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Considering 93' Ls400... Advice Needed


90LS400Lexus
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Hi Gang... I just looked @ a 1993 LS400. It is black with tan interior and has 185K miles. They are asking $3600 obo. for it. It is in good shape. Interior has some cracking on the seats and there is a light dent on the RR 1/4 panel. Some paint fading on the hood. Everything else seems to be good. Someone has installed a satellite radio system on the lower right side of the driverside part of the instrument panel. I am not sure what all modifications had to be done for that. Someone has put wheels off of a 98-00 LS400 on it, which looks good, but I would probably put 93-94 wheels back on it, if I were to buy it. I am guessing the car could be bought for something like $3300 - maybe $3000 if I was lucky.

According to the price guides, this is a good price for this car, even if it was only in average condition. Now, as a previous owner of a 90 LS400, with over 260K when I sold it, I pretty much know the basics of these cars. I know the 93s have better braking systems, added passenger airbag, different steering wheel and outside temperature gauge, just to mention a few things, but I am wondering.... did the 93s also have the common power steering leak? Any other problems that the 93s had that the 90s did not have that I should look for? Are the A/Cs also troublesome on the 93s, like they seemed to be on the 90-92s? I am assuming no, but just wanted to get and get some advice.

I had originally went to look at a 92' Camry V6, thinking it was the "LE" model, but when I got there, it was the base "DX" model and did not even have power windows or locks, so I decided to pass on that one.

I was not really in the market for another LS now, as I really wanted a Camry, or Land Cruiser or T100, but seen this Lexus and kinda feel like I would like to have another.

Thanks again!

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I can give you my experience with my 93 LS. I am sure there are other who will follow up.

My car now has about 144,000 miles on it. I have had it for almost ten years now.

I have had power steering problems; however, I have never had a leak. The power steering was making noise several years after I bought the car, while it was still under the Lexus warranty. The dealer rebuilt the power steering pump, and the noise stopped. I did have problems with the air control valve that is a part of the power steering pump. The valve failed, and fluid was being drawn into the intake manifold. This would create blue smoke when I started the car. This problem was solved by replacing the air control valve.

My AC has never had any problems. I have never had any service done to it nor have I had to add any refrigerant.

There have been several minor problems, but they are probably similar to those you may have had with your 90 model.

The wiring problem in the driver side trunk hinge surfaced several years ago. The dealer fixed it under the warranty, but didn't do the job right. I had to go behind them and add extra wire to the wire(s) that are too short. My instrument panel lighting started acting up about three years ago. Shipping it to Jim Walker for his capacitor replacement job solved that problem. He also resurfaced the back of two of the needles which were blacking out. Since then, the speedometer and odometer needles stick on zero during the hotter months of the year. This can often be overcome by rapping on top of the instrument panel. I understand that several repair facilities now have fixes for this problem. I intend to remove the display and send it to one of them to get this fixed, but I'll probably wait until next Spring since the needles are working fine now.

My CD player stopped working earlier this year. I replaced it with one I purchased from one of the members here (or at CL) for $60.00. My cassette player also refuses to play tapes. The cassette will load, but it will not play. I understand that the problem involved here is worn out belts in the player. I am trying to locate these belts but have not been successful. (My radio system in the Pioneer.)

In recent days, the AC-time display has started to darken. Characters are appearing that should not be appearing.

The car still drives perfectly and gets surprisingly good gas mileage. On long freeway trips, I usually get around 25 MPG. It uses no oil between changes. I do my own oil changes, usually somewhere between 3,000 and 4,000 miles.

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I have a 93ls also 112,000 miles. Similar probs as described above. Power steering leak, tach and speedo sticking, CD player and tape player don't work. brake switch went out ( the one that lets you shift out of park ) $50.00 DIY job. Also the power steering pump air control valve went out. I feel all of these things were minor. However, I do have a problem with engine hesitation especially with the A/C on or a full load. Where the RPM will drop around 500rpm and you loose acceleration if you try to accelerate faster than just a gentle push on the gas peddle. I think this is a prob with the 93-94ls's apparently rare.

I have replaced coils.plugs, caps, rotors ,wires , in-tank and undercarriage fuel filters, cleaned the EGR, and throttle body many times. Also replaced the TPS, since the car throws Code 41, Which it still throws. Lots of Seafoam also. Someone else on this forum had a similar prob with a 93ls. And it was fixed by having the ECM rebuilt. I am planning on sending mine to a ECM repair shop in Houston for $275.00 they will rebuild the unit. Also I replaced the water control valve on the firewall which was leaking, around $90.00 bucks.

They car is fantastic though. I have had it for 2 years and love it. I paid $7500.00 for it in 11-05 with 103K miles on it.

I would get the codes read before I bought it. Just to make sure something expensive isn't lurking.

