Do Not Sell My Personal Information Jump to content

Problems/issues To Be Address On My Ls400... (if I Keep It)


90LS400Lexus
 Share

Recommended Posts

Well, I love my 91' LS400 (with 210K), but if I keep it, it will definitely need some things addressed. It needs - (or at least I think it needs most/all of these items)

- motor mounts (vibration through steering wheel - felt when stopped and engine running)

- transmission mount (never changed - at 210K, its likely needed)

- antenna mast (not a big deal)

- ball joints and/or tie rod ends (getting an occasional thunking sound on certain bumps and some "play" in center steering) - what do I need? Tie-rods, ball-joints, or both?

- someone said I may also want to replace the steering rack grommets for added smoothness

- coolant level sensor (low coolant light is on most of the time, despite full coolant)

- power steering pump (future issue) - back in the winter it was low on fluid and growling - refilled and its staying full and no noise, but even when full, when we had a cold morning back in March, it was growling lightly again, despite full fluid - when warm/hot outside- it makes NO noises) - may need "that filter" cleaned?

- A/C needs a "boost" - it blows cool, but not as cold as it should be... perhaps a slow leak? More $$$$?

I love this car, but the vibrations are making it almost unpleasant to drive! My 1973 Pontiac Grand Ville (a 35 year old American car) is much smoother than this Lexus. <_< Heck, my mothers 1997 Oldsmobile Acheiva (with 197K) is smoother than this Lexus! My dads 1988 Nissan with 253K, is smoother than this Lexus!

If I get the mounts needed and the sensor at the dealer, I am looking at about $350! Then, I am not sure how much more $ for the ball-joints/tie rods. I bet I would have to sink $1000 into this car to get it back up to par.

OR, I can sell it and let it be someone elses problem, or trade it to a guy with a 1991 Toyota Land Cruiser - needing very little (has an exhaust leak). I am really wanting a LC, but with $$$ fuel, not sure about it. I think I paid too much for this car when I bought it and I could never resell it and get my money back- despite it being a nice car. I paid $3200 for it, but then another $300 for shipping and then $400 in taxes... so, I have nearly $4000 invested and still owe $3600 on it. :rolleyes:

Link to comment
Share on other sites


i can also vouch for the improvement, idle vibration completely gone, and can say that if you're getting them changed for $350 at a dealer you're getting one HELL of a deal.

my local indie got $475 for the motor mounts, and wanted another $125 for the transmission with labor of course.

If you seafoam it, flush your fluids and change those mounts it will not only feel like a new car but have a new lease on life.

FWIW, I was faced with a similar decision, considering trading my LS for a Gen4 Taurus in anticipation of $1000 in suspension work during this next year and I decided against it. It was a purely emotional decision.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, I love my 91' LS400 (with 210K), but if I keep it, it will definitely need some things addressed. It needs - (or at least I think it needs most/all of these items)

- motor mounts (vibration through steering wheel - felt when stopped and engine running)

- transmission mount (never changed - at 210K, its likely needed)

- antenna mast (not a big deal)

- ball joints and/or tie rod ends (getting an occasional thunking sound on certain bumps and some "play" in center steering) - what do I need? Tie-rods, ball-joints, or both?

- someone said I may also want to replace the steering rack grommets for added smoothness

- coolant level sensor (low coolant light is on most of the time, despite full coolant)

- power steering pump (future issue) - back in the winter it was low on fluid and growling - refilled and its staying full and no noise, but even when full, when we had a cold morning back in March, it was growling lightly again, despite full fluid - when warm/hot outside- it makes NO noises) - may need "that filter" cleaned?

- A/C needs a "boost" - it blows cool, but not as cold as it should be... perhaps a slow leak? More $$?

I love this car, but the vibrations are making it almost unpleasant to drive! My 1973 Pontiac Grand Ville (a 35 year old American car) is much smoother than this Lexus. <_< Heck, my mothers 1997 Oldsmobile Acheiva (with 197K) is smoother than this Lexus! My dads 1988 Nissan with 253K, is smoother than this Lexus!

