artseattle

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About artseattle

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  • Lexus Model
    1998 SC400
  1. Thanks for the info. I saw the car listed on autotrader that said it had ML. It didn't have the ML logo. The salesperson said that his paperwork "confirmed" that it did. If you search autotrader for IS350's and search for "Levinson" you'll see many listed with ML but when you look at the pictures, most don't have the logo. I'm going with this forum. ML signature or it isn't ML. Thanks.
  2. I've started shopping used IS250 AWD's. I've noticed that many ads list Mark Levinson systems but then when I look at the pictures, the signature is clearly not there. I stopped in at one place and, of course, the guy told me that some of the ML systems didn't have the logo. Is there another easy way to check? Speaker placement? Sound adjustment that can only be done with ML? or is it a known fact, that only the ones with the logo are ML? Thanks,
  3. Problem solved. I had a failure with the "pulsation fuel damper" that was slowly dripping gas on to the side of my engine. Replaced at Lexus for $350 and so far... Symptoms were: occasionally smell of gas in the cabin of the car. AC/heat on or off didn't seem to matter. The smell came from the engine and flowed through the vents.
  4. I have a 1998 Lexus SC400 that runs great. Recently, there has been smell coming through the heater vents. The smell is not consistent and I can't really find a pattern. Sometimes it occurs right away, sometimes it's more noticeable when I'm idling. To me, it smells like I'm sticking my nose in a tin of band-aids. A friend says it smells more chemical, like paint thinner. Doesn't smell like burning or exhaust. No new brakes. All belts have been checked. I did have the exhaust system checked as well as a fluid compression check to rule out any leaks. Lexus says to bring it in when the smell is evident which is hard to do. If I do smell it, then when I crank up the heater with or without A/C, the smell seems stronger. I'd also say that it occurs about 25% of the time. No rhyme or reason that I can assess. Any guesses? Any other ways to narrow this down? Thanks!
  5. Just called a "Wheel Specialist" in Seattle who knew exactly what I was talking about. He said he would grind the chrome off, reseal it and the tire would be good to go. $90 for each wheel including balancing. He said that he has seen this numerous times on chrome wheels and that this fix works! I'll let you all know. Art
  6. Where does one go to get the chrome from the bead seal removed? What kind of shop? What does this entail? Thanks, Art
  7. I need some advice. I have a 1998 SC400 with 62000 miles. I bought it less than two years ago from a Lexus dealer with a 5 year/100,000 certified pre-owned warranty. Here's the problem. Two of my four "Toyota" chrome wheels need to be replaced. They are the five star chrome wheels. I've been having trouble keeping the tires filled for over a year. Lexus has looked at the tires three times in the past year and replaced the valve stems and repaired a nail hole. Last week, after "repairing" the tire, the tire was already flat by the time I picked up the car after a long weekend. This time, they inspected the wheel and stated that the chrome had flaked off to the point where the tire cannot seal properly. Lexus called me today and said that the wheel is not covered under the "bumper to bumper" warranty. I checked the Lexus website and under the Certified Pre-owned section, "Wheels" are clearly listed as covered. "Chrome" is listed as not covered. HELP! Any ideas? Lexus said they would replace the wheels for $550 each, which they say is a discount. Any tips on trying to get this covered? If I can't, should I buy four new wheels from someone else and maybe not chrome this time. I only have 15,000 miles on the tires and would hate to have to replace them too. Thanks for any thoughts. Art
  8. I fixed my moonroof squeaking problem last year after reading the Acura forums. I used a very expensive silicone grease called Shin-etsu that Honda/Acura carries. The service people gave me a small amount for free and that's all I needed. I used it all around the rubber gaskets and the moonroof has been quieter and squeakfree! The grease is really expensive so see if you can score some for free. Art in Seattle
