jainla

Regular Member
  • Content Count

    500
  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won

    1

Everything posted by jainla

  1. Try routing the cable and putting it in the other way so the tape goes in on the opposite side to the one you are trying. Alternatively hit reverse when you put the unit it to switch the tape side. These adaptors only work in one direction, and the auto-reverse tape decks, instead of playing them on the other side will assume the tape is broken and switch back to radio. Also make sure the cable is not blocking the tape case from fully going into the unit. Good luck!
  2. Always an option on the LS400. The cars were sold with escalating options packages, with the Air Suspension being at the top of the heap (i.e. you had to buy every other package before you got the Air Ride). Apparently post '98 cars with Air Suspension are rather rare. Starting in '01 the AVS was part of a the Ultra Luxury Selection Package (which is basically the same as requiring every other option package but cost alot more). Although you can't find it on the Lexus site the package is still available for '06 (and beyond presumably). I think it's also available on the later model GX and RX SUVs. As far as I can tell no other toyota or Lexus sedans sold in the US offer it as an option.
  3. These telescoping masts (the metal antenna part) are finicky, they may not look bent but they are. The mast probably bent, and the plastic cord that winds around the motor might have broken; or the motor stripped it. Have someone try to gently push the mast down right after you turn off the radio (or turn off the car). It might catch and retract the antenna...this means the mast is bent and/or the plastic cord is fried. You might be able to replace just the mast (you'll have to take apart the antenna assembly), do a search on some parts sites and see if someone will sell you just the mast. Otherwise you'll be replacing the whole assembly. This is more expensive (and probably what the dealer will recommend). If the motor is burnt out then this is your best shot. At this point I'm sure there are some aftermarket assemblies you can buy. Also might be worth taking to a Toyota Dealer to see if a Camry part might fit, but you might lose the diversity antenna (self-adjusting feature). Not sure if the ES300 from that vintage had that or not. Good luck!
  4. Just got back from Taste of Lexus. If you ever have the chance to go to these events I highly recommend it (check it out on www.tasteoflexus.com). While the event was geared more towards the new IS and GS they had 2 LS 430s, one with Air Suspension and one with the standard coil springs (no sport suspension unfortunately). They set up a very nice course with a bunch of turns, a small slalom, and a couple hard sweeping turns. At TOL from what I could tell the 2 cars had identical tire and wheel sizes, I didn't check the actual tires themselves. I drove the regular car first: around the test loop the coil sprung car held the road well, and over their little NVH section the car was quiet and well damped. In hard turns the car rolled a little but it didn't feel like the door handles were dragging on the ground and the car exhibited good grip. Having just driven an GS I remember being impressed at the ride/handling balance; especially for such a large car. Right before I left I drove the other LS (the Air car), and with the suspension in sport mode the car definitely was better damped and felt tighter. It just felt less 'springy.' Body roll was well controlled (noticeably better than the coil sprung car) and the car felt tighter and substantially less squirmy in tough transients and the slalom. Dive and squat were also noticeably improved. Being that I had driven the course a couple times since the first LS in other cars, I was probably pushing this LS harder and driving faster than the first one. The NVH test revealed that the ride over rough surfaces was as good if not better than the coil sprung car, but not overwhelmingly different. That said, I agree with SW03ES that in everyday driving I haven't been able to discern much difference between the two (I freely admit I am not an overly agressive driver ). I drove several LS430s when I was shopping for my car and honestly don't remember enough of a difference that would choose me to seek one out over another. From what i remember the Air Ride cars rode a little firmer and were less floaty than the non Air Ride cars, but with no noticeable loss of smoothness or NVH deterioration; and you can select sport mode if you want the ride to be harder. This is interesting because most other air-ride cars I have ridden in have a much softer ride than your typical coil sprung car. I am finding in my day to day driving that my car (with the Air Ride) is firmer than I expected, and I actually drove the same route I drove in one of