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Lexus LS: Problems & Solutions



  • kl3415kl3415 Posts: 12
    I have a 1990 Ls400 that is in excellent condition. I changed the timing belt @ 75K and the car now has 120000K and I was wondering how often the timing belt should be change? I believe the owner's manual recommends 60K but is that really necessary? I replaced the a/c unit at 100000K and my LCD light has gone out. The clock still displays but at night I am "in the dark". Any comments would be greatly appreciated.

  • kl3415kl3415 Posts: 12
    I had the same problem with my car. I changed the thermostat, both hoses, temp. sending unit, coolant and still I had high indications. The culprit ended up being a bad guage. It cost about $150 to have it replaced at the dealer. However, that is because I took the dash off myself.
  • garrettcgarrettc Posts: 1
    My '93 LS400 has an intermittent idle problem. Usually it is ok. But about once a week, it won't idle and stalls out for one to two days. Then it is ok again. When it happens the car runs fine, I just have to keep one foot on the accelerator and one on the brake to keep the idle up. Dealer saw two codes, one in the throttle sensor and one in air flow sensor. He put in a Throttle Positioning Sensor, but it still has the problem. Dealer wants to put in an Air FLow sensor on the air intake for $700 plus labor. Won't guarentee that will fix it. Has anyone had this problem? Any suggestions? Please email me with any answers.
    Thanks in advance,
  • hyperopthyperopt Posts: 55
    My LS400 timing belt was replaced by previous owner at 62K and now the car has 116K. I pondered whether or not I should change the belt at 60K interval, but after some research, I decided not to even though I could change the belt myself (had changed 5+ Toyota&Honda timing belts). Why?

    1. LS400 timing belt is no wimpy belt. It is homungus and should last for at least 100K assuming the belt is not contaminated(ie. oil or antifreeze), properly pensioned, and no lock-up.

    2. LS400 engine is free-wheeling, thus, no damage to the engine when the belt snap. However, you would need a tow to your favorite shop or to your own garage for a belt replacement.

    In short, I decided to not throw away the timing belt prematurely, and to be on the safe side, I would replace it at 90K which equated to 50% more usage. These are my thoughts. Make your own decision!
  • lexomanlexoman Posts: 4
  • jeffmust2jeffmust2 Posts: 811
    I purchased a used '95 LS that now has 80K miles; I'm sure the original shocks are still installed.

    Has anyone installed non-OEM shocks and, if so, at what mileage, price range, and results?

    This is a great board for LS owners - but I keep nerviously checking the power steering pump every Sunday!
  • Thank you for your response to my brake squeal. Since reading your post I'm thinking the only way to live with this problem, is to quiet this down. I'm gonna check and see if I could get a standing appointment maybe every 2 weeks and have those brakes cleaned and sprayed for a reasonable cost. It would be worth it for the summer and not necessary for the winter.
  • w988w988 Posts: 6
    I asked my Lexus Service Consultant about a timing belt replacement when my 93 LS400 needed a 60,000 miles service and was told to wait until
    its 90,000 miles service. Since I read several messages mentioned replacing the water pump and the power steering pump, I will probably replace them at 90,000 miles.
  • My 90 LS400 with 102K is equipped with traction control. Somewhat frequently my TRAC light in the center of the speedo will stay on. When this occurs the car will not downshift in a passing situation. Attempting to stomp the throttle only causes an unimpressive surge and not the normal downshift and exceleration.

    Everyones feedback is appreciated.
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Start by having the ABS/Traction Control system controller scanned for any stored diagnostic trouble codes. That might point you in the right direction.
  • wuzie888wuzie888 Posts: 1
    I'm the original owner of a 1994 Anniversary Edition and I still love my car. Recently, I've been hearing a low creaking noise, which seems as if it's coming from the rear suspension. This only happens when I make left turns; the turn can be hard or gentle, it makes that creaking noise. Does anyone have any idea of what might be the problem?
  • rtboonrtboon Posts: 21
    I too have a 1994 Anniversary edition LS400 with 87,000 miles. Several dealers and mechanics have told me that you do not need to change the AS timing belt until 90,000 miles and none of them ever recall a belt breaking. I too also have a suspension noise at low speeds and especially first thing in the morning. Dealer assures me everything is OK. Have not had a single problem with this car other than replacing the center brake light bulb! What a difference from my previous BMW 540.
  • lx400chwlx400chw Posts: 3
    Hi - I have a 1990 LS400 and the rear power window seems to have a problem. It occationally works, but most of the time not. When it works, both switches (driver control and rear passanger) function well. When it doesn't work, both fail. I slightly opened it this morning, and it stops working. Now I have a LS400 without fully closed window. What seems to be the problem?? Do I need a new motor?? All those great handy guys, please help!!!

