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Lexus LS 400/LS 430



  • rennyboschrennybosch Posts: 329
    Mike, you said the car applied the hand brake automatically. I assume you are referring to the parking brake? The one you normally set by pushing it with your foot? I've never noticed anything like that.

    Or do you mean only that the Brake warning light came on the next time you started the car? And you had to pull the brake release lever with your hand to turn the warning light off? That I have noticed several times, but I have taken it as an erroneous warning light. In fact I have reported it to my dealer and they said, "Oh yes, we will just adjust the blah blah sensor." However, the brake light still comes on all by itself once in a while.

    Has anyone else noticed an erratic brake warning light?
  • flint350flint350 Posts: 250
    Same here. Dealer had same response. It still happens on the rare occasion, so I'm not going to bother with it unless it happens more frequently or when the next service comes.

    ljflx, glad you liked the black cherry. It is much better in direct sunlight - as you observed -as many of the darker, richer colors are. I still love mine. I've seen a few of the pine, like yours, and like it a lot also.
  • joehp1joehp1 Posts: 7
    Yes, I had the same problem with the brake light. Have 2001 - "sticks" sometimes and light comes on. Dealer adjusted it, but still does it once in awhile. No big deal, but the brake is
    NOT set automatically.

    Had my LS Custom since last June. 12,300 miles - had CD player replaced (CD got stuck) and navigation system went out on me. They had to replace it.

    Third Lexus I have owned and love the cars. Previously had originally LS and had SC400.
  • stevesteinstevestein Posts: 263
    Me too. The tolerance is so tight on the CD changer that copied CD's with stick-on labels will get stuck if there is a crease in the label. If you burn a CD for the car, your best bet is to just write the name on.

    CD blanks with a blue hue to the recordinag surface won't play well (or at all) either.
  • lexus_onelexus_one Posts: 22
    Same problems with my Lexus, burned cd required replacement. The replacement looked new but dealer advised it was a repaired removal that had same problem.
  • trentpatrentpa Posts: 26
    When I get into my LS430, I occasionally brush gainst the parking brake pedal and that pedal is so sensative that it moves in ever so slightly, causing the brake light to come on when I start the car. When I pull the brake release lever, I notice the pedal only moves out a fraction of an inch. I suspect that's the problem. Either you inadvertantly tap the pedal when you're getting in the car, or while driving.
  • jbianco12jbianco12 Posts: 125
    Same thing happens to me on my '02 LS. The slightest accidental tap of the foot on the parking break will cause the light to come on. I wish Lexus had an automatic parking break release like they had on my Caddy. In the Caddy, as soon as you put the car in drive or reverse the emergency parking break releases automatically. It's taking some getting used to in my LS.
  • mrittermritter Posts: 10
    I do believe you guys are correct. The parking brake warning light comes on without applying the brake. Happened to me Friday night. Interesting, sounds like something Lexus should work on when 6 people here say it has happened. Thanks for setting me straight...
  • yamahar6yamahar6 Posts: 23
    We just got a LS with the NAV package; in edmunds review it says something about a "voice recorder" for short msgs., is that only for the ultra package?
    I live in Canada so... things might be different here. One thing that irks me is that I cannot get the Ivory leather here, with the NAV system.
    The ecru leather was too light for my tastes so I had to get the Black, the only other premium choice. My last car was a '95 LS, white with caramel colored leather, and it was true as Car and Driver said that "the mocha and caramel colored interior gives pleasure without calories."
    Also, is Lexus Link std? I did not see it on the brochure here at least.

    Final thoughts: I knew that the previous Nakamichi system was one of the best, supposedly; however, i did not find it all that different from our 10 year old Honda Accord, really.
    What a diff., a Mark Levinson makes!

    It is great how they use the front windshield to reflect the sound just like how they do in some concert halls. I listened to some strong male opera last night, and with the volume up, the sound was in fact, better than the crappy concert hall we have here in Toronto, Canada (the stage is built over Concrete, so the sound is horrible).

    :) - Aroon
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    I believe it is a standard item or it is standard with Lexus link. It's intent was so that anyone who took the concierge service could record reservation numbers or anything else verbally you receive from the link operator.

    I use it for fun though. One of my favorites is to record an announcement that your passenger can win a grand prize if he or she can name the song playing on the radio by calling a made up number and identifying the song. No one ever seems to notice that the radio stops playing when the recorder is in playback mode.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Why would you want the Nav in Canada when it is virtually useless in the US except in MAJOR cities.

    Don't get Nav, you'll love the ivory.

