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Water Like Fluid Leaking From Ls400


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I have a 97 LS400 and I bought with 93000 miles on it from a Lexus dealer. The car seems to be fine but I have a few concerns. When the car is parked (before driving say in the morning before starting off to work), I see no possible fluid leaks in the ground under the hood. But after I come back from a drive and park it for sometime, i see a water like fluid leak in the ground under the hood. When touched, it has water's consistency? Is this a problem or is it normal and related to A/C usage?

The second concern is that I did not bother to seal the deal based on the availability of owners manual. But now, i realize its importance and I guess I made a mistake. I cant even check basic things such as optimal inflation pressure and the recommended fluids (engine/trans/brake etc) to be used for this specific LS400 model. I pushed the dealer for this but was not fruitful. I'm planning to buy a 97 model owners manual from a different source assuming that the manual should be good for this car too? Would that be okay?

Your insights would be welcome. Thanks

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Welcome and congratulations on your new car - hope you love your '97 as much as I love mine!

- If you are seeing the water on the ground after you have been running your A/C, that's normal. Mine does the same thing.

- I believe that if you go to lexus.com and register as an owner, they will give you a FREE owner's manual. Go check that out. I would suggest both the owner's manual and the maintenance manual...two separate manuals that originally came with the vehicle.

Good luck!

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I know it's already been said.. but to put your mind totally at ease.. yes, the water dripping is totally normal. Just for fun, when parked at stop light, look under a few cars and you will see the water dripping :) (if they have their a/c on, obviously)

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Hi patcom; kc92hatch; Lexusfreak; IansLexus; Blayd: Thanks very much for your replies. That is good to hear that its perfectly normal.

By the way, I'm planning on for a long drive to the east coast from Chicago next week. Because its a long trip, i guess it'll not hurt to have the vehicle (97 ls400) checked by a mechanic for preventive maintenance. At this time, I don't plan to go to a Lexus authorized dealer for service as I'm afraid I'll get heavy bills. Do you know someone reliable in Chicago area? How about Firestone/Pepboys or Midas? I have heard that these are complete ripoffs. Any suggestions?

Do you think purchasing an extended warranty is worthwhile? If yes, do you have any recommendations? Thanks in advance.

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Hi there luxurycars,

Well, now you are asking an entirely different question.

Your car is a '97 with 93,000 miles. Do you know the maintenance history of your car.....i.e., what has been done/fixed on it and when? If not then:

1. Go back to the dealer and nicely ask someone in the service department for a service history printout of your car. This will show all the work that has been done on your car at any Lexus dealer. It will not show work that has been done by non-Lexus shops.

2. Look over the report with them and see if the car has had it's 90,000 mile maintenance work. This milestone is a big ticket item as one of the things you change during this service is the engine's timing belt (and maybe the water pump also). Lexus typically charges $1500 - $2000 for the 90,000 mile service. A Toyota dealer maybe $900 - $1500 plus or minus.

If you are taking a long trip and the timing belt has not been changed, just be aware that if the belt breaks while you are driving, you will likely end up with some engine damage because the belt keeps the valves moving correctly with respect to the pistons and without the belt, the valves stop moving, the piston keeps moving and then your valves get hit/bent/broken by the piston. My "guess" would be that you are 99% OK to go on a long drive with your belt, but you need to be aware of this. The "90K" service is an important item on a LS400.

I wouldn't suggest those repair places you mention. I'm in Kansas City and a friend recently took a car with a mis-fire into Midas for an estimate. They quoted $1800 for head gasket replacement. I looked at it with him and all it needed was $12 in new spark plugs. Sons of (*&^%$$. Research for a good alternative.

Good luck!

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Agreed....I would see what service/warranty info you can find on your car before you take the car to a shop for some service/maintenance that way your not paying for something that's already been done.

:cheers:

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Hi patcom; kc92hatch; Lexusfreak; IansLexus; Blayd: Thanks very much for your replies. That is good to hear that its perfectly normal.

By the way, I'm planning on for a long drive to the east coast from Chicago next week. Because its a long trip, i guess it'll not hurt to have the vehicle (97 ls400) checked by a mechanic for preventive maintenance. At this time, I don't plan to go to a Lexus authorized dealer for service as I'm afraid I'll get heavy bills. Do you know someone reliable in Chicago area? How about Firestone/Pepboys or Midas? I have heard that these are complete ripoffs. Any suggestions?

Do you think purchasing an extended warranty is worthwhile? If yes, do you have any recommendations? Thanks in advance.

Congrats on the new car and welcome to the club. :cheers: As is mentioned above, at 93k you should find out if the 90k service was done. If not, then you'll need to do the TB or run the risk of major damage to the engine when she goes. Very important: change the WP, tensioners and pulley when doing the TB. Down the road if a pulley seizes, you'll be going back in there all over again to replace it. For an idea of what's invoived, look up the procedure at http://www.lexls.com/. I would do this before going on any trips!

Also get as much history as you can. The dealer might give you the name of the previous owner or get a carfax for some info.

I'll also agree with the rest, stay away from the shops you listed. If Lexus is too expensive, Toyota does the same quality work for a lot less. Good luck and enjoy your new ride.:cheers:

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Thanks very much. Because this is my first car with and with a lot of expectations for a long drive, I just post questions that are out of my reach. Hopefully in a couple of months, I should be contributing too. Thanks

Hi patcom; kc92hatch; Lexusfreak; IansLexus; Blayd: Thanks very much for your replies. That is good to hear that its perfectly normal.

By the way, I'm planning on for a long drive to the east coast from Chicago next week. Because its a long trip, i guess it'll not hurt to have the vehicle (97 ls400) checked by a mechanic for preventive maintenance. At this time, I don't plan to go to a Lexus authorized dealer for service as I'm afraid I'll get heavy bills. Do you know someone reliable in Chicago area? How about Firestone/Pepboys or Midas? I have heard that these are complete ripoffs. Any suggestions?

Do you think purchasing an extended warranty is worthwhile? If yes, do you have any recommendations? Thanks in advance.

Congrats on the new car and welcome to the club.:cheers: As is mentioned above, at 93k you should find out if the 90k service was done. If not, then you'll need to do the TB or run the risk of major damage to the engine when she goes. Very important: change the WP, tensioners and pulley when doing the TB. Down the road if a pulley seizes, you'll be going back in there all over again to replace it. For an idea of what's invoived, look up the procedure at http://www.lexls.com/. I would do this before going on any trips!

Also get as much history as you can. The dealer might give you the name of the previous owner or get a carfax for some info.

I'll also agree with the rest, stay away from the shops you listed. If Lexus is too expensive, Toyota does the same quality work for a lot less. Good luck and enjoy your new ride.:cheers:

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