Lexus LS 400/LS 430



  • nvbankernvbanker Member Posts: 7,285
    Yes, I agree. Lexus hasn't figured out the American [non-permissible content removed] yet. My 02 had a completely unacceptable seat, just totally flat, and too soft in the middle. My 05 had a seat that was much much better, but not anywhere as good as pretty much anyone elses. At least it wasn't so bad I would pass on the car this time. However, if the 05 had had the same seat as the 02 in it, I'd have bought a Mercedes. I don't understand how they can miss so far with this one detail. They work so hard to reach perfection - yet never checked out a Volvo seat before?
  • eagle3eagle3 Member Posts: 7
    My 95 ls400 has just turned 100K miles. The other day I noticed the steering started getting stiff feeling. My mechanic says the PS pump has been leaking, and said it needed replacing. He mentioned the related alternator problem but said he cleaned it off the alternator the best he could , and tested it. He said it was charging fine. He did not try to sell me any more service, but I am wondering if I would be better off going ahead and replacing the alternator, and maybe the power steering rack, or anything else? I know that the PS pump leak tends to set off a chain reaction of problems.
  • marsha7marsha7 Member Posts: 3,703
    Considering that your car is now 13 years old, ANY rountine maintenance would be reasonable...and, probably it would be the last time you had to change that particular component, if the origial lasted 100K and 13 years...
  • garyh1garyh1 DC metroMember Posts: 394
    At the moment, I drive an '05 LS430 and my wife is driving an '04 ES330. The ES is fine as an in-city commuter for one or two, but on the highway there is no comparison - the LS is a class above. The ES is basically an upgraded front-wheel drive Camry; the LS is a rear wheel drive cruiser (no equivalent Toyota car sold in America). And the LS is significantly more spacious for passengers and cargo.

    We looked at the new ES350, but didn't like the style of the center console, or - more importantly - the visibility for the driver all around the new model ('07 and '08). So we ended up buying a low-mileage '04 ES330, fully tricked out with the same Mark Levinson stereo and navigation system as in my LS.

    Bottom line: the ES is a very nice car, but IMO definitely a step down from the LS. And be sure to check out the visibility of the new ES350 - that's a big difference from the LS model you are used to!

    By the way, this is not a great place to put your question to get other responses - try reposting under another thread like "LS430 - Buying and Leasing Experiences" or some such.
  • wwestwwest Member Posts: 10,706
    "ES.....definitely a step down from the LS..."

    A step down...??!! Try 2 or 3 or even 4.

    The only reason the ES exists at all was to give the early Lexus dealers something besides the LS to sell.
  • famwaldfamwald Member Posts: 114
    "Have an 05 also and have found the seats to be a real pain in the a_ _, literally. I am tall and thin, but the bolsters on the seat bottom really dig into my hip bones. I have the airconditioned seats and the bolsters are very firm, and hard. They don't give much. The center of the seat sits down too much further exascerbating the situation."

    ITA with you on the seats. We have an '05 LS. When I extend the lower (horizontal) part of the seat forward - not the entire seat but just the lower part - the seat gets lower and firmer, too. That is way too uncomfortable, so I give up thigh support for 'sitting bones' comfort.
  • eagle3eagle3 Member Posts: 7
    My 95 LS400 starts up with i high idle 1400-1600rpm.....the problem is it takes about 10 minutes to warm up to the point of the idle reducing down to 600-750. I know it should not take that it possible I need an injector cleaning or something like that?

    Another problem I have had for several thousand miles (it now has 100k) is a "shuddering thud" when I take my foot off the accelerator. It is more of a "feel" than a loud sound, but I can hear it too. It feels like it is underneath the car in the transmission area. It only happens when I take my foot off the accelerator after accelerating, Also, it is random, sometimes I can drive for hours and it won't happen. I am more concerned about this problem than I am the high idle problem.

    Any advise would be appreciated. :)
  • jsb16jsb16 Member Posts: 64
    I have about another month left on the warranty of my low mileage LS (33K miles) and have been tossing out the dealer offers of an extended warranty for years in the $1700+ range. There are several dealers in MA selling HondaCare warranties to buyers around the country for much less than the 100% over cost that my local dealer charges. Anyone aware of a similar Lexus dealer that will sell a Lexus extended warranty at a really good price? I'll be planning on keeping the car for years and it has been pretty trouble free. At the right price I'll prepay for a warranty. Otherwise, I'll take my chances. The Honda warranty was worth it and my local dealer wanted $1300 for what I easily bought elsewhere for $660.
  • wwestwwest Member Posts: 10,706
    Go to the finance manager of a far-a-way (far enough that they know this is a one-shot opportunity) dealer and ask for an extended warranty quote.
  • cneumancneuman Member Posts: 55
    You might want to give McGrath Lexus of Westmont, Illinois a call. I checked around, even across the country, about a year and a half ago and found them to be the most reasonable. I honestly can't remember the exact quotes. But found them to be the least expensive by far.

