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Thoughts On Buying A Used 2007 Is250


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Hi all. I'm a newbie. I don't own a Lexus yet but considering buying a used 2007 Lexus IS250 off a family member. They are asking for $17k. The car has about 45k miles, low miles for a 7 year old car. The car was bought new and is still in pretty good shape. The car has't been abused and has been garaged most of the time he's had it and has gone through regular maintenance. It doesn't have all the bells and whistles and is not fully loaded. It does have wood trim, heated seats, HID's, 18" stock rims. Otherwise it's pretty much base.

As far as buying it off him vs someone else via private party, i know how the car has been driven and i could potentially avoid the 'Use Tax'(essentially the same rate as the sales tax) when transferring the title in my name since it can exchanged as a gift at DMV between family. is $17K a fair price? Too much? Would love to get some thoughts and opinions.

Being that it's a 7 year old car, are there any major maintenance or parts i should be weary about due to the age?

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I think it sounds like a good deal. Very low mileage. I would only worry about the rubber belts/hoses things like that.

I always did love this body style and I don't think you will get anything you would love nearly as much for only $17k.

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That's a decent deal, especially considering the known good history of the car and the $1500 savings on CA sales tax on sales within family. You should have no problem in avoiding the sales tax, check DMV website for instructions. I sold a Jeep Grand Cheroke to a family member years ago this way, no smog certificate (for me being the seller) or sales tax payment (for buyer) required.

I have 47K miles on 07 IS350, still runs like new. Tires, brake pads, battery, wiper blades are really all you need to keep an eye on in near future with this car. Check that recalls were addressed (these cars have had a few), but those will be handled by dealership at no charge so it's not an cost issue. Try to get the maintenance receipts from seller, but if Lexus dealership service performed maintenance, the information is available on-line once you register the car on Lexus website.

What color exterior and interior is the IS250?

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Yea that was my concern. Its low miles but its 7 years old so parts may start wearing. I'd have to check what maintenance has been done so far. How much have you guys typically paid for maintenance work such as brake pads, tires, belt/hoses, water pump?

I have a 98 Civic so the maintenance has been relatively cheap. Def will be paying more with Lexus. The exterior is smoky granite with black interior.

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Nice color combo, smoky granite over black. Some people actually seek out the black leather interior even though most of them come with gray leather (like mine).

I wouldn't worry about belts, hoses and water pump at this point, on a late model Toyota and/or Lexus these are very long life items. Brake pads have long life, I'm on original rear pads and front pads were replaced under warranty (per TSB when customer complains of excess front brake dust). In short these cars have similar high level of reliability of Honda Civic and Accords, near best in class. Service is more expensive, but compared to other premium cars relatively cheap.

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How about the carbon buildup? I've been reading the Lexus forums and that seems to be a common issue with this generation IS(IS250 from what i read). How would I be able to tell if the car has the issue?

What type of maintenance/service have you done on your car besides the pads? And roughly how much was the cost and labor & do you do it at the dealer/your own mechanic/yourself?

BTW nice IS. Are those 19" you have on there?

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I have no experience with the IS250 (direct injected) carbon buildup problem, since the IS350 (direct and port injected) does not have that issue. But from what I read driveability issues with IS250 can be result of carbon buildup.

My IS is always serviced at Lexus dealership for convenience. The more involved services are at intervals of 30K miles (around $500 from what I remember). and the annual Mobil 1 synthetic oil changes for me have been at 5-7K miles, approximate cost of $120.

Yes, those are 19's on Eibach350 springs (they are same as F-sport springs sold by dealer) on my IS, plus F-sport exhaust (not shown in this picture below).

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I have an 07 with 61,000 miles.

First thing you should do is go to Lexus.com, in the owner's section, and put in the VIN to check and see if there have been any recalls which have not been completed. It will not show you what HAS been done, only what's outstanding. But--a recall will be covered by Lexus, so you won't have to really worry about it.

I have had the carbon buildup done and the cam gear (while it was still a TSB, not a recall) fixed. My water pump went bad at 47,000 (dealer saw it while doing the carbon buildup CSP), and I needed a new wheel bearing (also done during carbon buildup fix)--both of these were covered under the power train warranty, which seems like you would be out of. The water pump seems like a common failure, from postings I have seen.

Carbon buildup CSP is 9 years, unlimited miles IIRC, so you should have time to get it done if you notice any issues.

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I put in the VIN # for the car but I could not find what recalls have not been completed. I checked the service history and it looks like thats where all the recall info is(whats been completed), as it matches what recalls have issued for Lexus IS250 2nd gen. It looks like the only recall that has not been done is inoperative wiper recall. Do I need the actual documentation to take the car in for the recall?

ive only driven the car a few times recently but didnt notice anything. Of course if i end up buying it, ill have to look out for signs. How does the Carbon buildup CSP work? If i notice the issue and i take it to a Lexus dealer with the notice, do I have to pay out of pocket or is it covered under the CSP?

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I put in the VIN # for the car but I could not find what recalls have not been completed. I checked the service history and it looks like thats where all the recall info is(whats been completed), as it matches what recalls have issued for Lexus IS250 2nd gen. It looks like the only recall that has not been done is inoperative wiper recall. Do I need the actual documentation to take the car in for the recall?

ive only driven the car a few times recently but didnt notice anything. Of course if i end up buying it, ill have to look out for signs. How does the Carbon buildup CSP work? If i notice the issue and i take it to a Lexus dealer with the notice, do I have to pay out of pocket or is it covered under the CSP?

If you don't see recalls on Lexus.com when you enter the VIN, then they've been preformed.

