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1992 Ls400 Being Rescued. Need Advice.


coloknight
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I'm a newbie to the Lexus as well as this forum and have next to no skills where vehicles are concerned so please forgive any gaffs.

I located a 1992 LS400 that has been sitting outside for several months but looks pretty darn good despite that. It also had coins pushed into the cassette player which shorted it out and may have shorted out the AC as well. It has just over 210,000 on it but, after doing research on this site, the mileage didn't bother me because the engine still runs as smooth as a baby's bottom. In addition, the price was right...$1400 which included a full tank of gas and a new battery.

So far, I've taken it in for an oil change and had them use the recommended 5W20 synthetic oil. I had a missing wheel stud replaced. I've had the tires balanced and rotated. I've ordered an after market Pioneer CD player/receiver. I also burned out the tank of gas because I wasn't sure what octane was used and I filled it with 93 octane. I'm prepped to do some detailing with a high grade paste wax, tire shine, leather cleaner/conditioner, protectant for the dash etc but it's 28 degrees here right now so the detailing has to wait. I did, however, take it to a brushless car wash that included clear coat protectant.

Now for the questions:

1. The TRAC OFF light is lit. Exactly what does that mean and what do I have to do to fix it?

2. Just today, I started hearing a beep (no warning lights) when I turn off the car, remove the key, and open the door. I haven't been able to locate it because it only beeps for a couple of seconds. What is it?

3. I do mostly in town driving. Should I drive with the O/D on or off?

4. It came with two keys both with the side remote lock buttons. One remote doesn't work despite a new battery. Neither will open the trunk but both work in the lockout dohickey (technical term?) near the driver's left knee. What keys should I have and can I get them anywhere but a Lexus dealership (nearest one is 40 miles away)?

5. I thought that the ignition key hole was illuminated but mine's not. Is it supposed to be?

6. Where exactly are the interior fuses? What is a kick panel?

7. When the car is cold and I flip the rear view mirror from night to day, it sometimes doesn't switch completely. What causes that?

8. Prior to rotating the tires, which all have plenty of tread, the front tires showed wear patterns that indicated they hadn't been rotated in awhile. Should I replace them or will rotating them now even out the problem? How often should I rotate the tires?

9. The paint still has a showroom shine. What's the best way to keep it that way?

10. The vehicle has a shallow, foot long crease in the rear quarter panel. The paint isn't damaged. Is there a way to get the crease out myself (limited income)? Also, a softball fell on the hood and left a shallow indent. Again, the paint is fine. What's the best way to get the dent out?

11. The driver's seatback is lopsided...right shoulder back further than left. I've read that there's a part to fix it but, until I take care of more urgent needs, is there a way to even the two sides out?

12. Is touch up paint still available for the 92?

I know that's a lot of questions and I'll probably have more but, like I said, I'm a newbie. I'm also totally in love with the vehicle after only one week and I want to own it at least long enough to see it roll past the 300,000 mark.

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I really don't feel like answering all, because some of them are general maintenance stuff that you will figure out... But as far as the LS400 specific stuff goes..

1) Your car has traction control there is a switch to turn it on and off.. Find it and enable it.

2) The beep beep beep means that your sunroof is probably vented (a little open) close it and the beeping will stop

3) In town some people claim it gets better MPG with it off... I leave my od on all the time...

4) Your trunk lockout (remote access switch) is probably off, it is located beside the gas door lever, turn it on.

That is all I am going to tackle at this time.. Good luck...

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2rotor: Thank you. It's entirely possible the roof may be slightly open because I had it open before I pulled out. As far as the TRAC, I tried the button but got no response. However, I've been reading through the posts regarding TRAC and they mention the battery being disconnected...Just put in a new battery. What do I do to correct it. Couldn't find the answer. (Man! This is a busy forum. 100s of posts.) The lockout (sounds better than dohickey :D) isn't the problem with the trunk. Already checked.

