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Lexus LS: Problems & Solutions



  • Thank you both for the resposnes. Great information and advice. I think I will pass on cleaning power steering filters altogether and just replace fluid often!.
  • ferraro1ferraro1 Posts: 44
    Hello There !
    The BST way to get a manual for a GREAT Deal is on just type in "Lexus Manuals" or somethign like that if they do not have it at that certain time just waite for a few days and one is bound to pop up i have seen LS Manuals from 1990 to 2000 !! and the price is NO where near $160 !!! ok well wish you best of luck!! Ohh and what is transmission shuttering ?? i wonder if i have Type IV fluid wonder how i can tell all i know is i think it is red humm ?
    Happy LS400 owner,
  • djr7399djr7399 Posts: 24
    I have a 1995 LS400 with 109K, Went to the dealership to get basic oil change, was informed that I needed the dreaded P/S Pump replaced and pair of ball joints, total together $1400 (850 p/s, 550 ball joints). My question is should I stay with the dealership or try an independent mechanic. never took anywhere but to the dealership, what should I look out for if letting anyone other than Lexus touch the car.

    All and all I love my Lexus.

    One other dreadful thing happen, parked the car by itself as always, came outside looked at the Lexus,lo and behold someone hit the the lower quarter panel with their bumper and just drove off (boy what a day I was having). Smashed in the quarter panel about the size of a golf ball.

    Do you guys recommend someone other than a collision shop to fix golf ball size dents.

    Sorry for the long post just had to vent.
  • rdwcdwrdwcdw Posts: 8
    Hi Your only second choice on the power steering pump is to ask your dealer to put in a reseal kit or have your local service guy buy the kit from lexus and see if he will put it in, depending on the condition of the pump this can be a good thing or a bad thing with that low of miles if the seal is installed right it should work out well, as far as the ball joints anyone can put a set in I would look for a frame and alignment shop.

    Good Luck and let us know.
  • jlosekejloseke Posts: 1
    I'm just now purchasing my first LS400 -- and the first shock seems to be that the bulb on the CD display is out, so you can't see it at night.

    The dealer has indicated that you can't change the bulb -- that you have to replace the entire $600 unit.

    First, that sounds like mighty questionable manufacturing, to have to replace an entire radio to fix a $1.50 bulb. (unless, of course, you're the guy that can charge the $600!).

    Any suggestions for how to get this fixed without that much outlay?
  • crowbait1crowbait1 Posts: 15
    Thanks to all the previous contributors on this subject, especially to those who advised not to have Lexus do this job. My 92 (220K km / 140K miles) lost refrigerant through a leak in the evaporator and subsequently fried the compressor. I also needed to change to the new refrigerant. A very good AC shop in Toronto had a source of well-backed re-manufactured compressors and was clever enough to fit a new evaporator for a Toyota Cressida instead of the Lexus part. Same fittings, just a tiny bit narrower & less than half the cost. The whole job including the conversion to new refrigerant still cost more than air conditioning my house a while back but was done for less than the cost of a new compressor from Lexus. The shop is also backing it as well or better than the dealer.
  • kimsingerkimsinger Posts: 12
    Starts idling around 1400 rpm - faster in winter. Takes around 4 to 5 minutes to progressively fall towards normal operating temperature speed of 650 rpm.

    1995 LS400 Mark 3

    Please add your car's data to the list. Does anyone's car NOT idle fast when cold?
  • ferraro1ferraro1 Posts: 44
    Hello ~
    I just need to know if i am operating on the BEST Transmission Fluid the Type IV for my 1994 LS400 if i had fluid put in/checked @ Lexus for the 90,000 service (This winter) would they have put in Type IV in it? I know that the fluid is red , OHH and what is Transmission Shuttering ??? what are the signs and what is the casue ?? Thanks
    Happy Lexus Owner,
  • Paul , transmission shuddering occurs when you press the accelerator half way down during normal driving to gain speed. The shudder feels like you just ran over the reflectors that separate lanes on the highway. I have not heard that this causes damage to the tranny, however it is very annoying and I feel as though it hurts performance. I have found the shuddering in older models (90 to 94?) with miles up over 80 90 K.

