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StevieJD

Questionable Repair On My Ls400

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The following items were replaced because I was told that if I didn't replace these parts ASAP that my wheel would fall off and then I'd have further body damage as well. I had the left upper control arm along with the outer tie rod replaced. My rack and pinion was leaking so I replaced this as well and put 4 new tires on it also. They have to flush the power steering system to effect the warranty and of course I had an alignment done which includes balancing. After they put it all back together I received a call that the power steering had failed during a road test and wanted to know if I had problems with the steering in the past which my answer was an immediate NO! My car was driven again later that day but this time the steering was okay but they suggested a mechanic drive it home just to make sure to which I agreed. I picked the car up the next day and found the steering was hard to turn and my power steering pump was making a loud whining sound and they said they also "found" 2 bent rims which they put on the back to avoid the front end shimmying. Around 55 or 60 the steering wheel started vibrating something it's never done because the car handled great before I had all this work done. I was furious so I called the owner and brang the car back for reinspection and they said my screen in my power steering had been cut and was stuck in the power steering hose restricting the flow. As for the vibration they put the correct speed rating tires on it and said it rode alot better but it still is about the same but now the steering is okay and the pump is no longer noisy. I told the owner I thought the mechanic damaged my power steering and rims because the car rode great prior to all this work done but I was told they have a policy where if something is damaged they will fix it and the mechanic would not get into trouble which I accepted. I still have a vibration in the steering wheel in which I'm hoping will go away the more I drive it. I'd like to take the car somewhere else for a second opinion so if anyone can offer me any advice to see if I'm being lied to I'd appreciate it. This company has an excellent reputation and has been in business over 40 years. Oh by the way my bill was almost $3000.00

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:blink: $3,000???

You could have bought a new car!

Take it back to them, and demand they return the car back to you in the condition promised before the work was done.

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The following items were replaced because I was told that if I didn't replace these parts ASAP that my wheel would fall off and then I'd have further body damage as well. I had the left upper control arm along with the outer tie rod replaced. My rack and pinion was leaking so I replaced this as well and put 4 new tires on it also. They have to flush the power steering system to effect the warranty and of course I had an alignment done which includes balancing. After they put it all back together I received a call that the power steering had failed during a road test and wanted to know if I had problems with the steering in the past which my answer was an immediate NO! My car was driven again later that day but this time the steering was okay but they suggested a mechanic drive it home just to make sure to which I agreed. I picked the car up the next day and found the steering was hard to turn and my power steering pump was making a loud whining sound and they said they also "found" 2 bent rims which they put on the back to avoid the front end shimmying. Around 55 or 60 the steering wheel started vibrating something it's never done because the car handled great before I had all this work done. I was furious so I called the owner and brang the car back for reinspection and they said my screen in my power steering had been cut and was stuck in the power steering hose restricting the flow. As for the vibration they put the correct speed rating tires on it and said it rode alot better but it still is about the same but now the steering is okay and the pump is no longer noisy. I told the owner I thought the mechanic damaged my power steering and rims because the car rode great prior to all this work done but I was told they have a policy where if something is damaged they will fix it and the mechanic would not get into trouble which I accepted. I still have a vibration in the steering wheel in which I'm hoping will go away the more I drive it. I'd like to take the car somewhere else for a second opinion so if anyone can offer me any advice to see if I'm being lied to I'd appreciate it. This company has an excellent reputation and has been in business over 40 years. Oh by the way my bill was almost $3000.00

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I forgot to say they removed the screen from the power steering pump which I think took care of the steering problem. Does anyone know what could be causing the vibration in the steering wheel? The car has 252,000 miles on it. I think putting new wheels on it would take care of the problem but I don't know. Is it possible the new parts being connected to older parts could be causing something to not be right?? I know $3000.00 was alot to pay but I love the car and it looks almost like it did when it was brand new. If you know where I can buy a new car for $3000.00 please tell me and I'll be right there...

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The screen is there for a reason...

