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wrxmania 10-08-2016 10:15 PM

New (to me) Lexus GS450h
Well... after much debating and spending a while looking at 07-10 plate Honda Civic Type-R's, I realised that, actually something like a Lexus GS450h might be within my grasp.

Drove a GS450h years ago and was really impressed then, but way over my budget! It had everything - space, comfort and near silence on long journeys, outrageous performance (341bhp, 0-100 in 13 seconds etc), but could also do 40 MPG if needed, great specification, lots of interior room, and most importantly, brilliant reliability and superb service from Lexus dealers. It also has lots of great features - electric rear blind, memory seats, sat nav, Mark Levinson 14 speaker 5.1 surround sound system with DVD playback, heated and cooling seats, adaptive headlights, adaptive suspension, etc etc - and it's a hybrid so is great for both saving fuel and the most useful part f the hybrid system, the great boost in performance couple with almost instant throttle response.

Eventually, narrowed it down to a few, and after some negotiating with the dealer, trading in my wife's 14 year old 3 door Toyota Rav-4 (in VERY good condition) I drove from Central Scotland to 30 minutes from the Channel Tunnel to collect this car (430 miles). I stayed overnight after 300 miles, planning to collect the car the next day around noon, as it was being MOT'd and also some paintwork was being done on the boot lid the day I initially travelled. The car had a decent amount of paint done by the dealer for various dings, scruffiness to the bodywork and also a new front bumper as it was cracked.

However, it failed it's MOT, and I was due to collect it the next day! I was now 300 miles from home :( The parts (2 rear shocks) were only available from Lexus and would not be in stock until the day after I was due to collect.

After some negotiation and several phone calls to various dealers, we agreed to meet between the price the dealer could get them and fit them at, and the price I could get Lexus Edinburgh beside me to fit them for (with Lexus Owners Club discount). It also had a missing service book - which was OK as I had completed printouts and some receipts for everything (I also called and spoke to the previous owner - it's a 1 owner car - and he had to stop driving as he has parkinsons disease and said it was a marvellous car but "not the best in the body" so I was grateful the dealer had taken the hit with the paintwork repairs)! It also only has one key - the original owner and his wife are currently searching for this for me, but no luck yet (circa 250 from Lexus!!)

After all that rambling above, I finally picked up this November 2006, one owner, 71000 miles, GS450h in Mica Black with an ivory leather interior, at the end of July 2016. It looked in good shape, the wheels had just been refurbished to a reasonable standard (the original pictures had scuff on them and we agreed they'd be done as part of the deal). A few bits of the body work had not been assembled very well (arch liners, bumper clips) and a few minor masking issues, but overall the paintwork was actually pretty good. We agreed, I paid and off I drove.

Here are some pics of the car before collection from the dealer:

I then set about fuelling up (put in 53 to full as still had about 40 miles in the tank) and enjoyed a LONG journey home (total of around just under 600 miles that day) - hopefully worthwhile. When I got home I had covered this distance and this average MPG, from a 3.5l V6... :lol:

Overall an impressive car drives great, some things to sort, and some bits and bobs needed.

Some pics n the journey home:

Next jobs - Lexus for MOT resit and new rear suspension fitting and Major 100+ service.

wrxmania 10-08-2016 10:24 PM

The next day, I popped down to my local garage (the day before it was due to go into Lexus for warranty inspection, 100+ service, shock fitting and MOT).

On the MOT (that failed) it listed rear brake pads as getting low, and the parking brake nearing the end of it's travel. It also needed it's wheels balanced, following the refurb.

They took it that day, the pads were 30 but the total bill was 180 - 60 of that to balance my wheels!!! It is actually cheaper at Lexus!

However, it gave me more peace of mind, as the next day alongside all of the work, it was having a warranty inspection - although the car is 10 in November Lexus (and Toyota) will warrant any car up to 140,000 miles and 10 years, as long as the warranty starts before it is 10. I was buying 2 years warranty - at just 500 a year, which includes Lexus Roadside Assist (which is as comprehensive as the warranty and is full European Personal Membership for me AND my wife in any car), it was essential I got it under warranty to cover me for any big bills (and to get the car thoroughly checked).

