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Lexus LS: Problems & Solutions

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Comments

  • kimsingerkimsinger Posts: 12
    It seems the issue of whether this raised idle is normal or not is still open to debate . I don't exactly disagree with anything anyone else has said on the subject here, but I still hope and believe that it will ultimately be found to be a fault - at least in my own car. That way, there is more hope of dealing with it once the true cause is established.

    Two things make me convinced that a cold idle speed of 1,700 + is not normal in these cars. Firstly, as I've said, a contact of mine with the same car as me does not have the problem. His car starts at around 700 rpm - and stays there. If his car can do this, I reckon mine should be able to do the same. Put another way, out of the two vehicles, which one should we suppose is running correctly? Mine - with all the clunks and the jolts - or his, with the smoothness you normally associate with a Lexus?

    Secondly, not all modern cars are so afflicted. In fact, my wife's BMW behaves exactly like the above Lexus. It starts as it means to go on - no fuss, no bother and no need to rig up aftermarket alarms with remote starts working in conjunction with factory alarms etc. etc.

    Surely, of all car manufacturers, Lexus should be expected to come up with at least as good a warm-up system as our 10-year-old BMW which does not, therefore, give owners as much as hassle and inconvenience as seems to be the case at the moment.
  • atagatacatagatac Posts: 5
    I have a 92 LS400 with 114K miles on it. I just noticed a slow leak under the power steering reservoir. I don't know if that is the power steering pump under it. I don't see any leak on my floor. Should I have the power pump replaced or just have the pump repealed? I just bought this car last month and very happy with it. Please help. I need an honest shop where I can bring this car. The old owner has been taking it to Logo and I don't like to pay those ridiculous amount of $$ to maintain this car.
  • atagatacatagatac Posts: 5
    I have a 92 LS400 with 114K miles on it. I just noticed a slow leak under the power steering reservoir. I don't know if that is the power steering pump under it. I don't see any leak on my floor. Should I have the power pump replaced or just have the pump resealed? I just bought this car last month and very happy with it. Please help. I need an honest shop where I can bring this car. The old owner has been taking it to Longo Lexus and I don't like to pay those ridiculous amount of $$ to maintain this car. One other thing, what kind of leather conditioner do you recommend for this car and how often should I maintain those leather seats?
  • ferraro1ferraro1 Posts: 44
    Hello ~
    Well it has happened to you , the ominous power steering failure, yes the power steering fluid you are seeing is a leak , and the best thing to do is get a new power steering pump, I had mine replaced on my 1994 this winter @ Lexus it was $800 + with Labor but check around and see if you can do any better but remember to always have fluid in your resavior before you get it repaired!. As far as leather care I would reccomed Lexol it is a good product.
    Wish you lots of luck !
    Happy LS Owner,
    Paul
  • hyperopthyperopt Posts: 55
    Whether to replace or reseal depends on how much you want to spend. Sure it's good to replace with new parts, but why throw away the entire thing if only part of it is dysfunctional? I would reseal it myself (I have heard others resealed with success), but if you're not mechanical, then pay someone to do it. Most likely, you'll have to replace it since car mechanics prefer a replacement due to financial and temporal reasons.
  • hyperopthyperopt Posts: 55
    I actually prefer cars with cold idle higher than warm idle for many good reasons stated earlier. I just don't like the cold idle to be too high and stay high too long. The ideal condition would be 1300-1400rpm at 1-2minutes cold, after which warming would be done while driving.
  • pj2323pj2323 Posts: 43
    my 92 ls seems to be harder to steer than normal. is this the pump or pressure valve not working properly?
  • hyperopthyperopt Posts: 55
    I actually prefer cars with cold idle higher than warm idle for many good reasons stated earlier. I just don't like the cold idle to be too high and stay high too long. The ideal condition would be 1300-1400rpm at 1-2minutes cold, after which warming would be done while driving.
  • q45manq45man Posts: 416
    The 2 book [each 2.5" thick] diagnostic manuals describes everything including the normal idle vs cold idle.
    It's amazing that people who spend $60-$30k on a car don't consider this option.
    If you made enough to afford a luxo sport I have every confidence in your ability to read the English language.

