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chadmg7

Spring Cleaning

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I will be cleaning my car very thoroughly in a few weeks, and I am wondering what you all recommend for this.

1) I bought both the Lexus Genuine Leather Conditioner and Lexus Genuine Leather Cleaner from the dealer. First, are these a good deal, or do you think I can find the same for cheaper somewhere else? Is there a special way to apply this to the leather seats?

2) I would like to clean the carpet with a SteamVac. Do you recommend this? I used it on the carpet last fall and it seemed to work well. It got all the marks out of the carpet. It is okay to use these as long as the carpet is not soaked, right?

3) What do you suggest I clean the headliner with? It is a little dirty.

4) Also, a side note. Sometimes, the bass on certain songs makes the rear headliner vibrate or something. I have the standard system in my car and I don't listen to it very loud. Do you know this problem? It seems like the rear headliner is not attached to the ceiling.

5) One last side note. The steering has always pulled a little bit to the right. The wheel is not completely level and when I straighten it completely, it steers to the left. When it is a tiny bit tilted to the right, it steers normally. My local mechanic said it is very hard to get the steering wheel perfect. Is this true? And should I get that fixed?

6) If you have any other care suggestions (or things that you do) please let me know. I really appreciate it. Things like whether I should use the ArmorAll wipes or something else on the dash.

Thanks. :cheers:

chadmg7

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I'm going to reply to this here, as it also involves a tech question but you should check out our detailing forum and e-store, LOTS of good information and great products in there.

1. The Lexus leather products are simply rebadged Zymol products that can be purchased at Target, Wal Mart, Advance Auto Parts etc. They're good products, not great. I actually reccomend making a simple solution of Woolite detergent and water dilluted 5:1 and use that to clean the seats. The seats are coated so you can't really condition them, and the Wollite solution will clean them and leave them nice and soft.

2. Sure go right ahead!

3. I suggest you don't use anything to clean the headliner. The headliner is really just a felt with padding underneath glued to the roof. If the headliner gets wet then it can fall down VERY easily. Once it starts to fall down then it spreads like a cancer and becomes a real problem.

4. There is a TSB out on all 97-04 ES' that involves the type of bumper hook used to nestle the windshield and the rear glass to the car, this rattles. The dealership will simply remove these clips and the noise should go away.

5. The mechanic is more or less right, it is difficult to make the steering wheel straight if you're not willing to spend 15 minutes on it. There's a TSB on this out as well. The alignment is fine they simply have to loosen and reposition the wheel. You could even do this yourself.

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Thanks SW03ES! How do TSBs work? Where do I have to bring my car... the Lexus dealer, a Toyota dealer, a local mechanic? And, do they usually pay for the repair? I guess I just don't understand how they work. Thanks!

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A Technical Service Bulletin or TSB is basically Lexus telling the dealer how to solve the problem. They're not always free, and if they're paid for they're usually only paid for during the warranty period.

Any shop can perform the TSB as the TSB includes full visual instructions.

Check out www.alldata.com, for $24 you can have access to all of the TSBs and recalls for your vehicle. You can then print them out and give them to whomever you want to do the work.

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5. The mechanic is more or less right, it is difficult to make the steering wheel straight if you're not willing to spend 15 minutes on it. There's a TSB on this out as well. The alignment is fine they simply have to loosen and reposition the wheel. You could even do this yourself.

Sorry Steve,

You're wrong in this instance. Centering the steering wheel is done by adjusting the tie rod ends. They turn one out and the other in. This will not affect the wheel alignment! By doing what you suggested would throw off the operation of the turning signal.

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I'm sure same goes for a 93 model...? I noticed (in the short amt. of time that I had my car back and it was actually functional before I had to take it back to the transmission shop) that my wheel is no longer on center, but the steering didn't seem to be affected much...Also, I noticed when I go over a big bump, I can feel a slight jerking in the wheel, as if there's some component loose such as maybe a strut? I could also hear the movement. Think it's just that, a strut tower bushing perhaps?

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Alan-

According to the TSB from Lexus the wheel alignment is done by adjusting the wheel ;)

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Steve:

On two occasions I brought my '94 Lexus ES to my dealer due to poor centering on the steering wheel. This correction was done underneath the car by adjusting the tie rod ends and NOT repositioning the steering wheel itself. You can ask about this at any sevice station that does wheel alignments. If you know of the other procedure that is mentioned in this TSB I would appreciate a response.

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Alan-

I just re-read the TSB and you're 100% right, the adjustment is made at the tie rod ends. I was skimming over it last night and I must have misread it.

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So, it is still a somewhat difficult procedure to completely straighten the wheel, right? I mean, I know there is a recall on the steering wheel for my model year (something about a nut coming loose or something). I keep meaning to bring it in to see if it's been done, but could this have something to do with the alignment?

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It might, I don't know without seeing the full recall.

Its still not difficult, just takes 15 minutes of direct concentration which not everyone is willing to give.

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The recall was only to check the tightness of the nut that holds the steering wheel to the shaft and has absolutely nothing to do with the alignment. There is a spline that prevents the steering wheel from shifting. The incorrect way of trying to centralize the steering was to take off this nut, then lift off the wheel and shift it 1 or 2 splines to the right or left. As I said before, this will affect the correct operation of the turning signal cam.

Centering the steering wheel is a simple job for anybody that is experienced with doing wheel alignments. ;)

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