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Lexus LS 400/LS 430 Instrument Panel Questions

I've got a 94 LS 400 with 130,000 miles and lately the dashboard lights won't come on unless it's warm outside or after the car has warmed up quite a bit. With winter coming soon warming the car enough may not happen since I only drive about 4 miles to work each day Since the gas gauge stopped working about 3 years ago I use the mileage and the low fuel light to tell me when to fill up. Without the lights that makes it near impossible to know when to fill up. Anyone with ideas?


  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Yes - Fix them, or get a new car. (sorry, couldn't resist when you lead with your chin... :P ) I don't know how to fix that problem, but I do think you can fix the gas guage.
  • famwaldfamwald Posts: 114
    I really do think fixing the dashboard lights would be a good idea, since there are other warning lights that are, IMHO, essential. Since they do come on after the car is warmed up, perhaps the repair would not cost much?

    OTH, there is the low-tech way a former co-worker used: Keep a written log of last fillup and miles driven since then, provided your odometer still works. You'll need to know the MPG you're getting, and then do the math.

    My '05 LS has a digital LED readout on the odometer requiring dashboard lights ... I don't know about the '94 LS.

    Old age is rough, isn't it, even for cars.
  • cinci1cinci1 Posts: 2
    I am new to this computer stuff so bear with me. My 93 LS 400 Lexus (164K miles) has problems with the instrument cluster. In cold weather the display does not light until it warms up (4 miles of driving usually does it until the AM temps are 40F)in So Cal. Every one agrees the solder traces have micro cracks and expand in cold weather and reconnect once warmed up. Solution: offers to rebuild your unit in 2 days and send it back to you. It costs about $175.00. I am sending in mine Nov 4, while on vacation, my mechanic will reinstall it. They even send you a simple diagram on an easy removal process. For LCD leakage: offers solutions and LCDs.
  • cinci1cinci1 Posts: 2
    See message 2072. has the solution. I am sending my 95 LS 400 instrument cluster there.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Because these posts have been moved, "message 2072" is now message 6. ;)
  • I just read your Oct. 25, 2006 posting. I recently bought a 1994 LS400 with the same problem. How did your solution work?
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    It looks like cinci1 hasn't been back since those posts where made. Why don't you check out those websites and see what you can find out. Let us know!

    By the way, welcome! :)
  • go to the auto aftermarket place, they have the fuse or part that you may be able to change yourself. You have 130,000 miles that is great I had 160,000 on my GS 300 1998. They dont make them like that anymore. My new 2006 GS430 is poorly constructed (plastic almost), I dont know if it will last, I may move over to Infinity. Hope the auto parts store answers your question or at least helps. JS
  • deepc3deepc3 Posts: 3
    My 98 LS400 battery drained since i left the door open accidently and interior lights were on. I did a jumpstart and the car started and everything works except for the DASHBOARD.

    Everytime I start no action in the needles and no lights on Dashboard. I have seat belt light on and i can see the transmission lights (Park, Drive, Reverse) lights blinking.

    Any advice/Help would be appreciated.

    Thank you
  • tjpatpdgtjpatpdg Posts: 4
    Check out BBA Remanufacturing Inc website ( or call them at 866-573-2740. They remanufactured my display on my 94 LS 400 and it works fine, although the speedometer sticks when it first starts up.
  • geo123geo123 Posts: 33
    I had a similar problem on my 2000 Toyota Avalon and it was the battery. Instrument lights would not come on after some work on the car. If battery is OK, disconnect the negative lead and let system reboot.


  • deepc3deepc3 Posts: 3
    Thank you all for the suggestions.

    It worked when i removed the negative lead and let the system reboot. Amazing! Thank you very much George.

    Although, i have new problem which is my ODO showing as 3098 instead of somewhere around 92000. Is there way to display correct ODO??

    I can drive safely now. Thank you again
  • geo123geo123 Posts: 33
    Great! I know how you felt. Saved me some bucks. I picked this info up on another forum.

    Sorry, can not help you with the ODO, but hopefully someone out there can! Might also try the Toyota Avalon forum.


  • I have a 94 ls400 with speedometer, temp and clock probs. Is this similar to yours? How did the fix work?
  • tjpatpdgtjpatpdg Posts: 4
    Sounds like a similar problem. I'd call BBA Remanufacturing and give them the specifics of your problem. The refurb. they did to my unit works fine( the illumination for all info. comes on immediately) except the speedometer needs to warm up and speed needs to be greater than 25 mph before it "springs or pops" up. Not sure why this happens bit it is only a minor irritation and only occurs when the car is first started.
  • toon23toon23 Posts: 1
    Hey guys,
    I had some service done to my car, and I assume they must have left the battery terminals loose, because the other day I was leaving work and the car wouldn’t start. It was totally dead. Once I jiggled the battery terminals, everything seemed to be fine... Until I noticed that the instrument panel was no longer lit or working. The car is in the shop again right at this moment, and they’ve told me I need a new instrument panel or something crazy like that. I was awaiting a call back for the price quote when I decided to Google some info, and it led me here. I can’t describe the elation that I will have if this little trick solves my problem. Seems to be the same situation (battery disconnected, cluster no longer lights), so I’m very optimistic. I’ll let you know, but if there’s any advice you can offer in the meantime (before I get to my car and try this out), please chime in! Thank you!
  • geo123geo123 Posts: 33
    After disconnecting the leads, make sure the terminals are clean for good contact. Also, I would run a battery test to make sure the battery is good. In my case, the battery needed to be replaced. After everything is cleaned up and the system rebooted, connect batery cables. Hope the instrument panel lights up!

