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Discussion Starter #1
Although I am celebrating my two and a half week ownership of my 2001 IS 300, I'm sorry to say not all of it has been the fairy tale I expected. If you guys are up for reading a short story on my short ownership, please read along:

Almost three weeks ago, (Monday, July 21st) I saw and test drove a 2001 Blue Lexus IS 300 with only 10,500 miles. Listed at $26,900, I worked the Non-Lexus dealer down to $24k and decided that the deal was too good to pass - I Drove out the lot with my Lexus on Wednesday night.

Unfortunately, that night as I was driving through Georgetown, I noticed a loud noise of the under-carriage hitting the ground. I called 1-800-25Lexus the next day and they told me it was a factory defect on all 2001 IS 300's. After a little bit of a run-around, I finally got the Lexus dealership in Silver Spring, MD to fix it that Friday.

From that Friday til the following Tuesday (July 29th), I drove my Lexus everywhere from here to Connecticut and almost racked up 1,400 miles in just those few days. This was the golden era of my IS ownership - everything was amazing, and coming from driving a 95 Ford Escort and a 96 Accord, I had never driven anything like it.

The Golden era ended on Tuesday when my CD Changer stopped working and I hit a pothole hard with my left front tire. The car stopped driving so good, and I saw the Wilmington, DE dealer the next day (Wednesday). He had to order a changer and scheduled me for the 10,000 mile Service the following Wednesday.

I drove around that weekend with no CD playing ability and a shitty feel. Saw the dealer, on Wednesday who was nice enough to give me a shitty Ford Focus as a loaner, and who was also nice enough to laugh at me when I asked for Synthetic (Which was highly recommended from IS300.net visitors) and was also nice enough to ignore my requests on checking Door seals/weather seals because of Wind noise (also suggested on IS300.net). He said he'll check out why the car's not riding smooth either.

Got my car back later, with the changer working, but the drive still shitty. When I asked, they said everything was ok to them. Called the Philly area dealer instead because the Wilmington DE dealer was pissing me off, but he couldn't work me in until the week of Aug 18th! I said the hell with this and went to a Midas who drove my car, put it on the lift and pointed out the bubble on my back right tire (which was just rotated from the front). The dealer also showed the pre-mature inner-side wear and tear on my front two tires (which were also just rotated from the back) caused by a Camber that needed to be adjusted.

Since I just dropped $173 on the 10k mile Service from the lexus Dealer, which pisses me off because they didn't even take a look at the problems mentioned, I'm not getting this Tire/Camber problem fixed at a dealer. Plus, they're gonna charge me an estimated $265 a tire for the Bridgestone Potenza 215/45Zr17's.

My plan is to have the Rear - Camber adjusted at a local shop so it stops messing up my tires, and just replace the messed up tire with the bubble, and the matching tire on the left side. I'll leave the other two tires with the Camber-caused wear on for now and fix those when I get some more money together.

Hopefully, once I get my tire fixed and the Camber adjusted, I'll start loving my Lexus again. Until then, I'm kinda bummed out over everything. Even though the pothole thing was my fault, I wish the Lexus dealer would have caught it and taken me a little more seriously.

Anyways, just thought I'd share my story. Feel free to sympathize with me, offer advice, or just make fun of me.

Shahryar
 

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hey, to be perfectly honest, those are all minor issues that occured for all the 2001 IS owners at around 10K miles....so, you shouldnt have been that surprised...

you should be eligible for the free tire campaign, i had the bubble when i got the car used last may 2002 with 18K miles, and my dealer replaced them for free.....

as far as the rest, like i said, they are growing pains.....and you will enjoy the car once those problems are fixed...

my cd player got jamed a few months ago for the first time, going this thur to have it replaced......

good luck with the car...nice color choice by the way...you got black or ivory interior? 8)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hey TsopranoMB,

I know, I know - but it's just depressing when things go wrong RIGHT when you get it. But hopefully in just a few days, I'll be in the Golden Era again.

I'll definitely call up the Lexus Dealer(s) around the area (except in Wilmington - I don't like them) and see if any will honor the Free Tire campaign. That'll save me some loot. Thanks for the heads up there. The plan right now is the replace the tire with the bubble, and it's matching tire, and also get that camber adjusted so my tires don't wear irregularly.

If anyone else has advice, I'd definitely appreciate it. Especially with new tire purchases in the Delaware area just in case I don't get the Free Tire campaign thing.

My IS has an Ivory interior. Which is gonna be a bitch to keep clean, but looks amazing.

Thanks again TsopranoMB, and good luck with your car too.

