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Lexus LS 400/LS 430



  • tjohntjohn Posts: 14
    The Compression Ratio is 10.5:1, which is considered on the high side and will 'perform' best on high octane, but you will not notice a performance loss with regular gas in a car this size. Its unlikely the car will ping, though - which would be the only reason not to use Reg gas. If it pings (again, unlikely), use the next grade up, if not, start saving some money and use Reg from now on. In case your wondering, you will not damage your engine by running that tank of reg.

    Happy motoring
  • finfin atlantaPosts: 591
    Just drive and enjoy..... You may find the gas mileage drops enough on regular to actually justify mid grade on an economic basis. See what happens. Premium gives you the greater performance possibility. But the engine will be fine. :)
  • garyh1garyh1 Posts: 386
    Thanks, tjohn and fin. So now instead of feeling stupid for picking up the wrong gas nozzle, I feel like a continual sucker for usually paying an extra 30 cents/gallon for premium. Hmm, not sure that feels so much better. :confuse:

    But thanks for your reassurances.
  • Has anyone had any experience with purchasing an extended warranty for their LS outside of their home state? If so, what was the cost and experience?


  • Does anyone have experience with the first generation Lexus LS400 driving in snow? I'm considering buying one to be a 3rd car that will be a winter car. I understand the early 400's were derived from the Toyota Cressida and if so, I do have a lot of snow/ice experience with that car as I had a new one in 83 - 87 and found it to be very good in the winter here in NH. The Cressida was also a rear wheel drive car and with only a limited-slip differential, it handled deep snow and icy conditions very well. It was a rare car having an inline 6, a 5-speed manual trans, and 4 wheel disc brakes - really a great, reliable car.
    So are the early Lexus 400's ok in the snow?

    Posted in the wrong area earlier so let's try here.

    Thanks, driveRight in NH.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    I would NEVER intentionally take my 1992 LS400 out in the snow when the roads are expected to be slippery. Were I to get "trapped" in such a situation the very first thing I would do is turn off the totally useless and occasionally unsafe traction control.

    The 92 traction control system will INSTANTLY dethrottle, FULLY, the engine upon even any minor level of wheelspin/slip. THAT can lead to a few moments of "heart in throat" events, no way to move out of harms way until the ECU slowly releases the throttle.

    Back when it was my primary driver I toyed with the idea of modifying it so the traction control defaulted into "off". As it was I just tried to remember to always turn it off whenever I started the engine.

    And so I certainly would not buy one, nor advise anyone else to buy one, to be used specifically as a "winter car".

    I survived many winters in central MT with only RWD vehicles and those were fine for that time. But today too many "better" options are available. And my advice would be to avoid, completely, any FWD or front torque biased AWD vehicle. Well, maybe the Acura RDX' SH-AWD if you can stand the "busiiness" of the dash clutter and ignore the owners manual edict about using tire chains only on the front.

    Numerous back and forth phone calls to Acura engineering and in the end all they could tell me was that the statement in the manual might be a typo, they couldn't find any reason, support, for the statement.

    Speaking as someone who's earliest driving experiences (1958), "training", (outside of farm tractors and mules) was on the ice and snow covered ramps of Pease AFB just outside Portsmouth NH.
  • This is exactly the kind of info I was looking for. I really appreciate your input.

    The 91 LS400 that I'm considering doesn't have the traction control option so I won't have to think about it. As I said in my post my rear drive Cressida was great in the snow with snow tires on just the rear wheels. It might have been even better with snows on all 4.

    I'm not paying a lot of money for the Lexus so I'm not worried about the adverse affects to the car - just how it might handle.
  • Hello! First time posting here so I am not sure what to expect. My problem is this, I bought my wife a 93 Lexus LS 400 about a year ago. It has roughly 200k miles on it, but is in great condition. We have not had any problems until recently. White smoke is coming out of the exhaust upon starting the car, it does not last for more than a minute or two, but is giving my wife concern, which means it is giving me concern. Does any one have any recommendations as to what the problem may be. Going to Lexus to pay their diagnosis & repair cost is out of the question, I only paid $3000 for the car and would hate to go beyond that since it is just a ride around town car.

