Lexus IS Maintenance and Repair



  • deanvitdeanvit Member Posts: 23
    Recently purchased IS250 AWD and noticed that it tends to pull slightly to the left especially at highway speeds. I had the dealership take a look at it who advised that the car is still operating within factory settings though they themselves noticed the tendency to pull. They also indicated that there has been a few complaints and one of their representatives are addressing the problem with Lexus. The dealership has been extremely responsive and sometime this week I will make an appointment to go on a drive with the representative to go over this with him further. Has anybody else noticed the tendency to pull to the left?
  • sowkusowku Member Posts: 18
    so, i'm the unlucky one that purchased this IS250 RWD. not so long a go, my dash make the sound that's so horrible, i have to bring it in, and they did solve the problem. and now the dash board looks like a fat lady trying to fit in a tight jean. it's ugly, i tell you. then, my engine vibrate during engine idle, they can't reproduce the problem, therefor they can't fix it. okie.. i guess that's something i have to live w/. but now, only 9 mths since i got it, my brake makes screaking sound, very loud and it's still brand new. i called them, and they told me that's how IS250 suppose to be, now i really feel like an idiot. bought a car and didn't really know what the future hold, and take it or ignore it by any mean. yeah.. i'm spending around $40K to enjoy all these stupid thing. you know, all these problems that they can't solve and telll me to live w/ it everytime i call them. i never believe in lemon car, cuz i'm so used to drive old car, but this is a brand new car. so it's my fault that i purchased it. lexus!!! this is the last car i will buy from you - toyota or lexus. never again... don't buy this car, or you'll be somewhere i am right now... pissed off and ripped off. beware people!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • louisweilouiswei Member Posts: 3,715
    sowku, why don't you call Lexus and complain about the breaks and tell them what the dealer told you. Apparently the dealer is wrong about the breaks because it is NOT suppose to make any sounds.

    Also, what do you mean by the dash board looks like a fat laday trying to fit in a tight jean? When they took it apart and put it back it's suppose to look like the way it was. If not, tell them to fix it. I am not trying to criticize you here but look to me you weren't demanding enough at the dealer. Dude, you paid 40 grand for that car so if you find anything wrong with it, tell them to fix it.
  • sowkusowku Member Posts: 18
    thanks. you know what they said about the brake? the service consultant at Longo Lexus in SoCal, amando: it's a sport car, high performance car, so it built w/ high friction brake, so it's a normal thing. nothing is uncommon about it, and we have no solution to fix it. you can have us check it if it makes you feel better.

    wowo.... i feel better already.. let me drive myself there, waste some time, while you're looking at it, have a cookie and water, go home, and try to feel better. wowowwwww.. what's an advice. i love his advice. i wish i'm being paid by lexus to go there and sit while my car is being checked. he's pissing me off bad.

    i call HQ, and as usual (meaning, when i told them my engine shake, samething, but nothing is resolved), they will have "specialist" come out to check. i hope they fix my problems... cuz i'm so sick of driving myself to the dealer... i don't really want to have Longo as my second home, if someone is trying to make it. lexus??? or longo??? someone, if you're planning to buy a lexus, talk to service consultant first, cuz they know less about the car than you, when that happens, don't get that car... or brand. trust me, it happened to me at lexus dealer.