    At least you get an electrically heated windshield while those of just below the border have to live, and die, with fogged over windshields.
  • Check the brake fluid, if it's low it may cause the brake light to come on.
  • hsku2002hsku2002 Posts: 1
    I have a 94 Lexus 400 with 91000 miles and recently I had the timing belt changed. The mechanic also drained the transismission fluid, replaced spark plugs, air filter, the front belt. Immediately, both my wife and I felt the engine is not as powerful as before the maintenance. The acceleration is sluggish than before. On the way to Tahoe few weeks ago, I could not even catch up with my sister's 99 E320 (6 cylinders) while I was climbing a hill at 5000 feet elevation. Does anyone know the possible cause(s)? I talked to one mechanic and he said the timing belt probable was installed incorrectly.

    My second question: What is the big black button under the gas paddle?
    Please e mail me ( with the info. Thanks for your help!
  • jefftpjefftp Posts: 11

    I'm not a mechanic, but I think that is one symptom when your timing has not been set correctly.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Is a WOT throttle switch that is used to tell the engine ECU you want MAXIMUM engine output. Push the gas pedal until it compresses.
  • flint350flint350 Posts: 250
    ljflx, didn't you say you were going to try that cell phone adapter that uses the car stereo on 96.1? If so, how did it turn out? I know that they're inexpensive and, therefore, possibly shoddy. I would think the quality on the receiving end is better (i.e. in the car itself thru the stereo) and that it may be worse/poor for the person on the other end. Any thoughts?

    (you enjoying the merc1/markhampton war on the S board?)
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    I have a Motorola startac phone so that played a role in my choices. I tried this device called the Commander for $25 that plugs into your cigarette lighter and worked well with my old Audiovox phone. The sound would play via the radio on FM96 and usually the person on the other end heard me clearly. I've passed this on to my wife now as she has a Nokia phone and it works with that. But I also bought her a cheap microphone to speak into to ensure clarity to the person on the receiving end. The startac design didn't fit with the Commander so instead I bought a combined microphone and holder unit (which also amplifies the sound you hear) from autosport - a catalogue company - which also utilizes the cigarette lighter or auxilliary power source. You probably get autosport if your a car mag subscriber but if not I'm sure you can find them on the net with Yahoo or Google. Their product comes custom designed to the startac phone and various other popular models. It plays via FM88.1, but the amplifier is so good that you don't need the radio to hear the person on the other end of the phone loud and clear. The product cost $80 and I am very happy with it. It also charges the phone while you drive. Recommended it to several other people with startacs and they are alway thanking me for it. Very well worth the money as long as you have a phone that fits their two different designs. Let me know what you do but in all honesty it's so good that I no longer care about the whole phone issue and it's much more economical.

    Yes I'm enjoying the banter. I like Merc1 personally and admire his loyalty to MB. I just hope the day he gets one he's not disappointed afterward. I'm also enjoying his use of the LS430 against the Caddy in his argument. I rode in an S-430 a few weeks ago on my return from London and still consider it a great car. But the experience re-affirmed for me that the LS430 is the quieter, better riding and more luxurious car and thus remains the best choice for me. I don't see that changing when my lease is up. By the way I find the BMW 7 ugly in every color but just a bit less so in black. I can't believe that BMW is going to roll out that design in the 5 and 3 series.
  • blehrlichblehrlich Posts: 92
    I was thinking about inserting myself in the banter, since I recently sold my S500, but decided that all I'd be doing is stoking the flames. The LS, in my opinion, is far superior in quality (especially the interior) to both Caddy and MB. If the S500 was built with better quality interior materials, had a better stereo, and was $15,000 less, there might be an argument.
  • jbianco12jbianco12 Posts: 125
    It seems to be conventional wisdom that the Dunlop tires on the custom and luxury pkg LS are not very good...replacement is generally at around 18-20,000 miles. (You'd think Lexus would put a better quality/longer lasting tire on their premier auto). Has anyone shopped around and found a better replacement for the Dunlops? I guess I'm interested in a tire that has a combination of long lasting/durability, good ride and handling characteristics. Any recommendations?
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    We don't need any more flame-stoking on the S-Class board - there are discussions about What is Wrong with BMW and What is Wrong With Lexus and What is Wrong with AnyThing Else that would be fine places for these argu.., uh, conversations.

    Individual single-vehicle focused discussions are not the place.

    I really appreciate your understanding.


