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No Audio At Times - 01 Ls430 Ultra With Mark Levinson

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Old 02-25-09, 11:06 AM   #1
speedemon
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Default No Audio At Times - 01 Ls430 Ultra With Mark Levinson

It's a long read but it is a combination of a bunch of posts on another site indicating what I've tried and ruled out.

Thanks,

Glen
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No audio, from anything, cd, fm, am, or tape at times. Thinking amp.

I have a 2001 LS430 UL with the ML ( Mark Levinson ) audio, I've bypassed the Lexus link by switching the connectors in the trunk on the right side trunk floor where the DVD Navigation unit is, there are 4 connectors 2 male 2 female that I picked up from another post http://www.clublexus.com/forums/ls43...ror-msg-4.html that said to cross connect them in the trunk floor on the right which essentially bypasses the LL system, it is its own harness that is connected to itself when doing this, to rule out the LL system causing issues (muting or anything else) plus it gets rid of the annoying voice that talks to you and tells you there's an error with the system but it does disable the memo functionality on the sunglass holder.

When the issue occurs on mine the ASL button disappears, the midrange adjustment under sound disappears, and none of the options under the sound option are adjustable. I've searched this and other sites to try and find the diagnostic procedures to get in to test the audio when it is happening through the navigation window or whatever and can't seem to either find the right procedure or any real fixes. The buttons on the display disappearing concern me, the exact issue was posted here with no resolution, http://www.clublexus.com/forums/ls430-forum/389853-automatic-sound-levelizer-asl-button-disappeared-and-nav-disc-q.html . I saw in a different post by Lexusthai that his amp wasn't producing sound and it would've cost $900 to fix, so I'm assuming that issue was the amp. http://www.clublexus.com/forums/ls43...n-problem.html

The NAV systems voice still works when the radio is not working, this only indicates that the NAV system is bypassing the amp, from what I understand the only thing that happens is the left front speaker gets muted so the sound can come through from the NAV Unit.

After the car sits for a while, most times I can go out to it and start it up and the radio works, if I drive for a while or just have the ignition on for a while in the driveway and turn the ignition off and back on the audio behaves like I said above. Most times if it doesn't come on right away it will take 1-20 minutes to turn on and everything functions like it should, more reason for me to think it is the amp, but I'm not sure if the amp was malfunctioning if it would cause the stuff in the sound menu under audio to become unresponsive/disappear.

When it is cold 30's or below it functions pretty normally it occasionally will take 10 seconds or so to come on when it is 20's or below, when the temp goes up it seems to work more sporadically but usually the first time of the day when it is cold it works fine, by the time I get to work and it's warmed up, I can turn it off and right back on and it doesn't function, or it will, there is no real rhyme or reason to it, but it works much less consistently when it is warmed up. More evidence that would lead me to the amp being the cause.

Sometimes I can't get it to come on even if it sits for a while, it has a mind of its own, I drove 40 minutes home from work the other day and had a stop in between and it still didn't come to life, other times I'll drive with it fully warmed up and it will come on 20 seconds - 20 minutes, again pushing me towards the Amp, just those buttons got me wondering.

There are no signs of water leaks no stains/deposits in the trunk area so I've ruled out a short due to moisture.

This car does not have the Cellular phone module, the only thing on the left truck floor is a power dist block with some fuses and relays.

I still think it's the amp, seems on other posts even though most are incomplete that the loss of functionality in the sound menu might indicate an amp issue, although if it's an internal thing in the amp I would imagine that it could be fixed but what the hell do I know? An intermittent fault like this would be impossible to find internally if it works when it wants to unless the connection is obviously a bad solder joint, but in this situation I'm sure it won't be that obvious otherwise a light tap on the case or wiggling the connectors might make it work.

I went ahead and disconnected the battery for a while to reset the system, and it came up with the configuration screen or something like that where everything seems to reset, and the audio issue is still happening, no change at all, stuff still disappears, and it won't come on right away, it has a mind of its own. still wondering if anyone else has dealt with the same issue and how it was resolved, someone who lost the ASL button and the options under sound. I really don't want to buy an amp when it might not fix the issue but it will probably end up coming down to that.

The ML no audio issue seems to be a common symptom with these amps, it does seem to be more problematic when it has been on for a while and warmed up.

I've tried multiple procedures to try and get in to the Diagnostic Mode on the LCD screen so I can check the audio or anything for that matter and the procedures that I've dug up on here or other sites don't seem to work.
Anyone know how to put an 01 LS430 UL with Mark Levinson, into diagnostic mode?
I've tried
Start car, turn on park lights, hold down both climate and audio buttons and then turn park lights off, on, off, on, off
no go
I've also tried the Lexus TSIB from somewhere it's attached in the PDF page 3 of this file 2001 LS430 Audio Diagram and TSIB.pdf from somewhere (sorry not sure who posted it originally or where I got it so I can't give credit) to get into test mode and it references - cars with navigation system and external amplifier, press and hold the info switch on the navigation display while cycling the tail lights on and off three times.
no go because there is not info button on the NAV screen, the only information button there is is when you go into options I think, I've tried that and cycling - no go. I've tried all the combinations with the key on acc or with the car running.

