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ajahearn

What Is Reasonable To Expect From Factory Service?

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I recently purchased a used 96 LS 400 that had very low mileage (45k). Aside from the condition of the car, low mileage, the other item that attracted me to the car was the service history. The previous owner did not have all the paperwork but did have the maintenance manual properly filled out. I know Lexus is a reliable brand but it gave me piece of mind to buy a car that had a documented service history. The car was bought and regularly serviced at the same dealership. All the 5K services were done over the 14 years of the car.

So to the point of my topic, I had assumed that being regularly serviced that all the items that would need replacement, either by mileage or by AGE, would have been done as required by the service manual. Specifically, I had assumed that the timing belt, wire set, etc., which are very expensive service items, were already replaced. However a colleague suggested I verify they had been replaced. I tried the Lexus owner's website to see if there was information there but they only show items like 15K service and some OTHER items. So I called the dealership to find out. I spoke to one of the service managers who looked thru the history. They told me that none of these items had been replaced. I was a bit shocked. I asked them if it was correct that these items should have been replaced as the car was in the dealership no less than 9 times after the car had reached 9 years old. They agreed but said that they were certain that they had not been replaced.

So now I'm looking to have to pay $1.5k-2k to get this work done or risk them failing and totaling the car. Is this something I should take up with the dealership? Wasn't it reasonable of me to expect them to provide "superior" service? The biggest problem for me is that the dealership is far away so its not practical for me to take the car to them anyways. My wife thinks I should forget it but I'm a bit annoyed at this extra cost.

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I agree with your wife -- don't challenge the dealer. You would look like a fool. It's up to the owner to have recommended maintenance performed and dealers do not intervene. It is not uncommon for owners of low mileage cars to have maintenance performed only on miles and ignore the time element. I myself waited an extra year - to 7 years - to have my timing belt and related parts replaced at 90,000 miles.

It was your responsibility to verify maintenance history before you bought the car. Sounds harsh but that's the way it is.

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