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Everything posted by jainla

  1. you might as well replace both of them; if one side went the other one is probably not far behind.
  2. Ouch... Glad you are ok... the LS430 is a tank... not surprised you walked away. Hope everybody else was ok. I was at Lexus Santa Monica today and I saw a SWB LS 460 for ~$33k. It was a CPO car don't know not sure if it was a 2007 or 2008. The '07s had a couple minor issues but nothing super major. I think cooled front seats were standard, the Radar Cruise (no laser anymore) I'm not sure about. More surprising was a Mercedes S550 4-matic they had on the lot; for almost the same price. The MB was at least 20k more than the the LS460 when new... amazing the beating they are taking on resale these days... Good luck!
  3. http://www.vaistech.com From what I've read pretty much identical to the factory sat setup. You'll need some kind of Sirius/XM receiver though (which I think they sell).
  4. Do the volume and tuning buttons light up at night? That would tell you if it's a power issue
  5. I took the whole console apart to bluetooth my car. Here's the link; download parts 2 and 3; photos and instructions provided.
  6. I don't know if you can really get underneath to lubricate the mechanism but the plastic pads underneath the motors do get really dirty. Sometimes when they get wet the motors will jam. I've taken to using either Sonus or lithium grease to periodically clean out and possibly lubricate the works down there. I've had the motors jam a couple times and have always been able to bring them back into service that way.
  7. Yeah I think when it comes to gadgets (especially ICE gadgets) you're almost always better off going aftermarket. The Nav in the LS430 is usable but it's starting to look a little dated compared to the newer units. Although I really like the Denso systems newer units offer more features and are a little easier to use (also far cheaper than the $2k-3k a Lexus nav unit will cost you). I have yet to use the newest Enform systems, but generally I have see an OEM system that's as good as the Parrot system at voice dialing (and it will also sync with the iPhone). If you can wire in through the line out it's really the end all be all of car audio upgrades (short of a new head unit). If you are handy with a soldering iron and willing to put some ingenuity in it's amazing what you can accomplish. That said, I may have hit the limit with auto gizmos. I like my LS but more and more I appreciate the simplicity of my older cars. A newer car with LKA, LDW and blind spot detection might be too much. With all those robots on board who's driving? The 560 and 240 are still cars, the LS430 is a rolling computer. The LS460 must be like the space shuttle!
  8. Yes the ground loop isolator is pretty good. For some reason sometimes there is a potential difference between two grounds in an electrical system (don't ask my why a thought a ground was a ground) electricity flows across them and causes that interference. Many ipod and bluetooth systems have them built in but sometimes you still need one. Re: the distortion maybe there is something in the phone cradle that's interfering? Sounds like possibly a bad connection somewhere. You could put in a AD2P adaptor (the Parrot MKi i'm using has one) but I find when streaming the sound from Pandora seems not nearly as good as the sound from decent MP3s or a CD. I'm not sure if it's just the bluetooth bridge or Pandora itself. One of the downsides of having a great audio system is that it's not that forgiving of crap content. Also having the cell phone radio and the bluetooth radio on just kills your battery so you'd need to plug it in somewhere anyway. Glad to know it's working!
  9. Nice job. it's nice to know that someone is now offering this service for the older Lexus units. Becker will modify the older Mercedes head units with an aux in but it's not as elegant; you have to mount the jack somewhere visible and then plug it in or remove it to trigger the input. I had them do this to the deck in the 560 and this year plugged the Parrot Mki 9200 unit into it to give that radio Bluetooth and iPod support. So far the Parrot has been fantastic. Jim you may need a ground loop isolator; I got this one on Amazon for $10 and it works perfectly.
  10. if you still see a burning ember in the center of the bulb the ballast is probably ok. The filament might not be completely shot yet. You might try swapping the two bulbs and see if that makes a difference. If the ballast went I would guess the bulb would not turn on at all.
  11. Ouch. I hope you both are ok. Hopefully most of this damage is caused by the messed up bumper cover (and maybe supports) pushing everything out of whack. Mercedes Benz and Lexus both have tried to sell cars here with rear brake lights that flash during a panic stop; I know they got caught in DOT regulations so I don't know if they were ever offered here OEM. They might be a worthwhile upgrade; I've had several cases where I've stopped short and I hear the squeal of brakes behind me (but thankfully no boom). I can't help but think if we were all paying attention more and texting/talking/gpsing/ipodding less this would be less of an issue but the flashing lights might help get people's attention.
  12. Welcome to the club. You mean the low beam bulbs? http://us.lexusownersclub.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=68326&hl=&fromsearch=1 High beams are probably similar. Don't forget you can also search the forum.
