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Lexus LS: Problems & Solutions



  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    I have had 2 LS430s, an 02 and currently, an 05. I never had the 02 in inclement weather to speak of, we only have scattered mud showers here most of the time. But the other day, I was trying to back my 05 up a curb to park it. The rear wheels were up against the curb, I goosed the pedal to walk it up, and instead, it slid sideways..... Very interesting response, I thought. Tried it again, same thing. So, I made a run at it and got up.

    Anyway, I think I know what you mean about the 6in. slide. I've heard that Toyota's traction control has issues before. Not likely to get me in trouble, so I'm not angry, but I'm learning.....

    I also am a former Ford guy, who has migrated over to Lexus. They are amazing, as are the dealers, as you say.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    The Ford of today is just not the Ford we knew, is it?
  • famwaldfamwald Posts: 114
    We've had our '05 LS for almost two years. Using Windex on the interior windshield window glass does not get it clean. I end up with streaks, etc. that do not go away. I've used linen toweling as well as microfiber cloth. We have never had this problem with other cars we have owned in the past. This is why we're stumped.

    What do you use to clean the interior windows? Any tips or
  • I can't speak to the streaking issue; however, we once had a large cabin cruiser with laminated windows. The ammonia in Windex seaped into the laminate and caused de-laminate "staining" between the glass pieces. I don't know if Lexus uses laminated glass; if so, there are glass cleaners that do not have ammonia. Sorry I can't help with the streaking issue.

  • sailsail Posts: 17
    Bob, did have this streaking (between laminates) L430. I did not know the reason why, but perhapes the ammonia was the reason. Had to have glass replaced.
  • That's the same problem I had with the Hatteras. We replaced thirteen old windows. Inside of 60 days three had the separation between the laminate. The glass company replaced three windows; on the fourth "claim" by me, they asked about ammonia. Problem solved! We don't use ammonia-based glass cleaner at home or on the car.

    Best regards,
  • rgswrgsw Posts: 333
    I noticed that the Owner's Manual for the 2006 LS430 indicated that the windshield and driver/passenger windows were coated with a rain repellant substance. Their recommendation was to clean those surfaces with a clean cloth and water (if I recall correctly), no prepared glass cleaners should be used. I acknowledge this has nothing to do with laminates but does apply to glass cleaning.
  • guestguest Posts: 770
    Thanks for the additional information.
  • famwaldfamwald Posts: 114
    Wow, I never knew that about the ammonia. I haven't cleaned these windows too often but I know that's not the problem right now, and will stop using the windex. It sort of makes one worry about the products a "detail shop" or car wash would use on them.

    Perhaps a weak vinegar & water solution would work. Beats me why all the accumulated film goes streaky. The windows on our '05 LS do seem to have a 'finish' on them, inside and out, almost like Rain-X was put on at the factory. I'll dig out the owner's manual.

    Thank you again, everyone, for your input. :)
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    The detail shops (around here anyway) seem to be in the know on this. I've not seen them use ammonia anyway.
  • I believe they do that for safety reasons. I have an '06 LS430 and my problem is with the voice activation. It responds to only a few commands. Do you have any better results?
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Mine responds to all kinds of commands....some of them even correctly.

    I believe there is a mode to condition your tonal inflections into the system, it has you say certain words, and that conditions the responses better.
  • Hello to you all from SE Missouri.

    I have read all the postings over the last few days and have learned a lot. Thank you.

    I would like to add my personal experiences to this growing data base.

    My first LS was a 3-year-old '94 CPO with about 35K on it. No remarkable problems and I traded it in at 85K to acquire my present Lexus.

    I purchased my '99 LS in April '02 as a CPO with 25K miles from Superior Lexus in Kansas City. It currently has 80K on it.

    At the 60K dealer service, they replaced the PS pump and idle-up valve under warranty ("leaking"). Obviously, Lexus still has not corrected the flaws in this unit. However, I intend to take the Forum's advice and have the fluid changed and screens cleaned at the big 90K tear-down.

    At 60K, they also replaced the starter with a re-man unit after I told them it had failed just once to turn over in my garage (apparently an issue with a dead spot).

    And they also replaced front strut rods ("torn")at 60K. All told, this warranty work was worth $1600 and I paid zero.

    Other minor things replaced under warranty was the driver's door stop (made creaking noise when fully opening door; unbefitting this machine), new fog lamp switch (fogs kept blinking off and on), new TPS (limped two miles home in first gear with no throttle response; but it reset itself after setting for half hour in my garage, allowing me to get up to KC for repair) and new steering wheel tilt motor (just failed one day).

    All in all, Superior Lexus treated me great during the CPO period, which, alas, has now expired.