    I got the same story about repairing or replacing the instrument panel. Fortunately, this worked for me!


  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Welcome - hope it works for you. Let us know!
  • deepc3deepc3 Posts: 3
    It worked for me after i got the response from George but ODO meter showing incorrect info now. I trying to figure that out. Will let u know
  • paul83paul83 Posts: 3
    Have a 1990 Lexus LS 400. Had trouble with the engine. Had my mechanic put a used 20,000 low miles 1992 Engine in the car.

    The car runs perfect. Also had him put in a new alternator. He did not hook all the wires on the alternator. Drove 150 miles and the car stop. It was running on battery only. All the lights came on dashboard. Radiator, brakes, battery etc. He fixed the alternator but all the lights are still on the dash board. He took battery cable off and lights on dash board went off but came back on again.

    The battery is almost new. Do you think the problem can be the defected battery cables could be causing the problem. He charged the battery and ran the car. Next day would not start and battery was dead.

    Please do me a favor and if any one can think of what is wrong let me know. The car runs perfect and every thing seems perfect but the lights on the dash board will not go out. I can not get the car inspected until the lights go out. I would appreciate any help or suggestions.
    Thanks, Paul
  • ryce4uryce4u Posts: 1
    I had the same problem today.I have a 2001 Toyota Avalon XLS and non of my instruments cluster was working. I couldn't tell how fast I was going , How much gas I had left or the odometer. The dealership was going to charge me $200 just to look at it. I took it home and checked all the fuses and it was still good. Luckily I found this page and I disconnected the Negative lead and waited for 15 minutes. Plugged it back in and All my gauges were working again !!! Thank you !!! You guys saved me a lot of money !!
  • guerra228guerra228 Posts: 1
    Thanks for the great advice. I have a '93 LS 400 with 189k and had the same problem with my instrument cluster not lighting up. So i couldn't tell how fast i was going or how much gas i had left. I disconnected the negative lead to the battery and waited 30 minutes to let system reboot and BAM, turned on my sweet lexus and everything lit up like time square on new years eve.

    Thanks again

  • rolikrolik Posts: 1
    Electrical problem
    1993 Lexus LS 400 V8 Two Wheel Drive Automatic

    My dashboard lights flicker on and off constantly sometimes the dash goes completely black. Cant see anything and don't know how much gas I have and how fast I am going. Dash lights do not work on cold/damp mornings until the car warms up, Takes about 50 miles to drive in cold weather and 5-10 miles when it's warm. Dash lights never turn on until the temperature reaches good temperture. Also I have problem which my ODO, sometimes it's mixed up . Is there way to display correct ODO?? Any help would be most appreciated. Thanks
  • gm1120gm1120 Posts: 22
    Had similar problem with my '94 Lexus LS400, but not with the ODO. My problem was when it's cold, the dashboard is completely black, but it flickers on sometimes when I've been running it for awhile. Ended up replacing the instrument cluster for $600. The guy that replaced it says it's a common problem.
  • david050david050 Posts: 1
    My dealership quoted me $275 to download the latest maps to my factory installed navigation system. This seams outrageously expensive...Does anyone know of any other cheaper options available? I'm not even sure of the make of the factory installed system. Thanks, David
  • rennyboschrennybosch Posts: 329
    David, that's is not bad at all. Some years back my dealer quoted $495; I wound up buying the CD from for about $280 and installing it myself.
  • gwendolyngwendolyn Posts: 46
    I noticed that my radio light doesn't come on. Is this the beginning of the end for the panel lights. If so, what is the process to repair? What's the normal cost, parts and labor....


  • tonycdtonycd Posts: 223
    Probably not. In fact, the radio was probably supplied by a different vendor than the gauge cluster.

    I'd suggest you go to Lexus owners' boards or eBay and look for a used radio pulled from an LS dash in favor of an aftermarket unit. If that doesn't work, consider a whole aftermarket in-dash radio -- it'd probably be cheaper than getting the radio from a dealer, and the new ones with today's technology are much better.
  • gwendolyngwendolyn Posts: 46
    so the radio itself controls the light...pls forgive me if this is an obvious question....LOL


  • nrosnros Posts: 1
    hi. have u information about repair manual 4 ls400/Celsior?
    i can't find that in the web.
    i'm inresting for description of the fuse box.
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