  • ckcanonckcanon Member Posts: 1
    I've had this same problem since about 35k mileage (2001). Finally went to eBay a bought 2 struts for ~$80 and installed them in 15 minutes - problem solved!

    And Lexus wonders why the dealer never sees my car for service?????
  • mrsincere7mrsincere7 Member Posts: 40
    I have 4 master smart key remotes for my '04 LS 430. Only two are programmed. I would like to program the other two. Does anyone know how to program a master smart key remote so that the ignition will recognize it, and I can use them to open doors and the trunk?
  • nvbankernvbanker Member Posts: 7,285
    It can be done, and they'll work on everything, but I believe you have to do all 4 at the same time - and as far as I know, this is a closer guarded process than the secret for the flux capacitor - and I only know of dealers who can do it. Perhaps though, someone else will come up with help for you. :confuse:
  • mheni1mheni1 Member Posts: 41
    I need to replace tires. Looking for all season with really good quiet smooth ride. I don't worry about snow. Extended times on interstate. Have 18" wheels. Original Dunlops on ground now. Would really like another brand. Any suggestions?
  • joniejonesjoniejones Member Posts: 1
    I have something I would love to get off my chest regarding Lexus vehicles that I want everyone to be aware of before purchasing one. They say they define perfection, but I have seen 1990 model cars that hold up better than the piece of crap I own. I felt bad for the longest time thinking that the car looked that may amybe because of something that I did, but it was not me at all. At under 100k miles my engine went out on my ES300 and Lexus was going to charge 6k to 11k to fix it until we found out that the oil slugged and that was the reason for the engine to go out and Lexus had to rebuild the engine at their cost. The parts for this car are ridiculious and most parts that fit a Camary will fit an ES300 at 1/2 the cost, What a rip off. They charge you more for the car and the parts because it is suppose to be a very well built car that will last a long time, but trust me they don't last long at all. If you are thinking of buying a Lexus do yourself a favor and go to your nearest junk yard and look at the older ones they have. When you see the seats all ripped up and cracked and pieces coming off that should not, etc and you see the same pattern in most of the ones you look at just remeber that is what your's is going to look like in the future. I was shocked when I went to buy parts for my car to replace and come to find out that all 20 cars I looked at did not have the part I need because they all had the same problem as mine. I conditioned my seats and put all the expensive creams to keep them soft, but it does not matter they will eventually split.

    Lexus is the biggest rip off I have ever seen so please do not waste your money, they need to change their slogan of defining perfection because they are no where near defining perfection and to me that is false advertisement.

    I hope I have been helpful and possibly saved you alot of money. If you would like to see pics of my Lexus to see what I am talking about email me and I will be happy to send them to you.
  • rennyboschrennybosch Member Posts: 329
    Well, joniejones, I'm glad you got that off your chest before it suffocated you. Hopefully you can now breathe better and enjoy life again.
  • 01ultra01ultra Member Posts: 1
    I put a set of Toyo Versado LX's (245/45-18) on last spring as my 'summer' set & am very happy with them so far - about 10,000 miles. Just change back from my 'winter' set & realized that I REALLY like these tires!
  • nvbankernvbanker Member Posts: 7,285
    Not sure why you want another brand, but just be careful - some cheaper brands give you a lot of road noise on these cars - stay with Dunlops, or a good replacement, ie; Michelin, Goodyear, BF Goodrich, etc. Don't get some off-brand Chi-Com tire sold by a Discount chain - you'll hate the noise they make.
  • jldiiijldiii Member Posts: 2
    Both famwald and muchgusto have identified a justified common complaint that is not unique to the LS430. In fact our 2006 Hyundai also has the same characteristically defective deep-welled center seat design that really hurts my "broad based" bottom. Like both of them, I could scream at the "that's the way it is designed" responses.

    Here is a solution that I have used on our newly acquired preowned LS430 (an otherwise dream car), the Azera, and a previously owned 2000 DTS Cadillac with similar seat design.

