By October 10, 20081 Comments Read More →

1997 Lexus SC400 Electrical Problems

Reader Question
Hi Austin,
My question concerns the 1997 Lexus SC400 listed below. The functions, controls and display lights stopped working on the climate control unit in the dash above the stereo. It looks like it is simply a blown fuse, but I have checked them as far and as much as I could figure out how and which ones to check.

I purchased another unit (which is shaped and installed almost identical to the stereo unit) on ebay that the seller insist was working when removed, and installed it but had the same symptoms with it acting just like the other, like it wasn’t getting any power.

A couple of things that might or might not be of help, it looks like there is a courtesy light working in the unit, just none of the leads that show information about fan speed, etc., when working properly. So it seems to have some power to the unit that turns on the courtesy light.

Also there is a small display on the left side of the steering wheel that shows about 5/6 information stats, like mpg, eta, external temp, miles remaining on tank of gas, and one or two more and since the problems started with the climate control unit, the temperature stat is no longer visible.

Lexus wants about $1200 to replace the unit and just to have them look at something will run several hundred dollars so I’m hoping that will not be my ultimate course of action. Also there’s a fellow in CA that will rebuild the unit for about $200 which is what the one I purchase on eBay cost me.

I’m at the point now where taking it to the Lexus dealer is looking like my only hope since I can’t find anyone that knows anything else to try, so I’m hoping you might have a suggestion before it comes to taking it to the Lexus dealer.



Ok, Cary….you got me stumped can ANYONE offer some help to Cary? Honestly Cary, I would really need to see the vehicle and run some tests before I could be of any help.

I would let Lexus look into this, you can always get a diagnosis from them and have another shop do the repair to help save money.

Austin Davis

1 Comment on "1997 Lexus SC400 Electrical Problems"

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  1. Gary Lester says:

    My advice would be to bite the bullet and have Lexus or for that matter anybody fix it regardless of the cost. After much time wasted searching and searching and searching for any info related to this all I have found is that this is a common problem and that the answers to this problem are nowhere to be found.
    Anything is easier to find.
    I love my SC400 but I got a big FU for the Lexus dealership “service consultants”. And I am sure I don’t even need to detail why that is.
    Good luck!
    PS I am in San Mateo California and the delaership service departments I am speaking about are specifically.. Redwood City.. big FU and Santa Rosa.. another big FU.

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