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First Two Weeks With My 2000 Ls400

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Well it been two weeks since I have had my 2000 LS400 (34k) and here are sone questions that I have

1. I noticed that the serpentine belt is making noise, so I ordered a new one from Carson Toyota. As for engine noise, the car seem very quite, but I hear the belt squeking right now, so once I change that out I will see how it sound.

2. I notice white smoke out the rear tail pipes whem the heat is on (an it is cold outside)

3. The ride feels very confortable, expecially on the highway, but I have been driving it locally and notice that I feel the bumps more. I have never owned a Lexus, therefore don't know how smooth the ride should be. I compare it to my Honda and it is definitely much smoother, but I think it should be even smoother (maybe I am expecting too much). How do I know that my car is running optimum.

4. Wind noise, how huch should I be hearing, it is definitely quiter than my Honda, but how quiete should it be.

I guess most of these question are because I have no experience with Lexus, so thanks for your help and guidance

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I had a 97 ls400 (pretty much the same as the 00) and thought it was the best RIDE/FEEL i had ever driven in! Better than ANY other lexus that i have owned (i've owned all of them except for LX and GX). B)

for the serpentine belt making noise; i think it's just because it's not new. After it's fixed it should be fine. Mine didn't have one problem the whole 3 years (110k miles) i had it. <_<

what i'm confused about is the white smoke coming from the exhaust... Has this ever happened in any of your other cars such as the "honda" ? Could it just be water vapor caused by the heat meeting the cold air? This should always happen; if you didn't see this in your honda i would make sure it was turned on LOL. :P

If you're feeling bumps on the road i would have to say that there's a problem! I couldn't hear or feel ONE! Maybe your tire pressure is too high. Or maybe a problem with suspension....That's just my theory considering the ride of the LS i had was better than the best!! ;)

and for the wind noise; i did have some as i remember. But it wasn't as evident until i hit high speeds on the highway. This was probbly the only thing that i noticed as a negative on the Ls400.

Overall, the ls400 is an excellent car, enjoy it! ;)

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You are asking some very subjective questions. I too sometimes hear a little windnoise in my 00 LS if it is particularly windy and also feel a few bumps if the road is rough. Our LS400's are not immune from any of this. A little smoke from the tailpipe is normal when it is cold outside.

Regarding the ride, my recommendation would be to keep the tire inflation near the manufacturer's recommendation which is only 29 psi. I increase the pressure only enough to allow for daily temperature fluctuations. Your tire pressure will go up and down on its own by about 1 psi for each 10 degrees of temperature change. For example, in the winter I pump my tires to about 32 psi in my 55 degree garage so that the pressure will still be at least 29 psi when I drive outside into the 25 degree temperatures. These are "highway/boulevard cruisers" afterall. IMO, higher inflation pressures - and especially larger wheels - provide more discomfort than better handling.

I probably check my tires more than most people - about once a week with a digital gauge and with an electric pump that fits perfectly in the spare tire well. The cigarette lighter sockets in the rear doors are handy places to plug the pump in.

Your car sounds like it is doing just fine.

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I had a 97 ls400 (pretty much the same as the 00) and thought it was the best RIDE/FEEL i had ever driven in! Better than ANY other lexus that i have owned (i've owned all of them except for LX and GX).

Amazing. Are you saying your former '97 LS400 rode and felt better than your current '03 LS430 ?? If so do you remember what tires (tire brand & model) you had on your '97 LS400 that helped make it ride so smooth?

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VGR- The LS430s are a little tauter than the 400s.

I agree with Jim that the questions of ride and wind noise are too subjective for us to tell you how it should be. What is a lot to some isn't a lot to others. I agree with the tire pressure, this is vital on a Lexus where the ride depends heavily on the tires. The type of tires are important too. Poor tires can ruin a Lexus' ride.

Gotta remember, the car is a machine and machines make noise. Its a very refined and silent machine, but a machine nonetheless. You might want to test drive another LS and compare them.

