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Replacing a starter in GS300?

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Old 07-07-16, 09:47 AM
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blantier
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Default Replacing a starter in GS300?

Wondering if anyone has any tips on replacing a starter in the 2006 GS300 AWD? The service manual has a ridiculous number of steps including: removing the front seat, removing the center console, removing the manifold and y-pipe.

Our Y-Pipe is fairly fragile and my mechanic thinks it could break when we try to take it off. Replacing this pipe is like $1800 (thanks NY State). So the worst case scenario is that I have to replace manifold/y-pipe and gaskets - $2400 + $600 for starter. $3k to replace a starter.

It seems like there must be a way to get access to that starter without removing everything. The Master tech manual says it's a 3 hr job so I'd be stunned if they actually remove all of the things listed.

We're 100+miles from the nearest dealer so that's not an option.

Right now the car doesn't start (it will start if you tap the starter) so it's worth $0, but I hate the idea of putting up to $3,000 into a 10 yr old car (which has been a complete disappointment. We've owned 3 Lexus vehicles, but we'll never own another.).
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Old 07-08-16, 05:54 AM
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I have been wanting to see a DIY for a long time. Seems no one has had any starter issues on here.
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Old 07-08-16, 10:30 AM
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Default DIY video

The only one I could find was for an old GS400 (thru 2005) which seems to also have the starter located in the same crazy spot (under the entire engine basically).


I may go with the original service manual recommend procedure and if anything fails as it's removed (exhaust pipe or exhaust manifold) I'll try to replace it with a salvage parts.

Price of the exhaust pipe ($1786 + Tax) and exhaust manifold ($1060 + tax) almost exceed the value of the car.
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Old 07-09-16, 05:39 AM
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I have done the starter on the 2002 GS300. It is a bit of the pain without a lift. Guess the 2007 GS350 is in similar place. I have a new solenoid cap I wanted to replace on it. These starters don't have the brushes like the 02 GS300 has.
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Old 07-09-16, 06:19 AM
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The starter isn't under the intake manifold. Its under the driver side exhaust manifold. Since they came out I've only done maybe 1 or 2 starters. Its not a very common issue, Then again, most people that own these cars only come in for recalls and warranty work. Its not a difficult job, just time consuming. All that interior stuff does not have to be removed. The manifold and Y pipe must be removed. Basically everything in this picture comes out minus the engine of course.

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Old 07-09-16, 07:21 PM
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Default Nice diagram

Thx. I'm trying to avoid removing the y-pipe/exhaust manifold (likely they'll fail b/c they are old and brittle).

Those parts are almost $3k so replacing them isn't economical.

It seems crazy that a $200 part requires this amount of work.

Right now I have a 2000lb paperweight in my driveway so I have to figure out something.

** On another topic - is it possible the anti-theft system could have done something to brick the car?
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Old 07-10-16, 06:18 AM
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nice, thanks for the detail
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Old 07-10-16, 07:28 AM
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What do u mean by it will start by tapping the starter?
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Old 07-10-16, 11:22 AM
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Default Tapping the starter

My local mechanic (who I trust more than any of the dealers I've dealt with) put the car on a lift got underneath it and "tapped the starter" to free up the solenoid and it started. That led to his diagnosis of a starter. I'm not opposed to replacing the starter, it's just that the process suggested by Lexus could be wildly expensive if the y-pipe or manifold fail to go back together.

I am curious about learning more about the security settings though. My "anti-theft" light blinks all of the time even after the doors are unlocked. I wonder if there is something to that but Lexus won't answer my questions w/out seeing the car. Since the nearest dealer is 100 miles away I'm not going to pay for a tow on a car that might be worthless.
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Old 07-11-16, 05:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Gs3500 View Post
What do u mean by it will start by tapping the starter?
works with alternator too and even fuel pump where you can kick the fuel tank hard. It will work several time, but don't count on it too long.
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Old 07-11-16, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by blantier View Post
It seems crazy that a $200 part requires this amount of work.
Now you understand why it costs so much. You're also paying for the experience of these techs that have been there for years and have done the same job over and over. You might pay more up front, but might save in the long run because they know tricks to keep things from breaking like the exhaust. I've learned quite a few things over my 10 years of working on these cars.

Originally Posted by blantier View Post
I wonder if there is something to that but Lexus won't answer my questions w/out seeing the car. Since the nearest dealer is 100 miles away I'm not going to pay for a tow on a car that might be worthless.
Don't trust anyone to diagnose your car over the phone. Especially if its not a tech. Even techs may misinterpret what you're saying and give you a completely wrong diagnosis. That's why I never diagnose anything over the phone.
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Old 05-12-18, 11:59 PM
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Originally Posted by blantier View Post
My local mechanic (who I trust more than any of the dealers I've dealt with) put the car on a lift got underneath it and "tapped the starter" to free up the solenoid and it started. That led to his diagnosis of a starter. I'm not opposed to replacing the starter, it's just that the process suggested by Lexus could be wildly expensive if the y-pipe or manifold fail to go back together.

I am curious about learning more about the security settings though. My "anti-theft" light blinks all of the time even after the doors are unlocked. I wonder if there is something to that but Lexus won't answer my questions w/out seeing the car. Since the nearest dealer is 100 miles away I'm not going to pay for a tow on a car that might be worthless.
Did you ever replace the starter?
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Old 05-14-18, 04:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Dsweet View Post


Did you ever replace the starter?
No - ended up selling the car for $500 just to get it out of my driveway. The snow tires and rims were probably worth 2x that amount but I wasn't going to part out the car. Frustrating experience and I've left the Lexus family as a result of that GS. I am a 38 yr guy that owned 2 Lexus vehicles - I am going to be buying cars for the next 3 decades and they chased me away to another luxury brand. I know that one buyer doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things to Toyota but it was disappointing that they put such a bad car into production.
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Old 05-14-18, 06:20 PM
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Originally Posted by blantier View Post
No - ended up selling the car for $500 just to get it out of my driveway. The snow tires and rims were probably worth 2x that amount but I wasn't going to part out the car. Frustrating experience and I've left the Lexus family as a result of that GS. I am a 38 yr guy that owned 2 Lexus vehicles - I am going to be buying cars for the next 3 decades and they chased me away to another luxury brand. I know that one buyer doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things to Toyota but it was disappointing that they put such a bad car into production.
They sure did, The GS300 has the highest amount of complaints on this subforum.

FWIW: Move to BMW and watch the repair bills fly up Same with Audi, and all the various other brands.

My family's witnessed a lot of problems in their vehicles,

BMW: Electricals
Audi: Combination (electricals & trans)
Infiniti: Trans
Acura: Trans
Lexus: Hybrid System

If I kept that mindset, the only luxury ride I would be rolling in would prob be a bicycle lol.

All in all, all manufacturers have their problems. You purchased the BIGGEST lemon on the 3GS line-up. Expect it.
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