Lexus LS: Problems & Solutions

deh5557deh5557 Member Posts: 3
My 1992 LS400 has leaking LCD dash displays for
both the HVAC display and the Nakamichi stero
The dealer wants $1300.00 to repair!
Does anyone know were the displays alone can be
purchased or can replace the displays after
removal from the vehicle?


  • chumsaechumsae Member Posts: 61
    The stereo (non-Nakamichi) is ok but the time/temp
    LCD is fogged over. After a hot day in the parking lot I can read the display but it's sort
    of foggy. I've never tried to sort out the repair
    problem or $$$'s.
  • oilcan2oilcan2 Member Posts: 120
    This is no solution but I have seen these
    components on Ebay under Lexus,somewhere out there
    there has to be somebody that repairs these
    systems,all we have to do is find this place.
  • majortimmajortim Member Posts: 1
    I had that trouble with my stereo on my 1996. I took it to a respectable car and audio repair shop and they fixed the problem for around $80.00.
  • cjdbutch1cjdbutch1 Member Posts: 4
    Yes, I do have a fix. Just e-mail me and I would be happy to assist all who are interested.
  • pat455pat455 Member Posts: 603
    Welcome to Town Hall!

    Please, tell us about your fix for this problem!

    Town Hall is not the typical question and answer board. We discuss things around here at great length and the discussions are always available for anyone looking for answers on a particular problem.

    So it would be very helpful for all of us if you would post your thoughts on this problem here.

    Thanks, and again welcome.

    Community Leader/Maintenance & Repair Conference
  • mradmanmradman Member Posts: 3
    I have a 91 LS 400 I bought last week and the temperature, time display is leaking. The radio control display is OK. Dealer wants $512 to replace. Please post the options I have to fix this. Any help would be much appreciated. Thank you.
  • cjdbutch1cjdbutch1 Member Posts: 4
    The Part's Department at Lexus of Riverside does sell rebuilt ac control panel with a one year warranty for around $350.00. What a savings. You can contact them at That price is an exchange price.
  • mradmanmradman Member Posts: 3
    I called around to all the radio shops in Chicago suburbs and no one will touch the AC/Clock display for repair. Everyone says this is a dealer fix. Went to dealer to get the part and the cost was $395. Luckly I found a display table with brochures and some Lexus coupon books mixed together. I found a 10% off coupon for all parts. My total cost was about $360. I put the part in myself. Very easy. The whole shifter console and center radio panel lifts off on hinges or a few holding screws. I installed it and put it back together in about 30 minutes. No problems and I am not a mechanic.
  • hpham007hpham007 Member Posts: 7
    I also have this leaking LCD problem along with another related inconvenience. The green lights (LEDS?) on several of the Climate Control and Radio buttons are burned out. The end result is that these buttons are totally blacked out at night. Anybody have a solution on how to fix this? It seems like a quick, easy, cheap?, fix so I have not gone to my dealer for the solution. If anybody has a solution to this, I would appreciate it.

  • mradmanmradman Member Posts: 3
    I don't know if you have a choice but to replace the whole face plate of the AC/Clock display. When I opened it up, there was no room or anywhere to pull out any lightbulbs and replace w/new ones. It was all sealed together or glued shut. I even asked the dealer to give me the LCD display by itself and i will somehow glue it on from behind. They said this is not an option. They just didn't have anything to give me. It comes as a whole face unit as far as I know. The one I got was remanufactured, a new one costs about $600.00. I saw a sticker from the remanufacturer on the back when I installed it and it was a company from California, I think L.A. area. I don't remember the name but it was something like Mivela industries or close to that. Maybe there is a way to get inside and replace the bulbs-it only makes sense. Good luck.

    If you find out let me know because my one bulb is out for my passenger heated seats button.
  • fantomdfantomd Member Posts: 1
    I just brought a 1990 Ls 400 on Aug 1 and I love it . I also had some lights out on the display I opened it up . It seems there are small 12v bulbs with a green rubber cover. I went to radio shack and brought a 12v bulb with half in. leads. I then drilled a small hole in the base that hold the bulbs . it was a perfect fix. I then had to tap into the wire that turn on with the dash light using a wire tap (red wire from bulb).Then tap a ground wire( white wire on bulb) close the unit and it works perfect you can't tell the difference between the original and the ones I replaced. I am sure somewhere sells bulbs that would fix directly into the factory base? I am still looking If I find them I will post. By the way these bulbs at Radio Shack cost 1.49 ea. Good luck to all with the same problem.
  • rob8rob8 Member Posts: 16
    perhaps you can get the light bulbs from I've ordered other parts from them in the past and have been very happy with the service.

