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marlitharn57

New Lexus Ls400 Owner `1997'

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:) Hi! Bought my first ever Lexus, and I love this car. I had to replace a brake light, that was an adventure. Lexus sure puts things away, don't they?

Anyway, I have to replace a headlight bulb. I've bought the replacement bulb per my owner's manual, and have read up on this forum, and elsewhere how to replace the bulb, but I have a couple of questions.

The instructions say to remove the battery (and I do see that's the only way to get to the bulb). I've never removed a car battery before, what does that do my electronics, like radio presets, etc. Is it easy to do? Is the battery heavy? I'm a small lady (just under 5 ft) with strength to match, and don't want to start a project I won't be able to finish. The brake light was challenging enough!

I appreciate any help or links ! Thanks

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I also have a '97 LS400. I think it is a good idea to disconnect the battery every now and then to reset the computer. But, to replace the driver's side headlamp bulb, it is not necessary. If I recall correctly, there is a black plastic cover that just snaps off, then some kind of metal clamp needs to be opened to release the bulb. (I forgot, you might have a black plastic cover that covers the gap between the battery and the front, it is not bolted down). For the passenger side, you would have to remove the long air gatherer thingy (1-10mm bolt), and remove half the air filter container (1-10mm bolt, and undo clamp) to get easy access. Good luck.

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I also have a '97 LS400. I think it is a good idea to disconnect the battery every now and then to reset the computer. But, to replace the driver's side headlamp bulb, it is not necessary. If I recall correctly, there is a black plastic cover that just snaps off, then some kind of metal clamp needs to be opened to release the bulb. (I forgot, you might have a black plastic cover that covers the gap between the battery and the front, it is not bolted down). For the passenger side, you would have to remove the long air gatherer thingy (1-10mm bolt), and remove half the air filter container (1-10mm bolt, and undo clamp) to get easy access. Good luck.

That is awesome news, I am going to work on it tomorrow, thanks!

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:) Hi! Bought my first ever Lexus, and I love this car. I had to replace a brake light, that was an adventure. Lexus sure puts things away, don't they?

Anyway, I have to replace a headlight bulb. I've bought the replacement bulb per my owner's manual, and have read up on this forum, and elsewhere how to replace the bulb, but I have a couple of questions.

The instructions say to remove the battery (and I do see that's the only way to get to the bulb). I've never removed a car battery before, what does that do my electronics, like radio presets, etc. Is it easy to do? Is the battery heavy? I'm a small lady (just under 5 ft) with strength to match, and don't want to start a project I won't be able to finish. The brake light was challenging enough!

I appreciate any help or links ! Thanks

I have done this to my car ... it looks far worse than it really is to do ... they made the job to be simple. The advantage in taking the battery out is that you will have more room to work in .... plus .... you can take the opportunity to clean the battery, the battery terminals, and the battery cables inside and out .... and so on .... it would be nice to do this now for peace of mind. When you reconnect everything, the car will re-set itself. You will hear strange sounds under the dash as the air conditioning system of vents and little inner doors adjust and reset ... it sounds kind of odd ... but it will be OK ...

When putting the battery back in, it is not necessary to over-tighten things .....

It has been a year since I did my head lamp so I do not remember it perfectly ... but I do remember I got the old bulb out and the new one back in in about 5 minutes ..... (same side of the car where the battery is) .... just go slow and careful .... and it should be ok ...

so you just got the car? Ummmm .... you might want to look into cleaning the little Power Steering Solenoid filter located on the Steering Rack. There is a lot written about that subject here at this forum .... it is not complex or major surgery .... but it should be looked at and cleaned if it has not been serviced in a long time (as well as doing a power steering system flush)..... food for thought.

keep your fluids / filters clean and your car will reward you with much enjoyable service ....

welcome !

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The recommended procedure for replacing the headlight bulbs in all model years of the LS400 does not involve removing the battery or any duct work.

The recommended procedure is to remove the headlight units -- easier than it looks and certainly better than for "a small lady (just under 5 ft)" to unnecessarily disconnect and hoist out a heavy car battery filled with an acid solution.

Attached are instructions from the owners manual for a European 1994 LS400 but the procedure is essentially the same for your 1997 LS400 as it is for my 2000 LS400.

Owners manuals for earlier US specification LS400's included detailed instructions for replacing almost every light bulb on the car. I don't know why the instructions were deleted from later model year owners manuals -- maybe it was to "increase dealer profits" or maybe it was because replacing bulbs was seen to be beyond the skills of the average owner.

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The recommended procedure for replacing the headlight bulbs in all model years of the LS400 does not involve removing the battery or any duct work.

The recommended procedure is to remove the headlight units -- easier than it looks and certainly better than for "a small lady (just under 5 ft)" to unnecessary disconnect and hoist out a heavy car battery filled with an acid solution.

Attached are instructions from the owners manual for a European 1994 LS400 but the procedure is essentially the same for your 1997 LS400 as it is for my 2000 LS400.

