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I'm thinking about buying a used IS250 and so I've been reading this forum with interest to try and learn as much as I can.

It's well known as a very reliable car but I've been trying to find out what problems I might face so I can look for them when viewing cars.

Here's a list of what I've figured out so far, if anyone want's to add some more I'll add them all to this top post as a reference. Hopefully it will be useful for others! :)

Here goes:

Sticking rear brake calipers

This seems to be the best known and most common problem. Lexus America did a recall for it (not sure if Lexus UK did the same). This thread has good info:

http://www.lexusownersclub.co.uk/forum/topic/75714-slide-pin-in-the-rear-brake-calipers-seized-check-yours/

Alloy Wheel Corrosion

Very common on British roads by the sound of things. Only options really are to get them refurbed or replace with third party wheels.

(mrains)

Engine rattle on start-up

This is caused by a problem with the VVti system. Some owners report having a top-end rebuild to fix it (with varying success), some report just needing to top-up/change the oil to make it go away, some report just ignoring it without issue. I've not been able to find any mention of a breakdown resulting from this issue.

This thread is a good starting point:

http://www.lexusownersclub.co.uk/forum/topic/84280-engine-rattle-on-warm-start-up/

Dashboard rattles

The main one seems to be from the area around the centre speaker. This thread over at clublexus.com has a link to a Technical Service Bulletin:

http://www.clublexus.com/forums/is-second-generation/422346-tsb-for-dash-rattle-repair-of-is250.html

Carbon Build-Up on Valves/Injectors (and possible Engine Shudder)

This might be a more common problem in the states as they have lower grade fuel there. This issue is a build-up of carbon deposits in the engine. I know that 'Seafoam' is a really popular cleaner in the US that a lot of people use on many different cars that suffer this issue, but Seafoam is very difficult (and expensive) to get hold of in the UK. Details of an alternative in this thread:
http://www.lexusownersclub.co.uk/forum/topic/79916-carbon-build-up/

(is200 newbie)

Passenger side mirror electric movement

On models with auto-dipping and seat memory system. The position sensor on pre 2009 models can break, causing the mirror to go wandering off course when selecting a memory position or putting the car into/out of reverse.

Only solution is to replace mirror. There is a copy of TSB further down this thread:

http://www.lexusownersclub.co.uk/forum/topic/85312-is250-common-problems/?p=845176

(ChumpusRex)

Exhaust

Not really a 'common' fault, but the exhaust on any car has a limited life and replacing the one on a IS250 can be very expensive. Lot's of info in this thread:

http://www.lexusownersclub.co.uk/forum/topic/83867-exhaust/

Spark Plugs

Not a fault as such, but the service schedule states that these need to be changes at the 60,000 mile service. It's necessary to remove the inlet manifold to do this so the labour cost is high.

For those with the tools and the enthusiasm, there is an excellent guide over at clublexus.com on how to change them.

http://www.clublexus.com/forums/performance/586459-diy-guide-is250-spark-plug-change.html

Genuine spark plugs can be bought (relatively cheaply) on ebay from Lexus Birmingham:

http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Lexus-Birmingham-Parts?_trksid=p2047675.l2563

Edited on 21/11/2013 - Added Spark Plugs, Alloy Wheels, Carbon build-up, Passenger side mirror electric movement

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Good list and to add to it, how about alloy wheel corrosion. Too many postings to list TBH on that one. ;-(

Cheers.

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Passenger side mirror electric movement

On models with auto-dipping and seat memory system. The position sensor on pre 2009 models can break, causing the mirror to go wandering off course when selecting a memory position or putting the car into/out of reverse.

There is a TSB covering this, which requires replacement of the mirror.

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Not a lot of faults but replacements parts for this car are expensive -

Another one you could consider is the carbon build up which does need a clean every so often.

Also - I agree with the rear brake caliper slide pin issue of them seizing up, was the same on the is200 but on the fronts on them (replacing one side on my 250 at the weekend so am a bit apprehensive on what else this will unearth)

Also consider front discs especially on the auto version, mine need replacing at 72k.

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....also ... may just be my car as I seem to be having a run of bad luck with it lately, car from hell

Seal on the driver door seems to be noisy when driving. It has also let water in on one point on the upper part of the seal.

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Passenger side mirror electric movement

On models with auto-dipping and seat memory system. The position sensor on pre 2009 models can break, causing the mirror to go wandering off course when selecting a memory position or putting the car into/out of reverse.

There is a TSB covering this, which requires replacement of the mirror.

Do you have a link to the TSB, can't find it anywhere!

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Not a lot of faults but replacements parts for this car are expensive -

Another one you could consider is the carbon build up which does need a clean every so often.

Also - I agree with the rear brake caliper slide pin issue of them seizing up, was the same on the is200 but on the fronts on them (replacing one side on my 250 at the weekend so am a bit apprehensive on what else this will unearth)

Also consider front discs especially on the auto version, mine need replacing at 72k.

Have you done a clean yet? What did you use?

Front discs at 72k seems pretty good going to me. Though I bet they're expensive?

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