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Lexus GS Maintenance and Repair



  • mdawudmdawud Posts: 1
    I have a 98 GS300 with the same problem; I have been told that the cause is due to faulty MAF & Throttle Position sensors, in which either one or both send wrong signals causing inproper shifting. I have not yet fixed my car, however, if you decide to proceed with replacing the sensors, please let me knowif that fixes your problem.
  • ce5288ce5288 Posts: 17
    My GS300 AWD was purchased in August-05. I love the car just like you did on the first 10,000 miles. After 10,000 mile service, dashboard starts to make noise. I did notice the car starts to feel vibration on or about 8,000 mile. The vibration is increasing every day. It seems the car does not have damping at all. After 16,000 miles, I switch to Michelin Pilot A/S tire with softer compound compare with OE Dunlop RFT tire. Car is still shaking up and down or side by side. It will send all kinds of road feel to make you feel uncomfortable. The vehicle should be smooth and solid.

    I also experience similar B.S. from Lexus dealer telling me it is what is designed. I told them, I will never purchase this car if the uncomfortable ride is started when it was new. No matter how you tell them. They always tell you it is normal. One day when the service advisor told me that I am not the only customer who complaint about it. Still after another test drive, the statement still list the ride is the same as new. What a joke!

    Can someone tell me is it the damping or bushing (Stability bar or shock absorber) problem?
  • scott9393scott9393 Posts: 6
    You may want to get the front-end alignment checked. I have a 2004 GS430, driven mainly by my wife. Handling was excellent initially. The first time driving in light dusting of snow, car was all over the road. Dealer laughed it off, saying that the car is very light with a big engine so we should have expected that. So much for Lexus being attentive to safety. Bought a set of Dunlop Graspic winter-only tires, and that improved winter driving. Pain to have to change out the tires each fall and spring, but that's life.
    After the second winter, when we put the OEM tires back on, the car was extremely unstable at all speeds. Independent tire shop reported that the tires had an unusual wear pattern (slight cupping - can't see it but can feel it) which indicated alignment issues. Problem was present on both the winter tires and the OEMs. Back to the dealer, who agreed, and did an alignment at no charge. (BTW - Dealer said that alignment on the GS430 has to be done both for the front and the back. ) They also reported that my tire shop had put the tires back on in different locations than the original installation (this could be BS, I can't tell. Doesn't seem like that should make that big a difference). Dealer said that the tires will even out with use, and the ride should improve further.
    Bottom line is I now have two sets of VERY pricy tires that are stil usable but somewhat compromised.
    The car STILL does not handle as well as it should, possibly due to the wear on the tires or other yet-to-be-found issues. For the price of a Lexus, it seems to me that the suspension's ability to stay robust and stable is not what it should be.
    Wife is no longer confident in the car's overall safety or ability to handle properly (esp in emergency) and so we may replace it with an Acura or Infiniti, or bump down a notch to Honda.
    Overall a very disappointing experience dealing with Lexus on this. When we've seen odd behavior of the car (weird handling problems, erratic acceleration and shifting), the service writer ALWAYS says that it's normal for the car, unless we have a report from a third party (like an independent mechanic).
    So much for my rant. Hope you have better luck getting the issue settled. I recommend being very aggressive with the service dept at the dealer. :(
  • bartalk3bartalk3 Posts: 692
    I'm surprised you thought a rear-wheel drive car with a big engine and wide performance tires would handle well in the snow. That's the nature of the beast and has nothing to do with Lexus' concern with safety. If you drive in snow with a RWD performance car, you need snow tires.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    RWD vehicles, even those with high performance engines, are much safer overall on adverse roadbed surfaces that their FWD or front torque biased AWD counterparts.

    Just because, like 4WD or AWD, FWD will often initially get you up and going quicker/faster isn't an indication that you can stop or turn more quickly to help avoid an accident.

    Once drivers of RWD vehicles learn how to feather the throttle (or Trac forces the issue) RWD vehicles tend to be safer overall since the front tires' contact patch is always dedicated to directional control. On the other hand if you drive a FWD or front biased AWD without a clutch then the AAA is currently recommending you practice and learn to quickly shift into neutral in the event you have an incident wherein loss of directional control is threatened due to engine leading or lagging torque.

    More importantly this discussion started out being about the GS AWD model. The dynamic allocation of engine leading or lagging torque represents a significant design break through insofar as safety is concerned.

