Jump to content


Regular Member
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Lexus Model
    1995 LS400

rickatups's Achievements

Rising Star

Rising Star (9/14)

  • First Post
  • Collaborator Rare
  • Conversation Starter
  • Week One Done
  • One Month Later

Recent Badges



  1. Hey Guys .... it has been a while since I have been here .... anyways .... GOT A REAL PROBLEM .... I lost my factory wheel lock for my 1999 LS400 !! (yeah ... I know ... really stupid) I do not have a flat tire .... but while doing a tire rotation as well as detailing the car over the weekend I somehow lost my wheel lock that comes with the factory wheels ..... of course the dealer will have it for a few million $$$ ..... Is there another source? Got any ideas? ( I also have a 95 LS400 and tried to use that wheel lock ... very close but does not fit) Appreciate a moment of your time ..... thank you
  2. Is there any way to get a 2000 that has far less miles? I bought my LS400 with 100,000 miles on it .... and it is a great car and all .... but at that age there are beginning to be maintenance issues to think about that perhaps you would not have to think about in a car with only 50,000 miles? I think I would pay a little extra for a lower milage [newer] model, making sure that the car was really maintained well. If the owner was doing a transmission flush / filter kit about every 30,000 miles ... then he was probably up on all the other stuff as well ..... personally that is what I would look for now that I know what I know about these really nice cars ..... if I had it all over to do again. best of luck to you ....
  3. Hey guys ..... my 95 LS400 has 140,000 miles now .... and I think still has the original Radiator Fan Clutch on it .... so what is the trick to determine if the clutch is weak? any input would be much appreciated .... thanks!
  4. Hi ...... regarding the switch to synthetic .... long story short, I did so on my LS400 about 40,000 miles ago when i started using Mobil 1. Then I found out about Royal Purple Synthetic. There is a very interesting YouTube video about Royal Purple that I hope you might take a look at ..... if you go to YouTube and type in "royal purple" in the search field ..... just look at the first video in the list that comes up. I think the title is ROYAL PURPLE ON V8 TV .... I have never seen any oil brand do a test such as what is shown in that video .... it is quite interesting. Anyways .... so I made the switch into Royal Purple about a year ago ...... I can tell it is lasting even longer than Mobil 1. Personally I do not allow my oil to get too dark .... which is a very extravagant approach ...... my opinion on the Lexus motor is that it is just sooooo fine .... it is worth the expense to use Royal Purple and change the oil about the time it becomes dark in color ...... but with Royal Purple I can go longer before that happens ..... just my 2 cents ... hope it helps ...
  5. Hi ... I am really curious ... are you still using the factory original alternator? and also .... do you know if the power Steering Solenoid Filter has ever been serviced on your car? It is just a really small little filter located on the steering rack itself ... thanks ...
  6. just as a follow-up ... I changed both head light bulbs in my 95 LS .... I did the passenger side first and took the whole entire headlight assembly out of the car. I think I spent about 1 1/2 hours to do it ..... I went slow and figured out how it all worked ..... I felt kinda stupid when I suddenly realized that they made it to be fairly easy to accomplish, so I was glad I did not pay the dealer about $60 to do it ... (or whatever they would charge ) As I recall, I do not think you really need to take the entire assembly out like I did .... when I did the driver side, I just took the bulb out from the back of the headlight assembly and had the new bulb back in very quickly .... it is true ... you do not need to remove the battery ... not really .... once you know what to do. I was even thinking about doing a YouTube video of it so that others could see the process .... never got around to it, though ... anyways .... to try to write and explain how to change out the bulb is kind of hard .... I think it is one of those things that you need to see to understand more easily .... now that I think about it .... one trick I remember is that there is the electrical plug that goes to the head lamp bulb .... well ... I remember it seemed kind of fragile ... and that the trick was to just gently wiggle it until it comes loose ... and then it just pulls off. I think I remember putting a very small amount of dielectric grease on the electrical contacts before putting the plug back on so as to stop any possible corrosion and so that the plug will come off more easily some day in the future if the bulb ever needs to be changed again ... another detail I remember is that there is a stainless steel clip and it has a philips screw holding it in place. The little stainless steel clip is holding the actual light bulb in place by putting slight tension on it. It is not necessary to unscrew the stainless clip and remove it. Instead, it just flips up if you play with it a little. It just provides tension on the bulb so as to hold the bulb in place ..... of course I had to mess with it and I unscrewed it ... very bad idea ... I was really lucky to locate the parts again after they hit the ground .... that was on the passenger side ... I did not make that mistake on the driver side. maybe this will help a little ....
  7. THANKS GUYS ..... appreciate all the input .... !
  8. I am curious to know the milage of your car? I have always thought that a Lexus Alternator can go about 140,000 miles .... just for peace-of-mind I changed mine out at about 120,000 miles .....
