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Lexus LS: Problems & Solutions

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  • vchengvcheng Posts: 1,286
    Well, my pride and joy, an '03 LS, has developed a bad left rear wheel bearing at 14k miles. A bit disappointing to say the least, but I suppose it should be okay afterwards.
  • deadairdeadair Posts: 10
    The left door speaker in my '93 400LS is not working. The top tweeter (I think it's a tweeter) near the mirror works so I know it's getting power. It's a standard Nachamichie (sic)stereo. Do you have to remove the dash to get behind the stereo?
    Also, what is the access point to replace the spark plugs. Also, what are the best replacements beside the expensive Toyota plugs?
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    is wired through the door speaker assembly (hi-freg coupling capacitor is inside) so if the tweeter works then the connector to the door speaker is good. Sounds like maybe an open speaker voice coil.
  • I just chose not to buy an LS430 based on the modifications that have been made to the headlights and their effect on vision down the road. I'm not sure if it is the autoleveling feature coupled with the downward aim and very sharp demarcation line of the projector lights, but the result on dark, hilly roads is that there are times when one is unable to see more than about 25 or 30 feet down the road. Lexus says that they are aware of the problem but have no solution for it at this time. Apparently many have complained, although this site is suprisingly quiet about this shortcoming.

    I believe that fearing lawsuits from accidents where an oncoming driver alleges that the car's HID's blinded them (according to Consumer Reports, there are thousands of complaints about the glare from HID's), Lexus has aimed alot of technology at the goal of keeping HID light out of oncoming driver's eyes. A laudable goal, up to the point where downroad vision for the driver of the LS is significantly impaired. And that is exactly what I experienced. The worst case is when you are ascending a hill and the autolevelers point the lights down, cutting short downroad vision even further. No question that the sides of the road are well lit, but far vision is less than half that of regular halogens in certain circumstances.

    I suggest that anyone interested in an LS430 test-drive it on a very dark, hilly road first. Any amount of ambient light will mitigate this effect, so if you never plan to travel on a dark road this may not be important. For me, however, it changed my buying decision. It broke my heart too....this is an otherwise great car.
  • rgswrgsw Posts: 333
    My experience with the 2004 Lexus LS430 headlights is much different than yours. Granted I have not done a lot of dark winding road driving. I find the amount of light projected on low beam is more than adequate and superior to the former halogen lights. Your mention the leveling of the lights while going up a hill causes the lights to lower. I was under the impression that the leveling mechanism worked in regard to the plane of the car and not the plane of the earth? I have seen others in this forum praise the new headlight systems when driving on dark winding roads.
  • If you don't take the car on a very dark road, especially one with hills you probably won't be impressed by the limited forward range of the headlights. In my experience under these conditions it was dramatic. It is something one ought to judge for oneself, particularly if you forsee yourself traveling on this type of road at night.

    In regard to the plane of the earth vs. the car, the autoleveling would appear to compensate for changes in the cars attitude relative to an imaginary line tangent to the earth's surface. So if a car is heading up a hill it restores the angle of the headlights to a flatter angle that results in less distance, whereas when descending a hill the lights point up. Standared "fixed" lights would have their aim permanently coupled to the plane of the car, which makes more sense if the goal is illuminating the bit of terrain you happen to be on at the moment. From this I conclude that autoleveling is more for keeping HID light out of oncoming driver's eyes.
  • rgswrgsw Posts: 333
    I'll be driving up to Mesa Verde National Park soon, maybe I can check out your comments in regard to the lights. They have lots of windy roads and steep grades there. I'm still not buying your observation that lights go lower to the road going up hill and higher off the road going hill. I'll check it out.. Thanks for the info.
  • rgswrgsw Posts: 333
    Sorry, I did not get to try the headlights out on a dark winding road. However, we did see a few dear on the side of the road while driving at a moderate speed. They just looked at us and jumped into the woods and disappeared. I still like the headlight system and will keep your comments in mind for future driving situations.
  • Bought my first Lexus, the LS 430 last month. And being, as my wife Francis would say, a large man, (I said large not fat) I got in the other day and I heard something in the driver's seat snap. Next think I know, I'm recumbent, my head resting on the back seat like a jerk. Now is this something that Lexus would fix? Or would they say the onus is on me, for my size? (Note: I used to drive a Chevy Cavalier, and had no problems, and it was half the size. Well, I was half the size too.)
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    Of course they should fix it. I'm sure Lexus has other large drivers of their cars.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Most common failure in an accident......
  • The LS430 is a terrific car. Those are very talented fellows, those Lexus people in Japan. Kudos. But I have one complaint. The writing in the instruction manual. It's a very tough read. Now I understand English isn't their native tongue, but there's some very talented writers out there who would be thrilled to get the work. The service manual in my old Cavalier was informative, entertaining and occasionally even witty. Shouldn't have included it in the trade in.
  • Just bought a Lexus 430. Never spent so much for a CAR! Two weeks later I get a letter telling me it's been recalled. Now, I understand these things happen. That a CAR is a very complicated mechanism, with pistons and hoses and so forth. But for twelve years and two hundred thousand kilometers, I never had one single problem with my Chevy Cavalier. Except once. I was driving to Nashville and I stopped for ribs (the Tunnel Barbeque in Windsor -- terrific!) and when I came
    out, four hours later, the battery was dead. Evidently I had gotten so excited over the ribs, I forgot to close the door and I left the headlights on lights as well as the emergency flashers. God those were great ribs.
  • rgswrgsw Posts: 333
    I feel your pain. However, I'm very happy that Lexus did not decide to sweep the "little" problems under the run or into the file cabinet as some other manufacturers have done. My new transmission and fuel pump are doing great. I now have a 2004 Lexus LS430 with 16000 miles on it and zero miles on the transmission and fuel pump. That ought to make for a better trade-in next time :<)
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    "That ought to make for a better trade-in next time :<) "