Should have taken it to a better shop. That knows what they're doing..

The tech probably hot rodded it when you let him take it home! Bent the rims. ACK!!!!! :censored:

Sound like you got hosed.

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The screen is there for a reason...

Should have taken it to a better shop. That knows what they're doing..

The tech probably hot rodded it when you let him take it home! Bent the rims. ACK!!!!! :censored:

Sound like you got hosed.

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I don't think I'll be taking it back they also gave me another set of tires which cost over $100.00 more than the other set and didn't charge me like they had a guilty conscience. As for the screen yes it needs to be there they said sometimes people cut them to improve the flow which doesn't sound right to me. I think they did something to it but are just not going to admit to any wrong doing.

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What year is your LS400? It makes a difference.. First off.... put this in your favorites folder on your computer - www.parts.com. Buy your parts online, and then take them to a mechanic. Great way to save a bundle. The markup on parts for Lexus is horrible.

First: Power Steering - First guess...air in the system is causing the hard steering. Additionally, I doubt your mechanic knows about the power steering solenoid in the rack. I doubt you've got a new one in there with your "new" rack, you've probably got a redo unit. The solenoid has a tiny screen in it that gets clogged up over the years, which restricts it's ability to make adjustments to the amount of assist from the pump. The slower you go, the more assist you should be getting. The faster you go, the less assistance. If you don't have very easy steering going on, then my guess is either air in the system, and/or a clogged solenoid screen. Do a search on here for "solenoid" or the like, to find a couple of threads about it with pictures and instructions on how to clean it.

Second: Suspension parts - coming from a guy who litterly replaced every single suspension component on his former 95' LS400, this is my strength here. If your upper control arms were that bad to risk the wheel coming off, then you would not have needed a mechanic to tell you, you would have known yourself right away. The rubber bushings would have been completely gone, allowing the connector bolt to bang around within the loop. The car would have been pretty much undriveable and you would have known it. Maybe the upper ball joint was worn out, which on a Lexus, you have to buy the entire arm to replace. But, again, you would have heard popping noises and a wandering around on the road. But, at those miles, the ball joint wearing out isn't outside of the norm. However, if the upper was that bad, then my guess is that your lower was probably already replaced, because the lower suspension components go bad first, with the lower front strut rod being the first, and the rear carrier arm bushing being the first for the rear area. These two parts are the ones that take the most punishment, because they run parrell to the car. Stomp on the gas / slam on the brakes - the front strut rod and rear carrier bushing takes the force moreso then any other. My current GS430 has worn rear carrier bushings, and it only has 61k miles on it. 300hp is too much for the little rubber bushing over time.

You also hit nail on head with the comment about new parts connected to old parts. The new parts will show you just how worn out the old parts are. The suspension components work as a team. They also wear out as a team. When one part wears out more, the connector part usually masks it enough to blend in. But, a new part with 100% of it's life left introduced to a team with about 30% of it's life left....you're going to see some of the flaws. This is the reason why I replaced ALL of my parts at once and moved on.

You need to know that parts.com site. For the money you just spent trying to figure out two problems, you could have replaced the entire suspension system on the car, installed! Probably $1,600 for all the parts, and $1,000 for the labor, including new engine mounts and transmission mounts (huge difference in the car's performance, probably #1 improvement you can do to a used Lexus). If you really love the car, and don't want to start chasing these little bugs around for the next few years, then I'd suggest thinking about doing this. This is the fence I'm currently standing on myself with my GS. Do I love the car enough to invest the money into it.

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What year is your LS400? It makes a difference.. First off.... put this in your favorites folder on your computer - www.parts.com. Buy your parts online, and then take them to a mechanic. Great way to save a bundle. The markup on parts for Lexus is horrible.

