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luvmy98LS400

Where To Service?

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OK Gang, here's another question:

My 98 LS has 100k miles, and I plan on keeping it a long time - at least another 100k miles. The car has been well maintained, and I have all previous records from the previous owner, who has taken it to a Lexus dealer for service every 5,000 miles.

I've spoken with some people close to the industry, who say dealers are poor places to get service as they are more profit-driven than relationship driven. I think they may have a point as my local Lexus dealer did not even have any carbon cleaning (fuel system flush) equipment, despite the obvious benefits. I noticed significant hesitation in the car, and took it to another place to get a carbon cleaning - one of those IV bag systems, not MotorVac and the hesitation disappeared and combined mileage is now back up from 19.3 to 21.0.

I have other suspicions about using dealers. I asked the Dealer Service Manager about using synthetic oil, and he said to stick with Dino oil due the the high mileage and chance for leaks. After checking the Mobil1 site, they insist leaks are a myth. $50 for an oil change also seems steep. Also, AAA and others advising on how to get a car to last 300,000 miles say to find a good ASE Certified Independent Shop and take it to them.

So, what says the jury? Lexus Dealer or Independent? Perhaps split the services? Routine maintenance, Independent. Unusual or difficult jobs, Dealer? A good example here is that I need to fix the classic suspension bushing problem as the car clunks a bit when going over larger bumps. So where should I take it?

Any and all input is appreciated. :blink:

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I have other suspicions about using dealers. I asked the Dealer Service Manager about using synthetic oil, and he said to stick with Dino oil due the the high mileage and chance for leaks. After checking the Mobil1 site, they insist leaks are a myth. $50 for an oil change also seems steep.

Is it a myth? Yeah, but in a round about way there is some truth to it. Synthetic is much finer than regular dino oil, so the synthetic has a better chance of seeping out of a broken down seal/gasket. It doesn't cause leaks; it just runs through some that were being cloged by dino oil. I was in your same situation a few weeks ago of dino v. syn because I was afraid of oil leaks due to the high mileage of my car; I went ahead with Mobile 1 full synthetic. This is the first time my car has had synthetic-Mobile 1, and I have no leaks(knock on wood!) on my '95 LS with 225k miles.

$50 for a Lexus dealer oil change is a pretty good price; my local dealer wants $85. The Toyota oil filter is about $5 and you'll need another $25 for the oil(5.4 quarts I think). BTW, I need to get my suspenion clunk taken care of too!

I have a Toyota Dealer do services that I can't/don't want to do. I've never had any problems with their services(knock on wood again!) Plus, my neighbor is buddy-buddy with them due to all of the cars he buys, so I get considerable discounts! :D

:cheers:

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I doubt if one could say that either Lexus dealers or independent repair shops are always better or worse than the other. But from my experience and where I live, the service provided by the two independent Lexus repair shops I have used has been substantially better than the service provided by the local Lexus dealer. Both independent repair shops were owned and staffed by former Lexus dealer employees. Personally, I would rather have the lower costs of an independent repair shop than the "free" breakfasts and pretentious surroundings at the Lexus dealership.

But whether you choose an independent or a dealer, I'm convinced that the best way to prolong the life and appearance of a car is to do much of the minor maintenance and repairs yourself so as to reduce the number of times that any repair shop needs to touch your car.

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Well I have a lexus/toyota repair shop in the dallas area. I used to work at PP lexus in plano for 7 years. ASE master, Lexus master and very familiar with the aftermarket side. We use Lexus scan tool, books, parts, tools etc...... And our price is a lot lower than the local lexus around here. I'm sure there are a couple of lexus Independent shop your area. Come by check out the place, talk to the owner and see what kind of work they do. Look on the wall, check fo certification. Are they a member of BBB? Walk around the shop. Is it clean? What kind of equiments do they use? There are many shop outhere says they know their lexus but i don't think they do. They work on all kind of cars. Anyway, those are the ideas. And I wouldn't go to toyota dealer, toyota tech aren't trained like Lexus Tech. You can walk off the street and become a toyota tech. Not at lexus....They screen you and hired the best techs outhere to work on lexus. Good luck.

JPI

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But whether you choose an independent or a dealer, I'm convinced that the best way to prolong the life and appearance of a car is to do much of the minor maintenance and repairs yourself so as to reduce the number of times that any repair shop needs to touch your car.

This is excellent advise!!

If you can change your own oil....then you can do a number of other things. Such as:

Diffy gear lube change

Transmission pan drain changes

Coolant change

Brake Flush

Power Steering Flush

Air filter, cabin filter

Rotate Tires

Clean & detail car

Battery change

Spark Plug & wire change (every 90K)

If you can do these things listed above, then all you need a dealer/indep shop for is:

Fuel filter @ 60K interval (its messy)

Timing Belt/Water pump ...etc... @90K interval

And maybe suspension problems to shop also....

This way you are at dealer/shop very little and therefore costs you very little..

99

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Good advise guys, thanks a lot.

So far I have had very bad luck with the Lexus dealer. I had the oil changed there once and it will always be once. I went for the big splurge and spent 99 bucks for an oil change, tire rotation and brakes check.

Well, much to my dismay -- they did not even check the air filter nor my fluids... got me really po too. Am I expecting too much here? I don't think so. At a minimum, even if they did not replace the filter, I think they should have mentioned it and gave me the option to change it there or not. They did not and now I am looking for a closer shop when I must go to the dealer in the Detroit area.

I did call the rep and told him -- I don't know what became of it, they did not even extend some sort of olive branch to say let us make it up to you. Maybe I am expecting too much.

you thinks?