    When some of the climate control/clock lights on my 91 LS400 started going out I had my dealership (Longo) replace the bulbs. It cost me about $80 + parts and they replaced all the bulbs, not just the burned out ones. A few weeks later, I had an alarm installed on my car and the installer mentioned that he knew how to replace the bulbs as well. I'll probably have him do my stereo bulbs if they ever start going out. It'll be considerably cheaper (although $80 is very reasonable compared to other estimates I have seen on the web) and he knows his way around these cars so I trust him.

    regarding leaking LCDs. Do you think the cause of the problem is heat/sunlight related? My 91LS400 had a very dark tint on all the windows for 9 years. Also, it was often parked in the shade or in a garage. I have not (knock on wood)
    experienced the LCD problems that so manyother Lexus owners have.
  • hpham007hpham007 Member Posts: 7
    thanks for the info (mradman, fantomd, rob8). although fantomd's solution appear to be the most economical, i don't think that i'm technical astute enough to attempt something like that. i'll give the dealer a shot and if he can replace the bulbs for a price close to what rob8 received, i'll go ahead and go for it; after all, the original bulbs lasted about 8-9 years, 80 bucks is not bad if it'll last the remaining life of the car....
  • rob8rob8 Member Posts: 16
    good luck on the lights. Remember, your dealer should replace ALL the bulbs,not just the burned out ones. The $80 was for the labor of taking the unit apart to get at the bulbs. The bulbs themselves were just a few bucks each so switch em all out now. I believe there are around 7 or 8 bulbs in there. I think it was a little over $100 total. If you happen to get a less than helpful service consultant who insists on selling you a whole new unit or a remanufactured unit, then speak to another consultant. If you are in LA,I'd recommend going to Longo.
  • pat455pat455 Member Posts: 603
    >>Please email any suggestions.

    Better yet, post 'em here! That way others can benefit as well. :-)

    Community Leader/Maintenance & Repair Conference
  • dealer3dealer3 Member Posts: 2
    The LCD on climate unit goes due to expansion contraction heat/cold in Florida almost all such LCD's are no good.
  • dealer3dealer3 Member Posts: 2
    Where can I get my Trunk CD Changer fro 92 LS 400 rebuilt or fixed? Pioneer 6 CD trunk mount.
    Please post !
    Thank you, Sheldon
  • spheremansphereman Member Posts: 3
    hi all

    if you replace the whole A/C control panel, you wouldn't need to replace the burned-out bulbsl, right? or is this a separate matter?

  • slick400slick400 Member Posts: 1
    It seems most of the trouble is with the Temp and Clock displays and not the Sound System display. Since they appear to be the same type of displays, I wonder why? I too have all but impossible to read displays for Temp & Clock on my 94 LS400. I had a 92 before with no trouble at all.
  • tcsctcsc Member Posts: 5
    I wrote about my 1992 Lexus LS 400 speedometer bouncing up and down and otherwise acting crazy. Had the problem fixed. It was the speed censor on the transmission. Cost about 500.00 to repair. I'm still looking for a fix for the blurry clock readout short of replacement.
  • dickscdicksc Member Posts: 1
    I am looking to buy either a 94 LS400 or GS300 however within the next three to four weeks. As I read the notes posted here I am concerned about the sound system/temp/clock display. Does anyone have a current solution that is not the $500 repair cost I see posted here on many of the comments? Also, any suggestions on which of the two cars I should go after? They both seem to have about the same amount of room inside and the same standard features (except engine)
  • pat455pat455 Member Posts: 603
    Welcome to Town Hall!

    Be sure to check out all the topics in our other conferences on these vehicles. You can easily find them by first entering LS 400 and then do a second search for GS 300 in the Topic Search feature on the left side of the page.

    Here is a search tip: entering "LS 400" will return topic names containing both "LS 400" and "LS400" but entering "LS400" will not return topics with "LS 400" in the title.

    Good luck and again, welcome.