the non Air Ride cars to test this out. I suspect my Toyo TPT Proxies on the 17" wheels may also have something to do with that. But (at least for me) the Air Ride was not a deal breaker; if I had found a Sport Suspension car with the Custom Lux package I would have happily driven off into the sunset. :D But SW03ES has a good point...especially if you are considering a car that is more than 5-6 years old the prospect of soon spending $2000 (if not more) to repair this system when it quits is sobering, to say the least. In a 10 year old car this is a substantial percentage of your car's value; and there may be other suspension bits that need to be replaced at the same time so financially it might not make sense. Also (especially since the first gen air ride) coil sprung suspensions have been improving; newer shocks/upgraded springs might offer some of the air ride improvements without the increased mechanical complexity. In this scenario I probably would not pick the Air Ride over the coil sprung car unless I had money to burn. My little experiment aside, the benefits of Air Suspension are demonstrable if not overwhelmingly compelling. These days many more manufacturers are offering cars with comparable systems (Mercedes, Jaguar, Audi, VW, Rolls Royce to name a few) so they must believe that consumers want this technology or that it offers a tangible benefit. IMHO it just comes down to a personal choice: if you frequently drive hard, have specific driving conditions (frequent heavy loads, many passengers) or have crappy roads where you live than the adjustibility and active control of the system could offer a tangible benefit that makes it worth the extra cost and maintenance. The system does improve handling, but maybe not enough that you would notice unless you drove the 2 back to back like I did. But from what I saw today it's not a 'night and day' difference like some others have reported; and if you have good roads, drive conservatively, and don't want or need the load leveling than the Air Ride will offer you no discernable benefit. At least you still have a choice in the LS, many other cars in this class come with Air Ride as standard. The dealer that did the pre-sale inspection on the car claims that the newest Air Struts can last up to 150k miles. With so many more systems on the market now than just 5 years ago replacing or reconditioning air springs will become an increasingly popular business...hopefully some more outfits will start doing it and we'll see more choice, price competition and better service among the vendors involved.
  5. First off I must echo branshew's sentiments on the safety of SUVs. While they are heavier, thanks to their high center of gravity they are also harder to control in emergency situations and much more prone to roll over. They also have less room inside than most minivans or even station wagons, and of course they guzzle gas. Also trucks for many years did not have to meet the crash compatibily or passenger compartment intrusion standards as passenger cars (although this is changing). As branshew points out the fatality rate for SUV crashes is higher than that for minivans or passenger cars; so purely from a crash safety level I would argue that SUVs are a non starter. That aside, the 4x4 variants are fantastic for crappy weather and unpaved roads. I went to college in Connecticut and my friend's Range Rover went over snow, ice, sleet etc like nobody's business. Especially if you have to travel in areas that are poorly or infrequently plowed, or drive through dirt an SUV is the way to go. In regards to your choice, I guess it depends on what your priorities are, if you just want a truck and cost is the big factor get the Chevy; especially if you plan to keep it only a couple years and drive it infrequently. The LX 450 is basically a rebadged Toyota Land Cruiser, which has a reputation all over the world for being indestructible; they are tough beasts, and honestly not that much different from the LX. You may want to look for an LC of the same age, you might find a better deal. They will end up being more reliable than the Chevy and both come standard with full time 4 wheel drive, which not all suburbans have. The LC/LX is also 5000+ pounds so in a real world crash the advantage of the Suburban is probably minimal. Also a 4x8 piece of plywood will fit flat in it; it might hold its value a little better too. Being a truck maintenance will be more expensive, but the Chevy sounds like it's gonna need some TLC as well; the preventative maintainence on the Toyota/Lexus will be higher but overall the cost should be less. I'd recommend buying an aftermarket extended warranty, it will probably pay for itself. Lenore's right though, on a purely empirical level a minivan would certainly meet your needs, especially if you get a 4 wheel drive one. Maybe you can find a Previa with AWD?
