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Hooray, I'm Officially A Lexus Owner!


Reyi
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Hey all, I just purchased a 94 LS400. It's black with black interior and the exterior has gold/chrome trim. It also has the Nakamichi system. Best of all, it looks new, almost literally!!! I've been searching for an LS400 for months and reading this forum for about as long. I'm just happy to finally have one so I can be a part of the forum.

As most newbies do, I have a couple of quick questions for you veterans out there. I have read a lot about the three known problems with my LS.

First, it has severe hesitation and shimmying (the entire car) when I come to a stop and when I lightly accelerate.

Second, the instrument panel doesn't come sometimes, when I first start the car in the Chicagoland cold. I thought it was just picking and choosing when to work, but today I noticed that it came on after about 5-7 minutes of driving and it was preceded by a splendid light show.

Third, the power antenna doesn't work. It doesn't go up or down.

Before anyone starts thinking, why the heck didn't this guy check the previous posts about his problems, I want to let you know, I did. I know that the first problem is likely caused by a need for a good throttle body cleaning. The second is likely caused by a need to replace three capacitors on the circuitboard behind the instrument panel. The third, okay, I'll be honest, I don't know what is causing the third, except that it's probably a bad motor or something.

The thing is, there are extenuating circumstances that make me think these common explanations might not be the case. When I went to pick the car up from the dealer, he told me it had just been detailed and that against his instructions, the engine compartment had been power sprayed, or jet washed, or whatever. I know this is bad for electrical componenents, and he said it is bad for the engine in that it makes it hesitate. I was wondering if anyone knows this to be true. I want to believe him for two reasons, first, he told me that if the hesitation hasn't gone away after 500 miles of driving the car (I've only driven it just over 300 so far), then I can have a full refund (he put it in the contract, like I said, he swore it wasn't hesitating before the detail job). Also, today, I came to a stoplight and thought my engine died (I was waiting for that to happen, since I read that is a common symptom of the same throttle body problem), however, I noticed that my tach was still at 500. I know that is normal, and I had been waiting for that surprise I read so much about, but until then, every time I came to a stop, I got the shudder. The last time I drove my car, it did not shudder the last 10 times I came to a stop. Nor did it shudder when I lightly accelerated, nor when I let it idle away from stop. Yesterday, all of these things would have been cause for shuddering. So, am I living in a fantasy world, or is it possible that it was, in fact, the power spray detail that caused the hesitation problems?

If it's possible the hesitation was caused by the power spray, then is it possible the instrument panel problem was caused by that as well? Also sometimes the stereo (radio or cd) got staticky and sometimes even shut off, could these all be symptoms of the detail job?

Finally, and I'm sure you all know where this is going, could the non-operability of the power antenna be caused by the power spray detail? If it can't, then what sounds should I listen for at the antenna (or what should I do in general) to diagnose the problem with the antenna.

Thank you all in advance for the expert advice that I know is coming.

Sorry for making this first post so friggin long. I'll try to keep it shorter in the future. :cheers:

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I would try to locate the previous owner and find out what problems he had previously. The power wash was definitely a bad idea. Listen for the antennae motor when you turn on the radio. If you hear it, it would be a busted cable If you don't it could be a fuse. Check for power at the mast in the trunk with a voltmeter.

I doubt the wash had such an effect on the cluster and more than likely it is the capacitors. If, after 500 miles you still have the shutter problem I would ask him to either fix it or give it back to him. Nice looking car though but don't become attached until this is resolved. Good luck.

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I would say that the engine wash did have something to do with the engine woes.

It is recommended not to wash an engine on a later model car- especially a Japanese car. I think that the seller should repair/replace the car if the engine woes do not subside.

I agree that your antenna problem is not linked to the engine washing, nor do I think the instrument cluster illumination is either.

I would say that the instrument cluster problem is simply caused by the bad circuits that these cars are known for.

The antenna is usually the first thing to go on cars equipped with a power antenna. The antenna worked on my 90 LS400 for about two weeks after I bought it. The motor still worked and the antenna would go up if it were down, but when it was up, it would have to be tapped a bit in order for it to retract. You need to determine if it is the motor or the gears on the antenna. If it is not the motor, then it should be a simple fix. The antenna gears on my old Camry were stripped and I was able to replace it with one I bought from E-Bay. I was able to change it myself in about 10 minutes.

BTW- I am assuming that is your Lexus in the photo? You are lucky to have a 1st generation this nice. It is a stunning automobile.

Welcome to LOC!

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The engine hesitation sounds like it was caused by the power wash. I would bring it right back to who you bought it from & have them fix it. Water most likely got into the spark plug chambers in the valve cover area & is just sitting in there. This will cause an engine misfire. If it didn't clear up by now it's not going to. The affected spark plug & wire will need to be cleaned & dryed out or replaced. LOL

The antenna issue sounds like a broken or stripped antenna mast which is a cheap fix or the motor itself. First remove the mast & inspect if it is worn or broken then go from there.

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Welcome to the burned out dash needle lights, failing gauges club! Naw, just jokin'. I LOVE MY LEX! I was looking at a used Mercedes SLK and a BMW Z14 over the last few months. I can't see dropping that kind of money for a name. My Lex drove smoother than both of those cars. I'll keep the old lady and dress her up.

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The engine hesitation sounds like it was caused by the power wash. I would bring it right back to who you bought it from & have them fix it.  Water most likely got into the spark plug chambers in the valve cover area  & is just sitting in there. This will cause an engine misfire. If it didn't clear up by now it's not going to. The  affected spark plug & wire will need to be cleaned & dryed out or replaced. LOL

The antenna issue sounds like a broken or stripped antenna mast which is a cheap fix or the motor itself. First remove the mast & inspect if it is worn or broken then go from there.

Amazingly, the engine problems have gone away!! Two whole days of driving without any shudder or hesitation, hallelujah!!

Thanks for the tips on the antenna, I'll be sure to look into it :D

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I would say that the engine wash did have something to do with the engine woes.

It is recommended not to wash an engine on a later model car- especially a Japanese car.  I think that the seller should repair/replace the car if the engine woes do not subside. 

I agree that your antenna problem is not linked to the engine washing, nor do I think the instrument cluster illumination is either. 

I would say that the instrument cluster problem is simply caused by the bad circuits that these cars are known for.

The antenna is usually the first thing to go on cars equipped with a power antenna.  The antenna worked on my 90 LS400 for about two weeks after I bought it.  The motor still worked and the antenna would go up if it were down, but when it was up, it would have to be tapped a bit in order for it to retract.  You need to determine if it is the motor or the gears on the antenna.  If it is not the motor, then it should be a simple fix.  The antenna gears on my old Camry were stripped and I was able to replace it with one I bought from E-Bay.  I was able to change it myself in about 10 minutes.

BTW- I am assuming that is your Lexus in the photo?  You are lucky to have a 1st generation this nice.  It is a stunning automobile.

Welcome to LOC!

Thanks for all the advice, and everyone else too. Oh, and that is my vehicle, I agree that I'm lucky. I even have a couple other pics in the gallery if you feel like checkin them out. :lol:

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