What do I need to know about caring for my Lexus IS?

Hello everyone.

First, I want to thank you all for helping me tremendously in the past with caring for my 2012 Toyota Camry SE. I’m blessed to have found this forum and the knowledgeable and experienced members here. You guys are awesome!

In 2020, on November 26th, I traded the Camry for a 2018 Lexus IS 300 AWD F-Sport with 28k miles on the clock for $28,000 here in NY at the dealership.

The price was astonishingly low, so I asked to see the car-fax and saw that the car had been in a minor accident where one of the mirrors’s shell is cracked, the rear bumper was replaced or repaired by Lexus, and that the car was involved in an accident with another car.

I hesitated to buy at first but people were saying that minor accident reports are simply dents and cosmetic stuff and that I didn’t need to worry.

Of course, I had the option to purchase a private inspector to inspect the car but the car looked so good cosmetically and the crack on the mirror’s shell was hard to notice. And it being a Lexus I thought I could gamble again on the purchase like I did on the Camry, so that’s what happened.

I’ve had the car now for 17 months and the battery died on me last week at 42k miles ( I’m pretty shocked that I’ve driven the car this much since purchasing it, as I normally drive only 7000 miles a year).

The battery was replaced yesterday, as well as the brake fluid, and an oil change. The oil has been excessively changed 3 times since I bought it ( Yes, I know, I didn’t need to change so often, but I’m a little paranoid with this car). I also changed all 4 tires. And the front brake pads are 7mm and the rear 5mm.

Carfax showed how the previous owner cared for the car. The car was serviced at Lexus during its lease terms on time.

I haven’t ran into any issues with the car so far. It drives comfortably and has decent power. However, I was told that the rotors need to be replaced due to rust.

They also said I need HVAC SYSTEM TUNE UP. CLEAN/disinfect SVC. Is this necessary?


And lastly, does this particular car have a timing belt or timing chain ?

It’s a v6.

The user manual is very thick. I already despise reading thick books. So please bare with me.

If there is anything you think I need to know, please share.

Thank you very much.

At least you could look at the maintenance section . You don’t have to read all of it at one time .


I’m skeptical of this. Has it been driven a lot on salted roads?
Do the brakes work quietly?
A little rust on areas other than where the pads make contact is not an issue.
Rotors normally last at least as long as the pads.

I wouldn’t do this until 100k miles, unless there’s driveability issues.
And it appears there’s not:

Only thing extra I would do at this point is to change (drain & refill, not flush!) the transmission and differential fluids.


These are unnecessary (unless there’s an actual problem) add-ons that many dealers (and some shops) will push. Your best defense is to read the maintenance schedule section of the owners manual (it might even be a separate pamphlet) and before each service make a list of the work actually needed.


Yes. The brakes work quietly. There are no issues with the brakes. The previous owner drove on salted road in Connecticut. I hardly drive in the snow.

I was told by the dealer when purchasing the car in 2020 that they had recently replaced the front brake pads.

I read on other forums specifically about my car that brake pads, rotors and tires go rather quickly on the Lexus IS, with most people changing pads around 20,000 miles as well as for tires.

I’m not sure why is this. Maybe due to the weight of this car? I wish I knew this before purchasing the car.

I took my car to mavis for new continental tires and their mechanics didn’t say anything about the rotors needing replaced like Lexus did.

Your car has a timing chain. The 3.5 L engine has direct injection, and intake valves on DI engines can get coked up. This engine uses both direct injection and port injection though. It uses direct injection only under heavy loads. Since there is port injection, the back of the valves are much less likely to get coked up and the induction cleaning at this point won’t help you at all. As pointed out above, don’t do that service unless you notice drivability issues.

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Suggest to continue w/the more frequently than recommended oil and filter changes. Can only help, will never hurt as long as done correctly. Always look for oil leaks under the car & check the dipstick before leaving the shop after this is done, and again in your driveway the next morning. Otherwise I think you are good to go. I wouldn’t do any of those things mentioned unless there were coinciding performance or drivability problems that you notice. If you’re going to do something optional maintenance-wise, I’d focus on a routine transmission service and a thorough check of the engine cooling system. But those aren’t really needed at this point. Just enjoy your new drive.

Parking your car in a garage, and out of the direct sunshine whenever possible, and hosing it down from time to time to keep the dust off the paint will help preserve its appearance.

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This only something that should be done among friends.

Pretty much agree with the others but emphasize trans fluid change every 30,000. Rotors are bare metal so they rust. Any rust on the face will be removed when the brakes are applied. There is no need to worry about rust on the rest of the rotor unless it is falling apart. I normally replace rotors when I replace the pads but not totally necessary depending on cost. Some can be very expensive. As far as the HVAC tune up, I don’t know what they mean unless it is checking the refrigerant level and maybe cleaning the coils to prevent an Oder. I’d pass on that.

You should develop a trust relationship though with the dealer so if you don’t trust this one, maybe another dealer would be better.