Lexus LS: Problems & Solutions



  • hschenhschen Member Posts: 16
    Does 128 CPO inspections include body panel inspection? The 98 LS400 I bought as CPO is going to be repaired by Lexas to correct the rear fender curve. Apparently there has been repaired but has flaw. I wasn't told when I made my purchase. My worry is the value of car after repair. I talked to Lexas dealer and they claimed there will be no market value change on that kind of body repair. I not sure I buy that.
  • alan_salan_s Member Posts: 362
    hschen: The brochure lists the 128 inspection items. You can get a copy of the Lexus Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles brochure from the dealer. It says 'What exactly do we mean by "Certified"?'
    Included are "Panel alignment fit, Paint imperfections"
    The website states:
    Vehicle Exterior:
    Exterior Body Panels
    Exterior Lights/Lenses
    Door Lock System
    Bumpers/Body Cladding

    I don't thing the value of your car would be affected if the damage is truly minor and is properly repaired and not a result of any major accident. Perhaps you may want to get the car independently inspected after repair.

    The items applicable to my case are "No noise or vibration is present"

    My opinion is that if the dealer did not correct any item that does not comply with Lexus's 128 point inspection prior to sale, then the vehicle should not have been sold as a CPO. Unless they can correct the problem to the purchaser's satisfaction, I think the matter should be discussed with the sales manager regarding a remedy. In the event that this does not resolve the issue, it should be escalated to Lexus Customer Service.

    It appears as though some Lexus dealers may not be adhering to the high standards set by Lexus regarding the certification of vehicles. I have seen some CPO LS400's on dealer lots that had OBVIOUS fender damage, patchy paintwork and missing wheel-well liners. Pretty sloppy on any car, let alone a Lexus CPO.

