started and stopped, (as well as the 12 volt battery charge). I don't have Techstream but I was also using the Hybrid Assistant app which shows a lot of useful data including the percentage charge of the hybrid battery.

What I found was that the hybrid battery charge would run down to 40% (equivalent to two bars on the dashboard meter) and then the engine would start. It would keep running until the hybrid battery reached 50% charge, which was displayed as three bars, and then the engine would stop. The state of charge would then gradually go down again (I had the radio on too but I doubt it uses a lot of charge compared with the air conditioning which was also on.) After 10 minutes it was down to 40% again (two bars) and the engine would start again. And so on.

This was at outdoor temperatures when little or no heating was needed. In winter weather the engine will keep running a bit longer to keep the cabin warm and the bars on the battery gauge will go higher than three.

The instinct of most people when they start using this hybrid system is to want the battery to be full, as you would with the petrol tank. But the point of the battery is to store spare electricity generated from braking. If the battery is already full the car has to throw away the energy as heat. So a good compromise level for the battery is around 50% - that leaves plenty of capacity to store regenerated energy but at the same time has a good store of energy to add to a sudden burst of acceleration.

Incidentally, the bars don't represent the battery's actual capacity. The computer will aim to prevent the battery going below 40% by starting the engine, or above 80% by using the electric motor to spin the engine without using petrol, which you might notice happening after going down a long hill and getting up to eight bars on the meter. Keeping the battery within this 40-80% range prolongs its working life.

Another thing I found out, with READY OFF mode traction Battery is not being used instead 12V is used. With READY ON traction Battery is used and it draws significant amount of Amps. I found that using Dr. Prius / Dr. Hybrid app. Very good. That app also allows you to run tests on your Battery but performance tests have a cost of 10€.

I also tried Hybrid Assistant, very good free app. It showed that mine Battery have a capacity of around 3.5 Ah out of 5.5 Ah, so 63% of the original capacity. Not too bad for 2007 car, I expected worst.

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13 hours ago, Mr Vlad said:

Lovely car Denis. I strongly suggest find a car body shop to de swirl and polish your car. Doing it yourself unless you have a DA will be so time consuming and you could do more damage than good. I took my is250 to a body shop I know as my car had thousands of scratches and swirls. £80 later over 90% gone and gleaming. Look in the 2nd gen is250 section and look for a thread titled 13yr old paint. That's my car. 

£80?! That is cheap I would say, I think most places in Scotland would charge you £200 and above (just polishing)! I think they call it paint restoration but considering they removed 90% of swirls and scratches it is still well money spent!

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Have to correct myself (I was thinking of something else at the time). The cost of the paint correction was actually £150. Still a ruddy excellent price.

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17 minutes ago, Mr Vlad said:

Have to correct myself (I was thinking of something else at the time). The cost of the paint correction was actually £150. Still a ruddy excellent price.

Vladimir £150 is still a good price, I think. Especially I remember that the guy did a good job, your car looked great after that! 

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