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Lexus LS: Problems & Solutions



  • Am about to pick up my new LS430 and found out that the Sat Radio antenna is a black box about 5" long and 2 inches high that mounts on the trunk lid. Does anyone know if a dealership somewhere has developed a less obtrusive way to install this antenna? Thanks.
  • rgswrgsw Posts: 333
    See my response this date under "Lexus LS".
  • I own a 97 LS 400 and would need to replace the passenger side headlight, but it looks somewhat difficult. Can anyone guide me?
  • I've got a '90 that had the same problem. Look at msg #27 for instructions on how to remove the unit. I believe it is the same for '93. It actually is pretty easy, I've done it several times. The first time is a little hard because you don't want to break anything, but just follow the directions and you won't have a problem. You can order the lights from They have a lot of good stuff for Lexus' at a good price. If your display goes bad, you can order a new lcd screen from a variety of places. They can then solder the screen in place for a small fee. Total cost being anywhere from $200-$300. Check ebay for that. Good luck.
  • I just purchased a 2004 LS430. One interesting thing I noticed was that the left front headlight projects a little bit lower than the right headlight. This is sort of distracting as you can see the light on the left stop several feet before the light on the right side. You get a stair step effect in front of the car as you glance from left to right. Is this normal (in that the left side is lowered to project less in the eyes of oncoming traffic) or is it something I can get adjusted at the service center? Anyone else seen this?
  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    Hi all,
      That headlight issue is interesting. The headlights are supposed to be autoleveling. I think they still can be adjusted manually. The Lexus dealer shouldn't charge you for that as it is a warranty job. Does your car have those headlights that move with the car? (The RX does)
      As for the climate control. The bulbs on my 92 LS were replaced by the dealer, and when the screen started to leak they replaced it with a rebuilt unit for $325. It was from Mikando (sp?) an outfit in California.

  • cornel45cornel45 Posts: 1
    I have a 91 LS400 with 214k miles, looks and runs like new. The check engine light came on, I took it to my mechanic and his diagnostic machine gave a code for EGR system. He reset the computer and after two days the check engine light came on again.
     Can anyone tell me how to check my EGR valve and the EGR modulator to see if one of those need replacing?
    Also, would the code for the EGR system come on if i need a new oxygen sensor? are they connected somehow?
  • gitarzzgitarzz Posts: 5
    I recently bought an LS430 with Ecru (off-white) leather. In a few weeks the driver's seat is really showing dirt. I bought Meguire's(sp?) Leather cleaner and conditioner to clean it, and it didn't help at all.

    Does anyone have any recommendations?
  • sploguesplogue Posts: 53
    Someone here posted a good way to clean leather. Woolite mixed with water. I think it was 1 part Woolite, 10 parts water.

    I've been meaning to try it as my driver side ecru seat looks a little blue at the bottom of the seat back. This was caused by blue jeans after a rainstorm, I think.

  • rgswrgsw Posts: 333
    Lexus puts a tag on new vehicles that reads:
    l. Remove dirt using a soft clean cloth dampened with 5% solution of neutral detergent for wool.
    2. Wipe off traces of detergent with a clean damp cloth.
    3. Wipe off moisture with a dry soft cloth, then allow to dry in a ventilated shaded area.
    NOTE: If a stain should fail to come out with a neutral detergent, apply a cleaner without containing an organic solvent.
    Notice: When removing stains of dirt. Do not use solvents such as thinner, gasoline, or acid or alkaline solution, as these may cause discoloration and/or staining." (end of quote)
    I had a stain from my brown belt and was never really able to get it to completely clean up to my satisfaction. I keep my driver's seat covered with a bath sheet. This helps to keep the leather clean and increases the air circulation of the seat air flow.
  • pj2323pj2323 Posts: 43
    where is this filter located?
  • paul29paul29 Posts: 178
    Fuel filter is located just ahead of the drivers side rear wheel , inside the subframe.
  • 19331933 Posts: 3
    Has anyone had this problem? With the 2004 LS 430 When pressing down the accelerator to pass are speedup the car has a hesitation before the acceleration kicks in. It's feels like several seconds before the car moves. I only have about 1500 miles on this car. Dealer say's something about this cars acceleration works off of a computer program instead of the regular cable system. I told him they better reprogram that dam computer. Any input would be appreciated.
  • bambam Posts: 5
    I have the opportunity to purchase a ’99 LS400 with 93,000 miles. The previous (original owner) was meticulous with maintenance, so I am not worried about it’s past. I took it for one test drive and now I am obsessed. I have never owned a Lexus and I just want to know if there are any “common” problems, seems like an oxymoron asking about problems on a Lexus, just want to know what I am getting in to? Any help is very much appreciated – Thank you.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    All problems associated with the Lexus LS are uncommon.
  • bambam Posts: 5
    So I can look for another 100,000 miles that are pretty much trouble free?

