Is tire rotation necessary on the 2018 Lexus IS 300 AWD Fsport?

Hello CarTalk community.

So my 2018 Lexus IS AWD FSPORT sedan has different size tires in the front and in the back from factory. This makes it impossible to rotate the tires from front to back. However, google says I should rotate from right front to left front every 5k miles. Is this necessary ?

Also, Lexus dealership charges a lot for their services. Is it okay to take the car to Toyota for services instead ?

Today Lexus told me that their price for back brake and rotor is $700. Mavis quoted me their price at $360 with the same OEM parts if I buy them directly from Lexus and bring them to mavis for installation.

So I’m not happy using Lexus services because of their high costs.

Rotating the tires side-to-side offers little benefit, for the amount you pay for the services you might achieve an additional 3,000 miles of tire life.

The replacement parts cost $320 unless you buy from an on-line discount Lexus dealer. Mavis tires will charge you $360 to install your parts? Rear brakes last the life of the car, is this because of rusty brake rotors causing noise or is the quote for the front?

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But he’ll save a whole $20, that has got to be worth the extra hassle of getting parts at one place and having another shop do the labor.

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Thank you for your response.

Lexus told me it’s $188 for the rear brake and rotor ( unless I misunderstood which is possible ). Mavis says they’ll install them for $130. I forgot what other service is needed. But total was estimated at $360. Parts and labor.

Yes, the rotors got rust they said. The back brake is at 5mm. And the front 7mm.

Again, thank you.

The MSRP for the rear brake rotors are $112 each.

Brake pad measurement of 5 mm is not an urgent repair, 1 mm is minimum, and 3 mm is often the recommended replacement thickness.

Based on your answer, I think Lexus was referring to two rotors and brake pads. So you are right.

320 divided by 2 = 160.
130 to install at mavis tires.
That’s $450 before tax.

Still a lot cheaper than Lexus’s price of $700.

Front to rear tire rotation is very important. The fronts do different things than the rears, so they wear differently. Front to rear tire rotations balances the wear out so the tires wear more evenly and at about the same rate.

Cross rotation is helpful, but doesn’t have nearly the benefit, because the differences in what tires do isn’t much different side to side.

In cases where you CAN’T rotate tires front to rear, a side to side rotation has a bit of benefit, but it may not be worth the expense

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Yes, some cars come with staggered wheels My Mustang came with them from the factory. They proved annoying and expensive ( a new set of tires every year at about $1100-ish a set), I eventually bought a set of “square” wheels (all the same size). A set of tires now lasts 3x times longer. A worthy investment IMHO.

What does your owner’s manual say? I never bothered on my car as the tires are/were directional meaning you’d have to dismount and remount them, which doesn’t make financial sense at all.

You bought a luxury car, you should be prepared to pay luxury car upkeep costs. Toyota doesn’t have a direct model opposite of the IS. So they may or may not be able to service the car. Some Lexi , like the ES shares most of it’s mechanical bits with the Avalon/Camry so in that situation it’s probably doable. But the IS’s corresponding Toyota model isn’t sold in the U.S.

Don’t know who or what Mavis is, but I wouldn’t take any car to a chain automotive repair/service. Also this may or may not be a deal if the Lexus price includes the parts.

Then why did you buy a luxury car?


Throw in another wrench into the mix…

Directional tires… Different sizes front to rear, performance tires (or wheels!) with specific rotation directions! No rotation is possible at all!

An example is the 1985 Corvette with the Z51 handling option. Directional wheels, different size wheels front to rear but the same size tires all around!


I forgot about those. What was the rationale behind that?

Clueless spent money to lower a Toyota Camry because she did not like the gap between the top of the tires and the fenders . Now she is complaining about the cost to maintain a luxury vehicle !

If she buys the parts at one place and has the work done at another if the parts are defective she will pay more labor charges to solve the problem.

It’s a chain of tire shops located in part of The Northeast. A couple of years ago, along with their usual annual tire ratings, Consumer Reports also listed a ranking of tire stores/chains, based on customer satisfaction ratings. Mavis was rated dead last among all tire retailers in The US. Recently, somebody posted his tale of woe with Mavis in this forum, and I had to say that I wasn’t surprised.


Thank you for your response. I appreciate it.

I would like to answer your question on why I bought a luxury car if I weren’t prepared to spend luxury maintenance.

The Lexus IS was always my favorite sedan and I hesitated to buy one for several years because of fear it might cost an arm and a leg to service. However, after test driving one for the first time and immediately realized it perfectly supports my problematic back, I began asking questions around.

I asked if it was expensive to maintain and everyone I asked would tell me no; that it would be the same as maintaining my previous Camry as the Lexus IS is a glorified Toyota.

Medically, I had to get this car. The seats hug the side of my back and help me stay in position as I drive. Since the purchase, I haven’t had another back pain while driving.

Local repair shops around where I am are quoting me much cheaper prices on upkeep compared to Lexus dealership. The difference is so big that I feel uncomfortable servicing the car at Lexus.

For a simple back brake job they are charging $700. Everywhere else is charging $400 - $450. And we are using the same OEM parts.

I got my oil changed at Toyota for $109. Lexus wanted $145. The same synthetic oil.

So I’m thinking to myself must I bring my car to Lexus just because it is a Lexus ? Am I foolish for buying a Lexus if I am not planning to use Lexus to service it ?

Styling and handling. Styling dictated the wheel design…the “fan” shape of the wheel slots…

And the rear wheel was 1 inch wider than the front because the handling guys wanted the 9.5 inchers all around but the front suspension engineer did not want to do the work to qualify the wheel because he said it wouldn’t fit… it DID fit. But the Z51 was sold with 8.5/9.5 front/rear wheels that were also left right with the biggest tires Goodyear made at the time… the 255/50/16

As some who has had a litany of Volvos, a Jag, and a Benz in the family fleet, you’re correct that your Lexus should be about as reliable as a typical Toyota (which is usually very good). However, because it’s positioned above the typical Toyota in the marketplace, it’s upkeep costs are going to be somewhat higher, but not as high as it’s European rivals. It’s just part of the deal. With that said, you don’t have to take it to Lexus to get it serviced, especially if you aren’t overly concerned with resale value. However, I don’t think taking your car to the cheapest chain franchise you can find is particularly good economy either.

My mother rarely takes her Mercedes to the dealer, for the same reason you don’t want to take your Lexus to the Lexus dealer. Instead, she asks/tells me to service her car, which I do, because I’m not letting a dealership charge my mom $400 to change the oil,oil filter, and air filters. She’s also not concerned about ever selling the the car, because it’s already hit rock bottom in deprecation and it’s not her primary vehicle anyway. She has a Toyota for for that.

Fun fact about the Lexus IS; it’s corresponding Toyota model is the Toyota Mark X, which was never sold in the US.

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If the car is out of the original factory warranty period, you can take it wherever you like to be serviced. If it’s still within the factory warranty period, you can take it to a non-dealer, but it’s not advised unless you’re going to keep all your receipts.

But really, it’s that simple. Don’t overthink it.

I found a good independent Lexus/Toyota shop to maintain my ES300, there’s no secrets on how to do a good brake job.

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