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Lexus LS: Problems & Solutions



  • tonym2tonym2 Posts: 5
    I have a 2005 LS430. Recently the "Low Tire" Warning indicator came on, and I took it in to a gas station and did have to adjust the pressure ot the correct level. However the warnign light refuses to go off even now, when the pressure is OK. Been several days.

    On checking the Owners Manual I found mention in one place that one has to reset the Tire Pressure Monitoring System, howver, I CANNOT find out anywhere in the manual where this switch is located. Can anyone help?
  • vchengvcheng Posts: 1,284
    On the driver's side under dash, just above the top part of the accelerator pedal, there is a small panel with two buttons: one for the keyless access and one for the TPS. You will have to play nice with the car and get on your knees to find this one! Good Luck.
  • Just bought a '99 LS400 from a Lexus dealer. Super car, clean, 85k miles. On the ride home (Michigan) it started to rain. Car was a little "squirrly" on a slow curve. Got home and checked: The car is shod with Cooper M&S tires that were aired to 40psi. I lowered the pressure to 30psi. Is there an all-season tire that would be better for me? If so, any suggestions on brand and model. I love this car. It rides a little noisily which I guess must be the mud and snow tires. It's former life was in upper Michigan where serious snow falls. Thanks for any ideas.
  • lexkinglexking Posts: 10
    Great car, If you want to keep it along time start changing the trans fluid every second oil change, it takes 2 quarts when you pull the drain plug. You dont have to measure just add 2 quarts. Buy it from your local Lex dealer.Power steering fluid should be drained and changed with Mobil One Dex. This can get messy as you have to pull the return off the pump and have someone turn it over and shut it off it goes quick. Also when you pull the return line off fluid will come out so have a dixe cup handy. Put a pan under the passengers side of the radiator open the drain and remove the reservoir cap and the refill on top of the thermostat and let it drain. Refill the tank and the themo/ vent opening with Toyota antifreeze, the themo/vent is a hex fitting.The best tires for this car are Michelin MXV4 plus. could do a long post on just tires, these have no Nylon in them this makes a difference in flat spotting and those morning vibrations. Also others should think that when they go a test drive cars that really they are test driving a set of tires, it just doesn't make sense to test drive any car unless the tires are new. IMO Buy the way the timing belt can wait until 110K but not much more, the 2 Idler also will be bad I would change them both the water pump will look like new, might want to change it anyway. this job took me 7 hours.
  • As a new owner of a super LS400, I really appreciate your taking the time to give me some sound advice. Your tips will definitely help me keep this car a long, long time.

    I drove it this afternoon for the first time after lowering the air pressure in the tires to 30 psi. Wow! What a difference. The ride was marvelous. I think I'll keep the Cooper M&S tires until I need new ones. I'll definitely keep in mind your recommendation of the Michelin MXV4 plus tires. I never noticed until today, my wife's leased '06 Jetta also has mud and snow tires standard. It rides just fine (for a Jetta).


  • I just bought a 97 es300with 100k. Do you have any suggestions as far as NECCESSARY repair and service? It was serviced regularly by 1 owner at Santa monica lexus up till 84K. DO YOU HAVE THE PHONE # of VTECH and what can I expect to pay for 90k service(does it include replacing the timing belt?) Thanks very much, JE
  • bildowbildow Posts: 100
    you can call them in Lake Forest Orange County CA 949-206-9108 you will find their work just great along with good prices they only do honda and toyota family cars which includes lexus.
  • kyleakylea Posts: 1
    This is not a solution, but another question. I just purchased a lexus 400ls and the cd button doesnt switch the radio to the cd player. I can hear the 6 disc changer flip through the cds in the trunk but the only buttons on the deck (am, fm, tape, cd) that switch anything are the am and fm. (the tape might work if you had a tape to put in it, but i just want the cd player to work). any help is appriciated.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    It will not complete the switch to CD unless it finds a playable CD in one of the slots. Look and be sure you have mounted the CDs right side up. For the early trunk mounted units it is too easy to mistakenly put them in upside down.
  • slexy1slexy1 Posts: 38
    On 3/17/06 I posted this "I personally have had great "lower cost" with "quality, clean work" experience with Pratt Automotive ( 817-249-0800) in the Fort Worth area of Texas, and Davenport Motor Company (972-612-3377) in the Dallas area of Texas.
    These Lexus Service & Repair independents were started by former Master Lexus Mechanics, and are sorely needed in the DFW, Texas area, in my opinion. Daniel Davenport and Jerry Pratt=(Jerry has 16 years Lexus experience) both let you go out by your car and get an education, while watching and talking to the mechanics as they work on your car. For me, that's a "value added" experience."