First: Power Steering - First guess...air in the system is causing the hard steering. Additionally, I doubt your mechanic knows about the power steering solenoid in the rack. I doubt you've got a new one in there with your "new" rack, you've probably got a redo unit. The solenoid has a tiny screen in it that gets clogged up over the years, which restricts it's ability to make adjustments to the amount of assist from the pump. The slower you go, the more assist you should be getting. The faster you go, the less assistance. If you don't have very easy steering going on, then my guess is either air in the system, and/or a clogged solenoid screen. Do a search on here for "solenoid" or the like, to find a couple of threads about it with pictures and instructions on how to clean it.

Second: Suspension parts - coming from a guy who litterly replaced every single suspension component on his former 95' LS400, this is my strength here. If your upper control arms were that bad to risk the wheel coming off, then you would not have needed a mechanic to tell you, you would have known yourself right away. The rubber bushings would have been completely gone, allowing the connector bolt to bang around within the loop. The car would have been pretty much undriveable and you would have known it. Maybe the upper ball joint was worn out, which on a Lexus, you have to buy the entire arm to replace. But, again, you would have heard popping noises and a wandering around on the road. But, at those miles, the ball joint wearing out isn't outside of the norm. However, if the upper was that bad, then my guess is that your lower was probably already replaced, because the lower suspension components go bad first, with the lower front strut rod being the first, and the rear carrier arm bushing being the first for the rear area. These two parts are the ones that take the most punishment, because they run parrell to the car. Stomp on the gas / slam on the brakes - the front strut rod and rear carrier bushing takes the force moreso then any other. My current GS430 has worn rear carrier bushings, and it only has 61k miles on it. 300hp is too much for the little rubber bushing over time.

You also hit nail on head with the comment about new parts connected to old parts. The new parts will show you just how worn out the old parts are. The suspension components work as a team. They also wear out as a team. When one part wears out more, the connector part usually masks it enough to blend in. But, a new part with 100% of it's life left introduced to a team with about 30% of it's life left....you're going to see some of the flaws. This is the reason why I replaced ALL of my parts at once and moved on.

You need to know that parts.com site. For the money you just spent trying to figure out two problems, you could have replaced the entire suspension system on the car, installed! Probably $1,600 for all the parts, and $1,000 for the labor, including new engine mounts and transmission mounts (huge difference in the car's performance, probably #1 improvement you can do to a used Lexus). If you really love the car, and don't want to start chasing these little bugs around for the next few years, then I'd suggest thinking about doing this. This is the fence I'm currently standing on myself with my GS. Do I love the car enough to invest the money into it.

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It is a 92 and I've had it a little over three years. It was a one owner when I bought it and I've taken really good care of it. I rarely take it over 60 except the time when I had a flashback of my teenage years and got it up to 130. As far as the steering goes it's pretty much like it was before it's not as hard to turn anymore so I'll keep an eye on it but right now it's okay. They did admit it might have had air in the system which caused the steering to fail and after talking to another mechanic he said the air probably has been purged out and that's why it never has failed anymore since then. Keep in mind I don't have a screen in the power steering pump which worries me. I don't know if I can buy just the screen and put it in myself or not.

What you said about the suspension was very helpful. The car handled great going around curves the whole bit. Never heard noises or anything except a pop once in a while when going slow which kind of sounded like a worn shock but I'm not sure. I'll remember the parts.com site and suggested something similar to this but then they said any part I bring isn't covered by the 12 month 12,000 mile warranty. Goes for labor to I think. As for the vibration in the wheel it's not bad kind of like a mini vibrator inside the wheel like maybe on low or medium. Sometimes it doesn't do it. I did some research and found where it talked about the rotors might be out of balance. This caught my attention because the right caliper failed which worn down my rotor which I had turned instead of replaced. I put both sets of calipers, brake pads and rotors on myself so I'm wondering if the rotor is out of balance. Another suggestion was move the wheel two lugs over to a different posistion on the rotor which sometimes helps with vibration issues. You've been a big help thank you so much for the info!