    My local Firestone handles all my 5K and 15K services (they use a flushing machine on the tranny) and I let Superior Lexus handle the 30K, 60K and soon to be 90K services.

    Knock on wood, I have not had any of the electrical glitches and horror stories I have read on the Forum (other than the TPS, which was really spooky, and NOT covered under the Owner's Manual. When I called the dealer and described what happened, he knew exactly what was wrong.

    Anyway, sorry for the length of this posting - I just wanted to add my two cents to the database.

    I have a tire question which I will ask in a separate posting (but I think I already know the answer).

    Happy motoring! :shades:

  • I bought my LS as a CPO with 25K on it. The car came with brand new Dunlop SP Sport 4000, P225/60R16 97V M&S tires, rated 240 treadwear, Traction A & Temperature A.

    I kept them aired, balanced and rotated and managed to get 46K out of them. They were grippy and quiet.

    At replacement, Firestone quoted me $780 for identical new Dunlops and, as an alternate, $500 for Bridgestone Fuzion ZRi, P225/60R16 98W tires with 320 treadwear and A's on traction and temperature.

    Both prices included mounting, balancing and 4-wheel alignment. Looks like a no-brainer, right? WRONG!

    First of all, there is no M&S rating - none whatsoever. I discovered this after a two-inch snowfall where the car fishtailed and the ABS, TRAC and VSC lit up the dashboard.

    Well, I guess I can live with that - it doesn't snow much anymore around SE Missouri and being retired, there is no place I absolutely have to be.

    A larger problem in the road noise. After 6K, I had Firestone rotate them (uni-directional) and over the ensuing 4K miles, the road noise just keeps getting louder and louder. It starts building at 5mph and really starts to sing at 25-45mph. Sounds like I have aggressive snow tires on all 4 corners. And the smoother the black-top, the more pronounced is the hummmmm, or whirrrr.

    It got so bad that I had Superior Lexus do a thorough inspection of brakes, bearings, bushings; the entire underside, just to be sure it wasn't something mechanical.

    They said everything underneath was to spec and it was just the aggressive tread. And they didn't charge me a dime for the underside inspection.

    This will be an issue between me and the local Firestone. Apparently they had an incentive to push this product and totally missed the tread noise and lack of M&S rating.

    From studying the Fuzion ZRi website (after the fact), I learned that this tire is aimed at the tuner market and in fact, the 225/60-16 is the highest profile tire they make - most of the line is wider, lower profile and probably noiser tires.

    I think I know the answer; Michelin MXV4+. But meanwhile, the 320 tread Fuzions are going to take FOREVER to wear out.

    Oh, well; live and learn. Thanks for listening. :blush:

  • I want to add to the data base with an interesting experience in my '99 LS.

    A couple of summers ago, I came out to the car at a friend's, started it, backed it up a few feet, put it in drive and nothing happened. I pressed the gas and the car just sat there, idling smoothly at the usual 800-900 rpm.

    I threw it in neutral and pressed the gas and nothing happened. I pressed further and further until at the far end of the pedal travel, I finally got the RPM up to maybe 1200.

    At that time, I also noticed the CHECK ENGINE light was lit (duh!) as was the TRAC/VSC OFF light (because the ECU turned it off as a precaution).

    Anyway, since I was able to coax the engine to 1200 using full travel, I swallowed hard and shifted it into drive and crept 6 blocks home and put it in the garage - it never went above 1200rpm and never shifted out of first (thankfully, I was in a residential area near my home and had no major streets or freeways to contend with).

    I turned the car off and went inside to consider what I was going to do. After fuming for half-an-hour, I went out and restarted the car (or re-booted, as they say).

    All was normal and I took it around the block - A-OK. I parked it, turned it off, re-started it again in 60 seconds and repeated my trip around the block - still A-OK.

    When I called my man at Superior Lexus, he knew exactly what it was - a soon-to-fail TPS (throttle position switch). Lexus must have already had a TSB circulating.

    He said bring it to KC as soon as possible for CPO warranty repair.

    I told him about how I discovered the "limp-home-mode" using full throttle to get enough RPM to move home in first and he said he thought that procedure was covered in the Owner's Manual.

    I told him it most definitely WAS NOT, nor do I think the two-volume mechanical Shop Manuals had that information (I don't own the third Shop Manual - which is devoted to electrical systems; maybe it's in there?).

    I drove the car around town for the rest of the week with no problems and then made the 225 mile trek to Superior Lexus in KC with no problems.

    The CPO warranty covered the $225 part and the $100 labor and two years have elapsed with nary a problem.

    As anyone else had an experience with this "limp-home-mode" (which is obviously designed to protect the car from damage.....but would be SO useless far from home)?

