Last post on Oct 30, 2006 at 9:56 AM
You are in the Lexus LS 400/LS 430
What is this discussion about?
Lexus LS 400, Lexus LS 430, Sedan
#1898 of 2081 Re: '01 LS430- New Engine Needed [erinfaulk]
Feb 07, 2006 (8:29 am)
Wow--what a Bummer. Sorry to hear about your problem.
LS 430s with their V8 engines are about the best there is out there. That engine has a great reputation for being bulletproof.
I'd be willing to bet you've got a formerly leased car, and the previous owner ignored maintenance altogether. That was, and still is happening with leased cars, altho' the car companies are now trying to get lessees to be more accountable by charging premiums for improper maintenance.
Like you said,, whoever had it before you didn't maintain it, and it was never in for service by Lexus.
I think you may have recourse with the store you bought it at--work with your Lawyer on it. Also, you might get some help from Lexus, but that's probably doubtful because of the previous owner's transgressions.
Try Ebay, and ask around for a good used engine. Another alternative would be to get a rebuild quote from a reliable shop in your area.
For what it's worth, this is the skinny on the sludge issue:
The sludge story was blown totally out of proportion when it was first discussed. It received much undeserved publicity in the early 2000s, so much so that Toyota issued a SPA (special policy announcement) in 2002 providing free repairs up to 8 years--provided there was proof of at least one oil change per year. Only for some V6 and I4 engines though.
Toyota also made a minor change to the PCV system in those engines back in 02 which made them more tolerant of poor maintenance. This helped to minimize the issue even more.
History has now shown beyond any doubt the vast majority of sludged engines occurred in vehicles which were not well maintained. Owners weren't changing oil at all, or going well beyond recommended intervals. As is likely the case with your LS430, unfortunately.
A number of other makes were plagued with the same undeserved publicity, for the same reason.
The so called "sludge prone" engines made by Toyota are reliable as they come--given reasonable maintenance. This requirement isn't any different for other manufacturer's engines.
Simply put, after all that past furor about it, sludge is no longer an issue.
I wish you good luck in your situation.
#1899 of 2081 Re: '01 LS430- New Engine Needed [scoti1]
Feb 07, 2006 (10:42 am)
One other thing that I should mention -- I know someone who got the warranty-covered sludge "fix" from Toyota, and it essentially amounted to no more than an engine cleaning. If paid out of pocket, it is still quite expensive (thousands of dollars to dismantle, clean, and put back together) but it could be a less costly option than buying a new engine. You may want to check into the possiblity of getting a cleaning. The viability of this option would depend on how extensive the damage was from operating with sludge in the engine.
#1900 of 2081 Bigger brakes for 91 LS400?
Feb 07, 2006 (11:37 am)
My 1991 LS400 has had perennial brake problems front and back -- binding of pads on rotor (causing a smoking seizure on the front left assembly that stranded us 200 miles from home), premature rotor warping and so on. Later LSes (93 and later, I believe) have bigger brakes. Can the bigger calipers and rotors and pads be mounted to a 91 LS? I already have 16-inch LS430 rims on regular tires, and snow tires on the original 15-inch rims.
#1901 of 2081 Re: '01 LS430- New Engine Needed [scoti1]
Feb 08, 2006 (7:37 am)
I would have the Sludge analyzed, it is possible that someone at the Glass shop added something to the oil. Their are alot of jealous people that don't like Lexus drivers. would not let the Glass shop off the hook.A engine is not going to act up that quick.
#1902 of 2081 Re: '01 LS430- New Engine Needed [lexking]
Feb 08, 2006 (10:51 am)
Analyzing the oil is a good suggestion. In regards to the glass shop causing the sludge, I guess anything is possible, but it is a very long shot that this had anything to do with the glass shop. This is a 5-year old car, anyway, so not likely to create that much envy. I think the sludge can have the appearance of happening suddenly. It can be building up slowly, but then reach a point where it plugs the galleys and causes what appears to be a sudden failure. I would think the "check engine" light would have illuminated, but remember, this is a used car, so the used dealer or previous owner could have tampered with the light or maybe it just failed. Also, smoke from the exhaust is usually present, but it is winter-time, so this may have gone unnoticed.
#1903 of 2081 Bottom Line On LS430 Sludge.
Feb 08, 2006 (12:41 pm)
Erinfaulk's LS430 sludge problem results from lousy or no maintenance at all--99.999% of sludge cases boil down to that!
Or the Glass shop or used car dealer messed up the engine somehow--odds of which are slim to none!! At this stage the "who is responsible" is moot.
The question now is "what is more cost effective": (1)Get the best deal on a new, good used,or rebuilt engine, or(2)Patch it up and dump it.
I have no idea of blue book value on that car, so what one spends now has a lot to do with which decision to choose.
If Erinfaulk has only owned the car for 6 mmonths and has proof of responsible maintenance during that time., I would strongly suggest going after the used car dealer for some responsibility for the cost of whatever the choice is.
#1904 of 2081 98 LS400 tranny problems ?
Feb 08, 2006 (1:52 pm)
I just bought a 98 LS400 with 50K miles on it. It drives well, except for one specific place. When I leave my office and start to drive up the entrance ramp to the freeway, it hesitates for a second or less, causing me to lurch forward inside the car, then picks up and drives normally.
It feels like the transmission is letting go for a second, then moving into gear and all is well. I'll check rpm next time to make sure it is nto the engine.
This has only happened in this one specific location to date. Otherwise it drives perfectly.
Is this a known or common issue with these cars that I needn't be concerned about, or is it a sign of something starting to go wrong that should go to a mechanic ?
#1905 of 2081 Re: '01 LS430- New Engine Needed [erinfaulk]
Feb 08, 2006 (8:53 pm)
I saw your problem about sludge no the glass shop didn't cause it what caused it was not changing the oil. Another thing that I have found is some people only drive a car 1-3 miles a day and think it's ok to still change the oil at 3000 to 4000 miles or maybe as much as 1-2 years. when you drive a car a short distance daily and never get miles on it the water in the engine at night dosen't get burned off and it remains with the oil to make sludge. If you only dive to the store and back and never go on long trips such as 10-20 miles a week at one drive you will build sludge. The advice from people who know cars say at least once a week take your car out early on saturday avoid traffic and go out on the freeway and go at least 20-25 miles to burn off the water in your motor and this supposed to help keep down sludge on a weekly basis. Or change your oil every 3-4 months be sure to give your car a good run before changing oil to help clean the oil and get it hot to drain out easier. This also helps run the oil thru the oil filter and catch some of the sludge look at cars in the morning you will see water coming out the tail pipe it takes 5-8 miles to get it out.
#1906 of 2081 Re: 98 LS400 tranny problems ? [txls400man]
Feb 08, 2006 (9:38 pm)
Check your transmission fluid level. Even if it shows full, add about a pint - I'll bet your problem goes away.
#1907 of 2081 Glass Shop Horror
Feb 09, 2006 (8:56 am)
"In November after taking it to a shop for glass work, my car couldnt even make it from the auto glass shop to my house. It was knocking badly and was slowing down on the highway, of course I pulled over and called the shop that it was at."
I guess you never heard of sugar in the oil.