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96 LS Radio Display Bad

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Old 03-20-04, 11:10 AM   #1
lexer
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Unhappy 96 LS Radio Display Bad

I seldom listen radio/CD while driving. I probably turn it on less than 5 times a year. But, recently, when I turn it on, I found many (more than 5) LED segments are not working. The radio/CD work OK though. I just can't see what radio station or which CD song I am listening because the broken LED segments make the display not readable. I brought it to a local Lexus dealer and they said the entire radio unit need to be replaced, instead of just replacing the LED screen. It will cost close to $1,000.- I really believe the problem is just the LED display panel. Does anyone know is there a way to just replace the LED panel? The problem is not major, not very annoying.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 04-12-04, 09:11 AM   #2
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Smile Radio Display '96 LS

I too had the same malady that you decribe with my '96 LS and was shocked when I got the same estimate from the dealer, but decided that there must be a better altenative. I talked to the independent shop I go to, Okimoto's in Norwalk, CA and when the shop he recommended said that they couldn't work on Lexus radios, they asked for another shop that could and were told of a place in Garden Grove, CA.
I called the shop and talked to Freddie and he said they weren't very busy that day and the repair would take about two hours and run $150. So I beat feet over, watched while Freddie dismantled the dash and retrieve the radio. He took it in the back and did some secret things to it and viola' the radio was back in the car within an hour!

Freddie expplained to me that there are two different problems that occur with this radio, one the lights go out, like mine did, and the other is that the digital display goes out and you can't see the numbers of the station etc. and that repair cost $225 from this shop called Car Radio Center, at 11001 Westminister Ave @ Euclid in Garden Grove.
I'm sure that this shop won't be convienient for everybody but they do work on just the radio itself if you want to ship it to them, call them at 714-626-3333 or 4444 and no, I don't work for them.

Last edited by roger53; 04-12-04 at 09:12 AM..
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Old 04-12-04, 02:35 PM   #3
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Default

Very uncommon in the 2nd generation LS for the display to go out unlike the 1st generation LS which is prone to that specific problem. Lexus supposedly had fixed the problem by slightly rearranging the heater control panel which was causing the head units to heat up too much causing the displays to go out.

I guess as the car ages it will eventually go.
Roger, good to know of those repair shops!
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Old 04-13-04, 10:09 PM   #4
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Default Re: 96 LS Radio Display Bad

Quote:
Originally posted by lexer
I seldom listen radio/CD while driving. I probably turn it on less than 5 times a year. But, recently, when I turn it on, I found many (more than 5) LED segments are not working. The radio/CD work OK though. I just can't see what radio station or which CD song I am listening because the broken LED segments make the display not readable. I brought it to a local Lexus dealer and they said the entire radio unit need to be replaced, instead of just replacing the LED screen. It will cost close to $1,000.- I really believe the problem is just the LED display panel. Does anyone know is there a way to just replace the LED panel? The problem is not major, not very annoying.

Thanks in advance.
PM lexusaudio on this forum.
He's in the business of fixing these things.
My 97 has the same problem. LCD works fine, but back lights are out.
I am expecting to reseive a fixed radio from him within a day or so.
I'll let you know more after it arives and I install it.
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Old 04-16-04, 09:20 AM   #5
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Default 96 LS400 - Aftermarket Radio

Has anyone had an aftermarket stereo installed in there 96 LS400 - I am trying to get one installed and it seems like it is the only year that they didn't make harnesses or anything for? I am being told that I have to rewire the whole damn thing is this true? And if not how can I find the wiring harness. The radio is the pioneer head unit - not nakamachi and all the harness that I have been sold don't fit? I am lost!!!
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Old 04-16-04, 02:34 PM   #6
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Default Re: 96 LS400 - Aftermarket Radio

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Originally posted by CaVleX
Has anyone had an aftermarket stereo installed in there 96 LS400 - I am trying to get one installed and it seems like it is the only year that they didn't make harnesses or anything for? I am being told that I have to rewire the whole damn thing is this true? And if not how can I find the wiring harness. The radio is the pioneer head unit - not nakamachi and all the harness that I have been sold don't fit? I am lost!!!
Welcome to ClubLexus!!

Probably have to splice all the connectors if your keeping the amp.
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Old 04-16-04, 04:11 PM   #7
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Default

I haven't had the centre stack of our LS400 opened up, but I'm 90% sure the radio uses the same wiring harnesses as my '96 4Runner (6-speaker Toyota premium system with external amp). The wiring from the head unit to the amp is the same for all Toyotas since the early '90s, and the wire harnesses from the amp to the body wiring is the same as systems without external amps like my Corolla, so any of the radio wiring harness kits will work.

That brings me to a question I have: Does anyone know if the outputs from the stereo itself to the amp are preouts or speaker level outputs? (I'm talking factory systems) Meaning, if I wanted to connect a non-amplified Toyota head unit to an aftermarket amplifier, would I use the preamp inputs or speaker level inputs?

And more on topic, the radio was replaced under warranty in our '96 LS400 when it was about 3 years old because half the LCD segments on the right side of the radio display worked only intermittently. The display has worked fine since, but the bulb behind the volume ****, behind the AM and FM1/2 buttons, and the one behind the TAPE and CD buttons have burned out one by one (in that order). Can be a bit of a nuisance at night, but not worth $150... yet. The delightfully intuitive radio controls keep it from being a problem.

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Old 04-16-04, 11:07 PM   #8
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Default Tried it all

See that's the problem I have tried all of the toyota harnesses, even the toyota amplifier integration harness. None of them work. Just wondering if anyone on the board actually found a harness.
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Old 04-16-04, 11:07 PM
 
 
 
 
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1996, bad, cant, cd, display, displays, es350, goes, led, lexus, ls, ls400, out, panel, radio, screen, segments

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