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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello everyone!
I am currently driving and hating a 2005 Nissan Altima SER 6spd. It has been a nightmare and giving me more problems by the day and I'm ready to get rid of it. Just looking around I found a 04 IS300 Sport Design that caught my eye at the local Lexus dealer. Its Certified pre-owned, auto, heated seats, 39k miles and they are asking 18,900k for it. I've spent a few hours browsing the threads here but I still have a couple questions.

TCM? Whats this? I googled it and searched here... couldn't find what it means
Door code - A/TM:B03A/A650E... this means it has a LSD, correct?
Did this car ever have steering wheel audio controls? There are two buttons on the steering wheels that say 'down'.

The biggest thing I'm struggling with is the lack of hp/tq compared to what I drive now, the gas mileage and the tire size.
SER Altima --260hp/250tq---------------------IS300 - 215hp/218tq
-------------20mpg-30mpg---------------------------18mpg-24mpg
-------------245/40/18-------------------------------215/45/17
I find it hard to believe my car has significantly more power and has fatter rubber but yet gets better gas mileage.
However, the IS300 is RWD and my car is FWD... and I HATE FWD! My Altima is also ridiculously (like its crazy) loud to the point that the Bose has trouble drowning it out. I'm guessing being a Lexus, the IS300 is fairly quiet?

Almost forgot, reliability, its a Toyota so I'm assuming t is right up there? My mother has a 99 RX300 with over 150k and almost no problems and my friend had a 96 N/A Supra (2JZ motor) that he beat the sh!t out of and it never gave him a single problem... other than eating tires up. Are the IS's known for the same Toyota reliability?

Just looking to get some opinions here. Thanks for everyone's help.
 

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How come the SE-R has been a nightmare? Just because of the lack of torque? Gas mileage isn't that great with an IS300 especially in the city. 18.9k is a little steep regardless of the low mileage.

TCM = Thundercloud Metallic (paint color)
No audio controls on the steering wheel. Down button (and up behind the wheel) are for the manual mode (e-shift)
B03A = NO LSD
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Thanks for the reply!
How come the SE-R has been a nightmare?
I bought it Nissan certified preowned w/ 53k, now have 76k. In that time (20k or so miles)
Engine was replaced
Clutch, flywheel, throwout bearing replaced
all 4 wheel bearings replaced
power steering lines replaced
catalytic converters replaced
On my second set of tires
Brakes had to be done twice

Now my clutch is just about gone, again

And NO, I DON'T beat up my car... just have never ending problems with it. Even the dealers are amazed. There are other things that have broke too but I can't remember what right now. Like I said, junk. I just want to get out of it.

Was a LSD available with the auto or was that a manual option only?
 

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Thanks for the reply!


I bought it Nissan certified preowned w/ 53k, now have 76k. In that time (20k or so miles)
Engine was replaced
Clutch, flywheel, throwout bearing replaced
all 4 wheel bearings replaced
power steering lines replaced
catalytic converters replaced
On my second set of tires
Brakes had to be done twice


Now my clutch is just about gone, again

And NO, I DON'T beat up my car... just have never ending problems with it. Even the dealers are amazed. There are other things that have broke too but I can't remember what right now. Like I said, junk. I just want to get out of it.

Was a LSD available with the auto or was that a manual option only?
The Bold above has alot to do with driving style........

Question from first post..."is the IS quiet?" Very quiet and very smooth in stock form...

LSD is available in both e-shift(auto) and manual...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I think my car was abused by the previous owner and I'm left to pick up the pieces.
-At 59k miles the engine was showing zero oil pressure, the low oil pressure light was coming on and there were metal shavings in the oil.
-I noticed the squeaking throw out bearing the night I took the car home, damage was done before I bought it but had to fight the dealer for over two months to get it fixed
-Dealer put regular 4cyl Altima pads on the car prior to me buying it... the SER has Maxima brakes so the vary small pads messed everything up
-The Yokohama ES100s lasted only 10k miles and were junk, the goodyears I have now have over 10k and you can't notice any wear... the Yoko's just sucked.
Everything I have done to this car has only cost me $300 (price for the clutch) because its certified and Nissan has paid for everything. Its not that my car has cost me a lot of money in repairs its just that it is constantly being repaired and in the shop. Sorry if this thread kinda wandered, I'm trying to keep it on the IS300 and not my SER.

Anyway, I'm going to take a ride today and go test drive the IS300. Here's the link to it if anybody can give me more info from looking at the pics or whatever.

Autoway 2004_Lexus_IS-300
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well I went and drove it today and I have to admit it was very quiet and smooth (something my car is NOT) and everything you would expect from a Lexus. However I decided to pass on it. It would have doubled what I owe now and to be honest, it was smaller, less powerful, more of a gas hog and had less options than what I currently have. Not to mention the cup holders were a joke. I liked it but didn't love it. Now the 09 IS350 that was sitting next to it was another story... but had a 30k pricetag! Driving RWD once again made me realize how much I hate FWD. I just wanted to thank everyone for their help here. I may just have to wait till the new IS is within my reach.
 
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