    get something else.. G35 sounds good to me right now. even a audi is better. thanks louiswei. i already mentioned that to them, but they insist that it supposed to make that squeaking sound. yes.. and i don't lie, i wish i have him on tape and play to you all.
  • benzoservceguybenzoservceguy Member Posts: 60
    If LONGO can't help you, or you feel they are being unresponsive to your service needs ... FIND ANOTHER DEALER!!
    Just like when you had OPTIONS to buy the car, you also have OPTIONS to fix/service the car.
    As for squeaky brakes.. it does happen. Ask the advisor to ask the tech to check for glaze on the rotors and/or pads. Sometimes after sitting on the boat or the lot, rotors & pads can have a tendency to glaze over. This glaze can cause the brakes the squeak when the pedal is applied. Also, don't "lite foot" the brakes. Don't baby or go easy with light pressure. USE 'EM!
    Lastly, as long as the pad life is over 50% and the car has less than 12K and you have owned it LESS THAN 12 months ... IF you SPEAK loud enuf to the service mgr the brakes (pads & rotors .. IF glazed) should be replaced by the 12/12 warranty. But remember, if they do this and the brakes STILL squeak after that then you are SOL. The brakes are safe, they operate the way they were designed & they stop the car. Squeaking is an annoyance that has NO EFFECT on the saftey or operation of the system ... so they will tell you to POUND SAND!
    Sorry to sound harsh but it's just the way it is...
  • yellowcaryellowcar Member Posts: 46
    My wife picked up her IS250 in early May, here are my observations after 90 days of ownership. This is a lightly loaded car with the premium package as the only major option, it is automatic with RWD.

    Quibbles and comments (some reported previously in this forum):

    Yes, the driver's outside mirror does have a slight optical distortion somewhere in the middle, difficult to locate and only slightly distubing when I see it;
    Yes, the inside rearview mirror vibrates with various road bumps and certainly from stereo bass;
    The dash emits an occasional loud "pop" usually in the first 5-10 minutes of operation, presumably due to temperature change after being parked in the garage;
    The steering seems to wander (not pull), does not have a good on-center feel;
    The brakes are over-boosted and touchy - but very good at hauling it down;
    The seat bottom is thin and lacking significantly in padding - I attribute this to the ventilated seat feature.

    I will ask our dealer to check the alignment in hopes of curing the steering wander (all tires are at correct pressures). Everything else is pretty much a design issue that will be difficult to change. Looking for a dash "pop" might only make things worse. For the most part, my wife does not see these issues, therefore HER CAR DOES NOT HAVE ANY PROBLEMS!!!

    On the plus side, the styling of the car (inside and out) is killer compared to the "sport sedan" competition she evaluated: Audi A4, BMW 325, MB C230.

    All in all, she is very happy with the car, and therefore I too am very happy! ;)
  • sowkusowku Member Posts: 18
    that's good. i'm glad you guys love the car. i think it's a nice car except for those ISSUES. and they're annoying, they need to be fixed. can't just drive around and feeling annoyed the whole entire time. especially, something so obvious, then i think it should be fixed before it release to the public. don't you think?
  • sowkusowku Member Posts: 18
    thanks for the suggestions. i'm bringing it in nxt wk to get it service. the thing is, that dealer is 5 min away from my house, the rest are 30 min. so it's little bit far.

    i'm gonna bring it in, hopefully the fix the problemsssss.
    i'm starting to hate lexus already....
  • carmonkeycarmonkey Member Posts: 32
    Lexus has published that the top speed on the IS350 is limited to 142. Does anyone know whether the cheat code that disables the VDIM system also disables the governor? Here's a link to the VDIM cheat -

    If the VDIM cheat does not disable the governor, is there another cheat?
  • carhunter3carhunter3 Member Posts: 11
    I had a loud squeal in my brakes one day (I've owned my IS for almost 7 months). It happened as I was turning into a parking space (sounded like metal on metal). I quickly took it to Lexus and they couldn't really find anything but they tightened the caliper bolts and strut bolts that were a bit "loose" and torqued down the brakes and suspension nuts and bolts (I'm just reading what my receipt shows as the solution) and I've never heard the sound since. And that was about 6 months ago. Maybe this will help you sowku.
  • sowkusowku Member Posts: 18

    you guys are so helpful here.
  • sancarlossancarlos Member Posts: 5
    To All:
    I purchased Sport Pedals from a well known Lexus parts dealer off the Web. I installed the Brake pedal and the Foot rest with no problem. My next install is the Gas pedal.
    Has anybody done it without disassembling the whole gas pedal assembly ? Thanks.
  • louisweilouiswei Member Posts: 3,715
    Wow, I just ordered them like literally 5 mins ago. LOL.

    So did you have any problems installing the brake pedal and foot arrest or they are really simple?

