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Lexus LS: Problems & Solutions



  • What is the normal rpm for a 93 LS400 at idle with and without the AC on? Can I adjust it?

    Thanks for your help.
  • Ok - simple question.

    Where is the TPS sensor?
  • pscmjpscmj Posts: 7
    Take a look over at They have some very good discussions going on over there. Anyway, to your question, visit, and look at the picture of the engine that is dated 10.21.2001. Using the Lexus "L" in the very center of the engine (located on the intake manifold) as a reference, the TPS is the small black cylinder-shaped device (about 1.5" - 2" in diameter) just to the left, and is mounted to the throttle-body by two screws. There is a four terminal connector that plugs into the TPS (not visible in the picture). Further to the left of the TPS is the large, black air-intake hose.

    As for idle speed, with the transmission in "D", mine is right on 600 rpm (dead-on the third mark between the tachometer 0 and 1000 marks), and 700 rpm with the AC. These readings are at normal engine operating temperature (engine is completely warmed-up). They are both between 800 and 1000 rpm when the engine is cold (again transmission in "D"). My fisrt-start cold idle speed (no AC) is around 1200-1500 rpm (depending on just how cold) with the transmission in "P".

    As I understand it from the local Lexus technician I talked to, and from my experimentation with various settings of the TPS, all idle speeds are set by the ECU (computer) and cannot be changed. TPS adjustments will not change the idle speed on these vehicles.

    Word of caution about changing the TPS setting. They are very touchy and can affect engine performance (again I'm speaking from experience). Refer to prior messages on this town hall discussion for more details. Q45man and RODDMOD11 have some pretty good discussions in reference to message #405.

    Anyway, hope this helps. Good luck ...

  • I took my 1999 LS to a certified mechanic who does work on the side. He primarily works on Volvo's. When he changed my transmission oil, he said the tranny was the exact same one used on the Volvo. At his dealer shop they used Dextron3 with no problems. I used the Toyota oil.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    The LS is RWD, the Volvo isn't.
  • Cterres

    My 1995 does EXACTLY the same thing and no one has been able to identify the problem. I bought an entire new nakamichi system from ebay (amp, head unit, and cd changer came together) but i got the wrong year. the amp fit perfectly but the two right speakers didnt work. they sort of fade in and out at totally random times. only thing i can guess is that the head unit is bad...maybe the right channel. it happens totally randomly though and then works again when it feels like it.

    the only other annoying thing about the car is that it sounds like im making tea. the windshield sounds like it is squealing from wind noise...or maybe it's coming from the doors but it does sound like it's coming from the center part of the windshield. Other than those two things, the car has been a great experience with unmatched reliability. If you find out what is wrong with your stereo let me know!!!
  • tubaltubal Posts: 7
    Hi all. I have a 1991 LS400. I was replacing the battery today, and while I was wiping the dust and everything from under my hood, I noticed a loose cover. I lifted it up and there was a sensor underneath it that was broken off.

    It's a blue sensor in front of the intake manifold and a little to the right. It's got two vacuum hoses attached to it.

    What is it, and what does it do. I haven't noticed any difference in performance recently, but it could have been broken when I bought the car.
  • I'll take a look...
  • paul29paul29 Posts: 178
    Are you describing a small blue valve on the driver's side (left side ) of the intake manifold , towards the rear of the engine ? ( two hoses and an electrical connection attached )
  • tubaltubal Posts: 7
    It's on the radiator side of the engine. Right in front of the intake there is a cover probably 10" wide and 3" front to back. Underneath this cover on the driver's side, there is a blue sensor or valve with two vacuum hoses atatched. I'm not sure if there is an electrical connection or not. But the blue plastic valve is broken in two pieces. One piece is still attached to the motor and the other piece with the vacuum hoses is free.
  • Have opened little flap door on inside trunklid but not sure how to get to bulb . any help much appreciated. 97 LS400 Thank you.
  • paul29paul29 Posts: 178
    The valve you described is called a "BVSV ". This is a coolant temperature sensitive valve used to switch another valve ( VCV ) which under certain temperature and throttle positions allows fuel tank vapours stored in a charcoal canister to be drawn into the intake manifold to be burned for the sake of emission control. If it was defective on my car I would replace it.
  • rge1rge1 Posts: 1
    I am close to buying a certified pre-owned 1999 Lexus LS 400. In reviewing the service records, I noticed that it's already required two new batteries. Also, the current battery in the car is dead/weak and needs replacement. Does anyone know about any inherent electrical system problem that may shorten battery life? Or perhaps the battery is undersized for the vehicle. Changing batteries every year or so seems too frequent. I checked recall & technical service bulletins but couldn't find anything. Thanks in advance.
  • Bought a used '98 LS400 a year ago and it had a record of killing batteries as well.

