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ISF problems


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Greetings Lads,

I'm seriously looking at buying an ISF, seen a few on carsales sites, prices are within my range.

Can anyone tell me what issues or problems this model has. I'd like to be well informed before taking the plunge. 


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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi, I've had my MY11 2010 for just over 2 years, no major problems. I had a transmission wire loom connector that had a hairline crack in the molding that allowed transmission fluid to electrics that tripped CEL and sent the trans into limp mode. A new genuine part was only around $50 and Lexus fitted it in 30 mins or so. I couldn't see that this was a known issue on forums so just bad luck.

Some forums talk of valley plate gasket leaks which is a decent job to get done, no issues with mine. On the US forum I think I saw a few threads on water pump failures (easy fix for a new one as it can be accessed at front of engine without taking cam chain and cam covers off). Again no probs with mine.

Inner front tyre wear from soft bushings is a common forum thread, again this can be fixed with after market upgrades or RCF bushings.

All forums say ISFs are reliable like most Lexus' of that era, 'bullet proof' is term thrown up for Lexus of that era. Compared say to M3 or C63 that I have read have some known potential engine problems. Then again any piece of machinery requires maintenance to operate to specification, of course the level of engineering or over-engineering will have an impact of tolerance of various parts functioning to spec if there is a lack of maintenance or constant use a the higher end of machinery operating envelope eg track use warrants more frequent maintenance/higher spec consumables.

Parts prices can be high from dealers, so shop around on eBay and the usual internet third party sites for cheaper genuine or OEM rated parts. This forum put me onto Amayama for Toyota/Lexus and I already used RockAuto.

I am very happy with mine although the previous owner did invest in good modifications - headers, exhaust, ECU remap, suspension, intake, throttle controller.

Interior/trim seems to hold up quite well, as with any seats that have decent bolster these get squashed but the leather on mine hasn't scrubbed away.

I think it was MY10 onwards that went to mechanical torsen LSD, prior to this it was an electronic 'LSD" that used the rear ABS sensors maybe to brake the spinning wheel.

There a probably threads on this and overseas forums with more information too. I am not on Facebook but I have seen reference to material on there which is frequented a lot more than this forum.

Goodl luck shopping.

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1- Valley plate leak = around 1200 AUD from chatswood lexus

2. Rocker cover gasket leaks (becoming a problem)

3. Transmission service ( needs a proper flush not a drain refill)

4. Headers cracking (going after market PPE or novel will fix it and with more power)

thats about it for the major common problems

rest of the problems will be all user error or wear and tear

some cars are kept it good nick (caring onwers)

basicly if you go tightass on maintanence on a ISF it will show sooner or later

if you do everything properly using genuine parts its reliable as a camry other than the 4 points that i have pointed out

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