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Lexus LS 400/LS 430

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  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Mostly I empower/authorize my employees to do the very best work they possibly can. Occassionaly I tweak the company's trimtab vernier.

    Although I am no longer on the company payroll I do get to sleep with the BOSS.

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  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,677
    Some great achievements. Congratulations on them. I wish you could get Flint 350 and I some time with the Hubble.

    Honestly I don't have that A/C problem and I always have the climate control set to auto. Can't remember having that problem on the 95 or 98 LS400's nor is it a problem on the LX470.

    Do we assume the Boss fired you and gave you a good consulting deal.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    She couldn't afford me, except....

    I'm too willing!
  • nofeernofeer Posts: 380
    when i leased my ls i thought i had the 16', now i look at they are 17 225 55 17 at 23k miles i may have another 5-8k miles left so i'm looking for replacements.
    sam's wants 150-200+ per tire, tirerack notmuch better what others will fit.
    how about 225 60 17? will that work. 60 vs 55 aspect
    Suggestions????
  • vchengvcheng Posts: 1,284
    Visit http://www.dsm.org/tools/tiresize.htm for a tire size calculator that will give you an idea of what replacement sizes would work.

    Based on this an adequate replacment for 225/55/17 tires would be 205/60/16, but this would be a fairly narrow tire for summer or all season use. 225/50/17 would be close but not ideal replacement size. 225/60/17 tires might work, but would cause a roughly 8-10% speedometer error. This may work, but I would suggest keeeping the change in rolling diameter to within 5%.
  • feverhartfeverhart Posts: 144
    flint, I understand your position and it used to be mine, too. Now it's no contest; just think about it and consider all ramifications and trust that you are not the next innocent victim.

    fredeverhart@comcast.net
  • gteach26gteach26 Posts: 576
    this week's autospies.com -- they have a short article on the newly re-skinned 2004 LS due out this year.
  • bluex19bluex19 Posts: 10
    WWest comented on the Bridgestone Turanza tires as the best tires for a LS400 type of a car (my is a perfect condition 1995 with 65000 miles) and the question is especially for you WWest. Thank you.

    Currently I have Michelin MXV4 Plus tires but unfortunately on the way back from North Carolina to Atlanta a side of one of the tires was raptured - likely due to an object on the road. The tires have 15000 miles.

    1. Would it be appropriate to install a single new tire.

    2. If installing all 4 new tires is advisable then I am considering Bridgestone turanzas. I am happy with the Michelins but I suspect that they are not the quietest.

    Which turanza would be best:

    Turanza 225/60-16 LS-H
    Turanza 225/60-16 LS-V
    Turanza 225/60-16 ER33 (OEM)
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    put two new michelins on the rear.
  • feverhartfeverhart Posts: 144
    The MXV4 plus is a very good tire. I've used them. In my experience, the Turanza proved better for my purposes. I put the Turanza LS-H on my wife's LS400. She is thrilled with the diference compared to the OE. Both the V and H have tread wear rating of 400. The V may give a little better performance. (check out Tirerack's (tirerack.com)survey on this tire)

    I recently upgraded the tires on my LS430's 17 inch rims. Sadly, the Turanza LS series offers no 225-55-17 tires. The LS-V would have been my choice.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Full set over on ebay off a MY2000 GS300, Turanzas, BBS RX chrome.

    Shouldn't that turanza size fit your 17 wheels?
  • londinelondine Posts: 32
    Have a somewhat unusual question for this LS board.

    I'm considering buying a new '03 ES 300 -- $35, $39k if I get the ML/Nav option.

    Nice car.

    But here's my question. I could also buy a used (certified) LS 400, '99 or 2000, low mileage -- for the same price range.

    Both probably pretty good options, but any thoughts on which might be the better way to go? Pros and cons?
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    LS400 is RWD, less hazardous on adverse roadbed conditions.
  • bluestar1bluestar1 Posts: 112
    ES300 - polarizing new facia, 6-cylinder, 220hp, Camry-based, FWD, pretensious luxury, mid-sized

    LS400 - V8, 290 real ponies, 300Ibft of torque, vvt-i, 5-spd, very fast, smooth, quiet, luxurious without pretensions, RWD, full-size, ultimate in refinement from Toyota/Lexus.

    A low mileage CPO LS400 ('99 or '00) fully loaded Nav/HID/heated seats/etc.. should price in the mid-30's. Worth every cent. Unless you like the smell of a new car.... Always buy higher not lower, IMHO.
  • edarteedarte Posts: 41
    Just got my 2001 LS430 back from the shop. About two weeks ago "Check VSC" warning message came on. Dealer had problems getting it corrected - took them 9 days!!! I have just now tried the car out in some recent snow and question if they solved the problem or just disabled the VSC.

