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Rear Seat Removal '01 Ls430 Ul


Dave Lybarger
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I recently experienced the no volume issue on the ML audio system. The stealer diagnosed a bad amplifier and a mere $750 part + labor. I declined. Sent the amp to a place I found that will repair it. (www.autoecu.com $249.00) Re-installed the amp and still have the issue of no volume. Nothing. Tuner appears to lock onto a station fine just no audio at all. With the audio system turned on and max volume I can hear the radio for a fraction of a second when I first turn the ignition switch on. (Powering the audio system on and off will not recreate this.)Read some more posts and I am leaning toward the idea of the phone mute perhaps being stuck in the mute mode or some such malfunction. There is no phone in this car. Read that there is an orange plug under the rear seat that you can unplug to disable the phone and perhaps fix the issue. Trouble is, how on earth do you remove the rear seat ? I can barely get my fingers under the front edge. It appears that there are some brackets bolted to the floor but I cannot create enough room to get a wrench to them. Any ideas?

My car is a 2001 LS 430 Ultra Luxury with the Mark Levinson Audio System

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FLIPPU (Mike) on that other Lexus forum has an Ultra and posted these minimal instructions on how to remove the rear seat cushion: http://clublexus.com/forums/showthread.php...;highlight=seat

Mike has a highly modded LS430 Ultra: http://www.uber.com/mypage/?entity_id=243589851

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Huh? Orange plug? that seems odd.

What it could be is the Lexus Link system going haywire; it uses the same muting leads as the phone. Does the car have Lexus Link buttons on the sunglass holder?

If it does you can try disconnecting the system and seeing if the sound comes back (also make sure you turn down the volume before you do it or you'll blow out your speakers; the rear seat display will tell you what level the volume is at).

In my previous post here there is a how-to to mod the audio system to install Bluetooth; you'll see the connector for Lexus link on the right side of the trunk. You should be able to get to it without tearing out the whole trunk liner; at least you can try disconnecting it and seeing if this improves your issue.

I recently experienced the no volume issue on the ML audio system. The stealer diagnosed a bad amplifier and a mere $750 part + labor. I declined. Sent the amp to a place I found that will repair it. (www.autoecu.com $249.00) Re-installed the amp and still have the issue of no volume. Nothing. Tuner appears to lock onto a station fine just no audio at all. With the audio system turned on and max volume I can hear the radio for a fraction of a second when I first turn the ignition switch on. (Powering the audio system on and off will not recreate this.)Read some more posts and I am leaning toward the idea of the phone mute perhaps being stuck in the mute mode or some such malfunction. There is no phone in this car. Read that there is an orange plug under the rear seat that you can unplug to disable the phone and perhaps fix the issue. Trouble is, how on earth do you remove the rear seat ? I can barely get my fingers under the front edge. It appears that there are some brackets bolted to the floor but I cannot create enough room to get a wrench to them. Any ideas?

My car is a 2001 LS 430 Ultra Luxury with the Mark Levinson Audio System

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I don't think that I have the Lexus Link System. Is your best guess that my stereo mute is causing this problem?

I will never ever care to use a phone in this car. Given that, can I go to the stereo amp in the trunk and disconnect the mute wire from the harness? Will that disable phone muting?

Dave,

Although a grounded mute wire in the phone prewire harness can cause the radio to go permanently into mute mode, I think it is highly unlikely that this has happened on your relatively new 01 LS430. The only times I have heard of this happening was in an older GS or SC when water got into the wiring system or amp or when an owner removed components of a Lexus or aftermarket phone by cutting wires to remove the components instead of doing it cleanly by unplugging the components.

Did you take your car to a Lexus dealer for the diagnosis or did the dealer tell you over the phone that the amp was the likely cause of your problem?

I sent you a PM about non-dealer repair alternatives in the Kansas City area.

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Dave -

I also have an 01 Ultra with the same audio problem, and the dealer told me the same thing - replace the amp. I usually wouldn't argue the point, but $750.00 for a new ML amp is a bit steep, and I have found that this problem ONLY occurs during the winter, usually when the temp drops below freezing and if the vehicle hasn't warmed up. If the vehicle has been driven and had a while to warm up, the audio doesn't usually have a problem. I have also found that if you turn the ignition off & then restart it (sometime it will take a few restarts), for some reason the audio comes back.

If anyone out there would care to venture a guess as to why this happens, I would certainly like to give a try to fixing this annoying issue.

One last thing - I did have the Lexus Link, but I had the dealer take it out (it was analog only) & replace it with a sunglass holder (they did it for free under a tech service bulletin). I figured that the lexus link may have been the problem, but the audio issue still remained after the removal.

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