    Unless my problem is resolved on the third attempt, which I consider is reasonable, this is what I intend to do.
  • hschenhschen Member Posts: 16
    Thanks for your info. Lexas will have a bodyshop that does Lexas, BMW and MB to correct the contour of rear fender a week aftre next. I've talked to their used car sales manager too. I asked for a exchange. He said he welcomes a trade-in. I only had the car for a month. I'll see the outcome of the repair. I am afraid my eyes have become so critical now that I'll still see the imperfection.
  • akboy37akboy37 Member Posts: 7
    alan_s that is exactly the shuddering/rumbling that I have with my LS 400, though I notice it at between 2000-3000 rpm, the speed at that rpm is probably around 50-55 mph. Anyway, I am going to get a full chemical flush of the transmission, and refilled with the newer Lexus Type IV fluid next week, and I'll tell you if that helps at all. There have been posts on this board about shudder in the tranny, and they said that the new type of fluid fixed the problem so I figured that I would give it a shot. Well, glad to hear that I am not being paranoid about little problems that may not actually be there.
  • lexman2lexman2 Member Posts: 2
    Hey Guys,
    I have a 94 LS400 with around 120,000 miles on it. I am not sure whether the previous owner as done any major tume up on the vehicle. I personaly feel that its about time to do a major tune up. The Transmission is shuddering... like some people have posted before... at 40-45mph and 50-55mph... so I will do the same as they did... Trans. Fluid flush... hopefully it will iron out the problem ... I did not recieve a keyless remote key... aparently it will cost me 330 bucks... My passenger side sun visor is broken.. And my engine makes some clicking noise when after 2000rpm. First I thought that it was my valves clicking... due to dirt or sticky gunk. Then I thought that it could be time to change my water pump... so If any of you have some advice it will be appreciated... THANKS... OVer All THIS IS A GREAT CAR... !!!
  • lexman2lexman2 Member Posts: 2
    I am feeling an increase in my LS400'94's fuel consumption. According to my research... the car is suppose to do 24-18. But I feel that the consumption is much higher. Could it be that the spark plugs need changed? Please help me out?
    Thinking about getting the BOSCH Platinum +4's are those good for the LS400?
  • lexor2lexor2 Member Posts: 11
    If you are going to have front struts replaced, by all means have them check the upper plates. If the plates are bad (worn out) then you will have to pay for the labor you paid for the struts to have the plates replaced. The plates are not cheap. (I think I paid 95.00 each). Good luck. While I am at it, I need a SIX CD magazine/cartridge for a '94 LS 400. Contact me at [email protected] if you can help me out. The previous owner took the damn magazine with him. (the idiot).
  • jeffmust2jeffmust2 Member Posts: 811
    These are made by Pioneer and you can get them from a car audio shop for about $25 if you don't want to pay your local Lexus dealer.
  • marwankwmarwankw Member Posts: 6
    yesterday when I started my 1998 LS400 suddenly the rpm went to 1400 rev (without A/C or light on)and the VSC alarm red lamp lighted and on the menu screen it was showing "Check VSC" and "Check Engine" respectively and on the left side the VSC orange indicator was showing "VSC off" also the accelerator was not working !! after all this I switched the car off and re start it again, and everything was normal, what should I do?
  • jav1120jav1120 Member Posts: 8
    My 97 LS400, 30k miles, rocks when I shift into drive and reverse. The whole car moves. I spoke to the service manager at Ray Catena Lexus in NJ and he said every 1997 LS400 does this and offered to let me try other used ones. The car drives great in every other way. This sounds like bull to me. I never had another car do this except my 93 Honda Accord. Is this true? Thanks
  • akboy37akboy37 Member Posts: 7
    Well, I got the transmission fluid flushed ($200, ouch I'm still in college), but it did not fix the problem that I had with the rumbling at 2200 RPM. The T3 shop said that it might be the transmission mounts, or the torque converter, but when they checked for the shudder, they could not find anything. I think that it may be resonance in the exhaust chamber, and that I can deal with the sound as long as it is not problematic. Anyway, if anyone else has any luck with this annoyance, post what you find.
  • alan_salan_s Member Posts: 362
    I started suspecting that the noise and vibration may be tire related. I had Michelin MXV4's which were brand new when I bought the CPO LS400 3 months ago. The dealer and NTB said that the symptoms did not suggest a tire problem. I rotated front to back. The noise and vibration became worse. Then I put my spare on one of the rear wheels which is a Bridgestone Turanza. The noise and vibration reduced considerably. On Saturday, I went back to the dealer and they replaced the MXV4's with Bridgstone Turanza Revo Z's. The problem is *almost* gone... not quite but VERY VERY much improved.
    Perhaps you may want to look at your tires as a possible cause, even though it seemed highly unlikely to me that my problem was tire related.
    Please let me know how you make out and what tires you have.
  • jalowiecjalowiec Member Posts: 2
    I think I have a starter issue in my '97 ls400 coach. It will click once when trying to start and that's about it. If I do it enough times it will finally start. I heard the starter is hard to get out...
    Please advise.

  • snaab93se1snaab93se1 Member Posts: 69
    I have a 1995 LS400 with 88K miles. I had a few questions for you:
    1) What parts do you think should be replaced at 90Kmi..The dealer changes all the fluids at this time...but I'm wondering about the life expectancy of the motor mounts, hoses and other parts that should be replaced at this time.
    2) I have noticed that the car no longer brakes in a straight line when the ABS engages. I am thinking that this may be due to worn struts..especially since the ride is starting to get more like a boat than a car. The ball joints and lower control arms were replaced at about 80K mi..just for your information.
    3) The tilt and telescoping steering wheel motors have been sticking for 2 years now...they still work but you have to hit the buttons several times to get the position desired. The dealer offered to take them apart for a hour labor charge (with no guarantee) and oil them..I said no cause I was unsure if these motors could be oiled. Replacement of the motors they claim will be about $900. What do you think???
    Thank you
  • dealerfloridadealerflorida Member Posts: 50
    Long time no post!. I sold my 92 LS 400 for $12.500 and the buyer is very happy. I went 6 weeks with out a Lexus and got the itch again. I was at a car auction looking for another 92 but the prices were too high. I saw a 97 run through and it did not draw bids. I realized there was more action in the 10 K to 12 K cars than the later models. I purchased the 97 for $19.000, (It has 71,000 miles, but this is nothing for a well kept Lexus). I like the price, and the car is excellent. I have the Nakamichi stereo and I see many improvements over the earlier models. I am changing some small parts such as Antenna mast, Floor mats, tranny fluid ,2 front tires, interior A/C filter etc. otherwise car needs nothing! and it drives so,so good. I also ordered a shop manual and disc brake pads and I will replace myself on a weekend. It pays to move up to the 95/97 model if you can go up the extra few thousand dollars.
    I will post my receipt of shop manual and my experiences with tinkering and servicing.
    Best regards

    Does any one know how to program the keyless remote?? I have one from another car but I do not know whow to program it for mine?