  9. HI .... I have heard that the best deal on real factory parts is over at parts.com ..... I have not tried them yet, but a guru member here has, and reports that they are the real deal .... I have looked at their prices and they really are the best I have seen so far. Your LS has a lot of miles .... so why not just put all new brake parts on it and enjoy peace-of-mind? With all due respect .... ummmm ... I do not see the point of trying to save a buck here and there on this particular car? If it was a Ford Taurus ... yes, perhaps. On the other hand, you can save money if you can get real factory parts for far less coin $$. I love to save money also ..... but personally, I do not want to start getting cheap when it comes to my LS ... I like it too much, you know? By the way .... can I just say it .... Sir .... I am very puzzled as to why you would go to all the trouble to change-out the strut mounts, and not also change the struts themselves at the same time?????? It all has to come apart at the same time .... seems to me .... I am not getting on your case here, ok .... but I am just trying to understand this. Why pay double labor, as now you need to go back into it and also change the struts? What did you save by not doing the job completely the first time you got into all of this? This makes no sense to me at all ... perhaps you could clarify? I am reading your post again, and if I read this correctly the dealer did the work .... so that can only mean that you spent major, huge, gigantic $$bucks$$ for sure ..... I am surprised they even put it all back together with the old struts??? Did the Service Writer try to talk you into changing the struts themselves that same day ... and you declined? That would be kind of like my dermatologist cutting off a questionable mole on my back and then discovering another questionable mole very near it .... and then just leaving it there for some other day. I am sorry ... but it just makes no sense .... OK ... well ... anyways ..... as for me, I have developed a severe allergy to what I call "double labor" .... so for example, I need to do my struts on my LS also right now ... but I have been holding off. Why? Because I want to do the whole thing one time ... not twice. I am going to do the strut mounts, the struts, the strut arms and the upper and lower ball joints as well. Why not, as it all comes apart anyways .... and .... I sure as heck do not want to dig back into this in another 50,000 miles ...... so I am going to do all of it one time. My car already has 140,000 mile on it ... logically, it is time, and all the parts are original. Additionally, I have a really great independent mechanic to do it for me, so I can also avoid the huge labor my dealer would charge me .... cool. Same for the brake rotors .... yes ... you can certainly resurface them .... but they will warp much more quickly now that they have been made to be more thin. Thus ... you will have to go back again to do the same job ... probably sooner than later ..... a second time. I would like to suggest that it will save much effort (and cash) to simply put on new rotors now and be done with it. Problem solved. For a long time. Does that make sense ... ? Well ... ummmm .... personally, I only use the real Lexus parts, given the fact that they last a heck of a long time ... just my feelings ... but I really do not think I am going to allow the little brake / muffler shop down the street to mess with my Lexus .... maybe my 15 year old Ford F-150 .... but my LS400??? Nope. I think I will pass on that ... but that is just me ..... Given the fact your car has quite a number of miles on it .... I think it would be wise to just start putting brand new parts on it. I would be keeping all the fluids / filters changed with the correct factory replacements ..... the only thing I might bend on is going into a synthetic transmission fluid (which I did about 40,000 miles ago) and Royal Purple engine oil ... both of which have worked well for me (95 LS 400) .... one last thought .... you do know about the little Power Steering Solenoid Filter .... right? I think your '97' is the same set-up as my '95' so your car has it also ..... well ... I clean it at least every 24 months ... more often if I were to drive the car more ... OK .... sooooo .... it is time for the Super Bowl again! So ... who do you think will win?
  10. I have done this to my car ... it looks far worse than it really is to do ... they made the job to be simple. The advantage in taking the battery out is that you will have more room to work in .... plus .... you can take the opportunity to clean the battery, the battery terminals, and the battery cables inside and out .... and so on .... it would be nice to do this now for peace of mind. When you reconnect everything, the car will re-set itself. You will hear strange sounds under the dash as the air conditioning system of vents and little inner doors adjust and reset ... it sounds kind of odd ... but it will be OK ... When putting the battery back in, it is not necessary to over-tighten things ..... It has been a year since I did my head lamp so I do not remember it perfectly ... but I do remember I got the old bulb out and the new one back in in about 5 minutes ..... (same side of the car where the battery is) .... just go slow and careful .... and it should be ok ... so you just got the car? Ummmm .... you might want to look into cleaning the little Power Steering Solenoid filter located on the Steering Rack. There is a lot written about that subject here at this forum .... it is not complex or major surgery .... but it should be looked at and cleaned if it has not been serviced in a long time (as well as doing a power steering system flush)..... food for thought. keep your fluids / filters clean and your car will reward you with much enjoyable service .... welcome !