    Also the LCD for the temp and clock is not working (can't see the display clearly, though from certain angle you can see the temp move up or down). Is it just a bulb or whole LCD is no use?

    Thanks for all those who reposnd!!
  • stugstug Posts: 1
    Hi. Looking for some advice. I have a 1991 Lexus LS 400 with 108,000. It is clean and running good. Unfortunately, my A/C compressor froze and the estimated cost is about $1,500 to repair.

    Do you recommend I get the work done at the Lexus Dealership or would an A/C specialty shop be better. Please tell me "why" you made that recommendation.

    Is this a car a keeper or should I consider trading or selling it?

    Lexus Owners - PLEASE respond QUICKLY as it is getting hot!!
  • lexusgallexusgal Posts: 1
    You do have a challenge there. The 91-93 LS400s have R-12 refrigerent in them. That is a refrigerent that is very expense now due to low supply. Since R-12 is a natural resource that is almost complete depleted, many manufacturers switched their refrigerent from R-12 to R-134 around 94-95 (including Lexus). When you consider this repair, ask about whether they are retrofitting your a/c system to R-134 or leaving it R-12. Otherwise, if you have any other problems, you may 'have' to retrofit it later.

    We are actually looking at this situation for our customers right now. I'm researching what Lexus recommends for retrofit. As soon as I have info from Lexus, I will be sure to post it.

    As for whether to sell or fix your 91 LS400. I have several customers with this year/model, and I know how great these cars are (even though it was one of the first). They will last and last. You may have repairs, but even newer Lexus' have repairs, and you know the history on this one. That is a major plus for peace of mind.
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    You must be operating from a different chemistry book than I am. R-12 refrigerant is a man-made chemical compound of chlorofluorocarbons (CFC's) which has been proven to cause depletion of the Earth's ozone layer. It is absolutely not a natural resource. The Montreal Protocol, an international agreement originally signed in 1987, originally called for a CFC production phaseout by Jan 1, 1996 and total phaseout by 2020. Existing supplies will be available until then. The Kyoto Protocol of December 1997 further reduces allowable CFC'c.

    R-134A is a hydroflourocarbon which has no ODP (oxone depletion potential).
  • I noticed that message #126 was never answered, regarding the speedometer needle light going out. Does anyone know anything about how to go about replacing this? Do I need just a bulb for the needle or does the whole panel LED display need to be replaced (this is what the dealer says needs to be done... can't just replace the single bulb!). I have a '93 LS400. Thanks to anyone who can provide some insight!
  • The car is back for the fifth visit to the Lexus dealer. The last time, they replaced the TPS sensor for a second time, saying that the first replacement was defective. Now they have a mechanic driving it to work to try to get it to fail.

    Why? I guess they don't believe me.

    The VSC Off indicator no longer lights when the transmission stops working. But it still has the same problem - while driving (this time about 40 miles per hour,) the car suddenly loses power to the wheels, even though the engine is still running fine.

    It happens without warning, this time it was fine for three days before it messed up.

    Stop the car, turn off the ignition, turn it back on, and it runs fine for hours or days.

    The dealer doesn't want to change the computer, obviously,

    The car is under warranty, so it isn't costing me anything - but who cares? It's lucky that no one has been hurt.
  • hyperopthyperopt Posts: 55
    R-12 is also a hydroflourocarbon and does have ODP.
    It's production begins with methane and subjects to series of chemical reaction with halogens to produces R-12. The raw materials are abundant and cheap. R-12 is costly because of government regulations as well as heavy taxes.
  • hyperopthyperopt Posts: 55
    If you are confortable with going to the dealer for services and willing to cough out big $, then dealership is not a bad choice; otherwise, take your car to an automotive shop specializing in AC which can perform exceptional work for substantially less than a dealer.
    If possible, you should replace the AC pump that is compatible with R-134 and retrofit your AC system to R-134 - it will cost less in the long run if you decided to keep your car. You should also look into replacing the high&low pressure AC hoses which will eventually leak after 10 years of service. Don't let anyone sell you new set of hoses, but rather, have an AC shop rebuilt the hoses at a fraction of the cost of a new set. While you're at it, change the o-ring at the hose connectors to R-134 compatible o-rings.
    Sound like alot? Well, these services are not that atypical for a 10 years old AC system.

    It is important to run the AC system at least once a month for at least 5 minutes to keep the system lubricated and prevent the seals from drying out. Good luck!
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