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I find my LS's ride is quite taut-definantly not as soft as some find. I'm very happy that it is though; it allowed me to aviod hazzardous things on the road. I've done some(2 occasions) extreme accident aviodance at 70mph, and the LS swallowed it like it was nothing. The tightness of the suspension is also quite evident when the car is going 120mph; it's so stable you can say, "look mom no hands!" :lol:

I get the white smoke when it's cold also.

I would also like for my LS to be a bit more quiet, but you must note that my LS is 10 years old with 251,000 miles. Water under the bridge!

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I had a 97 ls400 (pretty much the same as the 00) and thought it was the best RIDE/FEEL i had ever driven in! Better than ANY other lexus that i have owned (i've owned all of them except for LX and GX).

Amazing. Are you saying your former '97 LS400 rode and felt better than your current '03 LS430 ?? If so do you remember what tires (tire brand & model) you had on your '97 LS400 that helped make it ride so smooth?

I got the Ls430 for my son, and haven't driven it in 2 years. when it was first bought it was nice yet not one of the higher end Ls's. I found it to be larger than the 97, and less agile for some reason. The ride was about the same i guess, but i have to say that the 97 ls400 felt more secure than the 03 in my opinion. Still a nice car though. ;)

and i don't remember what tires were on it. They were the all year tires (as what i normally get) stock. I leased the 97 LS so i didn't do any of my own changes to it (not like i would have anyway LOL). I din't even thnk the tires were changed though they must have for 110k miles. The dealer must have done them at one of the services. Still a wonderful car.

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The white "smoke" is actually steam- and it is perfectly normal for a car to "steam" if it is cold/cool outside until the car completely warms up. I have found that cars with larger, tighter exhaust systems will steam a bit more, or will steam longer than cars with smaller exhaust systems, or ones with leaks. If a car is steaming when it is warm outside, then there is cause for concerns. That typically signals a busted head gasket. :o

Some of the LS400's (especially the older models with original struts) can have very soft and supple suspension. When new, they have a comfortable ride, but is not supposed to be pillowy soft by factory specifications. With the new OEM (Toyota) struts on the back of my 90 LS, the ride was soft at highway speeds, but in town, some bumps were easily felt. Speaking of Hondas- personally, I thought that my old 1991 Honda Accord LX sedan rode better than my 1990 Lexus LS400, but I think my front struts on the Lexus were shot. My 1992 Acura Legend 4dr rides firmly for a luxury car, but I think it too needs new struts. It has a very long wheelbase (even longer than the 90-94 LS400), so that helps it a bit.

Wind noise- my 1990 LS was very quiet on the inside- very minimal to no road noise and minimal wind noise. I imagine that the 00' should be as quiet.

Like 90LS400 said, you may want to drive another 00' LS to compare with to get an exact comparison. Soft suspension/interior quietness to some may be considered differently from person to person.

Enjoy!

Well it been two weeks since I have had my 2000 LS400 (34k) and here are sone questions that I have

1. I noticed that the serpentine belt is making noise, so I ordered a new one from Carson Toyota.  As for engine noise, the car seem very quite, but I hear the belt squeking right now, so once I change that out I will see how it sound.

2. I notice white smoke out the rear tail pipes whem the heat is on (an it is cold outside)

3. The ride feels very confortable, expecially on the highway, but I have been driving it locally and notice that I feel the bumps more.  I have never owned a Lexus, therefore don't know how smooth the ride should be.  I compare it to my Honda and it is definitely much smoother, but I think it should be even smoother (maybe I am expecting too much).  How do I know that my car is running optimum. 

4. Wind noise, how huch should I be hearing, it is definitely quiter than my Honda, but how quiete should it be.

I guess most of these question are because I have no experience with Lexus, so thanks for your help and guidance

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This is just my opinion and what i've learned so far about these cars.

