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Bahadur

Used Is300 Problems & Questions

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I recently purchased a 2002 IS300, have some questions that I hope someone will be able to answer.

1. Keys - I only received one master key with the purchase. Is it possible to obtain a spare master key and how much does it cost? Also, what about replacing the existing key with a new set of keys (master, emergency, valet) and disabling the current key? Is it even possible to do so? How much will that cost?

2. Lights - I feel rather silly for discovering this after the sale, but the fog lights, daytime running lights and high beam are not functioning (the HID lights work fine). Are they (especially the daytime running lights and high beam) tied together somehow?

3. Tires - I live in the Pacific Northwest where snow is rather rare (though there was an unusual snow storm of sorts recently). Typically, summers are very dry and sunny, with a bit of rain in the winter. Will I be okay with factory tires in the winter or should I replace them with "all-season" tires?

4. Rear emblems - For some reason, the car is missing the rear emblems (Lexus - L - IS300). Is this indicative of some sort of a repair? It's not a big issue for me, but my wife would like them. Does anyone have any idea if this is something that can be readily obtained and installed at a dealership and how much typically such would cost?

I'd appreciate any comments and suggestions anyone may have about my questions.

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If you bought the car from the dealership, then take it back and have them handle all your concerns for the car.

1. the keys, switching out the entire set of keys is very costly. One master key (if your trunk, unlock and lock buttons are in the head of the key) will cost you around $350 from the dealership. My wallet key with the chipped holder lists for $156. Try ebay, sometimes they have the master keys there and can be cut reprogrammed to your car.

you can also try http://www.lexus-parts.com for the key(s) that you want. You will have to provide the VIN and they can cut the key for you.

2. I have to say, to not have fogs, highs and DRLs all at once is strange. Check your fuses and bulbs, you may have one or several that are not seated or all together missing. Also check the position of the headlight switch on the stick.

Are you in the AUTO position. This is all covered in the manual. If you did not get a manual, register your car at www.lexus.com and they will sent you a complimentary owner's manual.

If it is like the 2002 ES, the DRL uses the high beam bulbs at half power. Fog light will only come on if the low beams are on, and are shut off when the highs are engaged.

3. What tires are on there now? It all depends on what kind of money you want to spend and what your driving style is. TireRack.com has a fun little click by click decision guide to help you decide what tires are best for you and your style of driving. You can also find out more about the tires that are currently on there.

4. The missing "L" can mean one of three things.

a. They fell off and the previous owner did not what to replace them.

b. The car was rearended, the trunk lid had to be replaced and or repainted and the body shop did not replace the emblems.

c. The previous owner wanted the "shaved" look and removed them himself. It is a current trend.

let us know what you find.

steviej

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Thank you for the detailed response!

After some e-mail exchanges, I found out the following:

1. A master key is about $186 at one local dealer. A valet key is $86. Reprogramming is $50 regardless of quantity of keys. Supposedly, reprogramming changes the frequency of the keys, so the other old keys not in my possession (possibly floating about there in the world) won't work with the engine (but still work to open doors).

I think I'm okay with that (otherwise it is $4,000 to get all new keys and to disable the old key system according to another dealer!). More importantly, my wife is okay with that.

2. I'm getting the lights checked out at the dealer as soon as the keys are in.

3. I just found out (silly me again!) that the tires on the car are not stock. They are Nankang Sport NS1 (215/45/17, I think). From what I understand, these are pretty cheap Taiwanese tires with poor quality control. Yes, I know... I should've checked before I bought. But there were some unfortunate circumstances that led me to buy this car in a hurry.

In any case, I always had Michelin Energy MXV4 Plus tires in our past cars. Consumer Reports seems to think very highly of Falken Ziex ZE 512 tires and Bridgestone Turanza LS-H tires, so I think I'll stick to what I know (Michelin) or try the Falken or Bridgestone Turanza tires. The current Nankang should be okay for about 10,000 miles (I hope...). Or should I be safe and get the "high performance all-season" Michelin, Falken or Bridgestone now?

