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Newbie With A Few Problems And Q's


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Greetings all !

I just picked up an old 1993 LS400 today ( cheaply ) and of course needs some TLC, I do my own mechanics and electrical things etc, but I won't touch something unless I know the details first ( and where to look ). If I list the problems I have found so far, and anyone has any helpful hints or advise, its of course greatly appreciated :)

- Climate/radio back lights - nothing at first, but after driving about 150 miles today, they started to flicker and come on. But the LED display for the climate control is blank ( a common problem I hear ? )

- Weird one, the instrument display - needles, fuel gauge, gear indicator and all the read outs ( ODO, outside temp etc ), when taken for a test drive, it was explained that they flicker on and off, but after warming up they stay on. When I drove home though, they went entirely, only when I turned the ignition on and off would they briefly flash then go out again. BUT when only 5 miles from home ( after driving 150 ) they all came on and stayed on. ( I wondered if the car had been standing for some time maybe ? ).

- inside boot release doesn't seem to work, not sure the drivers heated seat does either....but then again, it might have been once I used it a few times. I'm guessing they are electrically heated on 1993 models ?

I think thats it for now. Any help, much appreciated, thank you !

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Greetings all !

I just picked up an old 1993 LS400 today ( cheaply ) and of course needs some TLC, I do my own mechanics and electrical things etc, but I won't touch something unless I know the details first ( and where to look ). If I list the problems I have found so far, and anyone has any helpful hints or advise, its of course greatly appreciated :)

- Climate/radio back lights - nothing at first, but after driving about 150 miles today, they started to flicker and come on. But the LED display for the climate control is blank ( a common problem I hear ? )

- Weird one, the instrument display - needles, fuel gauge, gear indicator and all the read outs ( ODO, outside temp etc ), when taken for a test drive, it was explained that they flicker on and off, but after warming up they stay on. When I drove home though, they went entirely, only when I turned the ignition on and off would they briefly flash then go out again. BUT when only 5 miles from home ( after driving 150 ) they all came on and stayed on. ( I wondered if the car had been standing for some time maybe ? ).

- inside boot release doesn't seem to work, not sure the drivers heated seat does either....but then again, it might have been once I used it a few times. I'm guessing they are electrically heated on 1993 models ?

I think thats it for now. Any help, much appreciated, thank you !

Hi & welcome, the awnswers to all your probs are on lexls.com with photographed step by step tutorials. the dash fix is 2 resistors. enjoy Mark :D

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Hi ! Thanks for the welcomes !

Thanks for link, excellent resource, just the thing I need. There is nothing notably wrong mechanically, few small issues though that will need attention which I posted in the suspension and brakes section. There is a slight blowing in the exhaust nearer the engine end, sounds very much like a weak gasket though.

There was one other Q though I just remembered, the master key was lost by a previous owner, I have the second key and emergency key, but it means I can't remotely lock/unlock. I'm guessing that a new master key is an expensive and tricky thing to get ?

Thanks again for the welcomes and help !

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Hi ! Thanks for the welcomes !

Thanks for link, excellent resource, just the thing I need. There is nothing notably wrong mechanically, few small issues though that will need attention which I posted in the suspension and brakes section. There is a slight blowing in the exhaust nearer the engine end, sounds very much like a weak gasket though.

There was one other Q though I just remembered, the master key was lost by a previous owner, I have the second key and emergency key, but it means I can't remotely lock/unlock. I'm guessing that a new master key is an expensive and tricky thing to get ?

Thanks again for the welcomes and help !

Hi and welcome :)

The 'leaking exhaust' noise you hear from the engine bay is most likely a cracked EGR pipe. Common problem

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Hi ! Thanks for the welcomes !

Thanks for link, excellent resource, just the thing I need. There is nothing notably wrong mechanically, few small issues though that will need attention which I posted in the suspension and brakes section. There is a slight blowing in the exhaust nearer the engine end, sounds very much like a weak gasket though.

There was one other Q though I just remembered, the master key was lost by a previous owner, I have the second key and emergency key, but it means I can't remotely lock/unlock. I'm guessing that a new master key is an expensive and tricky thing to get ?

Thanks again for the welcomes and help !

