1998 Lexus LS 400 from North America - Comments

24th Sep 2008, 22:43

Hello again, I initially posted this thread back on May 1st 2008. I'd just recently acquired my friend's 1998 LS400 with very low miles (66,000) & full service history. WOW!

Now the car is turning 70,000 miles. I drove it to Northern California in July & got a steady 27 mpg, & cruised effortlessly all the way. The car only needed an alignment & new tires for the trip. Everything continues to operate perfectly.

I polished the car with the ZAINO line of products & the finish looks absolutely as NEW (pearlescent white). I am 51 years old, have had many-many cars all my life, including Jaguar, MBZ, Infiniti, & Cadillacs. This Lexus LS simply does everything at least as well as the others, & with such little fuss... I could not be happier.

I was able to buy a 3 year bumper to bumper service contract that covers virtually everything except tires & brake pads & wiper blades. This will be a trouble free experience all in all. If you can find a truly nice example of this car, go for it! Happy motoring to all!

30th Sep 2008, 19:20

I own a 1995 LS400 and couldn't be happier. The car is whisper silent, powerful, secure and super dependable. I plan on owning it for at least another 5 years - only to eventually replace it with one as nice as yours! Great review!

3rd Mar 2009, 01:52

I have a 1998 Lexus LS400 with 93000 miles as of this date 03/02/2009...It received a 90K miles scheduled maintenance at the lexus dealership completed by the prior owners. Is there anything I must be wary of in the next 30K miles like starter failure? Alternator failure? I really want to do my own maintenance on this vehicle but I wondered if it required any special tools which I do not have. Anyone out there that with 98 ls 400 give me some basic tips in maintenance and parts you have already replaced so that I can prepare myself. I like preventing breakdowns.

High Cost of Repairs with these cars...

3rd Mar 2009, 18:48

Was the timing belt done? I checked on mine and the records since new stated that it had not.. so I'll be doing mine soon.. starters are not a big issue unless the battery goes... mine fried the starter.. one brake caliper is stuck.. probably due to overload of salt use on the roads.. other than that nothing really major goes on these cars..

My father has a high mile 91 and the only trouble area on his are alternators... I checked with my dealer when I was considering getting my 98 and they said the alternators are not an issue on the 98. You may have to do replacements on the usual stuff.. brake pads, etc but there should be nothing really major.. again just fluke the battery fried my starter..

Hope this helps!

23rd Apr 2009, 22:29

Greetings again. I posted the original comment regarding my 1998 LS400 just about one year ago, on May 1st 2008. So here is my one year Update on my 1998 LS400:

The car continues to be nearly trouble free, driven in daily Los Angeles stop 'n go traffic. I'm nearing 75,000 miles as of today, and the car retains the wonderful finish from the Zaino polish applied last September. FYI - I honestly recommend the Zaino detailing products. Simply incomparable finish! Although some real labor is required to apply several layers of protection. It's well worth the efforts- to those of you who like to detail your vehicles.

Anyway, I have had the car in for repair twice in the past year.

1st - a pair of tie rod bushings were worn, generating a slight vibration. These were replaced under extended warranty at no cost to me. (cost would have been approx $475)

2nd - The check engine light come on, and it turned out to be an oxygen sensor needing replacement. This was also covered by my warranty (approx. $350).

Other than these 2 minor services, only wheel balancing, rotation, and oil changes have been needed. I wonder if the bumper to bumper 3 year extended service warranty will even pay for itself

@ $2,100. Since I have 2 more years of protection, who knows?

Everything else is absolutely perfect in operation and appearance. No complaints, and have received many compliments from folks who appreciate the car.

Anyhow, I hope these updates are of value (or interest) to those of you who might be considering one of these fine cars... No, it is NOT an exciting drivers car, rather it is really an exceptional daily driver, that does its job with dignity and ageless grace. What's not to like?

I look forward to acquiring an LS430 as my next vehicle. I'd really appreciate the Ultra Luxury package of options, since I love gadgets so much. But that will wait until I run this LS400 for a good while longer. All the best, & happy motoring to all!

14th May 2009, 23:05

I am about to purchase a 1998 LS400 that was a repo... my first used car purchase since I was in high school. After reading all of the reviews I think I am doing the right thing. They tell me there are issues with the power steering - maybe the pump or worse the rack... but at $2,500 I think it's a deal. To the person who got the extended warranty... who was that through?

17th Jan 2010, 03:10

Greetings, I am the original writer of this link with the 1998 LS 400 posted in May 2008.

As of today, the car continues to be simply fantastic. At 79,904 miles, it has not needed any further repairs other than maintenance: wheel balancing & rotation/oil changes every 2,500 miles/& new wiper blades.

I drive the car daily to work, keep it polished with Zaino products, & all leather is cleaned & conditioned. As a result, my 12 year old car performs & appears flawlessly, gaining compliments several times a week from folks who are usually surprised to learn it is a 1998 model.

The parts manager at my local Lexus dealership saw the car, came outside, & offered to buy the car-for cash-on the spot. I've declined his very generous offer (considerably more $$$ than I paid for the car 1 1/2 years ago), as I expect my LS 400 will last for many years to come...

One other thing, I opted to purchase an updated hard drive for the factory navigation system. The Lexus dealer was able to install a 2004 update, which is the most current navigation drive they are able to install a 1998 model car. $380.00 total. Not a huge difference in navigation performance, so I don't recommend the upgrade too highly, FYI.

Anyhow, Happy New Year & Happy Motoring to all!

31st Jan 2010, 19:28

Hello Lexus drivers. I also own a 1998 LS400, and believe what is posted because these are outstanding cars.

I am right over 100k, and so far no major problems. I was honestly looking into a BMW or a Mercedes, but I am pretty much sold on Lexus.

I have heard of people actually getting 500k off of one engine without ever having any major issues along the way, so of course this was a deciding factor for me.

To add to it, I also owned a Camry that got 300k off of the same engine, so I trust the manufacturer.

I do have one question, which is does anyone have any ideas of places that sell factory wheels for this model in chrome?