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I feel like I’m between a rock and a hard place so any helpful advice is greatly appreciated. I recently purchased an ‘08 LS460 with 50k original miles on it and now the car has just under 60k. She’s a cream puff if I’ve ever seen one. The car was garaged all its life (it appeared like a fairy had driven the car for 12 years. All of the repairs were done at the dealership like clock work up until about 3 years ago when the owner passed away. I had a pre-purchase inspection done and wasn’t surprised when the control arms and alignment were brought up. I will take her in to do the 60k maintenance according to the maintenance schedule but I am a little hesitant about the recommendation and extra cost per service to flush the transmission fluid because it’s brown, replace differential gear oil because it’s brown, and do an induction system cleaning. Wouldn’t fluid in a car be brown? Are these extra services appropriate right now? 
 

Info: I’ve already completed the control arm and alignment services and I am doing the 60k maintenance (according to the Lexus maintenance schedule) in a few days. 

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I don't see changing the transmission and differential fluid in the maintenance schedule for the 2008 LS460.  Lexus dealers like to make money by doing unnecessary services which was one of the reasons I rarely used Lexus dealers for service during my 24 years of driving LS sedans.

I see that engine coolant (120 months) and brake fluid (180 months) could be past due or due to be changed based on time instead of mileage.  If you are going to be conservative, those might be services to have performed ... or maybe not.  

Ask the dealer service writer where in the heck something called induction system cleaning is specified in the maintenance manual.  That sounds like a totally bogus trumped up service.

Here's a link to the maintenance manual for the 2008 LS460:  https://drivers.lexus.com/t3Portal/document/omms-s/L-MMS-08LS460/pdf/L-MMS-08LS460.pdf

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Thanks for your response and the link!  I have been ripping my hair out trying to find any information about these cleaning and flushing services that start from $230 and get more expensive, particularly the rear differential fluid bleed and flush. I also don’t think just because fluid is brown means it needs to be “flushed and changed.” It’s too vague and most fluids turn brown, it’s a car. I also have an ‘07 GS and have never quite gotten the guilt trip and BS. I am really worried to do damage to my car it’s in pristine condition so the recommendations I received by the Lexus Mechanic that my family has gone to for over 10+ years seems to have over stepped. His greed is outweighing long term customers. I did attach a paper with the list of what is “recommended” because the fluids are “brown.” I’ve already replaced the control arms and completed the alignment. 
 

I’d appreciate any input at all. I’m 
 

Once again, thank you!

65C1943B-4983-46CC-BF35-8E9ED3BF969E.jpeg

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  • 7 months later...
On 4/6/2020 at 12:25 PM, muchachamala said:

I feel like I’m between a rock and a hard place so any helpful advice is greatly appreciated. I recently purchased an ‘08 LS460 with 50k original miles on it and now the car has just under 60k. She’s a cream puff if I’ve ever seen one. The car was garaged all its life (it appeared like a fairy had driven the car for 12 years. All of the repairs were done at the dealership like clock work up until about 3 years ago when the owner passed away. I had a pre-purchase inspection done and wasn’t surprised when the control arms and alignment were brought up. I will take her in to do the 60k maintenance according to the maintenance schedule but I am a little hesitant about the recommendation and extra cost per service to flush the transmission fluid because it’s brown, replace differential gear oil because it’s brown, and do an induction system cleaning. Wouldn’t fluid in a car be brown? Are these extra services appropriate right now? 
 

Info: I’ve already completed the control arm and alignment services and I am doing the 60k maintenance (according to the Lexus maintenance schedule) in a few days. 

I bought a 2012 LS460 in February 2020 with 87K miles and have all the service records.  Control arm bushings, alignments, 3-part fuel service (induction cleaning) and other typical 5K service charges were the charges to date.  I don't see any transmission or differential fluid changes yet.  I took it in for the 90K service and it cost me $900 (incl. $600 labor for 2 hours) OUCH!  Guess I should have known this is a rich man's car.  I'm trying to find out what the typical ongoing, high-cost repairs are over the next 3 years.  A neighbor has one with 180K miles and nothing major yet.

