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Top 5 Problems Lexus GS300 Sedan 2nd Gen 1997-05

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Hey, friends. It's Len here from 1A Auto. Today, I wanted to talk to you about some of the top issues that I found with a Gen 2 Lexus GS300. Let's get started.

You know me, one of the first things I like to talk about is safety. I'm that kinda guy. Unfortunately, with this particular type of vehicle, they had a major issue with the lower ball joints on these things. I don't wanna get into too much detail, but what would happen is you'd be driving along and the ball joint would separate. And then your knuckle and your wheel and everything would just go right back and into the fender.

I don't need to tell you what's gonna happen after that. You can use your own imagination and we won't get into that. Some of the things that you might notice that will happen before something like that does occur, you might start hearing some squeaking. If you lifted up the front end a little bit and you take that wheel and you can go like this, you might feel right at that lower ball joint, the studs just rocking. It's ready to come right out of there, the ball and socket, okay? That's very scary. And, obviously, we don't want anything to happen.

So if you do have any sort of movement like that, even if it's very slight, just take care of that lower ball joint. Your safety is our number one concern. Possible fixes for that, replace the ball joint. Other than that, there isn't really too much. Some people would say, 'If it's a greaseable ball joint, just put a little bit of grease in there, and that'll take up that movement.' And yeah, you know what? The grease probably will.

But, overall, it's gonna dissipate, it's gonna work its way out of there, and then you're gonna have the movement again, and then God forbid, the separation. Nobody wants that. If you have excessive movement, and/or noise, take care of that ball joint, please. Let's get under the hood.

One of the next things I wanna talk to you about on this vehicle is the mass air flow sensor. Overall, they don't necessarily go bad, but a lot of times they get dirty. Your air gets pulled in through this right here, goes through the air filter. That's great.

Sometimes a little bit of the particles may make a pass there and they get in past here, and then that's right where your mass air flow sensor is gonna be. You can see that little blue dot right there, that's where the sensing agent is on this mass air flow sensor. So if that's dirty, or black, or just looks like crud, what I would possibly do would be to clean it. We'll get into that in a minute. A couple of reasons why I might wanna check this mass air flow sensor, though, is you're driving down the road and you have a loss of power.

Or maybe you notice that your transmission doesn't shift right. Or maybe even you notice that your gas mileage just went down, boo, right? Nobody likes that. I look right down in here. You can see that little blue bubble in there. That's where the sensing agent is, okay? That needs to read how much oxygen or air is getting sucked through this intake right here and getting mixed with the fuel that the vehicle is running off of, right? Because you need to have the perfect fuel-air ratio, and that's what this does. It tells it, 'Hey, this is what's up.' Okay? Some of the fixes for this though, if you look at it and it looks dirty, you can try to clean it.

Generally speaking, you wanna make sure that you use some sort of electronics cleaner or, even better, if you can look right on that can and it says specifically mass air flow sensor cleaner. You don't want to use something that says brake clean or parts cleaner, or anything like that that might have a little bit of harmful chemicals in it because you don't wanna damage this any worse than it may or may not be. Once you've tried cleaning it with that specific cleaner, and you put it in and you notice that it really didn't make too much of a difference, the next thing I would do would be to go to and get myself a new one.

The next thing I wanna talk about while we're still under the hood is the O2 sensors. We'll come right along the passenger side. You can see the exhaust. You have the forward three cylinders exhaust and then right back there you have another one, the manifold. As you look on those manifolds and then going down the exhaust, each one of them is gonna have an upstream O2 sensor which is closest to the engine and a downstream O2 sensor which is a little further away. Generally speaking, what happens with these O2 sensors is inside of them they have a little heater circuit which is supposed to kinda like pre-heat up the O2 sensor once you start the vehicle.

In these O2 sensors, you're gonna find that there's supposed to be a heater circuit. And that heater circuit is supposed to spark right up as soon as you turn on that key. Turn the key, the heater circuit turns on, warms up that O2 sensor so it can start taking its readings and let the car know where it's supposed to be running idealistically with the fuel-air mixture. If for some reason that goes bad, and you have a check engine code that comes up saying that you have a bad heater circuit, maybe on Bank 1, Sensor 1 or Bank 1, Sensor 2, generally speaking, you would just wanna replace the sensor. Of course, you can try to test the wiring and everything like that, maybe disconnect and reconnect or take a peek and see if you can see any funny colors. But, overall, it generally means that they're just plain all bad. It's very common for these vehicles. So just go ahead and replace it,

The last thing we're gonna talk about under the hood of this vehicle is the VVT solenoid. That's located right up on top of the valve cover in the front. You just take off this cover, and you can find it right under there. Some of the symptoms that you may or may not notice with this, of course, would be the check engine light for one. You're also gonna probably notice a little bit of a lack of power. If the VVT solenoid, for some reason, decides it doesn't wanna work right, whether it's because there's a lack of oil pressure due to an oil leak. Maybe you're probably gonna notice the check engine light and definitely a lack of power. That's because that VVT solenoid doesn't really know what's going on, and it can't tell the computer to tell the engine where the timing should be.

Some of the fixes for this would be to start with checking the mechanical timing of the vehicle. Once you're sure that's good, you could also check for an oil leak around the VVT solenoid. If both of those are great, the next thing I would do would be to replace that VVT solenoid. That's enough fun from under the hood. Let's get in the vehicle.

All right, the next thing I wanna talk about is the door lock actuators in these things. You go ahead, you wanna get inside, you press the unlock twice, should let you in. Well, boo. Let's start talking about why this could happen. Some of the symptoms you might notice for this is you go ahead and hit that lock button twice because you wanna set your alarm. I didn't hear it set. This door locked. This door didn't lock. Lock it again. Okay, so obviously this actuator isn't working. The reason why the alarm didn't start...well, that's because it sensed that this right here is still unlocked.

One of the causes for that could be the fact that the door actuator inside the door just plain old went bad. Of course, before I went ahead and replaced it, I would check the wiring and make sure we're getting power to it the way that we're supposed to. And for our fix for this issue, after you check that wire, and you knew that it was good, I would just go ahead and replace that actuator.

One last thing while I've still got you here, I wanna talk about the HVAC servo motor. That's something that looks just like this. This goes bad all the time in these vehicles. And I'll show you what I'm talking about. You look up here. You can see right there where it says where the air is gonna be coming out of. You press this mode button, and it should change where the air comes out of. The only problem is if this motor decides it doesn't wanna do its job for some reason, you're still gonna be feeling the air coming out of the same area, whether it was out of the vents or out of the defrost. It doesn't matter how much you change this. This motor tends to go bad inside and it'll just stop working.

You can also look along here and if you see any funny colors along where the wiring connects to it, you know that that's a probable issue. And of course you'd want to check the wiring to and from it. Another thing, there's another servo motor that's about the same and that changes when you do this, the recirculate, okay? You try to do that, you want it to recirculate the air inside the vehicle, it just doesn't change it. The servo motor that looks almost like this, once again, doesn't do its job. And then, next thing you know, if things aren't changing the way that they're supposed to. If any of these were the case, like I said, you check that wiring, make sure it works good. If it works good, you're gonna have to go ahead and replace this.

Okay, friends, so that was my top things that I found with this vehicle. I still love it. I think it's a safe enough vehicle. I don't see any reason why I wouldn't purchase one myself. With all that said, if you like the content in this video, make sure you like, comment, subscribe, and please ring that bell. That way there you can be kept up with all of our latest content. Thanks.

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