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When you did the rotors, do you recall two little screws in the hub of the rotor? I can't recall if the 92's had these little screws in them or not. If they did, and if you forgot to put them back in, then yeah, my money is on the rotor being out of balance. This was a nightmare of mine on my 95', until I finally figured it out. Those two little screws insure that the rotor is properly centered. The only car I've ever seen to have them...and apparently need them! That's the thing that drove me nuts about my LS. It's soooo smooth, that you can tell when one tiny little thing isn't right, and it drove me insane! The clunk noise you hear when going slow.... hear it when, say, going over a speed bump or pot hole? That is a classic symptom of that strut rod going out. Look under the front corner of the car, you'll see the strut rod bushing, it is the one that is the furthest one towards the front of the car. Classic symptom.. That, and the rear carrier on the back, are probably the two new components you can introduce to the system without throwing off the aging balance of the car.

If you do a search under my name, you'll find years of posts that are directed towards "what the hell is that vibration?" I even had the friggin' driveshaft replaced. After I had it all back to new, in 2007...what did I do? I sold it, for a loss. Simply because I had come to the point where I could no longer drive it, without that little monitor in my mind waiting for something to pop up. That, and my wife's new car at the time, a little Mazda 3GT was too much fun, and she hated driving the LS and wouldn't trade me here and there. Hence, the 4runner in my signature, which replaced the LS, which she wanted, so I could rack up speeding tickets in the Mazda. Which became the GS I have now, after 2 weeks of driving a go cart on the worst roads in the country here in chitcago. Damn near neutered myself in that Mazda up here.

I need a drink.

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When you did the rotors, do you recall two little screws in the hub of the rotor? I can't recall if the 92's had these little screws in them or not. If they did, and if you forgot to put them back in, then yeah, my money is on the rotor being out of balance. This was a nightmare of mine on my 95', until I finally figured it out. Those two little screws insure that the rotor is properly centered. The only car I've ever seen to have them...and apparently need them! That's the thing that drove me nuts about my LS. It's soooo smooth, that you can tell when one tiny little thing isn't right, and it drove me insane! The clunk noise you hear when going slow.... hear it when, say, going over a speed bump or pot hole? That is a classic symptom of that strut rod going out. Look under the front corner of the car, you'll see the strut rod bushing, it is the one that is the furthest one towards the front of the car. Classic symptom.. That, and the rear carrier on the back, are probably the two new components you can introduce to the system without throwing off the aging balance of the car.

If you do a search under my name, you'll find years of posts that are directed towards "what the hell is that vibration?" I even had the friggin' driveshaft replaced. After I had it all back to new, in 2007...what did I do? I sold it, for a loss. Simply because I had come to the point where I could no longer drive it, without that little monitor in my mind waiting for something to pop up. That, and my wife's new car at the time, a little Mazda 3GT was too much fun, and she hated driving the LS and wouldn't trade me here and there. Hence, the 4runner in my signature, which replaced the LS, which she wanted, so I could rack up speeding tickets in the Mazda. Which became the GS I have now, after 2 weeks of driving a go cart on the worst roads in the country here in chitcago. Damn near neutered myself in that Mazda up here.

I need a drink.

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I don't think there were any screws on the rotors I think I'd remember something like that. This is something I'll check though. I was at the point where I got tired of messing with cars and laying on my back but I think I'm coming out of retirement. My car had an awesome ride like floating on air before and now it's not bad but I'm very picky since it was so good before I want it to be the same. Some people would probably think there wasn't anything wrong with it if they drove it. I'm going to put some new rims on though this is something I wanted to do before all this other stuff happened. I seen an LS just like mine with the chrome rims and the gold L in the center cap that looked awesome. My car is taupe so I think it would look really nice with the color. My rims are aluminum but not the kind you can polish. I have 16 inch wheels 9 spoke so I think they are for a 93 but not sure because I can't find a 16 inch wheel for a 92 on the net. I guess they all interchange maybe? I hope you enjoy your drink! Been to Chicago alot used to be an over the road trucker but now been a local driver for over 3 years and finally got my sanity back. Have a good one.

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