Shahryar
 

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srizvi1 said:
Hey TsopranoMB,

I know, I know - but it's just depressing when things go wrong RIGHT when you get it. But hopefully in just a few days, I'll be in the Golden Era again.

I'll definitely call up the Lexus Dealer(s) around the area (except in Wilmington - I don't like them) and see if any will honor the Free Tire campaign. That'll save me some loot. Thanks for the heads up there. The plan right now is the replace the tire with the bubble, and it's matching tire, and also get that camber adjusted so my tires don't wear irregularly.

If anyone else has advice, I'd definitely appreciate it. Especially with new tire purchases in the Delaware area just in case I don't get the Free Tire campaign thing.

My IS has an Ivory interior. Which is gonna be a bitch to keep clean, but looks amazing.

Thanks again TsopranoMB, and good luck with your car too.

Shahryar
www.tirerack.com ships out of delaware...you can get a great price on a replacement tire from them....try that route if you cant have the dealer replace them for you...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks man - I just checked it out. I think my replacements are around $133 a piece so that's about half the price the dealer said it would be. I'll check them out after talking to the dealer. Now I Gotta figure out where to get this Camber adjusted in Newark, DE.


Thanks again,

Shahryar
 

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The dealer will do one free alignment as long as you have under 20k miles on the car.

As far as the CD player, thats the one defect of the car...although hitting a pothole isnt the best way to treat your brand new car either.

As far as tires, dont be cheap. I only get 10k miles out of my tires, so if you think about it that way, you are due for new tires anyways.

Replace the pair that is worn, they will only last 3k more miles anyways since they wore unevenly.
 

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srizvi1 said:
Thanks man - I just checked it out. I think my replacements are around $133 a piece so that's about half the price the dealer said it would be. I'll check them out after talking to the dealer. Now I Gotta figure out where to get this Camber adjusted in Newark, DE.

Thanks again,

Shahryar
Sounds like you were bit by all the 2001 problems at once.

The underbody panel thing was fairly minor, I had to get mine fixed too.

I haven't had the CD changer problem yet, but unfortunately it's a common problem.

With only 10k miles on an '01 you'll almost certainly qualify for the free tire replacement.

And a word of advice, avoid potholes!! You have to pay attention to the road surface at all times when driving the IS. Road imperfections that Accords can bounce over will do serious damage to a car with low profile tires and low ride height (less suspension travel). I hit a bad pothole one time because I was following a van too close and never saw it coming, luckily no damage, I won't make that mistake again.

One other thing to look out for, get the sunroof drains cleaned, otherwise you could end up with water leaking into the car, like me :(
 

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You just found all of the 2001 IS drawbacks.

When you take your IS to have the changer replaced, make sure to tell them not to scratch your dash. That can be done with putting masking tape around the trim. Better yet, put the masking tape yourself so they won't forget.
BTW, I have posted instructions before on how to fix the changer yourself. It is a fairly simple procedure.

The undercarriage shield problem was common too. I patched mine up with a piece of L-shaped metal, so I never had it replaced and it held out pretty well, even against a semi tire I drove over that tore out most of the shields.

The tire campaing ended in Nov 2002. I would call 800-25LEXUS to see if they can do an exception.
If you are going to replace the tire yourself, you might as well do all 4, since it is likely for them to bubble up to.

The above 2 problems should've been fixed by the previous owner. Lexus did send out the notifictaions for the no-charge replacement.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for all the help guys,

Here's my latest update: I called the 1 800 25 Lexus Number and notified them of the bubble and the free tire campaign. They took my Vin and said my car wasn't eligible because my tires already came 2ply (only the 1ply ones were eligible).

So with that being out, I called up tirerack.com and ordered two of the 17" Bridgestone Re040 215 tires ($343 total). Those should be arriving Wednesday.

The plan is to take them to Bridgestone on Thursday to get them mounted and also to get the Camber adjusted so it stops uneven wear.. BUT.. I will call a dealer nearby to find out if I am eligible for the free alignment under 20k miles rubley.

I had spoked late last week with the Wilkes-Barres dealer in PA and notified him of the problem, but he said I would have to pay for my alignment knowing that I only have 13k miles on my car. To make things worse, I can see him at the earliest on Monday, August 18th.

Lexus Wilmington sent me a letter in the mail asking how my visit to their dealership went so I'm gonna go off on them. Hopefully, they'll get apologetic and maybe work something out with me. If not, fuck it - I'll just get everything done at Bridgestone.

I'd be interested to know the CD Changer-fixing advice that you posted vlad_a. thanks again for the tire rack link tsopranomb.