Am I using the right procedure to get into diag mode? Is it possible that something else is at fault with the module that allows test mode to happen? Rather than the amp.

I've been researching this car and the audio system for days, I've read most of the owners manual, and I've tried various things.

I got in the car this morning and it was colder last night than it had been in a week or two, started the car and the radio took about 10 seconds to come on, so the problem also exists when it's cold.

In light of this I think I am more or less convinced that the amp is the issue, probably just a cold solder joint or something, although the disappearing buttons under audio concern me, but not knowing the internal design or what exactly each wire going into the amp does I can't say that it will or won't cause those buttons to disappear.

The mute wires have no effect on the issue and from what Jainla on another site said it didn't change the buttons available either, I used page 2 of this pdf 2001 LS430 Audio Diagram and TSIB.pdf that I got from 1990LS400 on another site to figure out and disable each mute wire going to the amp with no improvement, the amp connections are correct on the diagram, just match the colors and pin count to figure out which connector it is, it is not top to bottom like the diagram.

I have verified that the hot at all times is in fact hot at all times and I also verified that the Grounds are all good, the ACC is hot with the ignition in ACC, or On. So either a signal isn't getting to the amp from the player up front or the tuner in the rear or there is just an intermittent connection that is somewhat temperature sensitive inside the amplifier. There might actually be a relay or some other chip or something that functions similarly that is sticking inside the amp but without internal diagrams there would probably be no way to figure it out, at least I wouldn't be able to figure it out.

Also, thinking from the perspective of a Dealer and what they would do, I know the first thing they would say/do is replace the Amp so unless someone else has any feedback or ideas, I'm going to replace the Amp, cross my fingers, and hope that it fixes it.

Thanks in advance to anyone that responds. It's frustrating as hell to research and find posts that explain the exact same thing you are dealing with, with no real follow up or resolution, that's why I figured I would post all of this stuff here and when I get it resolved post the fix.

Thanks
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Last edited by speedemon; 02-25-09 at 11:46 AM.. Reason: wrong link posted
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Old 02-25-09, 09:39 PM   #2
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Sounds like the infamous 2001 ML amp issue.

Just make sure you replace it with an amp from a 02+ model if your buying one used.
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Old 02-26-09, 08:31 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by GRAND_LS 4 View Post
Sounds like the infamous 2001 ML amp issue.

Just make sure you replace it with an amp from a 02+ model if your buying one used.
You posted on another thread that you posted the part numbers for the 02 or that they were floating around, I searched the site many times and couldn't find it, when I called the dealer to get the part number of the amp in my '01 I had him cross it to other years so I could buy a different year if need be, the dealer said '01, '02, and '03 were all the same part number.

How do I tell if it was out of an '02+ is there a date stamp or another part of the part number that the dealer didn't tell me about?
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Old 03-01-09, 04:09 PM   #4
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lexus removes the part numbers of defective units in thier data base. so when dealer says there is only one part number for 01 02 and 03 he means the 2002 part number is now listed as original for 2001. all the 2001 ml amps were defective and they all ended in a 0 . so the 2001 ml amp was 86280-0w040. the 2002 part number is 86280-0w041 which is what the dealer now lists as replacement part number for 2001. as far as refurbed 2001 amps ending in 0 had a small sticker on the side by the fan that had a a number higher than 74xx .
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Old 03-01-09, 09:11 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by lexusaudio View Post
the 2002 part number is 86280-0w041 which is what the dealer now lists as replacement part number for 2001.
Thank you for the information, do you agree with the assesment of the cause of the issue being the amp? Have you ever seen or heard of those buttons disappearing on the LCD screeen under the audio and sound displays?
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Old 03-15-09, 05:05 PM   #6
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Thanks All for the info. My 2001 LS430 with ML also has the "no sound" issue. I followed the instructions on this site and "bypassed" the LL which did away with the annoying voice upon startup. The other question I have is, "where exactly is the ML amp located?" I removed the passenger side rear trunk floor panel and located the GPS drive and what I thought was supposed to be the amp located adjacent (which had the attached pair of white connectors). However, when I removed this part and turned it over it says "Pioneer" and appears to be the am/fm receiver.

I would greatly appreciate if someone would steer me towards the location of the ML amp.

Thanks.
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Old 03-15-09, 08:07 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by lexuslink View Post
The other question I have is, "where exactly is the ML amp located?" I removed the passenger side rear trunk floor panel and located the GPS drive and what I thought was supposed to be the amp located adjacent (which had the attached pair of white connectors). However, when I removed this part and turned it over it says "Pioneer" and appears to be the am/fm receiver.

I would greatly appreciate if someone would steer me towards the location of the ML amp.

Thanks.
standing at the rear of the trunk looking at the bottom follow the inside of the rear 1/4 forward and up, you have to take out the trunk liner on the right of the trunk to see it, it is mounted on the brace that runs top to bottom from the rear deck to the trunk floor with, it is on the outside of that brace facing the right side 1/4, think of where the filler tube is but the opposite side of the car.

