Lexus GS 450h Accessories & Modifications

PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAMember Posts: 9,372
Doing some aftermarket changes to your 450h? Talk about them here!


  • blisgalblisgal Member Posts: 1
    With the new Smart Key, is there any way that a remote car starter can be installed? I like to get into a warm car and I like to have the AC run a while before I get into the black interior. Any thoughts?
  • bmwconvertbmwconvert Member Posts: 75
    Anyone with info regarding how to unlock the DVD player so that it can be viewed while the car is in motion (for my children, not me while driving!:)? I'm interested if it's a relatively simple modification.
  • zeroohmzeroohm Member Posts: 7
    The key to this car’s performance is the fact that the batteries must remain fully charged to give the “pilot” the ability to mash the peddle and rocket to 60 mph (or faster). So the car is designed to keep the battery charge as full as possible to be ready for the launch. It is evident in the worse city mpg compared to highway.
    Most hybrids have better city mpg because of the use of regenerative braking to charge the battery. But to really take advantage of regenerative breaking you need to let the battery drain down some until you can charge it back by slowing the car. Much of the (relatively) poor city mpg of the 450h is due to the bias toward keeping the batteries fully charged and ready for action. Another significant reason for the (relatively) poor city mpg is that the electric motors are very powerful and will drain more on the battery than say the motors used in the Pirus.
    So how could we improve the gas mileage of the 450h without making any mechanical changes? Can we find a software hack out there willing to play with the program that controls this engine? If we can, I think we could make some changes that could really improve fuel economy. Here are some ideas for a potential hack out there. (I am sure people will pay you for the changes – I will!)
    Idea 1: reduce the power used by the electric motors. Since you can’t disengage some of windings in the motors without a mechanical change, how do you reduce the power used by the motors? One relatively simple way is to disconnect one motor. In “economy” mode, the 450h would only use one of the electric motors to propel the car.
    Idea 2: change the timing of when the combustion engine engages. If the batteries are allowed to discharge more, the combustion engine would be needed less. In economy mode the car would rely more on the electric motors and less on the combustion engine.
    Idea 3: change the electronic timing in the combustion engine so that it runs on three cylinders. Actually I think this change would require some mechanical changes inside the engine but if it could be done you could improve not only city mpg but highway also.
    All of these changes should be able to be turned on and off with a switch because the real reason for buying the 450h is not for fuel savings. But the average guy would love to be able to see how far he can go on a tank. I know that I hate stopping for gas so I would use the “economy” switch on my normal daily commute.
    Is anyone out there capable of hacking for us?
  • bmwconvertbmwconvert Member Posts: 75
    I've posted earlier about the difficulty in using Bluetooth with a Treo 650 in the GS450h. I had to get a new 650, so had to go through the hassles again. I believe I now know the solution.

    The Treo sees the car as a headset and prompts for input of the security code. After entering the code, the phone thinks it is connected, but the car just waits with a message saying to "enter the security code in your phone". It doesn't recognize that the phone has connected already.

    The solution appears to simply be to make a phone call while the car is still in the waiting mode (i.e. before it times out with a connection error). When you make the phone call, it must send a bluetooth signal to the car, which results in the connection being recognized. From that point on, it works fine.
  • bmwconvertbmwconvert Member Posts: 75
    Speaking of modifications...
    Is there any way to improve the quality of the low beam HID's? Nice and bright, but not much help given that they're practically pointed down to the road. Consumer Reports indicated this as a problem with other GS models (and numerous other vehicles as well). What's the point of bright xenon lights if they're not pointed up the road?

    By the way, I've yet to notice the benefits of the lights adjusting into a curve.
  • simoparvsimoparv Member Posts: 2
    Did you ever get this question answered? I too would like to be able to view DVD's while moving.

    Simon Parvin
  • bmwconvertbmwconvert Member Posts: 75
    Unfortunately no. It's not unique to this car, but I haven't seen anything about doing so in any other forums or publications.
  • bmwconvertbmwconvert Member Posts: 75
    I ordered (and paid for) Sirius when I purchased my vehicle back in May. Dealer said Sirius would be available by summer. Then it became "next year". Word now is that they will not make Sirius available in the GS. I settled for the XM.