  13. Did you try rebooting the car? Disconnect the negative battery terminal for 5 min and reconnect. You'll here stuff like the climate control resetting itself and maybe some of your radio settings will be deleted but it's worth a shot. Topeka
  14. Thanks for the input guys. I think I've come to agree that it's either suck it up and go OEM or time to trade up. I'm gonna go drive an LS460 this weekend and see if I think it's worth upgrading. They seem to have gotten more expensive all of a sudden; it's like they just dried up around here.
  15. Well the day I've been ruing since I bought the LS almost 7 years ago has come. During a recent trip to the shop (where quite a bit of other work was done) my mechanic informed me that my left front air shock is leaking oil and the right front one is sagging a bit. He says the situation is not dire but will have to be dealt with sooner rather than later. I did some research online and it seems that Arnott and Suncore don't sell rebuilt units for the LS430. The somewhat spotty experiences of others had led me to discount that option anyway. I guess my 3 options would be: Suck it up and pay ~$900 a shock on parts.com and be done with it for now (at least until the rear air springs have issues). Explore a spring/shock replacement; Strutmasters had a kit for the LS430 but they pulled it b/c they are 'tweaking it.' The gal I spoke to thinks they'll be selling it again in a couple weeks. I looked into buying all the parts for a conventionally sprung car but I think the labor cost of installing them might put it within striking distance of the air shock replacement (the air shocks are super easy to install). The Strutmasters kit seems like a much better deal (if I can get it). Replace the car. I feel bad doing #3 because I know that it's going to need a fairly major maintenance soon and I'm selling someone (or trading in) a car with issues. Plus I like the car and feel I wouldn't mind driving it for a another 4-5 years assuming nothing catastrophic blows up. It's got about 98k miles on it and aside from this issue it's in excellent shape. So my question is: has anybody else had good luck swapping out the air suspension in an LS430? I'm guessing this is an issue that more and more of us LS430UL owners will be facing in the next year or so.
  16. Agreed. Avoid a rebuilt title; unless the car is a total steal, which this one isn't. The engine is the same across all years of the LS430. The transmission went from a 5 speed to a 6 speed (and was then recalled) in 2004, so any 2004 you look at should have that recall done if it applies. At this point mileage is going to be more an indicator than age; a well taken care of '01 with 65k miles will probably be in better shape (all other things being equal) than an '05 with 120k miles. It's always smart to have a knowledgeable mechanic take a look at any car you want to buy. Once it's on the lift, it can tell you no lies. The prices on all LS430s seem to have taken a hit in the last year, and probably will again when the next gen LS comes out later this year. I've seen several very nice '05 and '06 cars for around 23k, and some '01-02 cars for around 15k. Very tempting at those prices...
  17. Correct. The Lexus Link, the Nav and the Audio system share the same microphone (as did the old in-car cellular phone). If that was disconnected the voice commands also would not work. If the car had the service campaign to remove the Lexus Link system the old system might not have been disconnected properly, or someone just disconnected it for giggles. The old unit was not usually removed, just unplugged from the system. The LL and phone systems plugged into a loop that contained both the left rear speaker and the mic leads, so if something went wrong with the uninstall or that connector the mic link could have been interrupted. Perchance was the left rear speaker also out? Another way to check for this is to watch the ASL indicator for the sound system. At highway speeds it should register 2 or 3 bars (at least) of sound. If it's not then there's a good chance the mic is faulty or disconnected.
  18. Wow that doesn't sound like anything normal. My LS430 sometimes makes a tapping sound if it's sat for a little while and it's cold but it usually disappears after about 30 seconds (I think it's something to do with the VVTi readjusting once the oil pressure comes up). I would take it to another mechanic and get a second opinion. If the engine runs reasonably well and it's not consuming oil it might be possible to remove enough of the sludge and salvage the engine. These motors are pretty durable so it might last for a while if you can ensure reasonable oil and coolant flow. This real issue is (and I've heard of this happening) is what if the sludge comes back. Then there might be a coolant leak or something else that's contaminating the oil and turning it to muck. Then it turns into a real battle. It's a hail mary pass but call the (a) dealership and have them look up the VIN to see if they have any record of oil changes or other regular maintenance. It might be a card you could play with corporate.