  6. Funny I was wondering about this as well. I'm assuming it uses a red laser. I know that some Toyotas (I believe the Sienna) also have the same system. The sensor only a part of the replacement cost--taking apart the whole facia is also why its so much. I had considered fashioning a temporary opaque cover that could be used to protect the laser in case of rough roads but the cruise control doesn't seem to work at all without it. I would think that the protective cover would have to be right next to the front of the sensor to keep from creating reflections, etc. The sensor would probably have to be moved slightly rearward to accomodate it. I believe that's one of the reasons that later models with the PCS use milimeter radar; the sensor is mounted higher up behind a plastic cover (which encases the big L logo); also the cover can be optically damaged but the radar can see through it.
  7. STRONG like bull.....SMOOTH like ocean. Amazing isn't it? I was pulling into the freeway a couple days ago, and a little white sports coupe pulls up next to me. The light goes green, and we pull onto the ramp. I'm in the left lane, I'm expecting him to slow and pull behind me. Not happening, and the ramp is quickly narrowing to one lane... So I give the throttle a shove, not a stab, just a little push, for like a second. Little white car now clearly in rearview mirror. B) It's like the LS stands still and the world moves faster beneath it....
  8. The only place in the US I know of is Arnott Industries in Florida. www.arnottindustries.com. I know some people in the LOC have bought from them. Do a search and see if you can find out how their product is.
  9. The motor doesn't move when I hit the switch, it's dead. I didn't think to test any of the memory positions, if one of them moves the wheel maybe the switch is dead? I'll investigate tonight, the tilt and tilt away work fine. I will check the fuse, nc211-- I didn't even think of that. lexus411-- the dealer told me first use was sometime in March of 01, so I'm about 6 months too late. BUT--he did tell me the car was in for a 'groaning' noise in the steering column. He printed it out so I'll have to check but if it was the adjustment maybe they will cover it. Good thinking. See, this is why the LOC rules.... Thanks guys, I'll put some pix up when I can... :D
  10. I finally did it. After a year of hemming and hawing, and almost three months of hard core shopping, I adopted a silver '01 LS430 on tuesday. Thanks to everyone who answered my questions over the last 2 months. I'm finally one of the gang! Now I have some questions re: two little items I have found that I want to fix: the telescoping motor on the steering column isn't working. Fortunately it seems to be almost all the way out, but I'd like to get this fixed in case someone else has to drive the car. Dealer says it will cost about $600 to fix. This seems high. Also I have noticed a small horizontal line on the nav screen. It's hardly noticable during the day but when the screen switches to night mode I can see it. It's near the top of the screen-honestly I thought it was part of the design until I left the office and the screen went dark for the evening. Can I replace just the touchscreen? Or will I have to replace the whole unit (in that case I can live with it). The car turned 4 in March so sadly we're out of warranty. Other than those two small issues the car is perfect. I had a dealer do the CPO inspection on the car and no other issues were uncovered. It has about 64k miles so I guess some things go eventually. I got snarled in one of LA's notorious traffic jams this morning, but strangely enough I just turned up the stereo, opened the sunroof, and a smile crept up onto my face.... More updates as I pile on more miles. -J
  11. Looks like an IS that went off of weight watchers. Either that or the IS and the GS were getting a BIT too friendly over at Toyota. This photo doesn't really look real...seems like someone took some IS and GS pix and siamesed them together in photoshop. But if it is indeed the new car I hope they change the C pillar, it seems kind of unfinished. I guess if I had my druthers I'd prefer it to be more GS derived than IS, which it appears to be at this point. I really like the new GS styling; the IS is...interesting but not really my taste..
  12. Vis-a-vis all the creaking and clunking it could be the transmission and/or motor mounts. These parts eventually disintegrate (rubber, heat, hard life, etc). They are a relatively cheap fix, and make a world of difference. I had the same experience with my car a couple months ago. Really thought it was going to bite the bullet; and a couple hundred bucks later good as new. These seem to last about 100,000 miles or so. How many miles are on the car? Still searching for my first LS and wondering how long these parts seem to last in SoCal.... The tranny mount I've heard is not that hard to do but the motor mounts I'm not sure I would try without a service manual and a full set of tools. Good point about the control valve jbarhorst2; perhaps the sticking valves are trying to correct for a leaking spring? I'd have it checked out. 11 years is a nice long run though. Sooner or later you'll have to put some money into it. :chairshot: I haven't seen any independent mechanics in LA either, although I bet a Toyota one might work on a Lexus. I'm thinking about asking my Mercedes mechanic if he'll look after mine.....