    Based on my previous good experiences with a '95 LS, these guys don't use batteries prematurely at all so I knew there was a problem.

    Noticed on the '98 that both the remote key units did not work while the power locks worked from inside the vehicle and with the keys. Replaced the batteries in the remotes; didn't help.

    Dealer took two days to find the problem for both the remotes and the dying batteries...a broken wire inside the front passenger door that was slowly draining the battery to ground and causing the remotes to fail.

    So try checking all electrical devices on your '99 to see if they work OK - if not, that could be an indication of where the short is hiding.

    Good luck!
  • I need some help / advise.
    I replaced front tires on 97 LS 400 about 10,000 miles ago (Currently has 81-K). I used Michelin MXV 4 Plus to match 2 existing good tires.
    I am now hearing a loud whirring noise from my front end, kind of like a bearing noise (For example). I also notice in certain light & certain angles what appears to be uneven wear on the tires. I have seen certain illustrations at tire shops that call this cupping. It looks like certain parts of the tire are worn deeper than other parts.
    What is causing this uneven wear and noise? & what repair or parts replacement can cure it? BTW, are the tires now shot?
    Than Q! Sheldon
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,595
    If the tires are truly cupped, yes, they are done for, at least done for as 100% effective tires.

    Cupping is usually caused by worn suspension parts, such as weak shock absorbers or springs. A lesser possibility is a severe wheel balance problem (which you would have noticed) or bad wheel bearings.

    The Lexus 400 is a pretty "mushy" car to begin with, and fairly heavy, so you might not have noticed if your springs/shocks are wearing.

    Tha't where I'd start, especially if you are over 50K miles or so.

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  • The seat belt does not retract with any vigor anymore, sometimes stays limp altogether. Dealer replacement quoted at $155, but cannot get my color (tan). Mechanic friend thinks install is easy enough (dealer quoted 1 hour labor) but where can I get a replacement seat belt assembly that will fit and match (at least closely) and are there any pitfalls when installing?
  • Have seen several references to this problem, closest was lexor1 (#323) with dash essentially dead at first, then flickering and fully lit after several minutes (seems related to inside cabin temperature reaching 65+ degrees). Mine started when outside temp was around 32 degrees, now will not lite until +65 degrees. What is the fix here, lexor1 or q45man???

  • Looking at possibly buying a 95 LS 400 with 150K miles. All service has been performed at 30K mile intervals at local Lexus dealer. Car is visually flawless-inside and out. What can one reasonable expect this car to do in the next year or two. With regular maintenance, is the car good for 300,000 miles like I've heard it is?
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Rumor has it that the 911 SC, 78-83, engines can go over 250k miles without mechanical failures. I have a 78 with 180k and so far that's proved to be true.

    So I would not worry about a 95 LS400 with 150k, it has another 100k by my measure.

    It's a Lexus.
  • q45manq45man Posts: 416
    As long as you continue to maintain it TO SPEC.
    Get the transmission flushed [not just a 25% pan drain] and check all the suspension pieces for wear [shock, tension rods, upper/lower a arms.

    You have to expect some AC work, alternator, belts, timing belt, coolant system replacements brakes, tires.

    30k dealer service would be the minimal......budget at least 10 cents per mile for the next 100,000 miles assuming everything is perfect now! The 95 were pretty good!!!!!!

    Always have the dealer or a real expert give it the once over 2-3 hours including an alignment with print out to find those silent problems to use to drive the purchase price down.
  • jodar96jodar96 Posts: 400
    I have been surfing the E-bay for 96-98 MB E320 or 95-97 LS-400. I love these two cars for what they are. Excellent in their own ways.

    These cars are becoming very affordable in $13K to $18K range. It is like New Chevy Cavelier/Malibu or a used LS-400 /E320!!!

    What are the areas to watch for in the LS-400? Does the 4.0L engine use timing belt or chain? How durable is the engine? Do you have to use synthetic oil or the regular oil will do?

    I have a 96 Toyota Camry V-6 XLE. Toyota has done an exceptional job with smoothness in the 3.0L V-6, I can just imagine how great the Lexus V-8 could be.

    The LCD display on Lexus worries me. I read a lot about lights going out or LCD leaking!! I much rather have the conventional analog gages on cars.

    Did 95-97 have traction control?
    How is the traction on ice and snow without the TC?
    How durable is the paint & leather in 95-97?
    What is the HWY gas mileage?
    What are the most worn items? tires, brakes, door rubber seals?

