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Bought New Ls400, Have Some Questions.


BIGBOI3
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Hey All,

I bought my first Lexus :cheers: (1999 LS 400, black with tan leather, 153k miles from original owner). My lead foot appreciates the V8, my wallet sometimes doesn't.

A few things I have noticed or have questions on. Your help will be appreciated and please pardon my ignorance.

1. The rev counter sometimes does not work, but when I smack the dash above the instruments its starts working no problem. Is this due to loose wires or something else?

2. The car has dual climate control, the driver side blows hot when on MAX heat, but the passengers side front/back blows room temp or slightly warm. I have replaced cabin air filter but I have a feeling that an actuator may not be working properly.

3. When the steering wheel retracts after I pull out the key, it vibrates and makes a noise. Are the gears going out on it?

4. Is there any way to put a roof rack on it, besides drilling into the roof and permanently mounting the feet? My other option is a Thule trunk rack (Raceway). Anyone have any experience with either of these?

5. What are the best tires for this car, Michelin, Bridgestone, etc?

6. Where can I buy misc. used parts, like shift knob, black interior carpets, etc. for my Lexus? Is there a for sale section on the forums, because ebay, etc are kinda pricey, specially for just a shift knob.

Thanks guys,

I will upload pics of car soon!

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1. Tach and speedometer needles sticking seems to eventually happen on all 98-00 LS400s. I happened to get a quote from the Lexus dealer only two days ago for sending the instrument cluster out for repair - slightly over $1,000.

2) It could be that a vacuum controlled flap is not opening or closing or even the controller itself. You will likely need the diagnostic procedure if you want to tackle this yourself.

3) The tilt and telescope motors on the 98-00 LS400 are sealed units. There is no easily replaceable plastic gear to replace or reverse like there was on the earlier LS400. Fixing this may require the replacement of one of the motors. Revised tilt and telescope motors were implemented at the factory during the 2000 model year and were made available to current owners at no cost if their basic warranties were still in effect.

4) Yes, it is possible to install a roof rack but doing so can damage the door seals. I once put my Yakama roof rack on my 2000 LS400 to see if it would fit and it did but the tops of the door window frames scraped the clamps as the doors closed. I've never found roof rack clamps made specifically for an LS400.

I have a trailer hitch on my LS from www.etrailer.com and carry our bikes on a rack that I plug into the hitch.

5) The most popular tire for the LS400 and LS430 seems to be the Michelin MXV4 all season which is what I use, except in winter, on mine. Consulting the user ratings on the Tire Rack website will give you more reliable information than a car forum. Personally I wouldn't dream of driving my LS in snow without winter tires. I have Bridgestone Blizzak winter tires on my car now.

6) eBay is an excellent place to buy used parts -- there is usually not much in the buy and sell areas of car forums. Sewell Lexus in Texas provides discounts to forum members. I've bought parts from Sewell several times and have been very pleased with their prices and service.

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