    Community Leader/Maintenance & Repair Conference
  • dugcardugcar Member Posts: 6
    I need to remove the shift-radio-climate, console to replace the LCD display. What is the step by step to remove. I can't find any screws or etc anywhere.
  • dugcardugcar Member Posts: 6
    Where can I find the best price for an after market LCD Time Temp display for my 92 LS 400. Lexus of Bellevue wants $1,000. to replace.
  • silcossilcos Member Posts: 7
    I too had the lights behind the display burn out. Replaced them myself. $10 each from the dealer, recommend changing all 4. Tools: 2 philips screwdrivers(1 small, 1 medium head), 1 thin flathead screwdriver. Best I can remember: Stick your fingers in bottom of vents and pull straight out. Remove wood trim around shifter. Do this by inserting flathead screwdriver where the back edge of wood meets cupholder area, pry up. Pull it rearward!!! as you slowly raise back edge. Don't raise the back edge straight up, you'll break clips located underneath on the front edge. Next, pull ashtray assembly. I used flathead screwdriver, inserted it at edge of wood trim and black radio plastic, one side at a time to free ashtray, pull it straight out towards you too. Rest is easy, 2 philips screws on top,2 on bottom, and the entire temp control/radio unit pulls out. Disconnect electrical plug. Detach temp control from rest of unit to allow you to get behind the display. Each light just requires a quarter turn with flathead screwdriver to remove. Each light is covered with a green rubber cover. Reuse green covers. I got lazy and just went to Lexus dealer for the lights. Toyota dealer/Radio Shack might have them cheaper. Hardest part was removing ashtray without scratching wood. I folded paper over head of flathead screwdriver for protection. Use good, rigth size screwdriver to remove 4 main screws on the temp/radio unit to prevent stripping the head of screws. Feel free to email me(silc[email protected]) if you have any questions.
  • dugcardugcar Member Posts: 6
    Thanks silcos@yahoo, I did venture into it myself once someone told me the clue that you just pull the ashtray out as its held in with clips. The job took about one hour and half but I could probably reduce to an hour the next time. Since a "do it your selfer" can do the project I wanted to share with all how to purchase the LCD display. I contacted Perfect Auto Timing, in Vista Ca. They shipped me a new unit to Seattle for $410. Once replace I shipped back the dead unit. I do want to mention that you need to be real careful removing the wire cluster plug-ins from the printed circuit board once the the time-temp display face has be separated from the mother unit. They are brittle after 8 or 9 years and they are a little stuck from heat and time. Be sure to observe the mini clips that hold the plug-ins in place, they need to depressed while prying off the wire cluster. If anyone would like additional info they can emial me at [email protected] Good Luck
  • pontoisepontoise Member Posts: 1
    First, big thanks to Silcos and Dugcar for their great info.I went thru all old topics 'bout LCD, and I found one said that the price including installation is 219.oo provided by Jerry at Perfect Auto Timing. Is it the price after returning the old Lcd panel to them?
    Other thing is I had a Nakamichi system in my 91-Ls 400 which give only sound to rear left speaker and right front tweeter.I already have my mecanician check the right front speaker and he said no signal come to this speaker.
    Any body have any advise for me how and where can fix it.I am in Atlanta, GA. I really love the Nakamichi sound from my wife ES 300.Please note that I just got this 91modelw/93K miles 3 months ago.
    Any help will be appreciated.
  • dugcardugcar Member Posts: 6
    After rereading my posting on the removal of the ash tray it sounds a little miss leading. Once you remove the wood panel shift plate you can insert you hand all the way behind the entire ASH TRAY UNIT. Not just the astray itself. I don't want anybody to break off just the tray that slides out. Also regarding the cost of the unit, $410. Vs 219. it's what they quoted me when I called and it seemed better that the $700. my local dealer was quoting me. You might check with you local dealer and ask what just the face piece cost. Good luck. Please contact me at my email address if you what any specific info.
  • rxman2berxman2be Member Posts: 7
    I too have a same problem with my 91 LS-400. I just ignore it. I don't need a clock and even though I don't see a temp reading, I can live with it.
    Few month ago I experienced the problem with the heater. I did not get any heat when increasing the temp. I can, however, get heating by manually moved the control ( under the hood, by the firewall ).
    Suddenly, my heater is now working again. I now can get heat by pushing the temp button.
    Anyone has similar problem ?
  • rxman2berxman2be Member Posts: 7
    My brake warning light in my 91LS400 stays lit. I know it's not from the brake problem but rather it's faulty intergrated switch by the parking brake pedal.
    Anyone know how to replace this switch? I don't want to take the car to the mechanic if I can do it myself. Do they sell a repair manual for the Lexus ?
  • dugcardugcar Member Posts: 6
    To Rxman2bie
    I started having climate control problems as well prior to replacing the LCD unit. The Low air would shut off once the desired temp was reached and when the AC was activated to lower the temp it would just blow ice cold AC air not a mixture of warm and cool. My LCD at that point was totally blacked out. However - I will add that just prior to the climate control freaking out, like the day before, I had it in the shop because my Alternator died and I drained the battery so bad that I had a total brown out of my electrical system so bad that the engine cease to run. I don't know if that fried the Climate control unit or not (everything else is OK) but that same week I replace the LCD face unit (see above)and now my climate control works perfectly.
    PS. Just a thought for you - if you ever plan to sell your LS 400 - no one will by it with a burnt out time-temp read out. So you might as well fix it and enjoy it while you own the car. Its real simple and I would be happy to walk you through it. Dugcar

