Question about 1990 Lexus LS 400

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Gluster gauge won't illuminate

I just bought a 1990 lexus ls400 with only 85000 miles on it. but i found out that the instrument panel won't illuminate. everything else on the gauge cluster works, also should i worry about a timing chain or belt needing to be changed as everyone keeps telling me that it is about to break. Please any help or advice would be greatly appreiciated

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Hello hayeizmyhome...Very low mileage for a 1990 model. However... this is usually around the mileage interval the dreaded instrument cluster, panel and dash light failures start...lights will flicker, then go out, gauges will start going up and down, lcd's will become hazey and hard to read....etc.
The instruments are illuminated both day and night while the ignition is on.
When the ignition is off, the panel goes dark and you can’t see the gauges at all.
The lexus has an electronic circuit board behind the inst. cluster that has been the problem. Very expensive repair if done by dealer.
*TIP* This circuit board can be repaired if you know a good electrical technician much cheaper.
The recommended timing belt replacement interval on the LS is 120k...water pump should be replaced also, the timing belt runs the water pump. The LS has a non-interference engine, meaning if the belt breaks, no damage will be done to the engine...
Hope this answers your questions..and your lexus runs for many more miles...with proper care and maintainnace, it will.

Posted on May 19, 2009

  • Mr BrokRench
    Mr BrokRench May 19, 2009

    One more thing you can try on the panel light issue....may or may not work, but it's worth a try.
    Remove the negative battery cable from the negative post on the battery, leave disconnected for at least 30 minutes, then reconnected. This will allow the systems computer to reboot.
    This has restored panel light issues in a few cases.


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