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Some advice please?

I have had a 99T GS300 SE for 4 years now and for the past couple of years the handling has been getting progressively worse. The car seems to have a mind of its own when driving along the road and will often begin to veer to one side or the other without any apparent external influence (like a big wind hitting it from the side - but on a windless day). There's plenty of grip there to pull it back but it is rather unnerving and subsequently becomes tiresome to drive.

In addition I sometimes get bad vibration through the steering wheel when driving aong at 50 - 70 mph, often on smooth dual carriageway, but it does not seem too bad when braking - so not warpped discs?

I recently had a full 4 wheel steering and alignment check done but they reported nothing (not sure about the local garage though!) and the handling has not improved since - tires/wheels are in good nick.

I love the car otherwise and, if I could get this issue sorted, would keep it for a few years yet but am getting close to selling it on as I am getting fed up with it.

Any help on what to look for at my next service visit to the garage would be appreciated.

P.S. I live in North East Scotland (Aberdeen) - any advice on best garages around me (not Lexus dealers as they not interested in my old car now) - I am willing to travel (within reason) to get this sorted!!!

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Hi and welcome to the club, How many miles has your car done? have you had a different brand of tyre fitted that may have caused this? it could be caused by worn ball joints or worn wheel bearings, ball joints are common to go on the GS.

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Hi and welcome to the club, How many miles has your car done? have you had a different brand of tyre fitted that may have caused this? it could be caused by worn ball joints or worn wheel bearings, ball joints are common to go on the GS.

Car now done 80k (last 50k by me) and been running on GY Eagle F1's since I bought it (although had a set of Michelin Pilot Sport on 30k ago). Lexus told me there was no play in the wheels when I complained early on - but as I said, I dont think they were too interested! Has got worse since then however.

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Swap your wheels front-to-back and see if the wobble lessens.

How much tread left on the tyres? If there's a load it might be worth getting the wheels re-balanced anyway. When they're on the balancer, watch the wheel as it spins to make sure it's not buckled.

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Sounds to me like your control arm bushings are worn/split/cracked. Lexus GS and LS models seems to be very heavy on the control arm bushes, and replacement is required from 60k onwards. Even if you haven't done much mileage, the rubber in the bush will have perished over time.

Get the car inspected by an honest mechanic to tell you what's wrong.

The handling of any car will deteriotate with age, as the rubber bushes wear out. It happens so slowly that most owners just get used to it.

Bear in mind that the middle bush on the control arm is not available separately (Daizen do replacement polyurethane bushes, but not the middle one). If it's the middle one that's shot, you have to buy an entire control arm from Lexus. That's the negative point about these suspensions. I've sourced cheap control arms from Lexus in USA, would recommend you get a UK and US quote if parts are needed.

Even if all that's worn badly is the balljoint, then replacing JUST this item will put a lot of strain on the control arm bushes. Best to do everything at the same time.

Also, check out the anti-roll bar bushes. Those are cheap to get and fix, and can help restore the handling.

Sorry, the independent Lexus specialist I know of is down here in Essex. Maybe other members could help you out?

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Thanks for the info folks - sounds to me like I should look to replace the control arm bushings first. I read up about the Daizen Front Control Arm Bushing Set on the Sewell parts web page and the problems they describe seem to fit the bill. Is replacing these an easy job to do for a willing, if not very capable, home mechanic? Do you know where I can find instructions for doing it?

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You will probably need to burn the bushings out. Do you have an air chisel too? I'd leave it to a professional given your lack of experience.

Have a search on www.clublexus.com, and there are many US folks who have done it at home but can take several hours to do. Bear in mind the polyurethane bushes don't wear out like the standard rubber bushes, but the ride may be a tad firmer. However, the handling WILL improve over standard oem bushes.

Make sure you grease the new bushes aplenty, as they can have a tendency to squeak in cold weather. They might need regular re-greasing. Also, if you are gonna fit the Daizen control arm bushes, you might as well change the anti-roll bar bushes too.

Good luck, let us know how you get on.

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