Shahryar
 

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srizvi1 said:
I'd be interested to know the CD Changer-fixing advice that you posted vlad_a.
THERE YOU GO 8)

BTW, look in your trunk at the spare. :)
 

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One thing that you will notice is that not all Lexus service is the same, some bend over backwards while others don't do anything for you. Good thing you are close to a number of dealers, find the right one and stick with them it is no uncommon for them to do things for free.
 

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thomasfl said:
One thing that you will notice is that not all Lexus service is the same, some bend over backwards while others don't do anything for you. Good thing you are close to a number of dealers, find the right one and stick with them it is no uncommon for them to do things for free.
The smart ones will do that. :D
I bought second IS from the same dealer. There is a good reason why that dealership is expanding over the other 2 in the area.
 

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If you have problems with a dealer go straight to Lexus corporate, worked for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Hey guys, just an update on everything if you're still interested...

I got my tires in the mail wednesday, and took them to Bridgestone thursday to have them put on, and also to have the alignment done. I took my car to the dealer yesterday (Monday) because my left tweeter blew over the weekend. I had them drive it around and they said it drove fine.

I think it's driving as good as it was when I first got it, but steering it feels a little harder. I'm hoping it has to do with the tires with uneven wear which are on the front (the two new tires are on the back). Once I burn out the front tires (or get some money fast), I'll replace the front two tires and I hope my car is back at 100%.

Wilkie Lexus Dealer in PA (near Philly) was much better than wilmington's and we'll see how fast they get the tweeter in and can put it in. I complained to corporate about Wilmington, DE's lexus and we'll see what happens. I sent wilmington an email too - but no response from them (nor corporate yet).

I took your advice thomasfl, I am trying to find that one dealer I can click with so that I don't have problems like this. I'm from MD and was happy with the silver spring's service when they fixed the under-carriage problem the next day after I called. hopefully, that'll be the dealer I go to to get everything done.

Thanks for the help for everyone who offered.

Shahryar
 

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Glad to hear everything is well. 8)

BTW, it won't be the front tires burning. :lol:

Don't forget that you need winter tires, preferably with new 16" rims for the winter. Never ever drive on those Bridgestones below 32 or anywhere near snow/ice.
 

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srizvi1 said:
The plan is to take them to Bridgestone on Thursday to get them mounted and also to get the Camber adjusted so it stops uneven wear.. BUT.. I will call a dealer nearby to find out if I am eligible for the free alignment under 20k miles rubley.
Did u ever get your camber re-adjusted?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Bugginout,

I got my alignment done on all 4 wheels when I put on the rear tires last Friday. That's supposed to solve the camber problem and the guy at bridgestone assured me that there would be no more uneven tire wear.

Vlad_a,

I had no idea about the tires - I need to get 4 new winter tires with 16inch rims for the Winter? Hopefully by then I'll be able to swing it - if not, I'll avoid driving in below 32 weather.

Thanks for the heads up.

currently waiting on tweeter to arrive at the dealership so I can get good sound back in my car. The blown tweeter is annoying as shit.

Shahryar
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Alright, life was going great in the IS (just had my tweeter replaced, my changer replaced, and got the whole tire issue taken care of). But now, unfortunately, I got another issue.

As I said before, the rear camber caused my tires (which were rotated to the front) to be unevenly worn. So with the new tires in the back, I just had two more to replace (in the front) to be set.

However, I think when I hit that pothole, it caused more damage than I thought because I got a bent rim issue - the Wilkie lexus dealer told me. So now, I have to get another 17inch Rim, and get two tires. Now, since money's getting tight, I was wondering if the possible scenario would be ok at least for a little while:

1) Take the new tire off the full size spare and use it on the left (replace spare tire with one of the unevenly worn ones)
2) Take the other tire I have with 13,000 miles (replaced during bubble to have matching tires - no uneven wear) and use it on the left
3) Rotate both of these tires to the back, and rotate the back two tires to the front (The back tires are both less than 500 miles old - and matching)
4) Get a rim from someone other than the dealer

This way, I can save some money on new tires (since I gotta replace this goddamn Rim). The dealer quoted me at $1,000 for all this and I ended up shitting in the waiting room.

What do you guys think?

Any help will be appreciated (And is greatly needed),
Shahryar
 

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What if you take the spare tire/rim and install it on the front.
Replace the other front tire with a new one.

That will give you a brand new set of tires on all 4 wheels and solve the bent rim problem.
 

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That should work. As for the bubble in the tire, that's probably a ply separation and should be replaced under warranty, but they will still pro rate the treadwear.
 
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