    Ps. I am purchasing all my parts from Ryan at, good service and good prices.
  • deh5557deh5557 Member Posts: 3
    Does anyone know of an indepentent, Lexus trained mechanic in the St. Louis area???
    The dealers here are obscene.
  • djr7399djr7399 Member Posts: 24
    Hello Lexus lovers,

    I have a ?. Has anyone ever heard of brake pads for a 1995 lexus ls400 costing $20 bucks. Yes 20 bucks for a pair for front disc pads, located at the local auto parts(Murray's)store,

    Brake pads at the dealership retailed at $125 bucks a pair, Am I missing something hear or are these super pads or what. Local auto parts store also has 1 year warranty on the pads, My question is would I be doing harm by replacing with the $20 pads or should I stay with the dealer's price($345 with labor), what do you guys think, love to hear the feedback.

  • hyperopthyperopt Member Posts: 55
    Wow, $20 is mighty cheap for LS440 pads. It might wear out quicker, squeal like a bad saxophone player, and poor braking power on repeated stops(fading), but these are purely speculations. Just to be safe, I would make sure the pads have "brand-name" attach to them, other than these, I don't see why a $20 pads would do harm to your car. If you don't mind replacing the $20 pads if they are not up to your satisfation, then give it a try. Post your results would you?
  • alan_salan_s Member Posts: 362
    Hennessey Lexus has resolved my vibration problem! They replaced both halfshafts/CV assemblies. The service manager was great and did everything to resolve the problem.
    I drove another '97 LS400 on the lot and it had the same problem. Looks like this could be common on LS400's.
  • hpham007hpham007 Member Posts: 7
    Your $20 dollar brake pads will perform like $20 dollar brake pads. I recently change my brake pads myself using $20 dollar pads from Pep-Boys. They did squeak quite a bit, produced brake dust like crazy and faded rather easily. They also didn't "bite" like the previous pads. I then went and bought the most expensive pads they had for around $40 - $50 bucks. These pads worked a lot better; indistinguishable from the original lexus pads. If I remember correctly, I think it was the higher end Raybestos brand. While I wouldn't spend $125 for factory pads, I wouldn't look for the cheapest deals either. It's your car so it's your decision....
  • q45manq45man Member Posts: 416
    The factory spends a lot of research time determining a pad which will work well cold and hot produce the minimal dust vs good friction and most of all be quiet on lux cars. [check the DOT edge codes: FF or GG are best but these are minimal cold /hot friction ranges.

    Generally the dustier a pad the better it will work [as the pad must wear on each stop --5 times faster than rotors] many aftermarket pads may be biased towards the hot friction [more metal particles] spectrum they tend to be noiser and wear the rotors faster.
    The newer [after 1994] have very good brakes [in 98 front 4 piston calipers were introduced to make it even better].
    One must consider if a $20 pad stops 10' farther in an panic stop and the air bag deploy when you rearend someone how much was really saved.
    Brake pads and tires are the only thing between you and someones bumper and every single foot counts at 70 mph.
    T3 Automotive LTD SE independent Lexus facility
  • lexor1lexor1 Member Posts: 3
    Hi Guys. Recently purchased a '94 LS400 with 125K (off e-bay) . The instrument panel does not light up when first starting. It takes about 110-15 minutes then the needles start flickering and then the instruments start flickering also and then the whole shebang lites up. No problems for the rest of the day until start up the next morning. The tech at the dealer says "bad circuit board, $1100.00". Service mgr says about $900.00 for parts and the rest is labor at $75.00 an hour. In my youth I was an insurance adjuster and I used to allow $3.00 bucks an hour for mechanical labor. You can really tell I am an old fart. My wife says I live in the past. Has anyone else had this problem. The instrument panel, not the nagging wife.
  • q45manq45man Member Posts: 416
    7-8 year old [made in 93-94] and other years have common failures in electronic displays.
    Back then $3.00 an hour was good when Eisenhower was President, unfortunately techs get paid like real people now and the dealers overhead requires a 2 times markup. $75/hr is inexpensive and typical even in Atlanta it is about to go to $80-$85 [and this is for a billed hour which should be only 40 minutes of work.
  • hambone6hambone6 Member Posts: 1
    I bought a used LS400 which I am very pleased with. Except for two things. 1) The Doors are hard to close. We've had the car for nearly a month now and my son has run the battery down 3 times because the he didn't close the door all the way. Is there any way to fix this, aside from checking behind him every time he closes the door? 2) After approaching a near complete stop, there is a lag in accelerating, then a jerk when the transmission kicks in. I only notice this when accelerating after nearly stopping.