    I saw the diagram from the website that I ordered mine and it shows that for the gas pedal you do need to disassemble the whole thing. I really hope not but if that's the case I'll take it to the dealer for them to do it.
  • sancarlossancarlos Member Posts: 5
    The brake pedal and the foot rest were easy to install. As for the gas pedal, I took it to a dealership and asked if one of their techs can install it. For safety reason ,the service specialist advised not to do it. I will continue to research how to do an install without disassembling the gas pedal assembly.

  • carhunter3carhunter3 Member Posts: 11
    And gals. Hopefully, you'll be thanking me when they solve your problem by doing to your IS what I had done to mine.
  • vwcrushervwcrusher Member Posts: 15
    My AWD is currently at the dealer for the exact same problem. I was told that there was a 'service bulletin' on this issue. The first potential solution is to switch tires from left to right - that did not work; the next is to re-align. If that doesn't work (I will find out today) a regional rep is called in....what ever that will do. I am potentially not happy.
  • louisweilouiswei Member Posts: 3,715
    Just got the sport pedals, doorsill plates (front and back) and spoiler installed at the dealer last Friday. I was bringing it in for the 5000 miles service so figured might as do all those together. My service consultant never mentioned about safety issue, as matter of fact, after the installation he told me that it looks really sharp. :)

    My next mod will be replacing the chrome badges with the black pearl ones. I think after that I should be satisfied for the time being. :P
  • white_trashwhite_trash Member Posts: 11
    Thank you for your observations - very succinct and helpful. I have noticed
    the same outside mirror distortion on ALL the IS 250's that I have test-driven
    and when pointing it out to the 3 different sales people, they all acted surprised,
    and said they didn't see the problem (imagine that) ! Has your wife pointed it
    out to the dealer/service dept too ? Any responses ? Has she had it replaced ?
    I am about to order an 07 and am curious (concerned). Thanks !
  • ajmtbmajmtbm Member Posts: 245
    is there a big difference between the stock radio and the levinson system? do they use the same speakers?
  • maxidrivemaxidrive Member Posts: 70
    I believe it just has more speakers, 15 instead of 13 for the stock. I never tried the Mark Levinson system, but the stock one is good enough for me.
  • drjamesdrjames Member Posts: 274
    There is a huge difference. You have to listen to them, and you'll hear the difference. Mark levinson would never allow for anyone else's speakers to be used with their systems. the speakers are Mark levinsons, rather than Pioneer. That said, the pioneer system is far from a bad system.
  • netwonnetwon Member Posts: 53 That will outline the differences.
  • ajmtbmajmtbm Member Posts: 245
    thats great infomation, thanks for the link. any idea where details on the stock system can be found?
  • ajmtbmajmtbm Member Posts: 245
    I cant believe the amount of brake dust, especially the front. is that normal? after 200 miles or so the front rims are basically all black! will it reduce as the pds wear in a bit? is it ok to clean them with a dry rag...or is soap and water needed? i would love to quickly do a dry wipe in between washes.
  • benzoservceguybenzoservceguy Member Posts: 60
    Get used to it ...
    Wash it off, wipe it off, whatever it takes

    It is what it is.

    If you like the way the car stops, that great stopping power has a tradoff ... excessive brake dust.
  • ajmtbmajmtbm Member Posts: 245
    i agree, BUT, i i drive only about 200 miles a week, and in 2 weeks the rims are pretty covered.

    at this rate i'll probably only get 5,000 miles before i have to replace the brakes.
  • drjamesdrjames Member Posts: 274
    Unfortunately, it seems to be common to any higher end sports sedan. You'll noticed it on BMWs and Audi too. But if there's enough complaints to Lexus Corp, they've been great in the past in resolving such issues.

    For example, when the previous gen GS430 was released, it had very sticky but soft tires that wore down quickly. Though it wasn't any sort of design flaw and were performing as meant to for increased tire traction, Lexus gave everyone a new set of slightly harder tires that would wear more slowly free of charge.

    Likewise, the breaks on the IS sedans are amazing. However, part of the draw backs to such soft and performance orientated pads and rotors is easy wear.
  • benzoservceguybenzoservceguy Member Posts: 60
    The pad compound is softer due to the lack of asbestos.