And you're right, that is the tuner.
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Old 03-24-09, 12:59 PM   #8
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Smile Thanks for the info - It Worked!

Just wanted to thank everyone for the info and fix details regarding the "No Sound" Mark Levinson Amplifier. My wife's 2001 LS430 had three issues which I was able to resolve with the info that was provided here.

First, the annoying Lexus Link verbal announcement upon startup was corrected by switching the white plugs going into the radio tuner and bypassing the lexus link system.

Second, the "no sound" issue was corrected by removing the defective Mark Levinson amp and replacing it with a used, updated amp from a 2003 Lexus from a local auto salvage yard. The dealer wanted almost $750 to do the job and the used amp cost me $250 and I did the work myself.

Finally, for the past few years the radio in this car would "cut in and out" when listening to a specific radio station, I think it was FM 98.7. I wasn't expecting the replacement amp to solve this problem but it did.

I also wanted to thank the poster for providing the "startup" instructions for powering up the newly installed amp. I followed them exactly, held my breath and it worked!

Thanks again.
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Old 03-24-09, 04:37 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by lexuslink View Post
I also wanted to thank the poster for providing the "startup" instructions for powering up the newly installed amp. I followed them exactly, held my breath and it worked!

Thanks again.
If you're referring to me and that pdf stuff no, problem, I like to have all the info in one post because it's frustrating when you look at a post that is the exact issue with no resolution.

I'm still waiting for an amp for my car, I just hope it will fix my issue, I'm nearly certain it will but we shall see.

Thanks,

Glen
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Old 03-25-09, 07:12 PM   #10
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i just finished playing with all the connectors and the amp(cause im having the EXACT same issues)and it is definitely the amp...110%
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Old 04-09-09, 12:52 PM   #11
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Well I finally got a replacement amp today and it works, I guess the disappearing buttons are an indication that the amp is bad.
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Old 07-05-10, 03:45 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by lexuslink View Post
Just wanted to thank everyone for the info and fix details regarding the "No Sound" Mark Levinson Amplifier. My wife's 2001 LS430 had three issues which I was able to resolve with the info that was provided here.

First, the annoying Lexus Link verbal announcement upon startup was corrected by switching the white plugs going into the radio tuner and bypassing the Combination Switch.

Second, the "no sound" issue was corrected by removing the defective Mark Levinson amp and replacing it with a used, updated amp from a 2003 Lexus from a local auto salvage yard. The dealer wanted almost $750 to do the job and the used amp cost me $250 and I did the work myself.

Finally, for the past few years the radio in this car would "cut in and out" when listening to a specific radio station, I think it was FM 98.7. I wasn't expecting the replacement amp to solve this problem but it did.

I also wanted to thank the poster for providing the "startup" instructions for powering up the newly installed amp. I followed them exactly, held my breath and it worked!

Thanks again.
the fix writeup on "No Sound" Mark Levinson Amplifier was also very beneficial for me..

Last edited by kurtdaniel; 07-05-10 at 08:14 PM..
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Old 06-11-14, 03:53 PM   #13
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Default AM but no FM in ML system

I get AM radio reception, but FM is either fuzzy static, or completely dead on stations I used to receive. I have a Mark Levinson system and the Lexus is a 2001 LS430 sedan.
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Old 09-11-14, 01:47 PM   #14
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Default Ls430 Mark Levinson

So I just bought this car and the radio/cd is completely dead.If this was an amp issue would there still be life in unit.No lights or anything comes on.
I hate to waste 550bucks on a rebuilt replacement and I don't want to spoil the look by installing aftermarket.
Can the 2004-2006 units with satellite be adapted to fit?

Martin

It's a 2001

Last edited by Martinc13; 09-11-14 at 01:48 PM.. Reason: Forgot year
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Old 09-12-14, 07:02 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martinc13 View Post
So I just bought this car and the radio/cd is completely dead.If this was an amp issue would there still be life in unit.No lights or anything comes on.
I hate to waste 550bucks on a rebuilt replacement and I don't want to spoil the look by installing aftermarket.
Can the 2004-2006 units with satellite be adapted to fit?

Martin

It's a 2001
By chance did you check the fuses ? This would be the very first thing I would check as a fix would cost you under $5 and would hate to spend XXX to find out it was a $3 part....

As for the topic on hand, my 2001 LS with ML has a cold weather problem myself. When it goes below 10 outside here in new England, Some times when I turn on my car, I will also get no audio. Most of the times when this happens, I will drive the car for about 10 min or so, then power off the car and restart, and the amp seems to work.

For example, when there was snow on the ground, it happened 2-3 times, from early spring to now it's has not happened....

Not sure if it's worth spending money on to fix, as for the most part, I would not even know if I fixed it or not, as it happens every once and a while....and only when its' REALLY cold out...
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Old 09-12-14, 07:02 AM
 
 
 
 
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