The Lexus GX 470 has been a reliable luxury SUV. Consumers have praised the model for its dependable performance and impressive reviews. Almost everyone who has taken it out on the road cites the comfortable and quiet ride with every drive. Unfortunately, the model ceased production in 2009.
Despite its age, the GX 470 remains highly sought-after due to its remarkable reliability. When compared to other luxury SUVs from a similar time period, this model considerably has fewer reported issues and continues to be relevant in today’s market.
Although the Lexus GX 470 is an excellent SUV, there are some potential issues to consider before you make your purchase. To give you a full picture of what might arise in ownership, here’s a breakdown of common problems associated with this model.
1 – Secondary Air Injection Failure
Among the most common concerns regarding the GX 470 is a faulty Secondary Air Injection System. This technology serves to reduce the level of toxic chemicals emitted by your engine, making sure that it complies with clean air standards.
If you experience such a design flaw, some signs may be detectable. The “check engine” light will light up on your dashboard. You may also encounter difficulty starting up your car or failing emission tests. The root cause may be a vacuum leak or even a damaged secondary air injection valve.
The 2006 GX 470 appears to be the model that gets the most complaints for this problem.
How to Fix
Replacing the Secondary Air Injection bypass sensor can help fix a problem with the Lexus GX 470. It’s also a good idea to check for any vacuum leaks that could be causing the issue. If needed, replace the intake gaskets and hoses, as well.
2 – Drivetrain and Suspension Noises
Another issue to consider is drivetrain and suspension noises. If you hear clunking or squealing when accelerating, it could be caused by worn-out differential bearings. This issue is most commonly found in model years between 2003 and 2006.
Another cause of noises from underneath the vehicle may be caused by faults in the air suspensions. The GX 470 features a pneumatic air suspension system that’s electronically controlled. It uses compressors to pump air into the rubber air springs.
Over time, components will wear out and start leaking air. A common symptom is that the suspension system’s compressor will run continuously. It’s a documented common problem with the otherwise dependable SUV.
How to Fix
It’s recommended that you replace the differential bearing as soon as possible if you notice these sounds. Another option is to inspect and replace any worn-out suspension components, such as the struts or shocks.
If it’s the air suspension system that’s gone bad, you can replace the faulty parts. Or, you can replace and convert the air suspension system with a more conventional strut assembly. However, you may lose out on the famed GX 470 ride comfort.
3 – Brake Failure
Brake failure is another issue that you should be aware of when considering a Lexus GX 470. Symptoms include decreased braking power, grinding noises, or the brake pedal feeling spongy and slow to respond. This problem can be caused by worn-out brake pads, rotors, or calipers.
Model years between 2006 and 2008 are most likely to experience this issue.
How to Fix
Replacing the brake cylinders and shims can help fix the problem with your vehicle’s brakes. In addition, be sure to check all of the brake rotors for any signs of wear or damage. If needed, have a professional mechanic inspect the entire braking system to ensure that everything is working properly.
4 – Smelly Exhaust
Smelly exhaust is another potential problem you should be aware of when considering the Lexus GX 470. If you smell a strong odor coming from the vehicle’s tailpipe, it could indicate an issue with the catalytic converter or exhaust system.
Model years between 2003 and 2004 suffer the most from this issue.
How to Fix
Replace the catalytic converter and oxygen sensors. Also, inspect the exhaust system especially the exhaust manifold for any signs of damage or leaks, as these can lead to smelly exhaust. It’s also a good idea to have your SUV examined by a professional mechanic to ensure that everything is in tip-top shape.
5 – Electronics and Accessories
The Lexus GX 470 can also suffer from issues with its electronics and accessories, such as the alternator, doors, and exterior mirrors. 2009 model years are most commonly affected.
Symptoms of these issues include lights flickering inside the vehicle, doors or exterior mirrors not working properly, or the battery draining quickly. The cause of this problem can be attributed to defective parts or poor connections.
How to Fix
Any time you experience issues with the vehicle’s electronics and accessories, it’s best to have them inspected by a professional mechanic. If needed, replace any faulty parts or connections.
The Best Lexus GX 470 Model Year
If you’re looking to purchase a Lexus GX 470, the model year 2009 is your best bet. As it was the final production year of this classic car model, its features and parts offer cutting-edge technology that other models may lack. Plus, there are fewer chances for major issues to occur than with earlier versions of the same car.
Regardless of which Lexus GX 470 you choose in the end, do some research before taking action – gathering knowledge on any potential issues it may have can help keep your vehicle running like new for many years ahead!