    Thank you for any help you may be able to provide.
  • rgswrgsw Posts: 333
    Hope someone can help you. If no response on this forum, suggest you talk to a Lexus service rep and ask what he thinks might be the problem. Or talk to a local repair shop mechanic which specializes in Japanese cars. Good luck.
  • Years ago I had a Firebird that had a lot of miles on it. It too smoked for a short period after starting. The problem was bad/worn valve stem seals which allowed oil to seep into the cylinder heads when the engine wasn't running and burn off when the engine was started creating the white smoke. If it is valve stem seals, they are not too expensive to replace however I would suspect your mechanic will want to do a complete valve job which is a little more costly.
    Bill - Northwest IN - Shade tree mechanic in a previous life-
  • finfin atlantaPosts: 591
    White smoke is either steam or coolant. Oil smoke is blue, fuel is black. The smoke is water or coolant boiling and then coming out the exhaust as vapor.

    If the weather is cold, water will condense in the exhaust system after shutdown, then come out as steam on startup. This is OK. If you see the smoke after driving on the highway for an hour or it is an all-the-time event, you have a problem.

    If you have a problem, most likely, at this age, it is a leaking head gasket. Possibly the cylinder head is cracked. Valve problems are possible but less likely. Keep track of how much coolant you add to keep it at the full mark. Obviously, this is expensive to fix.

    Hope for the best..... :)
  • I have a 2005 LS430 with just under 12K miles. When I punch the gas pedal, it hesitates. Does anyone have any thoughts before I ask the dealer to help me here?
  • rgswrgsw Posts: 333
    I imagine the "hesitation" you are experiencing is the transmission is not reacting (down shifting) quick enuf. There is a software update that I have read about that can be performed to alieviate this problem. Do a "search" at the top of this forum by entering "hesitation" and you will find numerous comments regards the problem.
  • There is a button right below you CD changer that has "Power/Normal/Snow" written on it. This controls the throttle...If you are a maniac driver and want this trait of yours not to get your passengers sick, then set the button on normal or snow...this will make throttle less responsive...but if you want throttle not to hesitate...then chose the power mode...this will make the throttle more responsive and I believe it will also downshift more quickly to give you more power when you hit gas...keep in mind this car was not designed for hauling [non-permissible content removed]...more for smoooooooooooooth even in power mode, you might need to floor it to get the power you want...Oh, it might also be the 6-speed, try manual stick shift...put it in the 3rd range for local roads and 4th on the highways and you will not likely to complain about lack of power...this car will truly haul [non-permissible content removed]...but gas mileage will suffer...and you will hear more careful not to go over 90mph in the 3rd range, as this will take you into the red don't have to worry about downshifting in the manual mode...the car will do it for you, so 3 means, 1,2,3 automatically, but not higher than 3; 4 means 1,2,3,4 automatically, but not higher than 4, etc...Enjoy!!!!!!
  • garyh1garyh1 Posts: 386
    I have a 2005 LS430 with just under 12K miles. When I punch the gas pedal, it hesitates.

    Ask your dealer to re-program the car's computer per Technical Service Bulletin TC006-04; everyone who has had this done has reported the issue resolved.
  • tubaltubal Posts: 7
    I have the same problem on my '91 LS, and all the research that I've done points to the power steering pump. There is an air control valve towards the bottom of the pump with two vaccum hoses attached. Fluid leaks into the valve and then into the vacuum hoses and gets sucked into the engine, causing the white smoke. It should only last a few seconds though, not a few minutes. One way to tell would be that if you're having to add power steering fluid occasionally, but there are no visible leaks. I have to add PS fluid once every month or two. Replacing this valve or just removing the valve and replacing it with a plug and then plugging the two vacuum hoses will fix the problem. A new valve will cost you about $94. The Lexus part # is 17630-16040.

    Here is a picture and where you can get it if you are a DIY'er:

