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Is200 Front Foglights And Other Matters

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Hi folks

I have just joined, after looking at the message boards for some months. I originally posted this in the Gold area, but it seems to ahve got a bit lost. So I am trying again in the new members area.

I have IS200S which I bought new from Lexus Park Lane in April 2001. Not many S models about, but I went for the 'poverty' model because it has no sunroof, and so has plenty of headroom. Each time they give me a courtesy car at a service I curse the sharp ridge of the sunroof assembly which hits my head on each bump. Other advantages are a quieter and smoother ride due to higher profile tyres.

Coming up to 60k miles, and the only significant problems have been alloy wheel corrosion (what a surprise!) and err3 on the CD. For the alloys, I now use Autoglym's Alloy Wheel Seal which does help - I apply it with a rag (to avoid contaminating the discs and pads) and try to remember to wash the wheels and reapply every three weeks or so. But what a pain - I never had this problem with Ford and Vauxhall alloys. Anybody tried the new CarPlan product which they say fills the small imperfections and hence stops corrosion?

CD player was replaced outside warranty - thanks for the info on this website - it helps greatly to be forearmed when approaching dealers and Lexus.

Now for a topic I haven't seen aired - foglight failure. When my car was 3.5 years old the front foglights started going dim. Not that I use them that much. Suspecting a faulty connection I dismantled one (a pain to get it out) and found the bulb was rusted in solid, so much so that it took many hours to remove (damaging the lamp in the process). Being an engineer, I investigated. The rear of the bulb has no special protection, which would be OK if it was under the bonnet. However, it is in the wheelarch. Supposedly it is protected by the wheel arch liner, but this has vents just adjacent to the rear of the foglamp. Result - rust.

Lexus agreed to supply new ones even though it was out of warranty, and Park Lane kindly fitted them free. At my suggestion they also covered the rear of the bulb assembly with thick grease. Periodically I spray Waxoyl through the vents in the liner just to keep the rust at bay.

Now for another topic. wiper blades. From new my wipers made an alarming 'crack' noise at the top of the arc. Park Lane fitted new blades and arms, but shortly after the problem recurred. So I fitted Bosch wiper blades from Halfords, and that solved the problem.

Front brake pads - I changed these myself following the instructions on the website, and found it very easy. I was very glad of the instructions because the other car I work on is 33 years old, and the design has changed a bit in the meantime! Pad slap (a knocking noise going around corners slowly with the brakes gently applied) seems to recur every fewo thousand miles, so I remove the pads and re-grease them. Any thoughts on longer terms solutions?

Finally, my car is coming up to 60k and six years - so it looks like the 'big' service and a cambelt change. I had been thinking of trying Nationwide Autocentres for servicing, but am a bit reluctant with specialist work like valve clearances and cambelts. August's What Car magazine had feature on used executive saloons, and quite rightly their best buy is a IS200. For servicing they say that the Owners Club recommended an independent garage which quoted £450 for the 60k service. Can we be told who this is? I live in West London.

That's all for now. Hope this ramble is of some use.


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