Hi check the gaskets cat to manifold they go on mark11s about £7 each

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Got a new one today, not anything major though. The wipers, flip up, then down, but the last couple of inches they stutter ( and I can here the relay clicking along with it ) then they park as should be. Again, wonder if the cars been standing for some time. Instrument binical was flicky when out first time this morning just a couple of miles, then was fine when coming back.

Just going out now to give the car a proper look over........

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Got a new one today, not anything major though. The wipers, flip up, then down, but the last couple of inches they stutter ( and I can here the relay clicking along with it ) then they park as should be. Again, wonder if the cars been standing for some time. Instrument binical was flicky when out first time this morning just a couple of miles, then was fine when coming back.

Just going out now to give the car a proper look over........

Instrument panel flickering when cold is a classic fault, follow previous recomendations or

contact LOC member

Chris Vince

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Got a new one today, not anything major though. The wipers, flip up, then down, but the last couple of inches they stutter ( and I can here the relay clicking along with it ) then they park as should be. Again, wonder if the cars been standing for some time. Instrument binical was flicky when out first time this morning just a couple of miles, then was fine when coming back.

Just going out now to give the car a proper look over........

Hi the wipers do this normally its a self parking system.

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Greetings all !

I just picked up an old 1993 LS400 today ( cheaply ) and of course needs some TLC, I do my own mechanics and electrical things etc, but I won't touch something unless I know the details first ( and where to look ). If I list the problems I have found so far, and anyone has any helpful hints or advise, its of course greatly appreciated :)

- Climate/radio back lights - nothing at first, but after driving about 150 miles today, they started to flicker and come on. But the LED display for the climate control is blank ( a common problem I hear ? )

- Weird one, the instrument display - needles, fuel gauge, gear indicator and all the read outs ( ODO, outside temp etc ), when taken for a test drive, it was explained that they flicker on and off, but after warming up they stay on. When I drove home though, they went entirely, only when I turned the ignition on and off would they briefly flash then go out again. BUT when only 5 miles from home ( after driving 150 ) they all came on and stayed on. ( I wondered if the car had been standing for some time maybe ? ).

- inside boot release doesn't seem to work, not sure the drivers heated seat does either....but then again, it might have been once I used it a few times. I'm guessing they are electrically heated on 1993 models ?

I think thats it for now. Any help, much appreciated, thank you !

I've got a 93 too, and yes they do have heated seats if the switch is near the ashtray. you know if it works, its noticeably warm within minutes.

The climate and clock display is separate from the centre console lighting.

The console is linked to the flickering dash...if you leave it as it is long enough you will see them start flickering alternately like you are having a disco in your car (at night), but just get the dash fixed and the centre console also works again.

The clock and climate control is fixed by the same guy...chris vince, just send him a pm, mention both issues.

Is the boot locked? there is a keyhole next to the release button, if it is pushed in then the button is locked. Think its some sort of Valet parking thing, you prob cant unlock it without the master key...never buy a car without the master key. It syncs the alarm, the doors, the other remotes....it can get expensive when things go wrong.

The m.o.t. might bring up some issues too, such as bushes or ball-joints failing (control arms, can be expensive but can be done d.i.y), emmisions, rusting brake pipes, p/s leaks

I've got a few scary warnings about subframe issues, jacking points and rear mounts being near their end.

I think the engine will outlast the body on my car. Shame b'cos i've had it 5 yrs & i love it...but i now need good advice off an honest bloke before spending again. I know the rear control arms need doing, 4 brake discs, and a few niggly issues like my window wont work, 2 new elec aerials wont fit, a/c full of damp, and the last time i had a windscreen fitted he said the bodywork at the top is dodgy and i might well need work doing next time i need a screen.....and guess what...i just got a crack in it

Have faith tho, I've loved every minute of my drives, the cars are mint and mine has never broke down....its just the wear & tear parts that are costing me now, i'm about half way to doing most, but by the time im done................

I've done a few jobs myself now, with the help of this forum and lexls.com. and maybe considering myself a bit of a mechanic now :winky:

I bet they have saved me a couple of thousand between them....Thanks everyone

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I have a feeling this LS won't last to long, but just driving it the few miles I have so far, I'm already comfortable and pretty happy to drive it and tinker if needed.

Sad thing is, that I suspect head gaskets gone or going at least.