Bali26: Thank you too. I like the sound of "minor maintenance".

My brother-in-law is a mechanic and I've set up an appointment for him to put the vehicle on the scope. Thing is that, though the car is a ripe 16 years old, she rides and drives like a newborn. I'm a convert.

By the way, Bali26, my man's the lucky one. I'm female. :rolleyes:

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I'm a newbie to the Lexus as well as this forum and have next to no skills where vehicles are concerned so please forgive any gaffs.

I located a 1992 LS400 that has been sitting outside for several months but looks pretty darn good despite that. It also had coins pushed into the cassette player which shorted it out and may have shorted out the AC as well. It has just over 210,000 on it but, after doing research on this site, the mileage didn't bother me because the engine still runs as smooth as a baby's bottom. In addition, the price was right...$1400 which included a full tank of gas and a new battery.

So far, I've taken it in for an oil change and had them use the recommended 5W20 synthetic oil. I had a missing wheel stud replaced. I've had the tires balanced and rotated. I've ordered an after market Pioneer CD player/receiver. I also burned out the tank of gas because I wasn't sure what octane was used and I filled it with 93 octane. I'm prepped to do some detailing with a high grade paste wax, tire shine, leather cleaner/conditioner, protectant for the dash etc but it's 28 degrees here right now so the detailing has to wait. I did, however, take it to a brushless car wash that included clear coat protectant.

Now for the questions:

1. The TRAC OFF light is lit. Exactly what does that mean and what do I have to do to fix it?

The system may be turned off, or is pressing the button does nothing, and you also have a "check engine" light on, the TRACOFF light always comes on with it. Fix the problem causing the CE light and the TRACOFF light will go out

2. Just today, I started hearing a beep (no warning lights) when I turn off the car, remove the key, and open the door. I haven't been able to locate it because it only beeps for a couple of seconds. What is it?

This beep could either be the sunroof not being closed all the way, or a worn out courtesy switch on the driver's door. That is a very common problem.

3. I do mostly in town driving. Should I drive with the O/D on or off?

I leave mine on. The gas mileage increase with overdrive turned off is marginal.

4. It came with two keys both with the side remote lock buttons. One remote doesn't work despite a new battery. Neither will open the trunk but both work in the lockout dohickey (technical term?) near the driver's left knee. What keys should I have and can I get them anywhere but a Lexus dealership (nearest one is 40 miles away)?

The key remotes that come with the car do not open the trunk remotely. If they do not turn in the trunk lock, try putting some lock lubricant into the cylinder. You cannot have more than 2 remote keys. A Lexus dealer can cut a non-remote key for around $40, and a locksmith can make a generic one for about $25.

5. I thought that the ignition key hole was illuminated but mine's not. Is it supposed to be?

Yes. The bulb is probably burnt out. Check www.lexls.com for replacement instructions.

6. Where exactly are the interior fuses? What is a kick panel?

Interior fuses are below the driver's side kick panel, to the left of the brake pedal.

7. When the car is cold and I flip the rear view mirror from night to day, it sometimes doesn't switch completely. What causes that?

After a while, the mirror has been known to wear out just like the LCD screen on the HVAC controls. Most people just learn to live with it, as the replacement cost for a new mirror is close to $500.

8. Prior to rotating the tires, which all have plenty of tread, the front tires showed wear patterns that indicated they hadn't been rotated in awhile. Should I replace them or will rotating them now even out the problem? How often should I rotate the tires?

I rotate my tires every 7,500 miles, the recommended interval. The 1992 LS has uni-directional wheels, meaning the tires are rotated front-to-back, staying on the same side of the car, unlike the rotation pattern on most cars.

9. The paint still has a showroom shine. What's the best way to keep it that way?

Keep the car waxed frequently with a good wax. I use "Black Magic", which was Consumer Reports' top rated wax.