  13. You can get the steel spring conversion kits online, I believe I've seen them on strutmasters. I saw one somewhere for about $800, can't remember if it was strutmasters or not. Search this forum; other people have had the problem you are experiencing. Sooner or later the airsprings wear out, it just happens. I don't think the ride is dramatically different between air springs and steel springs, but you lose the self-leveling and adjustible firmness. The rest of the suspension (control arms, knuckles, etc) is similar to the steel sprung system. There is also some switch in the trunk you'll have to turn off so that the suspension warning light goes away. Arnott (arnottindustries.com) sells both the front and rear air shocks; I've heard they sometimes take a while to ship though. Buying the parts new from Lexus is about $1000 per wheel. Ouch. I would also take a look at the compressor for the air system; as the springs leak out air the compressor has to work harder to try to keep the car level. Also if the leak is too large, eventually it will not be able to keep up. If you don't fix the problem the compressor can burn out if you are not careful. Good luck.
  14. Ouch. I remember driving my friend's Range Rover to a dealership one day and seeing another RR in the shop. Someone had driven it into a fence in the snow and a piece of wood pierced the front air spring. If the car is over 90k then I would vote to replace the timing belt as well. I can't tell if the 2nd generation (non VVTi) V8s are interference engines or not (if they are kiss your valves goodbye) but at the very least you don't want it to fail and strand you somewhere. I'm not sure if the air springs have fluid in them or not. It could also be the conventional shocks...I think the AVS has adaptive shocks that work with the air springs, they may even be part of the springs for all I know. It's hard to tell from what the quote says. Does the car 'sit' lower in the morning on that corner? This can happen after the pressure has had time to abate from the air springs and one is leaking. Depending on how large the leak is the car will return to normal once the engine (and air compressor) is running. Lexus charges a fortune for this part-- $1000 a pop sounds about right. If it's indeed the air spring you might try these guys: http://www.arnottindustries.com/ Double check posts in the LS forum (some people have complained they are slow to ship) but they have a lifetime warranty on the components (or so says their website). I think they sell the springs for about $300 a piece. If it's indeed the air spring this might be a more cost effective solution than the OEM part. You can also buy conversion kits for around $1000 that will replace all 4 of the air springs with conventional steel springs. It's another way to go.
  15. It's a Bentley Continental. I can't see the wheels but it might be a Continental T (this was before the current GT). The convertible model was called the Azure. From certain angles the SC430 looks like an Azure that someone left in the dryer too long. Looks like it was a great day!
  16. Also bear in mind that the insurance company will not repair the car if the cost of the repair is more than the bluebook value. They will total it. :cries: I agree for most older cars comp and collision does not make financial sense. I'm not sure about Lexus but Mercedes and BMW comp and collision is very expensive relatively speaking because part costs are so high. If someone else hits you and they are at fault then their 3rd party property damage should cover it. I had something similar happen to me and my insurance decided not to go after the other party and instead paid their claim (even though they hit me). Just one of those things.....I did remember seeing however a Lexus-specific junkyard link in one of the other forums...try a search for parts and see what happens. For headlights, mirrors, etc this might be a good choice. Body panels however I would probably go OEM..
  17. I know; that's about what the LS costs here (in So Cal). But like I said, the Camry is not much cheaper by comparison. Insurance is very expensive in large cities I guess. CA is bad, but try insuring a car in Miami. Unreal.
  18. Yes but the LS is still comparatively cheap to insure. I compared the rates for an LS, an Acura TL and a Toyota Camry (with Geico oddly enough). Accounting for comp/collision and the whole shebang the LS was less than 10% more than the Acura or the Camry, despite having a higher replacement value.
