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Lexus LS: Problems & Solutions



  • anybody else experience what i call "the tea kettle syndrome" with their LS? when at highway speeds, the inside of the car sounds like a tea kettle going off squealing and all. so i usually just turn up the music so i don't hear it. i was going to ask the dealer if it was some kind of seal wearing down or what. kinda sounds like it's coming from the front windshield at the corners. guess i'll ask when i go back again.
  • kpykietkpykiet Posts: 1
    I have a 1991 LS400 and the Clock/Temp display is starting to black out from the right to the left, I can still read the Temp. Lexus want $70 Labor and $645 for the new display. This price is not practical for a clock. Any options???
  • mhartlessmhartless Posts: 11
    There are several previous posts for the LCD issue. You can replace it yourself and buy a refurbished part (~$200). For the price your dealer is charging for labor, I would have them replace it after you buy it.

    Good Luck!
  • q45manq45man Posts: 416
    The hourly labor prices [are kept low because they] include the markup on parts to arrive a real hourly margin.....say the average hour is 60% parts/40% labor so a $645 part might include a $322 margin [less the cost of inventory ordering/ holding, space, parts manager and helper salaries].
    Most dealers won't install your parts since they are losing money on the techs time plus there are the warranty issues.
    As an independent shop [which pays the dealer for parts....we get 30% off of LIST due to our volume]. We add $22 per hour for lost revenue to our $68/hr [$90/hr] when customer supplies parts and provide no warranty.
    This is probably a win win if the customer can find the part used or rebuilt on the INET....except if the part fails the customer must pay to remove, ship it back, deal with where they bought it from, and then pay to have the replacement reinstalled!

    Obviously the more the labor time the more the risk......think carefully when the replacement takes 3 hours or over on an externally acquired part supplied by you.
  • tle104tle104 Posts: 5
    Some one can tell me how to remove the central panel of a LS 400-96 model to replace the audio system light bulb. Your help will be greatly appreciated. Maybeg 35, some one help you yet ?
  • rjbusenitzrjbusenitz Posts: 13
    I have a 1990 LS400 that has a couple of the lights out in the center console. The temperature control/clock light is out as well as the light which shows what gear you are in. I've heard that it is easy to fix/remove, but I don't know how. Please let me know how, thanks.
  • q45manq45man Posts: 416
    One of the major cost of doing repair business is purchasing the 2-3 volume sets [about 7" thick] for each year and model along with updated diagnostic software, then training weeks for each technican so the first $6-8,000 in repair business on each model generates nothing!
    If you are going to do any self repair you need to purchase the shop manuals from the dealers.
  • c2soxc2sox Posts: 19
    Anyone know of any information how to replace the oxygen sensors for an LS400. Like where it is and how difficult it is to change. Also any other sites related to Lexus maintenance. Any information and or experience shared would be greatly apprecited and thanks in advance!
  • hyperopthyperopt Posts: 55
    There are two sensors on each main exhaust pipes (2 main pipes). One sensor is locate right before the catalytic convertor and the other is right after. Sensors are expensive but easy to replace.
  • tle104tle104 Posts: 5
    Answer to # 687 :Rjbusenitz, just go back to beginning of discussion, you will find a lot helpful advises how to replace these bulbs. It's very simple.And also you can order these bulbs from , they have very dood price for Lexus part.
    #688 from "q45man" .I think the idea of this town hall is to transfer experiences between lexus owner, not to make us become a professional mecanician,no need to buy repair manuals and updated softwares every year.My goal is just for fun and also a hobby to "Do it your self" by repairing these small things and never have any idea to compete against professional.Lexus LS 400 owners who spend 20, 30000 bucks to get a used LS are not so cheap as you thought and I do'nt think that professionals want to make money from these small works.Please advise to professionals about ordering repair manuals,updated diagnostic softwares and training weeks only, not to lexus owner, please.
  • c2soxc2sox Posts: 19
    Thanks for the info! I'll try replacing the sensors this weekend. Oh one other question, any special tools needed and what do you think about using aftermarket sensors....bad idea?
  • tle104tle104 Posts: 5
    2 years ago,one O2 sensor of my 91 LS been replaced w/ one from Irontoad a little bit more than $100.My experience is do not throw away the damaged one and wait until the check engine light is gone, at least a day to make sure that the real damaged sensor been replaced.Some time the one we thought damaged is still good. My case, the mecanician already throw it away , but when I drove my car up to my office ,around 10 miles, the light is on again, so I know that he repaced the wrong one .Luckily he found it back in the trash can.Try to order at least 2 and if only one is used, you can return one left.Very hard to know which one or how many was bad.Do not use after market product but only from Toyota.They are'nt expensive it you got from Irontoad.
    It'nt the ad for them, but because I already ordered some parts from them and the price very good comparing w/ lexus dealer.Actually I had 2 lexus ,the Es 300 still under warranty and the Ls 96 is not.
  • q45manq45man Posts: 416
    "Very hard to know which one or how many was bad."....O2 sensors.