I've got the coolant level dropping a fair bit, though I should test it over more time in case its just been ran low, and I'm catching up on it as it pumps round.

But there is also relevant fumes, steam like. Not OTT, but after warming up it puffs out the odd mild cloud which dissipates in about 2-4 seconds on idle or at 3,000 rpm constant. I would say it was just typical exhaust gases, but I fear not. Can't see any leaks underneath. Climate blows hot when temps up. And Dipstick, filer cap and what can be seen of the insides, there is nothing suspect, no residue, milky deposits, moister etc. But thats not to say the water is not trickling out the gasket inside somewhere.

Somehow I think a headgasket replacement will be a mighty task on these, or a costly one for someone else to do it for me ?

I will try bleeding the system though if anyone can maybe send me a picture or guidelines on 'how to' do it correctly.

I keep trying my seat heater but nothing, so I guess a fuse or elements gone. That being said the backs don't seem to heat up either....Not tried passenger side yet.

Thanks to ManicMarks point on my brake warning light, replaced the blown brake light bulb and the warning lights gone. Looking to get the replacement resistors for the dash next and a new LCD screen for the climate control.

This LS400 is a bit of a pig at the moment, it hangs in the balance as to whether it will go well or go bad for me. But I could very easily find myself sticking to Lexus' from now on. Might just be that I will have to break this one to stock some spares and then get a better one later, depending on how far I can fix it.

Once again, thanks for all the thoughts and advise and support, much appreciated ! :)

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I have a feeling this LS won't last to long, but just driving it the few miles I have so far, I'm already comfortable and pretty happy to drive it and tinker if needed.

Sad thing is, that I suspect head gaskets gone or going at least.

I've got the coolant level dropping a fair bit, though I should test it over more time in case its just been ran low, and I'm catching up on it as it pumps round.

But there is also relevant fumes, steam like. Not OTT, but after warming up it puffs out the odd mild cloud which dissipates in about 2-4 seconds on idle or at 3,000 rpm constant. I would say it was just typical exhaust gases, but I fear not. Can't see any leaks underneath. Climate blows hot when temps up. And Dipstick, filer cap and what can be seen of the insides, there is nothing suspect, no residue, milky deposits, moister etc. But thats not to say the water is not trickling out the gasket inside somewhere.

Somehow I think a headgasket replacement will be a mighty task on these, or a costly one for someone else to do it for me ?

I will try bleeding the system though if anyone can maybe send me a picture or guidelines on 'how to' do it correctly.

I keep trying my seat heater but nothing, so I guess a fuse or elements gone. That being said the backs don't seem to heat up either....Not tried passenger side yet.

Thanks to ManicMarks point on my brake warning light, replaced the blown brake light bulb and the warning lights gone. Looking to get the replacement resistors for the dash next and a new LCD screen for the climate control.

This ones a bit of a pig at the moment, it hangs in the balance as to whether it will go well or go bad for me. But I could very easily find myself sticking to Lexus' from now on. Might just be that I will have to break this one to stock some spares and then get a better one later, depending on how far I can fix it.

Once again, thanks for all the thoughts and advise and support, much appreciated ! :)

A headgasket failure seems very unlikely. I haven't heard or seen 1 going wrong yet but not impossible I guess

The steam is quite normal for such a large combustion engine. Especially with the weather getting colder.

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If you're losing coolant then it could be something as simple as the pressure cap or header tank. I had to replace the tank on mine (mk1) because it had failed at the seam. If there's scale on the outside of the tank then it's a fair bet.

As for the climate panel LCD, this is perfectly viable to replace yourself provided that (1) you are skilled at soldering and dismantling [electronic] items, and (2) you have access to a proper solder/desolder station. If not then don't even try, give it to Chris V. as they say. I bought one of Jim Walker's LCDs from Cheaptoyotaparts for £100 about 3 years ago and it's fine. The only thing is, the characters are vertical instead of leaning forward as per the originals, which, due to an optical illusion, makes them appear backward-slanting when you look at this and the audio display at the same time!

Exhaust noise could be the EGR pipe, but could equally be something much simpler.

Enjoy!

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Hello !

Thanks for all the replies, much appreciated in deed !

