13th Feb 2005, 11:22

Thanks - in fact getting the PAS pump fixed is next on my list of things to do. The cause of the front suspension noise turned out to be failed control arm bushes. Having had the whole wishbone replaced at a cost of around £500, I then discovered that you can indeed obtain pattern bushes from a company in the US - at a fraction of the price. A lesson there, I think...

By the way, my initial comment about door mirror setting not being stored in memory is untrue. They didn't move because I hadn't changed their position! Doh!

21st Sep 2006, 20:19

A long-term report, if you like, following my initial comments...

I’ve lived with this car for nearly 2 years, and in that time it has not let me down. I’ve had to spend some money on it, the most expensive items being a new PAS pump with precautionary alternator recon, and a new EGR pipe. Basic servicing such as fluid changes can be done at home, despite what I said before. There’s more dismantling to do, e.g. removal of covers, but underneath it’s just like any other car, only well-engineered! Whatever you do, use genuine Toyota parts where possible, ESPECIALLY when replacing the transmission fluid. The tutorials on lexls.com are very helpful.

I’ve had trouble with the seat recliner mechanism on the driver’s side. There’s a splined aluminium tube, which links the two sides, and the splines strip off, causing the seat back to twist. Luckily I was able to fix it with a self-tapping screw. I had to change the coolant tank, too, as it had split and wasn’t holding pressure. The cooling system in general is excellent, although in very hot weather the car can overheat in stationary traffic when the A/C is on.

From an ergonomic point of view, there are still a few areas for improvement, possibly incorporated in later models. For me, the heater mode controls are just too small and hard to identify quickly. Another minor issue is that there’s no visual indication on the dash that the front fog lights are on (whereas there is for rear fog lights). There’s a foot-rest for your left foot, but that is of questionable use. What is required is somewhere to park your right foot when the cruise control is on, so you can access the pedals quickly if needed. Oh, and not all the switches (e.g. on the column stalks) are illuminated – no big deal, but I find that strange when those with a less important function – such as window switches – do light up. It’s also a pity that the rear-view mirror doesn’t move with the seat memory positions. One final thing – the door lock levers say ‘lock’ (as opposed to ‘locked’) when they’re locked. This suggests that they’re actually unlocked, if you see what I mean.

But seriously, these are truly fantastic cars for the money. Use OEM parts and you’ll be OK.

People complain about the inadequacy of the Series 1 brakes. I find them more than good enough! I’m not saying that the brakes on later models aren’t more powerful, but that’s no reason to avoid a Series 1.

22nd Feb 2007, 22:10

My lease on my current car is up in April and I am considering getting used Lexus 400 LS. I see a lot of 1990's out there and a few newer models. It does seem, though, that there are more 1990's for sale than any other year. Does anyone know if one year got better reviews than another or if there is a certain year to stay away from? Also, I see that a lot of people are saying that the repairs are expensive. How expensive is expensive? I figure if I am buying a $5000 car, I can afford SOME expense for repairs.

Thanks for any input you can offer.