    Sewell Lexus
  • Drove by my local dealer today and saw an LS 430 for sale - just $29K for a car with 62,000 miles - a pretty good deal, I would think. Just wondering how many of you have carried your 400 or 430 up to 150,000 or 160,000 miles or so. Of course, I know some investment in repair and upkeep is inevitable - but did it seem reasonable to you, overall?
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Unfortunately, your power steering pump is over your alternator, is it not? If so, that fluid leak will eventually take out your alternator as well. It's one of the weaknesses of the early design, and was remedied in the next iteration....
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Personally, I usually trade by 60,000 miles, but I have friends who have Lexi running in the 100,000s very nicely. You can expect to get easily 150,000 out of them with no sweat. If you're willing to put a little upkeep in, they can go double that with no engine failures.
  • Thanks nvbanker for the feedback
  • mheni1mheni1 Posts: 41
    I have a 2006 LS 430 with mercury metallic paint. I want to clean and wax but am not sure what to use. Will appreciate any suggestions. Thanks.
  • rgswrgsw Posts: 333
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    I have used Meguiars care care products on my LS430s for several years now and like them very much. In particular, I like the "G1016 Smooth Surface Clay Kit" to gently clean all the crud off the surface prior to waxing. I have used several Meguiars waxes and have found them all good. I also use the "Quik Detailer™ Mist & Wipe" between wax jobs and like it very much. It may have been replaced by the Next Generation Speed Detailer? The web site has an evaluation Rx available. Good Luck.
  • jfzjfz Posts: 45
    Claybar and Zaino products have worked wonders on my Moonlight Pearl LS430 and prior Brilliant Silver E320. The look and feel of the finish will exceed new conditions.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Have also used Griot's products with great success, inside and outside my cars.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Have also used Griot's products with great success, inside and outside my cars. The main thing is not to use an abrasive wax, (old style waxes, cleaner waxes were famous for this) or you'll damage your clearcoat. Make SURE your product, whatever it is, is "safe for clearcoat" and you'll be fine.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    If any of you want to write up a guide on car care - or anything else automotive related - please join us at It's great fun! :D
  • mheni1mheni1 Posts: 41
    The GPS final destination on my 2006 LS 430 is frequently off by a block or so. My tech rep says this is to be expected though it was not an issue in my 2001 430. Manual also says destination may be off on occasion. Will appreciate any thoughts. Thanks.
  • garyh1garyh1 Posts: 386
    Hi mheni1. Here's the likely explanation: the database doesn't include street numbers of each building in residential areas - all it knows is the beginning and ending number in each block. So it assumes the house numbers are evenly spaced within each block. For example, to make your home show correctly, set the "Home" indicator by location when you at your house, not by inputting your actual address. It will indicate the wrong house number, but at least it will tell you "You have arrived at your destination" when you are in front of your own house, not your neighbor's.
  • slexy1slexy1 Posts: 38
    I just finished sending a reply to Lexus Corp. in Torrance, Ca. Their "Customer Satisfaction" rep told me he could not put me in touch with someone "over his head". Here is part of what I said: "I recently submitted a safety complaint with a suggestion to correct the problem, and I find Lexus Corporate's apology unsatisfactory. You simply say "We apologize that you are displeased with the functionality of the trunk on your 2001 LS 430. We do not have any options available to change the design or functions of the trunk on your vehicle." I am a lot more than "displeased" as I told Mr. Lopez on the phone in great detail. My wife, who is getting over breast cancer, has been hit in the head many times, as I have, by the trunk lid coming down due to moderate winds and just putting groceries in the trunk. I said that at least three dealer service managers have told me that the shocks that are supposed to hold up the trunk are under engineered, and not substantial enough to hold up the trunk lid. This condition gets worse over time, but I did complain about it to Sewell Lexus of Fort Worth many years ago. It was never written up as I was told that the only thing that could be done was to replace those shocks with the exact same shocks. That was unsatisfactory to me at the time, it still is, and I was never told to call the Lexus 800 number until Kevin (service mgr. at Lexus of El Cajon, Ca.) suggested that I at least try." In a NHTS Complaint I also said "This is the same problem ( ) explained in Complaint Number 10178801 by "JB". I hope someone at Lexus has improved struts made for this trunk lid and notifies me to have them installed with a recall notice for all 2001 LS 430 owners."

    My "066" touch up paint from the dealer that I got with the car in 10/2000 has never matched up (too light a base color) with the "parchment" color paint that came from the factory. I refuse to buy the "pearlescent" second step touch up paint as it will not make the base color darker. Besides, I have a 1990 white LS 400 and Lexus turned the two step touch up process on that color into a one step process that is less expensive and time consuming to do. Since most Lexus colors are "pearlescent", I don't know why they don't do a one step touch up process paint for all their colors? Lexus Corp. said they could not help me with that problem either, and my front end now looks like it has "measles" with all the lighter touched up spots.

    Does anyone have any suggestion for either problem, as both cars are out of warranty now. Thanks
  • Just purchased a 94 LS 400 with Display problems. It takes about 15-25 minutes(depending on morning temperature) for the display to light up. What is the name and # if you still have it of the Georgia company that can fix this problem?
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