If I get the mounts needed and the sensor at the dealer, I am looking at about $350! Then, I am not sure how much more $ for the ball-joints/tie rods. I bet I would have to sink $1000 into this car to get it back up to par.

OR, I can sell it and let it be someone elses problem, or trade it to a guy with a 1991 Toyota Land Cruiser - needing very little (has an exhaust leak). I am really wanting a LC, but with $$ fuel, not sure about it. I think I paid too much for this car when I bought it and I could never resell it and get my money back- despite it being a nice car. I paid $3200 for it, but then another $300 for shipping and then $400 in taxes... so, I have nearly $4000 invested and still owe $3600 on it. :rolleyes:

With the the list you've made, time to take stock, I think. With your vintage, and the postings on this site for as long as you've been a member, you know what to expect for repairs. Known issues you haven't mentioned ... a/c compressor-high pressure pipe, tranny speed sensor, leaks in the rack, cats and sensors, etc. Might be a good time to get a diagnostic report from a reputable shop. A little north of you, we have the APA: http://apa.ca/template.asp?DocID=136. They can refer members/ non-members to a diagnostic shop that strictly tests and reports for about $125-$150. No repairs. It's great because they're qualified to do the tests, come recommended, and there's no bias in the report because they don't do repairs. They do the whole car and all systems. I don't know what you might have near you that's similar, but it would be worth your time to find out. This would give you a tangible basis for deciding what to do. Pesonally, if I knew the history of an ls and all I had to invest to get it up to spec was $1000, I would stay with the ls. Try to get an assessment done. It'll give you helpfull information for making a decision you won't regret.

As for gas, I don't drive my ls every day, but gas prices are doing big time damage to everyone ... I hear ya. My guess is that prices will hit $1.50/L by winter and stay there . At that point I'm either thinking hybrid or downsizing to something like a Rav for regular commuting. B)

Link to comment
Share on other sites


i can also vouch for the improvement, idle vibration completely gone, and can say that if you're getting them changed for $350 at a dealer you're getting one HELL of a deal.

my local indie got $475 for the motor mounts, and wanted another $125 for the transmission with labor of course.

If you seafoam it, flush your fluids and change those mounts it will not only feel like a new car but have a new lease on life.

FWIW, I was faced with a similar decision, considering trading my LS for a Gen4 Taurus in anticipation of $1000 in suspension work during this next year and I decided against it. It was a purely emotional decision.

Seafoam wise, that is the theory but it would just thin the oil if it does not evap before hand. For me, seafoam is not worth the price for what you get. Over-rated.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

90', I think the question for you to ask yourself internally is "are you a perfectionist?" If you are, then in my honest opinion, the LS can drive you insane with trying to chase down little vibrations here and there, and can ruin the experience of owning one. I'm a perfectionist, and I've got to admit, although my LS was one of my favorite cars I've ever owned, it was also one of the most frustrating, expensive, and damn irritating as well. Honestly, a big part of me was relieved to let it go, and be free of "constant monitoring" while driving. After awhile of fixing something up, you tend to lose sight of the fact that it's just a car. But, having said that, when my LS was right, it was spectacular! It was fast, it was glass smooth, it was church-mouse quiet, it was solid, and it was impressive. It was also about $4,000 on my credit card to get it there too. I chased vibrations that resulted in the replacement of:

All control arms, all motor & tranny mounts, rear differential mounts, all struts, all balljoints, all outer tie rods, all brake components, all tires, all bushings, front door weather stripping, fluids, plugs, filters, and even the damn drive-shaft "which eliminated all vibrations". So, you can see, if you're not willing to accept the fact that a 18 year old car is going to have some 18 years of age on it, you can easily go insane with it, like I did. Some say I was foolish to waste the money, and I'd be hard to disagree, but for me, it was a learning experience on automotive care and maintenance, that I never had before. So, I take that knowledge with me into the future, and have used it already on my other cars, but to a much smaller degree.

