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Old 02-09-16, 05:57 PM   #1
Martinzr5
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Question new to lexus

Hello everyone my name is zach and im looking at buying a 1st gen lexus. im thinking in the year range of 2001-2003 lexus is300. i dont know much about maintaining a lexus this old as most of them have some substantial miliage on them. i plan on babying this car and modding it so i dont want it crapping out on me before i get the chance. im going to get the automatic inline 6 just need some information on what oil to use and spark plugs that run best on this car. any information to help me baby my car and kee running in the best condition possible will be well appreciated.
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Old 02-09-16, 06:47 PM   #2
mmarshall
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Welcome to CL.

The 1Gen IS was extremely well built (I owned one) and was one of the most reliable products Lexus ever built. But it was not without its weak points. The 3.0L in-line six guzzled premium gas like a V8. The automatic transmission sometimes hiccuped or flared now and then on 2nd-3rd upshifts, even after a factory-approved ECU reprogramming. Rolling acceleration from slow speeds sometimes exposed hesitation from quirks in the throttle-by-wire system. And the shift-lever itself, though with a nice snappy-positive action and the chrome ball, also had a few quirks in how the designers designed the shift-gate itself. Other than that, though, it was a superbly-built car, although by now the latest ones (2005) are now some 11 years old....so expect wear. You'll probably have to replace some things.

If you want to avoid those automatic-transmission issues, of course, you can look for a 5-speed manual version, but much fewer of them were built than automatics.

As far as oil and spark plugs go, it is usually best to use what is recommended in the Owners' Manual unless circumstances dictate otherwise. One exception would be if your car has enough wear on the engine to be significantly affecting oil consumption. Then, sometimes, high-mileage oil can help, as it is a little thicker in viscosity, with different additives, and won't leak out through openings or blow by worn rings/valves/bearings as fast. But with thicker oil, starting at low temperatures could be more difficult for the battery and starter-motor (more drag), and it could also affect gas mileage, depending on the wear-stage of the engine and outside temperatures.

Last edited by mmarshall; 02-09-16 at 06:58 PM.
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Old 02-10-16, 02:34 AM   #3
Stroock639
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aren't you sort of contradicting yourself by trying to baby it while modding it lol...

really the only thing to do is keep up the maintainence, don't put crap gas into it, and be extra gentle the first 15-20 minutes when oil and fluids are still cold. and as long as the throttle cable isn't loose there really shouldn't be any hesitation (as was described above)
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Old 02-10-16, 04:24 AM   #4
Martinzr5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmarshall View Post
Welcome to CL.

The 1Gen IS was extremely well built (I owned one) and was one of the most reliable products Lexus ever built. But it was not without its weak points. The 3.0L in-line six guzzled premium gas like a V8. The automatic transmission sometimes hiccuped or flared now and then on 2nd-3rd upshifts, even after a factory-approved ECU reprogramming. Rolling acceleration from slow speeds sometimes exposed hesitation from quirks in the throttle-by-wire system. And the shift-lever itself, though with a nice snappy-positive action and the chrome ball, also had a few quirks in how the designers designed the shift-gate itself. Other than that, though, it was a superbly-built car, although by now the latest ones (2005) are now some 11 years old....so expect wear. You'll probably have to replace some things.

If you want to avoid those automatic-transmission issues, of course, you can look for a 5-speed manual version, but much fewer of them were built than automatics.

As far as oil and spark plugs go, it is usually best to use what is recommended in the Owners' Manual unless circumstances dictate otherwise. One exception would be if your car has enough wear on the engine to be significantly affecting oil consumption. Then, sometimes, high-mileage oil can help, as it is a little thicker in viscosity, with different additives, and won't leak out through openings or blow by worn rings/valves/bearings as fast. But with thicker oil, starting at low temperatures could be more difficult for the battery and starter-motor (more drag), and it could also affect gas mileage, depending on the wear-stage of the engine and outside temperatures.
Thank you very much for the information I'll keep that all in mind when purchasing my new lexus and I will post on here when I have the car and post the miles and everything so I can get a more specific help on my year model. I was just looking for things I should look out for and if thus would be a good first car to start as a project car even with buying it at high miles and a reliable daily driver.
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