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Service Bulletin - Engine Computer


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I have a 95 LS400 with ~98K miles. I bought the car last year and had it go thru the 52 point inspection at a lexus dealer. One of the problems I noticed, and had them check for was... very rough downshifting (thrown from your seats :blink: ) of transmission if I let go of gas suddenly when accelerating, it can happen at any speed. More so when accelerating from a stop but even at high speeds, you feel like you do not have control of the car for a few seconds, it makes me drive cautiously :rolleyes: .

The dealer said the it is due to bad Engine computer, cruise control computer ans spark plugs. It would cost ~$4000 to replace it. I was seriously thinking of disposing the car then, the 52 point inspection listed repairs worth $16000, more than what I paid for the car. The Engine ECU was the biggest ticket item.

I came across a post here, with a similar problem. The poster said he had similar problem, found that there was a Service bulletin issued for the Engine ECU. He went to the dealer and they replaced it free of cost, I recall his mileage was in high 90's too. With this information in hand I called up the dealer, they said there was a service bulletin for the problem, he confirmed my model year and vin number was included in the bulletin. He would'nt disclose the particulars of the bulletin when I asked what else could go wrong if the Engice ECU is dead (I am still looking for a web site to read about Service bulletin's, any help appereciated).

So I asked if they would replace it for free. He took a few days and said no because the mileage was too high. Unfortunately the last owner never took the car to the dealer so they have no service records since last dealer visit at 40k miles. When I told him about the post I read.. dealer replaced it for free even at 90+k miles, he said it depends on lot of factors. The customer loyalty to the brand, if they come to the dealer for repairs etc.,

I called Lexus customer satisfaction, they called the dealer, now they say they will split the cost. I have to call the Lexus customer satisfaction again to see if they can replace it for free. I think the engine can go much more than the current 98k miiles and if there is a known issue they should fix it especially if there was a service bulletin.

Let me know if I am approaching this right, any help appereciated. Also, I am not able to find the post I read few months back about this, the subject was'nt straight forward. If that poster is reading this please reply.



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This is what I dug-up from NHTSA. It doesn't look like the entire ECU is the problem but the starter assembly will.

NHTSA result

I'd look for a good Toyota mechanic near you and show him/her the list. See what kind of a price they can do the repairs for. If you wish I can help you get some parts. Just PM me or shoot me an email. UCF3LOC@netscape.net

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I decided that the "dance" with the Lexus dealer was way to painful. They wanted to invest hours of labor to "rule out" otherr things which in the end subsidized the contribution by Lexus to satisfy me. I purchased an ECU from a bone year car-part.com and will put it in soon. The cost for a used one of the right vintage was $140 delivered.

Hope this helps.

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  • 3 months later...

my ecm went out on me. i bought my 94 ls with 188k on it. 5k later--ka-put--i found a web sight that said they could rebuild it for $225. (www.ecmtogo.com). i called em and they refered me to a company in fla. the replaced all bad components and i had it back quick. 3 day total and only $200. it was a leap of faith but i am so freakin happy now. i'd refer them to anyone. they also warranty it for 1 year. just a thought

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