    At rear of the driver seat there are a series of two flaps that need to be opened to get into the bench portion from the rear. The first is one is a foot tread protector attached to the rear of the seat back cover. It is secured underneath by a integrated wide pressured attached plastic clip. Detach by pulling down and forward and then lift out of the way. The second flap is the bench seat cover that can opened by carefully prying the two plastic clips which secure the cover to the seat frame. You will then have access to the rear of the foam cushion but watch for the sharped edges on the frame when feeling around.

    You can then stuff the seat by inserting almost any thing to fill the center void. I used a combination of turkish towel and upholstery foam between the existing seat foam and the supporting frame. Don't make the mistake of stuffing between the leather and the foam that can interfere with the heating, cooling, supply line and wiring.

    My experience is that the amount and positioning of the stuffing is a customizing event that may require many tries to achieve the desired comfort but the end result is worth all of the effort. You will be absolutely astonished at the difference.
  • muchogustomuchogusto Member Posts: 5
    God bless you jldiii....someone with a potential solution to the problem. I need to figure out a way to make it work for me. Thank you, thank you, thank you. :D
  • mrsincere7mrsincere7 Member Posts: 40
    Do you know how Continental Tires perform, especially on the LS430? I was thinking about getting me a set of 4 for mine.
  • mheni1mheni1 Member Posts: 41
    I lost a programmed key. My dealer provided a new programmed key for $200 or so.
  • nvbankernvbanker Member Posts: 7,285
    My experience with Continental (General) tires hasn't been great. They are quiet enough, but don't last very long and aren't particularly good at anything special. They would be better than an off brand however. Do NOT buy the cheapest tire Discount or OK tires offers, ie; their own brand. You'll be sorry if you do. Again, I recommend Michelin or Dunlap for this car.
  • wwestwwest Member Posts: 10,706
    Don't know if this will be pertinent to an LS but my '01 911/996 C4 came with continetals which were fine until I accrued about 8,000 miles and at that point they turned horribly noisey. Apparently they were aware of the problem as there was no hesitation in getting a full refund.

    I run nice and quiet comfortably running Bridgestone Turanzas, summer only, on my '92 LS.
  • coachldcoachld Member Posts: 2
    I am thinking about purchasing a used 01 LS430 with Nav, chrome wheels, and couple of other options. The problem is the mileage. I know these things run forever but the mere thought of buying a car with 143000 miles, makes me queasy. I should be able to get it for $13K. Am I crazy for considering this? I have been a passenger in an 05 LS430 and it was amazing. My father-in-law also still has his 90 LS with over 200K and it still runs like a champ. This is a second car so am not looking to drop a ton of money or I would consider something with fewer miles. Thanks in advance.
  • mrsincere7mrsincere7 Member Posts: 40
    I owned and sold a '96 LS 400 ( last year ) with 131,000 miles, and that car was still running strong. The guy was very happy. The average yearly mileage was just over 10k.

    The '01 you are looking at has 143,000k which averages out to less than 18,000 miles a year. Looking it like that, that mileage doesnt sound so bad. Maybe the car was maintained at a particular Lexus dealership where they have records? If not? The best thing you can do, is still have the car checked out by a reputable mechanic before you part with any money. If you cant get any records, you know the 1st thing needed is to replace the timing belt.

    Hopefully you'll check the NADA book ( or other source ) to see what an '01 LS is going for with 143,000k. I checked Edmunds appraisal with only the options you mentioned. Trade in : $12,500k Private party $14,900 Dealer retail $17,200

    If the car is in good condition, then $13,000k sounds like a pretty fair deal.
  • coachldcoachld Member Posts: 2
    Thanks for response. I guess it is an even better deal....he is going to fax me carfax showing that it is a one-owner car and he claims that all service was done at dealership. I am going to call the dealership to see if I can verify. I will also have an inspection done if I decide to purchase.

    I did use and came up with the similar numbers. I am guessing that he is having to lower sale price because most people are afraid of the mileage.
  • nvbankernvbanker Member Posts: 7,285
    The car is probably fine, IF the timing belt was changed at 90,000 as it should be, and remember, it'll need that changed gain at 180,000. After 150,000, although the engine and transmission probably are fine, what you'll start having trouble with are little things like LCD displays on the dash, alternators, power steering pumps, fuel pumps, radiators, water pumps, etc. Not saying it'll be bad, but hoses and peripheral equipment will nickel and dime you. May be worth it to you - it's your decision, but don't expect it to be perfect and trouble free at that age.
  • eagle3eagle3 Member Posts: 7
    Yesterday I got in my 95 LS400 and, after starting the engine, noticed that my climate control screen was blank. Thinking I had accidentally pressed the OFF button earlier, I started pressing buttons, ALL OF THEM, and nothing happened! I tried the fan, the temp up and down buttons, the A/C button, mode button...the screen remained blank. I am hoping it is just a fuse. I have looked at the fuse cover diagrams, but saw nothing that says anything about climate control or A/C.