  11. A buddy of mine is a Toyota Guru ... has his own shop (30 + years now) and has so much business he never needs to pay for advertisements of any kind. He is really good. OK ... so we have talked about this subject a lot over the years ..... the result of which is that I do a total system flush on my Lexus transmission every 30,000 miles. I have never had a problem with my LS .... in fact it shifts and operates perfectly (now at about 140,000 miles) Perhaps you would like another opinion from a highly respected automotive person? How about Bobby Likis over at CarClinicRadio.com. Give a listen to his radio program sometime .... he talks about this subject often. He has free pod casts on iTunes so you could listen to his show any time you wish ... for free. Did you catch that? Bobby is big enough to be on iTunes .... he is a nationally recognized automotive personality .... he has been in the automotive repair business for close to 40 years now ..... In fact, you could go to his web site and E-Mail him with your question, and he will answer you ... he always answers his E-Mails even if he does not know you .... he is a very cool guy ..... In short .... here is what Bobby would tell you: " ... it is never to late to stop smoking, and it is never to late to start servicing your transmission ... think about it; if you take cooking oil and put it on the stove for 2 hours at a temperature of 225 degrees ... does it change color? Yes it does. Why? Because heat changes the condition of the oil, and thus the properties of the oil change as well. It is the same with transmission fluid ..... over time and much exposure to heat, it too also changes .... it oxidizes and breaks down ... and looses viscosity" I can tell you that when I first got my used LS400, the trans fluid was kind of burnt looking (the car had 101.000 miles on it then) .... and I noticed that my trans would kind of hang in 2nd gear when it was cold. As it would come to a normal operating temp, it shifted in somewhat of a harsh manor ..... so I did a total system flush / filter kit. We also changed it over to a synthetic trans fluid. The hanging in 2nd gear was suddenly over and it immediately started shifting in all gears with smoothness. I have driven the car for about 38,000 miles now (took me 3 years to put those miles on it) and it has been great ...... no trans problems since doing the total flush / filter kit ... absolutely NO problems. Over the years .... I have noticed that in general terms, the people I know that do keep their transmissions serviced regularly do not have [transmission] problems. On the other hand ... I also know many people who are utterly clueless about the subject of auto maintenance .... and I have found that they are also the ones who eventually end up walking to work because of major automotive failures with their cars when they least expect it ..... they are the type to never service their cars ... and certainly would not ever entertain the thought of doing a trans service ... Why take my word for it .... give Bobby a call ..... see what he says .... you will like him ... you really will.
  12. 20 years ago I could find guys that would do this kind of work at home ...... but these days .... not so. I have tried really hard to find a painter that will do it for me (I need paint / body work also) ..... but man ... it is sooooooooooooo hard to find a guy to do this now ..... I finally found a guy that actually has a body shop ... a small one .... and he does his work on weekends, plus he has a few guys that work for him while he is doing his day job ..... but I do not have a price yet on what it will take. I need complete paint. I did take my car to one of the most respected Lexus Certified Body shops (Los Angeles area) ... are you sitting down???? How about $15,000 ... sound about right? Yup ... 15 Large $$$$$ to do my complete car (95 LS400), including a new windshield. This also would include a new Sun Roof gasket, etc. And .... there is more .... they are going to take the car apart first. And .... even the back glass is coming out .... which means I will have a new back window glass gasket. These guys have every tool in the book in their shop. The spray booth cost HUGE money ...... HUGE .... HUGE money .... you will get what you pay for ...... pretty much. (no .... I am not having them do my car for me ..... but if there was a way, and money was no object .... I think I would let them do it .... I like perfection .. and that is how much I like my old Lexus)
  13. I wonder if you have the same problem I do ... a blown ignition coil? There are two ... right side / left side ..... I have not repaired mine yet ..... but I need to get into this so I can use the car again ... it has sat for months.
  14. Hi ... wow ... that is a very sweet LS you found .... great! Ummmm ..... honestly ... the first thing I would put on my to-do-list if it were my LS .... would be to open up the Power Steering Rack Solenoid body and see if the little tiny (and very fragile) filter inside needs to be cleaned. If so ... might as well flush the power steering system now and then re-install the [clean] solenoid filter. This subject has been disused here quite often .... some of us like to use starting fluid to clean this filter .... it works quite well, in case you have never tried it ... just make certian you are outside, and not smoking a cigarette when you do it .... (^-^) It can be a somewhat messy job, so I have my independent Toyota mechanic do it for me ..... he charges me slightly less than an hour for this service item. It is great insurance, as this one simple thing can become the root cause of future power steering system problems ... When I got my 95 LS ... we could tell my filter probably had never been done in the life of car .... In my opinion ... as long as that solenoild filter stays clean ... and the fluid stays clean ... you are not going to have power steeing problems .... Next on my list would be the rest of the fluids in the car .... all of them ... as well as all the various filters ..... perhaps they are OK .... but it would be nice to at least take a look and know for sure, just for peace-of-mind .... Of couse ... you are going to want to be sure to use the correct Lexus fluids / filters .... but you probably know that ...... (^-^) It is this kind of information that makes this forum so valuable. We all drinve these cars and love them ..... and we also all love to save money ... welcome!
  15. Hey guys ..... I need to change out my ignition coils, distributor caps / rotors/ etc .... I understand the system has a part called an "Igniter"?? Should I change that out also as a good form of preventive maintenance? I see it is quite an expensive part ... geeeeez So is the Igniter the kind of part that typically goes 500,000 miles ..... or ...???? my 95 LS has 140,000 miles on it .... The main thing I wonder about .... are there any tips / tricks I should be aware of before I do all of this? Your thoughts would be appreciated .... thanks in advance
  • Create New...