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New Owner - Great Cars, But Beware Of The Dealers!


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Hi All,

I'm new to the site and new to LS400 ownership and thought I would post what I've learnt so far....

I bought a 95 LS400 a couple of weeks ago. It needed a bit of work, but managed to get the price down as the timing belt needed doing, discs + pads and the air con was not working etc.

Just thought I'd post up what I've learnt so far:

1. Replacing the timing belt, drive belt, water pump, idler pulleys and belt tensioner.

It took me a full day to replace the above parts. The old belt looked as good as the new one! It was 6 years old, but no sign of cracking or wear. The cost of all parts including coolant, oil, etc £400.

2. Replacing rear discs and pads.

I bought pads because the brake pad light was on, however on inspection there was loads left on the pad. The rear discs were badly worn and cost £80 for a pair.

3. Replacing the air con pump.

The bearings on the magnetic clutch were completely shot. I managed to source a remanufactured unit from ebay USA for £150 delivered.

4. Spare keys.

The car came with two keys and two fobs. However only one set work and they were not the original set, so I don't have a key number. Spoke to Lexus servicing who wanted to charge nearly £100 for a spare (if I had the key number). They also informed me that the key would need to be programmed. According to what I've read, pre-97 LS400 didn't have a transponder in the key (not sure if this applies to all pre-97 LS400 though). I did some research on the internet and got a spare key cut and delivered for £21 from http://www.alks.co.uk. The key has no transponder and works fine.

5. Alarm system.

My LS400 has a Scorpion 5000 system fitted. I only have one working fob and the other doesn't sync, so I phoned Lexus again and they informed me that the alarm was obsolete and my only option would be to have it removed at an "unknown cost" due to them having to trace the wiring... blaaa.. blaa. I called Scorpion alarms and within an hour I had removed the alarm and Scorpion can reprogram my spare fob for £38.

SOOO... what I have learnt is....

The LS400 is a superb car. Easy to work on and fairly cheap to maintain (if you don't use Lexus).

Unfortunately Lexus Servicing were really unhelpful. Whilst I appreciate that everyone needs to make a living, their service department fed me some absolute bull****.

The LS is now running perfectly :)

Some useful links

www.lexls.com - LS400 Maintenance

www.alks.co.uk - Spare Keys

www.scorpionauto.com - Scorpion 5000T Alarm

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Hi gibles,

Great posting, I wish I had 10% of your mechanical knowledge (mine's zero). When fitting a new Battery, my alarm/immobiliser would not recognise the reset code. Lexus Guildford informed me that the alarm manufacturers no longer existed and the only solution was to disconnect the whole system. £208 + VAT and Iv'e had to lie to my insurers ever since.

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Hi gibles,

Great posting, I wish I had 10% of your mechanical knowledge (mine's zero). When fitting a new Battery, my alarm/immobiliser would not recognise the reset code. Lexus Guildford informed me that the alarm manufacturers no longer existed and the only solution was to disconnect the whole system. £208 + VAT and Iv'e had to lie to my insurers ever since.

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Hi gibles,

Great posting, I wish I had 10% of your mechanical knowledge (mine's zero). When fitting a new battery, my alarm/immobiliser would not recognise the reset code. Lexus Guildford informed me that the alarm manufacturers no longer existed and the only solution was to disconnect the whole system. £208 + VAT and Iv'e had to lie to my insurers ever since.

Hi,

Four years ago I wouldn't have attempted to change the oil on my old Nissan, but I watched the garage do it and thought "Is that it! I could do that". I joined the Nissan owners club, obtained a copy of the Technical Workshop Manual and maintained the car myself from then on.

I'm not a mechanic, but if you've got a friendly forum, solid technical advice and the right tools, the basics are easy. Obviously get someone to check your work if you are unsure.

The lexls website is a good place to start.

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