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Lexus Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems for 43 Lexus models based on complaints from actual vehicle owners. We'll tell you what the problem is and what it'll take to fix it.

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168
Known Problems

There are reports of intermittent failures with the heating and air conditioning control. The digital display might fail or the control might fail to switch between heater functions.

All wheel drive models may develop a creaking type noise from the front suspension when driving over uneven road surfaces. Our technicians tell us revised front sway bar bushings are available which may correct this concern.

The Check Engine Light may illuminate because a component of the oxygen sensor stops working. As a result the engine computer is unable to determine the proper ratio of air to fuel for the engine. Replacing the failed oxygen sensor should correct this concern.

An abnormal fan belt noise may be noted. Our technicians tell us a revised fan belt tensioner is available to correct this concern.

The motor for the rear window sunshade in the Lexus LS400 is known to fail. When this occurs, the sunshade will not extend over the window, and a grinding noise is heard until the motor fails as well. 

Replacement of the sunshade assembly is necessary to correct this failure, however, removing the fuse for the sunshade will stop the motor from making the irritating grinding noise. 

The motor for the rear window sunshade in the 2001-2006 Lexus LS430 is known to fail. When this occurs, the sunshade will not extend down the window, and a grinding noise is heard until the motor fails as well. 

Replacement of the sunshade assembly is necessary to correct this failure, however, removing the fuse for the sunshade will stop the motor from making the irritating grinding noise. 

The air conditioning light may flash or an AC error message may be displayed. Our technicians tell us this is commonly due to a fault with the AC amplifier, as revised part is available to correct this concern.

A brief rattle or knocking noise may be noted on initial start up. Our technicians tell us if the noise is determined to be coming from the timing chain area, there are updated variable timing gears available to correct this issue.

The 1993-2003 Lexus ES300 may start and stall, or start and run at very low engine speeds when the engine is cold. 

The issue is a failed or dirty idle air control valve. This valve is mounted under the throttle body, and modulates airflow to the engine under certain conditions. When the valve becomes dirty, or when the valve fails, proper airflow to the engine is not achieved. This results in start and stall, and low RPM.  

To correct the issues, the idle air control valve will need to be tested, and cleaned or replaced. 

To help decrease the frequency of this issue, change the air filter no less than once per year. 

The Lexus RX300 has a known issue with the valves that if left unchecked, will cause burned valves and engine performance issues. 

The engine ‘breathes’ through valves that are pushed open by the camshaft, and closed by springs. When valves are closed, they seal against a valve seat. In this vehicle, the valve seat is too soft, so after the valve contacts it thousands of times, it becomes crushed. Once it is crushed, the valve can no longer make a proper seal, and the valves erode due to extreme temperature (burnt valve).

Symptoms related to this issue:

To repair the burnt valves, the cylinder head must be removed and rebuilt, which is a costly internal engine repair, however, this issue can be prevented through inspection and adjustment of valve clearances every 40,000 miles.

The Lexus ES300 has a known issue with the valves that if left unchecked, will cause burned valves and engine performance issues. 

The engine ‘breathes’ through valves that are pushed open by the camshaft, and closed by springs. When valves are closed, they seal against a valve seat. In this vehicle, the valve seat is too soft, so after the valve contacts it thousands of times, it becomes crushed. Once it is crushed, the valve can no longer make a proper seal, and the valves erode due to extreme temperature (burnt valve).

Symptoms related to this issue:

To repair the burnt valves, the cylinder head must be removed and rebuilt, which is a costly internal engine repair, however, this issue can be prevented through inspection and adjustment of valve clearances every 40,000 miles.

Drivers of the Lexus ES300 may notice excessive oil consumption between oil changes, even to the extent of the engine oil warning light displayed on the multi-function display.

This issue is known to be caused by infrequent oil changes causing engine sludge, or worn piston rings. 

The engine should be cleaned of oil sludge, and if oil consumption remains excessive, the engine may need new piston rings, or other internal components replaced. 

To avoid this issue, change the engine oil and filter every 3,000 miles, and ensure the proper grade of oil is used. 

Drivers may hear a loud noise, much like a vacuum cleaner, coming from their engine on cold starts. This affects the 1998-2005 Lexus LX470. 

The noise is from the secondary air pump, which sends hot air to the catalytic converter when the engine is cold. This allows the catalytic converter to clean exhaust better, and lower emissions while the engine is warming up.

Pump failure may result in:

Fixing the issue involves removal of the intake manifold, and replacement of the secondary air pump.

Drivers may hear a loud noise, much like a vacuum cleaner, coming from their engine on cold starts. This affects the 2003-2004 Lexus GX470. 

The noise is from the secondary air pump, which sends hot air to the catalytic converter when the engine is cold. This allows the catalytic converter to clean exhaust better, and lower emissions while the engine is warming up.

Pump failure may result in:

Fixing the issue involves removal of the intake manifold, and replacement of the secondary air pump.

An VVT-i oil line on the Lexus RX350 is known to burst. This is a very large leak which covers the ground, engine, and undercarriage.

If the oil line ruptures while driving, the low engine oil message and engine oil pressure warnings will illuminate. Continued use after these warnings will result in complete engine failure due to oil starvation.

The line is known to be defective, and a revised part has been issued by Toyota, however, this revised part is known for the same issue.

To repair the issue, the line must be replaced, and the engine bay and undercarriage must be cleaned thoroughly.