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Discussion Starter #1
Hey y'all. I just bought a used 01 IS300 with 120k miles and the last maintenance that's linked with the VIN is from 2005. I replaced my tires that were extremely worn on the inside, got an alignment, and fluids but I am hearing a clunking noise from the front driver side wheel area. I've taken it to 3 different inspections and they have all stated my ball joints are fine, suspension is fine, and wheels are fine. I hear the sounds when I am reversing slowly, turning slowly, hitting any tiny bump slowly.

I am planning on checking it myself this weekend but want to see if you guys have any insight on the issues.

Do i trust the inspections or not? ?

ps: if this is the wrong place to post this, let me know.
 

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Hey y'all. I just bought a used 01 IS300 with 120k miles and the last maintenance that's linked with the VIN is from 2005. I replaced my tires that were extremely worn on the inside, got an alignment, and fluids but I am hearing a clunking noise from the front driver side wheel area. I've taken it to 3 different inspections and they have all stated my ball joints are fine, suspension is fine, and wheels are fine. I hear the sounds when I am reversing slowly, turning slowly, hitting any tiny bump slowly.

I am planning on checking it myself this weekend but want to see if you guys have any insight on the issues.

Do i trust the inspections or not? ?

ps: if this is the wrong place to post this, let me know.
I would look at the caster bushings on the number 2 lower control arm.
 

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When i bought my is seller told me it was the balljoint too but it was the front rearward bushing that was gone both sides.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
What I've done:

So I've had this car for about 6 months and drove around 11k miles so far. It feels like I'm fixing an issue, and then another issue pops up. But anyways, These past 6 months, I've replaced all rotors, pads, tires, and I will have to replace 1 caliper soon. I did a trans fluid drain and fill and replaced the front sway bar links. My #2 lower control arms looked fine per the mechanic.

Present issues:

So now, its been about 2 months since I replaced my rotors and pads and I have the awful screeching noise when I turn right or left. I'm sure this is just the backing plate rubbing the rotor. I assume the fix for this is just some jack stands and an angle grinder.

That issue doesn't grind my gears but i noticed my back right of the car is sunken down lower than every other side..... What I'm concerned is what else should i replace for my suspension? I'm sure I need coils which I'll probably save up for teins or godspeed.

So besides that my front bumper and rear bumper have half the clips broken so eventually going to need a new bumpers.

In the end.... Holy S***, I've spent so much on this 20 yr car.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
So a little update... after that last post I took it out for a drive and spun out on the highway. My ball joint was nearly broken after so I got a new ball joint and a trans flush....

That was a painful $500.
 

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This is interesting. It seems like you're going to hate your car and tell everyone what a money pit it was and you'll never get another Lexus.

Meanwhile, I spent over $6,000 fixing up the Sportcross I gave to my mother which had nearly half the miles yours does and I haven't stopped singing its praises and I ended up getting a new one of my own because of it. I'm starting to wonder if I have Stockholm Syndrome.
Or maybe I'm just an idiot.
 

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Yeah I think I learned a lesson on lower miles but badly taken care of cars are much worse than higher miles but taken care of well.
The enjoyment in driving is still awesome though. 😁
 

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Yeah I think I learned a lesson on lower miles but badly taken care of cars are much worse than higher miles but taken care of well.
The enjoyment in driving is still awesome though. 😁
If you can work on the car yourself, these are great cars and parts are widely available! Labor and shop costs are the killer here. I have 272K miles on my IS300 and it drives like a dream. Maintenance is inevitable on ANY car, if you stay on top of it well, you can spread out the costs and plan for larger expenses.
 

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I replaced my tires that were extremely worn on the inside, got an alignment, and fluids but I am hearing a clunking noise from the front driver side wheel area.
If it has the original #2 lower control arm bushings, its probably part of the problem with the inside tire wear. Also, if you have a Firestone tire nearby, they do lifetime alignments for the price of two alignments. For this car with its suspension, I think having it checked around every oil changed as adjusted as needed will help you stay on top of it. If you have had the control arm bushings replaced, then maybe checked once per year depending on your driving and mileage. Here is a photo of my old #2 arms after I removed them. They were worn out and looked like hell


134999
 

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When I purchased my wife’s is300 back in December. It had severely worn inside front tires as well. As I was driving it, it would dart all over the place searching for the correct line to go down on uneven roads. So immediately I thought, lower control arms having driven multiple cars with this symptom. Replaced those and the problem persisted. The car has always driven straight down the road, no pulling at all. So I bought 4 brand new tires and the darting went away. The tires up front were simply driving into whatever groove they could find on the road. I will monitor how these tires wear and decide what to do next. I’ve never not put 2,500 miles on the car so far. About 300 on these new tires.
 

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When I purchased my wife’s is300 back in December. It had severely worn inside front tires as well. As I was driving it, it would dart all over the place searching for the correct line to go down on uneven roads. So immediately I thought, lower control arms having driven multiple cars with this symptom. Replaced those and the problem persisted. The car has always driven straight down the road, no pulling at all. So I bought 4 brand new tires and the darting went away. The tires up front were simply driving into whatever groove they could find on the road. I will monitor how these tires wear and decide what to do next. I’ve never not put 2,500 miles on the car so far. About 300 on these new tires.
I replaced the #2 lower control arms and lower ball joints, tie-rod ends, and end links; got it aligned and new tires.... this fixed it all for me. LOL I have bilsteins with stock springs....
 

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I always laugh when I see people spend $2000 on buying an IS300 and proclaim it the best deal ever, then drop $3000 into maintenance. These cars will always cost at least $5000 or so due to that reason alone...with very few exceptions. It's a fun game I like to call "pay me now or pay me later" and I'm sure you've all heard of it. :)

I paid UP considerably for my current 01 slicktop, even paying to have it shipped to my home from across the country. Even though I paid a very fair market price, I still put about $3000 into deferred maintenance over the first 4 months of ownership. It is what it is, but it's what happens when these cars fall into the hands of owners with limited means. I'm glad to hear that you're doing the maintenance and getting yours into good shape for sure!
 
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