So, Friday came, into Lexus and a LONG day waiting - but it passed, ZERO advisories on the MOT, full warranty now active and fully serviced! SUPERB news. Also discussed the service book and the missing key with them.

Should say, my Lexus Owners Club Membership (59 for 2 years) managed to save me nearly 250 off the bill at Lexus!

The service manager came to speak to me to say the technicians had been commenting on how clean the car was underneath and overall - which he said was unusual for them to mention anything about any car.

wrxmania 10-08-2016 10:35 PM

So, the inspection began in a bit more detail for me (first actual day I had the car as spent the first 2 days of ownership in various garages!).

The interior was very good, but the mats needed cleaned, as did the carpets in places with juice stains and all sorts. The boot was a heap, missing clips, filthy, a trim cover missing for the rear light inside, and a few scuffs. It also had a Road Angel fixed to the dash and a magnetic phone holder attached to one of the wooden trim panels. The electric memory seats did not have any function either, although the seats worked fine.

Job 1 - Phoned Lexus Tunbridge (who serviced it from new) and ordered a new service book - they are going to stamp it up and post to Lexus Edinburgh to do their bit :) cost 20
Job 2 - Ordered a boot liner (Rezaw Plast, Poland - great quality) cost 40
Job 3 - Order a rear bumper protector - this one came from Germany - 50, polished stainless.
Job 4 - Order new number plates (private plate to go on - just waiting for V5C), screws etc - smaller plate for the rear - 30
Job 5 - Buy small cover for under the child seat in the back - 8

Gave the car it quick clean 2BM, removed the phone holder, listed the road angel on eBay and did some parts research.

Ross 10-08-2016 10:40 PM

Nice car I like these a lot.

wrxmania 10-08-2016 10:42 PM

The next day, I had a better look around the bodywork, noticing some other minor issues, door shuts not very tidy for paint, a few chips, some swirling and scrapes on the roof, lots of small but annoying minor dents/bumps but overall pretty good.

Wheel refurb not perfect but will last a few years or until I decide to get them done better.

On moving the rear number plate noticed the bodyshop have not even bothered to polish behind it - that needs sorted - ordered a large rear plate as the small one will look awful until fixed- 8!

Ordered some Lexus touch-up paint - 10 delivered from Lexus

Bought LOADS of new products for the car - Collinite 476S, Poorboys Black Hole glaze, 303 Aerospace, cloths, microfibres, applicator pads, AS Tardis, an EZ wheel brush, Sonar Detailer (5L), iron/fallout remover, wash mitts, a new Nilfisk C110 pressure washer and a foam bottle/adaptor - it's like detailing Christmas time!!! Need to sort the garage as its a heap. Managed to get 15% off at Halfords (have a discount card for there from the Lexus Owners Club) - Meguairs Leather Conditioner (less than 7) and various other bits and bobs - that club membership has saved me a fortune so far!

Visited one of my local detailers and they are going to do a stage 1 machine polish full detail and work on the paintwork and scruffy bits for me (I have not yet dabbled in machine polishing yet). Booked in from Tuesday 9th August until Friday 12th August. All in, 250.

Also visited my local body shop - to fix the arch liners (the dealers bodyshop bolted them outside the bumper edge!), a missing bumper clip and to realign the front wing - 180 all in. Visited a different (better) bodyshop the next day - 56 + VAT - sorted - being done early September.

Lexus Owners Club member also came to my rescue and sent me (after checking the codes on the Lexus upgrade site) a 2016 Sat Nav DVD, which worked perfectly after I reset the ECU (disconnecting battery etc). Lexus cost = 130, owners club - zilch!

Also did the reset sequence and got my auto windows working again, and the electric memory seats working again too - after some searching online - they get reset when the car gets an ECU reset.

wrxmania 10-08-2016 10:47 PM

So, onto the interior.