    I'm not sure if I describe these issue correctly, but if anyone has any info that would be helpful, I'd appreciate it. When I took the car to the dealer, the service guy told my wife that this accelerator issue is normal for a Lexus, and that I was pushing the accelerator too hard. I don't buy that.... Thanks in advance!

  • snaab93se1snaab93se1 Member Posts: 69
    I had a few questions I posted for you in #316. Please respond when you get a chance..Thank you
  • rd8ard8a Member Posts: 11
    alan s, how much does the dealer charge you for this service?
  • theericharristheericharris Member Posts: 4

    I read through some posts that were well over a year old with people having the same problem my 1991 LS400 has: The LSD panel for the temp. and clock is almost impossible to read.

    What is the cheapest way to replace or fix this? Anyone have any personal experience with fixing this problem?

    Thank you!


    Eric Harris
  • q45manq45man Member Posts: 416
    a 1995 LS400 with 88K miles.
    1) What parts do you think should be replaced at 90Kmi..The dealer changes all the fluids at this time...but I'm wondering about the life expectancy of the motor mounts, hoses and other parts that should be replaced at this time.

    Don't forget to flush everything completely not the drain and fill dealers use! AT, Brakes, PS
    Consider vacuuming down AC and replacing the PAO oil and the dryer ....moisture reacts with oil and eats seals and evaporators.
    2) I have noticed that the car no longer brakes in a straight line when the ABS engages. I am thinking that this may be due to worn struts. especially since the ride is starting to get more like a boat than a car. The ball joints and lower control arms were replaced at about 80K mi.

    Yes struts maybe the front tension rods and upper lower A arm bushings
    3) The tilt and telescoping steering wheel motors have been sticking for 2 years now...they still work but you have to hit the buttons several times to get the position desired. The dealer offered to take them apart for a hour labor charge (with no guarantee) and oil them..I said no cause I was unsure if these motors could be oiled. Replacement of the motors they claim will be about $900.