My recommendation for you, on your car? Replace the motor mounts and tranny mount. If you're getting the clunk from the front, replace the strut rod bushing "I believe your series can replace just the bushing". And you might want to have your rear carrier bushings looked at and possibly replaced too. There are some aftermarket parts for those that aren't too bad on the ole' wallet. And then, I'd stop and just drive the car. If you find that it needs more suspension work, and you're not 100% sure you want to keep the car anyway, I'd sell it and move on. Unless you want to use your LS to learn some DIY stuff "which the LS is quite an expensive car to do this on", just replace the mounts, set your cap at the strut rods, and go from there....:cheers:

Oh, my car? Well it did sell for about $7,500 last November. It had 132k on the clock, and needed a new rack and strut mounts. The rack was obvious, as it was leaking on the passenger side, even with clean fluids and clean screens throughout. The strut mounts were due because the front end would "pop" on sharp bumps. I forgot to replace them when I replaced all the other suspension components, and was too lazy and didn't care enought to replace them. I could also hear something in the engine sounding like a bad bearing was coming down the line. I wasn't sure what it was, but I suspected either the alternator, ac compressor, or steering pump, was getting close to the end. I"m glad I didn't take on those repairs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the replies guys!

NC, I think I am a "perfectionist" to an extent (when it comes to at least one of my cars) and wonder why I want my "near perfect" car to be a 17 year old Lexus with 210K. :) :rolleyes: I really do not expect it to be perfect, but I do want it in excellent and smooth working order. I am pleased that the car is at least squeak and rattle free. HOWEVER, during certain conditions, there is a "plastic to plastic" rubbing sound coming from the front passenger side of the cabin that I have not been able to track down and its driving me crazy. It does it even over smooth bumps, but over rough roads, this car is still totally rattle and squeak free. Amazing for a 17 year old car with over 200K. I know many brand new cars that rate even lower. I have been in NEW cars with squeaks/rattles and I have heard others complain.

I think if I can eliminate the vibration I will be happy with it for the most part, since the car is solid otherwise. I am 99% sure its the engine mounts. I get that "kick" from the engine when I first start it in the mornings, which someone suggested was bad mounts.

I could do the other things a little at a time... possible PS pump issue in the future, front suspension/steering and that coolant level sensor.

I am sure if I trade for the Land Cruiser that it will have issues too, but not sure if as many, or as costly as on the LS400.

Ironically, when I mentioned I was thinking of getting shed of the car, my mom showed some interest in buying it from me, because her 6 year old newer/lower mileage (168K) Oldsmobile is beginning to have problems... even moreso than the Lexus. We are still unsure of that.

I am going to phone the dealer tomorrow and get a quote on labor for the engine/tranny mounts. I think I can get the parts cheaper here on the internet. ??

Thanks again!

90', I think the question for you to ask yourself internally is "are you a perfectionist?" If you are, then in my honest opinion, the LS can drive you insane with trying to chase down little vibrations here and there, and can ruin the experience of owning one. I'm a perfectionist, and I've got to admit, although my LS was one of my favorite cars I've ever owned, it was also one of the most frustrating, expensive, and damn irritating as well. Honestly, a big part of me was relieved to let it go, and be free of "constant monitoring" while driving. After awhile of fixing something up, you tend to lose sight of the fact that it's just a car. But, having said that, when my LS was right, it was spectacular! It was fast, it was glass smooth, it was church-mouse quiet, it was solid, and it was impressive. It was also about $4,000 on my credit card to get it there too. I chased vibrations that resulted in the replacement of:

All control arms, all motor & tranny mounts, rear differential mounts, all struts, all balljoints, all outer tie rods, all brake components, all tires, all bushings, front door weather stripping, fluids, plugs, filters, and even the damn drive-shaft "which eliminated all vibrations". So, you can see, if you're not willing to accept the fact that a 18 year old car is going to have some 18 years of age on it, you can easily go insane with it, like I did. Some say I was foolish to waste the money, and I'd be hard to disagree, but for me, it was a learning experience on automotive care and maintenance, that I never had before. So, I take that knowledge with me into the future, and have used it already on my other cars, but to a much smaller degree.

