New Lexus IS250 follow-up

In Gadgets, General by John2 Comments

My new Lexus IS250 is now 7 weeks old and it’s not yet up to 200 kms. But it’s already had an experience that I haven’t had for over 20 years.

Yesterday I called Lexus Roadside Service (read RACV) to check out a flapping noise, which seemed to come from the rear passenger side wheel. In the end the RACV engineer walked alongside my car while I drove it slowly, and he discovered that the problem was actually with the front passenger side wheel. It turned out to be a large bolt and washer buried in the tyre tread.

The RACV guy kindly fitted the space-saver wheel, as shown above, and I drove the car to Lexus where they fixed the punctured tyre, and replaced the wheel.

To put this in context, if this is the worst problem I’ll have this year, I’ll be very grateful. But the whole thing was very disappointing and disconcerting to have to call roadside service and take the car for urgent repairs while it’s still on it’s first tank of fuel.

That said, my initial impressions of the car are that I am enjoying the actual driving experience more than in any other car I’ve had since my 1957 Holden FE, and later, the 1960 Humber Super Snipe that I inherited in 1964. These are cars in which I drove about 10,000 miles a year – not a mere 6,000 kms in 4 years.

One thing that has surprised me is that I’ve noticed the new car has a noticeably more comfortable ride.  The 2006 car had a very hard and jarring ride in the local suburban side streets as it passed over minor irregularities in street surfaces (but it was quite smooth on main suburban roads).  The new car travels smoothly on the same suburban side streets.  I mentioned this to the young lady who was arranged the tyre repair on Monday, and her reply surprised me.

She explained that my 2006  Sports Luxury was fitted with Bridgestone tyres, whereas my new car is fitted with Dunlop tyres – and that is the reason for the difference.  So how’s that?

Comments

  1. Hi John,

    Very sorry to hear about your recent tyre drama BUT your total Lexus experience package came to the fore and smoothed everything over for you nicely.

    I have had several of those nasty bolts and nails over the years and it’s a real disappointment that someone else’s careless litter causes us the grief and $cost in my examples. That is why I take the time to pick up or relocate any such items on footpaths or gutters when I see them. But in downpours they can wash down the roads miles from their starting point, so it is luck of the draw I guess.

    Great to hear your fresh enjoyment of the new car and may it keep you safe and climatically controlled.

    I presume the true colour is still not reflected in your latest photo?

    Cheers, Ralph

    1. Author

      Ralph, you might have put your finger on the cause of my puncture. I first noticed it the flapping sound when I drove off from home on Thursday afternoon. The night before was a very windy night with heavy rain. It was actually very nice being safe and warm in bed hearing it all rage outside. In the morning, when I brought the rubbish bins in (for myself and neighbour) after the garbage collection, there was lots of paper rubbish strewn all over the road. My immediate suspicion when I first heard the flapping sound was that some of the rubbish had got caught up in the rear wheel on the passenger side (where the sound seemed to come from). The sound stopped after about 5 seconds before I reached a place to pull up, so I presumed all was well and continued on. I didn’t hear the sound again until Friday afternoon when I was driving home from the local shopping area. That led to me spending time on Saturday and Sunday trying to find the problem – but I was only looking at the rear tyres. I decided to drive down to Lexus of Brighton on Monday to ask them to have a look at it. But within 50 metres of leaving home the flapping sound became very alarming as there was now a strong metallic rattling sound. That’s when I rang Lexus Roadside Assistance, and the RACV arrived about 15-20 minutes later.

      You wrote that you guess (or suppose) that it’s the luck of the draw, and I suspect you might be right. I don’t really know when and where my front tyre ran over the bolt and washer. It’s the first time I’ve had a puncture since the Jam Factory days in the 1980’s, even though on many occasions over the years, I’ve had to drive over broken glass lying on the road from accidents.

      However, on this occasion there was some fortuitous luck. The only reason I didn’t drive to Lexus of Brighton on Monday (about 7 kms) was because of my concern over the rather frightening metallic rattling sound. When I drove the car around the block with the RACV guy, he noticed the flapping sound without raising an eyebrow, but as soon as the metallic sound began, he was obviously startled.

      Unlike me as the driver keeping my eyes on the road, the RACV guy was able to look around and he found that the metal sound was coming from a notice on the rear seat head rest on the passenger side. It was printed on a metallic paper, and was flapping violently (like rattling metal ball bearings) with the rear window open to better hear and locate the original flapping sound. So this little oddity which was not a problem, in reality, caused me so much concern that I called for assistance instead of driving to Brighton on a near flat front tyre (only 10 psi).

      As for the colour of the car, you’re right. The photo I took with my iPhone 3G of the space-saver tyre fitted shows the local environment reflections more than it does the colour of the car.

      Best wishes,
      John

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