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Is200 Sport Advice


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Hi Guys,

i hope everyone is well.

I am keen on buying a Lexus IS200 - i have seen one with 65k on the clock.. its the sport version , so have the rear windows tinted..spoiler... thats it as far as i know...

what i know of the car so far is:

gun metal grey is200 - sport 2002

2 owners (current owner had car for last 5 years)

65k on clock


now mny questions are

1) what kind of things would i need to check when i go see the car for a viewing? anything to watch out for? i know the cd payer messes up and is a common fault...? anything else?

2) i guess a timing belt is overdue.. current owner has not had this done yet? any worries here?

3) being a lady driver - must i be worried of the clutch being on its way out? (sorry lady drivers)

4) any common faults?

5) anything else i have not mentioned as i may not know enough about this car,..... any/ALL advice appreciated..

Look foward to your responses

thanks guys,


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Hi mate- the stuff below should help: (lifted from the knowledgebase):

Buying an IS200: What to look out for

Author: Colin Barber

This is a list of things to check when viewing an IS200. If you are unsure about checking these items it is recommended that you get an independent inspection carried out.

Ball joints – Perform full lock turns and try to drive over speed bumps and listen out of a knocking noise or loose steering feel.

Water pump – Look at the front of the engine for signs of any red fluid. The engine coolant is red and is easy to spot if the water pump is leaking.

Alloy wheels – 17” wheels on the SE and Sport are prone to corrosion. If the car is within the 3 year manufacturers warranty they can be replaced. Otherwise except to pay £40-50 per wheel for refurbishment or look on eBay as there as many sets of IS wheels now appearing there.

Stone chips – Take a good look at the bonnet and front bumper as stone chips are common.

Stereo – Try to insert a few CDs into the changer and play tracks for different discs. Any problems with the mechanism will result in ERR3 being displayed. Lexus have extended the warranty on the stereo due to this common fault. This is only a common problem for early style stereos which have the CD slot at the bottom of the unit. A newer model with the CD slot at the top started to be fitted to the IS during the year 2000.

Ignition lock – Insert the key into the ignition, turn on, turn off and remove the key. Repeat this a few times. Any sticking may indicate a problem with the ignition barrel (Note that the key needs to be pushed in when turning from ACC to OFF). Cost is around £80 for a new barrel.

Folding mirrors – Open and close the mirrors a few times. If a mirror sticks it is normally nothing more than dirt which can be cleaned with soapy water and a quick squirt of WD-40.

Gearbox – The 6-speed gearbox fitted to the IS200 is not the most forgiving however some do seem to be worse than others. Check for poor change between 1-2 and 2-3 gears.

Clutch – Check for judder when pulling away and when changes between 1st and 2nd gears.

Tyre wear – Front tyre wear occurs on the inside edge. Put the car on full lock so that the inside edge can be checked. Tyres cost around £90-120 each.

Sat Nav screen – If the vehicle is fitted with satellite navigation then open and close the screen a few times and check there is no colour loss/lines/missing sections on the screen. Any problems indicate a fault with the flexible screen cable.

Sat Nav version – If the vehicle is fitted with Satellite Navigation then check the CD version which is written on the disc. Anything under 3.x will not have full UK road coverage. To upgrade will cost around £100. A DVD based system will contain all road data but newer versions support enhanced features. To upgrade a DVD system will cost around £120. Updates are available from your Lexus dealer or online:

Master Keys - The vehicle should come with two master keys and one sub key (valet). You need a master key to have additional keys programmed, without such a key the engine ECU has to be replaced to obtain a new key and will cost around £800. Do not purchase a car without a master key and if it only has one master key then obtain another one ASAP which will cost around £100.

To determine if a key is a master or not insert it into the ignition, the security light should be off. If you insert a sub key the security light will illuminate for 1 or 2 seconds before going out. Master keys will also normally have three buttons and be able to lock the boot and glovebox. Sub keys only have two buttons, missing the remote boot release.

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thanks guys,

is there any other differences in the sport and non sport model?

as far as performance go's i think they are the same BHP... ?

The IS200 uses a 2.0 litre straight six engine (153 bhp), as you say the only difference is are specs:

S- basic spec, no leather, 16 inch alloys

SE- gets you 8 speaker CD system, 1/2 leather seats (electric & heated), 17 inch alloys

Sport- same as SE, but you also get stainless steel kickplates/pedels, LSD, rear tints, lowered suspension, spoiler

LE- gets you full leather and HID's

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thanks kam05 - appreciate it.

generally would you say i i have anything to worru about with it being at 65k.. FSH? current owner being female and owning for last 5 years.. i guess thats alll good points right?

only concern is its at 65k and not had a cambelt change yet... so i guess i should be haggling to get the price lower as if i purchase i wud need to get that done asap..

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Mate- the IS200 is a reliable car (its a lot better than the newer lexi's from what I have read on here).

Mine nearly done 130k, (bought it with 40k on the clock), these cars are built to last. Regular servicing is the key.

That 65k IS200 you are looking at isn't even worn in yet- but the timing belt should have been done at 60k/6 years (whichever comes first), so either get the seller to change the timing belt (with idler and tensioner) or use this to knock down the asking price. A timing belt change at a Lexus garage will cost about £500, but an indy can do it for £250-£350.

LSD is a limited slip diff.

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