    I know we pay a fortune for this machine, but I also appreciate the complexity of today's modern cars, especially the good ones from the Asians.

    If this had happened in my '68 Cutlass, I would have coat-hangered and duct-taped the problem together and then probably not bothered fixing it properly until I was good and ready.

    Thanks for tolerating another long-winded posting.

    Happy cruising, everyone! :D

  • Hi, again.

    One more posting and I'll stop!

    I use a good pair of $200 polarized sunglasses for driving in the sun. I can drive 10 hours from MO to TX in the blazing sun with no eyestrain; they are great glasses, courtesy of my local optometrist (but give the LS the bigger credit for allowing me to drive that far with just one gas/potty break).

    While wearing them, I can barely see the phosphorus color touch screen for NAV/AC/Radio etc. I have to remove or tilt the glasses so I can see.

    The black LCD time and temp displays in the center column are the same way; hidden from view by my sunglasses.

    Fortunately, the whole Speedo/Odo driver's display is easily visible wearing these glasses.

    Seems to me I eMailed Torrance about this problem back when I first bought this CPO car in 2001 with my comments and a suggestion but I never heard back..........sigh.

    Question: Does anyone know if they have finally corrected this problem in the new flagship LS600?

    I also wear a good pair of yellow lens "blue-blockers" when driving in dark, rainy weather. I'd have to check again, but I believe they DO allow all displays to be seen clearly (not sure if they are polarized or not).

    Anyway.....just trying to share experiences and enrich the data base.

    Happy motoring, everyone..... :shades:

  • rgswrgsw Posts: 333
    I enjoyed reading your posts. I'm sure they may be useful to others. Question: What is CPO? Thanks
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    I have had the same "tire noise" experience on my last LS430. The Tires weren't Firestones (heaven forbid) but they were just awful! I too had my Lexus Dealer check out the car, but they assured me it was the Chinese tires I had on it. So much for saving a buck. You get what you pay for in tires. I dumped them for Dunlops. Much better.

    CPO, by the way is Certified Pre-Owned, and they come with an extended warranty.
  • Hi, rgsw and nybanker:

    Txs so much for your timely responses - after 12 hours, I was concerned that this chat post was "dead."

    Maybe I am just too anxious for a reply to my "niggling" problems.

    (But always remember this - we are Lexus owners, the proudest group in the world - and for good reason; we are privledged to own and drive the finest automobile ever built - [even tho it requires 93 octane and a horrible premium at the Dealer Service Bays...!!!])

    rgsw, CPO is Certified Pre-Owned; It comes with a 3-year from date-of-purchase, maximum overall mileage of 100K, warranty. Covers most everything, as you can see from my 4 previous posts this date. It has treated me very well through two cars.

    And (plug, plug,) Superior Lexus (south) in KC MO has been been my preferred dealer of choice and they have actually manipulated the Lexus "system" in my favor during this CPO time. (can I say this on Edmunds? Hope no one at S.L.-KCMO gets in trouble!).

    Alas, it has now I am on my own.........

    What a marketing scheme, though. Brilliant!

    Keeps the re-sale of used Lexus cars high......and you know it probably keeps the used Avalons and Camrys high, too.

    And it allows Lexus to jack their newer cars up to stratospheric levels...!!!

    And EVERYBODY in the chase after Lexus is playing ME TOO and CATCH UP. Bimmer, MB, Acura, Infinity; all the usual wanna-be's.

    (But would I buy a used Ford or Chevy with a 3-yr, unlimited mileage after it has been used?....Ummmmm, I think not).

    (Goodness, I wouldn't buy a NEW Ford...., not even with a ridiculous 8-yr, 100K new-car warranty like Korean Hundai is offering...........).

    In fact, I wouldn't accept by dear Mom's low-mileage, newer Buick Lesabre in her will (sorry, Mom; it IS a brilliant Lipstick-Red but, thanks).

    But I digress.....(sorry!)

    Back to the Lexus CPO and the pricing lug it takes to get one:

    I paid approx. 66% of sticker for my first, 3-year old LX ('94 model bought in '97 at 35K miles in KCMO).

    And then again, I paid almost exactly 66% of sticker for my present 3-year old '99 LX (which was bought in '02 at 25K miles; a real bargain at the time with such low mileage - again in KCMO).

    Both were basically fully loaded, and both a WONDERFUL joy to own.

    Being retired, the '99 may be the last one I buy - they will probably want $70-90K sticker for a loaded '07 LS600 (and even MORE for a tricked out LS600h) and the 70% 3-year math on THAT model is becoming prohibitive for my meager capital

    (Though I guess I could wait 5-8 years and pick up a 150-200K mileage car for around 30-40K - or MORE?).