    Clean them and Oil first!
  • hschenhschen Member Posts: 16
    My newly bought 98 LS400 will jerk when you accelerate a bit hard or fast. I have read LS430 board people who had LS400 and upgraded to LS430 talking about this problem. So, It's seems normal. I kind of like it. That's torque. As far as your door, my passenger side rear door had similar problem. The delear made the adjustment and it's better. My current issue is - I heard clicking sound when braking. Dealer said there is a switch activated by braking. I wonder if you heard the same thing?
  • heartcase42heartcase42 Member Posts: 1
    A 1990 LS400 with 75K miles.
    I've recently experienced 2 incidents of loss in power when cruising at 55 mph. When I pulled over and put in park the rpm's dropped around 250 and surged up to about 1500. I pressed the accelerator with no increase, like it was being starved for gas. I turned the car off and back on and it settled down. Went through another tank of premium gas with no problems until my son experienced the same thing a couple of days ago. He indicated excessive knocking when idling at lower level. Any ideas out there? Thanks!
  • q45manq45man Member Posts: 416
    Ususally means starved for gas, an 11 year old car even with only 75k can still have fuel pump problems [filter/pump or electronic controller]. Fairly rare on LS until 150k but have pressure/volume measured to eliminate this possibility.
    Have seen 1 of 2 ignition coils fail intermitently [ususally the drivers side [hidden] one.
    Assume you had plugs and wires changed at 6 years even though low mileage.
  • kaukau Member Posts: 2
    I recently purchased a 1990 LS400 with 88K miles. I notice the engine knocks when acelerate moderately from normal cruising speed, 20-40mph (may happen in higher speed, harder to hear). Engine knocks goes away with heavier gas pedal input. I'm using premium grade gas in New Jersey area, not sure if it's just bad gas. Engine temperature and anything else seem normal. The owners manual indicates slight knocking is normal. My questions are 1) what's considered slight? 1-2 seconds of knocks? and 2) is there any adjustment to retart the timing to compensate for this? Appreciate any comments. Thanks!
  • djr7399djr7399 Member Posts: 24
    Well you guys were right, I decided to stay with the lexus factory brake pads plus hardware, total was $350, turned the old rotors plus the pads, Have to say that the $20 brake pad cost was pretty enticing, Of course you get what you pay for, with all the great advice here on Edmunds, I listened, got the thought of squeaking brakes in my head and flew to the dealer, so that problem has been resolved.

    As I was their the service manager(great guy) checked my car again and said I needed front struts. I guess that's the vibration I'm getting when rolling over potholes, hard thump, so back to the drawing board. Overall I love this car.

    Thanks q45man, hypeopt,etc for the great advice.
  • q45manq45man Member Posts: 416
    Owners don't understand that EGR and PCV dump loads of crud into intake and this builds up in entire system, periodic cleaning every 30k will usually take care of most problem but to do it right takes a few hours.
    Early high miles LS have failure of EGR differential valve which will limit EGR and cause knock on slight throttle tip in [failure of emission test NOX].
  • jsb16jsb16 Member Posts: 64
    I have had a bad LCD on my LS400 (1990) for years. It is the only thing I have refused to have fixed so far because of the obscene expense. My dealer wants $500 to swap it out for a rebuilt unit. I bought at $10 LCD clock at Brookstone and Velcro'ed it to the dash. Only downside is you can't read it at night without pushing a button to light the display. The whole beauty of automatic climate control is i can set and forget the temperature so I could care less being reminded that it is set for 72 degrees. When I finally sell my car, which has given me great service to date, I'll never get anything extra for a good dash board LCD but suit yourself. Jeff
  • jeffmust2jeffmust2 Member Posts: 811
  • blkmgkblkmgk Member Posts: 54
    I own a 96LS400. Black on Black. Even the windows are tinted black. I am currently in need of new tires and I have been doing some research. After narrowing it down to Yokohama AVS DB and the Pirelli P6000 Sport Veloce, does anyone out there have any suggestions? I live in georgia, so I need a tire that gives me good road contact(grippy) and great rain traction, and especially a comfortable ride since I drive at least 100miles per day at an average speed of 80 miles an hour.
  • blkmgkblkmgk Member Posts: 54
    Also, i am interested in changing my suspension(struts, springs-whatever order). What is recommended. I would like to lower the car just a bit. Nothing like a street rod or low rider, these cars tend to be just a little high around the rear and kind of annoys me.
    Any thoughts are greatly apreciated.(same for the tires)
  • rd8ard8a Member Posts: 11
    I recently bought a 1996 LS 400 and from research and experience I've narrowed my choices to two kinds of tires: Michelin MXV4 Plus and Bridgestone Turanza Revo Z. I've always used Michelins in practically all my cars and I find them to be really superior to everything else I've known, especially in the rain and in terms of ride comfort. The only reason I haven't bought some for my LS yet (it came with Dunlop, which I think is definitely an "econo-performance" tire)is that I've heard people really raving about the Revos. Anybody can say something comparing these tires?
  • jeffmust2jeffmust2 Member Posts: 811
    I've found the best tech data on doing LS modifications can be found at; there are separate forums for LS400/430s general topics, one for maintenance items, and one for engine/suspension mods, and one for electronic mods.