My recommendation for you, on your car? Replace the motor mounts and tranny mount. If you're getting the clunk from the front, replace the strut rod bushing "I believe your series can replace just the bushing". And you might want to have your rear carrier bushings looked at and possibly replaced too. There are some aftermarket parts for those that aren't too bad on the ole' wallet. And then, I'd stop and just drive the car. If you find that it needs more suspension work, and you're not 100% sure you want to keep the car anyway, I'd sell it and move on. Unless you want to use your LS to learn some DIY stuff "which the LS is quite an expensive car to do this on", just replace the mounts, set your cap at the strut rods, and go from there....:cheers:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I phoned the dealer today and gave them my info. He called back later (missed the call and had to call him back) and he said it would be $571. (parts and labor) for the engine mounts and transmission mount. He said it may not need both mounts. His exact words were, "we will check it first, because new mounts are "pricey". He also said something about a "stabilizer" that was normally replaced when they did that???

My mother spoke to my father about buying it from me and it seems like he might. That slight vibration may not even bother her and now that is warm/hot outside, its not that bad now. The warmer it is out, the less noticable it is. It was 86° today and it was barely felt. Isnt that strange?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's how much I paid using an independent. The dealer wanted $300+ more.

I phoned the dealer today and gave them my info. He called back later (missed the call and had to call him back) and he said it would be $571. (parts and labor) for the engine mounts and transmission mount. He said it may not need both mounts. His exact words were, "we will check it first, because new mounts are "pricey". He also said something about a "stabilizer" that was normally replaced when they did that???

My mother spoke to my father about buying it from me and it seems like he might. That slight vibration may not even bother her and now that is warm/hot outside, its not that bad now. The warmer it is out, the less noticable it is. It was 86° today and it was barely felt. Isnt that strange?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow. Yeah, it seems like the Atlanta dealers are much higher than here. I bought this car from a guy in Atlanta (which is where it was bought new). The PO had just paid $1300 to the dealer to get the timing belt and water pump replaced down there. Up here, they wanted $515 for that same repair at our local Lexus dealer!

That's how much I paid using an independent. The dealer wanted $300+ more.
I phoned the dealer today and gave them my info. He called back later (missed the call and had to call him back) and he said it would be $571. (parts and labor) for the engine mounts and transmission mount. He said it may not need both mounts. His exact words were, "we will check it first, because new mounts are "pricey". He also said something about a "stabilizer" that was normally replaced when they did that???

My mother spoke to my father about buying it from me and it seems like he might. That slight vibration may not even bother her and now that is warm/hot outside, its not that bad now. The warmer it is out, the less noticable it is. It was 86° today and it was barely felt. Isnt that strange?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well shoot, if you've got those kinds of sweet prices from a dealership in your backyard, then it's a no brainer! Keep it! ;)

Wow. Yeah, it seems like the Atlanta dealers are much higher than here. I bought this car from a guy in Atlanta (which is where it was bought new). The PO had just paid $1300 to the dealer to get the timing belt and water pump replaced down there. Up here, they wanted $515 for that same repair at our local Lexus dealer!
That's how much I paid using an independent. The dealer wanted $300+ more.
I phoned the dealer today and gave them my info. He called back later (missed the call and had to call him back) and he said it would be $571. (parts and labor) for the engine mounts and transmission mount. He said it may not need both mounts. His exact words were, "we will check it first, because new mounts are "pricey". He also said something about a "stabilizer" that was normally replaced when they did that???

My mother spoke to my father about buying it from me and it seems like he might. That slight vibration may not even bother her and now that is warm/hot outside, its not that bad now. The warmer it is out, the less noticable it is. It was 86° today and it was barely felt. Isnt that strange?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

If you are going to replace the mounts, at this late in the game, replace all 3, the tranny you could do yourself and save 100 bucks in the process. Seafoam would be good, see how to in the ES 300 forums. There is also a seafoam for the PS system. I would also recommend putting in a PS system filter/kit.

C. PR

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Forums


News


Membership