  • Well I have a 95 w/150k right now, I have had to replace ps/pump,lower egr pipe,both strut bars assbly,frt brakes,. I don't have tc,paint and leather very good,HWY mileage about 22mpg, never any LCD leakage. Will have to say that beside that normal wear and tear, I still get great enjoyment driving in the Lex,(wonderful car)you
    couldn't go wrong, highly recommend one,plan to drive at least another 100k, actually cousin bought a 98 LS after driving mine.
    hope that helps in your decision.

  • Say there dj what are strut bars? Did you change your struts? what prompted you to change them?
    I have heard of strut plates and I am not sure what they are and if they need to be replaced when I change the struts. I have uneven tire wear. I am going to have car aligned this week and will ask for all suspension components to be checked.
    For response to jodar 96
    Paint is excellent !
    I achieve up to 25 MPG highway, I am still amazed at highway mileage.
    Read old posts, problems are pretty typical for all owners (read and see).
    I have had no problems 1 year 10K miles. I am now experiencing tire wear problems, I do not consider this a defect I consider this age and routine.
  • Well dealerflorida,

    I had the strut bar assbly changed left and right, Whenever I ran over a bump or pothole the steering wheel would shake or rattle, also has a clump feel to it. At first I thought it was my front brakes but it was a totally different feeling, dealer lifted the LS showed me the worn strut bars(rubber bushing shaking inside)had replaced, definitely fixed the problem what a difference. You definitely will know the feeling, also my cousin's 98 LS was doing the same thing, had his replaced also.

    Another note didn't have to replaced anything til after 120k.
    Again when your mechanic checks for alignment have him check the strut bar assembly, not the plate(also have him show u what it looks like)that probably will be the culprit if you have the thumping feeling going over bumps.
    I had the uneven tire wear also but that fixed the problem(bought new Bridgestone Turanza) remember the Lexus is so sensitive to everything (just like my girlfriend)but if you
    take care of them they will treat you RIGHT!!

  • Thank you for advice, much appreciated!
    I just went into the shop manual and observed the strut bar. It is part of the lower assembly. I will have this checked.
    For the "plate", I do not see a component with this name in diagram? Could it be the "Suspension support"?
    Also should I change the "spring bumper & Insulator"?
    I have also felt a sort of bump steer, when auto goes over bumps at high rate of speed I feel a slight pull of the wheel and a quick self correction, I thought this was a characteristic of car, now I am thinking it is due to worn parts.
    Story goes like this. I want to keep car and maintain it properly. I have read in earlier posts that people have had to take new struts out and change the "Plates" (Or whatever they are called) and wish they new about this before the strut replacement was completed. I just want to do it right and do it once.

    As far as girl friend goes, I have a wife 10 years married we have a 13 month old girl.

    Thanks again & Best regards
  • q45manq45man Posts: 416
    The upper and lower A arm suspension [rubber bushings] fail [noisey clunks knocks] anywhere betwen 100k and 200 k depending on roads. As do the tension rod inserts and the shocks.

    The LS is so floaty that owner don't understand that shocks rarely meet specs after 60,000 miles and need replacing.

    Kind of normal but expensive items.......never buy one with air lift suspension.

    Traction control is needed in snow as the differential is not limited slip.

    The 98 is the year with 5 speed AT and the newer VVT engine plus improved 4 caliper front brakes. The 95,96,97 are pretty identical.
  • Great to see you are still reading and involved in town hall!
    Do you know what the strut plates are?
    Are tension rods same as strut bars?
    I am surely changing the shocks, however I wish to also replace other components at same time and get it over with at once.
    My 97 LS 400 is a Florida only car, we have silky smooth roads. I have 85K Miles so I can see shock replacement, I am a bit surprised that so many other suspension components are bad at this time.
    Than Q! Sheldon
  • Well Dealerflorida

    Far as the strut plates I'm not sure about, dealer never said anything pertaining to a strut plate,just both strut bar assemblys were bad, as Q45 stated I determined I have a problem when I felt or heard the noisy clunk knock,also vibration in steering wheel, you definitely will know the difference, haven't had the shocks replaced told their were still good (that was at 120K). Since I have a 95 with 150k and you a 97 w/85k you probably will be ok until after the 100k mark, plus I live in Michigan, Our roads are horrendus compared to Florida.(snow etc..)
    My tension rods were fine also.

  • gee35coupegee35coupe Posts: 3,475
    It's not my lowered Civic. But I'm not needing sea sick medicine either. What kind of aftermarket shocks if any are recommended for the LS?
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