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The Lexus IS name has undergone significant changes since its initial release. First released in 1999, the Lexus IS was sold in the United States as one model, the IS300. Powered by the famous Toyota 2JZ engine, the IS300 is an unsung hero of the early 2000s. The Lexus IS is now available in three main models. It starts with the IS300, which is powered by a turbo four-cylinder. Middle of the road is the IS350, powered by a V6, and the IS500, powered by a monstrous V8. A fan favorite in Lexus performance, the IS series isn’t without issues. Here are the three most common Lexus IS problems.

Inside rearview mirror discoloration

2014 Lexus IS350 Gray
2014 Lexus IS350 | Lexus

Although it isn’t anything detrimental, a fading mirror is an annoying repair. Across all models of the Lexus IS from 2006 to 2010, RepairPal has hundreds of reports from owners of the issue. The build quality of the mirror glass causes discoloration. As it heats up, it will contort and fade. It may start as something small, but it can quickly become an issue as the rearview mirror is an essential part of any vehicle. Somehow, the side mirrors aren’t affected in the same way. 

Even with all of the reports, there is no recall for this issue. Lexus does have a revised version of the rearview mirror available. However, the cost of the mirror and repair can be upwards of $400, as a mirror is nearly $200. With no warranty item or recall available, many owners resort to leaving the mirror in place, as the wiring inside makes it more difficult for a DIY replacement.

Clicking noise from the rear suspension

2014 Lexus IS350 rear
2014 Lexus IS350 | Lexus

Again, nothing that is inherently bad but could cause issues later on, is a clicking noise from the rear suspension. Affecting the Lexus IS models from 2006 up until 2015, many owners report this issue. The average mileage of the cars involved is around 100,000 miles, which most cars have hit at this point. The diagnosis cost for the problem is usually $110, with repairs being close to $1000. Suspension noises can be tricky, as bad bushings, old coil springs, or worn-out struts cause them. 

Across the models, this issue has no recalls or warranty coverage. Considering it is so broad, it would be hard to narrow down exactly why a clicking noise occurs. Most owners replace worn bushings or the coilover assembly entirely to remedy the issue.

Check Engine light with three codes

2014 Lexus IS350 silver
2014 Lexus IS350 | Lexus

How Reliable Is a Used 2017 Lexus IS350?

Lastly, the most common problem reported is a check engine light with three standard codes. The issue presents itself in 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2010 Lexus IS250 and 350. When a check engine light illuminates, it is always a good idea to get the code scanned to see if there is a more pressing issue you need to repair. For the Lexus IS, the common codes are P0751, P2714, and P0894. In most cases, the codes pop up under false readings, and the leading cause is a bad power control module or PCM. 

To replace the PCM is a simple plug-and-play endeavor, but diagnosing it is a different story. It is best to take it to a mechanic who can tell you for sure, as the PCM costs anywhere from $560 to $1828, depending on the model of the luxury sedan you have.

Are Lexus IS reliable cars?

Overall, the Lexus IS series is still extremely reliable. Considering that Lexus is the luxury vision of Toyota, the dependability carries over. RepairPal gives Lexus a rating of 4.0 out of 5.0 in reliability. If you are shopping for a Lexus IS and want to avoid the most common issues, stick with a first or third-generation model, and you will skip the potential headaches.