  19. I think Landar's right. Even if you figure out what it is, at this point you're probably looking at some level of rebuild, if not soon then somewhere down the line. I know there are some ways to try to remove the sludge that's there but if it comes back then something's blown; a gasket, seal, pump etc. Which probably means rebuild. This is I believe the 3rd posting we've seen on this forum relating to sludge in a 3UZ engine. I think there was some debate about the credibility of the first two postings; but I'm sure there are occasional examples of any engine turning itself to crap. Toyota has built (and still builds for Japan) the UZ engine series for 20+ years so if it was a design issue I think we would have heard about it by now. This is most likely due to poor maintenance or use characteristics by the PO. I'm interested b/c my LS only has 96k miles on it and sees on average 5-6k a year on the road. Michael it doesn't say where you are. Did the car live in a cold climate? I know one cause of sludge can be repeated short drives in cold weather. The engine temp doesn't get high enough to burn off any accumulated water in the oil and that over time can lead to sludge. I'm sorry this is your introduction to the LS. You can try contacting Lexus corporate and see if there's anything they can do; but since you just bought the car and probably don't have the prior maintenance history they might not feel obligated to help you out (and by help out I mean replace with a free rebuilt engine and bill you for the labor). it might be worth a try though; perhaps you'll get lucky and the previous owner's maintenance is in their database; maybe call a dealer first and then escalate up the chain. If you want to keep the car you might look into buying a used engine from a low-mileage wreck and swapping it in. The UZ is (generally) a bulletproof/grenade resistant engine so this might be the cheapest option. Maybe the Ford dealer would be willing to pay for it (if gently suggested by your lawyer). Good luck, let us know what you find out.
  20. I agree with Jim that integrating with the stock wiring system (and speakers) is a pain. In the LS430 (and 400) all the connections for this are in the trunk because that's where the ECU for the phone lives. If you switch the volume up/down and set buttons to phone mode (on the LS430) you can also access the leads for those switches from the trunk connector. Accesing any of this without hacking up the car's wiring harness requires running leads to the trunk; the PDF I put of up the install explains all of this in detail. If you really really want the OEM style integration there are 2 other options you can explore: Raytel (I think it was them) made a product that they claimed would integrate in the Nav screen. I don't think it would work with the standard signaling for the steering wheel buttons and such, but you did see the number come up on the screen. I don't think this product is in production anymore but you might still be able to find it somewhere. I remember the unit was very expensive and hard to find. I suspect (but have not been able to prove) that the Bluetooth functionaliy for the '04-'06 systems was wired into the AVC lan bus on top of the original Hands Free wiring. There is a 'Telephone ecu' on the parts list for these models that is located in the trunk, and I bet would connect to the wiring harness in a simlar manner to the old phone units. I'm not sure if you would have to run bluetooth antenna wire into the cabin, but if you can find one off a wrecked '04+LS it might be something to investigate. Good luck! -J
  21. I've noticed that yuck seems to collect under the mirror pivot point. There is a black plastic pad that seems to get dirty and jams the mirror as it moves on top of it. The problem seems to get worse after the car is wet (rain, car wash). Over time this probably burns out the motor. I've taken to cleaning out those bits whenever I wash the car, and I use some detailing spray (in my case the Sonus Total Eclipse) to really clean it and make it easier for the mirrors to pivot on top of it. Occasionally I shoot some lithium grease up in there to try to keep the metal parts lubricated. After you spray the stuff in there you may have to 'help' the mirrors open and close a couple of times to get stuff moving again. I've usually able to resurrect the mirrors from frozen to working by doing this. Ironically I find that if I leave the mirrors open 100% of the time they don't seem to work as well, so I fold them in about 50% of the time to keep things moving. The assemblies new are about $750, but they are plentiful on Ebay (although who knows how old they are).
  22. Behold the high tech solution to this common problem: http://us.lexusownersclub.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=55589&st=0&p=419073&hl=paperclip&fromsearch=1entry419073 You might go ahead and change the other 02 sensor. The second one died about 2 months after the first one for me...
  23. When I replaced the radiator on the LS my indie actually suggested one of the aftermarket brands because he said the warranty was better. Not sure if it's the same situation for the LS400 as the 430. I'll see if I can find out what brand it was. Wasn't much cheaper but it was a 3 yr warranty vs. 1 year warranty.
  24. I've used the Parrot 3200 LS for 4+ years and it's still going strong. I put the display/controller in the little slide out box below the CD player, where it's actually hard to see, but when the car is moving I usually just use the buttons to receive or make calls. There was no adaptor harness for the Parrot kits back then so I built my own, which was a huge PITA (as you will see from the post here. Since the install I've gone through 2 more Blackberries and I use the native Blackberry voice dial now (which has gotten really good). I also moved the mic to the preferred position above the rearview mirror. The Lexus sound system is amplified and uses different plugs than a standard ISO installation so you need some kind of adaptor. I don't know how the harness interacts with the audio system so I don't know if you'll be able to use the iPod/Bluetooth streaming audio through the speaker system or not (for that I have a VAISTECH box that also has been going strong for 4+years). I think the Quickconnect harness also requires you to manually connect to an external speaker (which my complicated install does not). The MKi kits are really good; we bought one for my dad a couple years ago and they work well with his iPhone. They are really good about releasing firmware updates to correct issues that crop up as phones get more and more complicated. 1990LS400 is right though you really should place the display somewhere that's easy to see; the Mki kits have a separate controller so that's easier. Good luck!
  25. I think a photo of the inside of the center console (with the wiring for the ECU) and then a photo of the junction point on the right side of the trunk would do for a start. Let's see what's in there...