    How many Lexus owners in this forum like myself who have had many years of dealing with Lexus dealers (since 1990, for me) have found them to be getting harder to deal with, while more and more independent Lexus service shops are eager for your business, and a lot less expensive. I find I get the truth about things (good and bad) versus the "corporate speak" line on many things. I know you have to judge each dealer and independent individually, but overall, outside of warranty work, why would you not develop a relationship with an independent? Mine lets me bring my own parts, and shows me around my car on the lift to point out exactly what is wrong. Someone else said the same thing on another Lexus forum about their independent!
  • cneumancneuman Posts: 55
    Great post slexy,

    I have only recently purchased a 2002 Lexus. I found an independent shop through cartalk and have yet to have a reason to visit him, other than to meet him and have him take a look at the car. At no charge. I hope that my experience with him will be as good as yours seems to have been with your independent. It would be great to share more on this subject in this forum.

  • n16ueln16uel Posts: 7
    Can anyone recommend a reliable independent (non-dealer) Lexus service facility in the Princeton, NJ area? I have a 1991 LS400 and a 2002 LS430.
  • n16ueln16uel Posts: 7
    If memory serves, problems many years ago with synthetic oil for airplane piston engines were related to its poor ability to suspend lead salts, which was causing lead fouling. Airplane piston engines still burn leaded fuel (100LL, which stands for 100-octane low-lead, the "low" being in comparison with earlier full-lead avgas). Since autofuel is lead-free, this airplane angle has no bearing on the debate about synthetic oil for cars.
  • slexy1slexy1 Posts: 38
    Just Google "Independent Lexus Service & Repair Shop in Princeton, NJ.
  • cneumancneuman Posts: 55
    Although slexy1's suggestion to google is a good one, when I was looking for a mechanic I wanted some recommendations, not just a name. No one responded with a name for my area on this forum, but I did get a suggestion to go to for suggestions. That's how I found the mechanic I intend to go to. Can't say if it's going to work out, because I haven't had him do any work so far.

  • Today the speedometer was stuck on 0mph, even while going 30mph. Then when I hit higher speeds it jumped up into place.
    It's never done this before. What are my options?
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Your speedometer is driven by the engine ECU, if the car drives normally otherwise then the ECU "knows" how fast you are going but something is wrong between its output and the speddo needle.
  • I live in Michigan. Just bought a '99 LS400. I've only driven it in city traffic. Engine is 290hp and 300 lb ft torque. Powerful. First tank got 16.9 mpg. I love the car so much I'd keep it if gas was $5 a gallon and I only got 10 mpg. It's so easy to press the accelerator for that great launch at a red light. Probably with slower takeoffs and less goosing the gas pedal I could get 18mpg.

    Curious: The car has the Cooper Trendsetter SE tires. In even the slightest rain the rear end comes around 6" on a turn. A lot of LS400 owners have gone to the Michelin MXV4 plus. What tires do you have?

  • todd2004todd2004 Posts: 18
    Bob-- I have a 2003 LS430 Ultra with 41,550 miles. We purchased Michelin MXV Plus tires around the 30k mark and have been extremely happy with them. The ride is much improved and the handling , especially on wet pavement is much better. We had OEM Dunlop tires and they were terrible! They only lasted around 30k and were noisy , as well. I am a real fan of Michelin tires , having just replaced a set on a GMC Denali with 72k on them. I have them on all my vehicles and feel very confident in recommending them to you. Good Luck!
  • Thanks for your input. I'm leaning toward the MSV4s with additional siping.

  • cneumancneuman Posts: 55
    Is there anyone in the Chicagoland area who drives there LS without changeing to snow tires durning the winter months and can tell me what that experience has been? For those of you who do change when do you change and when do you change back? Also if you change to snows do you use summer or all season the rest of the year?


  • I've heard LS400 owners like the Michelin MXV4 Plus tires year round. Discount Tire Co. also adds siping that increases traction and gives a smoother ride. Check with the local dealer to check out the various tires that are available. We have a LS400 we recently bought used. It has Cooper Trendsetter SE tires. These will be very ineffective in Detroit weather this winter. I'll be changing to the Michelins.

