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Lexus LS 400/LS 430



  • gteach26gteach26 Posts: 576
    ....for them. :)

    Sorry to hear about your 2K pain.

    I find it surprising that a company that makes you hit "I agree" on the nav/radio system every time you start up the car to avoid possible litigation would make such an easily corrupted laser cruise system that could lead to a serious accident if it malfunctioned.

    I wonder if indeed, the '04 refresh of the LS included design changes to that system to make it tougher.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    ...are actually an anti-theft feature. As others have said, just jiggle it while turning the ignition.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    The steering wheel will tend to lock harder than normal. What you describe is the norm and this is usually the way it happens. But every now and then it won't come free with the usual quick jiggle. Actually most of the time with Smartaccess it comes free without even the need to jiggle it. But when it doesn't you almost get the feeling you won't be able to start the car as Jerry pointed out. I made sure I explained it to my wife since it scared me to the point of thinking it was a problem. When it happens you have to give it a quick and real hard tug to get it free. It happened to me once or twice in my old LS but even that wasn't as bad as this. I think it is tied into Smartaccess. Once it happens you know what to expect and how to deal with it. I'm sure there is a minor adjustment that the service dept. can make to eliminate this. But it's not a big deal and certainly not a problem - just an occasional annoyance and Lexus buyers are not used to annoyances.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    I have not heard any widespread problems with laser cruise. I would also think this is a warranty item since it is not prone to ordinary wear and tear.
  • rennyboschrennybosch Posts: 329
    Don't you have to know in which direction to pull the steering wheel? It seems to me that sometimes I have to pull to the right and other times to the left. It sort of seems like there is some pin that locks the wheel by fitting into a groove between two teeth of a gear.
    If the pin hits the groove straight on it will release easily, but if it hits the edge of a tooth then it may cause friction and not release easily.

    Does this make any sense? It's hard to describe without drawing a picture and pointing.

    By the way, I have noticed that when the steering wheel is locked and I try to start the car, I get a warning message that says "Check S/T Lock". Would you guess that "S/T" is meant to be an abbreviation for "Steering Wheel"?
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    I got that S/T lock message the first time it happened. When I jiggle the steering wheel I go both right and left and it comes free.
  • gteach26gteach26 Posts: 576
    So is the "check S/T lock" indicator a visual hint to do the "jiggle thing" with the steering wheel?

    Or is it a warning to get the steering wheel serviced?

    Does the owner's manual have anything to say about this? (No, not lazy, I'm a potential LS430 owner here -- don't have a manual YET) :)
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    If one of the front wheels is turned into the curb or some object, sometimes even a small rock, then it can be very hard to turn the wheel enough by hand to disenage the lock.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    No it's not a service warning just an alert that your steering wheel is locked. The manual does deal with it and states what to do but I honestly forgot what it said.

    wwest - this happened to me in my garage with nothing impeding the wheels. So it should occasionally be expected - but as I said before - its a non-event once you know what to do.
  • erad98erad98 Posts: 23
    Thanks to all of those who posted on these topics.

    I purchased the flaps and had the dealer install them. Since I plan on keeping my LS 430 for several years, I thought it was a wise investment to minimize rock dings and tar. I was finally able to convince the dealer that there was a way to customize the door locking mechanism given that other owners have reported sucess. Although they charged me $25 for the CBEST adjustment, they under-charged me for the mud guards so I walked away happy.
  • barry5barry5 Posts: 49
    Lexus considers the Dynamic Cruise Control module as the would a windshield. In other words if you were driving and road debris cracked your windshield you would not be covered by a Lexus warranty. I think they are comparing apples to oranges however that is the reality. I will be picking up my new $2000 module tomorrow and have asked for the old one, there must be a way of protecting it.
  • How much did they charge you to install the mud guards...Did you get the guards from the dealer or a web site. Could you tell us how much you had to pay for them.