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2 hours ago, Arthur Hodgdon said:

I bought a 2012 LS460 in February 2020 with 87K miles and have all the service records.  Control arm bushings, alignments, 3-part fuel service (induction cleaning) and other typical 5K service charges were the charges to date.  I don't see any transmission or differential fluid changes yet.  I took it in for the 90K service and it cost me $900 (incl. $600 labor for 2 hours) OUCH!  Guess I should have known this is a rich man's car.  I'm trying to find out what the typical ongoing, high-cost repairs are over the next 3 years.  A neighbor has one with 180K miles and nothing major yet.

I drove LS sedans for 24 straight years - a 1990 purchased new and an off lease 2000 that I bought at 38,000 miles in 2003.  I owned the 1990 until a few months after I bought the 2000 LS which I drove until 2014.  I spent at least $1,000/year on maintenance and repairs on each vehicle during the final several years I owned them.  Lexus LS are wonderful vehicles but they are expensive to maintain if you keep everything working properly.

I probably "over maintained" these cars.  Synthetic oil and filter changes every 5,000 miles and transmission and differential fluid changes every 30,000 miles.  But they both ran perfectly and didn't use a drop of engine oil between changes when I both cars when they reached about 180,000 miles.  During all this, I never had a single maintenance procedure performed that was not specified in the maintenance manual except for more frequent transmission and differential fluid changes.  The local Lexus dealership would try to pressure me into buying some pretty bizarre unnecessary maintenance procedures but I just said NO.  I never had brake pads replaced until the wear sensors triggered warnings.   I had most of the maintenance and repairs after the warranties expired done at two independent repair shops owned by former Lexus dealership service writers - prices were a little less and there were no attempts to upsell service.

Control arms and other suspension components seem to be the Achilles Heal of the LS460 but earlier LS generations had their share of suspension problems too.  I would think that Toyota should be able to design more robust suspension components but maybe that's not compatible with nice ride characteristics.  My wife complained for years about Lexus maintenance costs but she misses the plush ride.

So, yeah, these cars are expensive maintain but not nearly as expensive to maintain as European luxury sedans such as Mercedes and BMW.  The last Mercedes I owned, purchased new, was on its third engine when I dumped that P.O.S. after 10 years and 225,000 miles.  That should make your LS460 sound pretty good!

You might want to look for an independent Lexus repair facility if you are using the Lexus dealership.  $300/hour for labor is ridiculous.

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I purchased a 2008 LS460 with 60K miles with all services done at a dealership up until 2017. After that it sat in a garage and was driven around once a week. I went and did a pre-purchase check with a Lexus mechanic who has huge overhead and was originally told I needed all kinds of flushes, all new control arms, an alignment, brakes, spark plugs, tires etc. This was $5k worth of work for a car I was going to buy for $9k.

I did due diligence and took it to an alignment place who checked the control arms and stated that one was in need of changing in order to do the job. I also went to a shop the only works on Lexus and Toyota vehicles. They agreed with the alignment folks that one control arm needing changing. Their list was also extensive but didn't touch the first place.  The owner and mechanic was a mater mechanic for Lexus. By that point I was so stressed out I was willing to walk everywhere in California. 

Common sense slapped me in the face and I consulted The Manual. I compared their lists with what should be done at 40k-75k and compared it to what all three places were suggesting. Considering I trust very few when it comes to cars, I followed The Manual. I did everything it suggested and nothing more. I also took her to a Tire Shop (which I do every few weeks to check the pressure) and they said I'm good to drive for quite some time, so no money pouring out in that direction.

As others have stated before me, use your best judgement when buying. If it's too good to be true, it is. If the facts back up statements, you're golden. I had to make this decision to purchase by myself because my dad wanted me to grow and learn. I did and it was probably not so bad that there weren't too many posts about this car at the time. I learned that it's important to feel your car, know your car, love your car. 

Driving a Lexus IS a luxury. You pay luxury prices and your bottom gets to enjoy true comfort. I also find that nothing tops the gas guzzling V8. It gets the hell out of its own way. It's supremely quiet on the freeway and drives like a big boat. Is it practical at $62 per fill? No. I drive 10k miles a year max, so it works for me. If you take care of it, it will take care of you. 
 

Great car!

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