    Google for:


    and watch the Honda video about the most perfect modern day AWD system in existence. Then watch it again and pay attention to when the engine leading or lagging torque goes into rear biasing in order to provide a more safe driving experience. The SH-AWD's engine compression braking mode should be most enlighting for FWD or front biased AWD advocates.
  • cynbar2cynbar2 Posts: 1
    Hi- I purchased a 2000 GS300 platinum series back on 11/15/03. I have only had it serviced at my local Lexus dealer. It now has 96k miles. Back around 93k on Oct.27th 2005 (about 6mos ago) I had the timing belt/waterpump/thermostat changed. Last Friday I dropped it off at the dealer complaining about a whistle/chirping sound coming from the engine and I thought it may be a belt (though the drive belt has been replaced 2 times @ n/c!!) Anyway they typed up a n/c invoice and said they "thoroughly inspected all belts and pulleys, no part at fault, could not duplicate customer's concern". I picked up the car Monday night. The very next day while I'm driving about 20 miles per hour, I hear a loud thud. The alternator actually fell off and was dangling by some wires. I towed it to the dealer. They claim the studs/bolts broke off and the alternator fell. This caused a domino effect. The bolts on the Alternator broke, the alternator belt wrapped around the crankshaft pulley, which tore the timing belt cover and caused debris to get onto the timing belt gear, then causing the timing belt to jump timing inturn causing the valves to hit the top of pistons. The total cost of the repairs is $3700 for "phase 1" this estimate does not include the replacement of engine heads if needed, which could result to a completed total charge of aprox. $7000-$8000.

    I am looking for mechanics or anyone who knows anything about alternators and how they are mounted, to reply back with their opinion on how the studs could break off and could this only be caused by human error. Like I said this dealer would've had to take the alternator off about 6mos ago when the changed the timing belt. They claim the problems would've arised before 6 mos if anything was going to happen at all.

    Sorry for the long email. I am in tears and beside myself. I am still financing this car and can't imagine paying for a car that I can't drive. Lexus Corporate is agreeing to pick up 30% of the tab. If I'm lucky I'll get the other 70% in court.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,613
    What a mess. You should definitely consult an attorney on this. Dealers have "malpractice" insurance, and your attorney could line up expert witnesses if he/she thinks there is merit to your case.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • new2lexusnew2lexus Posts: 3
    I was scanning this message board for this problem, which I just encountered on my 02 GS300. I bought used about 1 month ago and I have had this happen to me twice in the past week!

    It's a very strange feeling to have your car turn off when you come to a stop!

    What did you end up having to do to fix this problem? Does it get worse over time?
  • new2lexusnew2lexus Posts: 3
    Wow, a thousand bucks right out of the gate? What is a throttlebody anyway, it's not underneath the discombobulator, is it???

    As I mentioned in an earlier post, I just bought my first lexus, a used 02 GS 300, a month ago and this has now happened to me twice. The car seems to turn off as I come to a stop at a traffic light. No problem restarting, just very weird feeling!

    I believe my car is officially under warranty until next february -- would this be a warranty issue?

    Thanks for your thoughts on this!
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    ahh - the vehicle shutting down is a definite problem. yeah - it should be covered under a warranty, even if it is one of those 30day types.

    your idle setting could be bad.

    you might have a faulty ignition switch or fuel pump relay.

    it could be your idle bypass valve.

    it could be a connection to the ECU.

    better bring it in.
  • ce5288ce5288 Posts: 17
    Hi scott9393,

    Appreciate you could share your Lexus experience. I do have the same feeling that lack of confidence while driving my 2006 GS300 AWD. Dealer told me due to the weakness from the suspension parts, car will not drive like new. Problem is, my car already change its character in just less than 10,000 miles. This could be the differences between Japanese car and European car.

    The steering wheel somewhat feel lighter than it used to be. I am not sure if this is related to why the car is so sensitive to the road surface. The suspension seems unable to absorb any road feel. It send the vibration direct to the under body. I try to change tire pressure every couple of days to see if I can find the right tire pressure. I tried from factory recommended 33 psi front and rear, 33 front/ 35 rear, 32 front and rear, 33 front/ 36 rear... I even put about 100 pound of old magazine and my golf club in the trunk to lower down the vehicle height. So far, I have not found the right tire pressure yet. Yesterday, I went back to the dealer to check the tire pressure on its demo car. It seems the dealer put 35 - 36 psi on all four tires. It is 3 psi higher than the factory recomanded tire pressure. The tire on the demo car is the same as my origin Dunlop 5000 RFT A/S came from the factory. Since I could not find the right tire pressure, I will now focus on the suspension system.

    Hopefully, I do not have to give up this car. Which is only in my garage for less than 9 months.
  • new2lexusnew2lexus Posts: 3
    Thanks for your reply -- very helpful. You know, I didn't think it was SUPPOSED to do that...