    Sedans Host
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    I have the dunlops and after 25k miles the tread is still in great shape. Is your wheel alignment ok? Blehrlich made a post a few weeks back about tires he finds are excellent.

    pat - who was stroking that MB S-class discussion? I certainly wasn't nor were my pals Flint350 or Blehrlich. I do agree with you that it's way over the top, on the wrong board and far too personal though.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Thanks, that means a lot coming from you. I only went there with that because of well...what can I say he started it....... As you know I never stated the LS430 was a bad car, just isn't for me.

  • blehrlichblehrlich Posts: 92
    I put on Michelin Pilot HX MXM tires 245/55 16. They are slightly wider than oem, but exactly the same diameter. Quiet and great in the rain...currently on closeout at I also think the wider profile really inproves the car's looks. Handling is greatly enhanced as well (less body roll).
  • rennyboschrennybosch Posts: 329
    How long should it take for the Nav to lock on to the GPS? I know you are not pro-nav, but you seem to know an awful lot about how it works (or doesn't), so I figured you might be able to tell me if there is something wrong with mine.

    There is a little horizontal bar in the upper left hand corner of the nav display, just beneath the compass icon, that says "GPS". When I first start the car, that GPS sign is not on. It sometimes takes as long as 5 minutes before it comes on. In the interim the nav seems to be dead reckoning, doing fine as long as I drive on streets shown on the map. But when I start out in a big mall garage structure, and make many turns before exiting, it gets quite confused about which direction the car is pointed in. Until the GPS sign comes on, the nav shows me driving in completely wrong directions, sometimes jumping onto streets that happen to match its erroneous assumptions, sometimes crossing freeways and other streets as though I were flying over them. Then suddenly the GPS sign comes on, and within seconds the nav knows where we are.

    I used to think the GPS satellites were in stationary orbits, but recently found out that they are in 12-hour orbits, and inclined to the equator so as to cover more territory (such as Seattle). So there is undoubtedly an awful lot of computation and signal processing that has to be done, but surely it can't take as long as 5 minutes to acquire a fix, or can it?
  • jbianco12jbianco12 Posts: 125
    Thanks for the tip on the Michelin Pilots. I've got it noted for when I need to replace the Dunlops. Maybe I'm just anticipating the worst, but I had heard so many comments about the wearing out quickly...even from the Lexus I just want to be prepared. Again, thank you.
  • pai7pai7 Posts: 35
    I find the Dunlop which came with my 01 LS430 to be quite satisfactory.Actually these tires were specifically designed for the vehicle.My LS has a standard suspension with 17" wheels.
  • tdo123tdo123 Posts: 102
    Well, I am not the Nav expert that you were looking for, but I do know a thing or two about how this system works.

    Basically your system is operating normally. Different parts of the county are going to acquire the satellite at different times, but the system uses deductive reasoning to know where you are. When you enter the parking garage, and the system can no longer detect the satellites above, it knows which way the front of your car was facing when it last detected the satellite. If you are out of range for a short while and are not turning in circles, it can usually keep track of where you are. If you are out of range for quite a while, it can get a bit disoriented on you position until it re calibrates with the satellites. Your car does know which end the car faces, which way the road was going when you went out of range and so it tries to improvise.

    Now, if you can just figure out why smaller towns have so little information programmed into the disc that would be great. Anytime I go on a road trip and leave the highway, it has hardly any idea where I am until I get close to a major city.

    P.S. Sorry for typos. I just can't type well and spell check can always help me everything. I always miss one or six.
  • tdo123tdo123 Posts: 102
    I did it again. you would think I learned to write last week. Guys, forgive my grammar. County=Country, etc. I get going to fast and don't proof my work.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706

    My understanding is that it must aquire multiple (2-3) satelites before it obtains a "fix". It does have a lot to do with locale. I have had it "drop out" in the middle of the desert in centrol WA and Oregon as we approached mountain ranges to the south.

    We also have an inexpensive handheld and it seems to take forever to get a fix when we first turn it on.

    Sorry, I guess I don't really have a good answer for you, but I certainly hope the airlines have a much better GPS recvr.
  • stevesteinstevestein Posts: 263
    They don't fly into parking garages that often, and have somewhat better receivers :)

    The GPS really wants to see at least 5 satellites, and may spend some time seeking them. Line-of-sight is required, and since some of the satellites are low on the horizon which means mountains, buildings, etc. block them out.

    If you have a handheld, it probably has a built in satellite location table (epheremis? guide to where things are in the sky at a given place/time, help me out here ljflx or other stargazers), that's why it initially asks where you are e.g. state/country. After the first use, it assumes it is close to where it was when it was shut off. If you leave it in your luggage on a long trip, you may find it takes a very long time to find itself when turned back on.
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