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LexusSteve

Used Is350 W/o Service History

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Hello everyone! I recently picked up an 2006 IS350 with ~51K miles. Carfax was clean, but I did not get any service records from the Lexus Dealer in the manuals they gave me. I decided to take a gamble because I got a pretty good price on the car, and it had all the extras and options installed. It drives very well, in fact my B-I-L has a 2010 IS350 and he says it drives exactly like his. The dealer told me that they don't certify IS models very often because they are trying to keep them at a price point. I can see his point there, but I don't know if I believe it.

Nevertheless, I did purchase the 3yr/36K Platinum warranty from the dealership. They said I could get a refund on it if I changed my mind within 30 days, and that is was also prorated and transferable. The price was $1811 for this.

So my questions are:

1. Where should I start on the maintenance? Just the next service after 50K? My brother suggested taking it to a mechanic to see if any repairs are needed that might be covered by the warranty.

2. Keep the warranty? At this point, with the unknown history of this vehicle, I'm leaning towards just keeping it for some peace of mind. Although I would suspect that any Lexus can go 100K miles without much more than fresh oil and gasoline.

3. Are there any big or common problems that I should watch out for in the 50-85K mile range on these vehicles?

My current plan is to drive this car for 2-3 years while it is under warranty, and then sell it depending on what kind of problems I've had with it--if any.

I appreciate the input you guys might have!

PS--I am really digging the car. I am stunned at how fast this thing picks up sometimes. I've got to adjust my driving habits from the old 4-cylinder Civic I had been commuting with.

EDIT: to clarify me not requesting the service records

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That no records at all are available from the Lexus dealer sounds fishy -- hard to believe previous owner(s) would not have taken it for at least some warranty work.

First of all register your car's VIN in the owners section of http://www.lexus.com/ so you can see your car's maintenance history. The owners section (link is at the lower left of the Lexus home page) was down when I just checked but I used it several times earlier today.

If it turns out your car really has no maintenance history, I think you should act accordingly and do whatever maintenance might have been missed at the the previous scheduled maintenance intervals -- which is probably not all that much.

That the dealer would sell you a service warranty on a car that has no maintenance history seems suspicious to me especially if you bought this car at a Lexus dealer. Maybe the salesman or F&I guy wasn't being straight about the maintenance history in order to get you to bite on a service warranty which has a nose bleed high profit margin for the dealer.

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I'm sorry, to clarify I did not get any maintenance history with the car. I did not specifically request any from the dealer though, which was my mistake. I don't know if there is any or not, but it was not filled out in the manuals they gave me, which I guess could be for a different car.

EDIT: Thanks for the tip about getting the service records from the Lexus website. I created an account and found that there are no outstanding recalls for my VIN. Here are the service records I found. I hope this is kosher to post, if not I apologize in advance.

Service Type Service Date Service Provider Mileage R/O# Service Description

Dealer Reported 11/9/2010 Lexus of Clear Lake 51534 281964 AUTO MASTERS OF HOUSTON

Dealer Reported 11/1/2010 Lexus of Clear Lake 51533 281272 ALE REPL COMP SPRINGS & LASH ADJUSTERS FOR IS 350

Dealer Reported 10/29/2010 Lexus of Clear Lake 51530 281166 GOT DENTS

Dealer Reported 10/21/2010 Lexus of Clear Lake 51529 280285 USED CAR CHECK

Dealer Reported 10/21/2010 Lexus of Clear Lake 51529 280285 1 YEAR STATE INSP 96 & LATER

Dealer Reported 10/21/2010 Lexus of Clear Lake 51529 280285 REPLACE ENGINE AIR FILTER

Dealer Reported 10/21/2010 Lexus of Clear Lake 51529 280285 REPLACE A/C FILTER

Dealer Reported 10/21/2010 Lexus of Clear Lake 51529 280285 REPLACE WIPER INSERTS

Dealer Reported 10/21/2010 Lexus of Clear Lake 51529 280285 FLUSH BRAKE FLUID

Dealer Reported 10/21/2010 Lexus of Clear Lake 51529 280285 REPLACE BATTERY

Dealer Reported 10/21/2010 Lexus of Clear Lake 51529 280285 MOUNT AND BALANCE 4 TIRES.

Dealer Reported 10/21/2010 Lexus of Clear Lake 51529 280285 4 WHEEL ALIGNMENT*SPECIAL PRICING APPLIES*

Dealer Reported 10/21/2010 Lexus of Clear Lake 51529 280285 INSTALL NITROGEN IN ALL TIRES

Dealer Reported 10/14/2010 Lexus of Clear Lake 51529 279961 USED CAR DETAIL FRONT LINE READY

Dealer Reported 7/26/2010 Bobby Rahal Lexus 51480 178447 POWER STEERING

Dealer Reported 7/26/2010 Bobby Rahal Lexus 51480 178447 E.P.S.REPLACEMENT

Dealer Reported 7/26/2010 Bobby Rahal Lexus 51480 178447 FUEL DEL.PIPE REPL.

Dealer Reported 7/26/2010 Bobby Rahal Lexus 51480 178447 REAR BRAKE CALIPER

Dealer Reported 7/26/2010 Bobby Rahal Lexus 51480 178447 06-10 IS GAS PEDAL

Dealer Reported 11/2/2007 Pohanka Lexus of Chant. 19634 293187 20000 MILE SERVICE

Dealer Reported 2/21/2007 Pohanka Lexus of Chant. 9760 250465 ROAD TESTED WITH CUSTOMER AND COULD NOT REPRODUCE CONCERN

Dealer Reported 2/21/2007 Pohanka Lexus of Chant. 9760 250465 ROAD TEST WITH CUSTOMER AND COULD NOT REPRODUCE CONCERN

Dealer Reported 7/8/2006 Pohanka Lexus of Chant. 12 215769 PRE-DELIVERY SERVICE FOR USA INS

Dealer Reported 7/8/2006 Pohanka Lexus of Chant. 12 215769 VA STATE INSPECTION

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Well at least it looks like the previous owner had some warranty work done just before the basic warranty expired. Just because he didn't have maintenance done at a Lexus dealership doesn't mean anything. I'm in my 21st year with Lexus cars and I've rarely had anything but warranty work done by Lexus dealers.

With a little "sleuthing" you might be able to contact the previous owner and ask questions if you want to. You might find the previous owner's name on documents that were involved in your purchase. Or you could ask the dealership for the name - it shouldn't be a secret. When I purchase my 2000 LS400 in 2003, the local Lexus dealer that sold the car when new even contacted the first owner/lessee on my behalf to inquire about missing keys.

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I probably missed my golden opportunity for that one--the previous owner's bluetooth and phone book info was all still in the car when I got it. First thing I did was wipe it though. :/

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