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Dave M

..questions Before The Warranty Expires

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I've got a couple of months warranty left on my '99 GS SE. There are a few things that worry me a bit about it and I just wanted to see whether you guys reckon it's worth taking it in before the warranty runs out.

The ride has always been a bit twitchy with the car tending to tramline and follow the camber of the road - recently though I've noticed that the back end is losing grip at quite low speeds, when cornering in a housing estate for example (eg. a hard left turn at anything above about 15 to 20 mph), or when pulling out onto a main road. The car seems to wallow into a corner and almost feels as if the back end is rocking from side to side - this sometimes leads to the back end trying to overtake the front which is pretty unpleasant!

When driving over a bumpy surface the steering doesn't feel very positive and needs a lot of correction to keep it going straight and at high speed the steering seems to float a bit and isn't very precise.

The tyres are Pontezzas (17"), with plenty of tread left - the pressures seem okay.

At first I thought I just needed to get used to rear wheel drive but now the warranty has nearly run out I'm worrying that there might be a problem with the car.

The only other thing is the noise from the engine - with the bonnet up there's a lot of valve noise and sometimes a high pitched squeeking noise (sounds like something needs greasing!)

Is this normal for a GS? - I'm a bit paranoid about getting stung for loads of work when the warranties gone!

Cheers

Dave

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You first need to get a full wheel alignment done - the full 1 hour check not the 5 minute 'tracking' that tyre shops do.

The GS suspension/steering isn't the greatest but maybe you should take it to your dealer to do a quick check before the warrant expires.

What tyres do you have? You say Pontezza but that is just the range not the actual model. If they are RE030s then they are rubbish and I can quite believe you get broken traction in this cold/damp weather.

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Squeeking noise could be the water pump. I had to have mine replaced late last year ('98 GS300SE) at 51K miles. Dealer said that I should not have been driving with it like that. Luckily warranty picked up the £580 bill and also forked out for new front discs, although I did have to pay for new rear discs and pads all-round. My warranty expires in Jan 2006 and I plan to get shot of the car before then. The car is probably only worth £8.5K max now and should something major go like gearbox or brake booster, I think it will cost $$$$. You may be confusing valve noise with injectors as these also make a loud clicking/tapping sound. My valves are still noise free.

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squeeking noise may well just be the drive belt or tensioner.

Very rare for the valves to need adjusting so probably is injectors. If you are using synthetic oil (Mobil 1 etc.) then you may get a bit more noise.

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Thanks for the replies.

The tyres are the stock RE030s - I agree they're pretty rubbish in the wet, it doesn't seem to take much for them to lose grip and all sorts of exciting back end flipping out shenanigans to occur... Any suggestions for something with more grip and a less harsh ride? I noticed in another thread that the Goodyear Eagle F1 GS-D3 got a good write up.

I am a bit worried that the strange handling with my GS300 isn't normal - it's a very harsh ride (can feel every bump) and it's best described as 'confused' - if you hit a bump or uneven road it can end up jumping off just about anywhere.

I drove home in the rain today and in some places it was quite hard to see the road, which brought it home just how bad the car is if the road isn't completely flat - it won't drive straight unless you keep correcting it and doesn't seem to react predictably to steering inputs at high speed.

I've also noticed that it tends to 'wobble' when joining a motorway - feels as if the car is shaking left and right slightly as I come off the slip road.

My wife has said she can't stand driving it because of these problems but she reckons it didn't used to be like this. Any ideas what could be causing it? Could it just be the alignment?

I've actually taken it back one already and Lexus said they couldn't find anything wrong with it (hence all the questions before I take it back again)

I can't believe it's supposed to be like this. What are other GS300s like?

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You really need to start with a good wheel alignment. It can cause all sorts of problems and you need to rule it out first. It is also going to be the cheapest thing as suspension damage can cost £££.

As you are in Herts. a quick trip to Watford is the best option to see Tony from wheelsinmotion. Heard reports he does a good job for a good price.

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Thanks for the replies.

The tyres are the stock RE030s - I agree they're pretty rubbish in the wet, it doesn't seem to take much for them to lose grip and all sorts of exciting back end flipping out shenanigans to occur...  Any suggestions for something with more grip and a less harsh ride?  I noticed in another thread that the Goodyear Eagle F1 GS-D3 got a good write up.

I am a bit worried that the strange handling with my GS300 isn't normal - it's a very harsh ride (can feel every bump) and it's best described as 'confused' - if you hit a bump or uneven road it can end up jumping off just about anywhere.

I drove home in the rain today and in some places it was quite hard to see the road, which brought it home just how bad the car is if the road isn't completely flat - it won't drive straight unless you keep correcting it and doesn't seem to react predictably to steering inputs at high speed.

I've also noticed that it tends to 'wobble' when joining a motorway - feels as if the car is shaking left and right slightly as I come off the slip road.

My wife has said she can't stand driving it because of these problems but she reckons it didn't used to be like this.  Any ideas what could be causing it?  Could it just be the alignment?

I've actually taken it back one already and Lexus said they couldn't find anything wrong with it (hence all the questions before I take it back again)

I can't believe it's supposed to be like this.  What are other GS300s like?

Dave, I know EXACTLY what you are talking about. My gs 400 does the same damn thing. it feels you are steering 24/7. The car is not relaxing at ALL to drive! What a headache.... Check it out:

Do you know I have had a LS400 for 3 years, then traded it in on my GS400 which i have had for 3 years....i have had over 22 alignments done on the two cars over the 6 years. 4 by lexus, and the rest under the life time alignment by firestone. about 700-900 spent in wheel isuues. I have JUST bought a new set of rims for the GS, with brand new tires. Still doing it. The old rims were fine! I just bought them in exasperation, thinking with lexus doing alignment, that I could expect the rims were the problem. Then lexus, goes on with their coporate bull****. "we cant be responsible for aftermarket....blah blah...." "return the car to factory specifications for us to address it"...

Its not the F'in wheel, jerkoffs!

I may sue over this. get all my alignment money back.... 2 damn cars. 6 years! The funny thing is, that lexus says its the rims & tires. Bull poop. My lS, i never changed the wheeels. Same problems! In 55K miles on the LS, i changed tires 4 times, and had one blowout.

These f-in cars wander all over the damn road, on the fwy at 60+ mph. I feel like i am steering 24/7....i HATE driving either car because of that problem. 6 years of driftin'...............

Such a shame for such nice cars. I really hate driving the things. My GS has H&R lowering springs with 18" wheels on it, i thinbk 9.5" wide. This thing keeps burning up the inside of the tires after like 12000 miles. to the steel! It handles like a 72 cadillac that has two flat tires. Totally ****ty handling. Almost feels like you are about to lose control if you swerve left to right at 60mph+ gently.

anyone help me????????????????????????????????????????? I am in the US. In california. Email me direct at rescom@megapathdsl.net

i wrote lexus on it directly. They are molasses getting anything done. then they are saying i have to convert it back to the orig rims & tires. (didnt say anything about the lowering though.....)

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