    If the dealer provided the mud guards could you give us their name.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    Is there a way of just using regular cruise and disabling the laser function? I haven't checked. I will ask them if they fixed the breakage problem on the 2004 when I service it.
  • jbianco12jbianco12 Posts: 125
    Yes, you can switch between dynamic and regular cruise control by pressing one of the buttons on the steering column (I think it's the mode button). If it's not that one, it's one of the other buttons on the steering column. It's one of the features listed in the manual.
  • barry5barry5 Posts: 49
    I do not know. I have never attempted to use the manual cruise control. When my Dynamic Cruise Control went the message on the dashboard was consistent "check cruise control" or "cruise control not functioning". If you have a crack or chip on the glass it will function but after a while that crack will widen and allow rushing air into the module which will cause it to malfunction [that's my theory]. When I examine the old module I may be able to comment further. At this point my concern is how do I protect the new module.
  • On my 01 to turn on the Laser cruse control you push the button on the end of the stick on the right hand side and the display comes on.

    To go to regular cruse you just push the button twice. I suspect it will be the same on an 04
  • erad98erad98 Posts: 23
    I got the guards from a Canadian web site referenced earlier. Their e-mail is Purchasing was uneventful although they had to wait for a shipment from Japan. As I recall they cost $250 for all 4 guards.

    The dealer had initially quoted me a price of $85 for installation but ended up charging me $25.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    I haven't stopped in a store recently but a search of the web stills shows Verizon wireless lacking bluetooth. Anyone know differently? I'm starting to get real frustrated with them and will switch if they don't do something soon. On business days my car becomes a travelling office on my way in and a concert hall on my way back (after a phone call or two). Lexus provides bluetooth for the trip in and mark levinson for the trip back. Verizon provides zilch. I'm giving them 70 days to fix this - and only because it's summer.
  • anthonypanthonyp Posts: 1,860
    Went to get the Bridgestone t`s , and the salesman told my wife that they were the best in his opinion. ( it`s wwest`s opinion I value, but he backed it up) Unfortunately there was not one to be had, so they are on back order for a month or so. Just an update.. Tony
  • rgswrgsw Posts: 333
    I checked earlier in the week in Albuquerque, NM and was advised that they have no information when they will be distributing or providing "BlueTooth". In addition, the entire Verizon local service area was off the air due to someone cutting a fiber optic cable. The next morning, the local talk show host was giving them heck for the poor customer service he received at a local Verizon store. He said that he finally gave up and went to a contract store and was served in a timely manner there. They must still be testing the V600 Motorola???
  • achadhaachadha Posts: 106
    verizon wass supposed to release the V710 at the end of may...obviously that hasn't happened yet so it is on a month to month basis for now...check out the motorola website for information on the phone it is basically the v600 model made for verizon...
  • topspin628topspin628 Posts: 373
    Today I took a Jag XJ8 for an all day test ride and in fact drove it to the Lexus dealer so that I could drive an LS 430 back to back with it. For luxury there was no comparison. The Jag is a nice car and very quick. The exterior styling is classic and unique and the car is rare in its sector. But the Lexus interior was far superior and the ride was smoother and more refined. Now if I can just decide between the S Class and the LS 430. Both are winners and both excel in different areas.

    Is the Cust. Lux package worth the price over the Modern Lux package if the laser cruise is not of interest? Is the interior a signifcant upgrade?
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    In my opinion the custom lux is worth the extra if you get the interior upgrade with it. Otherwise taking the custom lux w/o the upgraded interior is dependent on whether you want laser cruise and door closers. The car is a great car and you will enjoy it immensely. I think when you play this whole field against each other the only real lux survivors are the S-class (particularly the S-500) and the LS430. They give you the luxury feel and a great ride to the highest degree. But the S reliability issues and poorer interior combined with a much lower grade nav system and nothing that can compete with the ML stereo on the Lexus are impossible to overcome for me. The fact that you get all that and savings to boot is icing on the cake. The E-500, while priced near an LS430 does not play in the same league as the S or LS. The fact that high-end E's and S-class cars lose their value a lot faster than the LS430 are clear indicators that they are overpriced when new. As well I have driven many S and E class cars over the years and never felt the road connection others rave about. I've never driven an AMG and would imagine the road connection would be immediately recognized on them. But on non-sport, non-AMG MB's, I've long since concluded the feeling is pyschological.