  9. Help, I need to poll some of you experts. I just brought my 1998 SC400 into the Lexus dealer for some warranty work. I bought a 5 year 50k warranty when I purchased the car two years ago. So here's the story. The service consultant strongly suggested to me that I change the timing belt and the water pump on my car because the car is over 6 years old. I have 62,000 miles on it. I've had all of my services done at Lexus and I treat the car with great care. The consultant told me that Lexus would not cover any damage caused by the timing belt breaking since the 6 year mark has passed. He claims that the belt has been compromised because it is old. I asked him if he would recommend the same thing if I had 1000 miles on the car. He said, "Yes," the particles in the air corrode the rubber. The consultant told me the cost for the change would be about $1300. He added that if the timing belt breaks it would do about $5000 worth of damage. I'm not going to change the belt now but... what do you all thnk of this? Thanks, Art in Seattle
  10. KCTALKER, sorry no anwers from me. I have the same problem with my 1998 SC400. I was hoping you found a solution. With my problem, the rattle sounds like two pieces of plastic tapping on each other. It sounds like it is coming from somewhere down in the defroster vent. I rolled towels and covered the vents and the sound was muted. Just checking to see if you found anything? Art in Seattle
  11. I almost love my 1998 SC400. I like it a lot but, I'm irritated with the little noises it makes. There is a plastic tapping sound that seems like it is coming from the defroster vents. When I stuck a towel in between the dashboard and the window I could mute the sound. Actually, the sound stopped after I removed the towel for a few days before returning? This sound occurs whenever I go over a bump. The car also makes a few clanging sounds that makes me think that it needs everything tightened. So here's my question. Is there a type of place where I can take my car and have them track down and eliminate these sounds? I wish there was a place that could shake the car with some sort of machine. When I brought the car to Lexus, of course, we couldn't get the car to make the sound! I haven't done a very systematic job of tracking down the sound. Any ideas about this? Thanks.
  12. Twice, I have had the "check" engine light come on. The first time, I tightened the gas cap and it went off (although it already seemed tight enough). The second time, that did not work. I started trolling this forum and found the fix in another section. Apparently, I had overfilled the gas tank and that caused a vapor sensor? to activate the light. I did fill the tank higher than usual (trying to get to a round dollar amount!) I tried this again just to see, and, the light came on again. As soon as I cleared the excess gas from just under the gas cap, the light went off. Hope this is helpful to others.
  13. No problems with mine. I would make sure the labels are on tight or I wouldn't use the stick-on labels. I had another problem with my changer with a store bought CD. The CD got stuck in between the cartridge and the changer. I could see it when I looked down at the box. I stopped by a Lexus dealer that I happened to be nearby. They told me that they didn't even try to fix these things. Their fix was to remove the entire box, install one that they had reconditioned and then send mine in to be fixed and ultimately keep it for someone else. Since I am still under warranty they were going to check to see if this would be covered. I decided to hold off and the next day drove my car to my dealer. One of the repair gurus told me that he had a fix. He took a letter opener and jammed it against the CD and slowly wiggled it toward the cartridge. It took about 30 seconds of forced "scooting" but it worked! I haven't had the problem since (knock, knock).
  14. I'm bringing my 1998 SC400 into the Lexus dealer this Friday to have them work on getting rid of some of the squeaks and tapping sounds that are getting to me. I'm wondering what is the acceptable standard for the amount of wind noise coming through the moonroof with the shade retracted. I'd say that I have a moderate amount of noise but no actual air (4 out of 10). When going across a bridge with wind blowing across the car, the noise level increases. The moonroof looks flush from the top of the car looking down. So, how much noise do you get through your moonroof at freeway speeds? It's seems noiser than my old Honda Accord. Thanks,
  15. Thanks for the reply. I am new to Lexus. Just got this Lexus certified car in October. According to the very detailed records, this car has never been in any kind of accident. I think you are implying that I shouldn't tolerate the squeaks and rattles!? The noise that is most annoying to me is a "plastic on plastic" tapping sound, one tap each time I hit a bump, that can be heard in the front windshield. I've greased everything I can think of and wonder if the sound isn't coming up from the air vents for the defroster. Thanks for the ideas. I think I'll call a few high end body shops.