Well I topped up with coolant yesterday and went for a 20 mile run at various speeds. Checked the coolant today and it has gone down, but not by that much ( about a cup full roughly it seems ). And duly noted, the emissions are a lot less than my old Stag ( not surprising ). I will keep an eye on the levels though and try to roll around underneath and over the top when its running warm and check for minor leaks, including the tank ( thanks ). There is nothing obvious yet though, but i will remove a few bits to check.

Two Q's at this point.

1. I need one ( or two for safety ) of the Manifold to Cat gaskets, anyone recommend me a place to get one from or is any old Exhaust retailer sufficient ?

2. When I first got the car this wasn't noticeable, but after the last couple of days I feel the engagement of Drive or Reverse is rather heavy, certainly heavier than it was I think. Being 200,000 miles I'd expect the box to be less than factory new smooth, but are there any precautions or checks worth doing in case its a sign of future failure ?

I will try and find this Chris V. with my electronic needs. I am fine with electronics normally, but I'm not well practiced with soldering and looking at some pictures of the LCD, I can see you have to have some pretty serious dexterity for getting it right. Would be safer in the hands of someone whos done this before, so once again, thanks for the advise !

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Hello !

Thanks for all the replies, much appreciated in deed !

Well I topped up with coolant yesterday and went for a 20 mile run at various speeds. Checked the coolant today and it has gone down, but not by that much ( about a cup full roughly it seems ). And duly noted, the emissions are a lot less than my old Stag ( not surprising ). I will keep an eye on the levels though and try to roll around underneath and over the top when its running warm and check for minor leaks, including the tank ( thanks ). There is nothing obvious yet though, but i will remove a few bits to check.

Two Q's at this point.

1. I need one ( or two for safety ) of the Manifold to Cat gaskets, anyone recommend me a place to get one from or is any old Exhaust retailer sufficient ?

2. When I first got the car this wasn't noticeable, but after the last couple of days I feel the engagement of Drive or Reverse is rather heavy, certainly heavier than it was I think. Being 200,000 miles I'd expect the box to be less than factory new smooth, but are there any precautions or checks worth doing in case its a sign of future failure ?

I will try and find this Chris V. with my electronic needs. I am fine with electronics normally, but I'm not well practiced with soldering and looking at some pictures of the LCD, I can see you have to have some pretty serious dexterity for getting it right. Would be safer in the hands of someone whos done this before, so once again, thanks for the advise !

the manifold to cat gaskets are cheap enough from lexus.

I wouldnt touch the dash untill you have the water leak sorted ( could be the rad leaking under preasure)

whats it reving at at tickover should be around the 600 650 mark, if higher would make the gearbox clunk into d or reverse. 9 what colour is the fluid in the box should be bright red ( rare for a box to go) even with 200,000.

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Hi, thanks ManicMark. I have no idea yet where my nearest Lexus stockist is, but I will get onto that. Tried online for any gasket retailers as I need a whole load for my other car too. I will go over the car in the next couple of days, see if I can see a leak. I hav'nt seen anything notable yet, but I'm inclined to check down by the water pump and underneath more carefully. And I will check all around the radiator too now, thanks for the pointer !

RPM is consistent at the 650 mark. Its the same thing when cold or hot, still jolts a bit. On the dipstick, the trans fluid looks normal, but I will wipe it on a clean cloth to check on its colour, my guess is despite a full history the gear oils not been done for a while. Is changing it a difficult job ? If not I will do it along with the engine oil in the next couple of weeks.

Mind you, just looking back over what you wrote, with the dodgy gauges due to the resistors packing up, the Revs could be higher than what I glimps when the dials are lighting up. I will see if I can find an idle screw or adjuster somewhere and tweak it down a tad when warmed up, see if it makes a difference. The RPM does sound higher than 650 I'd say, but with a softly quiet V8, my ears struggle to be sure about that.

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Hi you can do a complete transmission flush through the pipe that joins the rad there is a post about it, My boss just had a problem with loosing water on her shogun I couldnt find a leak, there was a pin head hole in the rad matrix when under pressure & warm, it was spraying back on to the block & evaporating, we found it doing a system pressure test.

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Hi you can do a complete transmission flush through the pipe that joins the rad there is a post about it, My boss just had a problem with loosing water on her shogun I couldnt find a leak, there was a pin head hole in the rad matrix when under pressure & warm, it was spraying back on to the block & evaporating, we found it doing a system pressure test.