Some pics of the mats and some of the marks (did not take huge amount of pics!):

You get the idea.

So attacked the inside with a 1:20 dilution of G101, which is great, and also Meguairs Gold Class Leather Cleaner and Conditioner. I then Scotch Guarded the mats and all of the interior carpets (forgot to do headlining!) All came up very well.

wrxmania 10-08-2016 10:54 PM

Next up, it was a trip to Hypertech Performance in Bonnybridge for a 4 wheel alignment set-up.

Proper alignment on their quality gear, sorted a few issues and noted the camber is not great, but not worrying (and said it causes zero issues) - would need to either fit some bits to adjust, or possibly change the bushes but it's well within Lexus tolerance so fine to leave! They also rotated my tyres for me.

Decided I needed a set of black mats for the car for winter, a boot trim, and some other bits and bobs - off the eBay!

After some negotiating and shopping around, I managed to bag the boot trim for 10 delivered and a set of mats for 30 delivered from a breakers in Lithuania. Done, and better than 110 for mats from Lexus (or cheap non-branded ones) and I don't even want to know how much the trim would be.

I also ordered various types if boot and bumper trim clips, to sort out some of the missing clips. Clips from Lexus are outrageously expensive.

Next up, I am planning to fit Winter Wheels to the car, so managed, with a bit of shopping around, and negotiating, to find a full set of Lexus GS450h wheels, in reasonable condition (3 with good matching tyres) for a brilliant 250 delivered. They are due this week. The wheels are just over 400 a piece from Lexus.

wrxmania 10-08-2016 11:01 PM

Currently the car is in with these guys getting it's stage 1 detail:

Shine Car Care

Just spoken to them and it needs a bit more work than they saw after first inspection, now that it's cleaned & clayed. He noticed there were deep pig tails all over the bodywork (caused by the bodyshop using a dirty or worn polishing pad) that need another level of detail so he is spending an extra full day doing a second stage of machine polishing on it to get it as spot on as it will go. All asked them to work on some scuffs on the sills, under the front bumper (from a pavement the other day - doh), the headlights, behind the rear number plate and also the roof.

I am really hopeful the car comes back to me in much improved condition - it already did not look like an (almost) 10 year old car, but now it should look VERY good, especially as I keep working away at it.

He has taken some pics and a video too for me - I'll get those uploaded when I get them too!

My service book is also now fully stamped up and in the post to me. Once the V5 arrives, I'll get into Lexus with it, and get a new key ordered up as it's not looking likely the original owner will find it. I'll be using my Lexus Owners Club discount card again to save me cash!

Tried out the new Nifisk pressure washer - MUCH better than my (ready to start leaking again) Karcher. This is Autosmart HD Foamwash (about 2cm in the foam bottle, 2/3rds full with warm water):

wrxmania 10-08-2016 11:26 PM

As my car was in the garage today and I am on holiday I spent 4 hours yesterday and another 4 today (dodging the Scottish rain) cleaning my wife's Rav 4.

It has quite a few paintwork swirls, scuffs and chips, but after touching in dozens of chips I then went through the following process:

Interior Hoovered
Mats cleaned with G101 and dried
Interior protected with Scotchguard Spray

Foamed (HD Autosmart)
Washed (HD Autowash)
Dried with super drying towels I bought in a group buy on here years ago, but can't remember make
2 coats of PB Black Hole Glaze
1 coat of PB EXP Sealant
2 coats of Collimate 476S wax
1 coat of PB Natty's Blue
Wheels cleaned and 1 coat of PB Wheel Sealant

Still to do:

Tyres (Meguairs)
Exterior Plastics (303 Aerospace)
Interior Plastics (303 Aerospace)
Glass (this stuff - it's great - Surface Sealant

Some pics:

Of course - the rain came on stopping play as it was piling down for the next 10 hours!

Still, some nice beading shots :)

ibiza55 10-08-2016 11:57 PM

Like your Lexus very much, looks a very solid looking motor, I guess they don't get a highly reputable name by chance

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