    Are there any common maintenance items that need to be taken care of in the 100's?
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Maybe 300,000 miles! What does go wrong, leaking gas tanks, air condition failures, etc., are uncommon.
  • dbc123dbc123 Posts: 105
    Acutually there are several common problems with 99 LS 400's (I have one). The radio display and frequently the climate control display go bad. They start by having missing segments in the display. The cold cathode indicator needles in the instruments go bad with time. Both of these items are very costly. The hood struts fail ($87 each). Power steering pumps leak and, if not caught in time, also destroy the alternator that sits directly under it. Your cam belt would be due for replacment at 90K and is rather expensive. These are very reliable cars but they are not perfect!
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    The SAE has just published a white paper that states that J D Power says that "Windshield and Window fogging" is the second most common vehicular complaint, and the paper goes on to state that vehicles of Japanese manufacture seem to have a greater propensity for this due to the uniqueness of their HVAC design approach, allowing more recirculated airflow.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Frankly, I'm surprised, but normally lease anyway, so I probably wouldn't be affected, I guess.
  • stevesteinstevestein Posts: 263
    That's the way they work. Numerous posts on this over the years, and I forget all the technical details why. Mine is an '01, and i thought the six-speed transmission might be different, but I guess not. They still get up and go, even without forcing a downshift.
  • zdudezdude Posts: 22
    I've had this problem myself in my '04 LS430. I think it is the transmission guessing where to downshift. I've had this in my BWM, it might be something to do with drive-by-wire. A trick I use is to quickly punch the gas pedal let off slightly and stick it again. Seems to respond a lot faster this way. I am taking my car in next month for normal service and I was going to mention this to the service manager to see if there is a fix.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    If you go to WOT throttle and the engine should go to high torque instantly the transmission clutches will undoubtedly endure a short duration of severe slippage and the resultant wear as it downshifts due to WOT.

    With e-throttle it makes a lot of sense with respect to long term relaibility to delay engine high torque while/until the transmission downshifts.
  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    Hi All,
      Some of what is listed about the LS long term issues are true. I have a 1992 with 89K miles so let me give you my experience..

    1) Timing Belt replacement is standard at 90K..Virtually every car needs this. The 90K service for my car was $1500, but that included a full 90K service, timing belt, water pump and Power steering pump replacement.
    2) As far as the Power Steering Pump goes, just remember to Change the Fluid frequently. I hadn't done it in 8 1/2 yrs, so I was asking for trouble. I'm quite meticulous with maintenance but this somehow got by me.
    3) I haven't had any issues with hood struts. A 1998 LS that I owned briefly did have this issue, but that was discovered on my initial test drive of the car (It was a Certified car with 24K on it back in 2001)
    4) I did replace the climate control system unit on my 92. It was about $350 installed. They put in a rebuilt unit.
    5) The car was involved in a major accident with damage totalling $7,500. The whole left front Suspension was replaced, engine mounts,coolant container. A short time later, the Cathode needles burnt out on the Tach. The dealer says this is uncommon at this mileage, as I've seen older LS cars with 150K plus that don't have this issue. They postulate the vibration damage may have something to do with this. Expected replacement cost ($900) though it may be possible to repair it for about $400-500.

    In my 12 years of ownership, I've spent something around $3500 in maintenance. That includes all the issues stated above. The Lexus LS 400 is the most reliable luxury car out there. Keep in mind, that maintenance on a car with a 59K MSRP will be expensive. Repairs will be relatively infrequent, but expensive when they do occur.

    I hope this helps,
  • bambam Posts: 5
    Thank you for that involved response, just what I was looking for. My brain knows it will be a reliable vehicle but my wallet wants to disagree. The previous owner (original) has had every scheduled maintenance done, even the 90K. So its past does not worry me, I just wanted to know some of the expectations on a higher mileage Lexus. I believe I will be taking the plunge. I am not a new car every year person, so I will be keeping this one for at least another 100K. What an amazing automobile!