  • rgswrgsw Posts: 333
    link title
    The Bridgetone Blizzaks have been highly recommended by some on this forum, they have the siping designed into the tread.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Ok, I'm a moron, but I also live in West Afghanistan....
    What is siping? Please?
  • For comlete technical data on SIPING tests, visit

    According to the literature, "The tread surface on your tire is made up of many smaller surfaces known as 'tread blocks'. These surfaces are especially important when it comes to icy or wet road conditions. The Tread Blocks get their grippping power not from their many smooth surfaces but from the even more numerous sharp surrounding edges. SIPING improves the job started by your tire manufactuerer by providing more of these gripping surfaces. SIPING is done by placing your tires (new or used) on a specially designed machine that rotates your tires while making small vitually invisible 90 degree cuts in your tread. Don't be alarmed. Although the process is actually cutting your tread, it doesn't harm your tire in any way, it improves on it. Only under very close inspection can the SIPES even be seen, and you're more likely to tell by your improved driving experience than by visual inspection. SIPING gives your tires a Micro-Flexibility, reducing the wear on your tires' carcasses and sidewalls. This effect not only inceases tire life but will result in a smoother ride. To SIPE in mass production after the molding process would be too expensive and time consuming for the manufacturer. A molded SIPE (becoming more popular) would leave vacant gapss in the tread. Siping creates edges without gaps. Repeated tests proved that SIPING increased starting, stopping and driving traction by as much as 200%."
    Hope this helps. I don't work for Discount Tire. I am retired from 40 years at Ford, VW, Porsche, and Audi. Sincerely,
  • Bob: Shortly after buying a 1991 LS400 in 2002 I removed its noisy 15-inch Pirellis and put on four MXV4s on 16-inch 2002 LS430 rims. I had run four MXV4s for 100,000 miles on a 93 Camry V6, and they still had about a third of the tread remaining after 100K when I sold the car. On the LS400 the Michelins provided a much quieter and surer ride, but they weren't as durable on the heavier Lexus as they had been on the Camry. Recently bought a 2002 LS430 that came with some aging Coopers. Again, I replaced them with MXV4s and am getting a quiet, sure-footed ride and about 27 mpg on a long run. My advice: you won't go wrong with the Michelins. I should add that I put some cheap snow tires on the old 15-inch rims for New Jersey winters, and the LS400 ran fine in snow. I guess for the LS430 I will put some Blizzaks on some 16-inch rims.
  • Thx for the info. Re the durability of the MSV4s on the LS400, I was wondering the speed rating you had. I understand H is less than V which is less than Z. H is rated to 130 mph. Evidently as the speed rating goes up, so does the sidewall stiffness. For that reason, I will probably go with the V rating. I admire your 27mpg. I haven't had it on a road trip. Today, for the first time, I broke the 18mpg number driving at 50mph on an X-way. The car is so darn responsive it rose to 80mph in a few seconds.
    I am enjoying this car much more than I did my '86 911. Of course, at age 70 I don't have the need to run a car through its paces at redlights. So, what was the speed rating on your Camry tires?

  • Bob: That's a good question, and one that I can't remember the answer to. If I can dig up any record of the exact tire spec on the Camry, I'll let you know. However, I would not have gone for the top speed-rated tire for the Camry. The MXV4 Plus tires I have on the 1991 LS400 are H rated. I should add that for the 2002 LS430 to get 27 mpg (which is best-case and suffers in the hills) I have kept the inflation on the MXV4s quite high at 37, a pressure that seems to be paying off in good mileage but without any signs of uneven (center-weighted) tread wear so far. Here's hoping that lasts. Side note: much as I admire everything about the LS430, I think it falls short of the old LS400 in the suspension department. From the LS430 I watched the damping on the LS400 as my son drove slightly ahead and alongside, and that 15-year-old sedan floated along on its original struts and springs as if on glass, motionless except for moving forward, its wheels gently undulating over each wart in the road. The 400 has failings (inadequate brakes in particular) that the 430 has solved, but its suspension is superb. Good luck with your 430.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Thanks so much for your kind response. I'm amazed I have not heard of this previously, as much as I'm around cars. Or, as I have said, perhaps where I live, this isn't recommended because of the heat, or we just don't have the "latest" here... Anyway, great answer, and thanks again. :P
  • nvbanker, I felt compelled to check out why my LS400 (we bought it from a Lexus dealer two mo. ago) got a little slippery in fresh rain. I'd driven RWD cars at Ford for years. I never had one where the rear end slipped 6". The Lexus anti-skid control is super; but, I would prefer the car to stay on a straight line regardless of the rain. I think the major problem is the Cooper Trendsetter SE tires. They have five straight tracks. I know the LS400 has a lot of torque, but the correct tires should keep it from slipping if I'm not goosing it or acting crazy on a turn. Hopefully the MXV4 Plus tires will help. Even though I live outside Detroit, the car will not be driven in snow unless my wife's car ('06 Jetta)is not available. Would appreciate your's or any other reader's thoughts.

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