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Lexus LS: Problems & Solutions



  • hyperopthyperopt Posts: 55

    Refer to msg#27&122 for LCD replacement procedure. You can get the rebuilt part directly from the rebuilder at a lower price than the dealer(Read older messages on this thread). The rebuilder is located in S. SanFrancisco.
  • Regarding #40 I had the same problem with my 92 LS 400. In the wiring harness mounted in the deck lid, one of the wires that goes along the hinge on the left side is too short and has broken. The result intermittent opens and the first time you hit the brakes, the system moves to the high voltage mode due to the display.
    I found this out by turning on the lights in my car and raising and lowering the trunk. Wiggle the wires in the harness withing the hinge and you will find the culprit. Simply cut and resplice to correct the problem.
  • kpkmkpkm Posts: 2
    I am currently looking at buying a 1990 Lexus LS400. The car appears to be in great shape, however it has 143,000 mi. The dealer will give a 1 mo warranty but that's it.

    What am I looking at as far as annual maint/repairs go if the car was previously well-maintained?
  • I've been reading this message board over the last couple of days and I found it to be extremely useful and comforting...had I known sooner!
    As a 93 LS400 owner with 111k miles, I found it comforting to know that I wasn't the only one to with the leaky PS pump that ultimately killed the alternator...I should've heeded the dealer's warning! Well, like they say, when it rains, it pours! Now that I've got a new PS pump and alternator, my mechanic found out that the thermostat and the thermostat housing are bad too, thus causing the car to overheat. So hopefully replacing the thermostat and housing will take care of the problem. Anything else I should be looking at?How often should the radiator be replaced?
    Also, message #58 (from Sandyfordiii) was never answered. ["I've noticed my outer half of the speedometer needle in my 91 LS 400 flickered for awhile and is now just dead. Might anyone know of a fix short of a new factory part, or of a source for rebuilt speedometers / needles?"] The dealer told me that the whole display assembly needs to be replaced ($500+ total), but is this true of is he just trying to rip off another customer?
    If anyone has any answers or recommendations, please respond. Talk to you all soon!
  • w988w988 Posts: 6
    This is what I paid the nexus Dealer's service department for some routine maintenance services:
    timing belt - $600
    front and rear brakes - $500
    60,000 mile service - $800
    75,000 mile service - $200
    90,000 mile service - $600
  • My mechanic just replaced the thermostat and its housing and it seems like this has fixed the coolant leaking/overheating problem. But now when he test drives my 93 LS400, he notices that the temperature reading goes to the maximum hot after 10-15 minutes on the road! But when he stops and checks the engine, there are no signs of overheating. Anyone have similar experiences or comments? Is the problem with the temperature sensor? I have noticed too that when I turn on heater (doesn't matter what temperature is set), only cool/outside air comes gets ventilated. But when I turn OFF all ventilation, heat starts to come in! Please advise. Thanks!
  • My wife's 1998 LS400 has a strange and scary problem. While the car is in gear, at any moment (fast slow, stright, or turning) the drive train loses all power - like it has shifted to nutreul. The Check VSC message appears, engine light comes on, VSC Off light comes on, engine is still running, no power to wheels.

    Imagine you are turning in front of an oncoming semi when this happens - not good.

    It started one or twice a week, now several times a day. Took it to the dealer twice, he replaced the TPS sensor, then adjusted the TPS sensor. He swore it was fixed (I insisted on talking to the mechanic.) That was yesterday. Today it happened twice, once while I was at the wheel. The only fix is to stop the engine and restart the car.

    Shifting gears makes no diference - to neutral or park, the drive - but reverse gear still works.

    VSC switch makes no difference.

    Turn off the engine, start it again, everything works fine by the warning ligths and message are still there - after a while they go away.

    I'm afraid to let her drive the car.

    ps about 30,000 miles on this car

    this could kill somebody.
  • The "pulling out of the vents" refers to the A/C vents atop the automatic climate control unit. When you face the vent direction downwards this allows the tips of your fingers to grab the housing surronding the vents. if you pull outward and downward firmly the whole face with vents pops out exposing 2 screws holding auto climate with LCD in its place.

    For question about wether to purchase a early 1990 LS 400 here is my opinion. Be preapred to spend a lot of money for parts and maintenance. The car is reliable and perfoms suberp, however it is expensive to own. The V-8 only uses premium fuel, and averages 15 MPG city. The trade off is you will own and drive a very prestigious, luxury car for a lot less than what a 2000 year model costs to purchase or lease. I think, if you can afford 2K a year for up keep than treat yourself to one. I would not pay 50 grand to purchase or 10 grand a year to lease a new one so I purchased a used one for a lot less. I think it will still have a resale value when 12 to 15 years old with 125 k plus miles, there will always be a buyer for such a car. I am a car dealer and I have a 2001 Nissan sentra that I bought outright, this is my daily driver which makes 25 miles to a gallon and takes less than 3 quarts oil when changing. I have been using my Lexus on weekends so I am not running up the miles and tearing up the car. I realize this is not feasible for all people, however it is a good way to own such a car to keep costs down and its value up. I have entered my 92 LS-400 in a E-bay auction, you can check it out a white 92 LS 400, flroida car.

