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Instrument Lighting ? + Fog Lights

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Help a rookie. Are the rear view mirror controls, overhead courtesy sunroof controls, trunk/gas release switches backlit at night? Or better yet what controls should be backlit outside of the central radio and climate control area and gauge panel?

The rear personal overhead lights - one (upper - larger) appears to be rear door operated and the other (lower - smaller) by push button. Should the larger (non push button) light when the main switch is turned 'on' near the sunroof controls? It is somewhat difficult to 'see' in the backseat with just the main front lamp only - it would be nice to have both the front and rear lights 'on' when this switch is controlled. Guess this is factory settings - but has anyone changed this or is it changeable?

Brake light replacement - 2 rear brake lights are not lighting in the right rear panel - how are these bulbs accessed best? There appears to be no access panel like in the deck lid mid sections - I want to be careful not to break the surround pins that hold the carpeted side panels - what is the preferred method of replacement?

Fog lights - The front fog lights appear to have different levels of 'yellow' intensity - can this be 'cleaned' for consistency or has 1 been replaced and that is why they are different. Any chance anyone has installed rear fog lights in the rear panel or if this was ever an overseas option? Just curious - didn't see this discussed anywhere.

Front license plate - I have 2 unsightly holes in the front bumper as KY doesn't require front / rear plates - where is best to get the half size 'Lexus' plates I seen on some of the cars on the forum?

Cruise Control - had it set at 55MPH over the weekend and it annoyingly 'surges' like someone stepping on and off the gas - more noticeably when going down a slight incline for approx 1 mile, but seemed to continue it as the road leveled out - it is due the 60k service but is there something else that should be checked out?

Lexus Phone - car had factory phone and steering wheel controls - anyone been able to use the steering wheel controls for newer phones (ie Nokia) or for any other type remote controls that may be of interest - (garage door opener)?

Got a few paint chips, surface scratches, rub marks, and the like to clean her up - the forum is very helpful for these recommendations here - int & ext.


Shawn (TEKMAP)

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on holes in front:

Screw a lic.plate screw in them; then use chrome/gold round screw covers avail at advanceauto,etc--or then paint the covers the lower panel color to blend in.

Note that the 'Lexus' in the photo is just plastic script stuck on with molding adhes.

Should be able to get the small plate from the dealer[if you want to go that way]--that was where the plastic script above came from[was mounted on a chrome plate(that got bent)]. If you go with the plate, you might want the screw covers anyway. Note that these are good also for the rear tag even if you have a surround.

See attach. for example


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I'll try to address some of your questions.

None of the switches you mentioned were backlit on my 90 LS although the outside mirror controls are lit on my 2000.

Regarding replacing the rear lights, I think the sill moulding has to be removed before the carpeted panel below the trunk opening and covering the tail lights can be removed - use a screw driver or a trim removal tool. I did it about six months ago when I replaced all the bulbs in the 90 and it was easy. Once the trim is removed you will be able to see the nuts you have to remove in order to remove the rear light assemblies.

The front fog light differences could be because of a different bulb wattage, weak bulb, bad connection, or age. A popular modification is to remove the foglights and break out the yellow internal lens. I think you will find out how if you search this forum.

A Rear foglight (a fog light bulb is normally allowed only on the drivers side) was standard on European and U.K. spec models. The foglight sockets were in the same place as the tail/brake light on each side of the trunk lid on U.S. models - except the light assemblies were smaller to allow for the wider U.K./European license plates. The switch for the rear foglight was in same interior panel as the outside mirror control, wireless remote switch and the headlight beam level control switch. Trying to wire all this up in a U.S. model would probably be difficult and I doubt if an interior panel would be available that did not contain a place for the headlight beam level control switch.

Many people have asked but I have not heard of success at using the steering wheel phone control with a non-Lexus phone or to play the call over the front door speakers using the existing telephone wiring. You might PM "Dogboy" - he was developing an interface. Heck, I was thrilled just to get our Nokia car kits to mute the radios in our 00 LS and 98 Camry when a call comes in. I think I know where all the phone related connectors are in my 00 LS and I'd bet I could trace the path from the pins on the steering wheel phone control to the pins on the other connectors using a test light and a continuity tester. But since I don't have a steering wheel phone control I have nothing to gain.

Just tonight I made arrangements to have a few exterior scratches and chips airbrushed at my favorite Lexus repair shop. It will probably cost about $200.

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Interior lighting.

For the two bulbs over the shoulder of the rear passengers I connected a diode (1N400x series), one for each side, from the bulb that comes on with the door switch to the pushbutton bulb, both bulbs come on with the door open, more lighting for rear passengers.

In the front I masked the front half of the lens off, leaving only the 1/2 projection square, with silver paint on the inside so the map light bulbs do not provide glare, only a reasonably tightly focussed beam. Then I used two PNP darlington transistors, one for each map bulb, to energize the map bulbs when the dome light comes on.

I used yet another darlington transistor and two diodes connected to the rear over-shoulder lights so they come on in synchronous fashion with the front door(s).

Once both front doors are closed all lamps fade to dark.

You can also improve the bulb output, door mounted courtesy lights included, by purchasing high mounted brake light bulbs for the 911/996 series from Porsche.

I also added a relay in the fog lamp circuit so they can be used alone without back glare from the low beams.

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Oh, the front corner lights were forever failing and needing to be replaced until I installed LED Bulbs from SUPER BRIGHT LEDS.

I haven't yet found anything that can be done about the very poor LB light coverage. Tried adjusting them upwards but then the HBs are in the trees.

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I posted a PDF file detailing how to replace the bulbs in the body portion of the trunk. Email me with you email address if you would like me to send it directly. There is also another post on replacing the bulbs inside the trunk.

Everytrhing comes off quite easily. You have to carefully pry out the caps to remove the carpet trim, but it is designed to easily do so. Quite an easy job. As 1990LS400 said, it is a good idea to change them all while you are in there

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We work on Volvos here, but are starting to take in Lexus. I have a new customer who wonders if there's a relatively inexpensive way to repair/replace the top LCD panel on her center console ('91 LS400).? --appreciate any info on dealership alternatives here...

--Also, she says her h :( eadlights no longer turn off when she opens the door. I guess we'll track that one down when she comes in.

Paul Smith

/cary, NC

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