Owners manuals for earlier US specification LS400's included detailed instructions for replacing almost every light bulb on the car. I don't know why the instructions were deleted from later model year owners manuals -- maybe it was to "increase dealer profits" or maybe it was because replacing bulbs was seen to be beyond the skills of the average owner.

Thanks so much for the diagram, I am going to work on the light today, really appreciate it!

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just as a follow-up ... I changed both head light bulbs in my 95 LS .... I did the passenger side first and took the whole entire headlight assembly out of the car. I think I spent about 1 1/2 hours to do it ..... I went slow and figured out how it all worked ..... I felt kinda stupid when I suddenly realized that they made it to be fairly easy to accomplish, so I was glad I did not pay the dealer about $60 to do it ... (or whatever they would charge ) As I recall, I do not think you really need to take the entire assembly out like I did .... when I did the driver side, I just took the bulb out from the back of the headlight assembly and had the new bulb back in very quickly ....

it is true ... you do not need to remove the battery ... not really .... once you know what to do. I was even thinking about doing a YouTube video of it so that others could see the process .... never got around to it, though ...

anyways .... to try to write and explain how to change out the bulb is kind of hard .... I think it is one of those things that you need to see to understand more easily ....

now that I think about it .... one trick I remember is that there is the electrical plug that goes to the head lamp bulb .... well ... I remember it seemed kind of fragile ... and that the trick was to just gently wiggle it until it comes loose ... and then it just pulls off. I think I remember putting a very small amount of dielectric grease on the electrical contacts before putting the plug back on so as to stop any possible corrosion and so that the plug will come off more easily some day in the future if the bulb ever needs to be changed again ...

another detail I remember is that there is a stainless steel clip and it has a philips screw holding it in place. The little stainless steel clip is holding the actual light bulb in place by putting slight tension on it. It is not necessary to unscrew the stainless clip and remove it. Instead, it just flips up if you play with it a little. It just provides tension on the bulb so as to hold the bulb in place ..... of course I had to mess with it and I unscrewed it ... very bad idea ... I was really lucky to locate the parts again after they hit the ground .... that was on the passenger side ... I did not make that mistake on the driver side.

maybe this will help a little ....

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just as a follow-up ... I changed both head light bulbs in my 95 LS .... I did the passenger side first and took the whole entire headlight assembly out of the car. I think I spent about 1 1/2 hours to do it ..... I went slow and figured out how it all worked ..... I felt kinda stupid when I suddenly realized that they made it to be fairly easy to accomplish, so I was glad I did not pay the dealer about $60 to do it ... (or whatever they would charge ) As I recall, I do not think you really need to take the entire assembly out like I did .... when I did the driver side, I just took the bulb out from the back of the headlight assembly and had the new bulb back in very quickly ....

it is true ... you do not need to remove the battery ... not really .... once you know what to do. I was even thinking about doing a YouTube video of it so that others could see the process .... never got around to it, though ...

anyways .... to try to write and explain how to change out the bulb is kind of hard .... I think it is one of those things that you need to see to understand more easily ....

now that I think about it .... one trick I remember is that there is the electrical plug that goes to the head lamp bulb .... well ... I remember it seemed kind of fragile ... and that the trick was to just gently wiggle it until it comes loose ... and then it just pulls off. I think I remember putting a very small amount of dielectric grease on the electrical contacts before putting the plug back on so as to stop any possible corrosion and so that the plug will come off more easily some day in the future if the bulb ever needs to be changed again ...

another detail I remember is that there is a stainless steel clip and it has a philips screw holding it in place. The little stainless steel clip is holding the actual light bulb in place by putting slight tension on it. It is not necessary to unscrew the stainless clip and remove it. Instead, it just flips up if you play with it a little. It just provides tension on the bulb so as to hold the bulb in place ..... of course I had to mess with it and I unscrewed it ... very bad idea ... I was really lucky to locate the parts again after they hit the ground .... that was on the passenger side ... I did not make that mistake on the driver side.

maybe this will help a little ....

These tips have really helped. Its been raining here, so I had to put off the repair, and today is the Superbowl, so I will be able to work on it on Tuesday (my next day off). Thanks so much, this forum is just what I needed!

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:D

I would like to thank everyone who helped, I finally fixed the bulb, and it works great!

:( one small downer, I tore the rubber cover a little. Are there any real issues with that?

Thanks again!

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I wouldn't worry too much. As long as most of it is still intact, you should be fine.

Those headlight bulbs took me about 30 minutes to figure out. Not very helpful when the owners manual just tells you to see your dealer...

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I wouldn't worry too much. As long as most of it is still intact, you should be fine.

Those headlight bulbs took me about 30 minutes to figure out. Not very helpful when the owners manual just tells you to see your dealer...

thanks!

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I wasn't a snap to do, but thanks to this post, I got it done. New headlights for my LS. Thanks.

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