Problems With the Lexus Gx470

by Andy Joseph
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Image by, courtesy of Leonid Mamchenkov

The GX 470 is one of the three SUVs offered by Toyota's luxury nameplate, Lexus. The vehicle is placed in the middle of the smaller RX and the full-size LX in everything from size to price. It joined the Lexus line-up in 2003 and is currently in its first generation.

Air Conditioner

Some Lexus GX470s may have problems with the air conditioner system. In some cases (particular to the 2003 to 2006 model years) the A/C may not cool sufficiently, requiring various parts to be marked for repairs. Some 2004 vehicles may need the expansion valve replaced as a result of snapping or popping noises from the rear air conditioner unit.


The rear door on some vehicles may become difficult to open, thus requiring a redesigned lock assembly to be installed. Also, redesigned running board clips are available to replace loosened ones.

Exhaust System

With some Lexus GX470s, excessive sulfur may be emitted from the exhaust. That can be eliminated by reprogramming the engine control computer and replacing the catalytic converter. This problem is acute in 2003 and 2004 vehicles.


Some Lexus GX470s may experience failure of the outside rearview mirrors to return to their memory position. This would require a revised mirror actuator.

Suspension Noise

Some Lexus GX470s may experience some suspension noise, usually a clunking sound from the rear when the vehicle is coming to a stop. This can be eliminated with the installation of a revised drive shaft. Watch out for this problem especially if it is of the 2003 or 2004 model year.

Water Leaks and Windows

Some 2003 and 2004 Lexus GX470s may experience water leaks into the height control compressor solenoid. This can be fixed with installation of n improved compressor assembly. Some 2003 vehicles might need power window switch replacement due to the windows only being able to open half-way.


The Lexus GX470 bears the Toyota/Lexus stamp of reliability, and it is not particularly skimpy on features. However, bear in mind that the GX470 entered the market a little before the crossover SUV became popular; thus it might not have some luxury features that some newer competition possesses.

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