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95 Electrical Problem Light And More!


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Hi all. I just bought a used '95 SC300 with 94K for $8500 and thought I got a good deal :D --especially since it's immaculate on the exterior..like glass. Took it to my mechanic and got new timing belt, serpentine, all fluids flushed and changed, new spark plugs and wires, brakes, water pump, etc...everything he thought I needed to change to run for another 100K hopefully smoothly for $1200.

My problem lies in the electrical light on the bottom left of the indicator board that comes on intermittently. I think it's linked to the fact that sometimes my seat memory works, and doesn't; and also that my power mirrors don't work at all (mechanic says no power through wires at all). Some factors that might affect it--mechanic says he found bondo on the driver's side door so it's been repaired (ugh! :unsure: ). Also been reading about bad grounds--the aftermarket Kenwood CD changer has been removed and wires left in place. Would that affect it? What would the best avenue be to figure out what is wrong? Also the previous owner took it in last year to get something replaced when the engine wouldn't start...ignition something by the Lexus dealer? And the trunk hydraulics are wearing out..barely holds trunk up. Can I overhaul that myself? Lastly, any recommendations on aftermarket CD player head unit to replace the stock Pioneer standard one vs. adding a changer (which brands will plug in vs. RF modulator?). <_<

Despite all the "problems" with this car, I still love the way it drives and looks and think I got a good deal? ...please help! :blushing:

Thank you for your time! :cheers:

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I'm referring to the light on the center console that looks like a yellow rectangle and has the word "CHECK" under it. On the bottom left corner below the speedometer...actually the manual calls it the "Malfunction Indicator Light" and states "This lamp warns that there is a problem somewhere in your engine electrical system". Before the maintenance, it came on for like three days and then went off by itself. Got the car back yesterday, no light--until about 30 minutes after I left the shop.

Thanks for reading my long rants!

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Ok that is a problem that needs thorough investigation. That lamp is telling you that something in the engine control system is not working right. It is not related to your mirrors not working. There is a procedure to connect a couple of terminals on a diagnostic port that will make the MIL light flash. The sequence of flashes relates to a numerical value. This value corresponds with a troubleshooting checklist and cause item. Did your mechanic do this? It sounds like he just reset your ecu by pulling the fuse or disconnecting the battery. This will reset the light until the fault comes back.

If your car is running well and the light is going on and off then the situation is intermittent. If you feel comfortable doing the check for the code I can send you the procedure. You will need two wires spliced together to act as a jumper between two and three terminals.

Your other items, the seats - sounds like a short/ground issue. Same with the mirrors. Your radio situation could definitely be related to one or both of these items. My first SC had a bunch of wiring hacks done and I traced a bad ground to the cigarette lighter from a power splice that killed the whole dashboard. The mirrors never did work in that car either, but I never got to fix it. To buisy working on making the car go fast and then it was gone. The best method to troubleshoot, is hard to recommend without being there. Have you done any electrical work in the past? Best method is a multimeter and access to all wires and shcematics. That is easier said than done though.

The trunk lifts can easily be done by yourself - I say easily, easily enough with some mechanical know how. Everyone is different eh? Recommendations on aftermarket head unit - I had a jvc cd player in the old one. I still have it I think. Somewhere. As well as some Diamond Audio speaker components. I have no recommendations on changers. Did the car originally have a factory changer? If so, then you can probably replace it in the trunk location if the connections are still there. The guys in the audio forum may be able to assist more with sound system type questions. Try the faq up top as well. Feel free to rant. No problem here with that, I think. :huh:

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Thanks for your prompt response and help...

Could you please send me any info/schematics about trying to figure out the electrical problem with regards to the diagnostic test? Also, any info about servicing the trunk hydraulics would be greatly appreciated. Or should I just purchase heavier duty ones--especially since I'm thinking of adding an aftermarket spoiler? Plus I found a Pioneer 10" free air sub on Ebay and was wondering if anyone new if that would replace the stock woofer we get with the vehicle. And last but not least--not looking for a part on Days of Thunder but was wondering if a cheap 80 dollar K&N air filter upgrade really did help on horsepower/mileage? :whistles:

Oh one more thing...sorry. If I took my car to the Lexus dealer to figure out the electrical, would I have to give them an arm/leg/firstborn to figure out and fix the problem? Like us all, I'm hurting on the greenbacks right now but like to get things fixed like NOW... :ph34r:

Thanks again for your patience. I like bouncing ideas around! :rolleyes:

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I sent you a PM. The trunk lifts can be done yourself. There is a how to in the faq - I can get a description going as well. There is also a thread in this forum on that topic. I'll get the link later.

As far as the sub thing, a stock sub will replace just fine. You sould be careful about aftermarket subs due to installation issues. I have a aftermarket free air sub in mine but am away from the vehicle and records so I can not advise well on that now.

The intake thing, check the link in the faq as well for Peter Scott's Soarer page and look for the write up on the BFI intake. The data there is an eye opener. You can get a k&n style intake filter or drop in to your choice. Performance gains are minimal. They can look good though.

As far as the dealer - yea, I know. I try to do most work myself. If I use a mechanic I call around and ask them if they have diagnostic equipment for the vehicle in question. If they do, then they can run codes and see what the computer is saying in the car. That gives you a better idea of where a potential problem may be. If your car is running well, chances are you have some time. But you should check it out when you have the chance/money. It may not be a real big deal. I had vehicles throw codes with nothing wrong before - just increased air inputs due to my modification caused the computer to think something was wrong.

I'm really buisy - so be patient. I'll get you some info in the next day or so.

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My mechanic and I hooked up the diagnostic computer and it spit out code 71 or "EGR PROBLEM". He then took out the EGR modulator and found it to be clogged up so he said we should go from there and get a new one and hopefully that will be it. I guess I should just skip second guessing and hook up the diagnostic computer like I'm supposed to eh?

As for the power mirrors/seat memory, I'm really begin to think that it's the stereo--bad hack job. My cell phone causes interference with the FM radio when it's on or charging, and the power antenna sometimes goes down when I switch from radio to tape and sometimes stays up--nothing consistent. I'm going to replace the head unit/speakers/sub and have the old system completely removed and everything rewired. Had problems finding a car installation kit and posted a topic about that separately. Like you said previously, maybe the bad hack job blew out a fuse or something like that.

Thanks again for your time and help. It is greatly appreciated! :magic:

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