    I thought maybe this has happened to someone on here before. If anyone has any ideas what my problem could be, I really would appreciate any help. I live in Georgia, and it is already getting too warm to be without my A/C!
  • mikeyinmomikeyinmo Member Posts: 9
    I have a '99 LS, equipped with Navigation and the screen in my car has "all the eggs" in one basket (climate, nav, radio, etc). I too have experienced the "blank screen" or more accurately, the "grayed out screen" where nothing works and nothing responds to commands from your fingers.

    My dealer simply told me to "reboot" ie turn the car off and restart it. I have had to do this maybe a half dozen times in the last year and it worked every time.

    BTW, if this does NOT work, then you are looking at some expensive "module" replacements to your car. I do not think it is a "fuse" problem.

    I am unhappy that "all the eggs are in one basket" on the touch screen and now I just cross my fingers everytime I start my car.

    Good luck and I hope I have been some help.

    Mike in Missouri..........
  • eagle3eagle3 Member Posts: 7
    Hi Mike,

    I tried the reboot thing but it didn't work. My 95 is not one of the "all eggs in one basket" model. My Radio/CD,etc. has a different screen below the A/C,heater screen, and of course I don't have Nav. I sure hope it is not a bad module. If anyone else out there has any ideas please let me know.

    Thanks for the response though, Mike.
  • famwaldfamwald Member Posts: 114
    This week I notice all the gas pumps have a sign on them stating that all blends from the pumps contain up to 10% Ethanol. I usually burn premium Shell gasoline, but even the Amoco pumps have a similar notice on them.

    My question is this: what will the 10% ethanol do to the engine of our '05 LS430?

    I've searched the Lexus forums and can't find an answer. Thanks!
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    But stay away from E85 or any other blend with more than 10% ethanol.
  • wwestwwest Member Posts: 10,706
    Replace the cigarette lighter fuse.
  • nvbankernvbanker Member Posts: 7,285
    I always burn Shell V-power premium as well, but don't worry. The LS will handle the 10% Ethanol without a problem whatever. It's built to handle much worse, but don't try burning the E-85 corn junk in it. That will turn on your check engine light.
  • famwaldfamwald Member Posts: 114
    Thanks for the reply. My dealer said to avoid, but they must have misunderstood and thought I ran across the E-85.
  • melissac3melissac3 Member Posts: 1
    had the same problem with my lexus and found out that it was the air control valve at the side of the power steering pump. Took off the two hoses and plugged up the power steering pump and then capped of the two hoses at the intake and never had the problem again. If your having any loss of power steering fluid i would bet that this is your problem. site has step by step instructions on how to fix it. Its a very cheap fix costed me about 2 dollars to fix.
  • ckennedyckennedy Member Posts: 82
    Anyone know where the engine air filter is located? Mechanic started rattling so some numbers and I said that I would do it. Do I need to go with a K&N type air filter or can i just go with one from like
  • bouelletbouellet Member Posts: 4
    Wireless door lock buzzer switch


    My wifes 96 LS400 has the buzzer switch on the right driver kneewall so she can modulate the sound...However my 97 LS400 has no sound when I use the remote and there is no button beneath the interior trunk open button as the manual says it should be. Can anyone shed light on this situation. Again I have no sound when locking or unlocking doors or trunk with the remote and I can't find a button.
  • vdragonvdragon Member Posts: 12
    Hi all,

    Looks like I may need a 4 door car for the child seat and more. Have an 8 month old son right now and planning on having another pretty soon.

    Got my wife an '05 Lx470 and it is the best SUV there is, to me.
    I have a Tacoma pickup.

    Starting to do some research and I see the 2001 is the first year for the 430. Am I wrong in targeting this year and model? Are there any major issues for this model year compared to a 2002 or 2003? Only reason I'm targeting this year of course is the price... the cheapest of the newer styled cars.

