IS-F pull to the right - "working as designed" per Lexus of Austin
Appreciate Ricky's thorough documentation here: http://www.lexusfforum.com/forums/showpost.php?p=19326&postcount=45
Just got home from driving my 6K mile early '09 IS-F (build date 11/08)
100 miles south to North Park Lexus of San Antonio, the same dealership Ricky used to cure his issue. Why? Because Lexus of Austin failed to fix mine after several trips and explicit instruction. Word to the wise: don't waste your time trying to get Lexus of Austin to fix the pull.
Here's how I know...
TRIP 1 - 1/18/10 at 7 AM drop off my IS-F with notes, pre-printed TSIB docs, alignment specs and request to call me once it's up on the alignment rack to tell me the existing specs. I'd also asked for specs similar to RickyCRX.
9:30 AM I get call back from LOA, stating car doesn't pull.. and is "working as designed."
So I drive back down to LOA at lunch, drive the service tech down the same test roads,
and the car consistently drifts into the next lane
while driving in three different lanes across MoPac southbound freeway... and northbound (canceling any wind arguments) ...and up the service roads - "road crown" BS officially de-bunked. "Well, I see your point." I ask him what the specs were, and they HADN'T EVEN PUT IT ON THE RACK. Nice. "Working as designed" eh?
Never had this silliness from BMW dealers (or cars, for that matter - although the service experience is reminiscent of my Lotus Elise...)
So they agree to order the "brackets" / "bushings" Ricky & others have say fixes the caster, and have me bring the car back next Monday. Thanks for wasting my lunch hour because LOA failed to collect the information requested, and tried to push this off as a TADTS (They all do that, sir). Not feeling the luv.
TRIP 2 - 1/25 7 AM I bring the car back, to get the brackets / bushings installed. I'm a little leery since they never confirmed if they ordered a full set of - and + 20' versions of the brackets for both right and left sides. They call later that day and say the bushings are installed, citing the "after" specs which look good except for toe. No "before" specs were offered - the "after" printout was time-stamped at 10:49 AM. The only change of before & after on the 10:49 copy? Toe settings. Great.
I agree to pick it up, and notice it *still
on the way home. Joy.
Even better? The steering wheel is now cocked off-center
(...well, at least they did something, albeit WRONG, thus causing the steering wheel to be off-center now. Argh. Can't wait to try getting that fixed now...)
I call LOA on the way home to request another appointment, and right as I'm pulling into my driveway they return my call and ask me to bring it back and demo it, AGAIN to their service tech. So I trudge through 5 PM rush hour traffic back to the dealer, find a straight road and let the tech drive the car. He's constantly correcting the steering wheel from pulling into the next right lane. "Yes, that's the pull I'm talking about - does it whether accelerating, decelerating, cruising, and braking."
I suggest doing the Tire Rack diag, where they swap front left & right tires
& see if the pull goes to the other side (means bad tire is up front), then swap the rears & check to see if the pull goes to the other side (means bad tire is in rear). They take the car back and begin swapping wheels with another IS-F on their lot. Three days later they call with the results of their testing.
car pulls with my
wheels/tires, and also pulls with the other car's
the other car pulls with the other car's wheels/tires
and they say it therefore must be normal. Bring popcorn, it gets better...
They say to come pick up the car since "IT IS WORKING AS DESIGNED."
If that's the case, Lexus kind of missed the BMW M series benchmark there. Those cars don't run off into the ditches 2 seconds after releasing the steering wheel. (But don't get me wrong, their DCT is rubbish, as noted in C/D's 40K mile test, but I digress)
Come ON, Lexus. Really? Your halo model won't go in a straight line. Not cool. Actually, very
annoying. And the service team hiding behind TADTS ("They all do that, sir.") is utter cowardice
I'm stunned. Disappointed. I thought I bought a Lexus, not a Lotus. :-( Lotus service is so appalling, their forum has a smiley for TADTS. Suffice it to say I'm less than impressed with the Lexus experience.
To LOA's credit, they did provide me with a loaner car during these visits, which came in handy since I had to drive there during my lunch hours to do the service tech's job / call BS on the car not pulling.
So, I'm putting my faith in North Park Lexus of San Antonio, 100 miles south of me (vs. LOA being 7 miles away from my house). They had no loaner car available, so my wife had to drive down from Austin to San Antonio with me so I could get to Austin. I'm hoping North Park Lexus of San Antonio lives up to their reputation... which my assigned advisor quipped on our first call, "Yes, we get a lot of Austin cases that Lexus of Austin can't fix."
If they can hit the specs below, eliminate the pull, and straighten the wheel, I'll be thrilled beyond words, although it's costing $109 for an alignment since LOA used my "one alignment during first 12 months/12K miles" chip.
FRONT (left & right, matched evenly)
Camber -0.9 degrees
Caster >8 degrees
Toe 0.08 toe-in (edge of factory spec, since Lex/Toyota use big rubber bushings in suspension members, which flex when car's rolling and reduce toe-in)
Camber -.8 degrees
Toe 0.15 toe-in
I've asked them to call me with the specs on the car while on the rack before they change anything. Craig (lead tech) there is supposed to be very experienced, and from what Ricky says, they cured his car's pull 100%. Wish us luck; I'll post again with our results later this week (hopefully saving any IS owners in Austin the frustration and lost time of dealing with LOA)