    Also - regarding your brake light, I know this sounds really simple but when I first bought my LS400 the brake light would stay on until I figured out to hold onto the brake release handle a second longer and it disengaged the switch. Something to try .
  • rxman2berxman2be Member Posts: 7
    Thanks Dugcar. Reading your previous post, I think I can replace the unit if I need to. But I don't want to spend 300 bucks yet. I can live without the display for now. I don't know if I ever want to sell my car. It has 180K and it still runs like new. It will last another 100K easily. I'll keep it until it die.
    For the brake light, I know it's a faulty switch. I just can't figure out how to replace it. For now, I just use black tape and cover the light and just remember to release the parking brake.
    If you know how to replace the switch, let me know
  • silcossilcos Member Posts: 7
    My '92 LS400 has 110k. Suspension is getting pretty rough on bad roads. Does anyone have any advice, personal experience, costs relating to suspensions. I am thinking of getting new struts and springs front and back. Are Pepboys,Meineke an option?
  • rxman2berxman2be Member Posts: 7
    If your LS400 has leaked power steering fluid ( if you can see the oil spot in your garage or have to refill the fluid often) , have the booster replace ASAP before the power steering fluid damages your alternator.
    I have replaced two alternators in mine and finally was informed by the mechanic that it was caused by the power steering fluid get into the alternator.
    The cost for replacing the booster is under 200 at the independent garage. I don't know how much Lexus will charge.
    Speaking about the charge, if your car out of warrantee, have it serviced at an independent mechanic especially for tune up, water pump, timing belt or alike, you'll save half of the cost.
    Good luck
  • gclearygcleary Member Posts: 2
    I own a 1990 LS400. As you might have guessed, the readout is gone. Several of you have mentioned low cost fixes for this problem. I am a DIY'r and would be happy to replace the LCD if possible. Several questions come to mind:
    1) Can the LCD be replaced?
    2) Are there LCD bulbs that go bad and can be replaced. Or does the whole display have to be replaced.
    3) What does all your experience tell us that are new to this game. Should we use a dealer, should we buy the part, etc?

    I love the car but this is driving me crazy!
  • gclearygcleary Member Posts: 2
    1990 LS400 with considerable wind noise coming from the sunroof. Sounds like and air leak. Any chance anyone has had a similar problem and found a nice solution?
  • rxman2berxman2be Member Posts: 7
    Just scroll back and read post from dugcar and silco. It's quite easy to replace. Cost around 400 bucks. Good luck.
  • hpham007hpham007 Member Posts: 7
    I’ve got a perplexing display problem that started recently. When the car’s gear selector is in drive and I’m driving forward, sometimes stepping on the brake pedal would light up the orange reverse indicator in the display cluster. I’ve had to turn the display up to the highest setting. Lower settings would cause the display to blank out whenever I step on the brakes. The reverse indicator would then go off after I take my foot of the brake. Another thing I’ve noticed is that if I’m driving down the highway at a high rate of speed, stepping on the brakes would light up the reverse indicator and the transmission would immediately downshift into a lower gear. This problem happens intermittently, sometimes the car would drive great with no problems and sometimes I have the gauge problem with the downshifting problem. I’ve checked the transmission fluid and everything looks ok (good color and right level) Anybody have any ideas on this problem?
  • dwitydwity Member Posts: 3
    On my 1995 LS400 the radio display has 5 lcd's that go out and come on with a mind of thier own. Most of what I've read here has to do with the clock and a/c panel. My only issue is with the radio display. Any helpful advice on fixing this problem. Thanks, Dwity...([email protected])
  • pat455pat455 Member Posts: 603
    Seems to me there is some helpful information in this very topic - you can use the navigational tools at the top of the page (just under the title) to scroll back through the posts here.