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Linux,

No - you are not expecting too much. In fact, if I were a Lexus service manager, I'd make sure EVERY CUSTOMER GETS EXTRA CARE - because I'm logical enough to know that $85+ for an oil change DEMANDS tremendous attention to every detail!!!

They are cheating you - I avoid them at all costs :angry:

99

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Hey Linuxfan,

I too have been to Meade lexus in southfield,

I have had all my work done at lexus dealer their and felt quite betrayed sometimes,

had the bushings,brakes,egr pipe,oil changes done on my 95ls,

when oil changes were performed they never rotated my tires or checked my air filter, just made me a little suspect,I even built up an relationship with my service guy. so I know the feeling you are having, I'm also looking for someone in the

metro detroit area to work on my car, if you find someone definitely let me know.

this is my first post guys,

i have a 95 ls w/181k still running strong.

xa

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xa,

Welcome to LOC :D

Hey, if you would, post the info on your LS in the "signature" portion of the PERSONAL CONTROLS....

This way, we know the age/miles/ of your LS

Thanks,

99

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Yeah... makes me feel a little better now. I thought maybe I was just being picky, thanks for proving I am not.

xa, I sure will and you do the same also.

I am asking around at different little shops and each time I mention Lexus, I see the dollar sign in their twinkling eyes so I run the opposite direction. So far no luck though, but I will keep looking.

As for the dealer, next year or whenever my wife hits the lottery I will be looking for a 96 or 98 LS -- that will be the last dealer I go to. :P

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My local Lexus dealer changed the oil when I specifically asked them NOT to change it. I had just changed it with synthetic 3 days before. They put expensive dino oil in and then left the engine splash pan off so I had to go back and srew around for another 2 hours while they found it and put it back on. I haven't been back since.

If Lexus really cared about people are cars more than money, I would be happy to use them. Paying top dollar for shoddy work is not something on my list, so I either do it myself or use a Japanese Auto repair place.

Mentioning synthetic oil, I have used it in all of my vehicles for years. I put it in my Cadillac that had over 300K miles, no leaks, my Caprice with 185,000 miles, no leaks. In fact I have never had a leak on any car I have ever put it in. I think leaks from synthetic oil is a myth.

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My local Lexus dealer changed the oil when I specifically asked them NOT to change it. I had just changed it with synthetic 3 days before. They put expensive dino oil in and then left the engine splash pan off so I had to go back and srew around for another 2 hours while they found it and put it back on. I haven't been back since.

If Lexus really cared about people are cars more than money, I would be happy to use them. Paying top dollar for shoddy work is not something on my list, so I either do it myself or use a Japanese Auto repair place.

Mentioning synthetic oil, I have used it in all of my vehicles for years. I put it in my Cadillac that had over 300K miles, no leaks, my Caprice with 185,000 miles, no leaks. In fact I have never had a leak on any car I have ever put it in. I think leaks from synthetic oil is a myth.

This stuff is just inexcusable ;) Pitiful really!

Very Sad....I'm appalled at how many posts there are about bad service from Lexus dealers. I'd be crawling in a hole if I was one of the service managers....

Denny, what did you ask them to do?

99

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:huh:

thanks 99lsguy, updated

yeah I agree sometimes it is disappointing,but still take it mind Lexus is a business

just like any other business they're in it to make money, so plush lounges and free beverages are fine, but all and all I want my car fixed right, I still continute to return, because trying to find a local shop(as linux explained)is damn near impossible in Michigan, their eyes really do light up when they hear the name Lexus, I have tried a few independent shops with no avail whatsoever, so if any of you in michigan or ohio know of a shop, please let us know.

xa

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Hey Linuxfan,

I too have been to Meade lexus in southfield,

I have had all my work done at lexus dealer their and felt quite betrayed sometimes,

had the bushings,brakes,egr pipe,oil changes done on my 95ls,

when oil changes were performed they never rotated my tires or checked my air filter, just made me a little suspect,I even built up an relationship with my service guy. so I know the feeling you are having, I'm also looking for someone in the

metro detroit area to work on my car, if you find someone definitely let me know.

this is my first post guys,

i have a 95 ls w/181k still running strong.

xa

Hello , I am a new member w/ 2001 ls430 on the way. I also live in the Metro Detroit area- has anyone found a good shop nearby for service help (hopefully not much). I do plan on doing most of the minor maint. myself but, I may need someone to help me at some point- any suggestions? Thanks in advance! By the way, what a great site!!!

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Wbb1772 Writes:

"I have a 93 SC300. Bought it used. The seller had all the records from

all dealer services. For my Major service and leaking water pump

replacement I took it to a non dealer shop in Las Vegas. Since I am not paid

to advertise I will not mention the name ;). They are a known

Toyota/Lexus specialist and would recommend them. They did excellent work and I

even had them do my timing belt just because I was past the 90K marker.

They came highly recommended. If you do not want to go to a price hog

dealer then seek out a private shope and ask for refernces and call the

BBB in you state. I was lucky and found a good shop. Just my

observation in my city"

Wbb1772:

Please read through the Visitors and New Members Forum to get a better understanding on how to use our Forum.

Thanks

UCF3

Moderator SC and LS Forums

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Hey,

Just happened to be pondering through and I figured I would fling my two

cents worth in. I use a Lexus dealership outside my state. I've got one here,

about 15 miles from me, but their reputation isn't great, for service or for

customer care. I'll drive the extra distance to the place I've been going to.

They seem to care more, they are willing to ask/answer questions, which I

find greatly appreciated. And so far my RX-300 runs good. The service is

pricey but I want the car to last.

PharmGuy

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Although it is a top of the line car, it is a Toyota. No back yard hacks, go to a good mechanic. I put on 14.000 a yr and get a tune each yr during the cold season. save your money

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