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1997 LS400, Annoying Noise form engine/transmission

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Old 01-09-14, 10:10 AM   #1
YasLS400
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Default Annoying Noise form engine/transmission

Hello,

I own a 1997 LS400 with around 185,000 miles on it. Since I first purchased the car back in 2004, I have been having problems with the power steering pump. I learned about the problem shortly after I purchased it when I noticed a minor leak that I ignored at the beginning and eventually the pump ran out of oil and started making an annoying noise. I went to the dealership and they told me that replacing the pump is very expensive and if I continue adding oil every few months, I should be okay since the leak is not major!!!!. Thatís exactly what happened. It was not until last year, 2012, when I decided to spend some money on the car to replace the pump and I did. However, recently I noticed a new noise coming from the engine/transmission when the car worms up. When I am on D and stopping on a traffic light the noise is just annoying. When I shift it to N, it becomes less annoying but does not disappear. When I role my windows up and I am on P, it makes that noise too!!! VERY WEIRD
It does sound like the noise I used to hear when I had trouble with my power steering pump, but I have a new power steering!!!!. All fluids are full, the transmission is flawless and I do not have any problems with the engine.

I live two hours away from the dealership and I need your insight before I take it to them. I heard a lot of story about how they guess on things and get them fixed but never solve the main problem. So, I want to have a specific diagnostic of the problem before visiting them.

Regards,
Yaseen
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Old 01-09-14, 10:11 AM   #2
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Default 1997 LS400, Annoying Noise form engine/transmission

Hello,

I own a 1997 LS400 with around 185,000 miles on it. Since I first purchased the car back in 2004, I have been having problems with the power steering pump. I learned about the problem shortly after I purchased it when I noticed a minor leak that I ignored at the beginning and eventually the pump ran out of oil and started making an annoying noise. I went to the dealership and they told me that replacing the pump is very expensive and if I continue adding oil every few months, I should be okay since the leak is not major!!!!. Thatís exactly what happened. It was not until last year, 2012, when I decided to spend some money on the car to replace the pump and I did. However, recently I noticed a new noise coming from the engine/transmission when the car worms up. When I am on D and stopping on a traffic light the noise is just annoying. When I shift it to N, it becomes less annoying but does not disappear. When I role my windows up and I am on P, it makes that noise too!!! VERY WEIRD
It does sound like the noise I used to hear when I had trouble with my power steering pump, but I have a new power steering!!!!. All fluids are full, the transmission is flawless and I do not have any problems with the engine.

I live two hours away from the dealership and I need your insight before I take it to them. I heard a lot of story about how they guess on things and get them fixed but never solve the main problem. So, I want to have a specific diagnostic of the problem before visiting them.

Regards,
Yaseen
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Old 01-09-14, 10:29 AM   #3
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don't take it to the dealership, we know more here than they do, I assure you - there are world class Lexus gurus here!

a good possibility of your noise or vibration that varies with what gear you are in is a broken transmission mount which is VERY common on your year model and very inexpensive to repair, around $50 for the part and around $50 in labor - make sure to use the genuine Lexus part, which you can buy from many Lexus dealerships online at 20-25% discount - easy to install yourself if you can do even minor car repair.

the Toyota part number is 12371-50060

Last edited by LScowboyLS; 01-09-14 at 10:35 AM.
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Old 01-09-14, 10:42 AM   #4
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another test you can do is to remove the main serpentine drive belt from the car - it is fine to run the car for a few minutes without this belt - if the noise vanishes while the belt is removed, then you have instantly narrowed it down to one of the following:

● A/C clutch pulley (bearing)
● Power steering pump or pulley bearing
● alternator
● idler pulley (bearing)
● tensioner pulley (bearing)
● fan bracket pulley (bearing)
● or the belt itself

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Old 01-09-14, 01:03 PM   #5
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Default Buzzing Noise Under the Hood

If the noise is just like the ones you've heard when the PS fluid was low, it most likely is one of the pulley that is making the noise. It sounds like a bees flying around in under the hood,

I had that happen while ago. I don't exactly remember what the part was called, I am sorry. It was long time ago. But it was one of the pulley that your serpentine belt turns. Apparently, bearing inside the pulley has gone bad. The pulley way replaced and the noise went away.

I am sorry I cannot not give you a definite answer. I am trying to help. Someone else may be able to verify the part.
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Old 01-09-14, 03:18 PM   #6
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Default !!??

Cowboy,

I think you are right regarding the transmission mount. Honestly, I do not know what it is?, but I was thinking a long the line of the clutch being worn out . Does autonomic transmission come with one!!??

Michael,

You are right the noise sounds like bees flying under the hood, however do not you think that it should be worse when the car is cold!!! As I indicated, the this sound gets really bad once the car worms up.
Also, I just remembered that once I had to drive for around an hour non-stop on the highway and when I got into town I had to stop on a traffic light. when I did, the RPM started to fluctuate and the engine struggled in staying on and then it just stopped. I shifted the gear back to P and start the engine and it started right away, but the noise was still there.
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Old 01-09-14, 04:00 PM   #7
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Default Idler Pulley

What I had to replace was an Idler Pulley. This may be what you need to replace to get rid of that annoying noise. If it is indeed the Idler Pulley, the part should cost you about $70 then add the labor cost. However, it could be any of pulley that cowboy had mentioned in this post. Have it check out by your local mechanic.
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Old 01-09-14, 06:21 PM   #8
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just do the test where you take the main serpentine belt off, you can safely drive around your neighborhood (in the day, no headlights) for 10 minutes or so

see if the noise is now gone, if it's gone, then it is one of those items on the list above, if it is still there, then it's probably the transmission mount, the price and part number of the mount are in post #3 above
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Old 01-10-14, 01:24 PM   #9
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Thank you guys. I will keep you posted.
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Old 01-15-14, 06:15 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LScowboyLS View Post
another test you can do is to remove the main serpentine drive belt from the car - it is fine to run the car for a few minutes without this belt - if the noise vanishes while the belt is removed, then you have instantly narrowed it down to one of the following: ● A/C clutch pulley (bearing) ● Power steering pump or pulley bearing ● alternator ● idler pulley (bearing) ● tensioner pulley (bearing) ● fan bracket pulley (bearing) ● or the belt itself
I have a 92 ls. N i have this whistling noice coming from tha engine bay. I changed tha serpentine belt. Soo after i remove tha belt . How do i know what tha problem is?
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Old 01-16-14, 11:15 AM   #11
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I have a 92 ls. N i have this whistling noice coming from tha engine bay. I changed tha serpentine belt. Soo after i remove tha belt . How do i know what tha problem is?

If you remove the belt and the noise stops, it is one of the items listed. You then need to look at each item separately and find the culprit. If the noise is bad enough you will find the bad one by just spinning it by hand. An experienced mechanic will spot it quickly.
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Old 01-16-14, 06:07 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by midwest2 View Post
If you remove the belt and the noise stops, it is one of the items listed. You then need to look at each item separately and find the culprit. If the noise is bad enough you will find the bad one by just spinning it by hand. An experienced mechanic will spot it quickly.
thanks mann
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