  19. I agree. Like I said, Lotto here we come! I can drive the LS while the Benz is in the shop. I think feeling the car will last a long time is part of the whole luxury experience. Someone told me once that with every generation Mercedes spends the money on new technology and takes it out off materials and manufacturing. That said back in the day they did it right. My '81 240D has lasted amazingly well. The only car I have seen recently that approaches the materials quality of that car is the LS430. Obviously the LS is built better; but the 240 feels just as solid (lots of metal back then). The new GS is also well done inside with some artful touches (headroom not as good however). I'm curious as to what the next LS will look like. The Acuras and some of the BMWs come close. However BMWs also don't last. I had friends who's parents 750il's died within a month of each other. :cries:
  20. Oh my god. So much talk of Mercedes Benz. Let me lay down for a second...I can't breathe.. Actually the LS, S Class and 7 Series are more similar in size than you might think. Many comparos put them together in the same class. I remember reading somewhere that the LS430 actually has MORE interior volume than the 00-06 LWB S-class benz. The LS 400 feels a little smaller; it's the same length as the LS430 but has a smaller wheelbase. The interior dimensions of the Benz and the LS are within spitting distance of each other, and the overall length of the LS is only about 5 inches shorter than the S. The S Class trunk is flatter, longer and tapers more than the LS, which probably accounts for part of that. It's also about 4 cu ft smaller than the LS without rear AC. The S Class nose is also a little more sculpted (pointy). While some describe the LS as looking a bit boxy, it's really a superb model of intelligent packaging of space and components. I'm 6'4", and the LS430 is plenty big inside for me, front and rear. The 95+ LS400 is good too but has a touch less headroom. I admit the S has more front seat travel, but for me it's more than I need (it also come at the expense of the rear passengers). The LS greenhouse is bigger, so it feels a little more spacious, numbers aside. All Mercedes, even the C class, all have plenty of head and leg room for the driver, although this comes at the expense of rear seat space in the smaller cars. Remember they are designed for big German drivers. Now the 92-99 S class is another story. They were massive cars, with more legroom and headroom than almost anything else out there at the time. For a while I really wanted one of these. However I did some research and learned that while the drivetrain is bulletproof the rest of the car is not..and very expensive to fix. There is a part of the AC system (I believe it's the evaporator) that goes on ALL W140s. The part itself is only about $300, but the labor to install it (i.e. removing the entire dashboard) will run you about $3000. THREE GRAND. Most mechanics estimate at least $1500-2000 as far as yearly maintenence to keep these beasts running. Add another $1000 or more for the V-12 models. The design is starting to look a little dated IMHO. When they run though they are great. The newer models are no less complex and from what I have heard somewhat less reliable. While I quite like the exterior styling the inside of these cars feels really cheap. By the end of the LA Auto Show show every year these cars are really beat up inside. The Japanese cars wear much better inside. Also they have lost some of the special 'Mercedesness' that the cars from the 80's and early 90's had. They all look like Hondas now. The C Class now looks like the TSX inside (actually the TSX I think looks better and the materials are a lot nicer). The next gen S Class looks a little more interesting, but the COMMAND system has morphed into something resembling I-drive. Also that row of small, metal buttons on the dash looks confusing and hard to use. And no floor mounted shifter? What's up with that!? The exterior looks like the current car with some plastic fender flares tacked on. If you want a Benz that's as well made as a Lexus you'll have to look for something 93/94 or older. Those cars were built to last forever (and many of them do). If I could find a '91 560 SEL with 10,000 miles on it I might be tempted. Audi and VW on the otherhand now make fantastic interiors. I hate the new grill but the A8 is a gorgeous car. The A6 and A4 I don't think are as distinctive, especially the latest models. Unless you opt for the V8 or turbo 6 the baseline Audis feel a little underpowered however. On the subject of Cadillacs I drove a DTS a couple years ago in New York City for a day (the new model is basically the same platform with some cosmetic tweaks). My dad has a mid 90's STS which I don't like so I was actually quite impressed with how good the DTS was. It handles fairly well, stops and goes with verve, and looks nice inside. It drove better than the STS despite being a larger car. They are getting better. The exterior styling is still that crappy 'knife edge' theme. SW is right-- I saw a new one yesterday and it looks like Frankencar. They need to make the Sixteen show car their new styling theme and dump this creased, boxy look. Next to the DTS however the LS feels like what you imagine a Rolls Royce to be. Everything feels precise, exact and well put together. It's significantly quieter and smoother once underway. The LS also feels a quicker and more secure when you push it hard. Surprisingly, from what I can remember the DTS doesn't have as much front or rear legroom as the LS or the S Class, and the seats aren't as comfy (bench