    The average in LA stop & go driving is approx 10K to 12K .. now this is AVERAGE

    I have seen people get 2 to 3X as much and I have seen people get as little as 8K..

    Most higher end manufacturers' have an adjustment period of 12 months or 12K from when the car was originally delivered (the original in service date)
    IF the brakes have problems but NOT due to wear MOST manufacturers' will replace the brakes under warranty BUT ONLY IF THERE IS A MANUFACTURING DEFECT, NOT FOR WEAR.
    Pulsation, warped rotors and horendous brake squeal (if verified) will ususally be "covered" but again, it depends upon the manufacturer.

    Pads usually need to be ABOVE 50% remaining for the manufacturer to 'step up' and replace them under the 12/12 warranty.

    But for xcessive brake dust ... I highly doubt it.

    But like I tell my girls ... "If you don't ask .. You don't get"

  • drjamesdrjames Member Posts: 274
    "But like I tell my girls ... "If you don't ask .. You don't get" "

    lol. Good advice. That's the amazing thing about Lexus. They have in the past replaced parts due to wear because of customer dissatisfaction, such as the tires in the old GS 430/400(?).
  • ajmtbmajmtbm Member Posts: 245
    I seem to have a creaking/squaking sound coming from the sunroof - is250 awd, 1100 miles. anyone else have this problem?
  • amronnamronn Member Posts: 2
    Where can I see & buy Black pearl badges?
  • louisweilouiswei Member Posts: 3,715

    They are pricy though but I think it's worth it. Especially on dark paints.
  • pmueller2pmueller2 Member Posts: 12
    Just a couple of things that bother me about the IS 350. The bluetooth is not the best. We own an Acura TL which is far superior...hard to believe that Acura is superior to Lexus but there is no question about it. I can provide details.
    Also...why in the world did they put the homelink on the mirror? The stupid thing moves all the time. Other Lexus models put it where it belongs on the front overhead light panel...further...why isn't it illuminated? Acura does this.
    After unlocking the doors...the interior light does not come on until the doors are opened...very poor engineering here. Acura illuminates all interior lights when the doors are unlocked with a bright light...not dim like the Lexus. Seems small but my wife parks in an underground garage and this unnerves her.
    Memory seat 1-2-3 settings are not illuminated...why not?
    Why are the voice commands NOT listed in the owners manual?
    Why do you have to go to the dealer to set some options (pg 400) while the Acura lets you change whatever you want whenever you want.
    We had a dead battery the morning after we bought it. The installation of the XM radio has been a nightmare and been in the shop 3x now to get it fixed.

  • patpat Member Posts: 10,421
    Regarding one of your concerns, you should check out this post: netwon, "Lexus IS: Bluetooth and Navigation" #64, 25 Sep 2006 7:36 pm.
  • netwonnetwon Member Posts: 53
    In Canada at least the car comes with a Navi manual if the option was so ordered. It has the commands. That is where I got them for my previous noted post from Pat.


  • pmueller2pmueller2 Member Posts: 12
    I wondered where they came from...strikes me as odd that Lexus sells a nav in the states w/o all the commands in it. When I get it back from the dealer I will have to try them out. We own both an Acura TL and now the 350...have to be honest that the TL is an awesome machine. It has never been to the dealer once I drove it off the lot. Acura has come a long way.

  • ajmtbmajmtbm Member Posts: 245
    i agree with you on all those points except the bluetooth. i have had no problems except for not being able to transfer the phonebook, which i believe is a phone problem. other than that there seems to be no problem with the bluetooth.

    as for the lexus personalized settings that the dealer changes instead of do it yourself - i totally agree. what's worse, they will only adjust those settings for free for 12 months after purchase.

    minor annoyances, for sure, but truly odd to see this kind of oversight on a $40k luxury car. But then again, the TL just got autoheadlights for 2007. and still no keyless start. so each vehicle has its pluses and minuses. you have to wonder though what the engineers are thinking.