    Good luck finding what you need - it's there somewhere.
  • jeffmust2jeffmust2 Member Posts: 811
    I just sold my '95 LS in favor of a '98.

    The '95 had OEM type Eagle GS rubber; terrible!
    I put a set of Michelin MXV4 Plus on and the increase in handling was decisive.

    I know there are more advanced tire designs available for performance vehicles, but I heeded the advice from two tire dealers - don't overbuy your tires, expecting great handling peformance from a vehicle that wasn't designed for that trait from the beginning.

    And my '95 fit that description - unless you go in big time for non-OEM suspension mods (springs, struts, rollbars, etc), you'll be attempting to turn a great highway cruiser into something it ain't - and never will be.
  • alan_salan_s Member Posts: 362
    I have driven LS400's with these tires and can personally report the following:

    1. Pirelli P6000's: VERY NOISY. Undoes the LS400's refinement. I don't think they are suitable for the LS400.
    2. Michelin Pilots: handles great, (better than Pirelli's) Ride is acceptable but somewhat noisier than I like. The LS400 becomes a sporty car with very responsive steering and handles like it's on rails. I just don't like the noise.
    3. Michelin MXV4's: handles well, VERY SMOOTH RIDE, somewhat noisy on course blacktop.
    4. Bridgestone Turanza Revo Z's: handles similarly to MXV4, equivalent smooth ride, VERY QUIET, and VERY EXPENSIVE. Bridgestone offer a 30 day "try-buy" program which allow you to return the tires within 30 days if you don't like them. See I think these are the best tires for the LS400. I have the Bridgestones.

    Be aware that LS400's are very sensitive to road force variance. Many tire dealers are unaware of RFV problems. Some tires generate greater RFV than Lexus' specifications allow, which can produce vibration problems. Lexus dealers suggest Michelin MXV4's for minimum RFV but on the other hand, LS400's are shipped from the factory with GoodYear Eagle GA's, which I have found to be very good value for money. They handle acceptably, are smooth and quiet riding and inexpensive compared with the other tires.

    FYI, My halfshafts and CV joint vibration problems were resolved at no charge under the Lexus CPO warranty.
  • blkmgkblkmgk Member Posts: 54
    Thanks for that detailed and very informative response. That will definitely rule out the pirelli p6000's. But I have yet to hear any negative feedback on the YOKOHAMA avs db. They are suppose to be the QUIETEST tires on the road right now.
  • alan_salan_s Member Posts: 362
    Welome. There's lots of good comparitive information and owner reports on
    I have found it really difficult to get good info on tires!
    Tires aint tires!
  • blkmgkblkmgk Member Posts: 54
    I have got to agree with you on that alan_s. I have been checking out the comments that were posted on the tire rack web site. Everyone has something to say about every tire. I believe that the overall decision will just be based on your own opinion and satisfaction.
  • taurusmantaurusman Member Posts: 5
    I am looking at purchasing a 1990 Lexus LS400 for about $6500. Car has 80k and is in above average condition. Is this a good deal I am an not very familiar with Lexus pricing. In NYC area
  • ferraro1ferraro1 Member Posts: 44
    Hello ~
    I have the Bridgestone Turanza Revo's on my 1994 LS and I love the tire , best ride !! I would tell anyone to go for those on their LS , and Taurusman yes that sounds like a good price for a '90 LS with only 80k However, you really sould run a carfax on it before putting any cash down but if all checks out well I would say go for it ! (do keep in mind when repair time comes be prepared for some above average costs)
    Happy Lexus Owner,
  • blkmgkblkmgk Member Posts: 54
    Anyone familiar or even heard of them.
  • blkmgkblkmgk Member Posts: 54
    I had my windows tinted about a year ago. after i left I noticed that my rear defogger was not "defogging". It seems like the tinters cleaned my rear window and used a rough cloth that ulitmately scratched the lines going across. Now I cant get my rear defogger to "defog". Any solutions, cause I am not about to replace a whole rear window for that.
  • rd8ard8a Member Posts: 11
    I'm thinking of installing one in my LS. Anybody had any problems with this kind of alarm? When I was at the store I heard three people complaining of no-start situations. Any advice?
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