Lexus GX470 Is Great and Reliable, but Has This One Annoying Engineering Flaw

The Lexus GX470 is in itself a stronghold. This car will run well for years if maintained properly. Unlike other carmakers, the Japanese rarely make big mistakes. But they’re not perfect, and this SUV’s insides prove it.
Lexus GX470 starter problem 6 photos
Photo: Car Wizard on Youtube
Lexus GX470Lexus GX470 and Car WizardLexus GX470 engineLexus GX470 and Car WizardLexus GX470 and Car Wizard
It’s the little things that count or, in some German cases (Hey, Mercedes!), make you think about your vehicle preferences for days. The Lexus GX470 is an almost perfect all-rounder. It has the looks, the space, the comfort, the practicality, and the durability. What can be wrong, then? Well, here’s your answer: the starter.

Someone came all the way from Missouri to have their daily driver fixed at Car Wizard’s shop in Kansas. They asked for a full check-up and one extra thing: to replace the starter. That’s when the fun started.

The 166,000-mile car looks incredible and has a reliable V8 under the hood. The mechanic turned YouTuber, with the help of Hoovies Garage, shows what’s wrong with the GX470. He points out that accessing and replacing the starter is an unexpectedly tedious job that takes four hours. This costs almost $500, and that’s without the price of the new starter. It’s getting expensive.

He also says that he doesn’t understand why the starter is under the intake. Fortunately, being a 2007 Lexus, this SUV doesn’t have the Start/Stop function, and that’s why this operation doesn’t have to be done too often.

A mechanic told us that this design flaw is not a mistake but a feature. Lexus made it like this for this specific engine type, so it won’t have to change the assembly line just for right-hand drive countries. Otherwise, the steering column would have gotten in the way. He also points out that this design is useful for a repairman. The starter can be easily accessed by removing the air intake, while otherwise, it would have meant dropping the differential or removing the exhaust manifold.

Even Car Wizard recommends buying a Lexus like this, even though this engineering flaw can be annoying.

Watch the video down below, and you’ll get some extra explanations regarding the Lexus GX470’s starter problem.

Just be happy you don’t have a Toyota Tacoma. According to the warranty, replacing an evaporator takes four hours and twenty minutes. That’s because the part is installed in an assembly box that has to be removed as a unit, which must be carefully split.

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About the author: Florin Amariei
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Car shows on TV and his father's Fiat Tempra may have been Florin's early influences, but nowadays he favors different things, like the power of an F-150 Raptor. He'll never be able to ignore the shape of a Ferrari though, especially a yellow one.
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