    I think you're kidding yourself there. The dealer isn't going to give a rip about the differential of miles on your tranny or fuel pump. But they did step up, as they should.
  • mfprmfpr Posts: 41
    I've just had my '04 LS430 for a month now and I am appreciating it more every day, except for one problem. Yesterday I brought my car in for the 30 day inspection and asked the service advisor to have the tech check out the sunroof. When it is closed, no rattles, even with the shade open. When I open the sunroof, it rattles, especially at low speeds. I have noticed that the sunroof does cause a lot of wind buffeting, more than I have experienced on any other car. As luck would have it, when I went for a test drive with the tech, the rattle was very minimal. He told me there was no adjustment for the sunroof in the open position and the because of the design of the sunroof, it has to "float" some in the open position so it won't bind. He said all was normal.

    After I picked up my car, I did some experimenting. It seems like the sunroof rattles more at slower speeds and is partially caused by wind buffeting. I opened the sunroof about 3/4 with all windows closed and at exactly 25mph, the pressure from the wind and the rattle hurts your ears. Any faster or slower, the pressure is relieved and the rattle is more intermittent. Fully open, the sunroof continues to rattle intermittently, but without the air pressure, and by putting light pressure on it, the rattle stops. By lightly touching the open sunroof while driving, I can feel it vibrating, like the sunroof is flexing.

    I guess I can understand the wind buffeting and the air pressure, especially with such a large sunroof, but I can't believe the rattle is normal. Does anyone else have this problem? I guess the only way to see if it is normal is to drive another LS430. I have to believe if anyone else had this problem, there would have been a thread about it before. Any help, recommendations, advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Mike
  • todd2004todd2004 Posts: 18
    mfpr----I have a 2003 LS430 and have not experienced any noise or vibration problem with the sunroof. Of course,when it is open,there is the normal?? amount of wind noise,but certainly no vibration in the sunroof itself. I rarely drive with the roof fully open,but I have and had no problem. When I do use the roof,more often than not, I use the tilt feature,especially in cooler weather. Do you have any problem with the tilt position? I had a problem like the one you mention with the noise and buffetting on 2001 Avalon,but no vibration. The dealer supplied a plastic cover over the front of the roof and the problem stopped.Good Luck!!
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    It sounds like the low frequency sound "pressure waves" are causing the roof to move up and down slightly.....
  • mfprmfpr Posts: 41
    I do think "pressure waves" are part of the problem, but I hope that the rattle is not normal. From experimenting last night, it seems the rattle starts when the sunroof is about half way open to open all the way. The tilt feature works fine, with no noise at all.

    Mike
  • 19331933 Posts: 3
    I have a LS430 with less than 6000 miles on it. I wish I had my Buick P/A Supercharged back.I don't see how JD Powers can rate this car as high as they do.This car has a bad hesitation of a few seconds when accelerating.I was informed by the dealer that this has been going on since 1998 when Lexus went to the computer drive by wire system. It is an engeering problem but there are not enough complaints for Lexus to correct it. Most people are like my wife, if it starts, everything is ok. Another problem, is the when you hit the brakes heavy and take your foot off of the pedal the car continues to brake real heavy.I have more complaints but this post is getting to long. The bottom line is this car is over engineered.
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