Don't forget if you have the aircon on [if it's working OK] there is an automatic 'idle speed

up' to about 800 rpm, 650 is about the norm.

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Hmm, thank you some good points there ! Air con works fine ( amazingly, it still blows cold ), but I only turn it on once every few days when sat idle for whatever reason to keep the fluid flowing etc. But I keep it off when driving to penny pinch. But I need to check on the RPM as it was not doing this when I first got the car, but I still reckon its been standing for a while, so I'm expecting sticky things to develop off and on for a while, especially in this cold.

I will look into a Transmission flush, thanks for the pointers. And I will try and find somewhere with pressure testing equipment if I can't spot any obvious leaks in the system. Again, thanks for the tips, it all really helps ! :)

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Hmm, thank you some good points there ! Air con works fine ( amazingly, it still blows cold ), but I only turn it on once every few days when sat idle for whatever reason to keep the fluid flowing etc. But I keep it off when driving to penny pinch. But I need to check on the RPM as it was not doing this when I first got the car, but I still reckon its been standing for a while, so I'm expecting sticky things to develop off and on for a while, especially in this cold.

I will look into a Transmission flush, thanks for the pointers. And I will try and find somewhere with pressure testing equipment if I can't spot any obvious leaks in the system. Again, thanks for the tips, it all really helps ! :)

Hi,

The air conditioning on mine comes on automaticaly when I push the button on the dash to aim air at the windscreen, maybe thats why it's idling higher if you are pressing this in the cold weather we are having??

The transmission flush really is pretty easy. I was dreading mine but was pleasantly surprised at how well it went. Maybe even doing it without dropping the sump would be a good idea and even easier. Would be better if you took the sump off and cleaned/replaced the filter though.

Good luck with it all and keep us updated...

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I think I'd ideally like to go for a total sump off and clean up as sometimes ( after a drive today ) the box is smoother, then when warmer it seems to be a tad more jumpy so I'm theorizing the oil is old and rubbish and getting to thin when hot. I'm not comfortable with the kickdown either, sometimes its a little bit hesitant and harsh, and other times not so. Oil change for now, possible rebuild later I'm thinking.

I have one annoying issue though, and that is parts sourcing.

I can use my trusty oil supplier for engine and transmission oil, but does it HAVE to be toyota stuff, or is there just certain chemicals to avoid etc ?

The other parts issue is a problem too. I need a manifold-cat exhaust gasket too, and I tried a couple of Exhaust centers with no results, and my nearest Lexus center is either Leicester or Lincoln, both of which are well over 50 miles from me. Are there any places online that can deliver or other places closer that will stock the manifold-cat gaskets, and the transmission filter, gaskets and what-knott also ?

Thanks again for all the tips and pointers, truly indispensable for me !

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Most people say it must be the right stuff. I have yet to hear why though. The cost has put me off doing it. My mechanic says if there is no problem don't do anything. I'd feel better to get it done but would like to clean the filter while spending so much on the fluid.

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I've read a few cases of the oil being near onto £100. I'm happy paying out for the oil, I spent hundreds for as close to perfect oils as possible on my previous car, and I really appreciate the value in getting the right stuff. But, I do agree, its cost when there seems to be no problem, brings to mind the expression "ifs its not broke, don't fix it".

But I think I must shell out, and much sooner than I thought, like now ! I went out tonight, started from cold, drove 3 miles very gradually. Came to a junction onto a fast road, slowly came out then floored it, instead of a brisk acceleration I got the opposite, slowing down and not a lot happening, so I took my foot half off and then to the floor again ( as a coach was fast approaching ) it kicked down and pulled me out of trouble but the change up was rather heavy.

Drove back, all was fine, I was tickling and flooring and all changes were fine then. But in short, I feel a great urge to change the oil asap coming on ! BUT, I need to get all the parts, preferably without going all the way to Leicester !

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Hi it must be toyota type iv gearbox oil cheaper from toyota than lexus, I am about to do mine & lucky for me found some on ebay £30 for 5 litres & when I went to collect he produced anouther can with 3 litres left in it & said you may aswell have this if you want it.

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