10. The vehicle has a shallow, foot long crease in the rear quarter panel. The paint isn't damaged. Is there a way to get the crease out myself (limited income)? Also, a softball fell on the hood and left a shallow indent. Again, the paint is fine. What's the best way to get the dent out?

Probably can't do much to the rear quarter panel, but you might try a paintless dent repair kit on the hood. The reviews I have read about those kits are mixed, so if you decide to use one you should probably research them more.

11. The driver's seatback is lopsided...right shoulder back further than left. I've read that there's a part to fix it but, until I take care of more urgent needs, is there a way to even the two sides out?

I have had this problem on my 1992 LS also. The back of the seat comes off after loosening 2 screws on the bottom of the seatback. After evening out the seatback, there is a black rod on the bottom that needs to be pushed in one direction or another.

12. Is touch up paint still available for the 92?

Yes. The paint code can be obtained from your dealer, or the sticker on the driver's side doorframe. The paint costs about 1/2 as much at a Toyota dealer instead of the Lexus dealer. It is the same product.

I know that's a lot of questions and I'll probably have more but, like I said, I'm a newbie. I'm also totally in love with the vehicle after only one week and I want to own it at least long enough to see it roll past the 300,000 mark.

If you have further questions about the things above ask. That is what the forum is for.

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I'm a newbie to the Lexus as well as this forum and have next to no skills where vehicles are concerned so please forgive any gaffs.

I located a 1992 LS400 that has been sitting outside for several months but looks pretty darn good despite that. It also had coins pushed into the cassette player which shorted it out and may have shorted out the AC as well. It has just over 210,000 on it but, after doing research on this site, the mileage didn't bother me because the engine still runs as smooth as a baby's bottom. In addition, the price was right...$1400 which included a full tank of gas and a new battery.

So far, I've taken it in for an oil change and had them use the recommended 5W20 synthetic oil. I had a missing wheel stud replaced. I've had the tires balanced and rotated. I've ordered an after market Pioneer CD player/receiver. I also burned out the tank of gas because I wasn't sure what octane was used and I filled it with 93 octane. I'm prepped to do some detailing with a high grade paste wax, tire shine, leather cleaner/conditioner, protectant for the dash etc but it's 28 degrees here right now so the detailing has to wait. I did, however, take it to a brushless car wash that included clear coat protectant.

Now for the questions:

1. The TRAC OFF light is lit. Exactly what does that mean and what do I have to do to fix it?

The system may be turned off, or is pressing the button does nothing, and you also have a "check engine" light on, the TRACOFF light always comes on with it. Fix the problem causing the CE light and the TRACOFF light will go out

2. Just today, I started hearing a beep (no warning lights) when I turn off the car, remove the key, and open the door. I haven't been able to locate it because it only beeps for a couple of seconds. What is it?

This beep could either be the sunroof not being closed all the way, or a worn out courtesy switch on the driver's door. That is a very common problem.

3. I do mostly in town driving. Should I drive with the O/D on or off?

I leave mine on. The gas mileage increase with overdrive turned off is marginal.

4. It came with two keys both with the side remote lock buttons. One remote doesn't work despite a new battery. Neither will open the trunk but both work in the lockout dohickey (technical term?) near the driver's left knee. What keys should I have and can I get them anywhere but a Lexus dealership (nearest one is 40 miles away)?

The key remotes that come with the car do not open the trunk remotely. If they do not turn in the trunk lock, try putting some lock lubricant into the cylinder. You cannot have more than 2 remote keys. A Lexus dealer can cut a non-remote key for around $40, and a locksmith can make a generic one for about $25.

5. I thought that the ignition key hole was illuminated but mine's not. Is it supposed to be?

Yes. The bulb is probably burnt out. Check www.lexls.com for replacement instructions.

6. Where exactly are the interior fuses? What is a kick panel?

Interior fuses are below the driver's side kick panel, to the left of the brake pedal.