    Good luck.

    Community Leader/Maintenance & Repair Conference
  • b17g98b17g98 Member Posts: 1
    your problem is in the trunk wiring. the wire for tail lights etc. is routed through the trunk hinge and has frayed causing a ground short. this happens over time (open and closing truck). the short effects the computer chip which in turn sends false signals through-out the electrical system. easy fix at lexus dealer. if dealer does not no problem, call lexus in westminster, california.

    good luck,
    Bill Barton [email protected]
  • hpham007hpham007 Member Posts: 7
    thanks bill, i believe that is the cause of the problem. when the problem would crop up, I would open and close the trunk (sometimes it took several tries) and the problem would disappear. sometimes, everything would be fine until i open up the trunk for one reason or another; the problem would immediately crop up. thank you for the info, i'll probably tackle it myself since you pointed me in the right direction.
  • lecialecia Member Posts: 1
    To Dugcar -- I'm buying a 1991 LS400 with a burnt-out time/temp display, though I definitely want the entire car to work the way it was meant to. I really appreciate the info you all have presented; I think I'll try to do it myself, though I'm a bit mechanically challenged. I found the part for $375+$10 S/H at a parts dealer in CA (remanufactured). Do I need the whole thing or just lights? How can I tell?
  • chumsaechumsae Member Posts: 61
    It might be as simple as slighly low brake
    fluid. My 90 LS light has come on when the
    fluid is down just a fraction of an inch.
    If this is your problem you might notice
    that the light sometimes is not on after
    parking on a grade, rather than a flat

    The radiator indicator works the same way.
    If you're just slightly below the low level
    indicator line, then you'll sometimes see
    the dash indicator.
  • hyperopthyperopt Member Posts: 55

    Two weeks ago, I took the face of the temp control unit to fix the LCD problem. I was hoping that the problem was the burnt out light bulbs but it wasn't. All I had to do to was to remove each bulb and measure its resistance with the Ohm meter. If I remember correctly, there were 4 bulbs for the front LCD lighting. It would be unlikely that all 4 bulbs to go out at the same time, so chances are you would need to replace the whole thing(the face) if your LCD blacked out.

    PS. At what part dealer did you a remanufactured LCD for $375? I am interested in buying one.
  • 300400esls1300400esls1 Member Posts: 1
    I bought a 92 w/ 97K three months ago .Everything is great, except when I stop, shift back to parking, sometime I can not remove the key, It happened more often lately.Is it a problem ,some one already went thru this matter?I need your advise.Thanks
  • tcsctcsc Member Posts: 5
    I have the LCD problem also on my 92 LS 400 and would appreciate any info. on a fix. I have also recently experienced the outer half of my speedometer needle going dark. Now the speedometer needle bounces up and down or sits on zero, bounces up and down with the blinker on or as the AC comes on and off. It sounds like an electrical grounding problem of some kind but I am not sure. I also have recently had the "overdrive off light" blink on and off when the OD button was engaged! These problems are getting worse it seems. Can't use the speedometer controlled cruise control when needle is bouncing up and down. Please email any suggestions.
  • dugcardugcar Member Posts: 6
    lecia - is it burnt out or blacked out buy leaking LCD? - if the lights are just burnt out review some of the topics on bulb replacement, that should be very inexpensive but the removal of the unit is the same. If its blacked out from LCD leaking then the $375 unit is the correct replacement part. (its actually the front half of the module. You have to disassemble and replace.)
  • mafiajimmafiajim Member Posts: 1
    I just boguht a 93 Lexus Ls400 with 72,000miles rather low and i already seem to have a problem on my odometer it says trac/off how the hell can i get it to say on i pressed the tracoff button but it wont seem to work maybe it something else but i don;t know and don;t have a manule to help me so if anyone knows please help
  • cjdbutch1cjdbutch1 Member Posts: 4
    That price for the panel is incorrect. That was 350.00 plus tax. The units are rebuilt and takes roughly 10-14 days.
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