anyone?). Plus after five years get ready to replace the DTS's transmission, the AC unit, the ECU unit for the engine, a couple seat motors, and the rear AC fan. My dad has had the joy of doing all this (transmission was covered under warrranty however). I'm trying to talk him into an RX. :chairshot: I've done the Euro thing. It's cool, but it gets old--especially when little stuff starts breaking left and right and you realize you've financed your mechanic's kid's college education. Also I think these cars have bowed to the mass market and gained sales at the expense of some of their character and distinctiveness. In a couple years, when I have some cash to burn and Mercedes finally makes a car that recalls the grandeur of Mercs of old (or I win the lotto and can get the Maybach), I'll seriously consider one. Either that or one of the AMG Turbo V12 models For now however the LS still seems the smartest choice. I'm still looking for one. And it may even be the best choice practicality aside. Check it out: http://www.caranddriver.com/article.asp?se...9&page_number=7 Now if we can only get those gas prices down a little....
  21. Wow. I must confess I am a little jealous.. Definitely drive it for a month or two but if you like it I vote keep it. You won't find anything that's half as nice for that price new, and 8,000 miles on these cars is barely broken in. You know the complete history of the car which is rare for pre-owned cars and the major stumbling block when looking for a pre-owned vehicle. Also the depreciation will be less than a new car (at least initially). If you decided to sell in a couple months you probably can walk away with a small profit, ultra low mileage cars like that are going for about $30-35k+ here in LA. I've driven about 10 different cars in the last 2 months (am shopping) and NOTHING is as nice as the LS 430, especially for anything near that price. It's almost unfair. It's not that sporty, but after almost losing my fillings driving an Acura TL on LA's crappy roads sporty gets old fast. Plus it's still fast (almost too fast), quiet, and reasonably fuel efficient for such a large speedy car. The turning radius is also amazing...smaller than a Mercedes C class. To find a car that's substantially nicer you're probably talking about an S 600/S55 Benz or a 760iL (or possibly a Bentley or a Rolls). None of which will be as reliable or easy to live with. In real world terms how much more you'll get for all that extra money is debatable (aside from huge insurance and fuel bills). Your wallet however would be much easier to manage owning one of those cars--it would be empty. Your mom have any more cars she's about to return? :D
  22. Something like 50% of all cars with MSRP over $30k are leased. Here in LA I would venture that number is considerably higher. Especially with Lexus, where they give you a loaner car (at least here in SoCal) there is a big incentive to service the car regularly, especially since the dealer has the capability to pull up the service history when your return the car (whether they do or not is another question). I'd bet the majority of the CPO cars here are lease returns...most people who buy the car probably hold onto it until the warranty is up, if not long after, which means there's less incentive to certify the cars if they still qualify. Also the dealership has most likely serviced the car through its entire life so they'll know what condition it's in and what problems it may be developing. I would venture to say that the engineering on an LS, Merc S class and BMW 5-7 series are all fairly complex, except that the Japanese cars the individual components seem to be designed to last longer. My Mercedes will run virtually forever if I feel like spending $500+ every 15K miles to keep up with the service schedule. They replace everything before it breaks. Also the German facination with drive-by-wire is not as evident in the Japanese cars (although this tide may be turning: witness electrohydraulic braking in the new GS). The German cars seem to have come too far to fast.....although traditionally they seem to spend the first production year working out the bugs. The Japanese cars arrive on the market (at least in the US) virtually perfected; the LS has been the winner or top 5 in JD Power's initial quality survey pretty much forever, through 2 model changeovers. The LS also wins after 5 years of ownership, a substantial number of people report NO problems with the car at all during the first 5 years. BMW, Mercedes and Audi haven't even come close. The inspection schedules in Japan are much tougher than they are here; basically the car has to be in near-new condition when it comes in every year. So engineering cars to need less maintenance means they are less expensive and less hassle to own...probably important in a country where gas costs about $5 a gallon. I'm not sure about the service, but certainly in use I find the Lexus cars MUCH more user-friendly than the German ones. My dad's good friend dumped a 745i after nine months because he hated the iDrive so much. Merc's COMMAND system isn't much better. The most advanced technology in many cases is actually the easiest to use (oddly enough I read that in an MB brochure). I stare at computer screens all day at my job, the less time I spend in front of one in my car the better! The search continues...someone suggested going to a more suburban area like the OC or the SF valley for pre-owned cars as there's less wear and tear. Any thoughts? Also anyone know (or can direct me to a post here at LOC) where I can find the service schedule for an LS 430 I can compare to? Thanks!