    By the way, anyone know just how much life there is in this engine? 200-300K?
  • The Lexus sales guy I have talked to say it is build to go 500,000 miles....

    I think it would be safe to cut that number in half to get a real figure.
  • bambam Posts: 5
    Thank you for that involved response, just what I was looking for. My brain knows it will be a reliable vehicle but my wallet wants to disagree. The previous owner (original) has had every scheduled maintenance done, even the 90K. So its past does not worry me, I just wanted to know some of the expectations on a higher mileage Lexus. I believe I will be taking the plunge. I am not a new car every year person, so I will be keeping this one for at least another 100K. What an amazing automobile!

    By the way, anyone know just how much life there is in this engine? 200-300K?
  • First let me say that I am very happy to have found this fine forum!

    I own an 1990 LS 400 - pearl white and blue leather interior, 166,000 miles. This car was "Doctor Driven" in Minnesota by my uncle and sold to me for a song a few years ago - then transplanted to the West coast.

    Fuel efficiency is 18/22, with a lot of pep on tap with the V8. I especially love the conservative 'stealth luxury' styling... there are far too many Mercedes and BMW drivers here in the Bay Area. ;)

    I met a fellow Lexus owner (same year and color) and asked him: 'any problems?' He quipped: 'yeah, I have to fill the tank with gas'.

    There's been more than that for me. I've had a few repairs and have a few more coming, no doubt. I love this car enough to keep paying maintenance fees from time to time as necessary to cross the 250K line in style.

    I consider myself a lifetime Lexus owner, and look forward to learning more about the recent and emerging developments in the premier LS series.



    -Acquired car (126K miles)

    -Small paint chipping on white bumper shows ugly yellowing primer beneath (unsure how to stop or paint)

    -Strange noises from the air control servos at times (very light motor noise)

    -Stereo: LCD goes off about 2 times a year - turning interior lights off then on fixes this. OEM replacement antenna makes loud noise in trunk when stereo comes on, rear speakers are out, sub still works.

    -Seat issues: Heated seat on driver's side is at about 25%, and one spring is a little loose under the leather. Seat memory doesn't work. One motor in driver's side front seat doesn't work, disabling one axis of tilt without angling the seat.

    -A/C Doesn't Cool
        -Lexus dealer estimate: $2700
        -Local repair shop estimate: $400-800
        -Not yet fixed - using local shop


    -Car made funny noises at low speed turning
        -New struts / suspension work (155K) - $2,000

    -Front panel under bumper is hanging down a bit
        -Not yet fixed

    -Failed Califonia Smog - NOX - GROSS POLLUTER
        -Local repair shop estimate: $???
        -Saw a thread on here about this $400-800

    -Have some very minor dents, was thinking about paintless dent removal. Can't imagine owning a more expensive car, how much those little dings would have bothered me, but at $5K for this fine Lex, I just shrug it off.


    My uncle took care of the car, but Minnesota was harsh on it. For example, the E-Brake had been basically rusted shut - now fixed. The Lexus is doing well here in California, but I've been replacing some pretty big parts. Sounds like this is par for the course.

    Regarding the A/C. I don't trust the Lexus dealership because they quoted me an OUTRAGEOUS quote to fix this and wouldn't budge. The thought of paying 1/3 what I paid for the car to get A/C back really chapped my hide.

    But what really did it was the young salesman, who did the whole "are you sitting down?" routine with me when I asked for the bottom line.

    My Lexus is very reliable, and always gets me from Point A to B in speed, style and comfort. A fine stereo compliments the quiet interior. great tunes in its quiet interior. I now compliment the stock 6-CD player and now use a mini iPod which is stored in the glovebox. 1000 songs on tap.... beats poppin' the trunk to change the CDs. ;)

    Thanks again for the community, looking forward to adding my $0.02

  • 48104810 Posts: 1
    Help! I have no power after about 2000 rpm, but if I accelerate slowly the engine would get up to speed, I have changed the TPS with no change, engine light is on and off. Also dashboard light gauges dont come on, flickers on and off. Car is 1994 LS400.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Read the error code the computer is throwing, you'll find some subcomponent that is going up and down, like an 02 sensor or something. Auto Zone can help.
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