7. When the car is cold and I flip the rear view mirror from night to day, it sometimes doesn't switch completely. What causes that?

After a while, the mirror has been known to wear out just like the LCD screen on the HVAC controls. Most people just learn to live with it, as the replacement cost for a new mirror is close to $500.

8. Prior to rotating the tires, which all have plenty of tread, the front tires showed wear patterns that indicated they hadn't been rotated in awhile. Should I replace them or will rotating them now even out the problem? How often should I rotate the tires?

I rotate my tires every 7,500 miles, the recommended interval. The 1992 LS has uni-directional wheels, meaning the tires are rotated front-to-back, staying on the same side of the car, unlike the rotation pattern on most cars.

9. The paint still has a showroom shine. What's the best way to keep it that way?

Keep the car waxed frequently with a good wax. I use "Black Magic", which was Consumer Reports' top rated wax.

10. The vehicle has a shallow, foot long crease in the rear quarter panel. The paint isn't damaged. Is there a way to get the crease out myself (limited income)? Also, a softball fell on the hood and left a shallow indent. Again, the paint is fine. What's the best way to get the dent out?

Probably can't do much to the rear quarter panel, but you might try a paintless dent repair kit on the hood. The reviews I have read about those kits are mixed, so if you decide to use one you should probably research them more.

11. The driver's seatback is lopsided...right shoulder back further than left. I've read that there's a part to fix it but, until I take care of more urgent needs, is there a way to even the two sides out?

I have had this problem on my 1992 LS also. The back of the seat comes off after loosening 2 screws on the bottom of the seatback. After evening out the seatback, there is a black rod on the bottom that needs to be pushed in one direction or another.

12. Is touch up paint still available for the 92?

Yes. The paint code can be obtained from your dealer, or the sticker on the driver's side doorframe. The paint costs about 1/2 as much at a Toyota dealer instead of the Lexus dealer. It is the same product.

I know that's a lot of questions and I'll probably have more but, like I said, I'm a newbie. I'm also totally in love with the vehicle after only one week and I want to own it at least long enough to see it roll past the 300,000 mark.

If you have further questions about the things above ask. That is what the forum is for.

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Holy Cow! Thank you so much! I can't wait to get home from work to get started.

One of the first things I did was buy fuses so that I can eliminate any problem there but I couldn't find the darn panel. I'm also already, after a week, tired of sitting !Removed!-eyed so those two are the first I'll tackle. Those and making sure the sunroof is closed.

A little background: I'm 54 and this is only the 6th car I've owned. None of them have been on par with this 16 year old Lexus. Not to be sacriligious (sp?) but, until now, my favorites have been Metros because of their simplicity, the fact that they're easy to work on even for a lay person, and the stubborn way they keep running no matter how bad they're neglected. My last car was purchased when my second Metro was stolen. It was a 91 Eagle Premier that I grabbed up for $800 because I needed immediate transportation and I hate car payments. It lasted me 4 years despite a horrible engine knock from day one, haunted wiring, and bits and bobs that kept going wrong. At three years, I bought a Mazda that got me as far as Pittsburg where it now lives because the cam shaft snapped and they wanted way too much to fix it so it was back to the Eagle.

I stumbled onto the Lexus during a conversation in the hall at work and bought it sight unseen after skimming through posts on this forum and, since I only drive maybe 5000 miles in a year, it will probably...hopefully...be the last vehicle I own. That is unless I buy a second one.

Anyway, it was this forum that convinced me to buy the LS400 and, judging from the help already offered, it will be this forum that keeps it my favorite car ever.

Thank you so much for answering my questions and for removing the guilt of asking more.

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Colorknight,

Thats what is forum is all about......kepping $$$'s in your pocket & not putting them in the dealer's hand....

Alot of great people here with solid advice......

Best thing you can do........is buy a set a Factory Service Repair Manuals for your year LS400....

They will pay for themselves the first time you use them to fix your car.....

Jeff

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