    The number one fault with Lexus is that if you don't change your power steering fluid regularly the hoses will leak and the leak will saturate the alternator causing it to fail.
    Don't let the leak continue or you'll end up spending a quick $1200 to correct the problem...the PS groaning is caused by the internal filter being plugged up from crud and a pump failure is not far away!
  • q45manq45man Posts: 416
    Fast cold idle is necessary to heat the precats/cats to meet the 1990 and 1996 EPA regulations for cold start emissions. Also modern electronically controlled transmissions need the ATF to be up to 120F before they will shift correctly.
    To protect you from doing the things that would be detrimential to engine and trans life the engine computers attempt to override your attempts to destroy the car by cranking and driving away cold!
  • rdwcdwrdwcdw Posts: 8
    Maybe what we need is for people to post if they have a High Idle when cold this way we can see what years seem to do the High Idle thing,then we can use this info to see if it is a sensor or something that with age is changing. How About it people lets start posting.
  • I have 91 LS 400 with 156000 miles. Have had brake rotors replaced 8000 miles ago. Now it is necessary to have them turned every 1-2K miles due to warping. One mechanic said wheel bearings needed replacing while another said they were fine. That was 8000 miles ago when rotors and brake pads were replaced. Could this be causing the rotor problem? Or could it be something else? Any information would be helpful.
  • Anyone ever have this problem?

    I'm driving my 93LS400 (w/ 120k miles) on highway and have the AC on for a good 30 minutes or so. Outside temperature is about 60-70 F. I'm in stop and go traffic, I see the temp. gauge rising to about the middle mark, and when I turn off the AC, suddenly the engine just shuts off with no warning! I veer off to the shoulder to avoid getting rear-ended, set it to Park, and restart the engine and no more problem.

    This past weekend it happened again, except this time I was sailing at about 60-70mph w/ AC on (outside temp around 70 F) for about 45 minutes. I noticed the temp. gauge go up again, I pull off to an exit, and after about 10 minutes on local streets, when I turn off the AC, BAM! the engine shuts down again!

    Any ideas, anyone???
  • hyperopthyperopt Posts: 55
    I posted my data earlier. Here they are again:

    1700rpm for ~6minutes with 50F ambient.

    What are yours, rdwcdw?
  • rdwcdwrdwcdw Posts: 8
    The same as yours 1700 5 to 7 mins.1990 AS 400
  • jabeelerjabeeler Posts: 2
    I guess all cars have some degree of problems, but you guys sound pretty happy with your LS400s. My problem is, I don't know anything about vehicles and if I don't get good service at the dealership I might as well have bought a Yugo.
    I have seen mention of 5* dealerships. How do I find out if mine is a 5*? BB report is good but vague.
    I recently surrendered my Grand Caravan lease. The service dept. was so good (ALWAYS had parts and a loner) I was tempted to buy another---but I want an LS400!
  • Q45man, thank you for your many informative posts.

    I am interested in purchasing the manual's for my 1992 LS 400. Where can I purchase them? Lexus or after market, please advise. I agree these books are very important to owners of older units.

    Also please tell me how often, or when the power steering fluid should be changed? I did not know this was the cause of the pump failure. I wonder if there is a way to change or clean the filter as you mentioned it get's "Full of crud" or by changing the fluid regularly the crud does not build up. Can I change the P/steer fluid myself? is it difficult?
    I also have the popping or cracking noises coming from the from brakes. I was considering new fitting kit - shims, rotors and pads. Can I just replace pads & fitting kit with turning rotors? (SAVE THE COST OF NEW ROTORS). When I press brake pedal now I feel a vibration in steering wheel, something is out of round and only felt when applying brakes from speeds above 25 MPH.

    I also have the transmission shudder when downshifting (Tourqe converter?). In earlier posts I saw a suggestion to flush and change fluid to type IV and replace screen. In your experience does this solve the problem?

    Best regards, and thanks again for your input.
    Sheldon
  • mhartlessmhartless Posts: 11
    I have a 1992 LS400 with 123kmi.

    The cold idle is 1.3k at 45 degree ambient for those interested. Only a modest surge when putting into gear. I never warm up the car for more than a minute...I just try to drive easy for the first few minutes to let her warm up.

    I also had the transmission shudder and changing the transmission fluid fixed it....I did not use the new type IV but did have the entire amount of fluid changed i.e. not just removing the plug and draining it. This was done at a local shop and not at the Lexus dealer...total cost $70.

    Thanks for all the info from everyone ...My LS400 is the best car I've ever owned!
  • rdwcdwrdwcdw Posts: 8
    Hi mhartless they might have used DEX III for your flush on your trans, this could destroy your transmission you should have only T-IV put in it cost more, but not as much as a trans As to manuals I bought mine from Irontoad.com not cheap 160.00. As far a the steering stuff goes I suck the fuild out of the pump from on top and refill about 4 times driving in between fills, I do this once a year on all my cars,I use a vacuum pump but you could use a turkey baster,you could pull the return line off and crank the engine, I buy the Valvoline synthetic, the fiters are not easy, one is in the control valve on the rack, not fun to get at, the other one is in the filler neck on the pump, dont use a carbon based cleaner to clean them it will melt the plastic screen.
  • 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!.
    Sheldon
  • ferraro1ferraro1 Posts: 44
    Hello There !
    The BST way to get a manual for a GREAT Deal is on Ebay.com 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,
    Paul
  • 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
  • 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
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