    the light thing maybe can be solved by a software reprogram?
  • carmonkeycarmonkey Member Posts: 32
    I've done mine a couple of times now. It's not too hard, except my local dealer really overtightened the filter housing. Here's some DIY pointers with pictures from my IS350 -
  • pmueller2pmueller2 Member Posts: 12
    The thing about the this. We've owned the TL now for almost 2 years. You push the bluetooth on the steering wheel and say who you want to call or just the number and it does it. The Lexus makes you answer a couple of questions. Then the bluetooth becomes very limited when the car is moving while the TL does not. If you're used to the Lexus then your frame of reference is skewed while we know better as to how it should really work. Seems to me that the bluetooth people should demand a certain standard when employing their it's all the same regardless.

  • ajmtbmajmtbm Member Posts: 245
    Agreed. Beyond the bluetooth for the phone, i will say this about the voice recognition: it talks too much. whenever you press a button, you have to wait for it to tell you to say a command. then, each time you do something, you have to confirm, reconfirm, etc. while a nice feature for newbies, i would appreciate if you curn turn this off - maybe a 'simple menu' option or something like that.
  • pmueller2pmueller2 Member Posts: 12
    On the Acura TL you can interrupt the voice at need to listen to the thing all the time. Also...I can't see where the incoming or outgoing phone numbers are listed as they are in the TL...this is oversight by Lexus. You can't hardly operate the silly thing while driving...or at the very least have the passenger operate it if they think it is unsafe.

  • netwonnetwon Member Posts: 53
    This may help. Lexus 5th Gen Nav Tutorial If you go to How To > Advanced System Setup it will show you how to turn off voice guidance. It seems like you select the menu button (right hand side), then click setup (on screen). Then hit the down arrow to access the second page. Go to Voice Recognition Guidance, and select off.

    Hope that helps,

  • maximafanmaximafan Member Posts: 592
    Pmueller, what has been the problem with your
    satellite radio? I ask because I was having an
    intermittent problem with my sattelite radio on
    my '07 RX350. The sound would go out although
    the screen was showing the song title, etc., but no "no signal" message. I had to turn the
    car off and turn it back on to get it to work
    again. I took it in to Lexus and they went ahead and replaced my tuner/receiver and made
    sure to tighten some wiring harnesses. Working
    okay so far!
  • ajmtbmajmtbm Member Posts: 245
    if i set the hvac to floor vents only, air still comes from the top vents - is this normal?
  • kgk3kgk3 Member Posts: 19
    What kind of problems have you had with XM radio? And did it ever get fixed?

    My XM radio initially was cutting out, sometimes in the middle of an interstate (i.e.- not while passing under a bridge). They had to move the antenna from inside the car, under the back window, to outside the car on the trunk. The sound quality is still terrible and it sounds like I'm listening to internet radio. The Ss are exaggerated and it has a very tinny quality. I'm no audiophile and it sounds so bad that I barely listen to it. FM sounds a thousand times better. It's nothing close to the "CD quality" sound that the advertisements guarantee.

    What don't you like about the bluetooth?

  • bg3dwbg3dw Member Posts: 2
    MY NAVIGATION SYSTEM IS STUCK IN THE DAY MODE. THE DAY MODE BUTTON DOES NOT APPEAR ON THE DISPLAY MENU(this is an IS 350)...any suggestions on how to get the day mode off when it is night time?
  • netwonnetwon Member Posts: 53
    Hey there,
    If you have your instrument panel brightness control on the highest setting the navigation will not dim. Lexus IS Navigation Tutorial > Go to the "How To Menu" > "Adjust the Screen Brightness" (top of menu).