    Thank you for the post about manuals at E-Bay, I guess that is a good start to purchase many different items.
  • rdwcdwrdwcdw Posts: 8
    Sorry to disagree but shuddering is never normal, my LS 400 with 188K mi has never had or will have shudder, shudder means something is wrong, ie clutches slipping. To ferraro your Lexus dealer should have put in the right fluid in I would not worry, the worst that could happen is that they still had the type 2 around and used that, A note to all if you are worried about your transmissions and want to do the best thing for them every 15 or 20K miles find your drain plug on the bottom of the transmission jack up or buy some ramps to get the car up,go to your Lexus dealer and pick up a four Liter can of Type 4 fluid for $30.00, unscrew the drain plug it will drain 2 liters of fluid then get a 2 liter plastic juice holder and a narrow tipped funnel and replace the two liters of fluid in the filler tube, this is what your dealer does to your car and once you are setup this only takes 20 mins
  • rdwcdwrdwcdw Posts: 8
    I think you are thinking about owners manuals on E-Bay this is not the same as the service manuals, you might find some on E-Bay but it will be a rare deal.
  • atagatacatagatac Posts: 5
    Thanks for you suggestions, ferraro1, regarding the slow leak on my 92LS 400. I called a mechanic who is charging me $300 for a rebuilt power steering pump, parts and labor. He is giving me a one year warranty on parts and labor. I don't know if I should go with this or just have mine resealed. He works primarily on Honda cars but have some knowledge on Toyota/Lexus as well.
  • rdwcdw No apology neccesary, I certainly do not think it is good, or correct for the tranny to shudder, and certainly it indicates something is wrong. I must say it is very common though. I wonder if my tranny is ruined, or if the full fluid and screen replacement will remedy the shuddering?. What does the the 2 liter every 15 to 20 K miles achieve?. On domestic tranny's many have recommended to not change fluid too often, seems very different from your advice to partially change fluid every 15 to 20 K?.

  • rdwcdwrdwcdw Posts: 8
    The LS 400 holds 8 liters of transmission fuild, if you are very fussy and want you trans to have nice red fresh fuild by changing 2 liters every 15k it will always be fresh, Lexus service recommends 30K which in my opinion is fine. also don't know of a problem with changing trans fuild to often on any car I have heard that if the trans has not been changed for many miles 100K or so that when you change fuild you could have a problem with sludge getting into the valve body and possible clutch slipage,interrestly enough Lexus does not ever recommend the trans filter being changed, they call it a strainer.
  • drivinfooldrivinfool Posts: 10
    Silverprincess, saw your post of 4/23--I have '94 LS 400; it did same thing a couple of times only mine did it at stop lights and very slow rolling stops. The 120k maintenance I had recently seems to have taken care of the problem. I had a very dirty air filter but didn't ask if that had anything to do with it. Being female, I don't have much mechanical savvy, but I DO know when it is making strange noises and doesn't drive right!
  • drivinfooldrivinfool Posts: 10
    anyone out there have any input on what the best tires are for LS400 to get decent mileage? I am on my 5th set of tires (117k miles); first 4 sets were Goodyear V-rated which were the original stock tire that came on the car. I recently went with Michelin tires and seem to be getting much better wear. The ride is a little harder than with the Goodyear but was wondering if other people have had same problem. I have one friend who has had same experience. I live in Central Fla.--is the climate partly to blame?
    Is it necessary to use a V-rated tire on these cars?
  • bratcliffbratcliff Posts: 3
    Does anyone know if a simple light bulb change will correct the display at the shifter? Cannot see whether in Park, Drive, etc. with letters right beside shifter. Display on dash still works fine but would like to fix shifter if an easy fix. Thanks for any input.
  • mhartlessmhartless Posts: 11
    The light for the transmission display on the shifter is just a light bulb replacement. A special little bulb you can buy at your Toyota dealer.....or if you are cheap like me you can use the one from the inside the glove compartment light which I don't miss.

    To replace the light just carefully lift up the plastic cover and remove and replace the bulb just pushes in.
  • mhartlessmhartless Posts: 11

    I doubt if you will be able to buy a 1994 LS400 for close to $6k on eBay unless salvage title or worse. Typically people wait to bid until the end and the price will be much higher...even for a car with 150kmi. Make sure you run VIN through CARFAX to check history. For a price estimate look at Edmunds or Kelly blue book on web. On eBay you should be able to get close to wholesale.

    As for any costly vehicle you buy you should have a mechanic check out if possible and look for good maintenance records.

    On a used LS400 with over 100kmi you will typically need to look at a minimum of the power steering pump, AC and the suspension. The LCD for the time/temp will probably be bled out and need to be replaced.

    The keyless entry is built into the key...make sure this works since it is an expensive fix.

    If maintained properly you should not worry about the engine or transmission on a used LS400.

    These vehicles are very reliable even with 150kmi on them. But as with any used vehicle maintenance will be an issue.

    Good Luck on your search for a nice LS400...this will be a car you keep and enjoy for a long time!
  • crowbait1crowbait1 Posts: 15
    I switched recently to H-rated Continental ContiTour tires for my '92 on recommendation of our legendary regional tire and wheel guru Paul Ross in Pickering near Toronto. These come OEM on many Benz, Volvo. and a few BMW and have a DOT wear rating of 360 which is about 40% more than the V-rated Michelins I replaced. Very nice ride, quiet, and good feel. Paul put me in 225 60 rather than the original 205 65 to reduce the chance of premature shoulder wear. I'm expecting 3 good summer seasons from these but don't know yet. All that said, if you want to drive your LS400 like a sports car then maybe a V is for you. Then again, maybe a GS400 would be better! My advice: find a great wheel and tire guy where you live, tell him how you drive, listen to his advice, and pay a bit extra for a great job of installation and balancing.
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