    But that's not important at this point in my life. I have been privledged to be able to own and drive two LX's ('94 and '99) and that is enuff for me.

    And the little doggies I have owned and transported in style and safety (black cocker "Sheila", rest her soul, and the present 30-lb "mutt" named "Buster") have loved the long trips we have taken, grinning at me from the back seat as we drove hundreds of miles with the backseat A/C aimed directly at them.

    Anyway, thanks for responding, rgsw and nybanker .

    I discovered this Edmund's site after I Googled "Lexus LS 400 - bad tires" or some such nonsense and here I am.

    Glad you like my writing, grsw.

    And, I DO have to ask an awful question of "nybanker," just because of your screen name:

    This last week we commerated 9/11 - 5 yrs now and even tho I live "safely" (I think) in a little university town in SE MO, I SO FEEL the heartache of NYC.

    Sir, were you involved? What did you see, what did you do, were you able to go home and kiss loved ones at 6PM?

    I so hope you were.......and God bless the people who air TV shows like NYPD Blue, Saturday Night Live and all the other TV shows that give us Midwesterner's a perhaps somewhat distorted view of NYC.

    Make no mistake...........we feel your pain here in the Heartland....and we so love you all.

    Happy motoring, everybody. Enjoy this beautiful country...especially as 93 octane is dipping to below two bucks and a half.


  • rgswrgsw Posts: 333
    If you look at the moniker of the banker, I believe you will see "nvbanker". I guess he's in Las Vegas, Nevada but he may clear that up for you. Nevertheless, your comments regards NY are well spoken.
    As for Fords, I understand the new CEO of Ford arrived with an LS430 and he had some good words for Lexus. I suppose he will be driving a Ford/Lincoln soon.
    As for cost of Lexus ownership, I read in the media that "new" cars depreciate about 30% the first year. My experience on "one year" trades on LS430 is nearer 15%. My rationale, is you get a new warranty, new tires, new car for the 15% depreciation. When I traded for my first LS, I traded a 3 year old Yukon and a Chevy S-10. The few problems that I have had have been corrected by the dealer on a timely basis. As you point out in your posts, they sometimes bend over backwards to provide customer satisfaction. That's been my experience. On my most recent purchase, the dealer also threw in a cupon/voucher for a free 10K inspection and switched the XM Radio from the old LS to the new one as part of the deal.
    If you have not seen the "search" feature at the top of the forum page, it is very useful in researching comments on specific subjects. Happy Motoring.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    I appreciate very much your kind words regarding NYC and 9/11. Although I do business there, and love the city, I am actually a NEVADA banker. Thanks for the promotion ;)
    I was not there, and had no relatives there, so I was left undamaged as were you. I have not forgotten it.
  • famwaldfamwald Posts: 114
    "While wearing (polarized sunglasses), I can barely see the phosphorus color touch screen for NAV/AC/Radio etc. I have to remove or tilt the glasses so I can see."

    I don't have NAV system but know exactly what you're talking about. I also wear polarized sunglasses and when I used to wear a beloved pair of Revo$ (loved those glasses!), I could not read the digital screen on some of the gas pumps.
  • guestguest Posts: 770
    Sad to say, but a grand old car like a '94 LS400 may just be getting tired like we all eventually get as the years roll on. Thirteen years and 130,000 miles don't seem too much for a Lexus; but, things happen. Have you taken the car to your Lexus dealer for the service manager's thoughts?
    Or, pick up a wonderful '99 LS400 as I did for less than $18k, one owner, 85,000 miles, a super car.

    Best regards,
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Rather than keep repeating myself about discussions being closed, let me give you this link: pat, "Lexus LS" #8013, 30 Oct 2006 9:15 am. I know most of you read all of the LS related discussions and you don't care to read what I have to say multiple times (any more than I want to post it multiple times! ;) ).
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Here are links to some discussions I created with the posts in some recent threads here:

    Lexus LS 400/LS 430 - Navigation System
    Lexus LS 400/LS 430 - Instrument Panel Questions
    Lexus LS 400/LS 430 - Headlights

    And I also moved a few posts to the existing Lexus LS: Dealers & Service

    Feel free to create a discussion on any topic of interest.
  • brucebadbrucebad Central Coast, CAPosts: 9

    I recently purchased a 1996 LS400—67K and in very good condition. The owner says he had the 65K done but I have no receipt for it. He said it cost $750. The records I did receive indicate the car has been driven about 2,000 miles a year the last several years. How can I check if the service has been done?

  • I got a lexus ls400 1992 i have a problem with the srs every time i put the fuse in for the srs the car will not turn off it will keep running until i remove the fuse i dont.know if anyone ever came across this problem before or know how to fix this problem but any help will be appreciated i been trying to figure out whats causing it to function. Like that
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