    Hope that helps,

  • ajmtbmajmtbm Member Posts: 245
    when first driving, i notice the transmission wont shift into 6th gear, even when on the highway, but does so after a while. i assume it doesnt go into 6th until the car is past a certain operating temperature, it seems. is this normal? i dont recall this in other cars - why would this be necessary? i would assume its wasteful on gas, no?
  • bornracerbornracer Member Posts: 11
    After looking at this sight, I am now really convinced that Lexus quality has dwindled over the years. I have just got out of a Lemon Law case with my 2004 IS300 due to structural issues. Word of advice. The moment you see or hear a problem take it to the dealer immediately. Waiting for your next service only buys them time and costs you money if you decide to lemon the car out. If you have a re-occuring issue, just drop the car off at the dealer, take the rental and tell them that you will not take your car back until the issue is fully resolved. If dealer says it is fixed, test drive it first before giving back the loaner. Also, if the issue only happens on certain roads, do not feel obligated to drive around the dealership, take the Tech on the roads you drive, it makes a HUGE difference.

    Anyway, after setttling my case, I started looking at the 2007 TL-S, 2007 G35, 2007 IS250/350, and Volvo S60.

    So here is my low-down:

    IS250 -- way under powered compared to my IS300 and feels huge even though it is only a few inches bigger. 0-60 in >8sec?? Slower than my IS300 by over 1 sec. More money + less performance=PASS

    IS350-- Why did they put the TCS button in the most hard to get to place. My IS300 had it in finger reach from the shift knob. Quality: seems like $35K-$40K at lexus does not buy quality any more. Same irritational issues reported--- RATTLES, rear mirror vibrating, and traction control comes on way too soon. These ODDITIES the dealer is shrugging off because they are not used to seeing issues and are ill-trained to deal with them. High cost+problems=PASS

    G35-- great performance but snobby and unrealistic dealers with outrageous pricing schemes. These guys think the car is G-d and MSRP is it. The engine and tranny are excellent but the car controls you, not you controlling the car unless you get rear steer package which I have yet to see. The Bose sound system sucks. Where is the mid-range vocals? Every package relies on another package except for premium package which has features you would expect at the base price. Sorry people, you can do better with the M35 or G35 coupe.
    If the price was more reasonable, I would take it over the IS350 due to rear room and a higher sporty appeal. By the way, the G35 I drove (G35s) had a rattle/creak in the front right corner.

    2007 TL-S -- The car has every bell and whistle. If they would have made this AWD with the SHaw system, Lexus and Infiniti would be crying. However, the FWD is a concern due to torque steer in the AT. Why did they not put the LSD on the AT as they did on the MT? Over priced but dealers are willing to deal since sales are slow. Way over priced for segment. However, it seems like it the best built of the Japanese brands. No rattles noticed. Best combination of features, performance and price as long as you can get it for just over invoice. GOOD CHOICE

    2007 Volvo S60R -- This car is the most solid car I have driven. AWD, 300Hp turbo, adjustable air shock settings(comfort, sport, advanced). There is some turbo lag but there are companies out there that sell ECU re-programmers to boost power, MPG, and lower turbo lag for about a $1k. Volvo is discounting them quite a bit and the lease payments are on par with the others, in some cases lower. The only gripes I have is more wind noise than others, Not bleeding edge but trying, bluetooth is an add-on accessory, no voice commands to set items, and the NAV is uesless. The body kit is awesome but scrapes. It comes with adaptive headlights and headlight washers and wipers. The sound system is Harman Kardon and has dolby prologic II which in my opinion sounds more natural than the Acura and Infiniti. One feature it does have that the others do not is passthrough and split fold down seats. If you choose to get this one, kill the nav and bluetooth and get a garmin with those features built in for ~$800. All in all a good choice if you want reasonable handling, comfort and the knowledge that being hit by an 18 wheeler will result in a walk away situation. GOOD CHOICE.

    I have not bought anything yet but will in the next week.

  • ray_h1ray_h1 Member Posts: 1,134
    )) "when first driving, i notice the transmission wont shift into 6th gear, even when on the highway, but does so after a while. i assume it doesnt go into 6th until the car is past a certain operating temperature, it seems. is this normal?" ((

    Yep. Delayed shifting upon cold start is par for the course currently - get the motor up to operating temp ASAP by delaying the final one or two shifts to reduce cold engine emissions. Even my lowly four+ year old Hyundai Sonata with its archaic 4-sp auto-tranny uses that transmission shift control algorithm.
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