4. Rear emblems are about $80 per set in chrome. Labor, though, is about $100 (ouch!). But my wife wants them, so she will get them.

Thank you again for your detailed comments. I look forward to more comments and advice.

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you could put the emblems on yourself with a little line level. The emblems just stick on. There should be a depression or tab to help line you up. The new ones will come with adhesive backings.

Michelin Energies are a nice tire, stay true and balanced but I have not heard good things about them in the rain....go with your personal experience on that one.

I don't really like Bridgestones and I can't help you on the Faulkens, however, both of them will be cheaper than Michies. As stated before, go to tirerack.com and try the tire selector based on you car, the size you want/allowed and your driving habits to find out a tire good for you.

good luck on the keys and lights.

steviej

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Thank you again for the reply.

Yes, it is also my experience that the Michelin Energy tires are not the best on water.

Out of curiosity, why do you dislike Bridgestone tires?

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90% is fact from experience with the set of Potenza RE92 stock tire that came on my ES. Tread life was short, traction was crap in snow, even light snow. Rain and dry traction was adequate. On the other side, they were somewhat quiet and never needed additional balancing.

10% is from emotion, I have a friend that got pretty messed up from a Firestone/Bridgestone tire blowout.....Ford Explorer thing from a few years ago. I know that is a poor reason, but deep in my gut I just don't trust that company. Totally my issue and not meant to sway any decision you make.

I have heard good things about the Bridgstone LS-V tires though.

steviej

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Ello there,

I happen to have the falken-azenis on my IS and i love em i was told by a fellow club member that the tread life might suck if you do a lot of driving not a quote and i do about 2k-3k miles of driving a month and they're great before the falkens i had some dayton daytona ZR's and they were great also and both were less expensive and had better traction in rain in my opinion as compared to the bridgestone tires.

I found the faulken tires for $99 a peice on

http://www.tires.com

just my two pennies

have fun

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90% is fact from experience with the set of Potenza RE92 stock tire that came on my ES. Tread life was short, traction was crap in snow, even light snow. Rain and dry traction was adequate. On the other side, they were somewhat quiet and never needed additional balancing.
I think the stock tires ARE notorious for bad winter traction. I think Consumer Reports gave them the worst rating in terms of snow traction (solid black mark). The LS-H, on the other hand, was rated number 2 after the Falken tires.
10% is from emotion, I have a friend that got pretty messed up from a Firestone/Bridgestone tire blowout.....Ford Explorer thing from a few years ago. I know that is a poor reason, but deep in my gut I just don't trust that company. Totally my issue and not meant to sway any decision you make.
I think the past history of a company is not a bad guide to future products. On the other hand, I'm sure that Firestone learned a thing or two from their mistakes. I know the two companies are the "same," but the affected tires were only Firestone, weren't they?

BTW, Am I supposed to use only 17" summer tires and 16" all-season tires? Or can I use 17" "high performance all-season" or "grand-touring all-season" tires?

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steviej:

So what tires do you have on your car OR plan to buy for your car in the future?

What about Continental ContiExtreme Contact? Seems to have a good reputation for good ride quality and excellent snow/rain traction and above-average handling as well as longish treadwear (400).

Also, what about Pirelli Nero M-S or something?

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Summer tires are as in sig. Toyo Proxes FZ4s. not bad, a little louder that stock but that was expected. If I had to do them over again, I would pay the extra and do what skperfomance told me to do in the first place...go with the Toyo Proxes T1-S's.

I have very little left of the Bridgie RE92 on there right now. My name is on a set of ContiExtremeContact (V-rated) but they are not due in until next week. I am also hearing good things about Toyo Proxes TPT all seasons. I might look into them.

I may give the Dunlop Sport A2 a second look.

I don't have any experience with Pirelli's, but have heard good things about them.

do your homework. Go to tirerack.com and tires.com and read reviews.

Go to the library and look up back issues of consumer reports.

steviej

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