Signs of Lexus GX 470 Air Suspension Problems

Signs of Lexus GX 470 Air Suspension Problems

Troy Hammond
8 minute read



Lexus' GX 470 — the Grand Crossover — occupies a space in the SUV market somewhere between the increasingly popular crossover wagon SUV and the luxury full-sized SUV. This model checks many boxes for many drivers. While the combination of performance and luxury has won many hearts and minds in the auto world, drivers of older, high-mileage models report various problems with the vehicle's air suspension. 

Some GX 470 owners notice their crossover has trouble maintaining its ride height. In others, the car has sagged in the rear or leaned to one side. Others may see a suspension warning light. Whatever the case, you shouldn't ignore a faulty air suspension. Not only does a leaking or broken air suspension make the ride uncomfortable, but it also puts the driver and every passenger at risk. 

What Are the Common Lexus GX 470 Air Suspension Problems?

What Are the Common Lexus GX 470 Air Suspension Problems?

Here are the six leading causes of Lexus GX 470 air suspension problems.

1. Sensor failure: The Lexus GX 470 has sensors in each wheel that gather information and send it to the electronic control unit or control panel. Damage to these sensors can affect your vehicle's automatic height monitoring system.
2. Control panel faults: The control panel or control module is the air suspension system's “brain.” It's a computerized system that regulates the vehicle's height, giving you a comfortable driving experience. When the control panel fails, your air suspension cannot perform optimally.
3. Air compressor failure: The air compressor generates pressurized air and pumps it through the springs, elevating the vehicle. These compressors tend to wear out over time, reducing the amount and intensity of air produced.
4. Air spring failure: Air springs are rubber bellows that inflate and deflate depending on the amount and intensity of air from the air compressor, causing your Lexus GX 470 to rise and drop. Their constant up-and-down motion causes them to weaken over time at the top and bottom. The air suspension system loses strength and cannot lift properly, especially when loaded to maximum capacity.
5. Airbag damage: The airbag stores the air generated by the air compressors and sends it to the control module. When dry rot and punctures cause it to leak or burst, the air volume drops, so there's not enough air to lift the SUV.
6. Valve block failure: The valve block distributes pressurized air to the air springs, elevating the vehicle. A failed valve block essentially cuts that air supply.


How Do You Troubleshoot Lexus GX 470 Air Suspension Problems?

Here are eight ways to know your Lexus GX 470 has front and rear air suspension problems.

1. Warning light: The clearest-cut sign of a damaged air suspension is a bright light on your dashboard. While this is straightforward, the challenge is that the signal may not appear until the situation worsens. It's always wise to watch for other symptoms.
2. Sagging: A damaged air suspension system cannot support the vehicle's weight. The effect is that your GX 470 may "squat" at the back while the front stays inflated. Sometimes, the car leans to one side rather than the front or back.
3. Nose dive: A nose dive happens when you come to a complete stop and the front of your vehicle dips. Usually, a nose dive means that shocks or struts in front have weakened. Nose dives can also increase your stopping distances.
4. Long braking distance: The suspension absorbs much of the stopping force. A damaged air suspension system puts more pressure on your brake calipers. It's crucial to fix this problem immediately, since it makes driving unsafe.
5. Unusual noise: The strut is not the quietest device in the Lexus GX 470, but it's also not the loudest. If you hear any unusual noise, especially from the air compressor, your suspension system may be giving out.
6. Overruning compressor: The air compressor should stop running once it reaches a sufficient limit. Thus, if it keeps going, there is a chance the compressor is faulty. A defective air compressor can damage other vehicle parts, such as the airbags.
7. Bumpier rides: The Lexus GX 470's air suspension system absorbs the roughness on the road and improves riding comfort. As the struts or shocks begin to wear out, you feel the direct impact of driving.
8. Bounce test: You can use the bounce test to know which of your struts or shocks is weak. Walk to each corner of the vehicle and push down the bumper. If it takes a long time to rise or bounce up and down before settling, there is a chance your suspension is giving out.


How Do You Reset Your Lexus GX 470 Air Suspension System?

Here is how to reset your GX 470's air suspension system:

1.Turn off the ignition.
2. Locate the battery and disconnect it. Remember to remove the negative terminal before the positive.
3. Lift the vehicle with a jack at the rear end.
4. Locate the air compressor, which is typically at the driver's side under the rear wheel and firmly attached to the frame rail.
5. Switch off the air suspension and wait for about 10 minutes.
6. Reverse the process and turn on the engine. Wait for about five minutes.
7. Check the dashboard to see if the warning light is off.
8. Drive around to see if your suspension works appropriately.


How Do You Fix Your Lexus GX 470 Suspension Problems?

How Do You Fix Your Lexus GX 470 Suspension Problems?

Sometimes, resetting your air suspension system does not resolve the problem. In such instances, the best solution could be to repair or replace the broken parts. Here are three things you can do.

1. Repair It Piece by Piece

The problem with your GX 470's air suspension could be as simple as a torn airline or leaky air spring. Repairing these items is inexpensive and won't take too much time at the mechanic. However, if one of the components on your Lexus' air suspension has gone, the rest are sure to follow. Air suspensions are highly complex, computer-controlled systems. They require every component to function correctly to work at total efficiency. 

When one component goes down, the rest pick up the slack to try and keep things smooth for the driver. This extra stress causes the other components to wear out more quickly. So while it might seem like an attractive option to replace one broken part at a time, it's a surefire way to end up back at the mechanic soon. And in the meantime, even replacing one of those air springs can set you back nearly $1,000.

2. Replace Your Air Suspension

These days, you have plenty of options for replacing your air suspension with a similar one. Whether you go to the dealership or look for aftermarket parts from a third-party vendor, replacing all the components in your air suspension is possible. The advantage of this option is that you get to keep your air ride. However, there are two main downsides, the first of which is cost.

When your car is ready for a new suspension, it will significantly decrease in value. The Lexus GX 470 air suspension replacement cost can be close to $4,000 — likely more when the mechanics factor in extra labor. The second disadvantage is that you're replacing a faulty system with one that you know will break down in the same amount of time or even less, depending on the quality of the product. While keeping that air ride feel may be nice, you're setting yourself up for future repairs

3. Convert and Save!

If you're tired of constantly dealing with air suspension issues and want to save money, a conversion kit might be the answer. These kits allow Lexus GX 470 owners to ditch that air suspension in favor of sturdy, reliable coilover struts. You can convert all four wheels of your Lexus to coil-overs for less than $700! You've saved more than $3,000 on replacing all four wheels. The beauty of these systems is in their simplicity.

Strutmasters Conversion Kit for Lexus GX 470

Strutmasters Conversion Kit for Lexus GX 470

Strutmasters' Lexus GX 470 conversion kit is a premium product designed to solve the problems associated with the OEM and aftermarket modules. They use simple mechanical resistance to get the job done. Our engineers have gone to great lengths to ensure the ride quality is similar to that of your original air suspension. We carefully rate the springs and obsessively tune the shocks to be the perfect fit for the GX 470.

Ready to End Your Lexus GX 470 Suspension Problems Forever?

Ready to End Your Lexus GX 470 Suspension Problems Forever?

Strutmasters is a renowned suspension manufacturer providing the best solutions for struts in many vehicles. We specialize in air-to-non-air suspension conversion kits and provide affordable and reliable alternatives for customers. Our suspension experts are standing by, ready to take your call and help you get everything you need. Contact us now!

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