Lexus Soarer Owners Club


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Soarer Speedo Repair
It is almost an inevitability that owners with MkIII Soarers will begin to experience Combination Meter failure at some point (most likely during colder weather). The symptoms are that the flourescent panels at the bottom of the speedo display will fail to illuminate on start up. Finally clicking in when the car has warmed up. Or the upper part of the display will fail to illuminate for a period of time, Or both! Over a prolonged period the entire display may completely fail.

A replacement Combination Meter unit costs in excess of £2000, but thanks to the efforts and research of Iain Wiltshire, Doug Hession, Dermot Connelly and Steve Cheetham the problem can be rectified very cheaply. However, please note that this repair requires some precision soldering to do it correctly. It's also worthy of note that the entire operation of removing the unit. opening it, replacing the components and putting it all back together and back in the car can take about three hours of your time if you've never removed the combination meter before.

The fault on the lower display is down to a single component. A transistor. TR109 to be precise, which is a 2SC1213 (if you can't get one a BC639 will do fine), and for those that love taking things apart, it is conveniently located on the outside of one of the two internal circuit boards, and clearly labelled. Thanks to Jonathan Bailey for the photo.
If you also experience failure of the upper display you need to replace two surface mounted capacitors, C203 & C220, both 63V 10uF. Needless to say, if you have cause to remove the Meter for either fault, it would be wise to replace both sets of components to save yourself a repeat job later on. All three components cost less than a couple of pounds. The photo below (thanks again Jonathan) shows the capacitors.
Now please be warned. Whilst the Combination Meter unit itself is not too difficult to remove, the board assemblies inside are somewhat fiddly and it is not a task for those with little electronic experience. Break the board, and you're a couple of grand out of pocket. Another important point (thanks to Steven Janda of Startrade for his input here) is that once the Combination Meter assembly has been removed you should not switch the ignition on until it has been put back in. If you do, you'll notice that when the meter is replaced, the Airbag warning light will be permanently on, and it's not easy to reset.

Click here for a really detailed tutorial on how to remove your combination meter and carry out the repair, compiled by Peter Scott, Rob Hayden and Harry Lemmens of the ALSC.

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