    The LCD unit can be purchased from Mikado Technologies 1-(650) 615-9966. I changed mine and I am very happy I did, I no longer squirm or get upset when I glance at the A/C/ unit.

    Best regards to Y'all
  • ferraro1ferraro1 Posts: 44
    Hello ~
    I have just recived my new 23K Gold Package for my 94 and i just installed it, looks wonderful , however I am not sure on how to take the old Antenna Bezel out and then install the new one , if anyone can help that would be great.
    (Long time Lexus Fan)
  • ferraro1ferraro1 Posts: 44
    Hello (Me again)
    I just took a Look at your 1992 LS400 Sheldon , wow it is very nice , but why are you letting her go after all the work and $$ ? do you have another Lexus ? i would not want to get rid of an LS400 with all the problems solved cuz that car will last you another 100,000 MILES k well hope to hear from you soon !
  • Dear Paul:
    To earn a living I am a consultant for import export companies. This occupies about 7 to 10 days a month. For the remaining time I buy and sell cars. I only purchase and sell cars I enjoy driving and repairing. This is my second Lexus
    LS 400 and I am learning a lot about them particulalrly through this message board. I do a lot of the work myself to keep busy and I really enjoy it. At auctions I select only the best car I can find and search for the service records and/or hints of one ownership. I purchased this car and invested 1000 dollars into reconditioning. I have the time and the knowledge to change the LCD for example when the average person would not have the time or know how so I do it for them. I would only sell the car in the type of condition I would like it to be if I were the customer/buyer. If I get the price I want it will be sold, if not I will keep it. I do use it and enjoy it. I have another car, a 1985 cadillac Eldorado with 55 thousand orginal miles in very good condition as well. That car is at it is white exterior wit red interior. It is also a toy for me to play with but, Lexus is my favorite.
    Best regards
  • ferraro1ferraro1 Posts: 44
    Hello (Me Again)
    Well I was looking through the history records of my LS400 and I found one that was done on September 5th,1997 with 45,942 miles at Lexus it is part # 350105007084 and it states as follows on the service record
    DESCRIPTION-~Reman ATM W/TORQ/C List price of $4,359 Net $5,115~ Then there was another part states as follows ~
    Core, Reman ATM, LS, LIST-$1,000 NET, $1450 then it has it Subtracted from the $5,115 price for a grand total of $3,665.27 + $247.50 for Labor = $3,912.77 ,This is also on the record
    CONDITION-"Hesitation felt why driving"
    CAUSE-Clutch Shutters on Reingagement, Shifts Hard 1st to 2nd and 2nd to 3rd
    Remedy- Replace Trans Assy
    Ok well What I am wanting to know is "what was installed ??" was it a new Automatic Transmission ? is so WHY did it FAIL !?!?! and what is a Torq C ?? is that a common problem I think i have heard it mentioned before ALSO what was that $1,450.00 SUBTRACTED from the initial $5,115.27 cost , thanks everyone hope someone can help (Tyring to learn more about my Lexus "under the hood wise")
    (Lexus Fan)
  • mhartlessmhartless Posts: 11
    I just got off the phone from Mikado about the LCD unit.

    It costs $295 for an individual ordering the unit.....If you can get a shop to order it for you the cost is wholesale at $195.