    Prior to the check VSC message, whenever I was on some snow or ice and tried some turns that were too aggressive the VSC would kick in and the VSC chime would sound. Tonight, no matter what I tried in the snow, nothing happened, no chime - no dash warning icon.

    So I am wondering if my dealer is dumb enough to try something like disabling the vsc or am I missing something? Any suggestions?
  • JBaumgartJBaumgart Posts: 890
    I don't own a LS but just a suggestion: is there a switch or button that you can use to enable/disable the VSC? If so this may restore the operation to the previous condition. Otherwise I would read the owners manual on this function and if your car does not respond the way it's supposed to then I would have the dealer try again.
  • jsb16jsb16 Posts: 64
    I would agree that the better car is the used LS. I bought a 90 LS in 1992 and am still driving it today. I don't quite understand the idea of the ES being more "pretentious". Even as a happy LS owner, I still think the ES, which I drive as a service loaner each year, is a nice luxury car. I made this same decision in 1992 when I chose a used LS over the first model year ES. That was before they had a certified program and I have no regrets. Not only do you now have to pay some premium for the "certified" distinction but I would wonder about buying a non-certified vehicle from a Lexus shop wondering why they thought a particular 3 year old car didn't merit certification.
  • edarteedarte Posts: 41
    Yes there is a switch and when the "check VSC" message came on it did not matter what position the switch was in; the VSC did not come on.

    After the repair the switch toggled the dash display between on and off. So the switch now does have an effect. Last night I know I had the switch in the on position.

    Today (now even more snow here in Illinois than last night) I did detect that the VSC might be doing something but still no chime - instead a very faint buzzer sound came on when the VSC started to kick in and the swerving car icon comes on on the dash.

    I am wondering if the software change that the dealer said they had to do has the effect of not kicking in the VSC as soon and switched the warning sound from a chime to a buzzer. My 2001 was a relatively early model; perhaps later releases of the S/W changed the sound and the point of correction?
  • JBaumgartJBaumgart Posts: 890
    I guess you'll just have to ask your dealer if the software update was supposed to include a change in the audible tone you're getting from the previous chime to the faint buzzer sound. I can't imagine why it would also include a DELAY in the response time when it activates. I have however read several vehicle reviews that were critical of VSC systems that were too obtrusive, coming on too strongly in situations where they were not needed for a good driver to maintain speed and control. It's possible that the new program that the dealer installed attempts to remedy this, or as you suspect it's also possible that the new "fix" left you with a system that's only semi-operational.

    As a footnote I have an Audi allroad quattro (AWD) with winter tires, and on mine it's pretty difficult to get the system to activate, even on snow-covered roads. If I purposely use too much throttle around a sharp curve, and try to get the vehicle to "slide" around it, the VSC button on the dash will blink real fast and I can feel and hear the system activate as a type of "clatter" which I believe is the ABS applying braking pressure to the wheel(s) losing traction. Bear in mind that I've done this only as a way to test it out in situations where there was no traffic - otherwise I drive quite conservatively, especially in slippery conditions (which we get plenty of here in Minnesota!).
  • Coming from a 99 GS 300 it's time to upgrade to an LS. Drove a 2000 one with air suspension and Nakamichi (my GS had the Nak) and then an 01 with Nav and Levinson. Wow, these cars are the nicest driving, quietest, bank vault solid cars I have ever been in. I liked the 01 better for the features and the way it drove. It is so quiet and smooth. This one was white with ivory and I was only there to try them out and not to buy. Sales man was very patient and understanding. I asked about an update and he said for 04 the front end is going to be freshened up and a total new design for the 06 model year. ANyway, gotta start checking out the used classifieds for 01 and 02's with Nav and Lev. I asked about the black cherry color and he says even though it is very popular and sought after, Lexus only buids a small percentage of them in that color as well as the dark blue and pine green. I say wake up Lexus, build them if the customer wants those colors. He said by far the most popular at least here in Seattle is the white, silver, and black colors. I have also seen quite a few of the light green and never a light blue one. Anyway, just thought I would add my thoughts after being an avid reader of the board for weeks. Oh yes, the 2000 was a nice car too and drove flawlessly and both cars had about 30K on them and were certified.
  • helmarhelmar Posts: 15
    I've had my '03 LS430 for a week now.

    When I asked my dealer for a list of settings that can be changed by the dealer, I was surprised to learn that no such list exists.

    The owner must read through the manual (418 pages) and look for “Ask your Lexus dealer for options” comments.

    Here’s a link to a list of settable options:

    http://home.attbi.com/~benandmarsha/LS430.htm

    Fortunately, the navigation system doesn't require such a list. All options are viewable and settable by the owner.
  • vchengvcheng Posts: 1,284
    There is more complete list based on images off a Lexus TSB that list all the CBEST settings for several models over at clublexus.com which I have used for some changes.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,677
    Well - I called my salesman the other day as I have an LS and LX coming off lease by January and family members want to buy them out at lease end if I don't do so. For those who may be in the same situation with family or friends his answer was that it would not be a problem.

