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Take To Lexus Dealer? - A Little Concerned


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I have an 2002 IS 300 Sport and I was driving into work this morning as normal, everything running as normal when all of a sudden whilst on the motorway this amber light comes on above the fuel gauge. I looked in the manual and it basically says If this light comes on Take to Lexus Dealer, when I read abit further this is a Malfunction Indication Lamp.

I drove into work as normal and the car appears to be running fine so I am a little concerned as to what this could be?

I am already thinking about how much this is going to cost, I do still have Lexus Warranty so whatever the problem, would it be covered under warranty?

Can anyone please help and hopefully put my mind at ease?

Thank you.

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See what happens this evening... it might well go away and not come back.

Since it's under warranty it would be a good plan to take it in if the light reappears though - unless it's warning you that some consumable part needs replacing (the ECU will be storing the error code, thus letting the dealer know why it came on) it should be covered.

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The MIL light coming on might just mean that a sensor is faulty, i.e. that it's a false alarm. However, it could also indicate a real problem, from something very minor to something very serious. Your dealer will be able to find exactly what the fault is from their diagnostic equipment, then they will be able to say whether that's something covered by the warranty or not.

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A faulty sensor or loose Petrol Cap I can handle but a very serious problem, please don't say that. As I mentioned before it's done 46,000k Full Lexus Service History, last service done a couple of months a go, I've had the car for about 8 months and in those 8 months I've done about just under 5,000k miles, so I hope its not a amajor problem. I had my IS 200 for over 40,000k driving and the light never came on there.

I am stressed!

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Just bounced a thread in the GS forum about reading the codes with a paperclip - sure Chris said this works on the IS and if so would be an easy and quick way to get the codes without buying an OBD-II reader!

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Ok so I took the car to the dealership and they said the Oxygen Sensor, bank 1 sensor 1 needed replacing which they did and the MIL light turned off, however 10 mins into my journey back from the dealership and the MIL light has come back on again. The dealership now says it might be the ECU that needs replacing.

When I picked my car up from the dealership ok it was just pass closing but still no paperwork and they have not told me what code reading has appeared, not sure what anyone else thinks but I’m beginning to question this dealership in terms of their competency, I will give you the big picture later as that’s another story.

What do you think oh, is the ECU covered under warranty? I have been told it is.

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Mate -

This is very interesting – I had the same problem with my car a couple years ago; I took it to a number of garages including Lexus; they all came back with the same thing a sensor problem.

After a service was done the problem went away for about 2 – 5 weeks then back up again.

Let me think now……….it’s been 6-9 months without any problems at the Mo. (hope it stays that way!)

All I can say is as long you find out its only the sensor, don’t worry about it –

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my mum has a 2002 avensis, she also had the light appear on her dash, again o2 sensor bank 1 was at fault, sensor was changed and a few days later the light came on, car was then re-scanned by toyota and they said needed new ecu.

So i took her car to a mercedes technician i know and he had the car a few days anf found the faoult to be the timing chain, the timing was out slightly, and is now perfect....

what im tryin to say is take your car to a couple of reputable garages in ur area and get a 2nd opinion.

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Guest inicol63

This is a common problem your dealer needs to replace the sensor or check the error again.

I have replaced my sensors on my SC430 and each time the light has gone away but i have read on other forum i think this was a Toyota one that this is common.

The guy on there return twice to get the sensor replaced.

Hope you get it sorted as on the SC it has two post and to pre cat sensors and they cost around £300 each to get done and they normally last around five years.

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I too think that it's extremely unlikely that the ECU itself is at fault. Much more likely to be a sensor or something like that. If you can get the exact code or codes then folks here should be able to help. Might be even worth buying an OBDII reader if the garage won't tell you, they're not expensive (approx £30 on eBay or even less if you've got a laptop) and it could help save you money if you can work out what's really causing the problem.

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Thanks to you all for your feedback and help, really appreciated.

Ok, this is the situation now, they want me to take my car back to the dealer so they can take photos and provide evidence to Head Office of the fault with the ECU so that it can be hopefully covered and replaced under warranty.

From some of your comments you reckon its not the ECU?

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I'd personally let them replace it anyway as at the end of everything you'll have the problem sorted anyway but you'll also have a new ECU in there so less chance of it failing - saying that it's not like I've heard of many failing - far from it - but at least you're minimising your chances :)

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Mate, seriously, I don't know why you are worrying so much about this? You have a Lexus Warranty and your car will be fixed by Lexus. You have the best Warranty for your car and I wouldn't worry! Let them replace looms and wiring and ECUs and sensors till their heart is content - it is covered by Warranty :)

You wont see any paperwork for a Lexus Warranty claim as it is all done behind the scenes - I mean why would you? Let the garage sort it out for you - you will just need to sign the completion paper work when you collect the car.

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  • 1 month later...

Thank you to you all for sharing your thoughts, opinions and expertise on this subject.

Well I have an update for you and I thought you would want to know the outcome, so here goes…

After I took the my car in and had it diagnosed the error code pointed to a faulty Oxygen Sensor, which was replaced and then shortly after, the MIL re-appeared, after taking it back for another diagnostics they said the only other option is to replace the ECU, after replacing the ECU the light was still on, so I can imagine a lot of head scratching going on. This meant keeping the car in longer and they advised maybe the oxygen sensor they replaced was a faulty part, so they ordered another oxygen sensor and replaced it and the light disappeared, problem solved.

I’ve had the car back for a week or so now, and ‘touch wood’ the light has stayed off.

Although it took a considerable amount of time and trips back and fourth to the dealership, overall I am pleased, the problem is solved and very pleased it was covered under extended warranty, because after seeing the invoice they will be sending to Head Office for the work done I can assure it was not cheap!

I am happy and not sure if anyone can assist but the car is driving and feeling a lot better, better throttle response and sharpness. I’m not sure if that was due to a new ECU because it feels slightly more powerful? Any thoughts?????

I would like to Say A BIG THANK YOU to everyone at LEXUS WOLVERHAMPTON FOR their assistance and support, it is very much appreciated.

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