    Easy as pie since inexpensive software can be pluged into a laptop/desktop and cable plugs into car] that reads all the diagnostic codes after 95 models.

    I would think that the second most expensive [maybe third since Americans are so over weight]item in your budget [a car] deserves some self education since you will probably have one till the nursing home calls!

    Great hobby but if you can afford a LS not a good way to make a living to pay for it!

    We get dozens per year where the owner tried to fix something minor [without any documentation] and ended up doing damage to inside trim/connectors or worse.

    Most bulbs require the manuals to change much less something associated with drivability or emissions.

    Owners time would be better served keeping the engine compartment clean so the techs assume that they care about their car and not expose it to exporation or worse. Think I'm kidding!

    Nothing makes their day like a filthy engine compartment.

  • crowbait1crowbait1 Posts: 15
    My 92 has developed the habit of thinking it is being broken into with alarm system triggering a few minutes after shut off and lock - not right away. Local Lexus dealer was unable to find cause. Also was not able to just disarm the system so I could at least lock up without keeping the neighbourhood awake all night. Has anyone had a similar experience? Is there a simple way to just disarm the system? Thanks.
  • q45manq45man Posts: 416
    Besides removing the horn connection? Sound
  • 1991ls4001991ls400 Posts: 20
    I've a 1991 LS400, and I think the power steering is going down. While driving driving or in park, I can hear the sound eeeeeeeehhhhhhhhhhhhh and also if I slightly turn the steering wheel in either direction. I drove to work one day, and while in park I experienced the sound as well as playing with the steering wheel. The noise is increasing as I drove home as well as steering the wheels. I've just checked the power steering fluid, and it's normal. What is the noise and how serious is it? Cost of replacing the rack and pinion power steering??? Thanks.
  • crowbait1crowbait1 Posts: 15
    Thanks q45Man - then again we have the flashing lights for the visually sensitive that would have to go also :) I suppose I could disconnect the battery each night but that's a bit inconvenient. What I'd like to know is whether there is a straightforward way to shut it off permanently without rendering the car inoperable. I'd risk not having a working alarm system at this age of car. Better still, has anyone seen this problem and figured out how to fix it? It's not posted anywhere I can see on this board. Thanks. Crowbait
  • hyperopthyperopt Posts: 55
    Although there are sockets designed specifically to remove O2 sensors, they are not required. You can use regular wrench that fits.
    The data table stored inside the car's computer is calibrated to match with O2 and other sensors for a given condition. You may get away with using aftermarket sensors, but as for me I don't think the benefits of lower cost aftermarket O2 sensors outweights the their risks which may include driveability, emission, and efficiency problems and catalytic converter failures.

    If you decided to use aftermarket O2 sensors, let us know the results would you?
  • hyperopthyperopt Posts: 55
    "Easy as pie since inexpensive software can be pluged into a laptop/desktop and cable plugs into car] that reads all the diagnostic codes after 95 models."

    There is no need for fancy computer/software to read diagnostic codes. A simple jumper(eg. paper clip) on the diagnostic port will do the trick.
  • hyperopthyperopt Posts: 55
    If the problematic alarm is OEM, there is a way to disable it by grounding one of the wires. Get the alarm schematic first and I'll see if I can help you locate the wire.
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