    I was hoping you might be able to narrow from your four possibilities a bit if I gave you a few more symptoms?

    It has happened now four times in about 2k miles, so it's not very common, just very annoying.

    It only seems to happen when I'm decelerating (coming to a light or into the driveway).

    It may be my imagination but I think I can hear the radio cut in and out a few seconds before the engine shuts off.

    Last, if I release the brake and keep rolling, the car has come back on, and I just keep on truckin' down the road.

    Pretty weird, huh?

    Thanks again for your help!
  • ce5288ce5288 Posts: 17
    Have you solve your tire noise problem? Which tire did you choose? How does it work?

    I switch to Michelin Pilot A/S two weeks ago. Which is a high performance all season tire. This tire is quiter that the OE Dunlop RFT tire.
  • ce5288ce5288 Posts: 17
    I was told by the Lexus service advisor that many customers complaint about rough ride on 06 GS models. They also recommend replacing the run flat tire to normal tire. Recently after I replace my tire to regular tire, the rough ride is still there. Car actually sends all kinds of road feel to the driver.

    This morning, after my friend test drove my car. On the road, he told me the car drive like a 15K instead of current 50K. I told him that I have exactly the same feeling like him. My friend told me it could be a suspension problem because the car is vibrate and shaking in all directions. He does not feel full control of the car.

    I keep asking myself, am I the only owner who has this kind of problem?
  • donbldonbl Posts: 42
    Now about 1300 miles through a trip to east coast with a total of about 4000 miles on the car.

    ride is silky smooth and quiet. I expect that the wear on the soft rubber tires will result in poor ride at about 10K miles or so just like my Jag. I have regular tires on the GS300 - Yokohamas.

    only real issue is with either the transmission or throttle control in the mountains when it would jolt me. Not nearly as good as the Jag transmission.
  • ce5288ce5288 Posts: 17
    I went back to the dealer found out the surface on the new Dunlop run-flat tire is softer than what I had now. I think that the ware and the temperature will change the rubber's chemical. My car reach 10,000 mile during winter. No wonder the ride comfort is not as smooth as when it was new. Just like today is at around 80F in New Jersey. The ride comfort seems better than in the 50F or even below 40F.
  • traylortraylor Posts: 8
    Bought a used 2006 RWD with 10K miles about a month ago. Noticed noise and vibration from the front-end, especially at low speeds and when braking, almost from the first day. Took it back to dealer thinking brake pads could be shot? Dealer says no, "these tires just make a lot of noise --especially when they have a few miles on them." (Dunlop OEM's) Asked my salesman to take a ride with me afterwards and he says there is NO WAY the tires should be making that kind of racket --you can actually feel it through the floorboard on the PASSENGER side. Anyway, back to the dealer yesterday for a "second-look."

    At this point I just want to get some decent tires. What does everyone suggest?

  • harboharbo Posts: 136
    I have used Michelins on all my vehicles for the past 25 years. Currently run Michelin LTX M/S 265 70 R16 at 36 psi minimum inflation for good handling and mileage on my 2002 Sequoia Limited RWD.
  • donbldonbl Posts: 42
    Mine are Yoko's on the 2006 GS300 however the car only has 5K miles on it. The Pirellis on the Jag are nice up to 10K miles.

    I am not happy with only 10K miles of good ride on either car but not sure how to increase. Might try Michelins in the future on the Lexus.
  • harboharbo Posts: 136
    Running the Michelin HydroEdge Currently on my GS300 one size oversize at 225 60 R16's. Grip is great and quiet. Replaced the OEM's at 50K with less than 10K left. They were Bridgestone whatever's. Lousy. Have 20K on the Michelins currently. 80K guarantee on the HydroEdge. I will get 75 / 80K miles based on initial wear. That is normal for the Michelins at about 75K per set. Run at 36 psi for good handling and mileage. Rotate and balance at 8,000 to 10,000 miles. Tried Yoko's (don't remember the type) based on the good website user input. Didn't like them and Discount tire replaced (no charge) with Michelins.

    Used to race on Pirelle's and Michelin's years ago. Might look at the new Carbon Fiber Goodyear at some point for kicks.
  • traylortraylor Posts: 8
    Well, picked my GS up yesterday after second time around on the tires. Diagnosis -- cupping on the two front tires. Park Place Lexus in Plano, TX offered to replace one of the front tires for free (I had to buy the other one) Apparently the cupping issue is recurrent but I am not sure if it is unique to the car or the tire (Dunlops). I gues we'll find out.

