Originally Posted by 1SILVERGS3
After researching here and reading about this UL package and AIR SUSPENSION...some people are very skeptical about this feature..Most of them fear the "COST" of servicing this componentt IF/WHEN it breaks...
So how many "OWNERS" here have had ISSUES that needed repair on their LS430 ULTRA with AIR SUSPENSION???
Please take the poll...
Also, How many have been TROUBLE FREE?
How about those people that added an after market "AIR CONTROLLER"?
This should shed some light about this "TROUBLE PRONE" (per my research) Air Suspension for the LS430.
.....and mine is an LS 400, I would like to comment about the Air Suspension. Personally, I am VERY VERY VERY DISSAPPOINTED with this feature!!! I view it more as a VERY EXPENSIVE GIMMICK serving ABSOLUTELY no purpose whatsoever
....my car is a 2000 model and it has about 60k miles on it. Recently, I was hearing some noise from the front end, and Longo Lexus told me that the FRONT
air struts were showing signs of leaking and so they should be replaced. First off, these are frightfully expensive at about $1000 a piece. Anyhow, I coughed up the dough, thinking that it was worth it for the "comfortable ride" and replaced both of them. At the same time I replaced the lower ball joints
as well. However, after they've replaced the shocks, the ride has become UNBELIEVABLY HARSH, especially when I hit potholes or road irregularities, and over broken pavement.
. The ride becomes even more unbearably harsh, when braking on a rough stretch of road. It's as if the "damping" is becoming too firm or something!.....By the same token it appears to me that the ride "softens up" significantly at times. It appears to be "cycling through" a soft and hard phase. My cousin's Acura TL-Type S with super low profile tires rides smoother for cryin out loud
Even before I replaced the shocks, the ride was never all that "supple" to begin with, compared to my previous Silver 2000 LS with the coil spring steel suspension
, but at the time, I just attributed it to worn out shocks. However, with the new shocks it's like there is no suspension underneath there sometimes....it's that bad. I have taken the vehicle back to Longo a couple times, and spoken to the Lead technician (shop foreman) who's taken a test ride with me, and they all tell me everything is fine, and that's just the way an Air Suspension equipped vehicle rides, and since it rides on a combination of air and hydraulic fluid, it cannot respond immediately or readily when hitting potholes, thereby causing the "jarring", "harsh" reaction. I find this explanation disingenous and incredibly hard to believe. When this car was new this option cost over $2,000!!!
....Unless someone was mentally retarded, why would anyone pay this kind of money for such a harsh ride, and no benefit, but rather a downgrade from the steel suspension??....just to get the adjustable ride height feature?? .....Yeah, right!!
I, then spoke to Mr. David Funk, the Asst. Manager there, and when I told him that the 4 cylinder Camry loaner they gave me was riding way smoother than my LS over broken pavement, he had the audacity to tell me that (and I quote) "the Camry is a much newer vehicle, so it's going to ride a lot smoother"
......and I was thinking to myself, so you're telling me that my $65K LS 400 with Air suspension is supposed to ride waaayy worse than a $20K Camry just because the Camry has 15,000 miles on it, and my LS has 60,000 miles on it??
......What kind of a stupid idiotic response is that??
I also ended up replacing the CASTER BARS, because they said these were bad too. At that time, they checked the new Shocks again and found them just fine, no leaks etc. So, I asked if there was a way to hook it up to a computer and see if the "AIR SUSPENSION COMPUTER" or other parts such as the Air compressor, accumulator etc. were malfunctioning, because I felt that maybe, since the shocks are "electronically modulated" in real time, the computer (or some other component) may be giving erratic messages to the shocks to "firm up" waayy too much at times. They said there was no way of doing this. I guess, the only way to get to the bottom of this would be to start replacing parts one by one (TRIAL AND ERROR), and I would be mentally insane to go this route, as it could end up costing me another $4000 or more!!.....and even that may not guarantee a fix!!
The moral of this story is that I should have never gone for an Air suspension equipped vehicle in the first place. It's JUST NOT WORTH THE HASSLE!!, and because of the sheer complexity of the system and the inability of dealerships to properly diagnose, an elusive problem could be virtually unresolvable!! .....I am scheduled to take the vehicle in again on Monday for a second opinion from another Shop Foreman, and if all else fails, I'm seriously considering converting my Air Suspension, to a regular (and much simpler) OEM coil spring setup. I'm told there is a conversion kit for this, and it can be done for around $700.
This whole thing has left a very bad taste in my mouth. Here I am in the Lexus Flagship sedan riding over broken pavement like a buckboard, and this is supposed to be the vehicle that is the benchmark for a smooth ride!!
FYI, I also took the vehicle to South Bay Lexus, and the service consultant there, who coincidentally happened to own an exact same vehicle like mine (same year and air susp. equipped) said that he finds the ride to be definitely not "normal". If Longo cannot do anything, the consultant at Southbay Lexus asked me to leave the car there for a couple days to see if they can figure out what's wrong. Will have to see what happens!