    While the installation was well done by the technician, I was disappointed to see that a small black antenna was glued to the top of the right rear panel, just next to the trunk, and a wire comes out from the seam at the trunk. It looks like any after market installation (albeit a professionally executed one). Hard to believe this is how Lexus planned for satellite radio in this vehicle, given that most if not all other manufacturers have a more integrated solution. Dealer told me that shark fin antennas are now used, but it wasn't available on mine. I guess a 2007 model car wasn't new enough. :(
  • terry92270terry92270 Member Posts: 1,247
    Call the 800 Lexus number, and complain. It should have been a roof mount, or the small button antenna they now place on the front dash.
  • bmwconvertbmwconvert Member Posts: 75
    Did you mean a roof mount of the antenna I have, or a shark fin version?
    Lexus representative says that, because the car wasn't originally ordered with XM, the only option was for the dealer to install it aftermarket in the manner that they did.
    Dealer salesperson claims that no GS's prior to Oct/Nov 2006 came in with roof mount shark fin antennas. All GS's with satellite prior to that, whether factory, port or dealer, are installed the way mine is.
    I was hoping for (and swear I was promised) a color coordinated shark fin antenna, but I may be mistaken.
    I don't think I would choose the dash mount over what I have now. I did that with Sirius in my prior car and the reception was poor. I think the roof was sometimes interfering with the signal.
  • terry92270terry92270 Member Posts: 1,247
    The "Shark Fin" is a part, and can be bought from XM suppliers for not much money, dude. [non-permissible content removed] out the dealer for not disclosing the BS install to you before doing the job, and perhaps they will switch the antenna for you. Its a simple matter of unplugging one lead, and plugging in another. ;)
  • salsags450hsalsags450h Member Posts: 2
    Has anyone heard of going into the menu screen, then pressing volume, and tapping on the left top and bottom to deactivate or unlock DVD?
  • dulnevdulnev Member Posts: 652
    There is an override that involves multiple taps on the Navi screen, but you have to do it every single time you start the car. I've seen it posted on a different Lexus board, but Edmunds prohibits posting links to other boards. I you can't find it by doing a Web search, let me know and I will copy the procedure from the other board.

    There's also an override that allows DVD player to work while driving so that your kids can watch a movie from the back. But this one involves cutting some wires...
  • simoparvsimoparv Member Posts: 2

    I would certsinly be interested in this fix if you could let me have it (or point me to it).

  • dulnevdulnev Member Posts: 652
    Here's the procedure:

    1. Hit MENU button to the right side of the Navi screen

    2. Hit the VOLUME button on the touch screen

    3. Once in the VOLUME menu, hit the SPEAKER icon in the upper left corner of the touch screen

    4. Touch the lower left corner of the touch screen (there is no icon there).

    5. Repeat step 3.

    6. Repeat step 4.

    This should open up the service menu.

    7. ">On the service menu, touch and hold the Override button until you hear a beep. Once it beeps, the "Override" text on the button should become black instead of white.

    You're done for this trip!
  • celica1977celica1977 Member Posts: 6
    Hey thanks for the post.. gave it a try but was not successful. I suppose it is a timing / Procedure thing. Please allow me to ask for some clarifications:
    Is there a difference when you say "Hit" vs "Touch" as in hold for a period of time? I tried this is various timings and nothing happened. I have the Mark L. system in a 2007 GS 450h, is there a variation to this for system config? I just want my CD MP3 list to work more than anything else. When driving my list goes away and I a left with the knob and single line display. Can there the be anything more distacting that that? Lexus has gone over the top for safety here and is in the way down. I am so looking for anything to improve the usablity of this system. Even if I need to cut some wires..
    Desparate in Boca Raton
  • dulnevdulnev Member Posts: 652
    Sorry, I just copied the instructions from another Lexus board. I don't have my 450h yet, so I can't try it myself.
  • dulnevdulnev Member Posts: 652
    Apparently the override does not work for the latest firmware version (DVD version 6.1). I just picked up my 450h and tried the override; it did not work. Hopefully we'll see the instructions for our version posted soon...
  • celica1977celica1977 Member Posts: 6
    I spent the Sunday afternoon at my local Lexus dealer and was VERY vocal with my dissapointment with paying $4000 for a system that they feel they need to administrate. It was leading to quite the unfavorable situation for the dealership and the discussion moved behind doors. I documented the meeting and followed up with 1- 800- 25- Lexus, customer service. Finished my day with filling out my Lexus survey with about as bad a feedback as I could. I am angry..dissapppointed and will follow this up with local complaints to my media on how I was fooled by Lexus into buying something for my car that worked perfectly in the showroom but fails to even come close with ownership and practical fuctionality. I want Lexus to fix this or I will advertise just how BAD this really is every moment I own this car. Such a mixed emotion with such a really cool car. I love the mechanics and hate it everytime I have to drive it.. such a shame. I have been a toyota owner for life but will NEVER buy again from a brand that wants "Admin rights" to my life after I pay for them. What is next? removing the head light switch in the fear we might not be responsible enough to turn them on when it gets dark. Please !!!! I can only ask that you turn up the heat as I did and make them realize what a mistake this is. I have 2000 miles and it gets worse by the mile. Voice your disdain and hopefully we can make a change.
    lc Boca Raton
  • gtophgtoph Member Posts: 22
    There are many posts all over the net stating that the 6.1 version doesn't have the override. Similarly, there are many post of people successfully integrating the 5.x system with the 6.1 data and thus restoring the override, but using the newer map data.

    Personally, I'm just waiting for someone to find the key sequence for 6.1... gota figure it's just a matter of time before someone figures it out.
  • bmwconvertbmwconvert Member Posts: 75
    While anyone's at it complaining to Lexus about this issue, please mention (if you agree with my assessment) the ridiculously poor performance of the low beam HID's. I've complained, saying I think it's worthy of a recall, but they politely told me that no one else has complained so it must not be an issue.
  • mkraussmkrauss Member Posts: 2
    Just FYI: my Treo 700 connects quite easily using Bluetooth, every time.
  • jtfusselljtfussell Member Posts: 1
    DVD override for the kids.where can I find that ,would love to have that.
    Thank Chris
Sign In or Register to comment.