    Anyway I asked about the LS430 restyle rumor and his answer was there would definitely be a front-end restyle to a more sporty look in 2004. As well AWD would almost certainly be an option (this is not yet definite but a 80-90% certainty). 18" wheels may also be an option as will a 360hp engine. The latter may be packaged into a separate Euro suspension option at first, and then the 360hp engine would likely be offered on the base suspension model a bit later. They will also likely tweak the current engine to get the HP up to 310 or so.

    There will be a major re-design in 2006 with short and long wheelbases. The LX470 will also be redone completely in 2006 on the Sequoia platform as a superlux SUV. In my opinion it already is one.

    On leases - an interesting game is being played. The interest rates have dropped so low that Lexus (as well as everyone else) has reduced the residuals particularly on SUV's. This may be the reason that the new GX470 (as per posters on that board)is getting only a 55% residual value in 3 year or 39 month deals. With lower rates they don't have to roll the dice on residuals for the time being. You still benefit from a lower payment than before, say in 2001 - just not as low as it could have gone. So that brings into question whether to buy or lease and buy after 3 years. With a low residual a buyout after a three year lease may be a better option than buying up front. At the same time it provides the luxury of making a decision to re-up on a new lease or buyout at lease end.

    The new GX470 - for anyone interested is very difficult to get and waiting lists remain long - at least here in NJ.
  • JBaumgartJBaumgart Posts: 890
    ljflx, did you ask when (which month) the 2004 model will be introduced? I also wonder what the base price on the 360 hp AWD Euro model might be - I'm guessing $65k or so(?).
  • tisliztisliz Posts: 13
    Found the website, but could not navigate to get to the info on CBEST settings. Can you show us the path, please? I, too, ran into the dealer telling me I had to plow through the book to figure out what could and could not be changed. You would think that these dealership that get the elite moniker would whip out a booklet they had put together. Thanks for the help.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,677
    No - I didn't ask but based on the tone of the discussion it should not be later than normal - say mid or late October. Pricing will not change much if you stay with the base engine and non-awd. But I forgot to note that Lexus may make an air suspension standard on all LS cars so that would also have a price effect. But that's all he knows as of now on pricing. I'd expect a euro and AWD would be more of $67-68k+ price target - $62k+ now plus about $3k for the awd and $3k for the bigger engine. But that's just my speculation and it could be higher if the air suspension is included. I would also think that a Euro sport 360hp LS will be a hot car, maybe harder to get than the GX470 is now. And who knows what mix of these cars Lexus will make early on. I remember how impossible it was to get an ultra in 2001. So you may need to get in line early. He did say that Lexus may up production so that they are ready for 40k+ annual LS sales and that Lexus expects to take more market share based on their research. What bothers me is I forgot to ask if they are changing the nameplate to the LS500. Lastly he did say the V-12 will be a 2006 intro on the LWB model - I would assume as an option.
  • ljflx, why didnt you go with the S500 if you were so taken by it? You mentioned a 3 year lease. During the lease all repair problems would be covered under the normal 4 year warranty. They also give a loaner car (Atlanta). So if you liked the looks and I know there is more driving excitement and "feel" to the handling and steering why not give it a whirl? You only live once and if you didnt like it turn it back in in 3 years.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,677
    What makes you say I was so taken by it? That was hardly the case. I found it to be a great car but not an overwhelming car. I was afraid of its reliability regardless of the three year free maintenance. On close comparison road tests I found the LS430 to be the better car for my preferences. I had no doubt whatsoever about it's reliability - and it's been a perfect car. The fact that the lease payment are about $12k cheaper over 3 years is an added benefit.
  • vchengvcheng Posts: 1,284
    Granted you wanted opinions from people with 95-00 Ls cars, but please allow me to express mine.

    I would suggest a set of Michelin Energy MXV4+ tires, preferably V-rated. Why? Just a personal opinion, based on the replacements I had to get on my 2003 LS due to a bad set of original Dunlops. The dealer suggested the tires saying he has never had a complaint about Michelins. I wouldn't trust the "never" completely but I think that these tires have a very low incidence of problems and offer good performance.

    Also, check out user reviews at tirerack.com.
  • gee35coupegee35coupe Posts: 3,475
    I bought a set of T-rated X-One Michelins. They are very quiet, handle nicely in the dry and wet, and I thought it was better for me to put a limiting factor on my immaturity. T's are maxed out a 112 or so. In a car with a 150 mph top speed I needed something to keep me from trying it out. They also have a 60,000 mile treadwear warranty.
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