  23. Wow, thanks for all the feedback. Here are the two contenders: '01 Nav-Lev Mystic Sea/Light grey leather (not sure what its called), 34k miles CPO '01 Ultralux, Blue Onyx, Ecru leather 65k miles. The first one is almost $8k more than the second one. Both are lease returns, the blue one is a corporate lease (probably someone's company car). Both are at Lexus dealers as well, so I assume they could pull the entire history. I agree with Monarch's post...if I could find the car the little old lady in Beverly Hills drove to canasta every day I'd take it in a heartbeat. I've had my current car (an old diesel Mercedes) for 11 years, so I'm probably going to have this one for a while as well. Personally I'm not that enamored with the Ultralux. I think it makes the car heavier and more gizmos to break. But it has a couple of features (parking assist, sunshade, hot/cold seats) that I really want here in SoCal and are hard to find as standalone options on the first series 430's (sunshade and seats I think were UL only). I guess my dream machine would be a Custom Lux with sport suspension (has all the goodies I would want and no pesky air shocks) but these are pretty hard to come by, even new. I read in another post (probably in this forum) that the LS's in dealer stock tend to come 3 ways, base, NavLev, and UltraLux. Anything else would be special order. I see alot of Mystic Sea out here (believe it or not), especially on the ES and GS cars. Our old office garage was the storage depot for the local Lexus dealer so I've seen these cars in pretty much every color they come in (nothing like stepping out of the elevator to be greeted by about 40 different LS, RX, ES and GS cars!). Somehow I find Mystic Sea less attractive than the similar Cypress Pearl. Flint Mica and either Millenium or Mercury silvers I find particularly fetching....if we were talking about any of those colors we might be having a very different conversation now. :D I'll have to go test drive the other car, but my gut tells me to keep looking at this point. But thanks again, and I guess no reason to fear the Ultralux. Have to admit though, the fridge in the back sounds awful nice when it gets hot out here.... Thanks so much for your comments, keep 'em coming! -J
  24. Hello everyone... I am thinking about taking the plunge and purchasing a 01/02 LS 430. I drove an '01 at my local CPO Center and I was very impressed...but i'm not enamored with the color. Also for a model with sunroof and Nav-Lev the price seemed a little high, but only 38k miles totally covered by the CPO warranty. There is one at another dealership (same year, '01) that is not a CPO car, but a much nicer color with the Ultralux package. B) However at 65k miles it's just out of warranty. Price is almost 8k less however. So....which way to go? Is the CPO warranty really worth the extra $$ for what many say is the most reliable car ever made? Aside from the air struts going out at 100k miles+ which I'm willing to deal with when the time arises, has anyone heard about other niggles with the Ultralux LS vs. non Ultralux at the 60,000 mile mark? Is the rest of the Ultralux package worth the hassle of dealing with the air struts if and when they go? I live in LA so there is a pretty good supply of these on the pre-owned market. Thanks in advance for your advice, -J PS-- BTW great forums, look forward to spending more time here if/when I become one of the 'family.'