    Those of you with new vehicles be sure to get the tires rotated so if they cupp you can make a case that they are defective.

    Bough the Michelin Pilot Primacy, A LOT quieter and smoother.
  • donbldonbl Posts: 42
    I go to Park Place Plano next week for 5000 mile service.

    Thanks for the tip to rotate.

    I may also check the alignment.
  • donbldonbl Posts: 42
    Took the car in for the 5000 mile service.

    Park Place Lexus in Plano did a "free" for the first time alighnment check and found camber, toe and rear measurements significantly out of alignment.

    Since I drove over half of the miles on a recent trip, I must assume the car either loses alignment or my wife it something big (I doubt it).

    Sooooo, glad it was found at 5000 miles and the tires rotated. I did get a "kind of" acknowledgement of a cupping problem occurring on the car. Might be the reason for the "free" alignment. The rationale was "sport suspension" are a little more sensitive......
  • bobny57bobny57 Posts: 30
    When should I change the coolant on my 2004 Lexus GS430? I've got 14,000 miles and 2 years of ownership. The owner's manual is silent on this subject. Does that mean that the car comes with a lifetime coolant? My local mechanic recommends changing it every two or three years.

    What is your opinion. Thanks in advance.
  • bocatripbocatrip Posts: 194
    I've been on a Lexus Forum that complains bitterly about the A/C not blowing cold enough and also cutting out when the temp outside gets too warm. I also heard that the seat cooling system is crap. I live in Florida and am thinking of purchasing the GS350 later this year but am having second thoughts because of this problem. Anyone else out there feel that the GS300 A/C is just adequate?
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    The Lexus automatic climate controls run in a most highly in-efficient mode. Once the cabin is cooled to within a few degrees of your setpoint the outlet airflow will only be slightly cooler than your setpoint and the blower speed will be as low as is possible to alleviate driver discomfort from the noise.

    The way the system works once the cabin nears your setpoint is this:

    First, ALL incoming system airflow is CHILLED to as close to freezing as is possible. Keeping in mind that the blower speed is now likely at minimum the airflow exiting the A/C cooling evaporator is very likely to be below 40F.

    Now the CHILLED airstream is divided, the major flow being routed through the HEATER section to be reheated and then remixed with the still COLD portion that bypassed the heat cycle. That results in a system outflow from the dash that is cool, cooling, but not so cool as to be discomforting.

    There are two reasons for using what seems a very wasteful and inefficient system. First, it is basically impossible, at least economically, to regulate or modulate the level of cooling provided by an A/C refrigerant cycle. It is much easier to regulate the reheat/remix levels of the airflow.

    The second reason is to dehumidify the incoming airflow to a more comfortable level for the passengers.

    If you find that the automatic mode of the Lexus climate control system provides inadequate cooling capability you can control it manually in a way that improves the cooling capability quite dramatically, at the same time reducing the cooling load on the radiator, and improving FE.

    Simply turn the temperature setpoint to maximum cooling (the system will then automatically switch from fresh to recirculating airflow) and then use the blower speed control to regulate the passenger cabin's comfort level.

    If the dash outlet airflow is too cold for your comfort then you can manually re-route it to footwell mode.

    Now the A/C compressor will not cycle nearly as often as before resulting in less HOT refrigerant to be cooled via flowing through the condensor in front of the radiator.

    Therefore the A/C is a lot less likely to be automatically shut down due to rising engine water jacket temperature on an extremely hot and humid day.

    You might also find FE improving in the range of 5-10% using this method.

    For those Lexus climate control systems that do not have a hot water flow shutoff valve in line with the heater, like my 2001 AWD RX300, you can add additional cooling capacity by adding a manual shutoff valve inside the engine compartment to prevent any inadvertent radiant heating of the system airflow via the nearby HEATER inside the system plenum.
  • traylortraylor Posts: 8
    I own a 2006 GS 300 and live in Dallas, TX where from time-to-time it gets a little warm and sticky. The AC in my car damn near freezes me out --even when it's a hundred outside.

    You can cross that one off as a source of potential concern.

    Good luck.
  • donbldonbl Posts: 42
    I agree with Traylor as I also live DFW area and the car cools very nicely
  • harboharbo Posts: 136
    Agreed on AC performance. We live in Arizona (DRY HEAT) and my 02 GS 300 and 02 Sequoia will freeze your Tush off.
  • bocatripbocatrip Posts: 194
    What a difference going from one Forum to another makes! One trashes the A/C, and edmunds can't say enough about its merits. Go figure! However, No one commented on the seat cooling system!
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