    I figured since I'm looking, might as well look at a newer model. Is there anything in general I should be aware of for the Ls430's? "This has been known to break at xxK miles... this has been known to happen on this model year..."

    Thanks for the help. I will continue to browse all the posts.
  • aggie76aggie76 Member Posts: 266
    While I realize you are looking for "cheaper" of that style might I suggest you seriously look at the '04 years as there were a number of significant changes to the LS that really makes it a much "better" LS than the prior couple of years. Six speed tranny among other items that you can research. I've had really nothing except normal maintenance on my '04 and its still the best car I have ever owned but you know the brand from your LX. Best of luck on your search.
  • mitchellrowemitchellrowe Member Posts: 92
    hello mr. dragon : the pinacle of the 3rd LS series was the early 2005's with 17" rims . 2004's are very close , but the '05 had some extra features . in late 2005 , the $ 1800 18" rims , that were optional, became standard . the 18's held over to the 2006 model . the 17's were much more of a luxury feel and ride , and sat flatter on the road surface for more control and better wet handling .
    the 2009 is scheduled to be an all wheel drive ( no more 2 wheel - rear drive ) ,
    meeting emotional competition from moronic dealers .
    the current 2 wheel - rear drive is simple and economic . the all wheel drive will cost 1 to 2 mpg , and not necessary in alot of areas of our country .
    assuming the story is true ( all 2009 ls's will be 4 wheel drive ) , it will , in my opinion , lexus's first major dud .
    grab a 2008 ls 460 now , as the '08's coming off the ships are $ 900 MORE , and
    have the proven drive train with decent mpg .
    additionally ... the 2008 LS 460 is bullet proof , and overcame the 2007 shortcomings .
    RECCOMEND : THE MARK LEVINSON OPTION ...( the satellite - xm - is true to life sound ) .
    mitchell rowe
  • mheni1mheni1 Member Posts: 41
    I have GPS DVD version 0.5.1 in my '06 LS 430. Is there a more current version? Thanks.
  • wwestwwest Member Posts: 10,706
    Yes, I think it's called the Garmin Nuvi series, available at Costco.
  • nvbankernvbanker Member Posts: 7,285
    He's funny, isn't he? The Garmin is a wonderful product actually, but I'd rather not have the unit velcroed to the top of my dash when my car comes equiped with a navigation system as good as the Lexus has.

    If you haven't bought an upgrade yet, 7.1 is now available. Looks like you're a couple behind.

    eBay Guides - Lexus Navigation Update DVD's and Hard DrivesLexus Navigation Update Date Version 07.1 is now available for purchase. The next tenatively scheduled Navigation Update Version 08.1 is to be released 4th ... 00000004085713?ssPageName
  • mheni1mheni1 Member Posts: 41
    I have an "06 LS 430 with nav system. On a recent hot, humid day the a/c stopped working for an hour and then started up again. When it started again it would not automatically switch from outside air to recirculate nor would the air direction vents work. The same thing has happened again. I am taking car to local dealer in the next week or so. Anything input on problem ID and solution (s). Thanks.
  • mikeyinmomikeyinmo Member Posts: 9
    My low-mileage '99 LS400 will be going in to the dealer this month for it's 90K service, which will include opening her up and replacing the timing belt, water pump, etc.

    Any thing else I should have the dealer look for while the whole front end is torn apart?

    Appreciate your collective advice and I REALLY appreciate our hosts, Pat and Karen.

    Mike in SE Missouri
  • patpat Member Posts: 10,421
    Thank you Mike!! We appreciate the forum and all the helpful information everyone posts!!

  • wwestwwest Member Posts: 10,706
    It sounds as if the evaporator may have gotten too cold and froze up.

    Did you still have good/strong airflow from the system during the early part of that hour or so...??

    If not then the airflow was being blocked by the iced over evaporator.

    There is a thermistor mounted right against the downstream side of the evaporator so the ECU will/should never drive the evaporator temperature below freezing. But, believe me, it does still happen.

    The HVAC firmware, as a remedial/recovery measure, may prevent the use of the recirculate mode or the floor/footwell airflow modes until the next time teh ignition is switched on.

    I have only had the LS400 A/C shut down in the manner you describe, once in our 92 LS400 while traveling west out of Helena MT, and then in my brother's 92 LS400 traveling north into OR from the mountainous regions of northern CA.

    While I suspected evaporator freeze up in both instances I did not think to check for airflow on either occasion. So the A/C shutdown may have been the result of the extra climbing load on the engine and therefore coolant "threatening" to overheat.
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