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Thanks for the replies guys. Hmmm.... some of those problems mentioned I did not know of, or had with my 90 LS400. My cassette player still played tapes perfectly, but after the first year I had it, if the interior temperature dropped below 60°, the radio would not work. I never figured that one out. It did not have CD player option. :( I never had the "trunk hinge wiring" problem, but I was aware of that issue. I was waiting for it to crop up anyday. :) I also never had the problem, nor knew of the problem of the dash (speedometer and tach) needles "sticking". I never had a dash lighting problem, but after a year of ownership, the end of my speedometer needle went out, but it was fine UNTIL I hit a huge sunken in manhole cover (thanks to the city) on the highway to the freeway entrance. My A/C never worked. The only other problem I had was that the airbag light was not illuminating. I took it to the dealer for service. What had happened, the original owner had the airbag disconnected, then had the warning light bulb removed. :unsure: I am assuming the owner was a very small person? Anyway, the dealer hooked the airbag back up and put in a new bulb and only charged me $3.00 for the bulb! They did not charge me any labor! I was happy about that.

This local 93' I am interested in has a satellite radio installed... does anyone know what all mods take place when these are installed? They installed it on the lower right side of the driverside of the dash. I am hoping they did not modify, or tamper with any of the original wiring. I did not get inside of the 93', so I am unsure of how the dash lighting is working. I did notice that the time/climate control display and radio did not have any of that "blacking" on the LCD... my 90' had started to develop this on the radio if I recall.

Well, I called about the 93' tonight and did not get an answer @ that #, but I did leave a message. Maybe they will phone back tomorrow?

Thanks again for the advice!

I can give you my experience with my 93 LS. I am sure there are other who will follow up.

My car now has about 144,000 miles on it. I have had it for almost ten years now.

I have had power steering problems; however, I have never had a leak. The power steering was making noise several years after I bought the car, while it was still under the Lexus warranty. The dealer rebuilt the power steering pump, and the noise stopped. I did have problems with the air control valve that is a part of the power steering pump. The valve failed, and fluid was being drawn into the intake manifold. This would create blue smoke when I started the car. This problem was solved by replacing the air control valve.

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my 93 ls400 has 240k on it. needs bushings, motor and tranny mounts, an oil change, differential fluid change, new ps fluid, maybe some new tranny fluid, tires, an alignment.

sounds like a lot but its really all maintenance. Not that bad considering i bought the car 1.5 years ago for $2175 with 210k on the clock from ebay. Has NEVER failed to start. EVER.

No PS probs. Only changed the passenger side power door lock actuator, driver side door handle, and the radio.

Pretty amazing considering the car is now 14 years old. The car still looks good when i polish and detail it. Leather only has cracks, no rips.

We now have 3 ls400's. All are amazing. 1 93 and 2 94's

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I have a 93ls also 112,000 miles. Similar probs as described above. Power steering leak, tach and speedo sticking, CD player and tape player don't work. brake switch went out ( the one that lets you shift out of park ) $50.00 DIY job. Also the power steering pump air control valve went out. I feel all of these things were minor. However, I do have a problem with engine hesitation especially with the A/C on or a full load. Where the RPM will drop around 500rpm and you loose acceleration if you try to accelerate faster than just a gentle push on the gas peddle. I think this is a prob with the 93-94ls's apparently rare.

I have replaced coils.plugs, caps, rotors ,wires , in-tank and undercarriage fuel filters, cleaned the EGR, and throttle body many times. Also replaced the TPS, since the car throws Code 41, Which it still throws. Lots of Seafoam also. Someone else on this forum had a similar prob with a 93ls. And it was fixed by having the ECM rebuilt. I am planning on sending mine to a ECM repair shop in Houston for $275.00 they will rebuild the unit. Also I replaced the water control valve on the firewall which was leaking, around $90.00 bucks.

They car is fantastic though. I have had it for 2 years and love it. I paid $7500.00 for it in 11-05 with 103K miles on it.

I would get the codes read before I bought it. Just to make sure something expensive isn't lurking.

I have read the 93's are the best year for reliability. I too have the A/C stumble, my wife has felt it twice, thinking the car was unsafe to drive, she took a detour to the closest parking lot and called me, problem was not replicated so we just moved on, interesting someone else had this problem though. 93 AC uses R-134, not R-12, that is good and bad, good that you can refill it for 7 bucks, bad is it doesnt work as well as a R-12 system. Belts for the cassette can be purchased at any electronics store. just bring in your old one, they go by size, not manufacturer part number (helps if there is one though) I have used rubber bands!

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Thanks for the replies guys. Well, I am interested in this car, but the owner is hard to get ahold of. I called last night and did not get an answer, so I left a message... the owner did not call me back until today (I was not home), but left a message with my mom for me to call him back. I tried calling him around 6pm and again at 9:30 and cannot get an answer or answering machine this time, so I am not sure whats going on there.

I am guessing @ 185K, there are probably some issues cropping up, which may be why the car is for sale. If I ever get ahold of them and get to look @ the car and like it, I will probably offer something like $3,000 for it, which I know is well below book value, but I would want to change out those wheels (I could probably trade them to someone for some for a 93-94) and would want to do a full service on it... oil/filter, tranny fluid/filter, etc.

Budget wise, that price is really what I am looking for. Like I said, I was really not looking for a LS now, but this one just happened to come along. I just sold Toyota Tundra that I was tired of making high payments on AND paying high gas $'s. I know the LS is no miser, but with a lower price, it would off-set the higher fuel costs.

If the car is good mechanically, has working A/C and gauges/lights, I may go for it. I know I can get it less than $3600, as in the window, it says "ASKING" $3600, which tells me the price is negotiable.

Thanks again!

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