As to the carbon buildup, I had noticed low idle or hesitation at stop lights. The dealer checked the ECU, and saw misfire codes. If the dealer sees misfire codes, replicates the issue, or sees evidence of excessive oil burning, they will perform the work under the CSP at Lexus cost. It took them 2 weeks to do the work on my car, with a free loaner.

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Now that I've read about these carbon buildup issues that's pretty much affecting a majority of the IS250 owners, that got me thinking about buying the car lol. Broke down my thought process.

Pros:

-Decent price($17k, about as low as they will go. trust me i've tried)

-Avoid having to pay Use Tax(~$1500 savings). Would need to pay tax if i buy from another private party

-Low miles(~45k)

-Know how the car has been driven and treated

-Toyota/Lexus reliability for the most part.

Cons:

- Been told that the rear tires need replacement(still has original rear tires, at min $500-600 job for new tires)

-The obvious: Higher maintenance cost, higher gas costs. i am going to keep my current car(98 civic) as well as it won't hit me as much(gas) since i wont be driving it daily. if i do get it, ill probably end up taking it to my local mechanic to see if theres any maintenance to be done(water pump, spark plugs, etc.). Previous maintenance on the car doesn't show these replacements being done but seems these parts will need to be replaced eventually.

- Carbon Buildup issue. Been reading the different forums on this issue and the headaches that some owners have had to go through. This car was bought new at the end of '06 so the CSP 9 year window has about a year and half left. I havent driven the car that many times so i didnt really notice any rough idle/hesitation issues but im sure the issue will creep up at some point. That got me thinking..what if nothing happens until after the 9 year window, what if i do get the issue but the computer in the car doesnt record the misfire or dealer can't repeat the misfire codes and hence it wont get approved by Lexus Corp.?

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That's a decent deal, especially considering the known good history of the car and the $1500 savings on CA sales tax on sales within family. You should have no problem in avoiding the sales tax, check DMV website for instructions. I sold a Jeep Grand Cheroke to a family member years ago this way, no smog certificate (for me being the seller) or sales tax payment (for buyer) required.

I have 47K miles on 07 IS350, still runs like new. Tires, brake pads, battery, wiper blades are really all you need to keep an eye on in near future with this car. Check that recalls were addressed (these cars have had a few), but those will be handled by dealership at no charge so it's not an cost issue. Try to get the maintenance receipts from seller, but if Lexus dealership service performed maintenance, the information is available on-line once you register the car on Lexus website.

What color exterior and interior is the IS250?

Does it matter that it's a sibling? I read on the DMV website that use tax is exempt except for siblings who are not minors. we are both in our 20s. I guess the only other way would be for him to put it as a gift and i pay him in cash later? How did you do it and what was the relationship between you and family member?

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That's a decent deal, especially considering the known good history of the car and the $1500 savings on CA sales tax on sales within family. You should have no problem in avoiding the sales tax, check DMV website for instructions. I sold a Jeep Grand Cheroke to a family member years ago this way, no smog certificate (for me being the seller) or sales tax payment (for buyer) required.

I have 47K miles on 07 IS350, still runs like new. Tires, brake pads, battery, wiper blades are really all you need to keep an eye on in near future with this car. Check that recalls were addressed (these cars have had a few), but those will be handled by dealership at no charge so it's not an cost issue. Try to get the maintenance receipts from seller, but if Lexus dealership service performed maintenance, the information is available on-line once you register the car on Lexus website.

What color exterior and interior is the IS250?

Does it matter that it's a sibling? I read on the DMV website that use tax is exempt except for siblings who are not minors. we are both in our 20s. I guess the only other way would be for him to put it as a gift and i pay him in cash later? How did you do it and what was the relationship between you and family member?

Sorry don't know about siblings. Sold one Jeep GC to a stepson, no sales tax. And I bought a Jeep Liberty from my mother, no sales tax.

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Well it was a really tough decision, i was going back and forth on it, but decided against buying it. When it comes down to it, it came down to the issue with the carbon buildup on the IS250's. The car doesnt have any rough idle issues right now from what i understand, but it probably would at some point. Given the 9 year window for CSP is only a year away for this car, i felt it was too much of a risk if that 9 year window went by and i start experiencing issues after the fact. From what i understand even if you experience the rough idle, but the computer does not store the misfire codes, and the dealer can't repeat it, they wont perform the work for it. Thats a huge expense to swallow if it was not going to be covered by Lexus after the 9 year window. I hope i made the right decision :-\ I guess ill have to look into a used 350 or something else.

My question is why does it only affect the 2006-2010 MY? I mean 2011-2013 Gen II have the same engine 2.5L, as does the Gen III 2014 MY. Maybe too new still? Isn't this carbon buildup issue eventually going to hit them as well?

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  • 4 weeks later...

  • 1 month later...

New tires and cleaning the fuel injection system and possibly new belts. How much would have the things you needed cost? I know cleaning the carbon build up in another brand of car costs about $480, tires looking at maybe $100 each plus mount and balance so that's about a grand right there and then I assume this car uses a serpantine belt but I forgot how much it costs to change those so maybe another $250 in parts and labor I dunno and a tune up, so you would have been looking at $17,000 negotiate with the dealer and another $1250.

I haven't ever negotiated a preowned car with a dealer but I'm sure there is a lot of room unless maybe it was a trade in. But if I was going to a dealer I would scoff the price and see if I could get it knocked down below book. That's just me, some people don't like to haggle and just pay up which is understandable too because the effort involved can be annoying.

For the tires, I would get them inspected and if tread doesn't fly off of them, they probably are fine. I changed the oil in a 1989 Hyundai that still had its original tires on it. It still worked. The rears on one of my cars are about 10 years old, they are fine and I'm not worried about it at all. Good Year told me that as long as I can inflate them to not worry about it. Exposure to the sun can shorten the lifespan of the tires.

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