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Lexus Ls400 93-95 In Winter


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I'm hoping to purchase a Lexus LS400 (either 93, 94 or 95), but i live in a state where winters get a good amount of snow (MA). I'm wondering what experiences anyone has had owning a Lexus living in the North East or North West with winter. Any bit of advice that could be given from personal experience?

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Being RWD, you will need to put snow tires on it to be safe. It is a night and day difference when you install good snow tires. I tried the first winter with all-season tires and made it through but it was difficult. Then I bought 4 new Michelin X-Ice tires and 4 spare rims because you do not want to be dismounting/mounting tires on one set of rims each season. That was a game-changer. The LS is very sure footed with snows.

In Mass, you will need snow tires, so factor that in. Don't look at it like so many of my friends do who buy a FWD car with all-seasons and think they are safe in the snow. You should have snow tires on ANY vehicle in the winter because you also steer and brake with all four tires.

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Being RWD, you will need to put snow tires on it to be safe. It is a night and day difference when you install good snow tires. I tried the first winter with all-season tires and made it through but it was difficult. Then I bought 4 new Michelin X-Ice tires and 4 spare rims because you do not want to be dismounting/mounting tires on one set of rims each season. That was a game-changer. The LS is very sure footed with snows.

In Mass, you will need snow tires, so factor that in. Don't look at it like so many of my friends do who buy a FWD car with all-seasons and think they are safe in the snow. You should have snow tires on ANY vehicle in the winter because you also steer and brake with all four tires.

Thank you very much. I didn't think anyone would help me out with this question. I appreciate it. You happen to have anymore advice as far as just owning one in general? I'm going to be looking mainly for 94 LS400 (maybe 93, since the differences are small), unless you think the 95 might be a better fit?

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You are very welcome, Mike. And BTW, welcome to the club!

Probably the best advice that I can give is to find a car that has been well maintained. Whether it is a 93, 94, 95 is not as important as how well the owner(s) cared for the car. Mileage is also not extremely important as long as, again, the car was well maintained. So, you should do a lot of research into service records, look at the general appearance of the car and try to decide which one had good care throughout its life. That does not always guarantee 100% problem free driving, it just stacks the deck very favorably in your direction.

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TL;DR version: Two words: Winter tires.

Last winter in the midwest (I'm in eastern Iowa) was pretty brutal, even by our standards. I was in some interesting winter driving situations last winter and got around just fine... Fresh dedicated winter tires on separate rims (I'm currently using Blizzaks, but will probably go with General Altimax Arctics the next time, as I rack up quite a few miles for work--which makes Blizzaks a one-or-maybe-two-season proposition for me) will keep your LS from becoming a "BMW" (barely moves in winter).

Make sure you have no 'check engine' lights on, as it'll disable the traction control system, which is a really helpful tool, and occasionally essential. As for driving with TCS in the LS, I've found that I'll have better results and control by taking advantage of the TCS, i.e., giving it enough gas to engage traction control, versus trying NOT to get wheelspin like one would normally do when driving on snow or ice. Later LSes with stability control would be even better, I would imagine.

Otherwise, good maintenance and paying attention to keeping the undersides clean will help prevent rust from forming. When cleaning, pay close attention to the rear fenderwells and under the trunk floor/against the rear bumper, as I discovered rust forming on my '93 this spring going from the fenderwell to the bottom of the trunk--the rear fenders lack the plastic liners that one has up front.

Paul

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Mike: I've had 4 snows on my 94 in Denver the past 11 years, no problems getting around town except the foot deep snowfalls. I always kept a set of chains in back - just in case. Actually used them one afternoon, fantastic self-help to get out of an off-camber rise.

This car is now surplus; I have a '14 IS-250 and a '13 RX250. It is gold with 181K, service records back to 2001 as a CPO unit. If you have any interest, send me a text to (303) 881-4401.

Cheers,

Mick

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