    With all that said, if you get a reliable S-class and are leasing it or don't plan on selling it in the next 5 years, and don't care about the extra cost, I can't imagine you not being happy.
  • topspin628topspin628 Posts: 373
    Thanks for your input. If I go MB I would most likely lease for reasons you mention: resale not as strong as Lexus and long term cost and reliability.

    As for connection to the road, I'm not sure that it just psychological. The cornering is a bit sharper and the steering feel not as over boosted. That said, for a luxury car, I don't think those are key issues.
  • If you do any amount of freeway driving the Laser Cruise is really nice to have...I use mine all the time but I live in the West where maybe we drive longer distances to get anywhere.
  • topspin628topspin628 Posts: 373
    Yes, here in the congested NE I wouldn't usually need it to tell me that the car in front is about 20 feet ahead of me and the car in front of him is 20 ft. ahead..... and we are all going 8 mph!

    I'm sure it comes in handy though for the long drives out of the city.

    I did read in an earlier post here that someone had there's damaged by a rock or some road debris and it was quite expensive (1-2K?) to fix.
    Also, CR cited the MB and Lexus laser cruise to be overly sensitive.
    Any experience with that?
  • Topspin

    The laser cruse does slow your car to maintain the distance between you and the car in front and of course your car will speed up to the set speed if the guy in front picks up the pace.

    It is not at all helpfull if you are driving on congested roads however.
  • jbianco12jbianco12 Posts: 125
    Is a great feature...I use it all the time on longer trips. There are 3 settings for laser sensitivity on how much distance you want to maintain with the car in front on you. So if you think it reacts too quickly, the setting can be adjusted.
    I will find out tomorrow how much it costs it fix the broken glass on the laser cruise. A small rock must have been kicked up by a truck on my last trip to Vegas. The laser still works fine so far, but I'll see if they can just replace the glass...thereby avoiding a $2k charge to replace the entire unit. I've got my 30k maintenance check tomorrow so I'll let you all know what my dealer says about it...stay tuned.
  • rennyboschrennybosch Posts: 329
    I had a 2001 LS430 and now have a 2004, both with dynamic cruise control. On the 2001 they called it "laser", on the 2004 it's "radar" and includes some mechanism for pretensioning the seat belts if a collision is imminent (I hope never to test that feature).

    When I first got the 2001, the cruise control seemed to be doing exactly what I wanted it to, when I set the following distance to the minimum option, except that it was a bit sluggish in accelerating after the car in front of me picked up speed.

    After I had the 60,000 mile service done, it seemed to me that the car was using a slightly longer following distance than it had before, even though I had it on the same setting. I mentioned this to the service guy and he said there was no adjustment, and that they had not done anything that might have changed the settings for following distances.

    The 2004 is definitely more responsive in accelerating after the car in front speeds up, and it seems to have a following distance that is the way the 2001 was at first. The one sense in which it might be said to be too sensitive is that if the car in front slows down enough to trigger the alerting chime sound, it then increases the power brake amplification, so that if you press the brake slightly the effect is as though you had pressed the brake very hard, and the car overreacts - presumably a safety feature. I usually disengage the cruise control before activating the brake in these situations.

    In summary, the 2004 is even better than the 2001.
  • lexus lslexus ls Posts: 10
    does any one know how fast a 1995-97 Ls 400 will go. I have seen a picture of a 1994 Ls 400 going 160 mph. at 5500 rpm. I just have no space in Tampa where i live to test drive one and go that fast
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