I am currently learning the in's & out's of the suspension components on these cars "I have a 95", I can tell you that most of the parts that make that famous lexus smooth ride are rubber, soft rubber. The mounts in your suspension control arms, motor mounts, tranny mount, shock tower bumper, etc.... Basically all the parts that connect the car to the parts that meet the road are insulated at some point with soft rubber. When it's cold out, the rubber hardens a bit, making it a bit more ridgid. When it's warm out, it softens up. I notice in mine "97k miles" that when it's below 40 degrees out, the ride is harsher, i feel more bumps, grooves and so forth. When it's above 40 and hotter, she floats and absorbs those bumps like they're not even there. And the leather seats don't creek like cold leather does!

Wind noise: You'll have some, it's physics. If it's too much, or you hear a specific whistle from a spot, say the driver's door, then you might want to replace that rubber weather strip that goes around the door. Try this test, turn the air recirculator on as you're driving. Do you hear any whistles? Turn it back to fresh air, and you'll see those whistles most likely are gone. It's a great way to test those seals. When it's set to recirculate, the passing air over the car will create a vacuum and pull the air out of the car. When it's set to fresh air, it's a balance. You'll want to be doing 60 mph+ on a smooth surface for this, so you won't hear the road. You can also put rain-x on the windshield "or any other glass polish" and that will smooth out the noise too. It makes the glass super smooth and the wind just passes over it.

Serpentine Belt: Could be worn out, but could also be dry due to the cold air. There are products you can use to lubricate it. When I had my 90k service done, they put a new one on and it squeeked too. I put some lubrication on it, and it's fine. That was 10 months ago.

White smoke: The guys are right, it's normal at first. The car runs rich when first started on a cold morning, then leans itself out as it warms up. You'll see steam for a while. If it's doing it when you start it when the engine is warm, and it's warm outside, then you might have a problem. If it's the Cheech N' Chong mobile, you've got a big problem :whistles: . But considering the year and milage you have, I seriously doubt it. It's normal.

IMO :cheers:

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First I would like to THANK everyone of you for your help and suggestions. Here is what I realized so far

As for the serpentine belt making noise, I will replace it with the new one (BTW how long does it take Carson Toyota to send me a belt) and see what it sounds like then.

As for the white smoke out the rear tail pipes, you are all correct (sorry for this stupid question), but I do see it on all my vehicles when it's cold outside (I guess I am just a bit paranoid because I just got the car and am making sure about everything), again SORRY for the stupid question

As for the ride, when I first took my wife out for a ride the car felt great and didn't feel bumpy at all. On Sunday I took it to get some air in one of the tire because I noticed it was low, I then added air to all the tires to make it all 36 psi. That afternoon I took my wife out in the car and that's when we both noticed that the ride got a bit bumpy. I totally forgot that I added air to the tire and immediately thought there was something wrong with the car. Again this was me being paranoid because I just got the car, but I will check all tire pressure and make sure they are at 29 psi (+- 1 psi). As for the tires, the previous owner changed the tires about 6 months ago and put Dunlop 5000 Sport, which I think is recomended on this forum.

Now the wind noise, again it's probably just me

Again, I want to THANK everyone for your advise and keep them coming

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36psi is way too high for that car, I'd leave it at 29. You can start at 29 and move one pound up until you get the ride you want. These cars are that sensitive to tire pressure, one pound of pressure will change how the car rides. The Dunlop 5000s are good tires. They won't last long though, 15k miles or so.

nc is right about the rubber bushings and the car riding harder when its cold, I've found mine gets much smoother and quieter as it warms up.

One thing you can do about the wind noise is pick up some 303 Aerospace Protectant and dress all the door seals. Sometimes they get dry and can let some air noise in.

No problem about the questions, thats why we're here ;)

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Thanks for all the inputs

As for the tires, I did some research and found out that the previous owner put them on about 2500 miles ago (9/2004), it was installed by the lexus dealership that serviced the car. I will probably keep them till they wear out because they are pretty new, however if I do get (and that's a big IF) newer LS wheels then maybe I will get new tires as well. But for now I will see how they are

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