    They require you to send in the unit or it costs you an extra $100.
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    The invoice states that a "reman" (remanufactured) transmission was installed. Torq C is the torque converter. The $1,450 is the core charge for the original transmission, refunded IF the original is still in rebuildable condition when returned to the remanufacturing facility. You got somebody else's transmission after it had failed, been replaced, then remanufactured. Standard trade procedure.
  • Hi--I own a 94 Lexus LS400--saw your post re the power steering pump. I replaced mine at around 96,000 miles and replaced water pump and timing belt at same time. I had a serious fluid leak with p/s pump but didn't experience any other mechanical problems. Water pump and timing chain were dealer-recommended maintenance.
    I love my car and have expenienced no serious problems with it. It has 116,000 miles and I guess I will drive it until it won't go any more!
  • Was wondering if you recommend maintenance by any other dealers such as Toyota? I feel like we really take it up the tailpipe when these Lexus dealers are the only game in town. I have received solicitations in the past from Toyota for service but have been reluctant to try it.
    I recently had my "94 LS in for service and attempted to have them order me a new ignition key with remote. They wanted $350 for ONE key so I told them to keep it. My remote button broke off when I dropped the keys but it isn't worth that much for a new one
  • I would not have a problem allowing a toyota dealer service a Lexus. I might ask for some references, perhaps other customers who are satisfied. Dealers, new car dealers that is, tend be reliable but expensive. Lexus cars have numerous shared parts with toyota autos. you can also try a smaller reapir first ad see how it goes?
    Best of luck
  • I own a 91 LS 400. It is in immaculate condition. Currently, I have 121,000 miles on. This a great car except for one big annoying problem. She has terrible brake squeal at very low speeds, such as 5 miles per hour. The Lexus dealership tells me this is a common problem and is due to the mettallic brake pad. My pads were changed at 90,000 miles and I have 70% left on them. But this noise is embarrassing. Can anyone help??
  • I have a 94 LS400 with 116,000 miles on it and the brakes have been screaming since the first month that I had it--same problem that you describe at very low braking speed and especially when you are creeping along. I complained loudly the first year but got the same answers you did. I guess I have just learned to live with it! You would think as much as these cars cost, they could find a way to eliminate the noise as it is
    rather embarrasing.
  • kl3415kl3415 Posts: 12
    I have a 1990 Ls400 that is in excellent condition. I changed the timing belt @ 75K and the car now has 120000K and I was wondering how often the timing belt should be change? I believe the owner's manual recommends 60K but is that really necessary? I replaced the a/c unit at 100000K and my LCD light has gone out. The clock still displays but at night I am "in the dark". Any comments would be greatly appreciated.

  • kl3415kl3415 Posts: 12
    I had the same problem with my car. I changed the thermostat, both hoses, temp. sending unit, coolant and still I had high indications. The culprit ended up being a bad guage. It cost about $150 to have it replaced at the dealer. However, that is because I took the dash off myself.
  • garrettcgarrettc Posts: 1
    My '93 LS400 has an intermittent idle problem. Usually it is ok. But about once a week, it won't idle and stalls out for one to two days. Then it is ok again. When it happens the car runs fine, I just have to keep one foot on the accelerator and one on the brake to keep the idle up. Dealer saw two codes, one in the throttle sensor and one in air flow sensor. He put in a Throttle Positioning Sensor, but it still has the problem. Dealer wants to put in an Air FLow sensor on the air intake for $700 plus labor. Won't guarentee that will fix it. Has anyone had this problem? Any suggestions? Please email me with any answers.
    Thanks in advance,
  • hyperopthyperopt Posts: 55
    My LS400 timing belt was replaced by previous owner at 62K and now the car has 116K. I pondered whether or not I should change the belt at 60K interval, but after some research, I decided not to even though I could change the belt myself (had changed 5+ Toyota&Honda timing belts). Why?

    1. LS400 timing belt is no wimpy belt. It is homungus and should last for at least 100K assuming the belt is not contaminated(ie. oil or antifreeze), properly pensioned, and no lock-up.

    2. LS400 engine is free-wheeling, thus, no damage to the engine when the belt snap. However, you would need a tow to your favorite shop or to your own garage for a belt replacement.

    In short, I decided to not throw away the timing belt prematurely, and to be on the safe side, I would replace it at 90K which equated to 50% more usage. These are my thoughts. Make your own decision!
  • lexomanlexoman Posts: 4
  • jeffmust2jeffmust2 Posts: 811
    I purchased a used '95 LS that now has 80K miles; I'm sure the original shocks are still installed.

    Has anyone installed non-OEM shocks and, if so, at what mileage, price range, and results?

    This is a great board for LS owners - but I keep nerviously checking the power steering pump every Sunday!
  • Thank you for your response to my brake squeal. Since reading your post I'm thinking the only way to live with this problem, is to quiet this down. I'm gonna check and see if I could get a standing appointment maybe every 2 weeks and have those brakes cleaned and sprayed for a reasonable cost. It would be worth it for the summer and not necessary for the winter.
  • w988w988 Posts: 6
    I asked my Lexus Service Consultant about a timing belt replacement when my 93 LS400 needed a 60,000 miles service and was told to wait until
    its 90,000 miles service. Since I read several messages mentioned replacing the water pump and the power steering pump, I will probably replace them at 90,000 miles.
  • My 90 LS400 with 102K is equipped with traction control. Somewhat frequently my TRAC light in the center of the speedo will stay on. When this occurs the car will not downshift in a passing situation. Attempting to stomp the throttle only causes an unimpressive surge and not the normal downshift and exceleration.

    Everyones feedback is appreciated.
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Start by having the ABS/Traction Control system controller scanned for any stored diagnostic trouble codes. That might point you in the right direction.
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